Beginners aren’t the only ones who should be cautious in the gym. In fact, sometimes longtime gym goers have been exercising with improper form for years, and it’s only a matter of time before injury presents itself. If you want to exercise like the pros, maximize your gains, and ensure health and stability, then learn about these 10 exercises that fitness experts wish you would stop doing!
Last but not least, everyone should focus on their entire body and not just the glamor muscles. While bicep curls are nice, your back, triceps, and legs need equal attention in order to maximize gains and stability. This means work your shoulders with military presses, your back with pull-ups, and your legs with squats. A full-body routine will not only make you healthier, but it will make you look better as well!
Dumbbell curls are a great way of isolating your biceps and utilizing twitch muscle fibers. However, many people use their backs to help swing the dumbbell upwards which effectively ruins the whole exercise! When completing a proper dumbbell curl, the only thing that should be moving is your arm, and the rest of your body should be entirely still. Don’t use your back or hip to help get that final rep in, and this will help to keep you injury free while also maximizing your strength gaining potential.
This is the least specific item on the list, but probably the most important. You’ve likely seen this person: they come fresh into the gym and are incredibly enthusiastic about getting in shape. Sounds great, but this person goes a step further and uses more weights than they can handle while also utilizing bad form. No matter what exercise you’re doing, from deadlifts to pushups, you should always practice good form before adding weight or reps. Take your time adjusting to the new exercise so that you can stay safe while also maximizing your time. So no matter the exercise: don’t rush!
Every gym has that person who curls in the squat rack, and fitness experts agree that you should not be that person! Curls do not require the safety bar that a squat rack provides, and they can essentially be done anywhere. If you are used to doing curls in a squat rack, you should immediately switch to squats and deadlifts because, as the name implies, it’s not a curl rack! You will likely get a better workout as a result, and gym goers will be less likely to sigh at your presence.
The Smith Machine is a guided deadlift/squat machine that is deceptively dangerous. While it may seem ideal to have a “fail-safe” machine that guides your deadlifts, it is actually a hindrance since the machine only allows for one range of motion. When deadlifting traditionally, your body is utilizing multiple small and large muscle groups to stabilize the bar and complete the action. With The Smith Machine, you are essentially taking everything beneficial away in the guise of safety and proper form! Watch someone use the machine, and then imagine them using that form in daily life. Instead of relying on a machine for guidance, simply load your bar with smaller weights and perfect your form. That way, you will be able to add more weights in the future while getting the workout your body deserves!