How to Beat Back Pain with the Perfect Squat Technique

How Low Can You Go? The How and Why of  Great Squat Technique

You may not believe it but squats are a part of every-day life.

Whether you’re bending to pick something up, emptying the dishwasher or simply bending to sit in a chair we squat ALL the time.

When my clients first start Pilates at the studio we teach them how to correctly sit and stand up again. YES! I’m not kidding!

So much of the back pain I see on a weekly basis with clients can be attributed to poor alignment and poor squatting technique.

We do the simple act of sitting and standing up (squatting) multiple times a day but are we doing it correctly?

Poor squatting technique can cause back and hip pain and with sitting now the ‘new smoking’ it’s more important than ever to ensure we have great technique.

Here are a few of my best tips to ensure you’re squatting (or sitting down and standing) well!

?Ensure your knees are pointing directly over your toes to help protect your knees and eliminate pain.

This helps with the alignment of your knees and hips to ensure muscles on both the inside and outside of the leg are working in balance.

?Squeeze your glutes!

Yes! Those great big muscles (your butt) is there to help your stand up so make sure your squeeze them and feel them activate when you stand back up.

Just can’t feel your glutes working?

Press down through your heels to help feel your glutes activate.

Reach your bottom behind you like you’re going to sit in a chair.

Don’t tuck, reach it back baby (just like my pic above!). This helps to fire up the glutes and keep pressure out of the back.


Yes, it’s essential for all good movements so make sure to avoid holding your breath and breathe deeply and fully.

This helps to prevent any tightness in the body.

?Last but not least, listen to your body. 

If your knees or back hurt, check your form and look to reduce your range or number reps if you have them in your workouts.

So, the next time you go to sit down have a think about your squatting technique and do a quick check-in to see if you have everything covered.

Don’t under-estimate the value of good form.

It can help reduce and eliminate pain and take pressure off your joints. And ultimately your back will thank-you for it!

Kate Boyle is the owner and director of Mind and Movement Pilates in Melbourne, Australia. Learn more about her here and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.