Today finally I did the barbell squats, I called a trainer to check out my form, but turned out he himself didn't know the correct form: his knees were going way forward his toes and he was holding the barbell almost on this shoulders, I told him that and he started 'you do squats on the smith machine'. After telling him it is bad for you, the position of legs and straight back can be dangerous etc, he bluntly disagreed and started telling me 'these machines are made for a reason, they can't be wrong, and if you don't want to exercise on machines then why are you using leg press, extension etc'. I shooed him away.

While I was doing squats, I kept looking straight, chest up, neutral spine, tight core. Starting with hips going back, I was able to do almost 10 perfect repetitions, but on the 13-15th ones my toes were coming up, and I was sort of falling backwards.

My Question: how do I stabilize my feet so the toes don't go up and at the same time knees don't pass the toes?

I felt some tightness in my lower back and I was slightly bent forward, is that normal?

2 Answers 2


I think you are worrying too much. Even babies can do squats:

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While I agree that the correct form is required, it sounds like you are fixating on that fact and overcompensating on a few things. For example, you are falling backwards because your center of gravity is behind your heals. I would guess that you're worrying too much about your knees not going over your toes that you're deliberately leaning backwards. This isn't obvious in your first 10 reps because your muscles are strong enough to compensate, but when they get tired your form suffers.

Some trainers are really good at their job, some just have a certificate and a bank account. I would suggest asking some of the other squatters at the gym to watch you do squats and get their feedback. They at least know how to do them and want to do them somewhere other than the smith machine.


It's difficult to say for sure without watching you, but it sounds as if you could be stiff in the lumber spine. You are keeping your heels down and sitting back, but because you are stiff in the lumber spine, you need to lean your shoulders further forward than you should be.

Continue to work on your form. Try not to lean so far forward, and work on your flexibility.

  • Will keep that in mind for next time, thanks! Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 4:57

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