Prevent Workout Mistakes ▷ 6 Bodyweight Exercises You Might Be Doing Wrong

When it comes to working out, proper form and intensity are two main factors you must take into consideration if you want to see results. You want to work at an intensity that is hard for you, without having to sacrifice proper and safe form. While you may feel like you should knock out five more squats on leg day, if your knees are going past your toes and your entire upper body is leaning forward, you should probably call it a day.

Are you doing these 6 exercises correctly? Watch and find out, or perhaps learn a new exercise you have never tried before.

6 How-To Exercise Videos So You Don’t Make Workout Mistakes

1. Low Plank

Common plank mistakes

  • Hips come up too high or sink too low: Keep shoulders, hips and feet in line.
  • Collapsing in the upper body: Don’t let your shoulder blades squeeze together or rock your upper body forward, bringing your shoulders beyond your elbows! Push through the upper back.
  • Not activating the legs & butt: Push the backs of the knees up towards the sky and activate those legs and that booty! Tuck your tailbone under to maintain a flat lower back — it should actually make your back feel good, not hurt.

2. Squats

Common squat mistakes:

  • Knees go beyond the toes: Keep that chest up and sit back into your squats. Power through those heels to ensure your big glute muscles are working!
  • Upper body falls forward: The deeper you go into a squat, be mindful that you’re not hunching over. How low should you go?
  • Knees fall inward or outward: Look in the mirror when performing a squat — you might be able to identify and correct some muscle imbalances.

3. Sit-Ups

Common sit-up mistakes:

  • Too much strain on the neck: That’s why the hands are overhead — no need to pull and tug on the neck.
  • Lack of control: You don’t need to go through these as fast as you can. Make sure you lower down in a controlled way that isn’t hurting your back.
  • Feet come up off the ground: If this is the case, put your feet under a step or bar or have a friend hold them down for you.
  • They are mistaken for the magical six-pack exercise: Don’t get so caught up in crunches and sit-ups if you want better abs. Focus on total-body movements leading to overall fat loss and, of course, cleaning up your diet!

4. Push-ups

Common push-up mistakes:

  • Overarch the back: If you cannot perform a proper push-up, or have tired muscles from doing enough reps, just go to knee push-ups. Push-ups are a tough exercise!
  • Think it’s “just” an upper-body exercise: Activate that core and tighten up those legs and glutes — you need your whole body working together in order to perform a proper push-up. Plus, there are plenty of push-up variations to progress as well!

5. Lunges

Common lunge mistakes:

  • Front knee goes beyond the front toe: Practice in the mirror if you have to (for all exercises!) to be sure you’re not making this error.
  • Upper body rocks forward: Don’t use the momentum of your upper body. Shoulders should always be pointing towards the sky with your core engaged.
  • Ride the toe: Keep the weight in the heels of your feet so you can really activate the glutes.

6. Flat Out Burpees

Common burpee mistakes:

  • Being afraid of them: They’re such a great exercise for the entire body. You can always regress to a 4-count burpee or even step instead of jump your feet out in order to make this exercise a bit more low impact & manageable for your fitness level.
  • Going too fast: To build a good relationship, you can’t rush things, right? If you want to have a healthy and happy relationship with burpees, don’t feel like you have to do them super-fast. Your tempo is fast enough & take breaks when you need to.

Tips & Points to Keep in Mind

  • Even small progress is progress:  It’s not necessary to do 5 more push-ups (for the sake of going the “extra mile”) if your form isn’t up to par. Don’t get discouraged; baby steps are still progress.
  • Wrist pain: If you find that exercises like push-ups cause wrist pain, change the position of your hands by using dumbbells or special push-up bars for your hands. Additionally, you can perform these exercises to reduce wrist pain.
  • Have fun: Don’t get so caught up in learning how to do every single exercise properly right away. Stick to the ones that you know you’re performing correctly and then incorporate a new one every month or so.
  • Selfie cam: If you don’t have a professional to check your form or a full-length mirror to see for yourself, use your phone and make a video in selfie mode. Then you can see areas that could use some improvement.

Want more bodyweight workouts with step-by-step instructions? Download the adidas Training app or go work out with our Fitness Coach Lunden on YouTube.


adidas Runtastic Team Are you looking to lose some weight, get more active, or improve your sleep? The adidas Runtastic Team gives you useful tips and inspiration to reach your personal goals. View all posts by adidas Runtastic Team