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THE mistakes that could make your exercise regimen less effective. This week: Doing a squat

Squats tone and strengthen the bottom and thighs, but the biggest mistake people make has nothing to do with legs — but instead involves the eyes.

Looking down as you squat causes you to lean back, which means you don't work all the muscles in the leg — it also puts you at risk of back problems, say researchers at Miami University. To stay in the right squat position, fix your eyes at the point where the wall and ceiling meet and keep your gaze fixed there as you move. To power things up further, dip the squat as far as you can go rather than stopping when your thighs are parallel to the floor.

It used to be thought that this put excess pressure on the knees, but it's now known that this isn't true.

"If you can do a parallel squat — where the thighs and knees are at a 90 degree angle to each other — without any problems, try moving your bottom further towards the floor to boost results," Adam Bishop said, a strength and conditioning coach at Harlequins rugby club.

© Daily Mail