These days, people are forced to figure out their home exercise routine without the help of a personal trainer or instructor. Unfortunately, for many, that means there’s a lot more potential to do something wrong. You’d be surprised to find that there are multiple ways to ruin your squat form.
And it’s essential to do a squat the right way, both to make progress, and for your physical health. So, now that you’re working out at home so much, here are some tips for making sure your squat form is on point.
Get Into The Right STance
It all starts with your stance. When you’re getting ready to do a squat, set yourself up for success at the beginning and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Turn your feet out (this will be different for each individual) anywhere from 5 to 30 degrees.
Turning your feet out, rather than keeping them perpendicular, gives you a solid starting point.
Stay In Alignment
From there, the next step is really about keeping your body aligned. That starts with your feet being firmly planted on the ground.
This stance also protects your knees and feet when you start moving. Keep your feet and legs energetic at all times.
Have A Proud Chest
One of the top tips for a squat is making sure to keep your chest up. Many newcomers tend to roll their shoulders forward and round their back. This can be especially bad for your spine or anyone who frequently experiences back problems.
To prevent this, just focus on keeping a proud chest. Do your squats in a mirror if it helps remind you.
Move From The Heels
It might seem funny at first. But pushing your energy from your heels up will help drive your posterior chain (muscles like your hamstrings and glutes) so that you’re firing up the right parts of your body.
Driving through your heels can keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, which was another one of our above tips that remains essential even as you start moving.
Take A Pause
On the way down, spend a few seconds in your squat. This simple step adds another layer of complexity to the movement and helps you to work your muscles.
To take that pause, you also need to go through the full range of motion. Don’t do a half squat and call it a day. Move slow and deliberate, and get all the way down.
Tuck At The Top
That’s right, coming back up doesn’t mean the squat is over. Don’t forget the tuck your pelvis when you get back to the top of your squat.
The simple tuck will keep you from putting extra strain on your lower back by pushing your hips forward more than you need to. Plus, the right tuck will activate your glutes, which is a bonus.
So, the next time you hit the home gym to work on those squats, keep these tips in mind!