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A Trainer's Take on Common Gym Mistakes

By HERWriter
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Common Gym Mistakes: A Trainer's Take AntonioDiaz/Fotolia

Are you feeling like your time in the gym is just, well, time in the gym? Do you still look the same, even though you think you are working hard?

From my vantage point of working as a trainer for many years, I’ve seen numerous mistakes. Some of them really stand out.

Sorry Squats

Yep, the basic squat. You know, the one your toddler can execute perfectly. This is the exercise that I see performed the most incorrectly.

I often see hips jutting forward, putting a strain on the lower back. The other common miss on form is when you bend to far forward with your knees going over your toes. You want your knees aligned with your heels.

Crunches Gone Wrong

Did you ever do a ton of crunches only to have a sore neck and no effect on your abs? The reason is that you are not initiating the movement from your abdominals. My suggestion is to do a crunch first, without doing a crunch.

No, that was not a typo. Inhale and pull your abs in tight. Now, imagine you are lifting your head up higher and pull you abs in deeper and exhale. Once you have gotten this down, start by lifting your head up slightly. Remember, it is not about how high you can lift your head, but how deep you can pull in your abs.

Core Clueless

All exercises, not just the above-mentioned crunches should have a foundation from the core. If you do a squat without pulling in your abs, you may end up using your back. If you do a bench press without pulling in your abs, you’ll likely lift your low back off of the bench, using less of the pectoralis muscles you are trying to work.

Unbalanced Upper Body

Speaking of the chest press, did you ever know someone (most likely a guy) who seems to always be benching? In the fitness industry we call this the UBNL Club, which stands for Upper Body, No Legs. It is important to work the total body for optimum results and less overuse injuries.

Not Mixing It Up

The UBNL Club isn't the only club, there are lots of others. There are the people who only go to one type of class. You know who they are.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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