Top Five Exercises People Do Wrong
Some of the most basic exercises that we carry out on a regular basis require the right posture, positioning and form. Many people don’t factor these elements in and just try and do the exercise as quickly as possible. Doing exercises wrong can be dangerous, cause injury and not deliver the results. Here’s a look at our top five exercises people do wrong.
Lunges are great for developing the legs, working the glutes and building up your coordination. You’re doing lunges wrong if you’re not stepping forward or back far enough, therefore putting stress on your knees.
Instead ensure the step is big enough that your knee is placed over the ankle and the upper and lower leg make a right angle. The upper body needs to be kept straight to limit stress on the back and waist.
The basis of all core strength exercises, doing the plank needs to be part of your repertoire. Your back needs to be poker straight for the plank to have any effect at all and your bottom should tucked in tight, focusing all your energies on your core. Letting your back sag will result strain to your lower back and no real abs work out.
When carrying out bicep curls your elbows should never move. You are working out your biceps and your forearms not your shoulders and this will only be achieved if your elbows are locked into place. Curl the weights towards your body with no elbow movement and a squeeze at the top.
We have already talked about the power of the squat but it’s only effective if you get it right. Maintaining the correct posture throughout is key and this means keeping your chest up high and your bottom pushed out. The movement to carry out a perfect squat should feel a little like sitting into a chair with your feet a shoulder width apart.
They may seem simple but it is possible to mis-perform the humble abdominal crunch. Straining your neck instead of working your abs is a common problem. The way to combat this is to focus on lifting your upper back from the floor, not move forward as if carrying out a sit-up. Many experts recommend picking and focusing on a spot on the ceiling as you carry out each crunch.
Getting these basic exercises right is hugely important. Do them wrong and they will have little effect - or worse, you could do yourself damage.
I can feel my stomach muscles tucking in as I read this! So important to protect the back. Great article.
Women should remember to do some basic weightbearing exercises regularly to prevent future bone problems. All the above exercises are perfect, so it's worth trying to get them right. Personally, I do some for 10 minutes in front of the TV some nights.
I'm one of those people who just wants to get on with it and it's hard to find the patience fine-tuning my technique. But this article has made me think that I could actually be wasting my time by doing basic exercises badly...
Olga, the plank is a toughie, but it's one of those that if you get it right it really tones you up. Well done for persevering!
I struggled with the plank for absolutely ages. I was definitely one of those people you see forgetting to tuck in and keep that back straight. It took a little time but I got it eventually and it plays a key role in my workouts now.
I see guys in the gym getting bicep curls wrong all the time. It's hard not to say something!
I'm with Matthew - YouTube is really helpful if you can't get someone at the gym to help you out. Following YouTube guidance also meant I was less self-conscious at the gym.
There are some really good youtube videos which will also show you better technique. From experience, it's good to have a check now and then. Even if you're not damaging yourself, you can learn some tips on how to make the move more effective.
This is a really useful post as I often worry I'm doing these exercises incorrectly. I find it easier with someone checking my posture at the gym or in a class, but these are good tips.
I have also produced some backache with incorrect crunches - time to study the ceiling more carefully!
This article has got me a bit worried about technique. Good idea to check things out with insturctors at the gym, Craig - it's clearly time well spent if it prevents injury and makes the exercises more effective.
this is REALLY interesting - I've paid the penalty in the past for getting these wrong, especially the crunch. I will definitely be trying these tips.
These exercises are all you need for your home workouts. But it's really easy to let them get loose, so occasionally when I'm at the gym I check my form out with the instructors
Good to see a back-to-basics approach on here. I'm sure we could all benefit from paying a bit of attention to our technique.