Squat Like a Pro: Avoid These 6 Common Squat Mistakes

The most important thing when performing a squat is proper form.

Learning the perfect form brings better results and a lower risk of injury.

Regardless of the type of squat you perform, be sure to avoid these 6 common mistakes many people make.

Squat Depth

This can be not squatting deep enough or too deep.

The correct position at the bottom of a squat is when the knees are at a 90-degree angle.

Knees Go Past Your Toes

When a trainee is leaning forward too much, it’s common to see the knees cross over the toes.

Not Bending From The Hip

When initiating the movement, always perform a hip hinge. From there, lower your hips slowly.

Relying on your knees to perform this can strain your quads, tendons, and knee joints, rather than activating the muscles of the glutes.

Not Stretching

Muscle stiffness, especially your erector spinae and leg tendons, can prevent you from performing a squat exercise with good form.

Be sure to lengthen the leg and glute muscles with lower body stretches prior to your training session. 

It’s a good idea to target your biceps and triceps when adding a barbell. Try a plank!

Rounding Your Back

Throughout the movement, your erector spinae should be kept straight and steady. At no point, should your back be rounded.

Using weight with Incorrect Form

Use of an object with heavy weight like a barbell should come only after you master the proper squat form.

How To Squat Properly

  • Start in a standing position in which your body is upright and your spine is neutral.
  • Position your feet slightly wider than your shoulder-width, toes turning out, and keep your legs straight.
  • Hold your chest up and place your hands on your hips or raise your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing down.
  • Breathe in and hinge your hips back by bending at your knees and hips, allowing your hips to ease backward.
  • Keep your spine neutral and ensure that the bend in your knees follows the line of your feet.
  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor ( or further if you have good hip mobility). 
  • If you are experiencing knee joint, ankle pain, or any sort of issues, control the depth of the squat. Do not lower past 90-degrees into a full squat (2).
  • Pause, then return to the starting position.

Also check out: 15 Ways to Do a Squat

About the Author

Jennifer Triplett is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Pilates mat instructor. She is a co-founder of Trillium Virtual Yoga and currently teaches online and in Dallas, Texas.

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