Why Squatting Gives You Life
To get one thing out of the way: One of the biggest squatting mistakes is not to do squats. It really can't be said enough that squats are one of the single most productive exercises that anyone, at any level of physical fitness, age, or weight can do. Ranging from the untrained elderly to peak Olympic performers, aspects such as weight amount,and positioning of bar grip may change. But the fundamentals of the squat remain the same. The squat is our single greatest weapon in the fight against gravity.
There are problems to watch out for, however. As with any exercise, form errors can lead to injury and reduced performance. The squat in particular can be prone to these because the exercise engages your entire body, and when done correctly, will not have a machine to guide you through the motion. If you're a first time squatter or otherwise inexperienced, this is one exercise you need to study up on, or have a friend help you correct. Seeing as to how it's the most important form of strength training, a good form will last you a life time of better health and help avoid squatting mistakes.
Form Mistakes to Avoid:
- Squatting high. The purpose of the squat is to work your legs and your core, which are two areas of the body that can produce the most explosive amount of strength when properly trained. When you aren't using correct form and squatting low enough, you aren't getting the full and intended range of the exercise. You also have a higher chance of damaging your knees by putting too much pressure on them. Squat low for success.
- Putting weight on the front of your feet. It's not uncommon for squatters to lift their heels as they lower their body, but that action can put more stress on your knees and make your overall squat harder to accomplish. This is one of the primary reasons that flat shoes are recommended; you will have a constant reminder to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground through all parts of the squat. Avoid these squatting mistakes, because it can cause you undue injury.
- Relying on Smith Machines. Another mistake that first time lifters make is relying on machines in general, but for weighted squatting, a Smith Machine can be an even bigger impediment. The Smith Machine works by bringing the weight directly down, and then directly up, all on a guided rail system. While it does keep you safe from the weight falling on you, it doesn't help you to build your core strength, which can come from actually stabilizing your own body. It's also not the natural motion for squatting. Au naturale is best.