Squatting is the number 1 lower-body exercise. Squat workout not only builds muscle, but also helps develop stronger legs, knees, hips and glutes. But you must know about the most common squat mistakes and how to avoid them. Watch the VIDEO at end to learn every thing about squat mistakes.
Squat Exercises Provide The Following Key Benefits
(i) Strengthen your legs, glutes, and many other lower body muscles.
(ii) Promote lower body mobility.
(iii) Maintain your bones & joints in good condition.
But the catch here is that in order to get the above benefits, you need to perform squats correctly.
A Squat If Done Improperly
(i) Doesn’t activate the right muscles at the optimum intensity.
(ii) Put undue pressure on your joints & ligaments.
(iii) Increase chances of injury.
Don’t worry. In this article you will find 9 common squat mistakes with tips & VIDEO on how to avoid squat mistakes to maximize this exercise benefits without injuries.
Most Common Squat Mistakes To Avoid And How To Fix Them
Are you making one of these squatting errors? If yes, read on & watch the VIDEO at end so that you avoid them to do squats rightly
Not Maintaining Good Stance
Setting your feet too wide or too narrow! We’re all genetically different – having different torso shapes & sizes, with shorter or longer legs, etc. You need to find a foot stance that works best for you. A wrong stance can make difficult for you to do proper depth squat.
Solution: Position your feet about shoulder width apart, with feet turned slightly outward (15-30 degrees). Do not set feet parallel to each other, like railroad tracks – this can prevent achieving proper depth, can twist knees, or mess with your balance.
Mistake # 2
Beginning From The Knees
This is a common mistake that many people commit. They initiate the movement by bending their knees – which puts a lot of pressure on the knees and makes impossible to do a proper squat.
Solution: When starting squat movement, remember to begin with pushing your butt back instead of bending the knees. Just think as if you are sitting back on a chair and feel the weight being shifted to your heels. If you are unable to do so, the best way to achieve this is to practise chair squats first and once you have mastered the technique then progress to the body weight squats and weighted squats.
Mistake # 3
Letting Your Knees Go Past Your Toes
Allowing your knees to go beyond the toes at the bottom of squat put more stress on the knee joints. This can lead to knee pain over time.
This problem occurs due to tight hips. Practise sitting back on chair by pushing your hips back and work on your hips flexibility.
Mistake # 4
Letting Your Knees Move Inward
Never allow your knees to cave inward as you descend. That puts too much stress on your knees and can damage the ligaments.
Solution: As you squat, try to push your knees slightly outward so that your knee caps point toward the same direction as your toes.
Mistake # 5
Rounding Your Back
Don’t allow your back to hunch because it puts excessive stress on the intervertebral discs and lumber spine, and they are highly prone to injury.
Solution: Never look down, rather always look straight ahead. Make sure to maintain a straight back with neutral spine while squatting.
(i) By “Straight” I don’t imply that your torso to remain straight up, perpendicular to the floor like an electric pole. Let your body moves naturally. We naturally lean a bit forward, with natural curvature of the spine, as we lower our core into a squat.
(ii) Keep your chest high and upper body upright – of course with the natural curve. Don’t let your hands fall toward your knees, as that would arch your back. Instead maintain your hands straight out in front of you.
Mistake # 6
Lifting Your Heels Off The Floor
Shifting more weight to your toes as you squat. The result? You place all your body weight onto your knees and quads, stopping your glutes to function. This leads to leaning forward and exposing your knees to higher chances of injury and overstressed ankles.
Solution: Instead, press through your heels into the ground. While keeping your heels on the ground, make sure to push from your heels as you squat. If you are unable to do so, then first practise this movement by doing chair squats.
Mistake # 7
Not Doing Deep Enough Squats
You don’t go low enough, wrongly believing the myth that parallel squats are not good for your knees—it’s really false.Rather in fact, the deeper you squat, the more your hamstrings and glutes work, which makes your knees stronger & healthier. A study conducted in Denmark also established that deep squats improve quad size & strengthen them more than partial squats.
Solution: To ensure that all muscles in your legs are recruited, you have to go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or may be a little lower) at the bottom. I am not suggesting that you squat into a range of motion that causes pain. But go down as much as you can, while maintaining good form without pain.
If you can’t go down that low that means you have lost the required mobility or strength to do this. In such a situation, you can grab onto a door or workout box to help you get into deeper range of motion. Alternatively, you can practise the assisted squat as shown in the video, at the end of this article, to improve your hip mobility and legs strength. But make sure to maintain your torso upright as you squat lower.
Mistake # 8
Not Engaging Your Core
Not tightening your mid-section. By tightening your mid-section you can take away unnecessary pressure from your back.
Solution: When you squat, tense your abs as if someone is going to punch you.
Mistake # 9
Performing Squats Too Fast
Don’t hurry! Hasty squats make your body more susceptible to injuries.
Solution: Do squats in slow, controlled motion; and always rest in between squat sets. Resting provides your body enough time to recover properly so that you get maximum benefits out of every squat.
If you experience difficulties in executing a perfect squat – take your own time to work to improve your hips mobility and legs strength; practice, practise chair squats – it will pay off, and soon you will be performing squats in correct form.
Watch this video to learn the most common 9 squat mistakes that the people usually commit and how to correct them: