Pilates Bar With Bands Exercises
The Standard of Flexibility
One day, while we were walking on the beach in Santa Monica, Aniela pointed to a toddler stumbling around on shaky legs. Whenever the child was on the verge of falling, she would lower herself into a squat. After balancing her body, she would stand up without difficulty, but then become unsteady again as she attempted to walk.
“Look,” Aniela said, pointing to the girl. “She can’t walk well, but she has no problem squatting.” We realized that we all squat before we walk, and it is one of the most natural things in our lives, but we gradually lose this ability as our bodies age.
In weightlifting, there are three kinds of squats: the Back Squat, the Front Squat, and the Overhead Squat. In the Back Squat (Figure 2.2), the lifter holds the bar behind the neck, resting it on the shoulders. In the Front Squat (Figure 2.3), the lifter holds the bar in front of the neck, resting it on the shoulders. In the Overhead Squat (Figure 2.4), the lifter holds the bar above the head with straight arms.
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Because the Overhead Squat simultaneously improves the mobility of the wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles, we thought at first that it would be the ideal test of flexibility. However, while it is an excellent test of strength and speed, it turned out that an even better test of flexibility is a modification of the Overhead Squat that we named the Candle Squat (Figure 2.5), which brings the hands and feet close together, and therefore requires more flexibility.
Degrees of Flexibility
We all squat before we walk, and it is one of the most natural things in our lives, but we gradually lose this ability as our bodies age.