If you want to see great results in the gym, then adding squats to your workout routine will help you gain more size and strength overall.
But some exercises don’t have the room for mistakes, so here are the top 10 squat mistakes and how to avoid them
1) Not Going Low Enough
This may reduce the amount of strength built in your legs, because it limits your range-of-motion and hurts your knees because the force of the barbell won’t shift onto your hips until you reach parallel.
Brace your core as you squat and make sure your thighs are either parallel to the ground or even lower at the bottom. If you can’t get down that low, then you have to work on your hip mobility or change the squat technique to another easier one.
2) Collapsing Your Knees In
Never let your knees drift inward as you squat. That’ll put extra stress on your knees and damage the ligaments.
Instead, make your knees in the directions of your toes. If they still collapse together, place a mini-band around your knees to force your legs to fight against the resistance and activate the correct muscles to keep your knees in alignment.
3) Lifting Your Heels
This may put stress on your toes, increase the difficulty, and stress your knees. Instead, load on your heels. And, here’s a trick to overcome this problem; try to curl your toes upward when squatting to force you to use your heels..
4) Using the Same Squat Variation
Never stick to the same squat, always try squat variations to target different muscles.
For example, switch your back squats with goblet squats for a few weeks to improve your core activation, strengthen your quads and reduce the stress on your lower back. To increase your squat poundage, switch to Anderson Squats to develop your drive from the bottom and build pure strength.
5) Not Using the Safety Bars
If you squat in a power rack, always use the safety bars. Set them to a height just below where the barbell would be when you reach the bottom of your squat. (If you set them too high, you’ll slam your barbell on the safety bars with every rep.) That way, when you get too fatigued, you can set the bar on the safety bars and exit from underneath.
6) Rounding Your Lower Back
Always keep your spine straight when you squat. If you round your lower back, your lumbar spine will be in danger. In the squat community, this is called a “butt-wink” because, as you descend towards parallel, your butt tucks underneath and your lower back rounds.
7) Not Using Your Glutes
You can make use of your glutes, they are the strongest muscle in your lower body, as you move to the bottom, try to spread the ground apart with your feet to activate your glutes and increase your strength. At the finish, squeeze your glutes to completely extend your hips.
8) Raising Your Hips Too Fast
Getting your hips up from the bottom faster than your shoulders looks like a Good Morning and can stress your lumbar spine as you extend with your lower back. Instead, synchronize the time of raising your hips and shoulders together.
9) Using the Squat Pad
Try to avoid it as much as you can. It eliminates your feel for the barbell, elevates the barbell, and prevents your upper-traps from withstanding heavier weights.
10) Using the Smith Machine
Never squat in the Smith Machine. One of its disadvantages is that it stabilizes the weight, which prevents you from getting the full benefits of the squat. One of the reasons why we squat is to accustom ourselves to stabilize the weight.
Now you can continue your squatting workout routine with minimum mistakes, to start notice changes.