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Squats are one of the most common CrossFit exercises. They are easy to do but hard to master. If a squat is performed incorrectly it can lead to injuries plus wear and tear in the long term. On the other hand if squats are performed correctly the results are phenomenal, especially for the quads and glutes. This article is going to look at 5 of the most common CrossFit squat mistakes. Try to recognize which of these mistakes you perform and correct it ASAP so that you can reap the benefits of squats!
Mistake 1: Knees Over Toes
Knees over the toes when the squat begins is probably the most common CrossFit squat mistake. This leads to smaller knee muscles being activated rather than the larger leg muscles and it can cause injuries and knee issues. Instead of allowing the knees to move forward on the descent, the CrossFitter needs to think about bringing their hips and glutes back so that the shins are practically vertical.
Mistake 2: Shallow Squats
CrossFitters say that maximum depth leads to maximum gains. However most CrossFitters don’t go as low as they should go. This could be due to lack of confidence or poor training. Squats should go as low as possible – ‘ass to grass’. The aim is to squat below knee height every time.
Mistake 3: Dropped Knees
Anything can happen when you are lifting a heavy weight. Your mind tends to think about everything other than the position of your knees. Especially because you are not squatting in front of a mirror you, can’t see what your knees are doing. A common mistake people make is to allow their knees to buckle inwards when they are coming back up from a squat. This puts weight on the smaller muscles rather than in the larger leg muscles. The best way to correct this is by always remember to pull your knees out further than normal.
Mistake 4: Back Curve
A curved back is very common among CrossFit first timers. The weight on the shoulders tends to encourage people to curve their backs. This can be quite dangerous as it can lead to a slipped disk. A CrossFitter wants to keep their back straight throughout the whole movement. Not overarched, just straight. The best way to do this is by initiating your core throughout the whole squat.
Mistake 5: Weight on the Toes
Many people tend to lean forwards in their squat, putting weight in the toes rather than in the heels. The toes do not provide the balance needed to perform the perfect squat. It also puts pressure on those small knee muscles and the lower back. One way to improve this mistake is by slightly elevating the toes or by having someone spot you.