Knowing the right way will help you prevent injury and make the most of your workout.

By Christina Oehler
February 11, 2020

Whether you’re a workout novice or a gym veteran, chances are your form could use a little work—especially when it comes to squats. Learning to do this fitness staple correctly can help you get more out of your sessions and prevent injuries. Erica Lugo, a trainer for The Biggest Loser, showed Health takes three popular squat variations and explains the right way to do them.

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Dumbbell Front Squats

When positioning your lower body for a dumbbell front squat, a wide stance with outward-pointing toes is a no-go. Lugo says that the key for this move is to keep your legs hips-width apart, toes pointed forward. When you actually squat, you want to keep the weight in your heel, rather than in the ball of your foot, she adds. 

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Bulgarian Split Squats

The Bulgarian split squat involves squatting in a lunge-like position, and people often get it wrong by rolling their shoulders forward while holding their dumbbells because the weights are too heavy, says Lugo. Opting for a lighter set of weights can help fix this. Another problem: exercisers tend not to step far out enough, letting their front knee extend too far past their foot. Lugo suggests stepping a little further forward and to keep a straight back while squatting. This will protect the knee and any hyperextension in the lower back. 

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Front Lunges

This is another squat variation people often do while rolling their shoulders forward or extending their front knee too far past their front ankle. Lugo recommends straightening your back and keeping your front knee and ankle aligned as you squat. 

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