How to Stop Leaning Forward When Squatting

Squatting is a great exercise that works your legs and lower body, but it can cause some serious problems if you're not doing it right. If you notice yourself leaning too far forward while squatting, don't worry: There are plenty of ways to fix this issue. Here are four reasons why people might lean too far forward when they squat and what they can do to correct each one:

a woman performing a squat
a woman performing a squat

This may be because the body is trying to maintain a static position by leaning forward.

If you're in a static position, such as sitting at your desk or standing at a countertop, and you feel the urge to lean forward, this may be because your body is trying to maintain a static position by leaning forward. This isn't the same as the lean that occurs during a squat; rather, it's an instinctive response to keep from falling over if you can't support yourself well enough with your balance or core strength. For example: If your core is weak or if there's something about the surface on which you're standing (such as ice), it may be difficult for your body to use its ability for balance effectively because there's no stable ground beneath it. In other words: When there's something wrong with how much control over our bodies we have over our weight distribution on any given surface—whether due to weakness in either area (balance versus core) or both areas combined—we tend not only try harder but also lean further forward than usual so as not fall off whatever we're standing/sitting/laying-on top of!

It may also be because the knees are caving inward (valgus knees).

If you're leaning forward when squatting and you don't have valgus knees, it may be that the weight of your upper body is pulling you down. You can combat this by using a barbell in front of your body to help support yourself. The bar won't move as much if it's directly in front of you, which means more stability for the exercise.

If you do have valgus knees (caving inward), then there are some exercises that can help strengthen your quads and reduce the amount of pressure on them during a squat. This includes lunges, leg presses and lying leg curls. These exercises target all three areas where most squat problems occur: inner thighs, outer thighs and hamstrings.

The weight could also be too heavy and so leaning forward compensates for poor balance.

a man doing squat with weights
a man doing squat with weights

If you are squatting too much weight, you may be leaning forward to compensate for poor balance. This is especially true if you have never squatted before or are using a new form of squatting, such as goblet squats or barbell hip thrusts.

Or you may have weak abdominal muscles and/or tight hip flexors.

If you have weak abdominal muscles or tight hip flexors, there are ways to strengthen them. You can do planks, reverse crunches and leg raises to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Stretching the hip flexors will help with this as well. Drills like walking lunges help with balance and also strengthen your glutes (butt), which helps prevent leaning forward when squatting.

Leaning forward too much when squatting can cause injuries, but you can fix it by correcting one of these issues.

Squatting is a great exercise for strengthening your core and legs, but if you lean forward too much when squatting it can cause injuries. To avoid this, correct one of these three issues:

  • Your knees are not tracking over your toes—either they are angled outward or inward. This can be fixed by practicing the proper technique at home until you have it down pat, then going to a gym and asking an instructor to watch your form while you squat so they can let you know if anything needs adjusting.
  • The weight is too heavy for you—if this is the case, reduce the amount of weight on the bar until it's comfortable again. If that doesn't work, consider switching to an easier exercise such as lunges or step-ups instead (they both work out similar muscles).
  • You're not keeping good posture—make sure that as soon as your thighs come parallel with the ground (or slightly lower), they stay there throughout all repetitions in one set (which should take around 10 seconds), then rest for two minutes before doing another set with proper form!


So there you have it, five reasons why you may be leaning forward when squatting. The solutions are simple: if you're too heavy, move on to a lighter weight or use an assisted squat machine; if your knees are caving inwards (valgus knees), work on strengthening them with exercises such as leg extensions and knee extensions; if your abdominal muscles and/or hip flexors are weak and tight, do some core exercises like planks and sit-ups; if none of these seem to help then maybe it's time for some remedial assistance from a professional!