Squats are really excellent exercises to train the core muscles and to get the whole of the lower body working together. The problem with the squat is technique is incredibly important. The number of times I have seen people squatting incorrectly in the gym is ridiculous. As a result, I have written this blog to teach you how to do a proper squat without weight and you can then add weight afterwards. It is important to do this first without weight as you can then perfect the technique. If a weight is too heavy, your body compensates and therefore you lose the technique.
A Proper Squat
The most effective squat is defined by two components:
- Keeping the back straight
- Not allowing your knees to go over your toes.
These two work hand-in-hand to work the muscles in the correct way.
To do a proper squat it will feel like you are going to sit down, and this is a good way to imagine it. Your weight will drop backwards and therefore the upper part of your body will come forwards to counteract the weight distribution. Everyone has a different depth of squat. This all depends on your flexibility, not your strength. Your hamstrings will dictate how low you can go. When you are at your limit you will feel a pulling in the hamstrings. If you go too far, this will then cause your low back to start to curve in the opposite direction because the buttocks are being pulled under.
Common Squat Mistakes
The most common mistakes that happen are the knees going over the toes and the low back rounding. This is common because people are trying to go too low, or lift too heavy a weight. Due to this the body compensates and these are the areas that suffer. What can also happen is that when you go too low the tightness in the back of the legs causes your heels to come up. This will only happen if the knees are going over the toes though.
Why is Squat Technique So Important?
Squat technique is so important to train the body correctly and to prevent injury. When you are lifting a heavy weight if the technique is incorrect, the rounding in your back can lead to injury as this puts extra pressure on the small muscles within the spine, the ligaments holding the spine together and the disc. Consequently, in my clinical experience I have seen many injuries that have stemmed from poor squat form. Good technique can actually help to strengthen the low back and leg muscles and therefore help to prevent injury.
This can be used as an effective strengthening exercise and I regularly give this to my patients to help to strengthen the core and to help lifting and bending technique.
I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any further questions please feel free to give me a call at Lushington Chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne on: 01323 722499.
Yours, in health
Your Eastbourne Chiropractor
By Mykel Mason
Call now 01323 722499