Comp Prep Guide

How To Squat / Common Mistakes & How To Fix Them | Beginners Guide

January 15, 2020

Lauren Simpson explains how to squat properly with correct form and avoid common mistakes with you squat workout.

Today's video is going to be the first video in my brand new mini series. It’s going to be all about common gym mistakes and how to fix them.

So I thought I'd start off the series with one of the most common, basic fundamental exercises that you all should be getting right and that is the ‘Squat’.

Even though it is a basic workout, it is still something that I see people get wrong in gyms all the time. So this video is going to break down exactly what mistakes are common and how we're going to fix them.

This series is going to look at different exercises and also focus on specific body parts. So if you guys have any suggestions on what you want to see from me in terms of exercises or any body part that you seem to have trouble with in the gym then please leave your comments in the box below.

Before we get into it, I just want to point out that today's video is focused on the absolute basics for getting your squat correct.

Now I could go into so much more detail on how to perfect your technique but again I just want to really focus on covering the basics especially for those beginners out there.

Let's head to the gym!

Here I am performing a squat with an incorrect form.

The mistakes I’m making are very very common ones. You'll notice that my knees are caving in. The bar is not tight on my back and my head is not in a neutral position. I'm actually looking up which isn't bad because it’s just my neck. My back is also hyperextending at the top of the squat due to the butt squeeze.

You do not need to thrust your hips forward at the top of the squat. Your glutes are under the most amount of engagement and tension at the bottom of the squat when the muscle is in a stretched position.

So no ugly butt squeeze at the top of your squats are needed. You'll also see that I'm not hitting a sufficient depth here. You should be aiming to break parallel to get the most benefit in muscle recruitment in power.

If you struggle to hit depth, back off the weight a little bit. Another tip for increasing depth is by adding plates under your heels to elevate them.

As you can see here the elevation of your heels helps with ankle mobility and therefore dropping deeper into the squat.

Here I am demonstrating the squat with correct form. I'm doing a bodyweight only here just to show you the movement pattern. If you are a beginner at the gym, you should practice your squat form without any weights first and then progress with weights.

I'm now moving on to showing you how to squat with the barbell on your back. For the purpose of this video, I'm doing it with a high bar positioning where the bar is resting at the base of my neck and my torso is in an upright position.

The bar is tight on my back as I'm pulling it down tight and my elbows and shoulder blades are locked in and back. My chest is up, my head is neutral and my stance is just outside shoulder-width apart. My toes are turned out slightly as well.

Please note that for stance it varies from individual to individual. So find what feels comfortable for you.

As I squat down, I focus on driving my knees out to avoid them from caving in. Your knees should be tracking in line with your feet. Adding a resistance band initially can help with cueing for your knees out.

As I come out of the bottom of the squat, I focus on pushing into the ground through my heel and mid foot. This allows for proper force transfer and a stable base. When you’re squatting make sure that you have a neutral arch when you stand. This means that no rounding or no excess arching are needed, no butt squeeze as well.

With each rep I'm keeping my core braced and locked on tight. Between each reps I am taking a breath and then holding it and then exhaling at the top.

Good technique is a big breath at the top, holding it at the bottom and then exhaling at the top. I'm also resetting between each reps to keep tightness.

There are many different variations when it comes to squatting. There are things like high bar, low bar, front squat, hack squat, you can also do a heel elevated squat.

There are just so many variations that you can do but it all comes back to getting at least a basic movement pattern on point.

Then you can look at things like increasing load, number of reps and number of sets.

You really need to start back with the basics before and then build upon this. It's important if you are a beginner to try these exercises such as a squat with only your bodyweight first. Do that so you can get used to the technique and really ensure that you are getting the movement on point.

Once you get the form right you can then start picking up the bar. I know a lot of people who tend to lift way too heavy and their form just goes completely out the window. So make sure that you are not compromising your form when it comes to lifting weights.

You want to make sure that your form is everything. You don't want to be lifting so much that you're just completely breaking down and you are failing from technical errors.

It's important to lift within your means and your capability so that you aren't breaking down on technique.

Anyway that is a wrap on today's squat tutorial. I hope that you really learnt something from it and have taken away something when it comes to these common mistakes that you might see in the gym.

Maybe you, yourself are making these mistakes when it comes to squatting and now you know how we can go about fixing them.

Thanks again guys for watching this video. If you are new to my channel make sure that you please hit the subscribe button. If you have any new ideas for what you want to see in this little series, please leave notes in the comment section below and I will see you on my next video.

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