Fixing The Squat

There are few movements with as much benefit and global reach as the squat.

Sometimes, technique corrections are not sufficient in resolving poor movement. Let's look at the musculo-skeletal issues which may jeopardise your squat and how to fix them. This is not the forum for technique correction - in this medium that is nigh impossible. This is however an appropriate way of remedying the imbalances and deficiencies affecting movement.

There follows a three step model in movement correction:

  1. Assessment of movement to determine the technique fault.
  2. Identification of musculo-skeletal factors causing the fault.
  3. Correction of these factors to allow safe, efficient and powerful movement.


FAULT ONE: posterior rotation of the pelvis at the bottom of the squat, AKA: lower back rounds and hips tuck under.


Inhibition of anterior pelvic rotators.
Tightness of posterior pelvic rotators.


Standing leg swings (anterior-posterior) with neutral pelvis (2 x 10 each leg).

Seated pelvic tilts – emphasising erector spinae activation to create anterior tilt (20 tilts).


FAULT TWO: Medial rotation and adduction of the femur, AKA: knees fall inwards.


Tightness of medial rotators and adductors.
Weakness of lateral rotators and abductors.


Standing leg swings (medio-lateral) with neutral pelvis (2 x 10 each leg).

Lower into bottom of squat, anteriorly rotate the pelvis and force knees out (without touching them with hands) (2 x 20 second holds).


FAULT THREE: Lack of both thoracic extension and shoulder flexion, AKA: upper back rounds forward and shoulders roll in.


Tightness of thoracic spine.
Tightness of shoulder extensors.


Passive thoracic extension (2 x 20 second holds)

Dislocates (10)


If your movement is imperfect, throw these exercises into your routine. They are specifically useful in warming up for the squat - remedying the deficiencies before they have the chance to occur.

Dan Williams's picture

Dan Williams

Dan Williams is the Founder and Director of Range of Motion. He is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Exercise Scientist with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science. Dan is a CrossFit Coach (at CF Games Level) and four time CrossFit Regionals Athlete.