Squatting is one of the most fundamental exercises in strength training. However, many people struggle with proper squat form, which can result in injuries and limited progress. Here are some of the most common issues with people’s squat form and how to best correct them:
- Knees Caving In: This is a common issue when squatting, and it often occurs because of weak glute muscles. To correct this issue, focus on pushing your knees out during the squat, engaging your glutes, and making sure your feet are properly positioned.
- Rounded Back: When squatting, rounding the back can put a lot of pressure on the lower back and cause injury. To correct this, make sure to keep your chest up and your back straight throughout the movement. Also, engage your core muscles to maintain a stable spine.
- Shallow Squat: Many people tend to perform shallow squats, which limit the engagement of the muscles in the legs and glutes. To correct this, make sure to squat down to at least parallel (hips in line with knees) or deeper. This will ensure that you are engaging the muscles effectively and maximizing the benefits of the exercise.
- Leaning Forward: Leaning too far forward when squatting can put a lot of pressure on the knees and limit the engagement of the glutes. To correct this, make sure to keep your chest up and your weight distributed evenly over your feet. Also, engage your core muscles to maintain balance.
- Heels Rising: If your heels lift off the ground when squatting, it’s a sign that your weight is shifting too far forward. To correct this, make sure to distribute your weight evenly over your feet, engage your glutes, and focus on pushing through your heels as you come up from the squat.
- Incorrect Foot Position: Your foot position can have a big impact on your squat form. Make sure to position your feet shoulder-width apart and turn them out slightly to engage your glutes. Also, make sure your weight is distributed evenly over your feet.
To help correct these issues, it’s important to start with a light weight and focus on perfecting your form before increasing the weight. Additionally, seeking the guidance of a certified personal trainer can be beneficial in identifying and correcting form issues. By following these tips and focusing on proper form, you can perform squats safely and effectively, maximizing the benefits of this important exercise.
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