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hi i'm Tae!

dedicated student at Stanford.

lover of life.

fitness enthusiast.

aspiring surgeon.


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3 common workout mistakes that can cause injury

Hello Fit Fam!!! Welcome to a new week! I hope everyone crushed their goals from last week and you all are ready to keep grinding!👊🏽

This week I'll be talking about 3 simple yet dangerous workout mistakes that can lead to injury. I've fallen victim to these mistakes in the past, and at the time I didn't even realize I was doing anything wrong! So hopefully this post can help someone out there, beginner or seasoned fitness veteran, and prevent an injury.


☠️3 Common and Dangerous Workout Mistakes☠️

Mistake #1: Locking Knees at the Top of an Exercise

My Experience: Honestly, I was doing this up until about a year ago. I noticed this issue especially with respect to lunges, bulgarian split squats, and basic barbell squats because I would get excruciating knee pain following any workout that included these exercises. The pain was so bad that I couldn't even walk up the stairs!

Why It's Harmful: Locking your knees at the top of any exercise places all of the weight you are lifting onto your knees, rather than keeping it on your muscles. As you can imagine, if you are doing heavily weighted exercises, the effect of locking your knees is even more pronounced since more weight is placed on your knees. This stress can lead to stretching or tearing of ligaments, and knee instability.

How to Fix: This mistake is very simple to fix! When engaging in exercises that require a bend at the knee, at the top of the exercise, leave your knee(s) slightly bent. This adjustment ensures that the majority of the weight remains borne on your muscles rather than your knees and also keeps your muscles engaged throughout the exercise.

Mistake #2: Hyperextension at the Top of an Exercise

My Experience: When I was new to fitness and lifting weights, I got a majority of my information from the internet and workout videos. A common theme for booty workouts is to "squeeze" the glutes at the top of an exercise, but rarely is 'how to squeeze' ever explained. In trying to achieve this squeeze, I would hyperextend (push my hips too far forward) at the top of exercises like squats, which caused serious pain in my lower back.

Why It's Harmful: Hyperextending at the top of an exercise like a squat or deadlift refers to pushing your hips too far forward when in the standing position (see top photo on the right). This motion places excessive strain on the lower back because you are shifting from bearing weight on your legs to bearing weight on your back.

How to Fix: Good news is you can still achieve a very effective glute squeeze at the top of an exercise without hyperextending your back! Instead of pushing your hips forward, engage your glutes as you rise to the top of the exercise and squeeze until you are in line with your body. You may still move your hips slightly forward, but the squeeze should not resemble a thrust in any way. (See the right side of the bottom photo for a visual description of this fix!)

Mistake #3: Sacrificing Form for Weight

My Experience: I always thought that heavier was better and meant I would see faster results. And I guess in a way that can be true, but you should never sacrifice form for being able to say you lift heavier weight. Because in reality, if you're lifting that weight incorrectly, you're not actually lifting that amount of weight in the way that you're supposed to. I used to add more weight when I had NO BUSINESS lifting heavier, and as a result I was only able to do a modified version of the exercise (which is no good) or I was unable to do the exercise with proper form and I injured another part of my body.

Why It's Harmful: Lifting more weight than allows for proper form forces you to use other parts of your body to compensate for the body part that is supposed to be engaged in the exercise. For example, if you are squatting a weight that is too heavy, you may start to curve your back in an attempt to lift the weight. The weight that was supposed to be lifted by your legs is now being placed on your back, a part of your body that is not meant for lifting that amount of weight. With any exercise, lifting so much weight that it affects your form can cause a wide variety of injuries in the compensating body parts.

How to Fix: I know it's annoying, but the fix is simple: GO DOWN IN WEIGHT! I'm all for reaching new PRs and what not, but we have to make sure we are doing so SAFELY. You can't reach more squat PRs if your back is tweaked from deadlifting. Definitely increase your weight over time, but do so with a bit of caution. It also helps to have a spotter to keep you in check with respect to form or to help you if the load is too heavy.


So there you have it! 3 super common yet very dangerous workout mistakes that are made on the daily! I have made every single one of these mistakes and unfortunately had to learn about them the hard way. Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment or sending me a DM on Instagram!

Keep a close eye on my profile...I'm feeling a big giveaway comin' up!👀🚨

*image 1: source

*image 2: source

*image 3 source

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