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Crucial Squat Mistakes You Might Be Making

Squat Cleans

Squats Are The Best Exercise For Your Whole Body

Squatting is an exercise that can be done almost anywhere. It not only builds your tendons and ligaments but also enhances your mental toughness. This helps you reach your fitness goals faster. Squatting has now become a popular choice for many people. The basic equipment needed can easily be added to your home, which makes one comfortable to exercise on it any time. 

Though free-style squatting can be done without any equipment, other forms may require a rack, bar, and weights. That’s why when choosing squat racks you should take into consideration the qualities, features, and size of the rack. Take exact measurement of the space that you want to fit the rack in so that it is not too tall or short of the intended space. Look for good quality too so that it is safe to use for a long period. 

However, even with the right equipment, you could end up with an injury if you are not squatting properly. You are even more prone to an injury in case you are using weights for squatting. Let’s take a look at some of the most common squatting mistakes that you can make. 

Skipping the Warm-Up

Warm-up is necessary before any workout. It allows your body temperature to rise and activates all key group muscles needed to carry out the activity planned. This could be simple stretching exercises or running on a treadmill for a while. This will ensure you are more flexible and prepared for performing squats and do not experience stiffness. Stretching exercises before squatting will help you loosen the muscles on the calves too. 

Not Breathing Properly

Breathing techniques are the first step to starting any fitness activity. When you breathe properly while exercising you can increase the blood flow throughout your body. You feel more relaxed and do not strain. This helps you focus more effort on your exercise than being breathless. Proper breathing can prevent blood pressure and back pain. While squatting, try not to hold your breath. Use your belly to breathe than your chest. Inhale while you go down in your squatting position and exhale slowly while you come up. 

Dropping Down Very Little

Though squats have several benefits, they do cause a little bit of unease when performed correctly. After all, it is the pressure on the muscles which makes them stronger. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while squatting is not going down far enough. This can be due to the pressure built up or just low strength. When you are starting, make your stance wide as it will allow your body to be steady when you squat lower. An ideal squat requires the hip joints at a point lower than the knee joints. 

Squatting Too Low

Dropping down too little while squatting is incorrect, at the same time, going too low puts too much pressure on your knees and quad muscles. This may put you at the risk of a lower back injury. An ideal squat requires you to go as low as 90 degrees. This will make sure you see good results from a squat which is not possible if you are squatting too little or too much. You can stand against a wall which will help you squat in good alignment. 

Rotating your Knees

This is one of the most common mistakes people make when they are squatting. They let their knees rotate inwards or outwards. This could be due to a lack of mobility or strength. When performing a squat, you should turn your toes out. This will prevent your knee from pointing it. Your knees should be in alignment with your ankles and hips. Use a shoulder-wide stance if needed. 

Katie Hogan Squat

Pushing Past Your Toes

If you are noticing knee pain while doing squats, chances are your knees are pushed beyond your toes while you are lowering yourself in the squatting position. Your squats should engage your glutes. Stand in front of a mirror until you get the exact grip of how far back you should bend so your knee and ankle are in alignment. 

Raising Your Heels

If your heels are up while you are squatting, then you are not doing it right. If you go on your tiptoes while you are squatting, you can stress your ankles and are prone to the risk of a knee injury. The main part which needs to be included in the squat is the glutes will not be stressed at all. Your weight will be on your knees and quads and the glutes will not get a workout. Press your heel through the squat. 

Going Too Fast Or Too Slow

A certain rhythm is needed to activate all muscles to build during the exercise regime. If you are going too fast you not only increase the risk of an injury but could soon be breathless or fatigued. Pace yourself out and rest between squat sets to allow yourself to recover. With ample recovery, you can squat your best. On the other hand, if you are pacing yourself out way too much, you may experience stiffness and may not see the strength-related goals that you want to achieve through squatting.

Effects of Squatting Wrongly

Now that we know of some of the most common mistakes made while squatting, let’s take a look at the side effects you could suffer when you do it wrong. The lower back, hip, and ankles areas are most prone to injury in this case. If the squat is not performed properly then it could lead to a lot of stress on the lower back which could lead to major injuries. An upright posture and strong abdominal core should be maintained to protect the spine while squatting. 

Start with practicing your squats against a wall or other supporting elements. Learn the proper body movements needed to avoid any injury. Do not add more weights until you are certain you have the right techniques. In case you feel a lot of pain in your knee, hips, or lower back, it is advised to seek medical counsel. If left untreated it could dampen your exercise regime for a long time.

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