3 Key Squats Mistakes That Can Hamper Your Gain and Cause Injury

Both men and women use squats to build up strong legs. This is a fact that is well-known to Jeremy Ethier, a professional fitness trainer and kinesiologist, who is also the founder of Built with Science.

Jeremy Ethier, the founder of Built with Science, doing squats with weights
3 Key Squats Mistakes That Can Hamper Your Gain and Cause Injury

While the exercise seems simple, when done incorrectly, it can lead to a number of injuries and hold back an individual’s development. According to Ethier, most lifters commit the following three mistakes.

Getting Too Low Can Cause Disc Injuries

1: The Butt Wink

The “Butt Wink” is a term that describes a position in which lifters are getting too close to the bottom of their squat. This position causes their pelvis to posteriorly tilt, which tucks the tailbone and causes pressure in the lumbar spine. This is a common mistake that is associated with spinal disc injuries.

A split picture of the wrong and right way to perform The Butt Wink
3 Key Squats Mistakes That Can Hamper Your Gain and Cause Injury

2: Good Morning Squat

The “Good Morning Squat” is an incorrect motion of the body, which causes the hips to shoot up and rise at a much higher speed than the chest. This is a problem because it increases the lumbar forces and subjects the spine to elevated levels of stress.

Lifters can combat this by making sure their chest is upright during the ascent of the movement. They should also focus on stopping their hips from shooting up when fatigue comes to light during later sets.

Other options are to lighten the weight or incorporate paused squats, which will allow the quadriceps to do the hard work, instead of the glutes and lower back.

Use a Different Breathing Technique During Squats

3: Poor Breathing

In general, people breathe in on their way down and breathe out on their way up. This technique is fine for most exercises, but when it comes to squats it can do more harm than good.

Guy showing how to do squats properly
3 Key Squats Mistakes That Can Hamper Your Gain and Cause Injury

Instead, lifters must use a technique that increases their intra-abdominal pressure. They must take a big breath into their abdomen and brace their core, as they descend and ascend. Once at the top position, they must exhale, take a new breath, and repeat.

Now that you know which mistakes to avoid during squats, you will be able to exercise your legs without the risk of injury.