There are all types of squats that can be broken down to two categories, those using weights and those using only body weight. No matter which type you’re focusing on, you have to do squats the right way or you won’t get all the wonderful benefits they provide and in some cases, may even injure yourself doing them improperly. Here are some tips on the most common mistakes that occur when doing a squat, which is squatting down with your body facing forward, feet pointing forward and then rising again. It’s a basic movement that’s often done wrong.
Your stance isn’t right from the start.
If your feet are too wide apart or to close together, it completely changes the muscles you work and how hard you work them. It also throws you off balance so you can’t get low enough to get the most out of the exercise, since it affects the movement of the hips. The way to solve the problem is by doing it right in the first place. Your feet should be at shoulder width and just a smidgen turned outward. You don’t have them placed exactly parallel.
If your form is correct, you should be able to squat to a 90 degree angle.
If you don’t look like you’re seated when you’re at your lowest squat point. You’re making a mistake and not getting the maximum benefit. You’re also not working your butt. Squats need to put your thighs parallel to the floor to get the full benefit for the glutes. Get a box or chair that’s knee high and lower yourself until your bottom barely touches the top of the chair.
Keep your back straight and tummy tight.
Some people roll their shoulders forward when doing a squat. That adds pressure to the lower back and can cause muscle strain. While your back has a natural curve, you should try to keep your trunk perpendicular to the ground as you do each squat, keeping your chest up—not just your head. Too many people arch their neck thinking head up position is correct. Push your chest out and up as you squat down while keeping your torso tight.
– Too often just sticking with one simple form of squat restricts the advantages of all the other forms. Once you have the primary form down, you can start experimenting and maybe use a wider stance to work the inner thighs.
– Make sure you keep your feet flat on the ground.
– If you’re having problems, try a toddler squat, where they drop their butt to the floor behind their lower legs and the back of their upper leg touches the lower leg. It really improves your range of motion.
– Make sure as you squat that your knees stay over your feet and don’t wobble to the side or inward. That puts extra stress on your knees.