What to Focus on When You Learn to Squat
Squats seem so hard when someone tells you everything they can go wrong – knees over toes! The ass is even lower! Lead! But not too much! If you’re following our challenge, you’re probably doing a lot more squats than ever before, so let’s talk about how we do them.
You should, of course, seek the advice of a coach, coach, or an experienced friend who knows what he is doing; a few articles like this are not enough to fully teach you how to squat. But here are a few things you might hear from a good coach and why you should pay attention to them:
Your knees don’t always have to be behind your toes.
There is a popular rule that your knees should never stick out in front of your toes (when looking in the mirror) when you squat. I dived into the history of this rule one day , and it turned out that it came from a study of (successful, intact) weightlifters. They probably didn’t think about the position of their knees, but some had knees in front of their toes and some didn’t. The researchers calculated that those whose knees stay behind the toes should have less stress on the knees.
But this does not mean that something is wrong if your knees are slightly forward; it might just be how your body works. Most coaches today will tell you that this “rule” doesn’t matter if your form is otherwise good . If your body naturally wants to place your knees in front of your toes, restricting this movement – for example, squatting in front of a wall – can actually force you to change other aspects of your shape, such as pushing your butt so far behind that you put additional stress on your back .
Don’t let your knees buckle though
Squat in front of a mirror (or make a video, or have a friend look at you). Ideally, the legs should remain parallel to each other while moving without bending the knees.
If they flex, it is often because the muscles in your legs are not strong enough to keep your knees in a stable position. To fix this, do whatever you can, but try to keep your knees wide as if you were spreading them apart. You may not be able to get down that far, or you may not be able to use as much weight as you would like if you are doing these weighted squats. Step back and take the time to squat properly. You will soon be strong enough to squat deeper and harder without bending your knees.
How low should you go?
As low as possible in good shape. If something hurts when you try to squat your butt to the grass, don’t do it. (Consider whether to work with a trainer to find out what happened. Maybe your body is simply not built to go so low, or maybe you could reach this depth, if you are working on a few things first. ) If you’re a beginner and you can only go down a few inches before your form starts to fall apart, then just squat those few inches (and maybe try some of these beginner friendly moves instead or in addition).
Have you had squatting problems in the past few weeks? Or is everything going great and you move on to more reps and more weight? Let’s talk about this in the comments. I’ll be there to answer questions, but remember that online discussions are not a substitute for the personal advice of a qualified professional.