Sometimes little mistakes that you commit unknowingly while exercising, can ruin all of your efforts and can even lead to serious injuries. So here are 8 common gym exercise mistakes that most people do wrong.
Whether you’re a beginner or if you’re advanced you need to make sure that you’re doing your workouts correctly.
1. Dips On The Parallel Bars.
First of all you shouldn’t do dips on a bench, since your hands are locked behind your back the exercise puts your shoulders in a very unnatural position that can cause impingement. Luckily with parallel bars we could do dips without the hands being behind the back, but even with regular dips on parallel bars, there are still a lot of mistakes to address.
You shouldn’t be doing partial reps like many people doing at the gym. If you can’t do reps where you go all the way down until your upper arm is almost parallel with the ground then work on improving your tricep strength with other exercises. if you have an assisted pull-up machine or resistance bands you can use those to help you work through a full range of motion on dips as well.
Not going low enough is a problem but going too low is also a problem, you shouldn’t go lower than parallel with the floor. Otherwise, you’ll once again be placing a lot of stress on the shoulders.
The other thing that people will do is flare their elbows out way too far. While you can flare your elbows out a little bit and lean forward to concentrate more on your chest you don’t want to flare them out too far.
And the last thing that a lot of people do wrong is they try to do dips perfectly vertical. Even if you’re trying to concentrate on your triceps you’ll be a lot better off leaning at least slightly forward with your chest in front of your hips on this exercise.
The biggest mistake that people of all different skill levels make with lunges, is lunging with an almost overlapping stride position. What we mean is that people will lunge in a straight line putting one foot directly in line with the other, like they’re trying to do some complicated sobriety test.
This is wrong you want to plant your feet a little less than hip width apart for every lunge. While lunges can help you develop better balance, the exercise itself should not be a balancing act so there’s no need to practically cross your feet over with each lunge.
Another mistake is taking steps too close together. When you take a small step and lunge with your feet too close together, you’re going to be making more of a triangle between your legs at the bottom of your lunge. Usually, your knee will also wind up going past your toe, or simply just going too far forward which will put excess stress on that knee.
On the other hand when you do it right you’re going to be making more of what looks like a rectangle shape in between your legs and your front knee won’t be going past your toes.
The last thing about lunges is that you shouldn’t let your knee smash into the floor on every rep. You can definitely come down to the floor and lightly touch the floor with your knee as long as you do it in a controlled way. Dropping to your knee on the other hand not only can It harm your knee but it’ll also take the tension off your legs at the bottom of every rep.
3. Dumbbell And Barbell Chest Presses
The most common mistakes with these are either having your elbows flared too far out, or having them too tight together. When your elbows are flared too far out, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your shoulder and rotator cuff.
On the other hand when your elbows are too close to your ribs you’re shifting most of the tension away from your chest, and redirecting that tension towards your triceps and the front of your shoulder, now keep in mind a lot of this does depend on grip width as well, when you’re purposefully trying to do a wider grip on the bench press, your elbows will naturally flare out a little wider, and the same thing in reverse when you’re doing Close Grip presses, your elbows will naturally be a little tighter to your body, however ideally with something like a dumbbell press or a regular bench press we want our elbows to be about 75 degrees away from our body but no more.
another mistake is curving the lower back out too much. before beginning the exercise we do want to bring the shoulder blades back and tight together, and we also want to maintain the natural lumbar curve in our lower back, but we don’t want to look like we’re bridging while we’re bench pressing, because this will increase the risk of injury to your neck and to your lower back.
Another mistake is ending off with the weight above or below your shoulders, even if you follow an arc-like path during a bench press, at the end of the movement the bar or the dumbbells should always be in line with your shoulders not below your shoulders or above your head.
4. Cable Flyes
let’s move on to another chest exercise, for some reason with cable flyes, a lot of people bringing their arms and the cables way too far back, the problem here is that with flyes since your elbows are open up at a very wide angle there’s already a lot of tension on your shoulders, when you go too far back you’re increasing your risk of hyperextending and injuring those shoulders, when lowering the weight you want to aim to stop even with your chest, or maybe just a little bit further back before lifting that weight right back up.
Another problem that most beginners run into is performing the fly with the elbows locked out, not only does this put excessive pressure on the elbows, but it also decreases the amount of tension that’s placed on the chest, which is the muscle that you’re trying to target to begin with, you want to keep your elbows slightly bent and pretend that you’re hugging a really wide tree.
The last problem you might run into, is if you’re rounding your shoulders too far forward with flyes just like with the chest presses, you want to make sure that you re-tracked your shoulder blades and stick your chest out.
5. Bent Over Barbell Row
Next up is the bent-over barbell row, with this exercise most people aren’t sure where they should be aiming to bring the bar, you could bring the bar higher up towards your chest, or lower towards your belly button. while neither of these are necessarily wrong, you should be choosing where to aim for a specific purpose. when you row towards your belly button, you’ll target a lot more of the muscles in the middle of your back and some of your lats as well. on the other hand when you do rows closer to your chest you’ll be targeting a lot more of your upper back.
Now the most serious mistake that we see for any standing bent over movement is forward rounding of the spine. normally you’ll naturally maintain a neutral lumbar curve, but when you’re bent over with heavyweight in your hands, that weight will be pulling your upper body down, and if you don’t resist and stabilize the weight properly you can easily wind up with a lower back injury, so to prevent this from happening you’ll want to stick your chest out and really squeeze your shoulder blades nice and tight together before you even lift the weight up, thinking about maintaining a big chest and seeing your chest in the mirror the whole time we’ll help you out quite a bit as well.
For beginners we found that keeping the head up reminds them to keep their chest up as well, because where the head goes the body will follow, but you can also pack your chin tight by pulling your chin back into a position that makes it look as if you have a double chin, while keeping your eyes a few feet in front of you.
The last thing you want to avoid with barbell rows, is pulling with your hands instead of pulling with your elbows. when you pull with your hands you’re going to be targeting your biceps a lot more, on the other hand if you focus on pulling that weight up with your elbows you’re going to be targeting the back much better.
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