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5 Reasons Your Squat Is Terrible

5 Reasons Your Squat Is Terrible

  1. Are you aware of the quality of your squat technique? 
  2. Do you experience problems with squatting? 
  3. Can you perform the movement with a full range of motion (ROM)? 
  4. How often do you practice squatting?

The squat is one of 7 fundamental human movements and it should be your mission to make sure your squat is NOT terrible. So many people butcher this movement and you can witness this take place in just about every run of the mill health club across the globe. Today I’m going to address 5 different reasons why your technique may not be up to speed.

Why Your Squat Is Terrible

1) Improper knee traction:

This is a common issue with people that tend to butcher the squat movement. As you descend into the movement you want to be aware of how your knees track as you lower yourself into the base of the movement. A clear indication of improper tracking is if you allow your knees to track towards the midline of your body where the knees drift inward.

This is also known as knee valgus and it can be caused by weak glutes and poor ankle mobility. It can also be caused by poor squat technique if you just happen to be unaware of how to execute the proper movement pattern for the squat. As you descend into the squat you track your knees slightly away from your midline.

A) Knee valgus                             B) Proper knee traction (away from midline)

2) Lack of ankle dorsiflexion: 

I mentioned how a lack of ankle mobility could also play a part in improper knee traction, but it can also hinder you when you try to perform a squat with a full ROM. If you can’t dorsiflex (imagine lifting your foot off the gas pedal) your ankle beyond 90 degrees then you’re not going to be able to squat with a full ROM.

3) Poor hip mobility:

One area that can be a huge restriction concerning your squat ROM is at your hips. Your groin, or adductors can be a huge factor in preventing you from settling into a full ROM. At the same time your groin could be weak.

To activate your adductors sit in a chair and place a soft medicine ball between your knees and squeeze for 5 seconds. Relax, rinse, and repeat for 10 rounds to strengthen your adductors.

If you’re tight then you can get into the saddle stretch to stretch your groin (adductors). For a more aggressive stretch you can use a weight such as a kettlebell to apply more passive resistance as I’m demonstrating here below.

4) You barbell back squat too soon

When it comes to most every barbell lift my students must earn the right to lift the barbell. Placing the bar on your back requires some technical know how and most people aren’t properly coached, or they’re not properly prepared before they make the leap to start squatting with the bar on their back.

If your squat is suffering, or you’re experiencing problems because you’re primarily performing the back squat I would recommend you come off the bar for a while and get your bodyweight squat dialed in.

5) You don’t goblet squat

One huge tool I use to train the squat pattern is the goblet squat. This movement is practical and forces the proper movement pattern. Because you must hold the weight at the front of your body it serves as a counter weight and helps you to settle down into the base of the movement increasing your ROM.

It also allows you accurately mark your ROM as ideally you want to squat to depth so that your elbows touch the insides of your knees. You must also brace your core midsection to stabilize and maintain a neutral spine. This movement will train your posture for the movement.

Why Your Squat Is Terrible: The Takeaway

If you’re experiencing problems with your squat movement then you want to be sure you have a handle on your technique and any restrictions you might have in your body that may be inhibiting you when you’re trying to perform the movement.

How is your squat technique? 

What issues are you experiencing with this movement? 

Post up and share below here in the comments 

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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