Ever been to the gym and seen someone doing something that you’ve had drilled into your head as being just plain wrong. You’ve got your coach or trainer from way-back-when shouting in your head telling you what not to do? You might even have the urge to correct someone, which seems noble but doesn’t always end well.
Before you make sure other people are doing their exercises correctly, you might want to assure that you’re not making any mistakes of your own. This could avoid a potentially embarrassing situation.
For the next handful of posts, we’re going to go through a short blog series of the most common mistakes seen in the gym.
Are these things that you already know? Are you effectively putting them into good practice? Let’s find out…
#2 Bad Form
This one is a doozy. There’s a lot to cover in terms of bad form. An exercise is going to benefit you the most if you know how to do it correctly. That will require some additional research on your end.
But, in general, having good form helps with…
Beyond just not knowing proper form for an exercise, there are some common mistakes that newer gym goers will make across the board. These include using momentum to complete full repetitions, and not taking advantage of an exercise’s full ROM.
It’s not okay to use momentum.
Some people call it body rocking, because the motion is similar to waves lapping against a boat. People will cheat by using momentum by swinging the weight, by forcing their own body weight into the exercise or by some combination of the two. An example…
By the way, props to these guys for wanting to improve themselves physically. We’re not making fun of anyone here, because developing proper form is no laughing matter.
One of the things that’s so great about lifting weights is that you have a ton of different tools at hand that allow you to isolate and improve select muscle groups. For example, the bench press majorly targets the pectorals, lateral raises will target parts of the shoulders, and bicep curls target the biceps. When you swing through an exercise you end up sending the force of the weight to all kinds of different places in your body.
When you swing through the motion the benefits of that isolation are lost, and the misdirected force can cause injury by accidentally putting extreme pressure on important joints like your lower back.
ROM stands for…
Using your full range of motion during an exercise will take advantage of the full mobility of limbs and joints. Hitting the whole length of the muscle through the positive and negative motion of an exercise will give you the full benefit of that exercise.
A lot of times, you’ll see someone only doing half of a bicep curl or not going very low during a squat. While this might not be as likely to cause injury as using momentum during an exercise, it is still a common mistake.
By learning correct posture and the full depth of an exercise, you’ll see more results–faster.
That said, if you experience joint pain during an exercise while attempting full ROM, you should seek medical advice from a professional just as you would if you ever experience joint pain during any exercise.
There are no shortcuts to reaching long-term exercise goals. So keep in mind that when you cheat in your workout, you are really only cheating yourself.