Barbell Squats

Squats are such a great exercise for strength training that it’s important to know how to do them correctly. There are two main reasons to avoid the common mistakes people make when doing barbell squats. A proper squat technique will guarantee big gains and maximum efficiency and squats can be dangerous if not performed the right way. Following a few basic guidelines and avoiding common mistakes will save you plenty of time and effort.

Improper breathing

Squats, like most strength exercises, require a lot of energy. Rarely do people take time and breathe deeply between reps. Doing so robs your brain and the rest of the body of much-needed oxygen. If you feel like fainting after your squats, the high chances are that you’re not breathing properly. Take a breath into your belly to create intra-abdominal pressure that makes your squat more effective and much safer. Do this before the lift to maximize pressure before beginning your descent.

Do Not Curve Your Spine

Curving your spine when performing squats can injure your back. Some people start well but start to curve their back as they lower their body. A useful technique is to stop before the lift and make sure your back is straight while in the squat position.

Head Position

One of the top squat mistakes is a wrong head position. The rule of thumb is to keep your spine straight. Looking down at your feet or staring at the ceiling bends your neck and this can spell trouble. While your spine may be straight for the major part, bending the neck can compress some disks and or pinch some nerves. The trick is to keep a natural position by looking straight.

Being Too Quick Between Sets

The desire to fit in as much training as possible, not to mention, the hustle and bustle of today’s life can drive you to perform squats back to back. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to allow adequate rest while performing squats. You want to maximize strength gains by allowing a full recovery in between squat sets. Proper rest has the added benefits of lifting heavier across more sets and improving the quality of your reps.

Move the Barbell Vertically

Always remember that the barbell should always move vertically. To achieve this, push your butt back, outwards and arch your back (chest out, belly in) as you start squatting. Make sure barbell and ankles are on the same line.

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