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Mastering The Asian Squat For Enhanced Mobility And Strength

- Written By

Diane Benton MD, FCAP, ABOIM

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This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument. This article contains scientific references. Read more about our process.

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The Asian squat has arisen as a fascinating phenomena in the domain of fitness and wellbeing, catching the interest of aficionados all over the world. This distinctive squatting stance, which is ubiquitous in Asian cultures, provides numerous physical benefits while also having deep cultural and historical importance. We delve into the complex tapestry of the Asian squat in this essay, looking at its history, physical benefits, mind-body connection, and respectful involvement.


One of the finest workouts for increasing ankle and hip joint range of motion is squatting. Furthermore, adding weight is an excellent strategy for improving muscular strength and mass. At its foundation, squatting is a natural human activity, and throughout evolutionary history, people typically used squatting as a resting position.


In this post, we'll examine both the Asian and Western squat positions, which have various varieties. Essentially, Asian squats involve assuming a deep squatting position.

1) What are Asian squats?

People in Asian cultures commonly practice Asian squats, which involve assuming a deep squatting position with the hips positioned near to or resting on the heels and the thighs parallel to or close to the ground. Individuals often keep their feet flat on the ground and point their toes slightly outward during an Asian squat.

2) Historical and cultural background

The history and culture of Asian nations deeply rooted the origins of the Asian squat. People in regions like East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent have favored the squatting posture for centuries. Historically, it symbolized a way of life, reflecting community living, labor-intensive tasks, and cultural customs.

The Asian squat was a common sight, observed everywhere from casual gatherings to street markets, facilitating social interactions and nurturing a sense of unity.

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How to perform Asian squat?

With consistent practice, you can master Asian squats, even though they may be initially challenging. Once you have learned the correct execution, you can incorporate them into your daily routine.

Tips and techniques for practicing the Asian squat

  • Stand tall with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart. If you have long legs, opt for a wider stance, while individuals with shorter legs should choose a slightly narrower stance than shoulder width.
  • Lower your buttocks towards the floor, bending your knees, and bringing your upper body down until your buttocks and thighs meet your calves.
  • Ensure that your feet are flat on the floor and that your ankles and knees do not roll inward.
  • Maintain this position for as long as it remains comfortable for you. If you encounter balance difficulties, as mentioned earlier, you can grab onto a doorframe or hold a free weight for support.

If you can’t do an Asian squat, it’s probably because you have stiff ankles, hips, or calves. These are most likely the distinguishing features that limit certain people’s ability to Asian squat.

Lets watch this video how to perform asian squat with live example by expert!

Source / Upright Health

What are the major difficulties in performing Asian squat?

If you have never practiced Asian squats before, you may encounter challenges. Rest assured, you are not alone, especially if you grew up in the West.

The tightness in the joints of the lower body makes it difficult to execute and sustain a deep squat position. As we age, our muscles and joints tend to become stiffer, especially in today’s sedentary lifestyle.

Therefore, it is understandable that individuals who spend most of their days sitting in chairs may find it challenging to perform even a parallel squat, let alone a deeper variation like the Asian squat.

If you find it challenging to go deeper into your squatting stance and maintain that position, there are a couple of helpful strategies you can employ. One option is to use a kettlebell or a similar weighted object. Holding the weight in front of you acts as a counterbalance, making it easier to stabilize and sustain a deep squat.

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Furthermore, if you have limited mobility in your ankles, it can cause them to roll inward during the squat. To address this issue, you can try elevating your heels slightly by placing a small object or using squatting shoes with an elevated heel. This modification increases the range of motion at the ankles, making it more manageable to perform the exercise and maintain proper form.

Do genetics play a role in difficulties?

Genetics can influence an individual’s ability to perform and maintain a squat. People with shorter legs and longer torsos often naturally tend to maintain a relatively vertical spine during squatting, which can lead to spine overextension. Conversely, individuals with longer legs tend to experience a forward arching of the spine, resulting in excessive spine flexion.

However, it’s important to note that having a biomechanical disadvantage does not mean that deep squatting should be completely avoided. It simply means that individuals may need to make certain form adjustments to accommodate their individual body mechanics.

For instance, individuals with longer legs can benefit from slightly widening their stance and pointing their toes more outward. These modifications help optimize alignment and improve overall squatting form, resulting in better outcomes.

Is doing Asian squat good for your health?

Asian squats require a greater range of motion and mobility compared to Western squats. As a result, they offer a broader set of benefits for overall health, especially for the average person.

Furthermore, Asian squats can be particularly advantageous for individuals with a sedentary lifestyle, as they help alleviate muscular stiffness and improve posture.

If your goal is to enhance mobility in the lower body joints, Asian squats are a more suitable choice. However, it is important to acknowledge that performing deeper squats, such as Asian squats, can be challenging for some individuals, especially those with very limited ankle and knee flexibility.

Related Article: How To Do Stiff Leg Deadlift Properly?

Physical benefits of the Asian squat

The Asian squat has caught the attention of fitness enthusiasts worldwide due to its cultural significance and a variety of physical benefits. Primarily, this posture enhances flexibility and mobility by targeting the muscles of the lower body, including the hips, knees, and ankles. Regular practice of the Asian squat can increase range of motion and improve joint flexibility.

In addition, squatting strengthens the muscles of the lower body, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. By engaging these muscles, individuals can enhance their lower body strength, stability, and overall balance. Moreover, the Asian squat contributes to improved posture by activating the core muscles, resulting in better spinal alignment and a reduced risk of back injuries

Range of benefits

  • Combat the problems associated with sitting
  • Increased strength
  • Improves posture
  • Improved lower body mobility
  • Useful During Pregnancy to Alleviate Pain
  • Reduce tight calves
  • Reduces pressure on joints and bones
  • Decreased pain
  • Improves digestion

Lets discuss some major benefits in details so you can understand better and start perfuming Asian squats daily.

1) Improved lower body mobility

By holding the position of an Asian squat for a set period of time, you can greatly improve lower body mobility, specifically ankle mobility and hip flexion. Many individuals lead sedentary lifestyles and spend prolonged periods sitting, which significantly affects the hips, calf muscles, and the muscles in the back of the leg near the Achilles tendon.

Consequently, ankle flexibility decreases. Regularly performing deep squats will effectively address these issues and provide substantial improvement.

2) Decreased pain

By incorporating a deep Asian squat into your daily life, you will not only witness changes in your joints but also contribute to reducing common aches and pains experienced by many individuals. This includes experiencing less pain in the lower back and reduced discomfort in the knee joint.

3) Increased strength

When comparing a barbell squat to an Asian squat, the spine carries the majority of the weight load. If the squat is not executed with perfect form, the pressure exerted by the weight can lead to significant injuries. In contrast, an Asian squat is a bodyweight exercise, eliminating any pressure on the spine.

However, the required depth of the squat places emphasis on the lower leg muscles, thereby aiding in their strength enhancement.

4) Improve digestion

Regularly practicing Asian squats opens up the colon, facilitating a more efficient bowel movement process. This, in turn, improves digestion and reduces constipation.

5) Improve posture

When you notice changes in your hip and ankle mobility, you will notice an improvement in your overall posture.

Psychological benefits of the Asian squat

The Asian squat offers not only physical benefits but also establishes a unique connection between the mind and body. When you practice it mindfully, it contributes to relaxation and alleviation of stress.

The deliberate stretching and deep breathing associated with the seated posture create a sense of serenity and tranquility.

In certain cultures, the Asian squat is even integrated into meditation and mindfulness practices, enabling a deeper connection with one’s inner self.

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Cultural appropriation and respectful engagement

It is crucial to approach the Asian squat with cultural sensitivity and respect, just like you would any other cultural practise. To prevent cultural appropriation or misinterpretation, it is essential to comprehend and appreciate the cultural background underlying the squatting stance. Accept the custom with humility and acknowledge its importance in Asian cultures.

Types of asian squats

Illustration By Trend Of Health


Lets compare the Asian squats with other Western squats and other cultures

1) The Asian squat vs western squat

The main distinction between the Asian and Western squats is the depth at which they are performed. In the Asian squat, it is necessary to squat down deeply enough for the hamstrings to make contact with the calf muscles. On the other hand, the Western squat typically involves squatting to parallel or just slightly below that level.

The Asian squat, often referred to as the resting squat, is a position commonly used for activities like defecation and resting in Asian cultures. This is supported by the prevalence of ground-level squat toilets in public restrooms in these cultures.

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In contrast, the Western world is more accustomed to toilets with seats. The cultural preference for squat toilets in many Asian communities has led to a regular practice of the Asian squat among individuals in those cultures.

2) Asian squat vs slav squat

The Slav squat, named after the Slavic nations of Eastern Europe, shares similarities with the Asian squat and involves squatting even lower than the Asian squat.

The main distinction between the Slav and Asian squats lies in the foot posture. When you perform a Slav squat, position your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and point your toes outwards. In contrast, the Asian squat is performed with the feet closer together.

The Slav squat activates the glutes more and has the potential to reduce lower back pain. It can also be a suitable option for individuals with longer limbs, as the wider stance accommodates their body proportions.

The bottom line

The Asian squat offers numerous health benefits, cultural significance, and mind-body connections. Incorporate it into your routine to improve flexibility, strengthen lower body muscles, enhance posture, and experience relaxation. Remember to engage respectfully with cultural practices, embracing diversity. Let the Asian squat be a gateway to physical and cultural enlightenment, fostering awareness of our interconnected world.

How we reviewed this article

Trend Of Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy

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