News / South Africa / Health

Gabrielle Ozynski
2 minute read
5 Sep 2017
11:30 am

4 exercises you’re doing wrong

Gabrielle Ozynski

See if you're making any of these mistakes and learn how to fix them.

Bicycle exercises. File photo

Kayla Itsines, who is known for her successful Bikini Body Guides Programme, which has women worldwide getting into the best shape of their life, explains how we could be doing some exercises wrong. We share some of her tips and advice.

1. Squats

Some people let their knees fall in or too far over their toes whist squatting. This can cause unnecessary pressure on your knees, resulting in injury.

How to do it correctly? According to Kayla, plant both feet on the floor, slightly further than shoulder width apart. Look straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring your knees remain in line with your toes. Continue to bend your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensuring that your back remains between 45 and 90 degrees of your hips, push through your heels and extend your legs to return to a neutral standing position.

2. Push-ups

Just like squats, many of us do push-ups wrong, with our arms at the wrong angle. To avoid injury, Kayla explains that when doing a push-up, place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and avid large rotation of the wrist. Also make sure not to have your hands too far forward — they should be in line with your shoulders to avoid unnecessary stress on your shoulders and elbows.

3. Lunges

The most common mistake when doing lunges is when your front knee is more forward than your toe. This places a lot of stress on your knee and ankles. When lunging, try to maintain an upright posture, ensuring your weight is evenly distributed between both legs.

4. Plank

This is one of the easiest exercises to do wrong, say experts — especially when starting out. A common mistake is to let your hips drop, which places pressure on your lower back, decreasing the amount of work done by your core and glutes. On the other hand, your hips shouldn’t be too high either — your body needs to be in a straight line.

So next time you’re doing plank, you should start by placing your forearms firmly on the floor. Extend both legs behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Maintain a straight back from head to toe, and make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders.

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