There is usually more than one way to perform most exercises. You can often modify the effect of an exercise slightly by changing your stance or grip width, altering your body position, or swapping from machines, to cables, to free weights.


However, while all these variations offer benefits, doing an exercise with poor technique can render even the best exercise pointless, and even dangerous.


Poor exercise technique comes in all shapes and sizes, from poor postural alignment to using too much weight so you can’t use a full range of motion. Whatever the cause of the problem, the fact is that poor exercise technique could hamper your progress and increases your risk of injury.


As I focus heavily on training glutes for any upcoming challeneges I may have, squats, lunges, and deadlifts are my exercise cornerstones. These exercises and their variations are crucial for booty-building success. Ironically, these are also the exercises that are most likely to cause injury when performed incorrectly.


In this article I’ll take a look at some of the most common technique faults in my “big three” booty builders and tell you how to fix them.


Booty Builder #1 - Squats


A well-performed squat is a thing of beauty. But, if you do squats wrong they can quickly turn into a something that could slow your progress and do you more harm than good. Common squat faults and fixes include:


Rounded lower back

This is often caused by tight hamstrings and hip flexors, and a weak core and lower back. A rounded lower back often is a sign of a weak lower back so it’s crucial you fix this problem ASAP.


As a rule, weaknesses need strengthening and tightness need stretching so that’s what you need to do. Strengthen your core using planks, side planks, back extensions, and Pallof presses, and stretch those hamstrings and hip flexors. Also reduce your squat depth and workload so you can maintain your lumbar arch.



Knees caving in

Your knees should bend when you squat but never track inward or outward while they bend. If your knees move laterally (aka sideways), you put a lot of unwanted stress on the internal structure of the joint, and that can soon lead to serious problems. If your knees cave in when you squat, your hip abductors and gluteus medius may be weak, your adductors or inner thighs maybe tight, or you might have just developed a bad habit.


The simplest way to fix this problem is to do your squats with a resistance band around your knees. Push your knees out against the band to strengthening and reprogram your squat.


Heels lifting

For glute development, you want to use your butt and hamstrings as much as you can during each and every exercise you perform. If your heels lift during squats, you end up emphasising your quadriceps and taking stress off the glutes – not good!


Heel lifting is usually caused by tight calves and leaning too far forward while you squat. Fix these problems by stretching and foam rolling your calves and keeping your chest proud when you squat. You may also find holding the weight a little lower on your back during barbell back squats helps too.



Booty Builder #2 - Lunges


Lunges are basically a one-legged squat where your non-working leg provides just a little assistance. There are lots of lunge variations and they are all great booty-blasters.


Common lunge faults and their fixes include:


Front knee travels forward of the toes

Allowing your knee to travel beyond your toes turns what is a great booty exercise into a quadriceps exercise and can potentially damage your joints.  


To stop this problem, make sure you focus on lunging downward rather than forward; step out and then descend rather than trying to do both at once. Reverse lunges also provide a quick fix for excessive forward knee travel. You could also try doing your lunges in front of a wall, so your knee cannot physically travel beyond your toes. Avoid very short lunges too as they tend to encourage forward knee travel. Instead, make sure you step out into a long lunge position.


Too much forward lean

Unless you are doing forward reaching lunges, your torso should remain fairly erect during lunges. Leaning forward too much can soon turn into a rounded lower back, especially if you are using a barbell or dumbbells.


The fix for this issue is simple; just imagine your head is balancing on your neck and will fall off if you lean forward. This imagery should remind you to stay tall when you are doing your lunges, making them safer and more effective.



Booty Builder # 3 - Deadlifts


Of all the booty-building exercises around, the deadlift and its variations are arguably the best. Most of the movement should be in the form of a hip hinge – the perfect glute-building joint action.


Deadlifts, while beneficial, can be particularly complex. Here are my tips to help keep your technique on point:


Rounded lower back

This is the same problem as I mentioned in squats, hence the causes and fixes are mostly the same. In addition, look out for is your hips rising faster than your shoulders. This can also contribute to a rounded lower back.  


If you notice your hips shooting up, you may need to use less weight and perfect your technique before progressing. Performing your deadlifts with a purposeful pause at knee-height may help.



Squatting the weight up

A lot of people mistakenly believe that the deadlift is just a squat with your arms down by your sides; it’s not. Where squats are knee-dominant, deadlifts should be more hip-dominant.


For this reason, it is important that you start each deadlift rep with your hips a little higher and your knees a little straighter than you see at the bottom of a squat. It may also help to think of the deadlift as a pulling exercise, and the squat as a pushing exercise.


Here are some more strategies you can use to help you improve your technique:


  1. - Observe yourself in the mirror or film yourself with your phone or camera. This is also a great way to track your progress!

 

  1. - Ask for some feedback from your gym buddies or the trainers at your gym.

 

  1. - Get educated! EVERY single exercise that you find in my challenges & plans come with instructional videos showing you the perfect form and technique to help you make the most out of every workout and chase those gainssss faster! PLUS, if you ever need help, you will receive 24/7 online support from my team of fitness experts! Ask and you shall receive!




In most cases, fixing your technique requires nothing more than a little extra effort and concentration. However, for this small investment, the rewards are huge! Proper exercise technique can take the brakes off progress, while reducing your risk of injury at the same time. Commit to training with the best possible technique; you’ll love the results! All my programs and challenges come with easy to follow videos and instructions throughout. Check them out here!


Has your technique improved? Make sure you tag me in your lifting progress pics and videos! I’d love to know if my advice has helped you improve your training and results, tag me @LaurenSimpsonFitness or use my hashtag #LSFbabes