5 fat burning exercises you’ve been doing wrong

Execution is as vital as knowledge.

You might be motivating yourself as you sweat doing your final reps by visualising that you’ll soon have defined abs and toned biceps. But what if you discovered that your training wasn’t driving you toward your goals? Or, even worse, was it putting you at risk for injury?

Here are 5 fat burning workouts that you’ve been doing incorrectly:

Lunges

This exercise is a fantastic way to reinforce the deep core muscles and all areas of the legs, but many people overlook bending the back knee as much as the front knee, creating improper form. Drop your hips straight down, while bending both knees. Keep the front heel planted solidly to protect the knee. You can contrast lunges to make them easier by going halfway down to the floor and up.

Photograph: The Lazy Artist Gallery/Pexels

Overhead presses

People tend to arch their backs excessively, mainly when the weight is too heavy. It’s safer to go full extension and push in front of the body instead of vertically overhead. Some also tend to do a push pressing movement rather than a strict pressing movement, which should be gradual and controlled.

Be positioned with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells at the top of your chest. Try not to let your lower back overextend as you press the dumbbells overhead.

Planks

People tend to let their bodies sag instead of keeping them rigid or keeping their hips too high off the ground. Get the most out of this core movement by lying horizontally. Raise your body off the mat, so you’re in a straight line. Press your hands solidly into the mat, press your heels back, and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can – activating your core muscles.

Photograph: Nathan Cowley/Pexels

Push-ups

Some typically do not maintain a straight line from head to toe. Wrong arm placement, poor head alignment, and doing half of a push-up are also familiar concerns.

Get into a high plank position. Position your hands firmly on the floor right below your shoulders. Have your arms straight and glutes and abs braced, continuously lower your body to the ground til your elbows are positioned at a 90-degree angle. Pause, then burst at the top while protracting your shoulders back [1].

Squats

This exercise is commonly done poorly by allowing the knees to fall inward, which relaxes one of the quad muscles. The quad muscle must be engaged when completing squats.

Perform squats with a mirror in front of you and keep your knees pointing directly ahead when dropping down into a squat and rising out of it.

Photograph: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

Other signs you’re doing it wrong

Curious about other indications that you need to check and adjust your workout routine? Here are others to watch out for:

Feeling pain during or post-exercise: dull or sharp pain signals something is wrong – not all pain is created equally.

Sharp pains can happen from acute trauma and dull aches from chronic trauma. You should not be in pain for minutes after you complete a set.

Some examples of these are:

  • Aches in your knees or feet after a run.
  • Feeling chronic distress in your knees after squatting.
  • Pain in your lower back hurts after doing some deadlifts or hip thrusts.

You might want to speak to a physical therapist if you detect extreme or chronic pain. The pain you’re experiencing is an excellent sign that you’re doing something wrong, or something is amiss with your body (potentially a strain or overuse injury).

You’re not feeling it where you should be: if you’re feeling squats in your lower back, you might want to review your form. While there is no such thing as excellent form, there is a range of what is known as “acceptable form”.

Leaning forward more than 45 degrees while doing a squat pexposes your lower back to an unnecessary risk of injury. While you shouldn’t confuse this with needing to “feel” every exercise working, light heavy and medium weights bring different sensations [2].

With heavier weights, you should feel more pressure or like your muscles are being pulled. Ensure that your form stays satisfactory and avoid technical breakdowns.

You’re not getting the expected outcome: if you have reasonable prospects and a well-designed program, you should get better at the exercises you’re performing. This is known as achieving progressive overload, a fundamental goal of strength training.

Here’s a few signs that you’re reaching progressive overload:

  • Being able to finish more reps with a given weight.
  • Getting stronger at the exercises you’re executing.
  • Developing muscle and enhancing the tone in the areas worked.
  • The ability to perform activities with improved coordination.

If you’re not accomplishing progressive overload, something could be incorrect with your form or your training program.

Suggestions on how to address these concerns

  • Asses your form: document yourself on video to check if you’re making any apparent mistakes.
  • Consult a book: understanding how the body works can help you comprehend what is supposed to happen.
  • Develop your mind-muscle connection: practice performing the exercise with a light weight that you can do for 10-15 plus reps. Expect to feel a burn in anticipated places.
  • Find a personal trainer and work with them until you’re confidently executing significant movements: the basics include squatting and lunging, upper body pushing and pressing, rows and vertical pulls and hip hinging and extension.

[1] https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20448138/exercises-youve-been-doing-wrong/
[2] https://www.simplesolutionsfitness.com/3-signs-youre-doing-an-exercise-wrong

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