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3 Big Squatting Mistakes You're Making That Aren't Letting Your Legs Grow

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Unless you are an 'everyday is an upper-body day' kind of a dude, you must be aware of the importance of squatting. It is one of the most fundamental exercises you can do for leg development. 

In this article, I will take you through the most common squatting mistakes or sins that I see people committing:

1. Not Bracing Your Core

An average gym enthusiast who is about to squat, just walks up to the squat rack, un-racks the bar and starts doing the up and down motion with the weight on his back. He will always remain average and never realize his true strength and potential unless he braces his core, or in layman terms, keeps his belly tight and full of air.

Big Squatting Mistakes You're Making That Aren't Letting Your Legs Grow© Tnation

Here`s how to do it:

Take a deep breath and fill as much air as you can in your belly. This will require additional effort and skill if you have never done it before. Another tip is to tighten your belly just like someone is about to punch you there. Hold your breath during the whole downward phase of squat and release only when coming up or when at the top. This technique enables you to squat more weight, hence more muscle. This will also make you more stable during the movement. 

2. Wrong Footwear

If you want to learn the best way to do squats, learn from the way power-lifters or weightlifters do it. The use of appropriate footwear is of utmost importance while doing squats. You will never see a powerlifter or weightlifter squatting in running shoes. So why should you? The problem with the commonly used running shoes for squatting is that they don`t let you remain close to the ground due to excessive cushioning and interfere in the force transfer from ground to the body. They are fine when you are doing bodyweight or lightweight squats but not when attempting 1-5 rep max.

Big Squatting Mistakes You're Making That Aren't Letting Your Legs Grow© Thinkstock Images

You have two options when it comes to optimal shoes for squatting.

First is any kind of flat sole shoes or sneakers. Just make sure their bottom is hard enough. The second option would be to buy proper weightlifting shoes. Don't let the name make you think that these shoes are just for weightlifters. These shoes have a solid base and an elevated heel which makes them good for anyone who wants to be more stable during heavy squatting and helps to hit more depth. 

3. Knee Sleeves To Cover Pain

Let me tell you one thing. Knee sleeves are a great training accessory for someone who indulges in any sort of exercises that puts direct stress on knees such as squats and lunges. I am calling them great because neoprene sleeves available in the market keep your knees warm and compressed during squatting and help with better blood flow to the area. There`s no harm wearing them.

Big Squatting Mistakes You're Making That Aren't Letting Your Legs Grow© Thinkstock Images

However, the problem arises when people start thinking of it as a training aid as a cure for knee pain. How many times have you seen people throwing unsolicited advice for wearing knee sleeves in case they have their knee troubling them?

If you have knee pain due to weight training, then you need to check your stretching, foam rolling or technique and not try to self medicate via pain relief ointments, painkillers or any kind of knee sleeves or braces.

You will be making the condition even worse by hiding and continuing to work out with it, without getting it cured.

Adopt the above squatting guidelines and you will see improvements in your squat poundages pretty soon. Share this with someone who you feel should be squatting the right way.

Daman Singh is an internationally certified sports Nutritionist and an athlete competes in Strongman and powerlifting without the aid of Anabolics .He also runs a YouTube channel named :- SIKHSPACK and you can follow him on Instagram and trains Drug free population .

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