The Back Squat. One of the most quintessential lifts in the world that is widely scrutinized in many circles, but why? Squatting has more benefits than an AARP card and helps build a great foundation for any sport you might be training for. Why all the criticism then? What has given the Back Squat such a bad rep? A large portion of this is YOUR fault! Well maybe not all of you...but definitely that of the unfortunate individuals pictured below. Poor form and the copious injuries that result are what have thrown squatting towards the dark side of popular opinion.
Check out these squatting cautionary tails and always remember:
- Chest up
- Knees out
- Weight in the heels
- Ass to the grass
Worst Squat Form #1: The Desk jockey
Good form starts outside the gym. Your mom used to yell at you for it all the time but now it's actually starting to effect things you want to do, making it important. Sit up straight! Pull those shoulders back! If you look like this while sitting in your cubicle/desk all day you're never going to be able to back squat a house.
Worst Squat Form #2: The Granny Chaser
Once you get to the gym it's time to warm up. Contrary to Iverson's logic, you're going to play like you practice in the weight-room so make sure you do it right. Back straight, shoulders back, and get low!
Worst Squat Form #3: The Hobbit
Great practice for your Gollum impersonation, Not for Back Squat.
Worst Squat Form #4: The Inverted Idiot
Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should...
Worst Squat Form #5: The Abstract Set Up
Now that you're warmed up, let's make sure the squat rack is setup properly.
Worst Squat Form #6: The Miley
Approach the bar with confidence and a dose of swagger. Know you're going to hit the weight and get set before lifting off. When you walk the bar back from the rack to get set, stand tall and avoid the urge to start from a "Twerk-Stance"... No matter how tempting. Your lower back will thank you once you add that weight on.
Worst Squat Form #7: The Swooping Citizen
If you want a spotter, make sure you setup with one before lifting. If you don't want a spotter, you still might get one. The gentleman lifting is doing alright until this blue-shirted bro comes swooping in towards the end and throws him off. The rack is there for a reason kids... Make sure someone asks for help before you come running in to save the day. Read through the comments on the video for more comical relief.
Worst Squat Form #8: The Toesey Tom
No matter how good it might make your calves look, keep your heels on the ground. Tip-toe squats don't make you look cool no matter what that mirror you're staring into tells you.
Worst Squat Form #9: The Socialite
Speaking of where you're looking... Lock onto a spot straight ahead. If you're recording your set with a camera you don't get extra points for looking at the lens. Keep those eyes forward and avoid the urge to "Sup?!" the cute girl/guy next to you during a set.
Worst Squat Form #10: The Bosu Ball Blunder
Bosu Balls, great for balance, even better for creating one of the most spectacular injury prone situations when a loaded barbell is added in. Remember kids, when someone tries to get you to jump on a ballon with heavy weights on your back, JUST SAY NO.
Worst Squat Form #11: The Pac Man
Once you begin to make your descent to lower body glory it's important to remember to NOT listen to Finatticz and DROP THAT THUN THUN THUN! Your back should never be used to get the bar lower and especially not used as the FIRST thing that is lowered. Glutes are the key to Glory kids, don't forget it.
Worst Squat Form #12: The Boston Strangler
Hand position can also help with the overall comfort while lowering that load. Hands too wide and you run the risk of crushing your hands during the re-rack. Hands too close and you're going to pull that bar so hard into your neck that your teeth will pop out of your head.
Worst Squat Form #13: The Dumper
Once you hit the bottom, explode up! And yes, there is such thing as too low...
Worst Squat Form #14: Ghost Ride the Rack
"Look Ma, No hands!" should be a phrase best kept in rap songs, not the weight-room.
Worst Squat Form #15: The Gizmo
It's like a car crash... you just can't stop staring.
Worst Squat Form #16: The Toe Reacher
I don't care how many calf raises you do, they're never going to be able to lift as much weight as the rest of your lower body. Power through the heels and engage glutes. Remember, Glutes are Glory.
Worst Squat Form #17: You Call It
*Caption this below in the Comments...*
Worst Squat Form #18: Looking into the Grand Canyon
You're finally on your way up... STOP LOOKING DOWN! Keep that gaze locked in straight ahead!
Worst Squat Form #19: Lean with it, Rock with it
Keep your effort balanced and don't try to push on a "strong leg". This guy shows us another important point, when you know you're getting photographed, look as ridiculous as possible.
Worst Squat Form #20: Oh Balls
Case #2 against the bosu ball squat trend - When someone tries to tell you about a new form of the back squat that they heard will get you even stronger, they're probably wrong and it will likely end in you hurting yourself.
Worst Squat Form #21: Glute Glorification
After you finish make sure to take care of your body. Eat, Sleep, and Stretch Out so that next week you can do it all over again.