Hi folks. As a personal trainer and kinesiologist I find going to the gym kind of frustrating - Not because I hate working out, but because I notice mistakes that people make and always want to correct them. I know how much some people hate when someone corrects them, so most of the time I just let it go, unless I think they'll get injured. Here are some of the more common mistakes I see.
1. Doing external shoulder rotations horizontally
Good on you for wanting to protect your shoulder. It's super important that you not forgot about those smaller stabilizing muscles. However, doing rotations horizontally isn't targeting the right muscles. Essentially all that you're doing here is resisting gravity with your biceps and trapezius.
To correct this you can do one of three things. First, if you must do the exercise horizontally, use exercise bands, they will provide resistance to the movement. Second, lie on your side and perform the movement as you did before. this will let gravity and the weight do what you want it to do. Third, laterally raise your arms and rotate up from there.
2. Using the lat pull-down machine as a rowing machine
Let's break this down. What are we trying to target when doing a correct lat pull-down? The correct answer is the lattismus dorsi What are you actually targeting doing the exercise like this:
Not only is performing the exercise in this way completely wrong, you're also setting yourself up for an injury.
To do the exercise correctly you need to sit up right and pull the bar straight down to about the height of your collar bone, as shown in the video below:
3. Putting too much weight on the curl bar
If you can't curl without using your back then you need to drop some weight. Seriously guys, learn mechanics and save your back.
4. Half bench press
I see this too often, some skinny kid (nothing against skinny kids, I
am was one) loading two 45lbs weights on the bar coming down about half way. You're not targeting the pecs here friends, you're isolating your triceps (more or less). If that 's your goal, then may I suggest doing some dips, or close grip push-ups.
If you can't get the bar down to your chest then you need to reduce your weights and work on your form. Get yourself a spotter while you're at it.
What are some mistakes you commonly see at the gym?