Many people like to go to the gym and get their exercise on. It’s an important thing to do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, build muscle, burn fat, and lose weight. But not everyone knows the proper form for some of the most common exercises, and in order to get the most out of your workout, good form is key.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make while carrying out popular exercises.
1. Bench Press
Two common mistakes showcased here are improper range of motion and raising of the hips. For proper form, you should lower the bar all the way down until your upper arm is parallel to the ground. Be sure to keep your hips and back on the bench.
Not only is this incorrect form, but it is incredibly dangerous. Performing a squat with your knees pointing inward puts your knees at massive risk for injury.
Similarly to the squat, if your knees cave in while performing any kind of lunge, it can lead to injury. You must keep your knees in line with your toes.
In order to perform the deadlift correctly, you must keep a straight back and prevent your spine from rounding. The best way to do this is to contract your lateral muscles and pull your shoulder blades back, making sure that your chest is up throughout the duration of the exercise.
5. Overhead Press
This is a great exercise to build muscle in your shoulders, but if you do it incorrectly, you’re going to lose its benefits. You don’t want to add momentum to the lift with your legs like this. That’s a different exercise called the push press. The overhead press is much more effective, but you need to keep your back straight and your legs locked. Move in a slow and controlled motion when pressing the bar above your head.
6. Bicep Curls
A very common mistake while performing bicep curls is swinging the weight up and leaning back because it’s too heavy. What you are supposed to do is move in a slow and controlled motion, keeping your elbows in the same place while bringing the weight up and down.
People who are too weak to perform pull-ups are commonly seen using their legs to gain momentum to counteract their body weight. You want to keep your legs out of it. Just leave them hanging there and pull yourself up with your arm and back strength. It’s tough to master, but it’s a great exercise.
When you perform pushups, you should always keep your back in line with your legs. Arching of back does very little in terms of muscle stimulation.
9. Lateral Raises
This is a very tough exercise that builds muscles in your shoulders, but a lot of people do it wrong. They use a ton of momentum and swing their arms out, thinking that this is the correct way to perform the exercise. They couldn’t be more wrong. You want to move in a slow and controlled motion, leading with your elbows until you have raised the weights up to about shoulder height. After that, lower them back down slowly and repeat.
The key to almost any exercise is to make sure you are doing things slowly and with great control. Also, know your body — if you know you can’t lift a certain amount of weight, then you should start with a lower weight and slowly build up to a realistic target. These tips will do you a world of good in the long run!