The 5 Strength Exercises Most People Get Wrong

The 5 Strength Exercises Most People Get Wrong

Plus easy steps to make sure you get them right

Whether you’re a complete novice or a strength-training pro, odds are that a) there are small adjustments you could make to get even more from your workout and b) your exercise routine will at some point feature at least one of these five very important compound moves. That’s because these exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time, meaning you get more out of you workout.

It’s more important than ever to make sure we’re performing these exercises correctly as, thanks to COVID-19, we’re all working out at home without the help of trainers and coaches to correct our poor form.

Good form is so crucial when lifting weights because it helps to avoid injury and get the best results. To steer us down the path of perfect-form training, Kate Maxey, Strength and Conditioning Master Trainer at Third Space is here to show us where we’re going wrong.

The 5 exercises most commonly performed incorrectly (and how to get them right)

1/ DEADLIFT

The wrong approach

  • Rounded back
  • Hips too far forward, not moving back past heels
  • Hands away from shins

The right approach

  • Feet hip width apart
  • Initiate the movement from your hips, pushing your hips/glutes backwards past your heels
  • As your hips move back, ensure you have a flat neutral spine – your back should be flat like a table
  • As you push your hips/glutes back glide your hands with the dumbells half way down your shins – do not go all the way to the ground
  • Once halfway down your shins, drive your hips/glutes forwards and stand tall. Feel it in hamstrings and glutes

 

2/ LUNGE

The wrong approach

  • Knee tracking inwards
  • Feet on same line
  • Shoulders forward and not engaged

The right approach

  • Stepping one leg back, keeping your feet landing hip width apart. Ensure your left ankle, knee and hip is in-line and the same on the right
  • There should be a right angle at both knees, with your back knee as close to the ground as you can
  • Ensure not just your legs work by engaging your core and pulling your shoulders back

 

3/ OVERHEAD PRESS

The wrong approach

  • Arch of lower back
  • Chest pushed forward
  • Hands finishing in front of head
  • Eyes looking up to dumbbells

The right approach

  • Feet are hip width apart with a slight bend at the knee. Hands begin at the shoulders with the dumbbells
  • Keep your eyes forward, chin at neutral (looking straight ahead) at all times
  • As the dumbbells drive overhead, ensure you keep your pelvis tucked under (so your lower back does not arch – engage your core)
  • Drive your hands overhead until your biceps are in line with your ears

 

4/ DUMBBELL ROW

The wrong approach

  • Rounded back
  • Legs straight and locked out
  • Elbows pulling wide
  • Hands to armpits

The right approach

  • Lower into the bottom part of your deadlift position with your knees slightly more bent
  • Ensure you keep a neutral spine – keep your back flat like a table
  • As you drive the dumbbells up, keep your elbows close to your body driving just in-line with your back – no higher
  • You should aim for the weights to come as far as your hips (not your armpits) and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top

 

5/ TRICEP PRESS-UP

The wrong approach

  • Hands in front of shoulders – in line with your forehead
  • Hips in the air creating a ‘v’ shape with your body
  • Bending at the elbows only
  • Lifted chin

The right approach

  • Begin in a high plank position, ensuring your hands are setting up directly underneath your shoulders
  • Your elbows should be facing towards your feet at this point with a slight angle to the outside
  • Slowly lower your chest to your hands and push up using your triceps, chest and shoulders
  • This can be done on the knees or toes – if on your knees ensure you have a straight line from your knees to your shoulders

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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