Proper form is an integral element of an effective workout. Not only will it help you master all the exercises, but it helps prevent injury. Sometimes with everything going in class you can forget that form is just as important as the movement. These are some of the most common mistakes we see and how to correct them in the future!
1. Not Stretching
Many of us forget that stretching is a key element of recovery in every workout. It helps your muscles elongate and recuperate. Overworking your muscles can be common, especially if you follow a specific fitness routine, so stretching helps alleviate the soreness or pain that can come from that overwork. Check out the TSS guided stretches to do before or after your workout here.
2. Non-Supportive Sneakers
Proper foot support is another important factor when it comes to working out. Whether we’re jumping around in dance cardio or squatting low in standing legs, having the right sneakers will help to prevent possible injury. Make sure to look for some that have decent foot and ankle support, and of course style it up! TSS founder, Megan Roup, loves the Asics Gel Kayano during dance cardio and the APL Techloom Breeze sneakers for Sculpt workouts. Click here to shop more of Megan's looks and her favorite workout fits.
3. Dance Cardio - jumping on the balls of your feet
Solely jumping on the balls of your feet during dance cardio causes excess pressure on your calf muscles. Instead of jumping high on the balls your feet, think about rolling through your entire foot whenever you take a step in the movement. By utilizing the entire foot you will alleviate the likelihood of shin splints and release some of the tightness in your calves. If you’re feeling like you need a refresher on proper dance cardio technique or simply could use a reminder on that check out Megan’s Dance Cardio Breakdown on the TSS App and her Instagram Reel on proper form.
4. Lower Body - hip + foot placement
Whenever you’re doing standing leg exercises such as curtsy squats or lunges, a common mistake we see is having the upper body hinged forward while sinking into the supporting hip, and hips opened to the side rather than facing front. Instead, keep your hips squared with your weight in the heel of your shoe, and shift those hips back in space. The goal is that you are able to wiggle your front toes, keep your upper body tall and engage your core for stability.
5. Abs on Back - arching lower back
Experiencing lower back pain during core work? One of the most common mistakes we see during abs on back exercises is having a big arch in the lower back and keeping the ribcage flared open. To correct your form, you want to avoid having too much space between your back and the floor. Imagine gluing your low back to your mat, slightly tucking your pelvis under, and closing the ribcage so that these exercises use the correct muscles to strengthen your core and prevent injury or soreness to your back.
6. Abs on Back - Pulling on your neck
Neck strain? Check in with how you are supporting your upper body during abs on back exercises. You want to avoid pulling the chin to the chest with your hands and instead, support your head in your palms while lifting your chest towards the ceiling, with elbows out wide. This will activate the core muscles to lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground, rather than pulling on your neck to get there. If this still isn't working for you, drop your head and shoulders flat onto your mat and focus on using the strength of your core to complete the sequence.
7. Planks - hand + spine alignment
It's a full body exercise, but we want to make sure we are setting it up correctly to get the most out of it! Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and you are actively pressing through the floor while finding a strong neutral spine. This can be tricky, but we want to think about slightly tucking the pelvis so that there isn't a big arch in your low back, and actively wrapping our TVA (transverse abdominals) as if you were wearing a corset.
8. Dancing Arms - limp movement, minimal energy
Not feeling the full benefit of dancing arms? It might be because your arms are not fully engaged, and are moving softly through the movement. Instead, imagine you are reaching for something with your fingertips and create resistance in the air as if you're moving through water. The spicy burn will show up in no time if you focus on that engagement and strongly commit to each movement.
If you need a refresher on Megan’s tips for success check out the breakdown videos on the TSS app which can be found HERE!
And don't forget to follow @meganroup and @thesculptosociety on Instagram for more helpful tips on proper form.