Asian Squat: Why Can't Everyone Do This Exercise? How To Do?

Asian Squat: Why Can’t Everyone Do this Exercise? How to do?

Last Updated on June, 2024

Struggling to perfect your squat technique? You’re not alone – many Westerners find the ‘Asian Squat’ challenging. This blog will unlock the secrets of mastering this deep-squatting position, highlighting its benefits and cultural significance along the way.

Read on and transform your workout routine today!

Quick Summary

The Asian Squat engages various key muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, calves, adductor Magnus, erectors, abdominals, and obliques.

Benefits of mastering the Asian Squat include improved functional performance, enhanced lower limb strength, better posture and balance, and increased flexibility.

The Asian squat holds cultural significance in many Asian countries, and its practice highlights the importance of maintaining mobility and flexibility in daily activities.

The Phenomenon of the Asian Squat

asians of different ages asian squatting

The Asian squat is a deep squat used often in Asia. People sit with their heels flat on the ground and their hips dropped low. Most Westerners find this hard to do. They can’t keep balance or feel pain in lower back and knees.

Yet, many Asians use this as a resting position, even for long times.

Why is this so? Some say it’s because of using squat toilets or doing daily activities low to the ground.

Others think genetics play a role too. But what stands out most is ankle flexibility – how much the ankle can bend backward called dorsiflexion – which helps make the Asian squat easier to do.

The Anatomy of the Asian Squat

The Asian squat engages various muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, calves, adductor Magnus, erectors, abdominals, and obliques.

muscles targeted by doing asian squats - 1


Asian squats target the glutes. This is a key muscle and it gets stronger with each squat. Better strength in your glutes helps other parts of your body too. Squats help ease pain in your lower back and knee joints.

Doing Asian squats often will improve how you sit, stand, and move. The more you squat, the better you can do daily activities that use your glutes. For some people, like Westerners, doing an Asian squat may be hard at first due to stiff ankles.

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The hamstrings play a big part in doing the Asian squat. These muscles are at the back of your thighs. To do an Asian squat, you need to have loose and strong hamstrings. With age, our hamstrings may lose their stretchiness.

This can make it hard for older folks to do an Asian squat. But don’t worry!

By doing the Asian squat often, you can help your hamstrings get stronger and more flexible. This will also decrease knee pain caused by tight hamstrings.


Asian squats are beneficial for the calves in several ways. Firstly, they can help reduce tightness in the calves, which is common due to long periods of sitting or a sedentary lifestyle.

By performing Asian squats regularly, you can stretch and lengthen the calf muscles, increasing flexibility and reducing muscle stiffness. Secondly, Asian squats can strengthen the calves by engaging them as you lower into and rise up from the squat position.

This increased strength can improve your overall lower body stability and balance. Lastly, Asian squats can alleviate pain in the calves caused by muscle imbalances or overuse injuries.

Regularly practicing these squats helps to promote proper muscle recruitment patterns and joint mobility, reducing discomfort in this area of the body.

Adductor Magnus

The adductor magnus is a muscle group that plays a role in the Asian squat. When you perform an Asian squat, the adductor magnus is one of the muscles that gets strengthened.

Additionally, regular practice of the Asian squat helps maintain the capacity for passive ankle dorsiflexion, which is important for the adductor magnus.

This muscle group works together with other muscles like the glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals during the Asian squat. It’s worth noting that studies have shown a decline in ankle dorsiflexion from neonatal period to adulthood, suggesting its impact on the adductor magnus.

These facts highlight how important this muscle group is when it comes to mastering the Asian squat and reaping its benefits.

Erectors, Abdominals, and Obliques

The erectors, abdominals, and obliques are important muscles that are engaged during the Asian squat. These muscles help to provide stability and support to the body in this position.

Regular practice of the Asian squat can help strengthen these muscle groups, leading to improved core strength and balance.

Additionally, by activating the erectors, abdominals, and obliques during the Asian squat, you can develop better posture and reduce the risk of injury in daily activities.

So make sure to pay attention to these muscles when performing your Asian squats for maximum benefits!

Benefits of the Asian Squat

The Asian squat offers several benefits, including improved functional performance, enhanced lower limb strength, better posture and balance, and increased flexibility.

Improves Functional Performance

The Asian squat is a cultural practice and an effective way to improve functional performance. (1)

Regularly performing this deep squat can strengthen your core and lower body muscles, crucial for stability and balance in everyday activities.

This increased muscle strength can help reduce the risk of injury and improve overall body stability.

Additionally, the Asian squat enhances mobility and flexibility, allowing for better movement patterns and range of motion in joints.

These improvements translate into better functional performance in tasks such as lifting objects, walking, or participating in physical activities.

functional performance improvement in daily life

So, incorporating the Asian squat into your fitness routine can have significant benefits for your functional performance.

Enhances Lower Limb Strength

The Asian squat is a great exercise for enhancing lower limb strength. When you perform this deep squat position, your glutes, hamstrings, and calves are engaged and strengthened. This helps to build muscle mass in your legs and increase overall lower body strength.

Additionally, the Asian squat also targets the adductor magnus, erectors, abdominals, and obliques muscles in your core. This means that not only are you working on your leg strength but also improving your core stability and balance as well.

So if you want to strengthen those legs and improve your overall physical performance, incorporating the Asian squat into your workout routine is a great choice!

Aids in Posture and Balance

The Asian squat is not only beneficial for building strength and mobility, but it also aids in improving posture and balance.

When you perform an Asian squat, your body engages the core muscles, including the abdominals and obliques, glutes and lower back muscles.

This helps to stabilize your spine and improve overall body stability.

Additionally, by practicing the Asian squat regularly, you can strengthen the muscles that support good posture, allowing you to maintain a more upright position throughout the day.

improvement in posture of a man

Furthermore, when you assume a deep squatting position like the Asian squat, it requires proper alignment of your hips, knees, and ankles. This promotes better joint mobility and stability.

By improving these aspects of your movement patterns through the regular practice of the Asian squat, you can enhance your ability to balance during various activities in your daily life.

Boosts Flexibility

The Asian squat is an excellent exercise for improving flexibility.

Regularly practicing this deep squat position helps to increase the range of motion in your hips, ankles, and lower body muscles.

It stretches and strengthens these muscles, allowing you to move more freely and easily.

The increased flexibility gained from the Asian squat can also benefit your overall mobility and prevent injuries caused by muscle stiffness or limited movement.

The Technique: How to Perform an Asian Squat?

Performing an Asian squat is simple and can be done by following these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly lower your body into a squat position, keeping your back straight and heels on the ground.
  3. Keep your hands before you for balance, or place them on your thighs.
  4. Try to get as low as possible, with your buttocks close to the ground and thighs parallel to the floor.
  5. Hold this position for a few seconds or as long as you are comfortable.
  6. Push through your heels and stand back up slowly to come out of the squat.

The Cultural Significance of the Asian Squat

The Asian squat is more than just a physical exercise; it holds cultural significance in many Asian countries.

In these cultures, the squat is a traditional resting position and a way of connecting with their ancestral backdrop.

Squatting can be seen in everyday life, from social gatherings to public toilets equipped with squat pans instead of toilet seats.

This cultural practice highlights the importance of maintaining mobility and flexibility in daily activities for sedentary people.

By incorporating the Asian squat into our routines, we can improve our physical health and gain insight into different cultures and traditions worldwide.

asian people seen asian squatting in public
credits: (

Asian Squat Challenge: Incorporating it Into Your Daily Routine

  • Start by finding a comfortable spot to practice the Asian squat daily.
  • Begin with short durations and gradually increase the time spent in the squat position.
  • Use a support, such as a wall or chair, until you feel more balanced and stable.
  • Aim to incorporate the Asian squat into your daily activities, such as watching TV or brushing your teeth.
  • Challenge yourself by attempting to perform other tasks while in the squat position, like picking up objects or stretching.
  • Focus on deep breathing and relaxation while maintaining proper form during the squat.
  • Be patient and consistent with your practice, understanding that it may take time to build strength and flexibility.


Mastering the Asian squat can provide numerous benefits, such as improving functional performance, enhancing lower limb strength, aiding in posture and balance, and boosting flexibility.

Incorporating this squat into your daily routine allows you to experience these advantages and embrace its cultural significance. So why not try it and start reaping the rewards of the Asian squat today?


The benefits of mastering the Asian Squat include improved flexibility, stronger leg muscles, improved digestion, and a more comfortable position for everyday activities.

To properly perform the Asian Squat, lower your body into a deep squat position with feet flat on the ground and heels touching, if possible. Maintain a straight back and keep hands together in front of your body for balance.

No, it is not necessary to master the Asian squat for cultural reasons. Still, it can be beneficial as it can help with participating in cultural activities or traditions that involve sitting or resting in this position.

Yes, anyone can learn how to do an Asian squat by practicing and increasing leg flexibility and strength.

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Linda Walter
I’m a fitness trainer and a health coach. My GOAL is to empower everyone to live a healthier life even after passing their prime. You can find more about me here.

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