5 Exercises Most Beginners Do WRONG! (FIX THESE)
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Some of the best exercises out there can wind up either causing a serious injury or simply wasting your time if they’re performed incorrectly.
And the majority of the most common mistakes that many people make can easily be fixed just by knowing what not to do, and what to look out for.
So that’s exactly why I want to go over 9 key exercises that most people perform incorrectly and by learning these mistakes you’ll be able to see faster more consistent, and reliable progress without having to get a bunch of injuries along the way.
And first I want to start with is the overhead shoulder press or military press.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re done with a barbell or with dumbbells because you can be making these mistakes with both and you can also be making them regardless of whether you’re doing it standing or seated.
And the first mistake that most beginners make is pressing the bar or the dumbbells in front of their body instead of directly over their head.
This puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on their lower back and their shoulders and it’ll also make you have to lift a much lighter weight than what you actually could if you were doing it correctly.
So concentrate on pressing the weight up in a straight line over your shoulders.
To accomplish this if you’re using a barbell you will have to shift your head and Chin back as the barbell passes around it both when coming down and when going back up.
Another very dangerous mistake with this exercise is arching your back too much. This can cause back pain as well as a pretty serious lower back injury.
Usually, this mistake stems from either a weak core that isn’t strong enough to prevent your lower back from hyperextending.
This can be fixed by working on your core with ab specific exercises, specifically training your core with weights can really help improve your core strength over time.
But if you don’t have a weak core another common cause for this could be poor shoulder Mobility.
So a great drill to fix poor shoulder Mobility is to use a broomstick to warm up before every one of your shoulder training days.
You would do this by grabbing the broomstick with a wide grip in front of your body and then passing it around your head and behind your back with your arms straight, and then returning back in front of your body.
Performing a couple of sets of this especially directly before hitting your shoulders can really help prevent you from excessively arching your back, and this issue will get better and better as your shoulders develop more flexibility over time.
Of course, on top of this, it’s helpful to stretch your chest and your lats out at the end of your upper body workouts with stretches like the doorway stretch and the last stretch on a bench.
Now, If you’re performing your shoulder presses seated another common mistake is sliding too far forward on the seat.
Not only does this lead to excessive arcing of the spine but it also turns your shoulder press into more of a very high incline press.
Instead, make sure that your hips are slid all the way back to ensure that you’re doing seated presses correctly.
The last mistake that I want to address if you’re doing it standing is driving with your legs and turning military presses into a push press.
Now while push presses can be a very effective exercise they’re designed as a full-body exercise that incorporates your legs as well as some momentum,
While military presses are more so designed to target only your shoulders as well as your triceps.
So if you’re doing military presses make sure that you’re not incorporating your legs into the movement to help with pushing the weight up…
Next, let’s move on to another key exercise that many people make mistakes with and that’s the pull up.
With pull-ups, one of the most common mistakes is simply having a poor range of motion.
This can happen one of two ways either you hop up and perform Pull-Ups with only half reps by not going all the way down until your elbows are fully extended or you perform half reps by not coming all the way up until your chin gets over the bar.
Going either halfway down or halfway up ends up making the exercise significantly less effective and is usually due to the fact that you’re not strong enough to pull your body weight up without any assistance just yet.
To fix this problem work on increasing your strength with auxiliary exercises like lat pull-downs barbell rows and of course assisted Pull-Ups on the assisted pull-up machine.
If you don’t have access to an assisted pull-up machine you can also use resistance bands to help make it easier while you progressively get strong enough to do this exercise with a full range of motion without any assistance.
Another common mistake involves swinging your body and using momentum to get your chin Over the Bar.
In the CrossFit community this is referred to as a Kipping pull-up however for muscle building purposes this is simply a bad form that can lead to an injury at worst or at best an ineffective set.
Instead, you want to squeeze your shoulder blades and keep your core tight while your body stays in a relatively straight line as you do pull-ups.
Now one last pull up mistake that affects a small group of people is not pushing yourself with a heavier weight load when you’re ready.
If you can do 12 to 15 pull-ups with proper form then you should try strapping weight to yourself to help with Progressive overload.
Next on the list, we have squats is squats.
Now squats can be by far one of the best exercises you can do but without proper form, they can also be very dangerous.
This is because there are so many joints and muscles involved in a squat that there’s plenty of room for error and one of the most common mistakes especially for beginners involves the lower back rounding forward…
When the lower back rounds forward excessively and your spine flexes forward you highly increase your chances of injuring your disks or straining your lower back muscles and developing lower back pain.
And there are a number of reasons why this happens, for example, if you raise your hips too fast when coming up, you’ll wind up in a bent forward position where you’ll be more likely to round forward and need to use much more of your lower back strength to lift the weight up.
Another issue that goes hand in hand with this one is simply having a weak lower back… which will obviously increase the chances of your lower back not being able to resist the downward pressure pushing it to round forward as you perform squats.
Your lower back can also round forward if you relax your spine at the bottom of your squats.
This is often referred to as butt wink, but minor butt wink isn’t really an issue and you can still maintain a safe neutral spine,
Even while your hips shift backward with a little bit of butt wink, but when you go down to the point that you relax your spine completely and allow it to excessively round forward that’s once again a mistake.
So to prevent lower back rounding first you’ll want to think about maintaining a neutral spine throughout the entire movement.
This means you don’t want to have an anterior pelvic tilt where you’re arching your spine excessively backward and you also want to prevent it from rounding excessively forward.
Usually, beginners have a problem with rounding forward so focusing on keeping the chest up and pulling the shoulder blades back nice and tight together, can help most lifters avoid forward rounding of the spine.
Another thing that really helps is making sure that you take a deep breath before lowering yourself for each rep.
This technique is known as the Valsalva maneuver and it works by trapping air in your lungs helping to create internal pressure inside your abdomen,
Which helps stabilize your torso and prevents your spine from bending forward while resisting heavy weight-loads.
Also, Keep in mind, if you experience excessive rounding at the bottom of the squat or excessive butt wink it might mean that you’re going too low or that your hamstrings are too tight.
Remember that you’ll reap the majority of the benefits from squats just by going to parallel or right under parallel, and If the issue is that your hamstrings are too tight then performing a few sets where you hold a simple sit and reach for 20 to 30 seconds per set preferably every day, or at least after every one of your leg workouts, can really help with mobility.
Now other than lower back rounding a few other common mistakes include not going low enough during the squat which again you should be aiming to get down to at least parallel… another issue is allowing your knees to collapse inward which can easily damage your ligaments.
To avoid this when squatting you want to point your feet and legs slightly outward before beginning and keep your knees pointed in the same direction as your toes the whole time.
If that doesn’t work you may also have tight adductors which can be stretched with a butterfly stretch at the end of your leg workouts.
And you can strengthen your abductors by wrapping a resistance band around your knees while performing squats.
Finally, the last mistake that I want to go over with squats is shifting your weight forward which usually results in you squatting on your toes and your knees going far past your toes at the bottom of the lift.
To correct this you’ll want to focus on keeping your feet flat on the ground and driving through the middle of your foot.
For some of you, it might help to focus on staying more on your heels to correct the habit of squatting on your toes,
Just keep in mind squatting with your weight excessively shifted towards your heels will lead to poor balance and poor squat mechanics,
So make sure you eventually get to the point where you’re driving through the middle of your foot, not through your toes or your heels.
Another common key exercise that I see many people getting wrong is of course The deadlift.
This is an exercise that can be very rewarding when you do it correctly but also can easily lead to an injury if you’re doing it incorrectly.
One of the biggest mistakes that leads to the most deadlift injuries is having a forward rounded spine just like we talked about with squats.
By maintaining a big chest and by retracting your shoulders and keeping those shoulder blades nice and tight together you can avoid a potential nasty lower back injury.
Another big mistake that many beginners make is turning the deadlift into more of a squat rather than a hip hinging movement.
To understand what a hip hinging movement is it helps a lot to look at how kettlebell swings are properly performed.
You’re primarily supposed to move the kettlebell with your hips, not with your arms.
The deadlift is also a hip hinging movement where your knees ARe for the most part just slightly bent and you’re not focusing on knee extension as much as you’re focusing on hinging your hips and driving them forward.
Oftentimes making the mistake of primarily focusing on extending your knees will go hand-in-hand with the mistake of straightening your legs before straightening your back.
This once again puts a lot of pressure on your lower back which can lead to a lower back injury and instead to perform deadlifts correctly and safely you want to take a deep breath before each rep and keep your core tight as you extend your knees and your back simultaneously rather than separately on the way up.
Another mistake that you want to avoid is leaning too far forward.
When you’re doing this from a side view it’ll look like your shoulders are really far in front of the barbell.
Instead, you want your shoulders in line with your hands and the barbell.. and you want to do your best to raise the barbell up in a straight line.
When performing the deadlift you also want to avoid hyperextending the back at the top of each rep.
This creates an anterior pelvic tilt and it can lead to a lower back injury especially when you have heavyweight loaded on the barbell like you probably will with the deadlift.
Instead, you want to stop when you’re standing upright without hyperextending your spine and avoid going any further back.
Finally, our last exercise is the lateral raise,
And even though this isn’t as much of a staple exercise as squats overhead presses deadlifts,
And pull-ups lateral raises happened to be one of the most effective exercises to isolate and develop your mid deltoid which gives you that wider 3D shoulder appearance.
And there are a large number of mistakes that I see people making with lateral raises regularly.
The first one is turning the thumbs-down and the pinkies up as you perform this exercise.
Now at one point, there were so many people saying that this is the proper way to do lateral raises that I found myself doing it this way,
But doing this is bad for your shoulders because you’re putting them in an internally rotated position while loading them with weight which can easily lead to a shoulder impingement injury.
A big reason why people do this is that it actually does help take the front of the shoulder out of the movement and helps incorporate more of the mid deltoid.
But you can do this without having the pinkies higher up than the thumbs by leaning forward and keeping the dumbbells in front of your hips instead of to the sides of your hips while performing lateral raises.
This can be done both by bending forward while standing or on an incline bench with your chest down against the bench.
Another common mistake with lateral raises is keeping your elbows totally straight instead of keeping them slightly bent.
When you keep your elbows locked out you’re putting a lot of pressure on your elbow joint and taking a lot of tension off of the lateral deltoid head that you’re trying to Target.
Instead, you should maintain a Slight Bend in the elbow. Now, when doing this exercise you also don’t want to allow your hands to travel significantly higher than your elbows as you perform reps and you definitely don’t want to curl the weights up as you raise them.
Instead, you want your elbows to be locked in that slightly bent position and you want them to be about even with your hands as you raise the dumbbells to the top position.
The last mistake that you want to avoid with lateral raises is using too much momentum and Swinging before every rep.
Using a little momentum on the last couple reps to help you through is fine but the majority of your set should be done without much body
English that about wraps it up for today guys I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this video and that you’ve learned how to avoid some of the most common mistakes with 5 very common and important exercises.
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My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first of 3 transformation studios in 2011. I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 3,000,000 subscribers! I can happily say that we've helped over 15,000 people get in great shape over the years. I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org