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How To Know If You’re Doing Squats Wrong?

Lean legs and a tight tush are just a few tweaks away.

Squats are one of the best exercises for a stronger and fitter body, however, only if you do them right. So before you crank out another rep, make sure your squats aren’t falling victim to these all-too-common mistakes.

Air-Squats

The correct position to squat

 

  1. Letting Your Knees Fall In
    A combination of wide hips and weak inner and outer thighs makes this mistake pretty much ubiquitous among women. Unfortunately, when your knees move in toward each other during a squat, it can put undue pressure on your knee ligaments, resulting in injury. But correcting this mistake isn’t as simple as willing your knees into place. You need to strengthen your inner and outer thighs.
  2. Not Lowering to 90 Degrees
    If you don’t complete the exercise through its full range of motion, therefore all the way down until your thighbone is parallel with the floor, you technically won’t fully engage your glutes and the upper part of your hamstrings. To train your body to complete the entire move, try practicing some squats in front of a knee-high box or step. Lower your body until your butt just barely touches the box, and then push back up.
  3. Arching Your Back
    If you don’t have enough lower back strength, it’s easy to add some extra arch while squatting. The problem here is that dumps the weight into your lower back and means you risk injury to your body. To shore up your lower-back strength, try performing this dumbbell straight-leg deadlift.
  4. Squat Over and Over Again
    If you aren’t regularly switching up your foot positions, you aren’t taking advantage of what a versatile exercise the squat really is. For instance, if you stand with your feet closer than shoulder-width apart, you’ll target your glutes. Take a wide stance, and you’ll work those hard-to-tone inner thighs. Move one leg forward a bit, and your booty will burn.
  5. Lifting Too Little
    If you complete your squats with lighter-weight dumbbells in-hand, you might want to consider reaching for something heavier. “Women tend to think that because we want to slim our legs, we should do a lot of reps with a low weight,” says Montenegro. “But if you don’t lift more weight, you aren’t going to tone anything.” Plus, when you lift heavier, you burn more calories.
  6. Going to Too-Great Pains to Keep Your Knees Behind Your Toes
    For so many years, it has been ingrained in our brains that the knees should never go past the toes when squatting. While letting your knees move past your toes increases the stress placed on them by 28 percent, trying to restrict any forward movement of the knees ups the stress placed on your hips by a whopping 1,000 percent. So instead of dwelling on your knees and toes, focus on starting the squat by pushing your hips back before lowering your body toward the floor.

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One comment

  • Waled
    17th June 2015 - 5:55 am | Permalink

    I recently started lifting and for some reasons doing squats is the hardest thing for me. Don’t like leg days because of it. Any suggestions on how i can overcome this?

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