3 quick fixes for faults in your form

Are you practicing proper form when you exercise?  When leaving the gym you want to feel in power, not in pain.  Flaws in your fitness form will wreck your joints and cause you to miss your mark when training to target specific muscle groups.  Here are the top three most common exercise errors and the tweaks to fix them:

Form Fault: Squats

  • Knees extend past the toes
  • Hunched forward
  • Weak, buckled knees and ankles 

Form Fixer.  The major mistake most make when practicing a squat is jutting the knees too far forward when descending down into position.  The hips are the mobilizing joint in this exercise, not the knees.  Hinge back at the hips, as if you are reaching for an imaginary chair to rest your rump on, and begin to slowly lower your body until the hamstrings are parallel to the floor.  Your body weight should rest in your heels in order to activate your posterior muscles.  When we shift our weight to the front portion of the foot, we are creating a dangerous shear force on the knee joint that can result in injury.  Further, you are hitting the anterior muscles of the leg rather than the rear ones, which defeats the purpose of the squat all together.
Muscles Moved:  Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves, Abdomen, Adductors, Hip Flexors

Form Fault: Lunges

  • Knees extend past the toes
  • Knees are not bent at a 90 angle
  • Taking too small or large of a step

Form Fixer.  Position yourself in front of a mirror to help focus on your form.  Standing in a wide split stance, slowly lower the body so both legs are bent and form a 90 degree angle.  All of your body weight should be in the front heel, and the back heel should be elevated.  Shoulders are aligned above the hips, as well as the bottom knee under the hip.  For beginners, start with a stationary lunge to help familiarize your body with proper form and movement.  When ready, graduate to a walking lunge and add free weights for a challenge. 
Muscles Moved:  Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, Abdomen

Form Fault: Planks

  • Arms are too far in front of the body
  • Sagging hips
  • Winging the shoulder blades

Form Fixer.  When planking, your body should form a straight line from the shoulders to the heels.  Alignment of the joints is crucial in any exercise, as it dictates whether or not target muscles will be worked (when done properly), or strained (if performed incorrectly).  It is for this reason that the shoulders should be stacked strongly above the elbows, while the hips are squared and the core muscles are activated.
Muscles Moved:  Deltoids, Abdomen, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Erector Spinae, Pectorals

Your body is engineered to operate in a specific way.  Don’t derail your development with bad form.

Earn it.

To learn more about the types of classes Ashley offers, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.