Today I’ll be giving you 5 tips to improve your squat technique.

Squats are a great form of exercise if done well. 

Not everyone realises how important it is to have good posture when squatting. It helps protect our back and work the correct muscles.

I see many people performing their squats in poor posture, which just keeps reinforcing our poor postural habits.

There is also an assumption that you are working the glutes when squatting. This is not always the case. When the body is not in the correct alignment the glutes sometimes don’t even switch on. Tucking your butt in squats is a common cause of glutes not firing.

Tucking your butt in squats is a common cause of glutes not firing.

Learn more about tucking your butt from last weeks ‘Mondays on the Mat – Do you tuck your butt?

To see me demo and discuss the 5 tips watch this Facebook live video I did recently, plus read the tips below.

I’d be super grateful if you could share this video or post with anyone you know who can benefit from these tips. 

5 Tips to perfect your squat technique 

1. Align your knees with the 2nd toe
– If you want keep healthy knees, be sure to watch where they track. As a general rule (sometimes people may vary deepening on their body type, flexibility etc) if the knee cap follows the same line as your second toe you will be ok.   
Always make sure your knee is the one you take care of first. If it cannot follow the line of he second toe, by further opening or closing from the hip, adjust your foot to match the knee alignment. TwEATABLE 

‘were the toe goes the knee must follow, if it can’t adjust the toes to match the knee’

2. Shift your body weight back into your heels 
– If we send all our weight into the front of the legs it will be hard to get a good squat alignment. You won’t be able to go as low and it is more challenging to hold a neutral spine. Shifting your weight backwards into the heels will help you hinge properly at the hips, keep good neutral alignment of the spine and also help to activate your glutes. You may also feel less pain or tension in the knees if you keep some weight in your heels. Have the image of sitting back into a chair. 

3. Keep neutral spine
Neutral spine means keeping the natural curves of the spine. I often see clients doing the opposite in their squat technique, rounding their lower and upper back. This often happens if there is tightness in the the back of the body, also hips, hamstrings and or calves. You also need to have strong core/lower back muscles to hold the neutral position. Keeping the tailbone reaching up enough to avoid tucking the butt, at the same time avoiding arching the back too mucho you lose your core connection.  

4. Keep your chest up
– Sometimes I see the chest coming too far down when people squat. It can happen when we are trying to do a low squat, the chest can come down too low, this often reinforces a round lower back as well.
Ideally your standing posture doesn’t change from the moment you are standing to the moment you are at the end range of your squat. The head to tail connection just moves as one block, you are then just hinging at the hip joint and keeping neutral spine.

5. Keep your chest open.
– Often we forget about our shoulders and chest in a squat. Many people round their shoulders and cave in their chest. Remember the back of the body, open your chest and keep good posture throughout your body.  This is far easier when we keep neutral spine. The rounded chest and shoulders and upper back often happens when we have a rounded lower back. 

Let me know if this was helpful in the comments below.

I’d love to hear from you! 

Lots of Love 

Em xo

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