​When lifting, form is crucial. Good form means fewer injuries and better focus on each muscle group. Bad form can mean muscle strain and injury.

Most people find guidance from personal trainers and from online research when they begin strength training, so their form on basic moves will need a lot of fine tuning. But it’s ideal to have knowledgeable trainers as you advance in strength training, too.

Using Perfect Form During Squats

One freestyle lift that can develop problems is the squat. Lifters may squat too deep or not deep enough; they may keep their back at too vertical an angle; or they allow knees to cave in. One common mistake during squats is lifting elbows too high.

When the elbows rise too high during a squat, several problems can occur:

  • The barbell may move on the back
  • The back angle may adjust to compensate
  • The thoracic spine may flex
  • Elbow and upper arm pain may develop

When the barbell moves up the back, it’s annoying! But more seriously, it decreases efficiency in your squat and can result in pain in the shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

If you feel the barbell traveling up your back, check your elbows first. Lowered elbows can reduce shoulder extension and allow force to travel to the barbell, where it belongs.

Get Your Elbows in the Proper Position

For optimal positioning of the elbows during squats, follow these tips:

  • Elbows and chest should be lifted to secure the bar between the hands and the back
  • The bar should rest on top of the posterior deltoids
  • The grip should be narrow to provide less shoulder extension and less pressure on the elbow and wrist
  • A thumbless grip allows the elbows to remain lower and allows a neutral wrist
  • If using thumbs, try a wrist wrap for support
  • Raise elbows just enough to produce a tight, secure back racking
  • Elbows should not move up and down during the squat

Fixing your elbow problems early in your training can help you avoid injuries and lift smarter, not harder.

King Chiropractic Can Improve Your Performance

If you are an athlete or lifting weights, King Chiropractic can help you perform better, train harder, and recuperate quicker. We offer treatment for quick pain relief and we look for root causes to help prevent future injuries. We can help restore diminished range of motion and improve your performance as an athlete in and out of the gym.

Call King Chiropractic today at (910) 777-7228 to schedule an appointment, and watch those elbows!