In my opinion, the ultimate lift. Better then the bench press,
better than a deadlift, and better than curls (obviously).
I love squats not only for the amazing movement they are, and
what they can do for you, but also because they are the perfect
analogy for life.
“When something heavy brings you down, you have to stand back
However as a coach and trainer, I notice quite a few mistakes
people (and not just beginners) make while squatting.
#1 NOT GOING LOW ENOUGH
This is probably my biggest pet peeve when it comes to a squat. If
you are not squatting past parallel, you are doing yourself a huge
disservice. Not only does squatting above parallel not allow for
better strength and size gains, but it will also put you at a higher
risk of knee injury. The reason why is the force of the barbell
won’t shift onto your hips until you reach parallel.
#2 KNEES COLLAPSING
I have seen a few coaches out there advocate for knees collapsing
in on squats. They claim that if done properly, it can activate the
glutes better than a regular squat. Which is true... but how often
do you get someone doing exactly what they should be from just
reading/watching an Instagram post? As well, there is a cap on
how much resistance you can load because of the vulnerable
positioning. (In other words, don’t do it)
DO NOT LET YOUR KNEES COLLAPSE! It puts more stress on
the knees and damages the ligaments.
#3 LIFTING YOUR HEELS OFF THE FLOOR
Are you a heel lifter? If you are, then you better mobility. Tight
ankles could be limiting your squat form. As well, if you lift your
heels it shifts the weight forward, again stressing the knees.
Drive through your heels, and reap the rewards.
#4 ROUNDING YOUR LOWER BACK
ALWAYS MAINTAIN A FLAT, NEUTRAL SPINE! If you round
your lower back in a squat, you are putting a lot of stress on your
lumbar spine. You don’t need to be an expert to realize that is bad.
This is also known as the butt wink. If you notice you are winking
your butt at the bottom of your squat, you need to stretch and do
mobility for your hips/hamstrings/glutes/and quads.
#5 NOT USING YOUR GLUTES
Your glutes are the strongest muscle in your lower body. And who
doesn’t want a better shaped butt?
As you are driving from the bottom, imagine you are spreading
the ground apart with your feet. This will help activate your glutes
and increase your strength for your squat.
Doing glute warm-ups before squatting is also a great way of
activating them to help more!
So there you have it, a couple of my pet peeves when I see people
squat. Now you know, so get out there and SQUAT PROPERLY!