Raise your hand if you’ve ever banged out a killer bodyweight workout—only to wake up the next day feeling sore in all the wrong ways. (Oh hey, lower back and neck pain.)
“If you perform certain exercises incorrectly, your body can fight to complete the move, but it may use the wrong muscles, which can lead to instability and injuries,” says Betina Gozo, Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star and author of Women’s Health‘s The Woman’s Guide To Strength Training.
Even worse: When you don’t use proper form, you’re not able to get the most out of your workout. Engaging the right muscles is key to building strength and fitness, says Gozo.
“When your form is on point, you’ll train your body to be strong in everyday life,” Gozo says. (And for more strength-training tips, check out The Woman’s Guide To Strength Training.)
Watch the video above and read on to learn which exercises Gozo sees people execute incorrectly all the time. Once you master these moves, you’ll be building strength more efficiently and safely. And that’s a win-win.
With deadlifts, Gozo says people tend to round their backs and their shoulders fall forward as they’re lowering the weight. “I want you to think nice, neutral, strong spine,” she says. Keep your shoulders back, abs tight, and make sure that you focus on hinging at the hips instead of bending over. This means that only your hips are changing their position—your shoulders, back, and abs stay in…