One of the things that’s so awesome about exercising is that things are ever-changing. New exercises are always coming out and gyms are formed around these new trends.
What’s even more awesome is that you don’t even need to belong to a gym (of any sort) to get a good workout in.
Body weight and at-home or at-the-park workouts have become very popular just as well. If you’re one to gravitate towards these sorts of workouts, or already use our Twofit App, you probably do a good bit of exercises such as burpees, squats, planks and mountain climbers. These are all great total-body exercises and some even provide both a weight-training and cardio aspect.
But how can you be sure you’re performing these exercises correctly, especially if you’re not within four walls of a gym plastered with mirrors?
There are key things to note when doing the following exercises:
Begin in proper squat form (as if you were sitting back in a chair, not allowing your knees to fall over top your toes). Allow your hands to touch the ground in front of you. Kick your legs out to push up position (don’t let the butt/hips sag or drop). Pull your legs back in until you are back into the original squat position. Jump as high as possible into the air with your hands above your head. Be sure to breathe. Keep your core tight, and jump at least an inch off the ground when it’s time to jump.
Whether with lots of weight or no weight, form is crucial. When performing this exercise, don’t allow your knees to cave in (read: force your knees out during this exercise). Be sure you are completing a full squat in its proper range of motion. You should be at least parallel at the bottom of the squat. If you can’t get the proper depth, reduce the weight. Keep your feet flat to avoid pushing up with your toes. Keep your lower back in a neutral position, do not round your back!
Planks are a great core exercise, but you reap the most benefit only when form is spot-on. Get into pushup position, but instead rest on your forearms. Make sure elbows are tucked in nicely just beneath your shoulders. Do not let your hips or butt sag. Keep your spine in a neutral position. Keep your glutes and core tightened and engaged. Keep your gaze in a downward direction.
It is often recommended to place your hands on a bench when performing mountain climbers. Distribute the weight of your body throughout both your hands and feet, and equally distribute the weight you are carrying amongst both of your feet (read: don’t put more weight on one foot than the other). Keep your hips low and your knees in between your shoulder blades, not allowing your knees to push out to the sides.
As with any type of exercise, be it weights, cardio, yoga, Time Trial workouts or anything else, executing each move with proper technique not only helps you reap the most benefit but it also decreases your chance of injury.
Many technique-related rules apply to multiple exercises, as they all require the same essential form. Perfect each exercise in your own time and when you feel ready to rock and roll, your body will be a form-perfecting machine.
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