10 Common Squat Mistakes and How to Fix Them. Part 1.
1. Failing to activate and use your glutes. The glutes are not only one of the largest and strongest muscle groups in the body, but also one of the most ignored. Most people lack a good mind-muscle connection with their glutes, and thus fail to use their glutes to their fullest potential while lifting. Imagine this: If you are not making use of one of the largest and strongest muscle groups in your body, how much of your true strength potential are you missing out on? In addition to helping you add pounds to your total, strong glutes can protect other body parts from injury. When the glutes are weak or inactive, nearby muscles, such as the erector spinae and hip flexors (especially the iliopsoas) will try to compensate by working overtime. Strengthening and properly activating your glutes during squats can save you from some common lifting injuries: Back Pain, Tight/Painful Hip Flexors, Hamstring Strains, Patellar Tendinitis and other knee pain. Activating your glutes during your warm up is one of the easiest ways to address this problem. Try this warm up on your next squat day!
2. Wasting too much energy on your walkout. Too often the value of a good set up is lost in a rush to get under the bar and perform the squat. A good set up will consist of a few short, simple steps:
Set the bar in the correct place on your back (for low bar: across the rear delts just below the spine of the scapula--and directly across the grip on your BarGrip shirt, of course!)
With feet hip width apart under the bar, take a deep belly breath to brace the core, and extend the hips to lift the bar out of the rack.
Take 2 or 3 steps back: 1 small, controlled step back (with each foot if necessary), and a 3rd step to set the trailing foot in squat position.