Common Flaws and Fixes in Weight Training Exercises

December 8, 2015
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Weight training has several benefits including increased muscle mass, tone and strength; improved cardio endurance and stamina; and decreased risks for chronic degenerative diseases. This is true because lifting weights, whether it is your own body weight or dumbbells and barbells, is one of the best exercises for men and women.

But weight training has its risks, many of which result in injuries ranging from sprains and strains to fractures and concussions. Many of the people on funny videos may be entertainment fodder for the viewers but they have likely suffered from moderate to severe injuries as a result of inappropriate form and incorrect techniques.

Here are the common flaws and fixes that men and women usually commit in the gym. You may even find that you have been committing similar mistakes in your own weight training sessions, too. You should ask your personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness for more tips about proper form and technique as well.

Back Squats

These are among the most beneficial yet most challenging weight training exercises. The movement requires a high degree of muscular strength and joint flexibility at the shoulders, hips and spine, thus, its advanced-level category. But many people still get it wrong, which results in increased risks for injuries including severe strains and sprains.

Since there are several possible flaws in the performance in back squats, let’s take a look instead at the proper form from setup to squatting down and up.

The squat setup should be:

  • Place the bar should be at approximately your mid-chest height.
  • Move under the bar, place it on your back, and hold it in place with your hands.
  • Stand with an even stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and your feet facing out at a 30-degree angle.
  • Lift the bar out of its rack, take one step back, and take a deep breath. Tense your body before squatting down.

When squatting down, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start from your hips, which mean bending at your hips so that you are sitting back into the squat.
  • Keep your knees out. When your knees start to buckle, the weight is too heavy so change it.
  • Keep your weight toward your heel (i.e., distributed to the back).
  • Go all the ways down.

Even before you have finished with squatting all the way down, you have to start thinking about squatting up. Your brain will be more prepared about making the upward movement.

When squatting up, you should adopt these safety measures:

  • Bounce out of the squat’s bottom by bouncing off your hips instead of your knees.
  • Focus on your glutes by squeezing them together.
  • Drive your hips in an upward manner.

You have probably realized by now the reasons why you seem to be having more trouble with your back squats.

Reverse Fly

The reverse fly provides several benefits including improved posture and upper back muscles. But you may be doing it wrong, such as:

  • Rounding your lower or upper back (i.e., arch in the lower back or curve in the shoulders)
  • Taking your arms past 90 degrees 

Adopt these fixes:

  • Keep your back as flat as possible. You will know it because your abdominal muscles are engaged in the movement.
  • Be aware of how far back your arms are extended.
  • Ensure that your toes and heels are firmly set on the ground. You should also push through your whole foot when leaning your chest against the bench.

Biceps Curl

Big biceps are desired by men for obvious reasons and the biceps curl is the easiest exercise to increase the muscle mass in the arms. But your movements may be incorrect in the following instances:

  • Uncontrolled swinging of your arms
  • Back and forth swaying of your body

Basically, you are swinging the dumbbells up and down using momentum while your pelvis rocks back and forth.

Fix your biceps curl and get more benefits from it by:

  • Tucking your pelvis slightly under, which will keep your glutes and abs engaged.
  • Keep a slight bend in your knee while keeping your head and chest up. This will make the bicep curl less of a bicep-focused exercise and more of a full-body movement.
  • Avoid using momentum but use your strength to lift the weight up and down.

Push-ups

These are the most common body weight-bearing exercises yet many people still get it wrong on several fronts including:

  • Poor posture
  • Internally rotated arms

To fix your push-up, do these things instead:

  • Start by adopting the proper posture of a straight line, as much as you can achieve it. A curved posture usually looks like a collapsed back, which is caused by the lack of core strength applied to the posture.
  • Start with your butt in a higher position in the air.
  • Hit the ground with your chest first. Actively drawn in your navel toward your spine, which will activate your core muscles.

With proper posture, form and technique from start to finish, you will be able to maximize the rewards and minimize the risks inherent in all types of weight training exercises.

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