Top 19 Squat Mistakes That You Need To Avoid Immediately

The squat is the best lower body exercise that we can apply to help develop the buttocks and thighs extremely effectively. However, there are still many mistakes when doing Squats that many people don’t know and leave as they are when performing, making it an ineffective exercise and potentially high risk of injury.

When we go to the gym, but we skip the Squat exercise, it is really a big omission. This is an exercise that works on many muscle groups at the same time, stimulating muscle growth as well as hormone production.

Squats are often called the “king of exercises” not only for their physical benefits but also for their hormonal benefits. Many studies have shown that squatting with heavy weights helps to release testosterone and HGH in the body, both of which are necessary for muscle growth throughout your entire body, not just in your legs.

Like many other bodybuilding exercises, to be effective and prevent injury, you must perform the right technique.

That said, you will be wasting your time if you make some common squat mistakes. Most people who don’t do squats make these mistakes, and they assume that doing squats harms their backs and knees without realizing that the main reason is that they are doing it wrong.

Here are 19 Squat Mistakes that you need to avoid

1. The technique of stepping out of the Smith machine

Squats start as soon as the bar is on your shoulders, if you’re doing a bad step off the rack, you’ll probably end up doing a bad squat as well.

Techniques coming out of the Smith machine

Stepping off the rack is the exercise that forms the foundation of your squat and should be done efficiently and confidently. Oftentimes, this is an overlooked aspect of squats because it’s like a “simple” step that you can’t go wrong with and doesn’t matter much.

That’s the part of the squat, though, where you put your fists on the bar, squeeze your back, flex your core, and put your posture in place. Plus, the heavier the weight, the less straightforward it becomes to take 2-3 steps back.

Therefore, the practice of stepping out of the rack in a firm and controlled manner is the best way to resolve any current inconsistencies you may find in your technique and will help you. as you get stronger and start handling heavier weights.

2. Wrong breathing

Breathing and contracting your core is an important part of feeling strong from the moment you take the weight off the rack to the moment you lock out, but this is the most common squat mistake, especially for beginners. gym.

Breathing in the wrong way when doing squats

Improper breathing leads to improper muscle contraction, which in turn prevents you from focusing enough to lift weights as well as leaving your back in an injury-prone position. It can also cause your legs to shake when you squat.

In the squat position, the inhalation should begin with an inhalation before you lift the weight off the rack. Continue to hold your breath as you step back then exhale gently when the dumbbells are on your back. Then, inhale again and flex your core before lowering the dumbbells.

In theory, you should hold your breath throughout the squat. You should be aware that some runners may exhale some air as they begin to ascend and it may sound like a whistle or hiss between teeth, but it’s completely different from your exhalation.

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Holding your breath creates 360-degree pressure around your body to strengthen your torso and especially protect your lower back.

3. Incorrect foot position

It is said that strength starts in the feet and this is especially true with the squat where your foot placement can make or break your performance.

There are some general tips given in the bodybuilding community that are sometimes unfortunately misinterpreted as a must. One of those misconceptions is that there is only one correct squat.

Incorrect foot position when squatting

Unfortunately, this misconception leads many newbies to the gym trying to build strength to perform the wrong way. In fact, how far apart you place your feet and whether you point your toes out depends on the individual and where you feel best.

While a starting point might be to place your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes 15 degrees out, it can still make you uncomfortable due to the combined pelvic structure. Suitable for hip and ankle mobility.

You’ll know you’ve found the right spot when your hips move smoothly and without restriction and your glutes feel like they’re on fire when you hit the bottom of the squat.

Watch this video to get you started to learn if it’s best to keep your toes facing forward or outward:

YouTube video

4. Raise your butt before moving up

This is a mistake when other Squats encounter many but few people notice. As you do the Squat, and move up, you will fill your upper body up until it is upright. But if you move your butt forward (like Good Morning), the pressure will be on your lower back and hamstrings.

The squat is an exercise for the front thighs and puts pressure on the back of the thighs. If you’re going to use heavy equipment at the gym, you’re likely to put pressure on your hamstrings and cause a weight injury.

Raise your buttocks and shoulders at the same time to avoid unnecessary stress.

5. Loss of muscle tension at the end of movement

To do any weightlifting properly, you must maintain tension throughout the entire movement, however, you often lose tension at the end of the squat if you don’t notice this is a real challenge. Mistakes when practicing Squat you should avoid to help Squat exercise more effectively.

Loss of muscle tension at the end of movement

Loss of tension in the bottom of the squat can happen if you lower too quickly, or it can happen in people who squat too deeply.

While not all squatters will lose tension near the end, many will not be able to hold tight in that position and will let some of their latent power go to waste.

The way to get around this is to slow down and perhaps add tempo or pause squats to your program in addition to tracking your depth and performing a deep squat a few centimeters above the “maximum depth.” ” your.

6. Turn your knees inward

Some people have a knee that rotates during the squat but it’s not significant, however, if it’s very pronounced, occurs frequently, and/or causes knee discomfort or pain it needs to be addressed.

Turn your knees in while squatting

Inward rotation of the knee can be caused by poor ankle mobility, poor coordination, or heavyweight.

If you watch some professional weightlifters, you’ll notice a slight inward movement of the knees as they come out of the squat. The difference between this and an inward-turned knee is that the hips can push the knee out by locking and the glutes remain very active during the entire movement.

The knee constantly moving inward in a very visible way even with moderate lifting may not be something that can be ignored. This form of movement can be painful and traumatic and is a sign of some weakness that needs to be addressed.

Some ways to fix this problem are activating your feet and “twisting” them to the ground, building glute strength, doing more single-leg exercises like pistol squats or cossack squats, focusing on capacity ankle movement during warm-up, lowering, and/or narrowing your leg position.

7. Bar position is not in the middle of the foot

The position of the bar not in the middle of the foot is a very common mistake when doing Squats. The bar’s path in the squat is a vertical line in the midfoot, so if the bar’s weight moves forward or backward, your technique needs to be adjusted.

The position of the bar is not in the middle of the foot when squatting

When the bar isn’t in the middle of your foot it can happen for a variety of reasons, all due to poor lifting technique. Some weightlifters may shift their weight through their toes because they lean too far forward or can’t activate their glutes or hold their upper back properly. This causes the bar to lean forward and can cause your heels to lift off the ground.

Also, some lifters will sit back too far into the heels, which often leads to a loss of depth as this will throw you off balance as you descend parallel.

To help correct this mistake, you’ll need to film your squat from an angle and determine if the bar’s path of travel follows a straight line through the midfoot, otherwise, you’ll need to solve the problem. Fix a basic mistake you’re making that’s causing the bar to move incorrectly.

Visualizing the weight of the bar and your body supported by the arch of your feet can also be a cue that can work to keep your mind in tip-top shape!

8. Do not keep the upper back activated

The upper back is the support of the barbell and must be activated from the beginning to the end of the movement, this is a common Squat mistake because most focus only on the lower back.

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Problems related to keeping your back inactive can be seen in weightlifters with elbows spread out, pointing back during the squat. Trainers can also feel this when they complain about how heavy the barbell feels on their back.

The elbows should ideally be kept close to the body, down and immobile throughout the squat, however achieving this can be challenging for some people due to limited mobility.

Extending your grip on the bar, switching to a thumping grip, repositioning the bar, and warming up your wrists can help alleviate these limitations.

Good upper back activation should feel like it’s pushing back against the bar with the same force that the bar is pressing down on it. Make sure you squeeze as hard as you can to keep those elbows in place.

9. Don’t keep your back straight

While performing the squat, your back must be especially careful to keep it straight, you should not arch your back when pushing weights or tilt your back too much forward or backward (butt wink).

Do not keep your back straight when squatting

When you arch your back, you will injure your lower back, and if you lean too much, you will lose your balance and stand up straight.

DO NOT arch your lower back more to combat the butt-wink. Instead, get into a prepared position, take a deep breath, and exhale as hard as you can.

You should feel your ribcage drop and your pelvis point upward. Now squat while maintaining this new rib cage and pelvis position; You’ll burn your entire core and take the pressure off your back.

10. Not squatting deep enough

Squat not deep enough is a mistake when squatting is very common among women. The deeper the squat, the greater the effect on the muscles.

Squats that are too shallow will reduce the effectiveness of this exercise and make you spend more time practicing. The minimum depth you need to achieve is when your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Not squatting deep enough

Forget the misconception that parallel squats are bad for your knees, that’s wrong. Researchers from Denmark also found that deep enough squats increased triceps size and strength more than squats not yet paralleled.

If you can’t get that deep, improve your hip mobility or use an easier squat variation like the Goblet Squat or Zercher Squat to keep your torso upright and help you squat deeper.

11. Do not engage your glutes when squatting

Your glutes are the strongest muscles in your lower body. Use them when you do squats.

As you move from the bottom, imagine using your feet wide on the ground to activate your glutes and increase your strength. At the end, squeeze your glutes to fully extend your hips.

12. The position of the weight is too high on the back

We all know in Squat there are 2 positions to place weights called high bar and low bar but it does not involve placing the bar on your neck.

Most people who are just starting to squat will choose what athletes call the high bar position. This involves placing the bar on top of the upper rhomboids, however, beginners tend to have incorrect placement in the neck and this is a squat mistake you should avoid making.

The position of the weight is too high on the back

This is not a good position to place the bar as it can be very uncomfortable and can even be dangerous as the weight gets heavier.

If you have pain in the high bar position, it is likely that the bar is directly above your C7 vertebra and instead, the bar should be slightly lower and cushioned by your upper back muscles.

13. Heel Lift/Toe Tilt

A lot of people make the mistake of doing this squat. Lifting your heels when performing a squat will shift the weight forward, which increases the difficulty of the movement and, above all, puts strain on your knees, a mistake when doing squats. endanger yourself.

Heel Lift/Toes Tilting while squatting

When your toes are up, we have the opposite problem. If your toes aren’t firmly planted on the floor, that can cause you to sit too far into your heels. This will result in an overworked rear chain.

A quick way to correct this error is to do the “tripod” technique for each foot by establishing three points of contact on the ground: the heel, two ball points on the big toe, and the lower little toe. soles.

Spread your toes and stick these three points on the floor to create a solid foundation for lifting weights.

It’s a good idea to warm up your ankles well before exercising because lifting your heels during a squat is a sign of straining your ankle.

14. Don’t Do Squat Variations

Instead of just doing a single squat, cycle through dozens of other squat variations to target different muscles and avoid muscle adapting and failing to grow.

For example, switch from back squats to goblet squats for a few weeks to improve your core activation, strengthen your quads, and reduce stress on your lower back. To increase your squat weight, switch to Anderson Squats to develop your momentum from the bottom up and build pure strength.

15. Do not use the safety bar when squatting

If you squat in the Smith machine, always use the safety bars. Place them at a height directly below the bar when you reach the end of the squat. (If you set them too high, you’ll bang your barbell against the safety bars on each rep.)

Do not use the safety bar when Squat

That way, when you get too tired, you can put the barbell on the safety bars and get out from below. Avoid being crushed by weights.

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16. Only use the Smith machine to Squat

Squats should not be performed with only the Smith machine because it fixes your movement in a two-dimensional plane and the motion patterns are unnatural. It also stabilizes the weight on its own, preventing you from getting the full benefits of the squat. One of the reasons we squat is to force ourselves to stabilize the weight, this is a mistake when doing Squats in many people, especially women.

Squat with the Smith machine is like you are fooling yourself. Researchers from Canada found 43% more muscles were activated when squatting with Free Weight than when squatting with the Smith machine.

17. Use pads when lifting weights

You just need to avoid using it, adding spacers on the bar when squatting can help you reduce pain when lifting weights but it reduces your stamina and makes you look weaker.

Use pads when lifting weights

A lot of world records have been made without that pad, so if someone else can do it, you can too.

18. Wearing the wrong squat shoes

A common Squat mistake is almost easy to come across. When doing Squats you should do it with sturdy flats or squat shoes with heels.

Wearing the wrong squat shoes

Beginners often perform squats with weights in everyday sneakers or shoes not specifically designed for squats. This is often due to a lack of understanding of the importance of the right shoe when exercising or because of the convenience of having a single shoe that can be used for all forms of exercise.

However, it is important with squats that you create a solid base and any old shoes are not good enough as they are too unstable and will lead to unbalanced squats, joint pain and poor overall posture.

You have 3 solutions for you:

  • No shoes (walking barefoot)
  • Wear flats like Converse
  • Use squat shoes with heels

The goal should always be to help you feel in control and stable from the ankle down.

Check out the list of the best gym shoes here

19. Doesn’t start

Warming up before exercising is a basic must-know, but this is the most basic squat mistake many people make.

Many warm-ups are rushed, sloppy, or done in a way that doesn’t really prepare you for the real squat which can lead to any of the other mistakes listed in the article. This is like not reaching the desired depth, the knee turning inward, or leaning forward too much, simply because your muscles and joints are not working at their best.

A good warm-up includes warming up the body, working the joints involved in the squat, stretching as well as activating the appropriate muscles such as the quads, glutes, and core.


While there are many squat mistakes we can all make, the squat is a favorite exercise by many, and sometimes it’s because you feel satisfied when you really get to grips with your technique.

It’s important to keep a full record of your squat position, how your strength is progressing, and most importantly, how you feel during and after the exercise to address any issues that may arise. can hinder you.

It’s important to remember that mistakes are inevitable, and even if you’re not a great squatter today, these obstacles shouldn’t stop you from moving forward and working toward improvement. benevolent.

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