We’ve all seen that one person at the gym using a piece of equipment in a way it totally wasn’t designed for. Sometimes, equipment can be altered to see different results. For example, changing your hand position the lateral pull down bar can help you target different areas of your back, or even your biceps.
But for the most part, equipment was designed to be used in a certain way. And some exercises are rendered essentially useless unless you execute them correctly. Here are x mistakes you may be making at the gym and how to fix them:
- Holding on to the treadmill: Holding on to the top of the treadmill while you walk at an incline can dramatically decrease the results you see from this exercise. Use the bars only if you need to adjust your balance or catch your breath. Otherwise, let your legs do the work.
- Not allowing you knee to go past your foot in a squat: A 1978 study showed 20% less strain on the knee joint by ensuring the knee did not go past the toes during a squat. For years, this has belief been reinforced. However, healthy knees can withstand a lot of pressure. By forcing your body backward to prevent your knee from going past your toes, you could be causing injury to your lower back. Instead, try to find an alignment that feels natural and targets your glutes. A personal trainer can help you find the right balance.
- Exercising to get rid of hip dips: Many women have “hip dips” or “violin hips”. This is part of the genetic makeup of your body. No matter how many online fitness influencers try to tell you otherwise: Hip dips will not go away, no matter how many targeted hip exercises you perform.
- Holding two dumbells in a dumbbell side bend: In a dumbbell side bend, you hold a single dumbbell in one hand. With feet shoulder-width apart, slowly bend to the side that is holding the dumbbell. Keep your torso facing forward. With a controlled movement, come back up to center. DO NOT hold a dumbbell in each hand. This counteracts each weight and makes the exercise useless.
- Pilates ball twists: Holding a medicine ball (or pilates ball) while standing, and twisting from side-to-side will not give you the results you’re looking for, because there is no resistance, and gravity will try to force the ball downward. Instead, try using a cable machine to increase resistance on both the twist and return.
Ready to take your fitness journey to the next level? A personal trainer can show you the best way to use equipment, and how to perform basic exercises the right way. Try personal training for free. Sign up today!