Correct Squatting Form?

Okay, so I was at the gym this morning. I was setting up at the squat rack, getting my lower body workout on, when the lady in the rack next to me walks up and tells me that my form is all wrong, and that I'm squatting totally incorrectly. So, I had already noticed her because of the way that she was squatting - with her feet very far in front of her body and leaning back into the rack rather than coming down directly over her feet - and I didn't really think her form was what I should be modeling. I just stated that I wanted to squat as though I wasn't using the machine, so that if I ever did get an opportunity to squat with free weights my balance wouldn't be off terribly. But she basically ignored that, and went on to tell me that I needed to stop doing it or I was going to hurt myself. I nodded and went back to what I was doing, but it really irritated me. I've done a bit of research into correct form, and I've even had people compliment me on my form. Obviously I'm still new to this, so I could be wrong, but I really don't feel she was correct in her assertion. Can anyone give me any pictures, videos or pointers on what exactly is perfect squatting form using a weight machine?

Replies

  • ldwatene
    ldwatene Posts: 150 Member
    I could but honestly.. Quit the machine.

    There are so much more benefits in using a bar and weights.
  • skymningen
    skymningen Posts: 532 Member
    What type of machine are you using? There is a common thing going about smith machines, that you actually cannot do a squat in proper form with them. I don't know, my gym does not feature a smith machine.
    But here's that: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/1-exercise-you-should-never-do-5-you-should.html
    What they show there as an example of a smith machine squat is nowhere close to what I am doing with free weights (or would determine to be safe to do with free weights). But I am definitely not an expert, so with that said I leave the stage for the experts.
  • Mrsabror
    Mrsabror Posts: 41 Member
    edited August 2017
    ldwatene wrote: »
    I could but honestly.. Quit the machine.

    There are so much more benefits in using a bar and weights.

    I would, but it's what I have to work with at the moment, so I have to make do..
  • Mrsabror
    Mrsabror Posts: 41 Member
    skymningen wrote: »
    What type of machine are you using? There is a common thing going about smith machines, that you actually cannot do a squat in proper form with them. I don't know, my gym does not feature a smith machine.
    But here's that: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/1-exercise-you-should-never-do-5-you-should.html
    What they show there as an example of a smith machine squat is nowhere close to what I am doing with free weights (or would determine to be safe to do with free weights). But I am definitely not an expert, so with that said I leave the stage for the experts.

    That's it exactly! So am I not supposed to attempt a normal squat on that machine? Because that's what I've been doing. She looked exactly like the lady in the image, so I suppose she had correct form for the machine.
  • beerfoamy
    beerfoamy Posts: 1,523 Member
    I was told that when using the machine, my feet would need to be slightly forward of 'normal' squat position.

    My gym doesn't have an alternative to this machine that would allow me to safely put down the weight I squat. I cannot lift 39kg onto my back and replace safely onto the floor - that is why I use the Smith machine. I don't particularly like it and do BodyPump once or twice a week which allows 'proper' form.

    Hopefully as I get stronger arms and core I will be able to hoist the squat weights up and down better.
  • mndamon
    mndamon Posts: 547 Member
    beerfoamy wrote: »
    I was told that when using the machine, my feet would need to be slightly forward of 'normal' squat position.

    This is what I've read and been told as well. I notice when I set my feet ahead of the rest of my body it takes the stress off the knees. Obviously a squat rack is preferred but try stepping forward a little with light weight or just the bar until you feel like you're driving from your heels and you aren't feeling any stress on your knees.
  • mndamon
    mndamon Posts: 547 Member
    Or if they have dumbbells you could do squats with those. Either holding two dumbbells normally and squatting or holding one with both hands for a goblet squat.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,842 Member
    Mrsabror wrote: »
    Okay, so I was at the gym this morning. I was setting up at the squat rack, getting my lower body workout on, when the lady in the rack next to me walks up and tells me that my form is all wrong, and that I'm squatting totally incorrectly. So, I had already noticed her because of the way that she was squatting - with her feet very far in front of her body and leaning back into the rack rather than coming down directly over her feet - and I didn't really think her form was what I should be modeling. I just stated that I wanted to squat as though I wasn't using the machine, so that if I ever did get an opportunity to squat with free weights my balance wouldn't be off terribly. But she basically ignored that, and went on to tell me that I needed to stop doing it or I was going to hurt myself. I nodded and went back to what I was doing, but it really irritated me. I've done a bit of research into correct form, and I've even had people compliment me on my form. Obviously I'm still new to this, so I could be wrong, but I really don't feel she was correct in her assertion. Can anyone give me any pictures, videos or pointers on what exactly is perfect squatting form using a weight machine?

    don't listen to people in the gym when they solicit advice. And don't use the smith machine, which it sounds like you are using. You are better off bodyweight squatting rather than using the smith.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,842 Member
    beerfoamy wrote: »
    I was told that when using the machine, my feet would need to be slightly forward of 'normal' squat position.

    My gym doesn't have an alternative to this machine that would allow me to safely put down the weight I squat. I cannot lift 39kg onto my back and replace safely onto the floor - that is why I use the Smith machine. I don't particularly like it and do BodyPump once or twice a week which allows 'proper' form.

    Hopefully as I get stronger arms and core I will be able to hoist the squat weights up and down better.

    this is what squat racks are for.
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,282 Member
    I second the recommendation for doing goblet squats, or using two dumbbells or kettlebells in the rack position (which is basically the same position as front squat with the barbell), over the smith machine.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,831 Member
    edited August 2017
    mndamon wrote: »
    Or if they have dumbbells you could do squats with those. Either holding two dumbbells normally and squatting or holding one with both hands for a goblet squat.

    And the benefit of 2 is your grip gets stronger for the upcoming deadlift you'll be doing.
    The bad is the size of weight jumps is usually more than just 5 lbs total.

    The arm/hand placement can be a tad awkward too - sometimes benefits a real quad focused knee forward type squat.

    Is your smith machine the slanted, or straight up and down?
  • Mrsabror
    Mrsabror Posts: 41 Member
    Thanks for the advice, I think ill go with the dumbbell squats like y'all suggested!
  • Mrsabror
    Mrsabror Posts: 41 Member
    heybales wrote: »
    mndamon wrote: »
    Or if they have dumbbells you could do squats with those. Either holding two dumbbells normally and squatting or holding one with both hands for a goblet squat.

    And the benefit of 2 is your grip gets stronger for the upcoming deadlift you'll be doing.
    The bad is the size of weight jumps is usually more than just 5 lbs total.

    The arm/hand placement can be a tad awkward too - sometimes benefits a real quad focused knee forward type squat.

    Is your smith machine the slanted, or straight up and down?

    I believe it's the slanted.
  • DebLaBounty
    DebLaBounty Posts: 1,172 Member
    I started doing a BodyPump class, with lots of lunges and squats. After one class, another participant came over and told me that I had bad form. I thought, oh great, I've been wasting my time. I went up to the class instructor and asked her to watch how I did squats and she said I was doing them properly. I'd recommend you have one of the gym instructors look at what you're doing and perhaps disregard what the "helpful" person told you.
  • kimothy38
    kimothy38 Posts: 840 Member
    edited August 2017
    My trainer said this morning he was checking the cameras to see if the squat rack was free, and noticed someone doing squats with really good form, then realized a bit later that it was actually me. Awwwwwwww, thanks.
    I did a bit of research about squats and it seems to me that people do variations based on their ability and flexibility. There's no single right way.