Squatting is normal functional movement, if you can't squat you're essentially dis-abled, although less-abled might be more appropriate. Squats are great for opening up the lower back and hips after long periods of sitting, and undoing some of the ills of office work and a sedentary lifestyle.
Some benefits of squatting include:
- Back pain relief
- Increased ankle mobility
- Stronger hip muscles and glutes
- Improved overall mobility and coordination
- Improved digestive health
In some respects this is a follow on from my previous video on sitting down which I recommend you watch as sitting down is essentially the easier first half of the squat. If you can't do the first half freely you're guaranteed to be unable to do the rest freely, and by freely I mean without reaction.
It's common to try and hold onto something as you first attempt full, deep squats. I recommend not doing this as the improvement in coordination is what you want to work on that will allow a full squat to become available. It's not something you want to force, but rather reveal or uncover.
As always with my unscripted videos there's always something I wished I'd mentioned, in this case, additional help and support to remain in a full squat for a period of time. As mentioned in the video, a full squat provides a good stretch for the lower back, but if it's early days, to help the muscles release, do long out breaths. This encourages the parasympathetic nervous system, that is, your resting state. Muscles will release more readily in this state. You may also notice tightness at the end of the thigh as it approaches the knee joint. Again, long out breaths as you encourage a release out over the knee will help.
With regards to back pain, I have my own history with it after an accident which you can read about here. The long and short of it is that I completely got over it in a week with a daily practice of squatting and Constructive Rest.