7 Common Exercises for Strength That You’re Probably Doing Wrong
1. Biceps Curl
The problem:Too much body English
Curls should be simple — they only require you to move one joint. But lordy, do people figure out ways to screw them up. They thrust their hips forward to swing the weight upward. They move their upper arms forward to cheat their way through the sticking point. They lift the weight all of the way up to their shoulders. And in the process, they shortchange their results and (worse) increase their risk of injury.
How to fix it: Don’t worry about lifting big weights. Instead, focus on form, and using weights that aren’t so heavy that they force you to compromise it. In practice, that means not allowing your elbows to leave your sides, your hips to move, or the weights to touch your shoulders. If you do the exercise properly, they won’t get that far. The only parts of your body that should move are your forearms and hands. Here’s how to do a perfect curl:
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, your hips in line with shoulders and ankles, your back flat, and your eyes looking straight ahead.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your thighs, palms forward.
- Keeping your elbows tucked, curl the weights as high as you can without moving your upper arms. Pause, and then lower the weights back to the starting position.