If you are trying to build up your legs, the likelihood is that you have been utilizing the squat rack to help you to build your quadriceps, calves, glutes, and hamstrings, while also building strength in the lower back. However, the squat rack can be a dangerous piece of equipment if you are not using it properly, damaging your back, knees, and hips. Moreover, not using the equipment correctly means you are not giving your body the full workout it deserves. Making sure you technique is correct is vital. Despite this, many men tend to repeatedly make the same mistakes when using the squat rack.
1. Not squatting deep enough
When people squat, they tend to squat until their hips are parallel with their knees. This is due to balance and people feel that with a large weight on their back, squatting deeper will be difficult and unsuccessful. However, when you squat all the way down, with your buttocks to your heels, you ask the body to train different muscles. The lower you go, the more advantage you are taking of your glutes and your calves. You will feel the difference in tension as your hips dip lower than your knees.
2. Letting your knees collapse inwards
It can be tempting to point the knees inwards when you squat, as this helps to create a more tense frame. Nonetheless, doing this puts massive amounts of stress on the knees, which can damage the cartiledge, as well as increasing the chances that your knees will snap under the weight of the bar. You knees should always be pointing your toes. If you struggle with this, place a band around your knees as this will force you to hold it up with tension, preventing you from pulling your knees in.
3. Knees over toes
It is extremely important when squatting that your knees never go over your toes. You should be able to see your toes at all times, as your back should be straight. If your knees are too far forward, you are taking the strain on your shoulders and back, rather than letting your core and legs do the work. If you are too far forward, you will also put excessive strain on the knees.
4. Weak ankles
As men, we like to tone our bigger muscles, like our biceps and quads. The problem with this is that they are supported by the smaller muscles. In squats, ankle flexibility and strength is key to preventing your knees going over your toes, and being able to take the weight without rounding your back. You should be doing exercises to strengthen and flex your ankles, to allow for the necessary mobility.
5. Breathing incorrectly
Many people start to breathe in as they squat. This is not the way it should be. You need to take a deep breath into your belly before you start you squat. By taking the air into your belly, you create a solid frame to help lift the load down. It creates tension in the body to help sturdiness. Breathe out as you come up to help thrust the bar upward.
If you are trying to build your legs quickly, do not fall victim to trying to lift too heavy weights too often. This won’t build muscle quickly, it will damage it as the heaviness will cause tears in the muscle. Without significant rest time, this will heighten the chance of worse injury. However, a regular routine combined with a supplement like Deer Antler Maximum Strength will help to build the strength in your legs without causing muscle damage.