5 gym exercise mistakes not to make

5 gym exercise mistakes not to make

It’s easy to get an injury from incorrect use of gym equipment so it pays to familiarise yourself with the apparatus before going in guns blazing.

Here are the 5 most common mistakes people make at the gym. Don’t be the one to make them:

1. Incorrect bicep curls

All too often people simply try to lift too much weight. By doing this you put more pressure on the shoulders and reduce the amount of effort on the biceps. Leaning back while lifting can also lead to back injury.  Ensure you always lift within your comfort zone, keep your back straight and work from the biceps.

2. Stomach crunches with chin tucked in

Crunches should work your abs, so they need to be controlled and use your core. When you tuck your chin in you strain your neck. If you are straining the neck, then you are making no difference other than potentially injuring yourself.

3. Chest press with shoulders and back up

Not keeping the shoulders and back down is one of the most common problems with a chest press. This reduces the work on the chest and increases the chance of injuring your shoulders. If you can’t maintain your form then the likelihood is that you are lifting too much weight. Ensure you keep the shoulders and back down and contract your abs throughout the exercise.

4. Dropping your plank

The plank is a brilliant exercise for developing your core muscles, however many people sag at the hips or raise the bottom too high. By doing either of these things you reduce the effectiveness of the exercise, and by putting pressure on the lower back you may end up with pain. Ensure you keep your legs straight and hips up to create straight line from head to toe.

5. Leaning lunges

Poor technique with a lunge can put stresses on your knees and your neck. The most common error is for the front knee to lean over the toe, putting pressure on your knee. Leaning the upper body creates a strain on the neck. When you lunge, step forward and lower your hips until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Keep your body upright and look straight ahead.

The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


Michael A.
14 May 2017

Michael A.

I probably do all of these mistakes if I'm not concentrating properly. That's the key - focusing on proper form rather than just counting the number of reps.

Sean S.
10 May 2017

Sean S.

Dropping my hips during planks is easy to do, so I do focus on keeping straight, though bizarrely, this tends to hurt my back more.

Simon J.
9 May 2017

Simon J.

I've never forgotten the neck strain from getting my crunches wrong - that's not a mistake you make twice. Thanks for helping others avoid it in the first place.

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