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STOP Doing Squats Like This (Save Your Joints)

Save your joints and optimise your form.

Stop doing squats like this and learn to save your joints. Check out these great tips from Jeremy Ethier.

Stop Doing Squats Like This

“Want to keep your joints healthy and maximize your strength? Here are 4 key barbell squat form mistakes that you’re likely making without even realizing it. In this “squat tutorial” video, I dive into what those are, and how to fix them, so you (finally) master the squat technique. By the end of it, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge of proper squat form, enabling you to achieve a safer and stronger squat right away.”

Stop Doing Squats Like This

“The first mistake has to do with your hip structure and how it affects what the optimal foot width and foot positioning is for your squat. To figure out what your optimal stance is, get onto all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders, knees under your hips, and ideally with your feet against a wall. From here, try to sink your hips back into heels as deep as you can without rounding your lower back. Make note of how that feels and how far you could go. Then, play around with it until you find that sweet spot position that feels the best and allows you to get the deepest without rounding at your lower back.”

Box Squats “The Single Best Squat Tip I've Ever Used” Stop Doing Squats Like This

Stop Doing Squats Like This

“Stand up and make note of how far apart your feet were. Then, either with your bodyweight or under the bar, squat down with your toes and knees straight out and see how that feels. Experiment and find what foot angle feels best and enables you to squat the deepest, which will now be your ideal squat stance.”

“Next, a common barbell squat form mistake: butt wink. Although it may be fine for some individuals, for others it can put a lot of harmful forces on their spinal discs. So, you’re going to use a screening test created by back pain Dr. Stuart McGill. Do 10 cycles of back extension and flexion with the Olympic barbell — and if there’s pain, butt wink will most likely be an issue for you.”

Stop Doing Squats Like This

“There are two things you can do to minimize butt wink for a “cleaner” squat technique. The first is to simply limit your range of motion. However, oftentimes butt wink is an ankle mobility issue. To improve this, try squatting with your heels on plates or use lifting shoes and see if that helps. If it does, great, continue doing that while working on improving your ankle mobility.”

“The next mistake covered in this squat tutorial has to do with your feet. Try standing up on one leg with your other knee bent behind you. Are you able to hold this for at least 25 seconds without falling over? Without adequate stability from your feet, your body will seek for it elsewhere, often leading to compensations that can cause excessive stress on the lower back and other areas especially with heavier loads.”

Stop Doing Squats Like This

“To help improve your foot stability, there are two things we can do. First, as per back pain expert Dr. Stuart McGill, the leaning tower drill. The second thing you can do is pay attention to how you distribute your weight as you’re squatting. Before you squat down, grip the floor with your feet and spread your weight across these three points; your heel, and the base of your 1st and 5th toe. Then when you perform your squat, make sure each of these 3 points remain in contact with the ground with the weight distributed evenly among them.”

“The last mistake has to do with your bar path. A common mistake lifters make is letting their chest fall forward and hips rise up during the ascent. This shifts the bar forward from the mid-line, which can place more stress on the lower back. Although weak quads relative to your glutes may play a role in this, it seems that suboptimal motor recruitment patterns are the main culprit. That means you’ll have to re-learn the squat. The goal is to get your hips and chest rising at the same rate to keep the bar path straight up and down. To accomplish this, for at least a few weeks, swap out your regular sets of squats for double paused squats.”

“You will likely have to lighten the weight considerably to break out of old habits, but after a few weeks of this, the proper squat form will start to feel more natural and is when you can switch back to regular squats if you wish.”

Video – Stop Doing Squats Like This

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