Proper form is the most important element of your workouts. Not only does it ensure that you're getting the most out of an exercise, but it also helps reduce your risk of injury. In group classes and training sessions, there's an instructor there to help correct your form—but when you work out at home, you don't tend to get that personal attention. When there's no one there to point out if you're overarching your back or scrunching your shoulders up toward your ears, it's essential that you do your own due diligence.
One tell-tale sign that you're doing things incorrectly? "If it doesn't feel good on your back, you're probably not using the most intentional form," says Alex Lyons, creator and founder of The Workup. So if you feel tightness, pain, or discomfort in your back while working out, that means it's time to hone in on your form.
This tip comes during this episode of Trainer of the Month Club. In it, Lyons demos a 20-minute full-body sculpt workout with weights. Lyons uses both a three-pound and a five-pound dumbbells, though she notes that you can go heavier or lighter depending on your fitness level. If your form starts to suffer, your best bet is to reduce your weight or take a modified variation of a move.
Throughout the 20 minutes, you'll spike your heart rate and feel the burn in your muscles, improving both your cardio and strength. There are a number of combination exercises, like curtsy lunges with weighted overhead reaches and bridges with chest presses, and Lyons will walk you through the proper way to do each move to ensure your form stays in tact. You'll also move through a few "spicy" plank variations, which will strengthen your back and further reduce your risk of injury.
Ready to get the party started? Press play for the entire full-body sculpt with weights.
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