It may be your least favorite time to hear “hold.” Not only have you been moving in your diamond squat series for more than eight counts, but your legs are screaming at you: everything from your quads, outer thighs, inner thighs, and even calves if you hold that relevé. This is why we love doing diamond squats in class— no, not the leg-screaming part—but because it hits everything in your leg. In order to get the most out of it, you’ve got to pay attention to your form. You knew that was coming, right? Not only is good form going to give you the maximum benefits from the move, but it’s also preventing injury. There’s a lot to think about while doing diamond squats, so we’ve drafted a short list of the most common mistakes to avoid in your next diamond squat series.
Arching your back
When you hear “keep your chest up,” it’s almost natural to keep your rear where it is and bring your shoulders back, creating an arch in your back. Arching your back can cause tension and pain in your lower back, and ain’t nobody got time for that. To take that arch out, think about sliding up and down a wall, keeping every piece of your back—from your shoulders to your booty— on that wall. If you’re arching your back, even slightly, you are not keeping everything on that invisible wall. To create that straight line in your back, draw your belly button in towards your spine, and keep your hips slightly tucked under.
Letting your knees come towards the barre
As you’re moving up and down in your series, be conscious of keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Having them push forward towards the barre will cause some major owie moments in your knees. To combat this, pay attention to where your feet are. If you take the ball out between your heels and ankles, your feet should resemble a “v”. You can even take a quick glance down for a rep to make sure your knees are staying in line with your feet and ankles.
Sticking your booty out and letting your chest fall forward
Don’t let the name deceive you: even though it’s called a “diamond squat”, its motion really consists of a plié, which means you’re bringing your booty straight down and up, not out. Think about keeping a “heavy tailbone” which means drop that booty straight down. Don’t forget to also keep your ears stacked over your shoulders, and your shoulders stack over your hips!
Letting your hips go beneath your knees
We know that we encourage you to get to your lowest point and that sometimes we play songs that make you want to drop it low, but there is such a thing as going too low. Not only is it hard on your lower body to let your hips drop beneath your knees, but you’re also taking some of the work out of your legs. Also, don’t be discouraged if your lowest point is right above your knees. Like we say all the time, your range of motion is different than your neighbors!