Form Matters: Top 5 Moves Performed Improperly (Videos)

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Form matters in performing basic exercises at the gym and at home.
  • Slight mistakes in form can lessen the helpfulness of an exercise, or even cause injury and pain.
  • It’s easy to learn proper workout form with a little instruction and care.

Have you ever thought “Am I doing this right?” while performing certain moves in the gym? If you have, you’re not alone.

The gym can be particularly intimidating if you’re attempting moves you’ve never done before, especially with the constant worry you aren’t using the correct technique.

Many gym-goers have trouble perfecting their technique when exercising. Several moves specifically tend to be the culprits of improper form:

Not only will perfecting these moves lead to better results, but it will also help prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring.

To view how-to videos for a variety of moves, as well as gain access to workout plans, diet guidelines and more, learn more about Exercise.com’s PRO membership now!

#1 – Mastering the Squat

Many fitness experts agree that the squat is one of the most beneficial moves when it comes to getting the most out of your workout.

However, it is also often performed incorrectly, which can lead to knee pain.

Squats can help improve balance and coordination when done properly. Get rid of the sloppiness and start perfecting that form!

#2 – Ready, Set, Plank!

As one of the most fundamental (not to mention difficult) yoga moves, the plank will really get your muscles hot. But if it’s done incorrectly, the plank will not do much for you.

Be sure to keep your body completely aligned, while focusing on a tight core. Breathing deeply while holding this position is also key.

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#3 – Lunge for Great Legs

While lunges may sound like one of the least difficult moves to do, it’s very easy to make little mistakes, leading to possible injury.

Watch the video below to learn the proper technique for lunges:

Bending at the wrong angles and putting pressure in the wrong direction will not only inhibit results but will put unnecessary strain on your muscles.

#4 – Triceps Extension

The seated triceps extension is great for working the arm muscles as well as your core if you’re doing it right.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not using the correct weights, which will make it more difficult to control the movement.
Some tips for better technique include using a chair with a back to allow for better support. You can also do only one arm at a time if necessary.

#5 – Crunching Your Way to Fit

Incorrectly performing the crunch is very easy to do. Many people are familiar with the standard form of a crunch.

However, most are unaware that simple tweaks can either greatly help or hinder. Be sure to not pull on your neck, which can cause strain, and focus only on using your core to perform each crunch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should I weight train in the morning or evening?

Some studies have shown that lifting weights in the early evening is more beneficial because cortisol levels are lower. With that being said, the best time to weight train is when you feel the most energized and/or have the time to do so.

Are free weights better than machines?

Free weights are better for an overall workout than machines as they require the use of more stabilizer muscles; however, machines are a great addition to a well-rounded exercise routine.

When should I go up in weight?

If your last couple of reps can be done easily and quickly (with good form), then it’s time to increase the weight of your lifts.

Is a weightlifting belt necessary?

A weightlifting belt should only be worn when it’s absolutely necessary — like when you have a very heavy load on your back.

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