When it comes to lower body workouts, no regime is complete without some form of squatting exercise. When performed correctly, the squat can produce incredible gains in both strength and size whilst targeting several key muscle groups – including the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals and the core. Conversely, when performed badly, the squat has the ability at the very least to cause injury and at worst to result in an exercise ending injury.
Don’t let this put you off however! As long as the follow the necessary guidelines of lifting correctly and don’t ever substitute good form, then you can continue to reap the rewards of this incredible compound exercise for years to come. The purpose of this article is to highlight 5 commonly reported mistakes associated with squatting in the hope that you can recognise them and steer well clear.
5 Common Squatting Technique Mistakes
It’s sometimes easier to say what not to do than what to do so with that in mind let us take a look at our first common squatting mistake;
- Unracking the loaded barbell awkwardly: On commencing the exercise and removing the barbell from its holding rack, ensure that you are ready to accept the load. Don’t lean forward or be caught off balance. Instead, simply stand directly under the bar in a central position and be satisfied with your foot positioning before commencing the unrack.
- Positioning the barbell too high: If your neck hurts during or after the completed squats then chances are you’re resting the barbell directly on the bone section of your cervical spine. Allow the bar to sit on your trap region throughout the exercise, which is a padded muscular region, therefore reducing the potential for neck pain and possible injury.
- Achieving a position of misalignment: During the squatting movement the bar should be centralised and your body should be a picture of symmetry. Keep your knees directly over your feet at all times and don’t allow them to loose this line and protrude at any stage. Any misalignment can quickly result in loading issues and ultimately injury.
- Not standing directly in front of a mirror: Squatting is one of the few times you are allowed to stand in front of the mirror and watch yourself workout, so enjoy it! This is not a vain act; it’s a means of monitoring your form and alignment. Just make sure the mirror is in front of you. Having to check a side mirror is pointless and can rapidly result in injury.
- Not undertaking a full range of motion: If you’ve made the effort to go to the gym and made the effort to set up the squatting rack, then you might as well make the effort with the actual exercise and utilise a full range of motion. Partial squats are acceptable to warm up with but if you want to see results then you have to do the hard work. I want to see that ass to grass!
Don’t let squatting get the better of you. By remembering strict form at all times and avoiding these 5 common mistakes often made by individuals then you are on your way to getting the most out of your squatting routine and reaping the rewards it brings.