Why Are Squats So Hard? (24 Tips, Hints and Answers To Progress)

L J Kudos

Why Are Squats So Hard? (24 Tips, Hints and Answers To Progress)

Whether you are new to this exercise or have been doing it for some time, you might be wondering “why are squats so hard?”.

There are numerous reasons why this exercise and question crop up so often, as it’s a great compound movement, and theres a lot of mechanics involved to get it right.

How can you improve your squat and what are you doing wrong? The answers to these and more are below…

Why Are Squats So Hard? 

There are several reasons why squats may seem particularly difficult to some people. For one, squatting requires good hip and ankle mobility—if your hips and ankles are tight, it can be tough to achieve a proper squatting position. Additionally, the quads (thigh muscles) and glutes (buttocks muscles) are key players in the squat movement, so if you have weak quads and glutes, that can make squatting a challenge. Finally, many people simply lack the proper motor patterning and coordination to execute a proper squat—it’s a challenging movement, and it takes practice to get it right. Start off by doing them without any weight (body weight squats) and then progress to resistance bands or lighter weights once you feel comfortable. If you’re struggling with squats, don’t despair—keep at it, and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

Whether it’s a little tweak you need to adjust or a combination of things, let’s now take a look at some of the reasons squats might be so hard for you…

What are the Benefits?

Before we get into why they might be difficult, let’s first take a look at the benefits of squats.

When done correctly, you can expect increased strength and power in your lower body.

Improved mobility – One of the benefits of squats is that they can help to improve your hip and ankle mobility, which in turn can make it easier to achieve a proper squatting position.

Stronger bones – Another benefit of squats is that they can help to strengthen your bones. This is especially important for older adults, as bone loss is a common problem.

Reduced risk of injury – When done correctly, squats can help to reduce your risk of injuries. This is because they help to improve your balance and coordination while also strengthening the muscles and connective tissues around your joints.

Improved cardiovascular health – Finally, squats can also help to improve your cardiovascular health. This is because they raise your heart rate and get your blood flowing.

The primary muscles used in the exercise are as follows:

  • Quadriceps (front thighs)
  • Hamstrings (back of legs)
  • Glutes (buttocks)
  • Erector spinae (lower back)
  • Abdominals.

What are the Cons?

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of squats, let’s take a look at some of the potential drawbacks.

One of the biggest cons of squats is that they can be difficult to do correctly. This is because they require good form and technique to be effective and safe.

Additionally, if you have any joint problems or injuries, squats may not be the best exercise for you.

Another potential drawback of squats is that they can be hard on your knees. This is why it’s important to make sure that you use proper form when doing them.

If you have any knee problems or injuries, you should talk to your doctor before adding squats to your workout routine.

Finally, some people simply don’t like doing squats. This is because they can be challenging, which can make them less enjoyable than other exercises.

Related: Why Are Hack Squats So Hard? (Everything You Need To Know)

Joint Problems

As we touched on above, one of the potential drawbacks of squats is that they can be hard on your joints. This is why it’s important to make sure that you use proper form when doing them.

If you have any joint problems or injuries, you should talk to your doctor before adding squats to your workout routine.

Stretch and Warm Up First

Another important tip to remember when doing squats is to stretch and warm up first. This will help to improve your mobility and flexibility, which can make it easier to achieve a proper squatting position.

Additionally, warming up will help to reduce your risk of injuries.

why are squats so hard
Warming up is crucial before any kind of exercise

Start with Bodyweight Squats

If you’re new to squats, it’s important to start with bodyweight squats before progressing to weighted squats.

This will help you to master the proper form and technique before adding any additional weight.

Take Breaks as Needed

Another important tip is to take breaks as needed. If you start to feel fatigued or your form starts to suffer, take a break and rest for a few moments before

Lack of Mobility

If you can’t get into the correct position, then the whole movement is going to be compromised from the start.

This is why good mobility is key when squatting and why it’s often one of the first things that coaches will look at when trying to help someone with their technique.

Work on increasing your mobility, and you’ll find the whole movement becomes a lot easier.

Lack of Strength 

If you don’t have the required strength to execute a squat, then it’s going to be tough to do them correctly. This is why people new to lifting or exercise, in general, will find them difficult.

It can also be why more experienced lifters might miss a rep or two, as they are pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone. 

Knee Problems

A potential drawback of squats is that they can be hard on your knees. This is why it’s important to make sure that you use proper form when doing them.

If you have any knee problems or injuries, you should talk to your doctor before adding squats to your workout routine.

Weak Quads and Glutes 

If you have weak quads and glutes, this will make squatting more difficult. The quads and glutes are key muscle groups used in the squat movement, so it’s important to make sure they are strong.

One way to do this is by adding weighted squats to your routine. Start with a light weight and gradually increase the amount of weight you are squatting as your muscles get stronger.

Another way to work on your quads and glutes is by doing Quarterly Isolation Exercises such as leg presses, lunges, and step-ups.

Tight Hips and Ankles

If your hips and ankles are tight, it can make it difficult to achieve a proper squatting position. This is why it’s important to do a few stretches before you start your workout routine.

Some good stretches to do are the standing quad stretch, standing calf stretch, and hip flexor stretch. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

Lack of Motor Patterning and Coordination 

Many people lack the proper motor patterning and coordination to execute a proper squat. This is why it’s important to practice your squat form before you start adding weight.

A good way to practice your squat form is by using a resistance band. Step on the band and place it around your shoulders. Squat down as far as you can and then stand back up.

Focus on keeping your back straight, your knees behind your toes, and your weight in your heels. Practice this form until it feels natural and then start adding weight to your squats.

Lack of Technique

If your technique is off, then you are going to find the movement a lot harder. This is why it’s so important to have good coaching when first starting out or if you’re struggling with the movement.

Most people will need some help to get their technique right, and it can be hard to spot your faults. This is why working with a coach, whether that’s in-person or online, can be so beneficial.

A coach will be able to watch you squat and give you feedback on what you need to improve. 

They can also show you drills and exercises that will help you correct your technique.

Once you have the proper technique down, the movement will become a lot easier.

why are squats so hard
Form and technique are crucial when doing a squat

Progressing Too Quickly

If you try to add too much weight or do too many reps before you’re ready, then you’re going to struggle. It’s important to make sure that you’re progressing at a reasonable pace.

Start with a light weight and gradually increase the amount of weight you are squatting as your muscles get stronger.

Likewise, if you’re doing bodyweight squats, make sure to increase the number of reps before you add weight.

Not Practicing Regularly

If you only squat once in a while, then you’re not going to get better at it. To improve your squat, you need to practice it regularly.

How often you need to squat depends on your goals. If you’re just trying to maintain your current level of strength, then you can get away with squatting once or twice a week.

But if you’re trying to improve your strength or build muscle, then you need to be squatting at least 3 times a week.

Related: Is Progressive Overload Important On A Calorie Deficit? (4 Things To Achieve Maximum Overload)

What Are Your Goals?

Now that you know some of the reasons why your squat might be struggling, it’s time to set some goals.

Are you trying to improve your strength? Build muscle? Or are you just trying to maintain your current level of strength?

Once you know what your goals are, you can start working on a plan to achieve them.

If you’re trying to improve your strength, then you need to focus on adding weight to your squats. Start with a light weight and gradually increase the amount of weight you are squatting as your muscles get stronger.

Likewise, if you’re trying to build muscle, then you need to focus on doing more reps with a moderate weight. Start with 8-12 reps and gradually increase the number of reps you are doing as your muscles get stronger.

Finally, if you’re just trying to maintain your current level of strength, then you can focus on doing any type of squatting exercise that you enjoy. This could be bodyweight squats, kettlebell squats, barbell squats, or any other type of squat.

The most important thing is that you are squatting regularly and progressing at a reasonable pace.

If you can do that, then you will reach your goals in no time.

Alternative Exercises?

If you’re struggling with squats, then you might want to try some alternative exercises. Here are a few exercises that can help you build strength and muscle without putting as much stress on your body:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Deadlifts
  • Leg press
  • Hip thrusters
  • Lunges

These exercises are all great alternatives to squats and can help you build strength and muscle without putting as much stress on your body.

Give some of these exercises a try, as you might be surprised at how well they work.

When Are You Doing Them in Your Routine?

One of the most important aspects of any exercise is when you do it in your routine.

If you’re doing squats at the end of your workout when you’re already tired, then you’re not going to be able to perform them with proper form. This can lead to injuries and can make the exercise less effective.

Instead, you should be doing squats at the beginning of your workout when you’re fresh and have plenty of energy. This will allow you to perform them with proper form and get the most out of the exercise.

Quality over Quantity

When doing squats, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. This means that you should always use proper form and technique, even if it means doing fewer reps.

Additionally, it’s important to listen to your body and only do as many squats as you can safely handle.

It’s better to do 10 squats with proper form than it is to do 100 squats with poor form. The former will help you build strength and muscle while the latter will only lead to injuries.

why are squats so hard
The quality of your squat is more important than the number of reps you do

Fuel for Workout

Another important factor to consider is your diet. If you’re not eating enough food, then you’re not going to have the energy you need to squat properly.

You should be eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein, carbs, and fat. This will give you the energy you need to workout hard and build strength.

So, make sure you’re eating enough food. Eating a healthy diet is essential for building strength and muscle.

The Correct Footwear

The type of footwear you’re wearing can also affect your squats.

Wearing shoes that have a high heel can make it difficult to squat with proper form. This can lead to injuries and can make the exercise less effective.

Instead, you should wear shoes that have a flat sole. This will allow you to squat with proper form and get the most out of the exercise.

So, if you’re struggling with squats, then make sure you’re wearing the right type of footwear. Wearing shoes with a flat sole will help you squat with proper form and avoid injuries.

How to Improve Your Squat 

There are a few things you can do to improve your squat.

First, make sure you are using the proper form.

Second, add weight gradually as your muscles get stronger.

Third, focus on building up your quads and glutes with exercises like lunges and step-ups.

And finally, practice regularly so you can improve your motor patterning and coordination. following these tips will help you improve your squat and make it less difficult.

Final Thoughts…

Squats are a great exercise for building strength and muscle, but they can be difficult for some people.

If you’re struggling with squats, then make sure you’re using proper form, focus on building up your quads and glutes, and practice regularly.

Also, try some of the alternative exercises listed above.

Following these tips will help you make squats less difficult and allow you to get the most out of the exercise.

Hopefully, some of the tips above will help you get your squatting back on track.

Do you find squats hard? If so, have the tips above been of use to you?

If you enjoy sport and use CBD to help with your recovery in between grueling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout

Lee

Founder – Sport CBDs

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