Are You Squatting Wrong? 3 Fixes You Need Now

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With all the different guidelines for exercise it can be overwhelming for anyone and squatting is one of those exercises that top the list that everyone has an opinion on. There are the basics of how to do it, what is good squat form, and what is bad squat form, and lots of tips on how to get them all right. It is well known that no two bodies are created alike, and it would be good to have a walking guide to keep up with your skeleton. When it comes to squats, we are given an example of an exercise that has several “correct” ways to finish, due to this fact.

The first step to learning which method is best for you comes in learning the differences between the options you have. Treat this as your holy grail of squats.

Overhead Squats form

The overhead squat is a heavy lift that works best for people with good (if not good) mobility in the ball and socket joints – hips and shoulders. From a skeletal perspective, having a tall body and short legs is a big advantage as it will be much easier to maintain a straight trunk and a safe position for the upper bar. Compare this to the aggressive leg lifters will have to do in order to receive compensation, and we can see why this organization can have a discriminatory group. The overhead squat forces you to engage your core strength to lift properly, and if you can’t, chances are the bar will drop.

Overhead Squat Points of Performance, Benefits & Challenges

However, there is a drawback, you can only raise as much as you can hold up. That means it won’t work as the best option for training the legs directly. Overload also poses a greater safety risk than many other variables. If you have a history of shoulder problems or need to work on your normal gait, it’s probably not the safest thing to add to your routine.

How to Fix Your Bad Overhead Squat Form:

Grip the barbell with closed fists using a width that places the bar at the bend of your hips while standing tall. It will be a rapture. Press the weight overhead, and assume your comfortable squatting position. Remember to keep the bar directly above your ankles at all times. Before anything else, squeeze the bar firmly with your fists and pull it out actively. This will engage the muscles in the back and create more stability in the shoulder joint and trunk. Continue to pull out, and slowly curl down using your normal squat mechanics. Keep your head and eyes focused on the ground a few feet in front of you. Make sure you only exhale when you go up.

Front Squat form

Before you think we’ve left the tall, leggy creed hanging out to dry by not including them in squat fitness, we have a solution. Using a front load in the squat allows the torso to stay upright so it can withstand the heavy lean that many other squat patterns will force their bodies into.

7 Tips to Perfect Your Front Squat Form - Breaking Muscle

To increase this, a little elevation in the heels (with 5-pound plates, or weightlifting shoes) may be helpful—make sure your knees can handle it. Plus, if quad development is your goal, this is the ride for you. The front squat, due to the knee-forward position, activates more quads compared to other variations, and encourages deep squatting, which means bending the knees (with a greater demand from the quads to get you out of the hole).

On the other hand, this means giving up some gluteal and hamstring involvement for the sake of movement. Also, there are two areas where mobility becomes a major player when it comes to front squats: ankles and wrists. In order to hold the correct position, the wrists must be able to “break” safely so that they are at the level of the upper elbow. Similarly, due to the low knee-over-toe position, ankle mobility (dorsiflexion) is important to have. Without it, the torso will lean forward, and the bar will begin to fall.

Finally, if you have issues with your mid back—especially a kyphotic spine (“hunchback” syndrome), you’ll likely find that you’re in an uphill battle with front squats. They need good thoracic extension to perform the movement effectively.

How to Fix Your Bad Front Squat Form

Position yourself in the squat cage by using a clean grip on the bar. That means, hold the bar in front of the body, elbows up, and hands relaxed. The bar should rest near the neck—not the shoulders. To maintain this position, feel free to loosen your grip and let the bar rest on your fingers rather than your palm. It’s okay to stick the pinky finger and thumb out from under the bar if needed.

While maintaining a high elbow position and keeping your head and eyes slightly down (think of looking at your knees in a mirror in front of you), continue to lower slowly to your final bottom position. When your elbows start to drop, focus on pulling up with your hands on the way out. If possible, lift your heels slightly to keep your torso straight. Also, move one finger under the bar, as described here.

Back Squat Form

This squat variation needs no introduction. It’s the most common exercise on this list, regardless of the gym you go to. It is used as a learning tool and is a staple in the training of many lifters, ranging mainly from body types. Also, it is one of the most practical options simply because it is a suitable strength training tool. You can lift heavy loads with a weight placed on the back, rather than supported by the collar or overhead. That means more calories burned and a bigger (and faster) increase in energy. It really is a “foundation builder” that most people should acquire the skills to do without any problem.

Fitness model doing barbell back squat exercise

On that note, it’s not perfect – just like any other movement. Sticking with the bar on the back can be hard on the shoulders if the movement is not correct, or if the back squat is used too often. The shoulders are pulled into aggressive external rotation so the hands hold the bar in place, and a tight or sore chest or deltoids can make this a difficult task. In addition, with the back squat comes a lot of shear force in the lower back, just because of the precision of the movement. A barbell loaded from the back will create a more forward torso lean than one loaded from the front or higher.

How to Fix Your Bad Back Squat Form:

Set the bar at shoulder level, and place your hands on it just outside shoulder width apart. Go under the bar and press your shoulder blades together before making your back touch the bar. When you make contact, put the bar on the traps – not the spine, but slowly. Make sure it is centered. Then press outward with the hands to maintain the stability of the spine and spine. Think about your comfortable squat range and slowly descend to full depth. He grew up on the way up. Keep the head in line with the torso by keeping your knees focused on the mirror.

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