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Are You Making These 3 Squat Mistakes As A Newbie?


The squat is unquestionably one of the most effective lifts for increasing overall strength and muscle growth. Learning the basic setup and rhythm, as with any exercise, is crucial to avoiding injury.

While no two squats are alike, there are a few rookie mistakes you should avoid in order to stay safe and achieve progress.

The first blunder is a bad setup or a walkout.

A good squat begins with a solid foundation. The following are some of the most common blunders:

Setting the J-hooks so high that you have to unrack the bar on your toes.

Before taking the bar off the hooks, you are not bracing your core or tightening your lats.

When lifting the bar from the hooks, your feet are too broad. This results in a really embarrassing exit.

Taking an excessive number of steps back to get into position.

The Solution

Set the J-hooks so that the bar is in the middle of your chest. Your spine will compress as you squat heavier weights, making you briefly shorter in stature. As a result, the bar should be set somewhat lower so you don't have to get on your toes to get over the hooks.

Before lifting the bar off the hooks, take a deep breath, brace your core, and draw down on the bar to engage your lats. It will feel lighter and the amount of compressive force imposed on your spine will be reduced.

Before standing up with the bar, start with your feet at hip-width. Widen your feet to your typical squat stance as you go out. This should be slightly wider than shoulder-width and slightly angled outward for most people.

Take three to four steps backwards as you walk back. Trying to find your position by doing a happy dance with your feet is a waste of energy that could have gone toward your lift.

Squatting into your knees or looking straight up is mistake number two.

Begin the eccentric or lowering portion of your squat by seating back with your hips. How far is it? For people with different leverages, the situation will be different. It will also differ depending on the type of squat you are performing: front squat, back squat with a high bar, or back squat with a low bar.

To achieve a controlled descent, regardless of leverages or squat method, your hips must be pushed back. One of the most common technique mistakes that leads to persons squatting into their knees? Too much looking up.

As an example, consider the following:

While having your eyes up or even slightly lifted can help some lifters (especially during a front squat), excessively cranking your head back to the point where you're gazing at the ceiling forces you to shift your weight to the front of your feet. This has a number of negative consequences:

It puts additional shear stress on the patellar tendons, making you more likely to get a shooting discomfort in your knees down the road.

Your weight may be shifted to the front of your feet, causing your heels to lift off the ground. This results in an imbalanced squat. The weight should be properly divided between the base of your big toe, the base of your pinky toe, and your heel.

An excessive arch of the lower back may result from looking straight up. More stress is placed on the spinal erectors as a result of this.

By reducing the amount of hip drive you get out of your squat, it can reduce your strength.

It becomes more difficult to reach your targeted depth, especially if you're trying to go below parallel.

The Solution

Squatting into the knees can be remedied by simply pushing your buttocks back slightly before flexing your knees. If you're back squatting and looking up at the ceiling, keep your head in a neutral position and focus on a location on the floor about 5 or 6 feet in front of you.

This will help you to get more hip drive out of the squat, improve your balance, and reduce the amount of wear and strain on your knees and lower back.

Mistake 3: The Rise of the Chest and Hips at Different Times

The hips and chest should rise at the same moment during the concentric or lifting portion of the squat. If your hips and chest lift at the same time, it means you're bracing your core properly, utilizing a tolerable weight, and avoiding damaging spinal tension.

You'll get the typical "good morning squat" if your hips and chest don't rise at the same time. As an example, consider the following:

When the hips rise quicker than the chest, the squat becomes unsightly. This could be the result of a technical error, but the most common causes are too much weight on the bar, insufficient torso tightness, and a lack of quad drive when standing up out of the hole.

This isn't simply a newbie mistake; practically everyone, if they're pushing themselves on the weight, will do it at some point.

It's fine if this happens once in a while, like on the last rep of your final hard set. You're ego lifting if your first rep on your first set looks like this and you keep increasing the weight from there.

That is unquestionably a beginner move, and it will wreak havoc on your spine in the long run.

The Solution

Increase core stiffness and quad strength, and work on submaximal load technique.

Do a lot of "anti motions" like Pallof presses, suitcase carries, stir the pots , and front rack carries to improve core stiffness and bracing abilities.

At the end of your squat workout, complete the leg press with a lower and narrower foot placement to develop quad drive.