Chances are you know how to do a squat correctly... but the real question is, are you actually doing it correctly? Sometimes there's a big gap between what we know and what we do, so take a few minutes to check your form. If you think there's room for improvement, try these tips for mastering proper squat form.
Form fix #1: Keeping your knees behind your toes
If you have a hard time pressing your weight through your heels as you squat or if you think your knees may be creeping out in front of your toes, it may be time to turn to a wall for help. Facing a wall as you squat will physically prevent your knees from crossing over your toes, helping you transfer your weight backward, over your heels. Voila! Instant form-corrector.
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Form fix #2: Preventing your knees from buckling inward
Face a mirror and check your form as you squat. When you return to standing from the downward phase of the movement, do your knees appear to wobble or buckle inward? This is a sign that you either lack the strength in your hips to support the movement or you have inflexibility in your calves, hamstrings and hips. Either way, a simple resistance band can help. While I suggest using a flat band, tubing works as well.
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Form fix #3: Stopping yourself from leaning too far forward
It's pretty common for people to tip forward at the hip, allowing their chest to bend downward toward the floor during a squat. Not only is this poor form, but if you fail to "sit back" and get your hips under you and your chest upright as you stand up, you could end up straining your back! The perfect solution? A front squat! With weight balanced on the front half of your body, you'll have to keep your chest upright to prevent yourself from losing your balance and falling forward.
Discover the magic of the front squat >>
Form fix #4: Performing a full range of motion
Half-squats aren't bad, but you should really be going all the way down into a full squat to reap the benefits of the movement. If you don't feel comfortable with the full range of motion because you're afraid you won't be able to stand back up again, grab a sturdy chair to help you out! It functions like a crutch, giving you something to aim for and trust as you deepen your squat.
Find out how it works >>