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Bad Squat Technique – The Hunch Back Squatter

The barbell squat can be an extremely complicated and difficult exercise to get the hang of, especially if you are new to working out.

Unfortunately, it is perhaps one of the best muscle and strength building exercises out there and should be included in every workout program.

Luckily, this article will discuss the proper form for the barbell squat and how to avoid one of the most common mistakes – the hunch back.

So read on to learn how to improve your squat technique and straighten out that back!

To squat correctly, you need to first understand that the bar should move in a linear fashion under control. You should never be swaying back and forth or rolling the bar higher or lower on your back during the lift.

To start, you should load the bar with an appropriate amount of weight (especially if you are new to lifting or haven’t quite got the technique yet). I cannot stress this enough! Loading the bar with too much weight while using poor form is a recipe for disaster. Ideally, you should be practicing with just the bar to learn proper form – don’t be afraid to do this!

Once you have the weight on, you’ll want to place your hands approximately shoulder width apart on the bar. Swing underneath the bar and place it on your traps or upper back. The bar placement will differ between individuals, and it is largely a matter of comfort.

Slowly unrack the weight and back up into the squat rack. Now, to avoid hunching over while you lower the weight it is critical that you keep your abdominals tight and your lower back as straight as possible.

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A great way to do this is to stick your butt out as far as possible before you lower the weight. Doing this will ensure that your chest stays upright and your abdominals are tight throughout the lift. 

Lower the weight and make sure your knees come behind your toes and stay perpendicular to the ground – do not bow your knees inwards as this results in a loss of power and has the potential to cause injury. Sit back into the lift (stay on your heels) and lower the weight until your knees and hip joint are in a straight line. Explode the weight upwards, keeping your knees perpendicular and your core muscles tight.

If you still find yourself hunching over during the squat, you can perform some isolation exercises in addition to practicing your technique. The following exercises are designed to strengthen your core and your lower back so that you remain upright during your squats.

Try performing: weighted back extensions, abdominal planks, pullups, rows, hanging leg raises, medicine ball twists, and situps. You will probably find that increasing the strength of your stabilizing muscles will help you straighten out during the movement.

As you can see, the squat is a complicated exercise. You should watch as many video explanations of the barbell squat as possible to avoid hunching over. The more you learn and the more your practice the better you will get. Be patient, work hard, and be consistent – the results will come!

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