July 17, 2020 4 min read
Squats are an essential part of weightlifting and should be a part of your workout routine in some fashion. Squats are vital because they don’t just strengthen your legs but your entire body, which is why you should never skip leg day. However, squats are probably one of the hardest workouts you can do, and it can be easy to not do them correctly. For some guidance, use these tips for improving your back squat and do them the right way.
Whenever you are looking to improve your form with strength training, it’s best that you lower the amount of weight you use at first. This way, you can take it slow and truly perfect your form without injuring yourself because it might feel drastically different from what you are used to. To go one step further, you can also just use the barbell at first without any weight at all to get a good feel for how your squat should be as a warmup before you add more plates.
In addition to starting with a lower weight, you should also have a spotter. This way, you can have someone who can safety catch you if you can’t get the weight back up. It’s even better when a spotter is a personal trainer too so they can guide you through it and let you know how you’re doing.
The key to the perfect squat is to get low, a common mistake many people tend to make in the gym. When you are doing back squats, you should be trying to get lower than 90 degrees. While it will certainly be more difficult, you will be using more muscle which leads to better results.
As you squat, a great way to keep your balance and get yourself back up is to look up. While you should be glancing at a mirror to see how your form is too, focus is vital in fitness, and looking up during your squat is an effective method to try.
If you find that you are struggling to get low enough, add a box. To do a box squat, you can either use one for box jumps or grab a bench and place it behind you. Then, when you hit the bench or box, you will see how low you should be getting because you will be hitting that 90 degrees.
Another common squat mistake that you could be making is what you wear on your feet. Instead of wearing running shoes with curved bottoms, you should wear ones that are flat. Your footwear can have a much bigger impact on your squat than you may realize.
However, another option you have is to not wear any shoes during your squat at all. Training barefoot or in socks can improve your mobility and strengthen your ankles. Not wearing any shoes can also make a squat a bit easier and allow you to reach the depth you are looking for.
Besides what you wear on your feet, our next tip for improving your back squat is to be conscious about your foot position. For starters, your feet should always be facing straight ahead with your heels firmly planted on the ground. As far as where your toes should be, them facing out can get you to a deeper squat while having your toes straight ahead allows you to lift more—so it’s all about your preference. Your feet should also be aligned with where your hands are to work as many muscles as possible.
To better your back-squat form and get an idea for where your feet should be, you will also need to adjust your grip. On a barbell, there are generally markings for where you should place your hands. For back squats, your index finger should be at the first mark from the inside out that will be smooth. It’s also important that you tighten your grip to have better form as well.
There are also several workouts you can do beyond leg work that can help with your squats. One of the best kinds of workouts you can do is any exercise that strengthens your core because it is a large component of back squats. Planks, curls ups, and toe touches are just some of the workouts you can try to improve your core. During a squat, you can help your core out by taking a deep breath before you go down for a squat.
Another part of your body that plays a large role in your back squats is your hips. If your hips aren’t where they should be, then this can impact your back squat because you will fall forward. Incorporating other workouts like deadlifts and kettlebell swings can be great for building up your hips and improving your flexibility for a better squat.
Something else that can help with your back squat form is to wear a weightlifting belt. A reason why so many people tend to wear a belt for when they squat is because it can give you more support and prevent injury. However, you will usually only need to wear a belt if you are putting your form to the test with more weight than you are used to, but it can help because a potential injury can really set you back.
Leg day is one of the hardest parts of a weekly workout routine, but they are completely necessary. Whenever you are trying to improve on something, you can do so by practicing it more often – and the same goes for squats. So, add an extra leg day to your regular workout to reach and exceed your fitness goals.
Getting on a squat rack and taking the time to perfect your form can be difficult at a local gym. That is why a much better alternative to see yourself progress is to set up a gym of your own at home. For the ultimate home gym set up for squats, you are going to need a rack, a barbell, and other accessories for back squats and more. You can find all the strength training equipment for home you need at Top Fitness Store by browsing our collection today.
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