Getting Squats Right: Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes!

May 31, 2020 by No Comments

Getting your squats right is important.

This way you avoid injuries, optimize your musculoskeletal system and strengthen your muscles.

In this article you will learn which mistakes to avoid and what to look out for if you want to do squats correctly with your own body weight.

Extra: A challenge with which you can burn your legs.

The squat – the classic

If there’s one basic exercise for your lower body, it’s definitely the squat.

It is not for nothing that it is one of the so-called Bix Six in strength training :

  1. Squat
  2. lunges
  3. Deadlift
  4. Press
  5. Drag
  6. torso rotation

As you can see, the squat is even number 1.

So let’s take a look at which muscles are mainly used in the squat:

  • Quadriceps
    This is the four-headed muscle your front thigh. He is the most stressed because he is responsible for extending the leg from the bent position.
  • Glutei
    The gluteal muscles are not only there for sitting. It stretches in the hip joint and is therefore also very important for the squat.
  • Sciocrural muscles
    The muscles on the back of your thigh are also involved in the squat process. You bend your leg and straighten your hip.
  • Erector
    The so-called back extensor is particularly important in the lower back to stabilize your upper body position.
  • Other muscles involved
    While the muscles mentioned above bear the brunt of a squat, there are a few more involved. For example, your abdominal muscles, which stabilize your upper body. Or your calves and the inside and outside of your thighs (abductors, adductors).

It should now be clear to you that squats can give you beautiful and defined legs, including a firm bottom.

But what is even more important: If you do squats correctly and with heavyweight or a lot of repetitions, you will build up a muscle balance for your age.

Between the ages of 45 and 90, a healthy person loses around half of their muscle mass.

Half of 50 kilograms of muscle mass is 25 kg. Half of 40 kilograms of muscle mass is 20 kilograms.

What if you needed more than 20 kilograms of muscle mass to be able to stand up yourself?

Regular squat training can therefore make the difference between nursing home and playing with your great-grandchildren.

How to do the right squat

For clarification: This article is primarily about the squat with your own body weight.

If you add extra weight, there are a few more details to consider. If you want to do squats with barbells, I recommend this article by Dr. Dotzauer.

In the video instructions below (here you can find the workout) you will find the squat from minute 01:52 onwards, explained and demonstrated by me.

But what are the most common mistakes and how can you avoid them?

Mistake 1: You are not going deep enough

The squat should be performed at least so far that your thighs are parallel to the floor and that you have about a right angle in your knee.

Only from this position do you also use the muscles mentioned above optimally.

If you have problems with this as a beginner, you can help yourself by resting your hands on your thighs.

In all honesty: In truth, the deep squat – so where you go down so far you are already in a squatting position, the real end position. But increase slowly, this is also about factors of mobility that will not make this possible at the beginning.

Mistake 2: Your feet are turned out too far

If you want to do a classic squat, your feet should be parallel to each other up to a maximum of a little bit outwards.

Too much external rotation of your feet means that your stability is no longer guaranteed.

Mistake 3: Your weight is on tiptoe

A very common mistake that you can correct quickly.

Just imagine that you don’t bend your knees first, but rather push your buttocks backwards.

And only then go downstairs.

In order not to lose your balance, you have to stretch your arms forward.

Make sure that your weight is distributed over the whole foot and focuses on the feet and the outer instep.

Mistake 4: You don’t finish the squat

A squat starts and ends while standing.

Do not pay so much attention to speed, but make sure that you do the squat completely.

That means: From the standing position to the bent position as described in error # 1 and then back to the standing position.

This is especially important for your hip extensor (that’s right, your very best!), as it is already a bit stunted by all the sitting.

Mistake 5: Your stance is too far or too narrow

What I see more often is too tight a stance where the two feet are almost touching each other.

A stance that is too wide can be desired when performing the so-called sumo squat. Above all, your inner thighs are stressed a little more than with the normal squat.

With the classic squat, your foot position should be about hip-width or a little wider.

Mistake 6: Your knees collapse

Your knees will collapse when they say goodbye inward while doing the squat.

Consciously counteract this by pushing your knees outward as you go down.

An elastic band that you stretch between your knees can help you with this.

Mistake 7: Your upper body does not stay upright

As you have already learned above, the squat mainly uses the muscles in your legs, but not only.

Your stomach and back also help if you do the right squat.

In this case, that means above all: Your upper body should stay upright and in a neutral position (no hollow back, no hunched back). If your problem is a rounded lower back called a “butt wink”, you can refer to this guide to resolve the “butt wink”.

Frequent mistake: The upper body is bent forward and you are no longer looking forward, but more down.

To avoid this, use your arms as a counterweight again: To do this, stretch them out forwards while you do the squat and tense your stomach and back.

Start training

If you avoid these 7 mistakes, you are on the right path.

But there is also an 8 error. But it only comes to the fore when you actually do squats: Lack of variety.

For you, this means: Don’t always do the same variant with the same number of repetitions. Vary.

In my free training plans, you will also find the squat as one of 12 exercises. There we also work with various training methods that keep your motivation high and improve your training success.

The Challenge

Then take part in my challenge. Do you want to achieve success with the squat as quickly as possible?

  • We do 100 squats a day for two weeks (one rest day per week, every Saturday).
  • You can divide the squats into smaller pieces. For example 50 in the morning and 50 in the evening. Or four times 25.
  • If you are a beginner, 50 squats a day are enough, again divided into smaller bites.
  • On the last day of the challenge, we try to do as many squats as possible in one go. Can you make the 50 (beginner) or 100? Or even more?

Important: Do the squats correctly. You have already learned what to look out for above.

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