The Top 5 Squat Mistakes You’re Making (And How To Fix Them)

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The squat is dubbed the king of all exercises.

Why? The squat works some of the biggest muscle groups in your body. It activates the thighs, glutes, and core. Your upper body even comes into play, working to stabilize your whole body.

Yet, so many people get it wrong. And unfortunately, they don’t realize it until an injury happens.

Injuries aren’t fun. And they might result in weeks or months of pain and recovery - definitely not ideal. So, where might you be going wrong?

Let’s shake this thing down. Here are the top 5 squat mistakes you’re making and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Leaning Too Far Forward or Rounding Your Back

We see people do this in the gym all the time. They bend their knees going into a squat. But, they don’t keep their chest up or they start rounding the back as they lower down. These are huge no-nos. You risk a back injury and you aren’t correctly loading the right muscles.

The Fix: Engage your core. And keep your back straight and upright. Keep your chest up and open. The best way to see if you’re doing this right is to check yourself out from the side in a mirror. Another tip? Make sure to stick your butt back as you bend your knees.

Mistake #2: Letting Your Knees Fall Inward

This happens a lot when people amp up their squat weight. And unfortunately, it just might not be time to do this yet. If your knees are caving inward, you’re putting a lot of stress on them. Consequently, you risk injury and knee pain.

The Fix: Line your knees up with your toes. If you notice them falling inward, push them out or don’t go down as far (or even, go for a lighter weight until you get your form down).

Mistake #3: Allowing Your Heels to Come Up Off the Floor

This error goes hand-in-hand with leaning too far forward. You risk falling, and again, you aren’t loading your joints or muscles correctly.

The Fix: Plant your heels. Stick your butt back. And push through your heels as you come back up into a standing position.

Mistake #4: Letting Your Knees Fall Forward

The knees can become problematic in the squat. In addition to your knees falling inward, you don’t want your knees going too far forward. They shouldn’t go past your toes. In fact, you should still be able to see your big toes when squatting.

The Fix: If you find your knees are going past your toes, don’t squat down as far or lighten up your weight. Work on improving your form before going for more shallow squats or heavier weights. Again, check yourself from the side in a mirror. It proves real-time feedback, allowing you to adjust as you go.

Mistake #5: Not Going Deep Enough

If you don’t go deep enough, you won’t be activating the hamstrings and glutes as much. This means you end up missing half the benefits that the squat has to offer. Plus, you don’t want to limit your range of motion here.

The Fix: Squat low enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, or so that your hips and knees are at an equal height. If you can go lower while still maintaining your form, great! If your form is jeopardized doing this, start shallow and slowly build. Go as low as you can with the right form. It’s important here to make sure that you aren’t arching your low back.

Your exercise form matters. Are you making any of these mistakes? Check yourself. Catch them before an injury happens. At 1621 Club, we want you to live your best life, without pain or injury.

Tanner Whitesquat, exercises, gym