3. NOT SETTING UP CORRECTLY
Often an athlete can be far too quick to get themselves into position and plunge into the squat without setting their body up properly for the movement. When you watch an athlete with excellent squat technique, you will notice how controlled and focused they appear throughout the whole movement.
Staying tight with the bar already racked on your shoulders, follow this short sequence to prepare your body for the squat.
- Squeeze your glutes together. This is going to set your pelvis in the correct position that you need to support the weight.
- Pull the rib cage down by flexing your core while still squeezing the glutes. This ensures that your back is not overextended and that the mid line is engaged.
- Take a big breath in from that tightness you’ve created by flexing the core and pulling the rib cage down.
2. SQUAT MISTAKES: UNCONTROLLED BREATHING
‘Breathing correctly is also a vital part of the set up, and is important throughout the full movement of the exercise.’
If an athlete set up properly, yet fails to breathe correctly, they run the risk of losing the tightness they have managed to create, and the lift will suffer as a result.
If they exhale too quickly, or breathe deeply using the abs and not the diaphragm, then the abs may become relaxed during the lift itself. This in turn releases the tightness and control on the spine and core, and the athlete may lean forward and increase pressure on the spine as a result. Both of which are not good things during the squat!
- Once you have the barbell braced on your shoulders, breathe in deeply with your diaphragm so that you can keep your abdominals contracted throughout the entire movement and stabilize your spine. You will notice if you are doing this correctly because during the last part of the inward breathe you will feel your chest rise.
- Hold your breath on the way down, and then exhale slowly on the way up, through pursed lips. This will ensure that you don’t exhale all at once, and can still keep your core tight as you come up from the bottom of the squat position.