15 Workout Mistakes That Can Cause Damage

Going to the gym on a regular basis requires determination and willpower. For those who have decided to take this step to establish a regular exercise routine, it’s a great move in the right direction. However, too many beginners find it difficult to ask for help when first getting started and tend to learn bad habits that are hard to break.

Beginners may resist asking for help because they are either too shy or too arrogant to admit they need some advice. You need to learn how to do the basic exercises in the correct way from the very start, or your workouts will be plagued with difficulties. Many training routines include variations of these basic exercises, and if you are doing them incorrectly, they will be ineffective, and you won’t see the results you expect. If you don’t see results, you may lose heart and give up on exercising altogether instead of just making a few crucial adjustments.

Some people have been doing these exercises wrongly for years without realizing it. Doing them wrongly not only makes them less effective but opens you up to injuries.    You are training your body to perform a movement in a specific way, and if you do this incorrectly, you can develop back pain, an aching neck, a damaged shoulder and other injuries that can seriously affect the quality of your life.

Learning good form when doing basic exercises will help you to maximize the results and encourage you to continue. When focusing on good form, the aim is to do exercises in which you keep a neutral spine and focus on your core stability. The following points reveal the mistakes you could be making when doing basic exercises and how to fix them. 

1. Squats

Exercises that employ multiple muscles at the same time are a great place to start, and squats will target your leg muscles and your core. Squats have been around forever for a good reason. They are functional, and you do the movement often in your daily life. Doing the squat correctly strengthens all the lower body muscles that are vital for performing many daily activities.

Wrong: The most common problems people experience with squats is that their knees cave in, they round their backs, and they don’t go down far enough. When your shoulders are rounded, your back is rounded too. This causes you to go too low on your squat, creating extra load.

Right: The proper way to squat is to take a stance a bit wider than shoulder width with your hands out in front of you for balance. Sit back as if you were in a chair with your shoulders back, your chest up and toes pointed out. Your knees should be behind your toes, and you should be looking forward with your chest up. Bend down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your weight on your heels as you rise up again.

As you get stronger, a multitude of variations can be added to the squat. Doing a barbell back squat is one of these and again, you need to make sure that your back is straight with shoulders pulled back until the blades are nearly touching. Crouch under the bar and rest it on the muscle which provides a ‘shelf’ rather than on the neck. Grab the bar firmly, keeping your elbows down and close to your body. Perform your basic squat with the bar resting on the muscles, not the neck.