1.Squatting too heavy
In every gym, there are at least a few guys who perform knee bends and call them real squats. This is wrong. The only thing that you will get from this practice is knee pain. It’s better to squat with less weight and do full range of motion repetitions than play around with big weights and do 1/4 reps.
2.Squatting without competent spotters or a power rack/squat cage
The squat is a dangerous exercise that requires competent spotters or a power cage. It’s advisable to avoid solo squatting without a power rack.
3.Squatting in front of a mirror
Squatting in front of a mirror is distractive and counter-productive. You need to develop awareness without looking in the mirror. Have you ever seen a sprinter who looks in a mirror to check his form? Exactly.
4.Squatting after deadlifts
One of the worst things that you can do for your back is to squat after deadlifts. The deadlift fatigues the lower back tremendously and going for heavy squats afterward is not a good idea. There’s a reason why the deadlift is done last in powerlifting competitions.
5.Squatting with running shoes
Running shoes don’t work for squats. You want stable shoes. Shifting from side to side is dangerous for your knees and ankles. Of course, similar instability has an effect on the spine too. If you want to know more about squat shoes, check out this post.
6.Squatting with the knees and toes pointing in different directions
People often disrespect basic biomechanics and squat with the knees and toes pointing in different directions. This is the fastest way to tear knee ligaments. The strain on the knee joint when you do similar moves is super high.
7.Squatting with the “pussy pad”
Many gyms offer a special squat bar that comes with cushioning that people rightfully describe as the “pussy pad”.
There are two major problems with the pussy pad. First, it makes the bar more unstable. Second, the bar sits higher. As a result, there’s more stress on the lower back. If you need some cushioning, just wear two T-shirts when you squat. Make sure that the T-shirts are not made out of slippery artificial material.
8.Squatting to failure
Squatting to failure is counter-productive and unnecessary. Always keep a rep in the bank. You don’t want to be teaching your body how to miss reps, but rather how to succeed.
9.Squatting without collars on the barbell
If there are no collars, the plates may slide and affect the distribution of the weight. If you are squatting really heavy, the plates may even fall off and cause a wreck.
10.Not warming up properly
The goal of warming up is to prepare you for what’s coming next. However, most people do it wrong. They either do too much or too little. It’s not uncommon to see people do just a couple of reps with the bar and jump to the work sets. On the other hand, some do the exact opposite – an endless amount of reps. As a result, the work sets are harder. The key is moderation.
11.Learning how to squat only from books
You can’t learn how to squat properly just from books. You need videos and personal experience to achieve the perfect squat form. You can definitely do it without a coach sitting next to you, but just reading about proper form ain’t gonna cut it.
12.Squatting without the proper hip drive
Learning how to use your hips when you squat is essential. By implementing the so-called hip drive, you will protect your knees by activating the hamstrings. As a bonus, you will also lift more weight. If you need more information on this topic, consult this article.