Why Does My Squat Feel Weak? Common Reasons and Effective Solutions

why does my squat feel weak?

Why Does My Squat Feel Weak? Common Reasons and Effective Solutions

Squatting is often hailed as the king of all exercises. It’s a fundamental movement that engages multiple muscle groups, enhancing strength, flexibility, and overall fitness.

But like any royal figure, it comes with its challenges. Many fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike find themselves hitting a plateau in their squat performance or feeling inexplicably weak in their execution.

This can lead to frustration, demotivation, and even the abandonment of this powerful exercise. Understanding why a squat may feel weak and how to overcome this barrier is essential for anyone looking to improve their fitness journey.

This article aims to explore the underlying factors that might cause a squat to feel weak and provide actionable strategies to conquer this common concern.

Why Does My Squat Feel Weak?

The feeling of weakness in a squat can be a complex issue, stemming from various factors. It might be related to improper technique, such as incorrect alignment, depth, or grip strength, leading to inefficient force transfer. Muscle imbalances, where one muscle group overpowers another, can also contribute to a feeling of weakness. Lack of mental preparation or a consistent setup routine may further hinder performance. Additionally, the choice of accessories like knee sleeves, belts, or shoes, and the overall programming, including volume, frequency, and accessory exercises, play a significant role. Understanding and addressing these multifaceted aspects can transform a weak squat into a powerful and confident lift. Whether it’s refining technique, adjusting programming, or incorporating specific accessories, a targeted approach can lead to substantial improvements in squat performance.

Developing a Good Mindset and Motivation

Finding Drive and Motivation: The journey to a stronger squat begins with the right mindset. It’s not just about lifting heavier weights; it’s about understanding why you want to achieve those numbers. Is it for personal satisfaction, competition, or overall health? Identifying your drive can fuel your motivation and keep you going even when progress seems slow.

Setting Realistic, Incremental Goals: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a strong squat. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and burnout. Break down your ultimate goal into smaller, achievable milestones. If you’re squatting 110kg now and aiming for 180kg, recognize that a 6-week program might not be enough. Incremental goals, such as 10kg increases, can provide measurable progress and keep you motivated.

Visualizing Success and Overcoming Mental Barriers: Mental preparation is as crucial as physical training. Visualize yourself successfully performing the squat. Walk through the entire process in your mind, from approaching the barbell to standing up with a triumphant lift. This mental rehearsal can enhance your confidence and help you overcome any mental barriers that might be holding you back.

Developing a strong squat is not merely a physical challenge; it’s a mental game. Cultivating a positive mindset, setting realistic goals, and visualizing success are foundational steps in turning a weak squat into a powerful and satisfying achievement.

Working on Squat Technique

Squatting may seem straightforward, but the technique is everything. A small mistake can lead to stagnation, injury, or a feeling of weakness in the squat. Here’s what you need to know:

Common Mistakes in Squat Technique: Many lifters struggle with issues like rounding the back, known as “buttwinking,” or letting the knees collapse inward. These mistakes can lead to inefficient force transfer and potential injury.

Importance of Squat Depth and Flexibility: Achieving proper squat depth requires flexibility, particularly in the ankles and hips. Lack of flexibility can cause the heels to raise off the floor, transferring more force to the knees, or limit the depth of the squat, leading to suboptimal muscle engagement.

Effects of Muscle Imbalances: Imbalances in muscle strength can wreak havoc on squat technique. For example, if the quadriceps are fatigued or weaker than the hamstrings, it can change the squat technique, placing extra pressure on the back.

Importance of Proper Technique to Break Plateaus: Proper technique is not just about safety; it’s about progress. A well-executed squat allows for more efficient force transfer and muscle engagement, helping you break through plateaus and reach new heights in your squat performance.

In essence, working on your squat technique is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process. Regular assessment, correction, and refinement of your technique can turn a weak squat into a strong and confident lift.

Related: Understanding and Overcoming Front Knee Pain When Doing Hamstring Curls

Squat Style and Consistency

Deep Squat vs. Powerlifting Squat: The debate between deep squatting and powerlifting squatting revolves around bar placement and range of motion. Deep squatting often involves a high bar placement and a more upright torso, allowing for greater depth. Powerlifting squats, with a lower bar placement, may limit the range of motion to just below parallel.

Importance of Consistency in Technique: Whether you choose a deep squat or a powerlifting squat, consistency is key. Practicing one style repeatedly embeds the movement pattern and develops the specific muscles required for that style. Inconsistent technique can lead to confusion and hinder progress.

Choosing a Comfortable Squatting Style: Ultimately, the best squatting style is the one that feels comfortable for you. Experiment with different bar placements and depths to find what works best for your body. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to squatting.

Routine and Setup

The squat is not just about the moment you lift the weight; it starts with the routine and setup. A consistent setup routine ensures that every squat begins the same way, laying the foundation for success.

  • Importance of a Consistent Setup Routine: From positioning your feet to gripping the barbell, each step in the setup should be consistent. This routine helps in creating muscle memory, ensuring that your body knows exactly what to do when it’s time to squat.
  • Visualization and Mental Preparation: Before you even approach the barbell, take a moment to visualize the lift. See yourself executing the squat perfectly, feeling the weight, and driving it up successfully. This mental rehearsal primes your body and mind, aligning them for a successful lift.

The routine and setup might seem like small details, but they play a crucial role in a successful squat. They set the stage, ensuring that every part of your body is ready to perform.

Constructive Criticism and Feedback

No one is perfect, and that includes even the most seasoned lifters. Continuous improvement requires an honest assessment of performance and a willingness to receive feedback.

Being Critical of One’s Performance: After each squat session, take a moment to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Were you leaning too far forward? Did your knees wobble? Being critical of your performance helps you identify areas for improvement.

Importance of Filming or Having a Coach for Feedback: Sometimes, it’s hard to see our own mistakes. Filming your squats or having a coach observe can provide invaluable feedback. They can spot subtle errors in technique or alignment that you might miss.

Embracing Constructive Criticism: It’s not always easy to hear what you’re doing wrong, but embracing constructive criticism is vital for growth. Whether it’s from a coach, a training partner, or even yourself, take the feedback seriously and use it to improve.

Constructive criticism and feedback are not about tearing down; they’re about building up. They provide the insights needed to turn a weak squat into a strong one, guiding your training and pushing you towards your goals.

Choosing Squat Accessories

When it comes to squatting, accessories can make a significant difference in both performance and comfort. From knee sleeves to weightlifting belts, these tools can enhance your squat experience.

  • Knee Sleeves, Belts, Shoes, etc.: Knee sleeves provide support and warmth to the knee joint, belts can aid in bracing the core, and specialized squat shoes offer stability and proper alignment. These accessories are not mandatory but can be beneficial.
  • Personal Preferences and Comfort: The choice of accessories should align with your personal preferences and comfort. Some lifters swear by knee sleeves, while others prefer to squat without them. Experiment to find what works best for you.

Choosing the right accessories is about understanding your body and your squatting needs. It’s a personal decision that can add support, comfort, and confidence to your squat routine.

Related: Why Do I Feel Deadlifts in My Upper Back? Unraveling the Mystery

Programming for Squat Gains

Building a strong squat is not just about lifting heavier weights; it’s about intelligent programming. A well-designed program considers your specific goals, current abilities, and how to systematically progress.

Importance of Programming for Specific Goals: Are you aiming for strength, hypertrophy, or endurance? Your squat program should align with your specific goals, tailoring the volume, intensity, and exercise selection accordingly.

Volume, Frequency, and Accessory Exercises: More isn’t always better. The right balance of volume (total weight lifted) and frequency (how often you squat) is crucial. Overdoing it can lead to burnout, while underdoing it may result in slow progress. Accessory exercises like lunges or leg presses can complement your squat training, targeting specific muscles or weaknesses.

Adaptation and Progression: A good program also considers adaptation and progression. As you grow stronger, the program should evolve, challenging you with increased weights, varied rep schemes, or new accessory exercises.

Programming for squat gains is a science and an art. It requires understanding your body, your goals, and how to strategically guide your training to turn a weak squat into a powerful lift. It’s not about random effort; it’s about targeted, intelligent training that leads to real, sustainable gains.

Squats and Grip Strength

Grip strength may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering squat performance, but it plays a vital role in stabilizing the bar and maintaining proper form. A strong grip ensures better control over the barbell, allowing for more efficient force transfer through the body and potentially improving squat performance.

A study conducted by The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that grip width and strength could influence the biomechanics of the squat, highlighting the importance of grip in squat execution.

For those looking to enhance their grip strength, tools like grip strengtheners available on Amazon can be a valuable addition to their training regimen.

Additionally, incorporating products from Sport CBDs may aid in recovery and overall performance, supporting a holistic approach to overcoming the feeling of weakness in squats.


Why is my squat not improving?

Lack of progress in squatting can be due to various factors, such as improper technique, muscle imbalances, or lack of specific programming. Assessing and addressing these areas can lead to improvement.

How can I break my squat plateau?

Breaking a squat plateau often requires a combination of technique refinement, targeted accessory exercises, and mental preparation. Sometimes, a fresh perspective from a coach or training partner can provide the insights needed to break through.

What accessories should I use for squatting?

Accessories like knee sleeves, belts, or specialized shoes can enhance squat performance. The choice depends on personal preferences, comfort, and specific needs.

How often should I squat?

The frequency of squatting depends on your goals, programming, and recovery ability. Some may squat multiple times a week, while others may find once a week sufficient.

Why do my legs feel weak when I squat?

Feeling weak during squats can be related to fatigue, improper warm-up, nutritional deficiencies, or underlying health issues. Consulting with a fitness professional or healthcare provider can help identify the cause.

Why does my squat never get stronger?

If your squat isn’t getting stronger, it may be time to reassess your technique, programming, and mindset. Sometimes, a fresh approach or professional guidance can make all the difference.

Do squats get easier over time?

With consistent practice, proper technique, and intelligent programming, squats can become more manageable over time. However, as you progress and challenge yourself, they will always require effort and focus.

How do you improve weak squats?

Improving weak squats involves a comprehensive approach, including technique refinement, targeted programming, mental preparation, and possibly incorporating accessories. It’s a journey of continuous learning and adaptation.

Final Thoughts…

The journey to a bigger squat is multifaceted, involving not just physical strength but mental fortitude, technical mastery, and strategic programming. From understanding common mistakes to choosing the right accessories, every detail matters.

Embrace the process, be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to seek guidance or try new approaches. Remember, a weak squat is not a failure; it’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and become stronger.

Keep pushing, keep squatting, and let every lift be a step towards your ultimate goal. You’ve got this!

Does your squat feel weak? Have our tips been beneficial to you? We’d love to hear your feedback, so please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you’re a sports enthusiast who utilizes CBD for optimal recovery after intense workouts, then you’ve found your tribe. Welcome to Sport CBDs, where we push our limits in training and prioritize recovery in the most effective way possible.

We regularly share workout routines on our YouTube channel and offer a range of health and fitness products designed to give you that competitive edge.

Why not explore the high-quality CBD products we proudly feature on our site? Visit the Sport CBDs Store by clicking here. In addition to CBD, we also offer an array of fitness clothing and yoga accessories to complement your active lifestyle.

Until next time, we wish you the best in your fitness journey. Remember, your progress is our passion. Stay strong and keep pushing!

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout


Founder – Sport CBDs

Featured Image Attribution – Image by serhii_bobyk on Freepik

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