You're Performing These Exercises Wrong!
If done correctly, strength training and lifting weights are extremely safe forms of exercise. However, if you take a walk through an average gym, you’ll see person after person using a bad technique (sometimes quite impressively). Without focusing on the ideal form, your risk of injury increases. It might be an improper setup, focusing on the wrong muscles, or simply doing an exercise or weight you’re not ready for, but there shouldn’t be an excuse for everyone making the same mistakes over and over again. The time to put an end to bad form is now.
Here are three of the most common exercise mistakes people make when lifting weights and exactly how to fix them. Once you make the fix, you’ll be building more muscle and strength in no time.
Too often do people either let their hips sag towards the floor or shoot their butt up in the air. If done improperly, a plank can put a lot of unnecessary stress on the lower back. It also won’t target your ab muscles.
Instead, try focusing on drawing your belly button up towards your spine without hiking your hips. Brace your midsection as if you were about to take a punch. I recommend starting with a kneeling plank and progressing to a full plank once you feel your core engage.
Most people lose their posture during pull-ups because they round their shoulders, their chest sinks in, and their chin shoots forward. This form not only minimizes the benefits of pullups - a powerful back, stable shoulders, and strong lower traps - but also aggravates poor posture.
As you pull up, focus less on getting your chin over the bar and more on bringing your sternum to the bar. You may need to add some assistance since a proper pull-up is much more difficult (but worth it).
Oftentimes, people bend their neck forwards or backward during exercise. This mistake is most apparent in the pushup. It’s incredibly common to see people reach their forehead towards the ground as they lower. This not only cuts the range of motion short (limiting muscle and strength), but it strains your cervical spine.
Instead, try drawing your chin back lightly (like you were giving yourself a double chin). Keep your chin tucked throughout the whole movement! Allow your shoulders blades and elbows to glide back as you descend. An extra tip is to try wearing a baseball hat and only pressing up once the brim of your hat touches the ground.