The most common exercise mistakes we make and how to fix them.


When it comes to your personal exercise plans, you’ve probably thought a lot about what you’re doing.

But have you taken a second to think about the how?

As a personal trainer, I constantly see people performing the most common exercises incorrectly. And some mistakes can lead to pretty serious injury! Here are the five I come across all the time. And how I’d love to see you perform them instead.

This is one of the reasons why I helped develop a brand new Movement Plan for the I Quit Sugar: 8-Week Program. 

1. The squat.

What is it? An exercise to train the thighs, hips and butt. The weight of the body is on the feet but the knees and hips are bent.

The mistake: Knees tracking over the toes as you tilt from the hip, rather than moving downwards into a seated position.

Keep it safe: Imagine you are sitting on an invisible chair. Get that butt out and make sure your thigh and knee create at 90 degree angle.

2. The sit-up.

What is it? An exercise to strengthen your core and abdominal muscles. Lie flat on your back, lift your torso to a sitting position, and then lie flat again without changing the position of the legs.

The mistake: The chin sits on the chest as you rise into a sitting position.
Keep it safe: Keep your chin off your chest and focus on a visual target. A great trick we personal trainers use is to

place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth during this exercise.

3. The lunge.

What is it? An exercise to work the legs and core. One leg is positioned forward with knee bent and foot flat on the ground, while the other leg is positioned behind.

The mistake: The knees travel all the way over the toes.

Keep it safe: Aim to keep your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and make sure your toes are visible as you lunge. Focus on an up and down motion rather than on leaning forward. Also, keep your hips level during the movement.

4, The push-up.

What is it? An exercise for building upper body and core strength. Keeping a prone position, you push the body up and down by alternately straightening and bending the arms.

The mistake: Hands are too far forward and head drops forward.
Keep it safe: Make sure your hands are shoulder width apart and your head is level, and don’t look at the ground.

Aim for straight lines. Keep your elbows close and avoid letting them flare out.

5. The plank.

What is it? A core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. Love them or hate them, they target so many areas!

The mistake: I see many a bottom up in the air!
Keep it safe: Keep that butt level. You should be able to place a broomstick down your back, unless you have natural

curvature of the spine. This one is great to do with a friend initially to assist in the height of the plank.

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Stay Well,

Diana x 


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