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Starting to exercise regularly for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you’re joining a new gym by yourself. It’s okay not to be an expert in health and fitness, but you can do damage to your body if your posture is wrong. Express.co.uk chatted to Jason Bone, Head of Strength at FLEX Chelsea and Hollie Grant, Founder of Pilates PT (@thepilatespt on Instagram) to find out the top six mistakes people make in the gym and how to correct them.

Heels rising in a squat

One big mistake gym newbies make is allowing their heels to rise while they’re squatting, with weight or without.

Jason said: “Try to keep the weight on your heels as best you can.

“Sometimes your hips might be too tight to be able to get low in a squat so work on your hip mobility and stretch out your hip flexors and glutes.

Shoulders rise when performing any pulling exercise

If you notice your shoulders rising when performing any pulling exercise, listen up.

Jason explained: “Often people have an imbalance between upper and lower traps.

“Our upper traps will often work a lot harder than they need to, buy pills viagra soft mastercard next day so strengthen your lower traps by doing exercises like scapular pull-ups.”

Weight on the front of the foot in a lunge

If you’ve spotted that you put your weight on the front of your foot when lunging, you need to fix it.

Jason said: “There is a tendency to push off your toes in a lunge, but this will engage your quads more than your post chain.

“Start with a static lunge and concentrate on push up from your heel.”

Using their neck muscles to sit up

Remember – a sit-up is for your abs, not your neck!

Jason said: “Think about the contraction of your abs, start with slow and controlled movements and keep your eyes on the ceiling.

“It’s not about coming all the way up, it’s about the ability to keep the contraction in your abs.”

Lower back arching in an overhead press

When performing an overhead press, make sure you don’t arch your back.

Jason said: “It’s vital to keep a contraction in your abs and your glutes squeezed.

“It’s possible your shoulders are too tight so you compensate by arching your back, so focus on improving your mobility in your shoulders before you start pressing over your head.”

Forgetting your spine health

When performing heavy lifts such as deadlifts, squats, and lunges you need to keep an eye on your spine.

Hollie explained: “Big compound movements are actually really technical and tricky to master.

“However, because they are well-known, many beginners head to the gym, load themselves up with barbells or dumbbells, and get cracking into these moves.

“Whilst I actively want people to get stronger and fitter, and of course try these moves, we must ensure they are performed well first and foremost.”

The main reason you need to practise these exercises is to “ensure the correct muscles are used” and to make sure “the dominant muscles don’t take over”.

Practising will ensure you are safe and don’t injure yourself.

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