Fit for Life

In top form: Look at these exercise moves commonly done wrong (photos)

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By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury

There are a lot of activities where it’s fine to put your own spin on things and even encouraged in some cases such as with dancing or cooking. But when it comes to staple exercises such as the push-up or lunges, one wrong move can lead to big injuries.

Laura Washington is a personal trainer at Body Go Fitness in North Coventry and the Pottstown Athletic Club. She has personally been weight training for about six years and has never had any major injuries.

“I think the key is that I’ve always tried to make sure my technique and my form are as good as they could be based on my abilities,” Washington said.

She tells her clients that it’s not about being the one that finishes first or gets the most number of reps but it’s more important to use the correct technique. She said every rep of an exercise should be a solid one with the right form. Washington went over the wrong way and correct way to do several common exercises.

PUSH-UP

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INCORRECT FORM: Laura Washington, a personal trainer in the Pottstown area, demonstrates the wrong way to do a push-up. The head shouldn’t be looking up while pushing up from the floor. Also it’s not correct for on half of the body to be higher than the other half during a push-up.

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HOW TO FIX IT: Laura Washington demonstrates the correct way to do a push-up. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and the hands should be directly parallel under the shoulder blades. When pushing up from the ground, keep the body in a straight plank position and continue to face the downward. The core should be engaged and tight through the push-up.

OVERHEAD PRESS

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INCORRECT FORM: Laura Washington, a personal trainer in the Pottstown area, demonstrates a wrong way to do an overhead press with a weighted bar. When the body isn’t kept straight then people aren’t getting the full extension of the move. Also it’s incorrect to start the stance with the elbows down.

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HOW TO FIX IT: Laura Washington shows the correct technique of an overhead press by pushing the bar up and keeping her stance straight. She said the core and the glutes should be tight. The bar should be directly over the head and arms pressed back as if you’re pressing the shoulder blades together. The beginning stance should be with the weighted bar in a rack position and the elbows up.

KETTLEBELL SWING

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INCORRECT FORM: Laura Washington demonstrates the wrong way to do a kettlebell swing. The arms shouldn’t be bent during the swing or at all during the movement. Also a kettlebell swing isn’t a squat but a different kind of move involving the hips.

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HOW TO FIX IT: Laura Washington demonstrates the correct way to do a kettlebell swing. She keeps her stance wide, the knees slightly bent and the arms straight through the swing. The swinging movement is a dip and drive with the hips. The arms are used as levers to hold up the kettlebell.

LUNGES 

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INCORRECT FORM: Laura Washington demonstrates the wrong way to do a lunge. The knees shouldn’t go beyond the toes during the lunge movement. Also the back knee shouldn’t touch the ground during a lunge but stay off the floor.

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HOW TO FIX IT: Laura Washington demonstrates the correct way to perform a lunge. Hands can either be on the hips or spread out at the sides. When putting the foot forward during the lunge, make sure the knees don’t lean beyond the feet. When in the beginning stance, make sure the feet and hips are aligned. Also keep the core of the body tight.

For more about Body Go Fitness, CLICK HERE or call 610-906-2233. For more about the Pottstown Athletic Club, CLICK HERE or call 484-302-6188.

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