Are you ready to put that cushion you sit on all day to work!? It’s easy to sit on your glutes for hours a day, and then ignore training them at the gym because abs and arms are on your priority list. But, did you know that your glutes are your body’s largest and most powerful muscle group? And, since they’re large, you can boost your metabolic rate by working them. If your backside needs a little lift, it’s time to round out your routine  with a 3-min laser-focused squat series video to lift, tone, and sculpt your derrière. BUT WAIT! Before you get started, check out these 5 tips that will instantly fix your squat form so you can make every rep count.

1- Focus on pushing through the outer sides of your feet

While you’re lowering down into your squat, focus on pushing through the outside edges of each foot. Because the feet are your stabilizing forces, where you are putting more pressure affects what happens in other parts of your body. When you have a stable foundation, this allows your hips and knees to be aligned properly.

2- Do the Goldilocks test

Make your glutes earn the rep by finding how far to sit back. If your glutes are sitting back too far, it will cause your torso to tilt forward, causing your hips to do the work for your butt. On the other end of the spectrum, if you sit straight down, your torso will be upright, which causes stress on your knees. You’ll know you’re in the sweet spot when your kneecaps are over the tops of your feet, and your torso is tilted slightly forward at about a 30-45 degree angle with your thighs.

3- Your knees aren’t friends

When you’re lowered down in the squat, it’s easy to keep your knees over the tops of your feet. But, it can be tricky to keep that alignment when you’re lifting up to standing position. The problem with your knees collapsing inward is that it heightens the probability that you’ll cause joint pain and injury. The trick is to focus on pushing your knees out while you’re lifting from the squat. Remember to keep your thighs in line with your feet.

4- Watch your arch

Maintaining a straight spine is important during a squat. But, don’t go overboard! Overarching can cause injury to the stabilizing joints in your spinal column. And, be careful not to round out your back either. This can potentially cause painful disc bulges. The best way to preserve your spine’s natural curve and have proper squat posture is to perform a mini standing crunch so your ribcage is pulled in and down. Maintain this mini crunch through the squat.

5- How low can you go?

The deeper the squat, the greater the gains. The goal is to go as low as possible while maintaining proper posture and form. To recap, make sure you are pushing through the outer edges of your feet, keeping your kneecaps over the top of your feet throughout the movement, your  torso slightly tilted, your knees pressed out, and aim to drop past the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.