Four Biggest Exercise Form Mistakes
Post at 14:48 - 10/04/2018

Bad form won't only hamper your workout gains, but could also lead to serious injury. Now we don't want to nag, but if your form isn't on...form, then you need to get it sorted. And there's no time like the present. 

Here are the most common exercises that guys perform badly. Banish your bad habits for good. 

 


 

The move: Pull-ups

The mistake: Lifting your legs

This is an error that actually works. Lifting your legs lengthens your lats and, as a result, should help you eke out a few extra reps. But it will also cut out the middle back muscles you’re supposed to be working. A pyrrhic victory, then.

Fix it "To avoid hunching and bringing your legs up, arch your back slightly and aim to drive your chest up towards to bar," says PT James White. "This will activate all the middle back muscles and make the move far more effective." If you’re struggling with full pull-ups, try jump-ups. Jump up for the first half of the rep, bringing your chin over the bar, and concentrate on lowering yourself down slowly. This will build the foundational strength you need to complete the entire move.

 

 

The move: Press-ups

The mistake: Dropping your hips

You may have been doing press-ups since the days of cold sports halls and white plimsolls, but that doesn't mean you're doing them right. By dropping your hips and hyperextending your back you're closer to doing the worm than working your chest.

 

Fix it "To stop your hips dropping down before your chest you need to concentrate on moving down as a single unit," says PT Lee Ashford. Keep your spine neutral, tense your abs and glutes and lower until your pecs are an inch from the floor.

 

 

The move: Barbell squats

The mistake: Bending your back

Stepping away from the safety of the squat rack can be daunting. The most common squatting error is, of course, not lowering until your thighs are parallel with the floor. But a far more dangerous mistake is allowing your back to curve, which puts a dangerous amount of pressure on your disks.

Fix it The best way to avoid endangering your spine is to ensure you’re squatting with your weight through your heels. A good way of checking this is making sure you can wiggle your toes. When squatting heavy loads always use a spotter – and when starting out do body weight squats or goblet squats until your body has learned the movement patterns.

 

 

The move: Shoulder press

The mistake: Arching your back

It’s easy to let your ego get the better of you with this move. But as soon as your spine starts to struggle it’s time to stop. Arching your back shifts the workload on to your anterior deltoids and your chest and is a recipe for chronic back pain. Remember: the aim is not to lift the weight above your head at all costs, it’s to give your shoulders a proper workout.

Fix it "Keep your back straight and use a weight you are going to be comfortable with throughout the whole set," says White. You can bend at your legs a little to push out that last rep or two. Just ensure your spine isn’t taking any of the strain.

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