Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Squat Form: Leaning Forward

One of the most common mistakes for those new to lifting the squat is that they lean forward towards the bottom of the lift. This may be a genuine mistake in that they think they are squatting deeper but the truth is they could be causing themselves harm.

Leaning forward in the squat almost makes the lift into a good morning, this change in exercise half way through the lift, especially if using heavy weights, can be damaging for the following three reasons:

  • Added stress to the lower back
  • Higher risk of not keeping your back straight
  • Less usage of the hip muscles
The two main reasons that people end up leaning forward in the squat are that they either raise their hips quicker than their shoulders or do not bring the Glutes into play when carrying out the lift.

Either way the outcome is the same….bad form and a bad lift.

To combat this problem you can try lowering the weight you’re lifting and concentrating on your form. If you still have problems with the standard squat and you still lean forward with low weight why not try lifting with the front squat as its difficult to lean forward so much as you will lose balance.

Another little gem of information is that practice makes perfect, if you still have issues just take an empty bar and keep practicing….its all about perseverance.

The squat is probably the most important exercise for the legs so spending time getting the squat correct early on will ensure you get the most gains out of your leg workouts while keeping you safe from injury.