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What is a Slav Squat?
The Slav Squat has taken the internet world by storm.
The sensation is based on a deep squat that many people do around the world. But many westerners have a lot of questions about it:
- Can Westerners Slav Squat?
- Are their calves too weak?
- How do you do it without toppling over?
Why do Slavs squat?
The Slav Squat’s history as a popular internet meme is actually a bit of a mystery.
The meme first began surfacing a few years ago, and since then it has become synonymous with Eastern Europe.
The image many readers might have is a man in a tracksuit squatting and smoking a cigarette, or drinking a cheap drink.
Much like planking, Slav Squatting became an internet challenge with many users posing in the squat position in strange places.
The meaning of the meme actually goes far deeper than a simple internet meme. The origins of Slav Squatting come from what is called “Gopnik” culture.
Gopnik culture is a Russian subculture that is typically associated with poverty.
Slavs often squat because it's a comfortable resting position for those that have not lost their deep squat mobility and do not have access to chairs.
Slavic meme creators saw the content potential in the pose and began using it as such. Thus, the Slav Squat was created.
Why Should You Slav Squat?
So while we’ve established the history and origins of the Slav Squat, is there actually a benefit to the popular Slav Squat pose?
The benefits of squatting are known almost universally. But what about the Slav Squat?
The answer is yes, Slav Squats can actually be very beneficial to your health. The Slav Squat is really just essentially a deep squat.
Getting your bottom so low to the ground is beneficial to your squat form, and if you’re in a position where you want to take a seat but can’t, Slav Squatting is actually a very good alternative.
Another key to Slav Squatting properly is ankle flexibility. Having enough ankle flexibility to pull off the Slav Squat can take a long time to develop. But it’s worth it.
With Slav Squatting, you get all of the benefits of a normal squat, while in a comfortable position that can also keep you clean and off the ground in a pinch. Slav Squats have been shown to improve posture, calf strength, quad strength, and glute strength. So why should you Slav Squat? For all of the same reasons, you would normally squat! And it keeps you off the ground as an added benefit.
How do you Slav Squat?
So how do you Slav Squat? Do you need a tracksuit? Can everyone do it?
Well, the Slav Squat is a very unique motion for your body. The hard truth is, not everyone can Slav Squat.
If you’re looking to try Slav Squatting, it is fairly simple:
Get your feet into a shoulder-width position, and get your bottom as low as it can go. Your feet should remain totally on the floor, and do not let your heels come up.
The flat feet is the defining characteristic of the Slav Squat. You should feel the stretch in your calves and ankles.
Now, this is where you find out if you are one of the lucky people able to actually pull off the Slav Squat.
If you can sink your bottom down and put weight on your heels without toppling backward, you are one of the lucky people who can pull off a full deep squat without any prep.
If you’re new to Slav Squatting, it may be difficult for you. (I tried doing the Slav Squat while writing this and could get low but couldn’t actually stay up). If you are successfully able to Slav Squat, congratulations on your entrance to this exclusive club of Slav Squatters. You can now turn heads all over the world with your comfort and style. No tracksuit required.
If you can’t quite get the Slav Squat down, like me, then take a look at Home Gym Strength’s guide to squatting without a rack. This list should provide some other options to squatting without a rack that isn’t the Slav Squat.
Ultimately the key to this useful Slav Squat is just to keep practicing. If you want to be able to pull it off it can be as simple as practicing for five minutes a day. You’ll be Slav Squatting in no time!