Fitness Tips

26 Workout Moves Trainers Say You’re Always Doing Wrong

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/BONNINSTUDIO

When you’re flying through your workout every day, there’s not a whole lot of time to stop and check your form. But despite feeling like you’re doing every exercise correctly, there’s a good chance you’re not. Just ask these all-star trainers who see the same mistakes being made day after day.

Despite doing burpees, squats, and glute bridges more times than you can count, there are some minor fixes that could be keeping you from performing the movements properly. Even if that’s just as simple as bettering your body alignment, switching the position of your feet, or changing your gaze. Here are the exercises you’re doing wrong, according to the pros.

26 exercises you’re doing wrong, according to trainers

1. Plank

When you’re doing a plank, your body should be in one straight line. That means no pushing your hips too high in the air or dipping your lower back.

2. Chair pose

The chair pose seems easy enough, right? Don’t make any common mistakes when doing it, like extending your knees past your ankles or rounding your lower back.

3. Curtsy squat

Just consider this practice in case you ever meet the queen. Doing a proper curtsy squat means crossing your leg behind your body at a 45 degree angle, keeping your hip bones rotated forward, and making sure your hips are sinking down vertically.

4. Bridge yoga pose

Despite how common this pose is, not many people do it correctly. Next time, be sure to avoid having wide feet, a collapsed neck, and wide knees.

5. Side lunge

Even if you’re fairly confident in your side lunge form, it never hurts to make sure you’re checking all the boxes. That means making sure your hips are following the extended leg, keeping a neutral spine, and keeping your butt pulled back.

6. Crow pose

Mastering the crow pose isn’t easy, and there are a few common mistakes you’ll probably make when doing it. Primarily pointing your knees and elbows out, which makes it impossible to lift your hips.

7. Squat

You probably knew squats would make a list of the exercises you’re doing wrong. When you’re doing them, it’s easy to hunch your shoulders and stand with your feet too close together. But you should be standing with your feet wide with your weight in your heels, chest lifted, and glutes squeezed.

8. Downward dog

If you do yoga on the regular, it’s important to master your downward dog. To improve the pose, soften your knees, focus on pushing your tailbone higher, and turn your armpits inward.

9. Crunches

Don’t get into the habit of crunching incorrectly. Keep your feet hip-distance apart and your heels within reach of your hands, and keep your elbows open and lower back pressed into the mat.

10. Mountain climbers

The next time you’re doing mountain climbers, avoid pushing your hips in the air and instead focus on keeping a flat back and making sure there’s a straight line from your head to your heels.

11. Burpees

TBH, it’s easy to get so tired while doing burpees that keeping the right form is a challenge in itself. But be sure to focus on little things, like keeping your knees over your toes in the squat and keeping a straight line from your head to your heels in the plank.

12. Glute bridge

Your glute bridges are a lot more effective when you do them correctly. Keep your knees directly above your ankles and your lower back on the mat. Then when you push up, be sure your core and glutes are engaged, and that you aren’t overarching your back.

13. Pigeon pose

Anyone can master the pigeon pose with a few helpful form tips, including being sure your back leg is directly behind you, your toes are untucked, and your foot is pressing into the mat.

14. Sun salutation

One of the worst mistakes you can make when doing a sun salutation? Overarching your back when you have your arms raised overhead.

15. Table top

If you love mat-based workouts, make sure you’re doing a proper tabletop. Avoid arching your back, be sure your hands are in line with your shoulders, and keep a slight bend in your elbows.

16. Jump rope

Yep, there’s even a right way to jump rope. Avoid jumping high and keep your feet low to the ground. Also, make sure your arms are at 90 degrees.

17. Kettlebell deadlift

Having the right form is crucial when doing kettlebell deadlifts. Never ever round your back, and don’t push your hips forward and lean back.

18. Triangle pose

Fun fact: One of the most common mistakes people make when doing the triangle pose is pointing their feet in the wrong direction.

19. Push-up

The next time you bust out your push-up reps, avoid pushing your butt in the air or pointing your elbows out.

20. Wheel pose

What a perfect wheel pose looks like: heels below your knees, hands by your ears and fingers pointed toward your shoulders, lifted hips, and extended arms.

21. Tricep push-up

Tricep push-ups aren’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you can slack on your form. When you lower into it, keep your gaze down, elbows close to your sides, and hips in line with your shoulders.

22. Runner’s form

Form makes all the difference in how your body feels during and after your runs. Be sure you’re relaxing your arms, driving your elbows, and checking that your foot strike is directly under your hips.

23. Pilates teaser

When you’re doing a Pilates teaser, keep your legs together and abs engaged as you peel up from your spine and lift your legs.

24. Side plank

When you’re doing a side plank, keep your shoulder in line with your wrist and head in line with your heels, and stack your feet to ensure you have a solid base.

25. Dumbbell woodchop

One of the worst things you can do while doing a dumbbell woodchop is twisting and hunching as you bring the weight up and down.

26. Single leg deadlift

When you’re doing a single leg deadlift, keep a neutral neck and hinge from the hips when you lower, making sure your gaze follows the movement.

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