There must be some reason that everyone, to some good approximation -- I'm in the US and this is what I see, does this the wrong way. Even people who know better seem to require conscious effort to do the motion correctly, myself included.
Maybe it's because squatting and hip hinging are thing that require that you work into the position, rather than "falling" into it. It is strange that it follows cultural lines; possibly it's just imitating what people around you are doing, so fixing this would require some pretty large-scale brainwashing.
I came to this from a world of leg and back pain. It hasn't fixed everything but I can do almost 5 times as much without tipping over into chronic joint pain.
The quickest things I can relate to people that I learned from this time: 1) Never lock your joints. 2) "Lift with your knees not your back" is the wrong advice. Lifting "with your knees" is loading your quads. That and joint locking put all of the stress on the parts of your knee (cartilage especially) that are already overworked in the western posture.
The correct advice is "Lift with your legs", which takes longer to explain but the Cliff's Notes version is that your legs are 3 joints and lifting with your knees is only using one set of muscles and essentially locking the rest. The right way to lift is to engage your calves, your ass, and your hams.
There's a great saying I heard somewhere about the Problem with Western Posture being that we try to use our hips as a hinge joint and our knees as a ball joint. There are a lot of tight muscles in the hips and upper thighs that have to unclench to get there, and you literally feel like you're falling over while you try to sort that out. But man if you do, I've avoided half a dozen spills that should have put me in the doctor's office and one that would have sent me to rehab for torn ankle ligaments for sure.
The downside of this experience has been that I have to fight an urge to analyze everyone else's posture. I end up staring at people if I'm not paying attention. I probably look like a creep. And some people make me feel sympathetic joint pain. The number of people with fallen arches is crazy.
While making the adjustment, my calves and tendons hurt for a month or so. Then they adjusted, and wearing regular shoes (dress shoes for events) feels so awkward and unnatural that I cannot stand it.
Contrary to what one might imagine, this did not give me flat feet, but exactly the opposite. My arches have never been stronger or more well formed.
My gait entirely changed. I tend to either place my foot down flat, or put down the ball first.
sounds like mine, these are what I use: https://www.softstarshoes.com/
what do you use, if not those?
This is what I wear:
I'm not a healthcare professional but I would start with stretching your hamstrings like the article says and stretching your feet, getting to know the muscles that you have down there and how they work when you move your feet. You can follow a course or a guide, it may help, but know that every situation is different and you need to listen to your own body, experiment with some motions that you've never tried. Guidance might be good at first, but just don't stop listening to your body and try to avoid making it do something it doesn't want to do, but be aware of it. Unconscious avoiding of stiff or painful muscles gets you in this mess, so if you catch yourself mindlessly going through the motions (it does happen, often), take a moment to assess what kind of trouble you're in at the moment, muscle-wise.
Strengthening all of your leg muscles will help awaken the nerves in your legs. I can't remember the name, but it's a huge one that runs from your hip all the way to your toes that is the culprit of flat feet. Help your legs do work the right way, and then you'll start to see that you don't have to put much conscious pressure on the front of your feet at all to stay in balance.
They should give you some extra support and stop pronation problems etc.
Well, I'm not saying nature actually can fix everything, but in case of toothbrushing, it's dependent on your diet. There are peoples knowing nothing of brushing, but they feeding themselves different than we "civilized" people are.
Apparently even cavemen did make some effort to clean their teeth (and according to this article, monkeys still do): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2...
I looked up Youtube videos on how to do it. There is something involving a pencil and a penny to know where to "push" down to the floor without collapsing the arches. Then it is a matter of practicing walking and moving with those feelings until it can be done without thinking. I chose to practice this during martial art practice, hiking, and day-to-day walking.
Concentrate on carrying your weight on the knife edge and the ball of your foot. Feels like a paradox but do the knife edge exercise for a while and you’ll figure it out. Good exercise to do while waiting in line or shopping with someone who is slow.
Look at the bottom of your foot. The metatarsal for your pinkie toe is supported by a pad of flesh that it theory can touch the ground almost all the way from your heel to the ball of the foot. With fallen arches the ankle rolls in, the mid foot starts to touch the ground and the strain on the ligaments of the arch and the inside of the ankle are increased.
On the hand, that is the same side you would use to 'karate chop' someone. Ie, using your hand like a knife. The knife edge. Some people use the same term for the foot.
In the 80s they used to put giant insoles into your shoes and it made walking painful until 1) the insole compressed or 2) you twisted your ankle out so you wouldn't put all your weight on the insole. But it turns out it's better for people to manage this on their own and you have shoes like Vans that hardly have an insole at all.
One thing I've found personally but not in the literature, if the shoe is tight around the ball of your foot, you are not going to be able to get your foot posture right. If you need a wider toe box for your feet to be comfortable, solve that problem first before trying to solve the fallen arch problem. Before I threw out my old shoes I would get all sorts of recurring foot pain when I wore the 'uncomfortable' ones.
You can get new shoes, thinner insoles, or lace your shoes differently to get a little more room. I've saved a couple pair of shoes by doing both (insole and relace) to them.
When you do it right, you know it. The whole leg is involved, and the butt, and the lower back.
I think people avoid it because they're lazy - or "sedentary", to use a nicer (?) word. Seems like a bit more effort to lift with your legs.
However, if you're active and in good shape, it actually feels more natural to lift with your legs. You can just drive so much more force into the ground. You're far more effective this way, whereas lifting with your back suddenly appears weak and quite sketchy.
What kind/style of taichi do you practice? I do Chen style under a guy in Montreal and try to get to workshops when the big guys are in the northeast.
Nowadays I run mountain ultra marathons and my feet are fine, my flat arches give me no trouble at all.
Fallen arches are not a problem.
But if you are rolling your ankles, do yourself a favor and figure that shit out while your ligaments are still in good shape.
I think you're right about the large-scale brainwashing! But I think another essential part of the solution is going to be re-evaluating our society's relationship with sitting. I don't think it's a coincidence that the "tipping point" for a lot of children, where their movement patterns degrade, is when they start sitting primarily in chairs, rather than on the floor.
Was also told to heel strike by my mom, makes less flopping noise doing so. She has a way of doing what blends in, doesn’t want her kids to be different, the whole largest nail gets hammered.
I think you are right. I had to wear "normal" shoes after wearing zero-drop shoes for about a year. Within a few minutes of walking, I was back to heel striking.
(Ecco shoes tend to be low-rise already, but for some reason their insoles always squeak for me. I replace them for my sanity, not because the replacements are lower. But other brand have a taller heel).
I still heel strike when I walk, but only barely. The knife edge of my foot lands just after my heel, instead of what most people do which is lift their toes a half inch to an inch. Ouch.
The biggest difference is not squatting to use the toilet. Until modern toilets, humans squat without sitting to poop. More sitting = less squatting, which leads to not squatting to pick up things since our muscles are underdeveloped.
I believe it's part of the reason my upper leg muscles have remained strong even when work has put a halt on exercise for longer periods of time.
I would be open about this if asked but never bring it up unsolicited in conversation as in the past I have found it regarded as outright bizarre.
As an adult, not being able to air squat with parallel feet isn't necessarily a symptom of bad body mechanics, muscle imbalance, or ankle mobility. It could just mean I've gotta big booty and a small head. Which incidentally, I do.
I love my body.
My ideas :
- having longer limbs change your gestures
- muscle strength and stiffness with time, which is something we do like to optimize way above "proper posture"
- lack of understanding of physics and muscle control (to move in the best way you have to distribute efforts in many limbs, which is less natural, especially in societies where complex movements are rare)
Overthinking is what I do.
It's a natural movement -- culture is not natural.
I also see a lot of healthy, young, and skinny people lean over to the side when getting up from a char. Instead of scooting forward then standing up.
It's a joke from weightlifting forums but also has some truthful parts.
For those struggling getting in to this position I have two bits of advice:
1. Use a door frame to support yourself initially and really sit back on your heels and hang on the door. It will burn in your adductors so go easy initially. Once you feel comfortable with holding yourself up with the door frame, start to brace and then let go of the door, even for just a second and catch yourself before falling back, to get a feel for balancing yourself. After a few weeks you won’t need the door frame.
2. Stretch your calves, poor dorsiflexion (closing the angle between your shin and the top of your foot) is common and a pain. Everyone should be able to have their toes about 4 inches from a wall and touch the wall with their knee without lifting their heel. Start at one inch and hold it for 30 seconds on each leg once a day, after a week move to 2 inches. I’ve gone from 2 inches to 6 in about a year and has done wonders for my squat.
Finally, when you see people in this squat position in Asia etc you will notice that their spine is rarely flat if they are fully down in the squat. This is generally fine so long as the spine is not loaded. The aim of the deep ass to grass third world squat is not to hold it with a perfectly straight back, the point is to stretch out the positerior chain and, in the cases of people actively using it day to day, to give a comfortable position to work on things low down without forcing their spine to take the weight and job of supporting their bent over action, the aim is to transition that load into the glutes.
Sources: 2 years of extensive physio therapy to recover for a herniated L5S1 disc caused by a lifelong spinal defect exacerbated by mountain bike crashes and heavy dead lifts. If you have back pain seek the advice of a physio therapist with back knowledge before messing about yourself.
Sadly in my country proper form isn't all that common and I've seen so many people do squats with plates under their heels, so finding a knowledgeable expert isn't easy.
So, coming from a relatively ignorant position with regards to physio therapy ... which is it? :P
> when you see people in this squat position in Asia etc you will notice that their spine is rarely flat if they are fully down in the squat. This is generally fine so long as the spine is not loaded.
the exact same thing applies to knee position. You don't want your knees past your toes when loaded, when unloaded it's totally fine.
Remember, ancient Romans were masters of the world, but they drank wine from lead cups, used lead for plumbing etc. Just because a culture is kinda dominant at the moment doesn't meant it can learn nothing from other parts of the world.
I've gotten to the point where I will hover at the squat rack, spot someone doing an ass to grass, and interrogate them how they got there. Nothing I've learned has worked. I just fall backwards, every time.
Without knowing anything, I'd say check your back angle - it's probably too vertical. If you're falling backwards, point your nipples at the floor.
But really, just find a weightlifting coach and spend some money to get some coaching sessions. They can fix this stuff in minutes.
The three areas I've identified to work on for myself are ankle mobility, hip flexibility and hamstring flexibility.
I realised that hamstring flexibility impairs my hip mobility, and my hamstrings are good by average standards - I can touch my knuckles on the ground from standing position after warming up.
My hamstrings are super tight (can't barely get to my ankles when bending over) so any tips on what you did to increase your hamstring flexibility would be welcome too!
Hamstring stretches are pretty well trodden, yoga or any kicking martial art will have a wealth of material for how to increase your hamstring flexibility.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable doing that now, but getting into the "third world squat" position is easy and natural for me still. I guess I should do that more before I can't.
Something about how every Japanese soldier, officers included, would squat while doing stationary tasks.
That is, if i understood the description correctly.
It's even got a subreddit:
It was hard at first, your achilles tendons and hamstrings need stretching out from years of disuse, but now I can squat for ages. The key is that you need to stretch out enough that you can squat right down with your feet still flat on the floor and a straight back. It's very comfortable once you get used to it.
Mind you, even as a child I was unable to sit cross-legged (without holding my ankles and arching my back) and found floor sitting immensely awkward and uncomfortable.
My impression is that amongst the different "races" we have different ranges of body shapes; I am relatively convinced that this makes some actions and positions more difficult. Maybe squatting is such a movement.
Interestingly, the squat is a very similar problem, but in the opposite direction -- your ankles need to bend the other way. Lack of range of motion makes it so that you can't position your weight forward enough to stay on your feet. There is also the compounded problem of needing the flexibility in your hips.
Finally, sitting cross legged is also related to ankle range of motion -- but in a kind of diagonal way. To sit comfortably cross legged you have to be able to put the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Of course, this requires flexibility in your glutes as well, but if you don't have the range of motion in your ankles, your feet/knees are always going to hurt. A full lotus position is actually easier on your joints, but requires a lot more flexibility.
Anyway, like I said, there is definitely a range of starting places for flexibility for each person, but no matter where you start you can get there (barring injury, or other kind of unusual mechanical problem). Strangely, I find seiza to be the easiest of the three positions even though I initially found it to be the hardest (after you fix the range of motion problem in the ankles, there isn't really any flexibility you need).
I really wish that it was doable in skiboots :/
I've recently switched to the RDL (Romanian Deadlift) with significantly reduced weight and higher reps and I personally prefer it for my lower back and hamstring training. The conventional deadlift is a great movement though if you can perform it correctly.
I was just recently thinking that the deadlift is probably the lift I enjoy the most. There is a rawness to it that just makes it so satisfying. Also it's usually the lift where you can lift the most so that adds an extra touch.
The deadlift is killing my hands though. My callouses are starting to become a bother and my hands are pretty raw for any other lifts later in my session.
> My callouses are starting to become a bother and my hands are pretty raw for any other lifts later in my session.
Calluses hurting late into your training session but not the beginning is typically a sign that you're not taking very good care of the skin on your hands.
Donny Shankle, a very accomplished weightlifter, has a really good video on hand care here. It's sport specific for weightlifting, but it applies pretty well to strength training in general.
In addition to what he says, I've had really good success with a combination of a corn/callus shaver and a dremel tool. The goal is to take the peaks off the calluses such that they're more or less flat to the rest of your hands. My typical routine for palm callus care, performed every few days, is to shower so that my skin is relatively soft, shave off any parts of the calluses on my palm that are protruding above the plane of the rest of my palms, and then smooth it out with the dremel's grinder tip set to low speed.
In gymnastics and archery, there are special gloves and stuff. In archery, I had a leather worker make me a custom grieves when I could not find one at any store (back before online shopping was a thing).
Hoping you can find something that helps.
You can always do what climbers do, and trim them with a razor and a steady hand.
Why not both? Reddit's favorite PPL routine has both. RDL on leg day, Deadlift on Pull 1.
Now that I found a brand that fits my build and uses this type of fabric, regular, non-stretch denim feels so constricting I avoid it entirely (and without, ahem, having to resort to men’s yoga pants).
A bonus is, if you're into martial arts, being able to kick above the waist or 'roll' (Judo/BJJ), you can still do so in those pants.
Easy to make, comfy, can be made in many colors.
Guess I'll be back here to show off my Mens Business Alternative Yoga Pants...
(would there even be an interest in posting it here?)
I would love an alternative to jeans that doesn't draw attention and provides the durability of jeans in addition to better range of motion.
I totally agree about jeans having limited ROM. I think the future of fabrics is a 90%+ Polyester and 4%+ Spandex blend. These stretch so they look really good, and they can make plenty of colors/prints(But I'd probably do black)
Not sure how the durability is for this, they are stretchy, so they wont tear at the seams, but they might not be good for laying bricks.
>The pattern. The best designer is Victoria Secret. To get 1 pair of their technology to tear down and reverse engineer is 40$, but it wont be perfect because they are designed for females.
>Culture. I'm ultra paranoid about my clothes being workplace inappropriate. The idea is to be Business Alternative(Business Casual is lazy, Business Professional is try hard). I have dark blue hair but a business professional looking haircut. I believe we will still need belts and pockets to look professional. For my first pair I'll probably do navy or black. The goal here is to change Fit, not colors or details.
>Tightness- Fitting clothes look better than loose clothing. I think the biggest issue would be to have it fit around the hip, but not be ultra right around the butt and thigh. This is going to be the most critical.
Finishing my thoughts now-
This is giving me the idea that instead of belts, we should merely have a 'collar' around the waist to keep the pants up. This collar is stretchy and will allow bending.
Any other thoughts, I'd like to hear. I dont see many people trying to innovate on mens business clothes, but there are new fabrics that didnt exist 100 years ago, and I think there just arent enough men complaining.
The idea of 5-minute deep stretch breaks (that is, going to do some serious stretching without needing to change pants) is very exciting :)
They have a bit of stretch and are more durable than jeans, and I don't feel out of place wearing them in any kind of casual setting.
It will change how you regard jeans (and what you can do in them).
First run I'll probably learn a lot. Second run will look good.
Some companies make "dress sweatpants", e.g.
but I never bought any because even in promotional pictures they still tend to look too much like sweatpants.
Physiotherapist, doctor, chiropractor, all shrug and look confused when I describe this.
Luckily my employer doesn't care what I wear to work.
Dress sweatpants could be a lifesaver for me.
In my case it's just discomfort but I'm curious as to why constraints around the waist don't get discussed more in articles about posture. For me it's one of those things that annoy all day long, hovering slightly below awareness level.
Dress pants have been my best bet, but the brands and models I've found to fit tend to come in a very limited range of fabrics - black all around!
UK link, I'm afraid: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00H99Z992/
I can imagine it being the same as indicating, or putting on my seat belt in the car. Seatbelt is always first thing on, last thing off - and I never change lanes without indicating, it's fully automatic and doesn't require conscious thought.
Don't use a bad seat for 15 years and don't sit funny and not for long periods. Also find ways to stretch your leg muscles from the calf up every couple of days (A good 30 mins). Almost every time I had a major back outage stemmed from my left leg muscles which pull on your lower back when tight.
A great invention would be a seat/table which started at 0 degrees and over the course of the day moves to 45 degree recline so that weight is constantly redistributed to different parts of the skeleton.
I will say, though, that while standing or sitting, your posture will dictate how well that time is spent - it's pretty easy to mess up either one. If you stand with your shoulders back and the weight evenly distributed on your hips and back, it should be possible to stand for many hours at a time. If you sit, making sure you sit up straight and keep your spine curved naturally and making sure you get up a few times to keep your circulation going in your extremities, you should reduce most of sitting's bad effects.
Now, I'm by no means an expert, but I can confirm this. Powerlifters generally try to perform deadlifts with a "neutral" spine. This doesn't exactly mean "straight"—you can consult a good coach for details—but it's pretty close. Here's a pretty typical demonstration which is good enough to visualize it, though other coaches may differ in the details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AObAU-EcYE
As I understand it, the idea is to distribute the weight evenly around the spinal disc, and to avoid putting too much pressure on the front edge of the disc by curving the spine forward.
A similar effect can be achieved by keeping the back closer to upright and lifting with the legs, as seen in several squat variations.
Of course, the other things that may help are having enough muscle and not carrying too much abdominal weight. Anecdotally, weak spinal stabilizer muscles seem to contribute to some people's back pain.
The 'upright' squat you described is an Olympic lift variation - called highbar squat. I was going to send a link over but I hesitate to toss a random article or video (some of which are crap). But it's probably easy to watch an Olympic lift video from the olympics, as that's the cream of the crop.
A squat positioning with more of a hip hingeing is more of a Powerlifting squat. I can definitely recommend Rippetoe's explanations here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhVC_AnZYYM even though I myself do high-bar.
As you can see (especially as explained in the video), the bar positioning plays a role in how upright your back is as you squat (since you mentioned that aspect). It's because of the center of gravity and the straight-path of the bar. It's obvious if you see an illustration of the bar path and these positions.
However, a 'neutral' back, I don't know, I'd call it more of a flexed back (which may be neutral under load). A neutral back might be more of a gymnastics-specific thing.
Regardless, core strength (meaning lower back, abs and obliques, among other things) is VERY important here.
Observe your average older person who lives a life employing furniture pick something up off the floor, or pick themselves off the floor. It's not uncommon for them to need assistance in the latter case!
If they had no furniture all their life, unless they were injured, they wouldn't have these problems because they couldn't possibly go through life without being able to get off the floor regularly having no furniture around.
It's also proven to encourage me to move more throughout the day, as well as stretch more. The floor is spacious, it's luxurious, and unstructured. It invites me to move around, stretch, and reconfigure myself when one position gets stale or something is going numb.
Furniture is structured, it's almost like bondage. You must sit in this chair design this way, your back must be up at this angle, your legs go here. It's totally unnatural and honestly seems like an awful compromise in part to increase density, and perhaps project wealth over those who live in furniture-less, largely empty rooms, or maybe it's just good business to sell furniture to everyone. And in the process it's preventing you from having to bring yourself to the floor and back up to standing height dozens of times every day.
There were some studies I read about geographic regions with the largest concentrations of the oldest living people. I don't have the link handy, but one of the things they observed was an exceptional number of these places didn't use furniture. They noted how the lack of furniture naturally kept the people limber into old age.
I love sitting on the floor now. It's become incredibly uncomfortable and simply annoying for me to sit on furniture. When I'm with my peers, and I'm not even that old - if we all end up sitting on the floor somewhere, I'm shocked at how visible the difference is already. Many adults are not able to be comfortable on the floor becuase they don't have the necessary flexibility for the variety of floor positions that would otherwise be available to them. It's because they stopped spending time on the floor after childhood, because in the west successful adults use furniture. You want to be successful, don't you?
I'm not a good person to ask about time to adapt, I stopped sleeping in beds as a teen opting for the floor. So I was already pretty well acclimated by the time I decided to get rid of the rest.
> "Oh yes! In order to hip hinge properly, your hamstrings to have to lengthen," Shapiro says. "If you have tight hamstrings, they prevent you from bending over easily in that way."
My hamstrings are incredibly tight and exercise and daily stretching haven't helped. The problem is my entire biomechanics are wonky. I barely use my abs, instead putting the load they would usually do onto my hamstrings, tightening them.
The only solution is for me to get a specialist therapist and retrain myself on how to move, walk, run, etc. I work a traveling job, so that's basically not possible right now. On the bright side, I look totally normal in my movements.
First, most people don't spend enough time on their stretches. The most common mistake I've found people have in their stretching is they only do a stretch for ~30 secs to a minute. Try spending exactly 5 minutes on each stretch, and I mean each stretch even if it's on the same muscle group, which brings me to two.
The other main mistake I've corrected family and friends on is lack of variation in order to target the full area of muscle fiber on a muscle. They do one stretch in one position for a certain muscle, say, hamstrings, and think thats it. Even if you spend the amount of time suggested, if you dont target the whole muscle you will just have a small line of flexible muscle fiber while the rest of your muscle doesnt. Let me explain, so I'm sure you already know the standard hamstring stretch either single or both leg style. The best way to vary a hamstring stretch is to rotate your foot. First, to the inside, then to the outside. You will notice the different muscle fibers it gets. Then you should also try variations with your foot as far away from you as possible, and as close to you as possible. Try adjusting your hips on the single leg hamstring stretch to get slight variations as well. This is just an example, almost every stretch has small variations like this that pay off great dividends if you do them regularly.
In total, during my fit days, I was spending about 30-45 minutes each morning and each evening stretching, with random quick pnf stretching done throughout the day.
I know that sounds like a lot of time for a busy person, but, it's not that bad if you multi-task (I usually read news in the morning while stretching, and evening stretching is more meditative), and can you really dismiss your health so easily?
Now, everyone is different and you might indeed have wierd biomechanics, but respectfully I think you might have allowed it to develop to this point rather than it being your natural state. My suggestion for you would be this, start with the above time/variation stretching suggestions, and throughout the day try to keep your abs flexed for 10 minute intervals a few times a day, maybe setting reminders about posture every so often.
This is what I tell any friends or family who go on a get fit or fix my posture kick. Stretching is the most important part of either!
Like the article says, learning to properly squat and deadlift really helps too
Extreme sex and body shame.
We receive, from a young age, shame about exposing - even with clothing on - “sexual” parts of the body - breasts, butt, and crotch.
Women are strongly motivated to tuck in the backside because it is both shamed and unsafe in our society to stick out our butts. This is why women squat to tie their shoes in public. Rape, assault, catcalling, is so prevalent and a constant awareness for women in public. This pose would also be considered “unprofessional” in a workplace.
Men are discouraged as well, lest they incur the worst male insult in our society : “gay”. Men are shamed and called gay from childhood if they take this hip-hinge pose. So they stop.
Bending at the waist exposes the vulnerable backside in a way that is unsafe in historically Puritanical Western society.
I suppose there are some social factors, but I would assume they are secondary unless I see evidence otherwise.
I'm speaking from firsthand personal experience, and overwhelming experience seeing others go through the same cultural conditioning I described in my post.
And did you consider agrarian but sexually-conservative regions (maybe India or the Middle East?), or developed but sexually-liberal regions (maybe Mediterranean?), to see if those line up with your theory?
I went from hand-wringing over my ability to keep backpacking and playing sports at 40 to wondering when or if I'll ever have to pack it in.
What I've taken away from years of reading this kind of stuff, of dealing with back pain, and of exercise and sports is this: the body is meant to move in many different ways, and the ones you don't use, you eventually lose. Each joint has a certain range of motion, with muscles to support the full range. Correct posture is neutral and relaxed, and there is no one, fixed "proper" form - humans are built to move. You should be able to hold a J curve, an S curve, and a C curve in the spine with relative comfort, at least for a short while, and should put all of your joints through their full ROM daily, and gently.
I'm not a very strong person. But Deadlifts are part of my routine. Again, not for athletic purposes of anything, but "Practicing to pick things up" is basically a Deadlift.
And every day, we bend over to pickup small objects, and occasionally, we bend over to pick up heavier objects (ie: Grocery shopping: Picking up bags off the floor or whatever). So the deadlift is the most straightforward way to do this maneuver.
I mean, its no Olympic level "Snatch" or whatever. But the basic deadlift has to be one of the more "practical" weightlifting moves to routinely practice. Its also an overall good, full body exercise.
Doing the deadlift improperly can result in bad muscle strain and maybe even injury... but that's what makes practicing to do it properly even more important.
As for why we, westerners bend this bad way by default ? It may have something to do with chairs. Sitting on a chair makes you used to bending over at your hips, because a chair makes any other bending impossible.
In all seriousness though, I had heard that my whole life but never really knew how to implement it until someone explained it in this way. It's lifting with your hamstrings and glutes and upper back in reality, not just "legs"
I don't know how many men age 20-50 that I've seen joke about "lift with your legs!" and then proceed to laugh as the subject just fumbles around worse than they would have, because they're not sure what lifting with your legs means either.
The really bad part about all this, is that without good posture and defaulting to "cashew-style," you're preventing your lungs from using their full capacity. Which I think makes people slightly oxygen-deprived, more sleepy and daydreamy, causing them to sleepily lean forward into their screen instead of taking a minute or two and finding some good posture.
I don't know how you can fix this either. Most Americans do destroy their lower back and then spend their rest of their life with a lopsided body, because they have no idea what good posture is, and it takes a long long time to actually fix the part of your mind that causes bad posture. You have to be willing to accept that your entire way of operating your body has been slightly off, for a really long time.
Feels weird to completely make the back stiff forever
TBH, you probably won't hurt your spine by curling your back. Mostly it's just a poor way to transmit force between the floor and whatever load you're carrying. You could hurt the muscles involved in making your back erect, though.
Look up Jefferson Curls, or j-curls. These are essentially the exact motion that this article is suggesting is the wrong way to do things.
Now without question, you can do stronger lifts and put less direct stress on your spine by doing squats to pickup things rather than bends. But full fitness and flexibility absolutely include bends like the ones this article is telling you to avoid.
Wherever your weakest muscles and structure are is where you'll first suffer injury when you try to do something beyond your capability. So if you learn to squat to pick things up, that's fine; but if you neglect to maintain your flexibility, especially including spinal, you will get a back injury one way or another. Rather than bending over to pick something up, it will be turning over in bed, or coughing while carrying something.
What bothers me about specialist advice is that it is usually focused on one thing, one specialty. But whether you're talking about human anatomy and systems or economics or mental health (or many other very complex systems), you cannot just focus on a narrow set of changes or fixes.
I'm not referring to the standing negative squat as in weight lifting, I'm more referring to the dead life move done by people with longer legs and shorter torsos/arms. You probably know that there are many variations of dead life. What I was referring to, which I took the article to basically be advocating, was a type of bend (lift) that isolated the spine as much as possible. And I was arguing that use of the spine in a bending, flexing way is not inherently bad - it's just that typical modern (sedentary) life allows the core to weaken and reduces flexibility.
Instead of telling people to isolate to avoid injury, we should be telling people to move more (starting lightly) to increase flexibility - then add weight to increase strength everywhere.
There are people in the US who also bend from the waistline.
The article even mentions we still have "bending at the hip" in our culture as well especially in sports, yoga, and gardening. But we could benefit more than that.
And posture is cultural in that it varies somewhat depending on where you are. A military bootcamp would have a culture that promotes a certain posture. Even between a English tea room and a Japanese tea room there's different rules about posture. Then you can also even consider the fashions in an area. For example people who wear heels a lot (even a small heel) vs someone who is constantly wearing flip flops will have a very different squat. People who wear heels a lot will have a harder time doing a squat while keeping their heels down due to a shortening of the muscle on the back of their leg.
I mean, I can say that there is such a thing as a different diet between different countries/cultures, and I don't think I'm being racist or wrong. I'm just stating facts that literally everyone agrees with.
It absolutely is too far fetched. The article explicitly makes it out as a learned behavior.