The 30 Minute Squat Challenge
Written by Bryan Miller

I have always been a fan of “challenges” – eating clean, working out or otherwise. Besides appealing to the competitor in all of us, they are a way of incorporating positive changes into your life for the long term. One of my idols, Ido Portal, posed this challenge:

Sit in a relaxed squat position for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days.

Why should you accept this challenge? We should all know by now the benefits of the squat position: improved ankle, knee, hip flexibility, digestion, spinal decompression…the list goes on! In many countries around the world, this is a basic human resting position. Watch a two year old for a little while; kids will often use this position as rest without ever being shown to do it by their parents. This position is in our DNA. Unfortunately, in most of the western world, it is socially unacceptable to “pop a squat” in public and therefore many people lose the ability to sit in the squat comfortably or at all.

Back to the Challenge!  Here’s how it works.

Day 1:
Minute 1: 30 minutes, no problem. I’ve got this.
Minute 2: Look, one minute in! No big deal. Only 28 minutes and 38 seconds left. Go me!!!
Minute 3-30 (Broken Up into 1-2 Minute Intervals): This is hell. Are we there yet? When is it over? I can’t feel my feet.

When I first started the challenge I could sit in the squat position for about 1-2 minutes before it became very uncomfortable.

By Day 30:
I was able to hold a squat comfortably for 8-10 minutes at a time and my squat position had improved quite a bit. I was able to keep my chest much more upright, allowing me to focus on my knees tracking out. I can feel the changes in the bottom position of my Olympic lifts and have noticed a significantly improved range of motion in my ankles.

More importantly, squatting has become a part of my normal routine. Post challenge, squatting for rest is natural. When I get tired of standing, I just plop down into a squat!

And now…..I challenge you! You knew this was coming when you started reading this article. I challenge all of you to try it! Squat for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days, and let me know how it goes!

Learn from my mistakes – start small, one minute at a time. Use the stopwatch on your phone to keep track of your accumulated time throughout the day. If squatting is difficult for you, use a doorway, table or lean up against your couch in order to make it more bearable. You will be blown away at the progress you will make. Happy squatting!

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April 25, 2014 5:11 pm

If I have a butt wink, will this improve my posterior chain mobility? I don’t wanna do this only for my back to get messed up on day 30

April 25, 2014 10:40 am

It’s a good challenge, but dont go for macho 30mins or even 10 mins off the bat. And if you do stay a long while at the bottom keep shifting regularly. I definitely did something to my patellar nerve after about a week of holding increasingly long static poses, left outer gastroc was cotton wool numb for weeks after and I decided to drop out. My squat was improved though. If your legs are dead when you get up you overdid it. And another of the original participants ended up with a more severe case (drop foot), check out Ido’s… Read more »

BJ Sorensen
BJ Sorensen
April 25, 2014 10:24 am

I second the question regarding past knee injuries. After about 10 minutes, my patellar tendon is hot fire and is sore the following day.

April 25, 2014 8:24 am

Any further advice on how to approach this for those with past knee injuries?

Tyrone Barrion
Tyrone Barrion
May 1, 2014 4:49 pm
Reply to  JoeThacker

Just tried this during my lunch break. Did 15 mins straight (I have been doing 10 mins straight once a week for the past year), but had to take a break and lay on my back to let the blood flow back into my legs. Feet did go a little numb. After laying for 2 mins I got back in the squat for another 15 mins. I had ACL replacement surgery in April 2006, so after 8 years, I no longer get the burning pains in my tendons and ligaments. If your surgery is more recent or entailed more (i.e.… Read more »

Ben Sullins
Ben Sullins
April 22, 2014 11:49 am

I’ve been sitting in a squatting position for 10+hrs a day for the past 15 years. Now a standing challenge I would be interested in :p

Courtland Creekmore
Courtland Creekmore
April 22, 2014 10:27 am

Easy peasy like Chuck E Cheesy.

Michele Quigley
Michele Quigley
April 22, 2014 9:40 am

I’m in too! LOVE this idea.

Laurits Mathias Espeholt
Laurits Mathias Espeholt
April 22, 2014 9:01 am

I’m in 🙂

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