When you have to choose between staying at home to use your Xbox and heading out for a gym workout, we know how hard it is for gadget heads like you to unplug. Let us read full story
The squat is almost the perfect exercise. The squat is a multijoint movement that engages the core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, spinal erectors, and smaller stability muscles. All good things have a catch, right? The squat may be one of the best strength exercises around, but squats are extremely difficult to perform correctly. If you don’t perfect your form before you pack weight onto the bar, you could seriously injure yourself.
Try doing a self check the next time that you step up to the rack for a set of squats. Make sure to avoid these 5 common squat mistakes:
- Avoid: pointing toes straight forward.
- The fix: Turn your toes slightly out. Your knees must be inline of your thighs, especially when performing a deep squat. The weight of the bar on your shoulders can cause your knee to to collapse inward if you don’t have a proper stance. Don’t point your toes out too much, or you’ll risk injury as well.
- Avoid: not squatting deep enough.
- The fix: Squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Most people only complete a quarter of the full range of motion of a squat, which means that lots of folks are missing out on the full benefits of squats in their strength training program.
- Avoid: wearing the wrong shoes.
- The fix: Wear flat shoes with noncompressible soles. Many runners who cross train in the winter make the mistake of wearing their running shoes for strength training. Running shoes are specifically designed to absorb the shock of a repetitive heel strike during a run. The heel cushion that makes these shoes excellent for running also makes running shoes dangerous for squatting. During the squat, you push through the heels. You won’t want the cushion of a running shoe destabilizing the lift during your squat.
- Avoid: watching your form in a side mirror.
- The fix: I’ve been guilty of this mistake. Although it may be tempting to turn your neck slightly to sneak a peek at your profile to see if your thighs are paralel to the floor, you could potentially do more harm than good. Where the eyes go, the body follows. Not only could you potentially strain your neck, you could also put your body off balance by shifting your weight to the side that you are looking toward.
- Avoid: setting the uprights too high.
- The fix: Set the uprights 2 notches below shoulder height. Uprights are the holders that you rest the bar on. Setting them too high will cause you to get onto your toes and do a calf raise to take the bar off the rack. This is not only an unstable movement, it can also cause a lot of injury to your joints if you lose your balance.
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