Jump to content

Proper Squat Form?


Recommended Posts

I have recently discovered the squat. I love this exercise. But I think I might not be doing it right.

 

I stand with my legs a little wider than shoulder width, toes pointed out at about a 30° angle. The bar rests across my upper back. I keep my back as straight as possible while squatting. I lower until my thighs are parallel with the floor, then rise. This keeps my knees above my toes. It looks similar to this http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html except my feet are a little wider apart (for balance) and my toes rotated a little more to the outside.

 

My problem is that my quads are not the limiting factor in how much I can lift. I feel that if I increase the weight too fast, I will injur my obliques or erector spniae or upper back.

 

Also, when my thighs are near parallel, I can feel something shift on the outside of my left knee. It feels like a tendon or ligament moving across the bone. It doesn't hurt, but it is disconcerting.

 

Are these signs that I don't have the form down correctly?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stand with my legs a little wider than shoulder width, toes pointed out at about a 30° angle. The bar rests across my upper back. I keep my back as straight as possible while squatting. I lower until my thighs are parallel with the floor, then rise. This keeps my knees above my toes. It looks similar to this http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html except my feet are a little wider apart (for balance) and my toes rotated a little more to the outside.

That sounds like correct form to me, but Im by no means an expert and judging from a written description is not easy. I personally believe in squattin deeper than parallel, but different people have different opinions on this. Make sure you are squatting to at least parallel though, this is not allways easy to judge by oneself and paralell is usually a bit deeper than one thinks .

Also, very important is to before you start the decent breath in to the stomach and tighten the abs as much as possible. This doesnt mean you should try to hold in you stomach, rather the opposite.

 

My problem is that my quads are not the limiting factor in how much I can lift. I feel that if I increase the weight too fast, I will injur my obliques or erector spniae or upper back.

I believe this is very normal for people new to squatting. Just increase the weight slowly.

 

Also, when my thighs are near parallel, I can feel something shift on the outside of my left knee. It feels like a tendon or ligament moving across the bone. It doesn't hurt, but it is disconcerting.

No idea what this is Im afraid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do your squats in front of a mirror, and be sure that your knees are not buckling in. This can happen on the way up or the way down, and is a common form error that is often not addressed, but can put lateral stress on the knee joint (quite risky for injury, because the knees don't normally bend in that direction).

 

As Jonathan mentioned, don't lose the natural arch in your lower back (lordotic curve). Brace your core before lowering to keep the lower back iin the right position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone,

 

So tightening my abs will help keep my core braced and my back arched (not rounded forward) and this will reduce the risk of back injury?

 

Kathryn --- I tried moving my feet closer together and that feels better. So I think there may have been some lateral stress on my knees even though they looked okay in the mirror.

 

With my knees closer together, I can feel the lift in my quads much more. I can't dip as far, though, because of hip inflexibility. So I'll add some stretches for those muscles (iliopsoas?).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

don't squat like that. you are putting too much pressure on your knees and they will eventually give out. if you are going to squat like that, go all the way down butt to heels. if you are squatting to parallel, as you should be, you want to unlock your hips, push your butt back and let your knees come out. its best to have at least a moderately wide stance. here is some info on proper squat form. http://www.dieselcrew.com/articles/cleaningupthesquat.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have recently discovered the squat. I love this exercise. But I think I might not be doing it right.

 

I stand with my legs a little wider than shoulder width, toes pointed out at about a 30° angle. The bar rests across my upper back. I keep my back as straight as possible while squatting. I lower until my thighs are parallel with the floor, then rise. This keeps my knees above my toes. It looks similar to this http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html except my feet are a little wider apart (for balance) and my toes rotated a little more to the outside.

 

My problem is that my quads are not the limiting factor in how much I can lift. I feel that if I increase the weight too fast, I will injur my obliques or erector spniae or upper back.

 

Also, when my thighs are near parallel, I can feel something shift on the outside of my left knee. It feels like a tendon or ligament moving across the bone. It doesn't hurt, but it is disconcerting.

 

Are these signs that I don't have the form down correctly?

 

Deep squats you want to go as deep as you can go without falling forward... Example is for me to squat I squat inbetween my legs with my toes pointing outward and I go down deep... Calves to Hams... or Butt to Ankles... either term works good enough lol... I wouldn't stop at parellel or above that puts way to much stress on the knees... and If someone says going deep will blow off your knees... thats total BS... 355 for a 20 repper on smith machine squats goind Butt to Ankles each and every rep which is 2-4 inches below parellel... and I have no KNEE PROBLEMS!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Deep squats you want to go as deep as you can go without falling forward... Example is for me to squat I squat inbetween my legs with my toes pointing outward and I go down deep... Calves to Hams... or Butt to Ankles... either term works good enough lol... I wouldn't stop at parellel or above that puts way to much stress on the knees... and If someone says going deep will blow off your knees... thats total BS... 355 for a 20 repper on smith machine squats goind Butt to Ankles each and every rep which is 2-4 inches below parellel... and I have no KNEE PROBLEMS!

 

 

if you squat to parallel correctly then the stress will be transferred to the hamstrings and not the knees. also, lets keep the discussion focused on barbell squats. smith machine squats are not even close to resembling a real barbell squat (parallel or full).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...