If you ever work out solo (which is the majority of us) you won’t want to miss today’s exercise topic which explores common mistakes you may be making when performing popular exercises. Correct technique not only makes the exercise more effective, but can prevent serious injury and long term damage to muscles, ligaments and joints, so shouldn’t be taken lightly. Tune in to discover if your technique needs a spring clean!
The classic push up… a seemingly simple exercise that is fraught with opportunities for mistakes. Chicken elbows, a swayed back and hip bending are just some of the common errors that occur when people attempt push ups with the incorrect technique, potentially resulting in pains and strains in shoulders, elbows and back muscles.
1. Place your arms shoulder width apart and place your hands flat on the ground. Have your legs straight out behind you, balancing on the balls of your feet which are positioned together
2. Keep your back completely flat, holding your core strong. Ensure your hips are lowered and in line with your straight torso—keep that bottom from bending up
3. Lowering yourself down slowly towards the floor, keep your back straight as you touch your nose to the ground, then lift back up slowly without bending your hips
Lunging is a brilliant exercise for strengthening the glutes and thighs, however when performed with the wrong technique they can cause some serious damage to knees. Common mistakes including leaning forward as you lunge, bending your front knee over your toes or not keeping your front knee in line with your foot.
1. Take a big step out in front of you, keeping your knee in line with your ankle and placing your hands on your hips for balance
2. Holding your core tight, lower you back knee down towards the ground—don’t lean your front knee forward or sway it in any direction. Your front leg should create a 90 degree ankle once your back leg is lowered
3. Slowly raise yourself back to your starting position, concentrating your weight onto the heel of your front foot and ball of your back foot
Squats are an incredibly effective lower body workout, as you utilise your own body weight to strengthen your bottom, thighs and core. However, any kind of weights training performed incorrectly can put your muscles and joints in danger—tip toes, a rounded back and knee buckling are all common results of incorrect technique with this exercise.
1. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, concentrating your weight onto your heels. You can place your hands on your hips for balance if you’re not squatting any additional weight
2. Lower your bottom right down towards the ground behind you, as if you’re taking a seat. Keep your back completely straight and only bend forward slightly through the hips
3. Ensure you’re not favouring a side and that you’re completely balanced when you lower and raise yourself
Planking is a brilliant core exercise which will push you to your limits, however can be known to cause strain in necks and backs if performed without the correct technique.
1. Place your forearms flat on the ground, shoulder width apart
2. Step your feet out behind you shoulder width apart, your legs straight as you balance on the balls of your feet
3. Keeping your bottom perfectly flat and in line with your straight torso, hold the position
Ensure you don’t dip your hips or lift your bottom towards the sky—you should maintain a completely straight line down your body for the duration of this exercise
Have you had to do an exercise technique tidy up? We’d love to hear how improving your technique has helped you.