One of the best exercises you could do to burn fat, lose weight, gain strength, or boost power as an athlete is the squat. It is immensely popular but often the first exercise we correct in the clinic. The sad reality is that squats go wrong most of the time. Squats don’t hurt your back; bad form does. If you experience any low back pain or stiffness after doing them, you should check your form. Read on with us to see what you need to fix.
The most common mistakes we see
- Arched back from a disengaged core: a strong core directly correlates to a reduced chance of injury. If you struggle with an arched back in squats, consider lifting the stomach up and in to create a neutral spine. From there, try to squat holding that position. If this is not achievable, it’s time to be humble and take down the weight or hit the basics with some plank work.
- Knee valgus: otherwise known as knee caving. This stems from a weak glute medius muscle. Your poor squat form is a symptom of a weak glute. It needs to be strengthened in order to change the squat for the better. A great exercise for this is the clamshells as shown in the picture below.
- Knees going past the toes: This is the most common mistake we see patients make. It comes from a lack of hinge in the hips. A squat doesn’t rely on solely bending the knees; your hips need to move as well. A great way to fix this is to work on squatting to a chair. Once you master this, you can squat down to a stool and then take all assists away.
A correct squat looks like this
Aim to fix your mistakes by trying the suggestions above. A great squat will really transform how your body looks and moves. If you are having issues figuring out how to correct them, consider signing up for one of our fitness assessments at this link.