Tips for Avoiding Poor Form as You Exercise

Go to any gym, and there’s a strong chance that you’ll see most lifting weights or using the equipment with poor form.

Bad posture, incorrect usage, and misalignment may lead to injuries long term. How does this happen? In the process, you end up using the wrong muscles, placing stress on your joints, or straining your neck.

As a good baseline, make sure a line goes from your earlobe to your shoulder and through your trunk, thighs, and ankles. Yet, specific exercises come with their own issues:

Squats: Make sure your knees don’t point inward. Rather, angle them out and keep your legs parallel to the ground.

Deadlifts: Always make sure your form retains your natural lumbar curve.

Shoulder and Bench Presses: When you’re lifting weights from the bench, keep the motion natural, and place your elbows just ahead of your chest, rather than directly at your sides. However, as you do this, make sure your elbows and arms don’t move out and away, as this places more pressure on your shoulders. As you do this exercise, your triceps and chest should be supporting the weight.

Also, as you lay back, never use your legs to lift. When you’re doing this routine, keep your feet and bottom planted down and your spine straight. Otherwise, a curved form puts extra stress on your spinal joints.

Kettle Bells: These look like they come from the arm; however, the strength and balance are all in the hips, knees, and ankles. Lift from here, never swing your arms, and never lift the weight above your head.

Running: No matter if you’re going around the track or using the treadmill, you’ll find that poor form over time leads to shin splints, ankle injuries, and knee pain. Not only that, you tire yourself out too soon during your workout. Experts recommend softer or quiet running. You’ll land on the balls of your feet instead of the heels, which places less pressure on your joints.

Rowing: Many make the mistake of lifting the barbell too far behind the rib cage. Here, your shoulders should have just a slight space between the blades when you reach the top of the row.

To make sure you’re using good form, take a few sessions with a personal trainer. Contact North Haven Health & Racquet to sign up today.