In recent years there has been a huge shift from training for aesthetics to training for function. This has seen a rise in men moving from the bench press and into the squat rack. It is great to see more and more guys adding such an effective exercise into their training plan. However, many guys are making the same common mistakes with their squat technique. Here’s what they are and how to fix them!
The deeper you squat, the harder you are working. This resonates with any man with a bar on their shoulders. Reaching a depth where your thighs are parallel with the ground, or even deeper, works your quads and glutes like nothing else. But you shouldn’t compromise technique to reach a deeper squat.
Rather, your form should actually dictate your depth. If you are losing form when you squat deep try perfecting your technique on a lighter load. Once you have your technique sorted you can build up to those heavy weights.
During a squat your spine should stay neutral. This means maintaining the natural curvature of the spine. One common mistake I see too many guys make is rounding their lower back at the bottom of their squat. This places unwanted strain on the lumbar vertebrae and back extensors.
To correct this, concentrate on squeezing through your abs and keeping your pelvis neutral rather than tilted forward. At the same time focus on keeping your chest out rather than dipping towards the floor.
If there is one phrase I hear more than any when it comes to squats it’s “don’t let your knees go past your toes.” However, to perform the perfect squat it’s essential for the knees to go past the line of the toes. The forces through the knee at these knee angles are not capable of damaging healthy tissues.
In fact, avoiding this forward movement of the knee results in increased hip and torso flexion. This places increased stress on the hip joint, while also loading the back extensors rather than the glutes and quads. The end result is a back extension movement rather than a squat.
To correct this, focus your initial downward movement on knee flexion, then sinking your hips towards the ground. This ensures your knees move forwards while your chest stays out.