Friday, March 7, 2014

Squats, Squats, Squats, Everybody!

As a popular and great exercise for the lower body, the squat is a staple in many fitness programs.

But are you doing them right?

We see a lot of crazy things at the gym, but don’t let your squat be one of them!

Below are some of the biggest form mistakes we see with squats.


1.      Non-Neutral Spine


While you can’t quite see our whole model, you should be able to notice the start of a rounded spine.
Rounding the spine while squatting with such heavy weight can put strain on that back of yours and
Increase the possibility of injury.

What to remember!


Keep those shoulders pulled back and down and think about keeping that spine in one straight line.
Also, keeping the core tight will help create a more stable spine and prevent any arching!


2.      Too much of a hip bend (or not enough)


Hopefully you've keyed into what’s wrong with this squat.

In this instance, there is far too much of a bend at the hips. Naturally the upper body will come forward a little when you squat, however, not bending at the knees as well creates more emphasis on your low back, making it more similar to a good morning.

People have a tendency to lean so far forward that the bar is no longer over their center of gravity which causes their heels to come off the ground and the bar to move forward. If you lack the range of motion in your ankles it can greatly influence the position of you torso during a squat. Try to keep the bar centered over mid-thigh and foot, and push off from your heels!

What To Remember!

When starting to squat think about sitting back in a chair by moving the hips first and then the knees. Try to keep your chest tall maintaining the same angle in your torso as created by your shins

3.Valgus Strain on the Knees (“Knock-knees”)


Not only will knock-knees make for a poor looking squat, this can also drastically decrease the amount of weight you can squat and can also lead to major injuries.

If you find that your knees start to turn inwards, it could be attributed to weak hips or lack of control and coordination!
What To Remember!


Slow it down! Think about lowering into the squat for a count of 3-4 seconds, pausing at the bottom. Then on the way up, push through the heels and drive the knees outwards squeezing through your glutes. 

If you are still having problems keeping the knees from falling in, it is likely a lack of strength and stability at the hips. Exercises to emphasis glute activation and control at the hips such as clam shells, glute bridges and single leg exercises are great to increase stability at the hips!

Go Get Your Squat On!

Squatting is a fantastic way to increase overall strength, but there are tons of things that can go wrong! If you are unsure about your squatting form ask one of our trainers to help you out! 


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