Squats 101: How Low Should You Go?

There are some key laws to live by when dissecting the squat, though, as established by the American College of Sports Medicine.

  • Your feet and ankles should be flat and stable while the heels never leave contact with the ground.
  • Your knees should be aligned with your hips and feet. Your knees shouldn't collapse in or bow outward at any point of the movement.
  • Your hip joint should remain stable with no shifting or dipping right or left. Hips should stay aligned with the knees.
  • Your lumbar spine (lower back) should stay neutral and stable throughout the movement. No flexion or extension should occur.
  • Your thoracic spine (upper back) should remain neutral and stable. Your shoulder blades should be retracted down and back.
  • Your head should remain straight inline with your shoulders. Look straight ahead.

Keeping proper form during the squat is a key component to both safety and effectiveness of the exercise. Before adding any weight, ensure mastery in the movement is obtained, as this will help you progress faster in the long run.

More: 6 Ways You're Doing Squats Wrong

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About the Author

Jake Bernards

Jake Bernards is a PhD student studying Sport Physiology and Performance at East Tennessee State. As a former collegiate football player, sports and movement are a way of life for Jake. He enjoys anything outdoors, including surfing, hiking and golf.
Jake Bernards is a PhD student studying Sport Physiology and Performance at East Tennessee State. As a former collegiate football player, sports and movement are a way of life for Jake. He enjoys anything outdoors, including surfing, hiking and golf.

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