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Exercises You’re Doing Wrong!

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There really is no greater feeling than leaving the gym knowing you gave it your absolute all and left nothing in the tank. On the other hand, there is no worse feeling than hobbling out of the gym with a busted shoulder or a popped disc. Achieving your fitness goals requires proper nutrition, sufficient recovery and strict training. Anyone can step foot in the gym and go through the motions in an overly-fitted pair of Skins and fluoro headband that resembles something from Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Let’s Get Physical’ music video from 1981 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, clearly you’ve got some YouTubing to do). But there’s the right way to go about your training and there’s the dangerous way. These days, too many people blindly jump into a workout, either too shy or arrogant to ask for advice, assistance or a spot and find themselves doing some of the most basic and popular exercises wrong for years without even realizing it and nothing changes until the inevitable injury prevents them from training. So if you’re keen to make some serious, injury free gains then read on.

Pull Up/Chin Ups

From the name, you’d think this one would be pretty straight-forward, but people always find a way to mess up a simple exercise. For pull-ups, your palms should face away from you, whilst for chin-ups they should facing inwards. You should always start from a dead hang, with your arms fully extended. For pull-ups, a narrow shoulder-width grip will mainly target your back whilst a wider grip is going to be best for smashing your lats. Alternatively for chin ups, you want a narrow grip with palms facing inwards. Remember, don’t cheat yourself on your range of motion (i.e. not going down low enough and not pulling yourself up high enough.

Bicep Curls

A favourite exercise among the bros worldwide, these bad boys seem so simple that you can’t really mess them up right? Well, you’d think so anyway. If you want to get those biceps peaking, make sure you’re not committing the following curl crimes:

  • Swinging the weights up using your shoulders or leaning back
  • Curling the wrist upwards
  • Not bringing the weight all the way down (this is acceptable for partial rep movements).
  • Not making the most of the eccentric contractions and bring the weights down too quickly (and thus adding unwanted momentum to the impending swing.)
  • Not turning the wrist all the way in during dumbbell curls. At the peak of your contraction, twist your wrist inwards (pinky first) and feel the burn.
Hanging Leg Raises

When it comes to getting the perfect chiselled midsection, there’s no better exercise than hanging leg raises. But unfortunately, when some people try to attempt them, they get more swing than an Olympic gymnast on the horizontal (impressive nonetheless, but not the aim of the exercise in this case). If hanging leg raises are a little too advanced for you, you can always begin doing them in a lying position on the floor. For those of you doing the hanging variation, start with placing your hands a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Focus on keeping your legs straight and together, raising them as a high as you can (if I’m performing them in front of a mirror, I aim to kick my reflection in the face), keep you core braced and locked (this will help minimise swinging) and when bringing your legs back down to the start position, make sure you do it in a relatively slow and controlled manner. Excessive leg swinging, letting your legs flop around with no control and bringing your legs/knees up half way are three ways you’re cheating yourself with this exercise.

Remember, poor form will only mean a poor physique. Get in touch with our team if you have any questions about your current training program at anytime!

By Daniel Cavalcante Blackburn Store Manager @dancavalcante90

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