A common error with bicep curls is trying to lift too much weight, which engages the shoulders and reduces the effort on the biceps. Your shoulders will hunch forward instead of staying back as you lift the weight, which can cause injury. Leaning backwards when lifting too much weight puts a lot of pressure on the lower back, which can also lead to injury. As a rule of thumb, if you can't do the exercise with the correct technique, it means the weight may be too heavy. Start small, you’ll get there in the end!
How to do a bicep curl correctly:
- Stand tall with your shoulder blades back and down, and contract your abs.
- Keep your back, elbows and shoulders still.
- Curl your arms up until they're in front of your shoulders.
Putting too much pressure on the lower back and not enough leg work are mistakes we see all the time with the squat lift. Your spine needs to remain in a neutral position throughout the exercise and all the effort should come from the leg muscles. Practise the correct technique using a weightlifting bar or squat rack without weights in front of a mirror, as if you dive right in with improper technique there’s a higher chance of injury.
How to do a squat lift correctly:
- Feet should be shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out.
- Keep your shoulders back and down, and your chest pushed out.
- Shoulders should remain directly above the hips.
- Lower yourself as if you were sitting back on a chair.
- Keep your weight on your heels, not the toes, throughout the movement.
- Don't let your knees lean over your toes as you lower yourself.
Crunches are a simple way to improve posture, stabilise the core muscles and contribute to a healthy back. However, all too often we see people tucking their chin into their chest and jerking up, thereby putting strain on their neck.All the work should come from the abs, not the neck.
How to do a crunch correctly:
- Curl up until your shoulders are about 3 inches off the floor.
- Don't tuck your neck into your chest as you rise – imagine a tennis ball between your chin and chest.
- Contract your abs throughout the exercise.
- Don't jerk your head off the floor.