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How to Improve Your Squat

Squats are a foundational functional movement that is a staple in most workout programs and it is also a very important movement for life. However, it is a complex movement that requires a great deal of both mobility and stability. If you are lacking in either area, it can lead to compensation patterns in your squat. These compensations can lead to not being able to lift heavier weight or potentially even lead to injury. In this blog, we will outline 4 common compensations patterns and teach you ways to self assess why it is happening and what to do to fix it.

1. Butt Wink

The butt wink occurs when the pelvis posteriorly rotates as you near the bottom of a squat. This causes a rounding of the lower back, which can lead to increased forces through the spine. There are a few reasons this compensation can occur, but a lack of ankle mobility is a very common cause. Check out my previous blog about the butt wink to learn about the specifics as to why ankle mobility is important. Watch the video below to learn how you can self assess your ankle mobility and what exercises you can do to improve your butt wink.

2. Lateral Shift

A lateral shift occurs when your hips shift to one side either as you descend or ascend in the squat. This shift can lead to decreased force output or put greater stress through one leg. Along with limitations in ankle mobility (see previous video for ankle mobility assessment), discrepancies in hip mobility between the right and left can potentially lead to a lateral shift occurring. Check out the video to learn how to self assess your hip mobility and what you can do to improve it.

3. Stripper/Good Morning Fault

The stripper or good morning fault occurs when you hips rise faster than your torso as you come out of the bottom of the squat. This fault, like the butt wink, can place increased force/stress through the lower back leading to pain or injury. One common cause of this fault is a lack of core stability, the following video will provide a self assessment for core stability and provide you with exercises to a help address this fault.

4. Rotational Fault

A rotational fault during the squat happens when you experience a twist in your torso, this may occur on either the ascent of descent of the squat. There are a number of different reasons that a rotational faulty may occur, but a common cause on the ascent of the squat is a discrepancy in glute strength. Check out the final video for the self assessment and corrective exercises for a rotational fault due to a discrepancy in glute strength.

Wrapping Up

I hope that you find these videos useful in helping you improve your squat and overcome 4 of the most common compensations patterns. Keep in mind that there are often multiple reasons a single compensation can occur and we only briefly look the most common cause for each fault. If you have identified that you have one of the faults, but you pass the self assessments reach out to us today for a full evaluation to determine the exact cause of your compensation.


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