Are you doing these exercises the right way?

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Are you doing these exercises the right way?

Motivating yourself to exercise can be tough, so when you make it out the door, you want to be absolutely sure it all counts. But unless you have a personal trainer, it’s hard to know whether you’re doing your workout moves properly or not. So, to help those who prefer to exercise solo, we’ve enlisted our Health and Fitness expert, Luke Horder, to take us through the common workout moves people get wrong and how to correct them – because we all want results!

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PUSH-UPS

Where people go wrong:

“I see a lot of people drop their hips when doing push-ups, which can strain the shoulder joint as well as the lower back muscles.”

How to do it right:

“When doing a push-up, keep your hips high so your arm and chest muscles are supporting your body weight.” Also, take note of the position of your hands: for a regular push-up, they should be shoulder-width apart.

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SQUATS

Where people go wrong:

“Many people bend forward too much, which causes the lower back muscles and the lumbar vertebrae to take all the load,” explains Luke.

How to do it right:

“Make sure the knees are behind the toes so your glutes are doing the work. The movement is similar to sitting down, so you can use a bench as a guide. This will give your butt muscles a good workout without putting a strain on your back.”

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AB CRUNCHES/SIT-UPS

Where people go wrong:

“Some people only come up a little bit, but lifting just your shoulders off the ground is not going to work all 24 torso muscles,” says Luke. “Plus, the neck muscles are compromised when you’re in this position.”

How to do it right:

“Start sitting up, and carefully lower down as far as you can before lifting all the way back up to your knees. The aim is to achieve a 90-degree range of motion. The higher you manage to come up, the more you target your bottom two abdominal muscles, which are generally the hardest to get.”

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TRICEPS

Where people go wrong:

“Doing dips on a bench works on toning the flab on the back of your arms, however, the shoulders tend to carry a lot of the load. This can place excess strain on the front of the shoulder joint, which is unsafe if you’re working out alone.”

How to do it right:

“A more effective way to target the arms is with narrow push-ups,” explains Luke. To do this, place your hands close together so your thumbs are touching. Then, as you go down into a push-up, keep your elbows facing backwards. “It’s a great way to target the triceps because you’re putting your entire body weight on the arms.”

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KETTLEBELL SWINGS

Where people go wrong:

Some people make the mistake of swinging the kettlebell with their back bent forward. “This is quite dangerous as it can cause the spine to lengthen and open the spaces between each vertebra disc,” explains Luke. “The discs could then spill out and cause serious injury.”

How to do it right:

“During the lowering movement of the exercise, push your butt back so the load is placed on the glute muscles,” recommends Luke. “Then, when you go to swing the weight into the air, push through your heels and look straight ahead with your chest out. This will ensure your back is straight at all times.”

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Do you do any of the above exercises? Are there any other moves you’d like to know how to do properly?

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