Health Advice



Exercising at home? Here are 5 ways you might be screwing up your workouts — and how to avoid common pitfalls

By Lauren Leazenby, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Health & Fitness

Gyms and fitness centers have reopened but for some, exercise is still an at-home activity. Yet without a personal trainer or instructor to tell you your push-up form is wrong, working out at home can be like working out in a vacuum.

Here are some of the most common home workout mistakes teachers and trainers see - and how to fix them:


"What we observed over the quarantine period is that a lot of people resort to randomized programs - stuff they see on social media or stuff their friends are doing - that they simply aren't ready for," said Clifton Hempstead, personal trainer and co-founder of Anthos Training Clubs.

Hempstead said a lot of these programs are high-intensity and designed to make you feel exhausted. Instead, he said you should seek out a program that is working toward a goal, with exercises you're capable of doing.

"A lot of people shouldn't be jumping around and moving side-to-side," Hempstead said. "They're doing all these exercises that they haven't developed the prerequisites for."


Training beyond your limits can result in injury, he said: "You might develop tendonitis in the knees; you might hurt an ankle," he said. "Those (high-intensity) workouts are meant to beat you up, and that's fine every once in a while, but to do that constantly ... can be a recipe to hurt yourself."


Alysha Bazan, trainer and fitness director at CrossTown Fitness, said weightlifting is one of the most common exercises she sees performed incorrectly - especially deadlifts, in which people will sometimes round their back while lifting.

"Take your time and don't rush through the movement. Make sure that you're stabilizing your core," she said. "Make sure you're doing the form properly without the weights first before loading it up."


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