How to Squat and 4 Common Mistakes

Squats are a great exercise to get stronger and fitter, but only if they’re done right. So before you crank out another set, make sure you’re doing them correctly and aren’t making these common mistakes:

how-to-squat

1. Letting Your Knees Fall In
when your knees move in toward each other during a squat, it can put unwanted pressure on the ligaments in your knee and may result in injury. A slightly wider stance can help correct your knees by forcing them more outwards.

2. Not Lowering to 90 Degrees or lower
If you don’t complete the full range of motion for the exercise — going all the way down until your thighbone is at least parallel with the floor — you won’t fully engage your glutes and upper hamstrings. You won’t get a better butt you’re looking to get.

3. Arching Your Back
If you don’t have enough lower back strength (and many women don’t), it’s easy to overcompensate and add some extra arch while squatting. Unfortunately, this puts the excess weight on your lower back and means you risk injury. To shore up your lower-back strength, try performing this dumbbell straight-leg deadlift.

4. Attempting to Keep Your Knees Behind Your Toes
We’ve all heard over and over that the knees should never go past the toes when squatting, but trying to restrict any forward movement of the knees increases the stress placed on your hips. However, letting your knees creep past your toes also increases the stress placed on the toes, so instead focus by starting with your hips pushed back before lowering your body toward the floor to automatically reduce how far forward your knees go.