Letting Your Knees Fall In A combination of wide hips and weak inner and outer thighs makes this mistake pretty much ubiquitous among women....
Letting Your Knees Fall In
A combination of wide hips and weak inner and outer thighs makes this mistake pretty much ubiquitous among women. Unfortunately, when your knees move in toward each other during a squat, it can put undue pressure on your knee ligaments, resulting in injury, says exercise physiologist Marta Montenegro, C.S.C.S. But correcting this mistake isn’t as simple as willing your knees into place. You need to strengthen your inner and (especially) outer thighs, she says. Lateral band walks are a great way to do just that.
Not Lowering to 90 Degrees
If you don’t complete the exercise through its full range of motion—all the way down until your thighbone is parallel with the floor—you won’t fully engage your glutes and the upper part of your hamstrings, says Montenegro. Basically, you won’t get a better butt. To train your body to complete the entire move, try practicing some squats in front of a knee-high box or step. Lower your body until your butt just barely touches the box, and then push back up.Arching Your Back
Your back naturally has a slight “S” to it. If you don’t have enough lower back strength—and many women don’t—it’s easy to add some extra arch while squatting. The problem: That dumps the weight into your lower back and means you risk injury, says Montenegro. To shore up your lower-back strength, try performing this dumbbell straight-leg deadlift.
Doing the Same Squat Over and Over
If you aren’t regularly switching up your foot positions, you aren’t taking advantage of what a versatile exercise the squat really is, says Montenegro. For instance, if you stand with your feet closer than shoulder-width apart, you’ll target your glutes. Take a wide stance, and you’ll work those hard-to-tone inner thighs. Move one leg forward a bit, and your booty will burn. Interested? Here are seven squat variations you NEED to try.