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How to squat with the correct form by Megan Fryer

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

For many, the beginning of the year means setting new goals such as getting fit or trying to be more active. Unfortunately for most, the enthusiasm we feel in January very rarely lasts the duration of the year. A large contributor to this loss of momentum when you are just starting out, is not always knowing what to do. This can lead to injury which is a major setback to your exercise programme. Whether you are going into a gym or just exercising from home it is important to make sure that whatever exercise you chose to do is being done correctly and with the proper form.

One of the most popular exercises in any gym or home exercise programme is the squat. Squats are great for a complete lower body workout focusing on the buttocks, lower back, hips, and thighs, as well as the core muscles. While squats may look easy enough to do, they are also easy to do incorrectly. Below are a few common mistakes made when squatting as well as how to correct them.

Mistake 1:

When initiating the squat, you bend at your knees first. This limits how far you are able to bend and puts unnecessary strain on your knees.

How to fix it:

Bend at your hips first and have your weight through your heels. It helps to think that you are “sitting back”.

Incorrect Correct

Mistake 2:

When you go down into the squat position your knees cave inward.

How to fix it:

Focus on actively pushing your knees outwards and make sure your knees are in line with your toes.

Incorrect Correct

Mistake 3:

Rounding your back.

How to fix it:

Look straight ahead while you squat. Activate your core muscles and keep your spine in a neutral position. It also helps to keep your hands out in front of you, if they drop while you squat you know your back is rounding.

Incorrect Correct

Mistake 4:

Lifting your heels

How to fix it:

Keep your heels on the floor. Shift your weight onto your heels and feel like you are pushing up from your heels.

Correct Incorrect

If you find that you are struggling with form at the gym you can always consult a personal trainer for assistance.

If you do get injured while you are exercising it is important to get the injury seen to rather than push through the pain. Debbie Cameron Physiotherapy can help you with any injuries as well as identify any underlying risks for re-injury. Contact Chantal or Michelle on 031 765 8898 or 031 761 8081 to make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.


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