Squatting in front of a mirror is generally an awful idea. Many gyms and weight rooms have mirrors on the walls and have opportunely placed the squat rack(s) near said walls, as well, making it unmanageable to squat without a mirror in front of you. A mirror is a bad instrument because it offers information regarding only 1 plane of the 3: the frontal, the one that gives you the tiniest amount of information regarding your balance and positioning.Forward and backward movement is tremendously difficult to notice when you’re looking straight forward into a mirror. Depth is also very problematic to judge from this direction. It can also be off-putting because it reflects any movement occurring in what should be your invisible, orderly background when you’re looking down. With eyesight being the most prominent sense, it is not ideal when you’re attempting to squat a comparatively heavy load while someone behind you is executing something that captivates your attention. The most important reason to squat without a mirror in front of you is that you should be increasing your kinaesthetic awareness while you squat. When you pay attention to all of the proprioceptive input provided by focusing on your balance point on the floor in front of you, the pressure on your feet, the feel of your back angle, the bar in your hands and against your back, and your over-all sense of the balance of the movement, your sensory feedback is much richer than that delivered visually by the mirror image. Learn to feel the precise position, not to only see it.
- Kilgore, Lon, and Michael Hartman. Fit. Iowa Park, Tex.: Killustrated Books, 2011.
- Rippetoe, Mark, and Lon Kilgore. Starting strength: basic barbell training. 2nd ed. Wichita Falls, TX: Aasgaard Co., 2007.