5 Squatting Mistakes

How NOT to Squat

Chick Squatting
8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best: “shut up and squat.” [1] After all, there’s nothing better for building lower body mass. Squats force you to use numerous stabilizing muscles and exhaust hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

To get the most out of squats, however, they must be executed with correct form. Avoiding these common squat mistakes will take both your performance and physique to the next level.

Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Core

The core is the body’s center of gravity and is where movement originates. [2]If you have a weak core, it will be much harder to keep the weight stable. It also places you at a greater risk for hip or lower back injury.
To properly engage your core when performing a squat, concentrate on sucking your belly button towards your spine. A strong core will be able to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. If you have a weak core, using a weight belt around the waist protects the spine and keeps you from relaxing the core.

Mistake #2: Too Much Weight

Check your ego at the door and ask yourself what hurts more: a bruised ego or bruised knees? There’s absolutely no upside to loading the bar with too much weight. Chances are your back will do all the heavy lifting instead of the quads.
To avoid this mistake, make sure you have a strong mind-muscle connection with the quads. You should feel your legs doing the work and comfortably perform reps with good form. This ensures the quads are getting the stimulation they need to grow.

Mistake #3: Resting Barbell on Your Neck

Squatting with the bar on your neck places unnecessary pressure on the discs there, and potentially limits the amount of weight you’re able to lift. To avoid neck pain, place the bar on your traps. The traps are much thicker than the neck and make it easier to stabilize the weight.

Mistake #4: Rounding Your Back

As you fight for more reps, your form might start to slip and you will compensate with a rounded back. This takes the stress away from your quads and shifts it to the back. To avoid this, engage your core and keep your chest out.

Mistake #5: Leaning Forward

Leaning forward or allowing the knees to go over the toes places greater stress on knees and leads to injury. It might also cause you to lose your balance and fall completely forward. To avoid this, practice sitting in and getting up out of a chair. This is this motion you are imitating when you are doing a squat.
Concentrate on squeezing the glutes and using them to push yourself up.

Make No Mistake

There is no supplement or anything else that compensates for good form. If you want to build strong and powerful legs, the best thing to do is learn to squat properly. You will likely notice a decrease in the amount of weight you’re using as you correct form.
Once you establish a strong mind-muscle connection and feel the quads doing the work, you will be able to handle more weight safely.

References

[1] http://www.shutupandsquat.com/index.php?option=com_ezstore&Itemid=29&func=detail&id=3

[2] http://www.nasm.org/

Here is my author bio:

Dana Reese is a freelance writer for eSupplements.com. She specializes in healthy living, fitness and workout plans.

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