Walking up to the weight room at the gym for the first time and lifting up your first sets of weights can be indimidating for most individuals.

Some questions that may run through your mind could be: Am I doing this right? What are these for? How do you work out these? The best key advide for any beginner or where ever you may be in your fitness journey would be to master your form with every exercise. 

Having correct form is imperative for safe training and to maximize your power to pull or push heavy weights.

Some common exercises that could be difficult for individuals to use correct form are compound movements such as the squat, bench press, bicep curls, and deadlift. 

In this website you will have the opportunity to see videos that demonstrate correct form as well as commonly seen incorrect form given by a male and a female for each exercise. 

Keep in mind that these may be generalized tips for correct form, and also it may look different for everyone because we all have different biomechanics in movement and different body type. 




Four most common misform exercise

Bench Press

Correct form

  • If you are a beginner at the bench press make sure that you have a spotter for safety! 
  • As you set up for the bench press make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the floor and that your shoulder blade are squeezed together.
  • When you un-rack the bar imagine yourself bringing the bar to your chest at your diaphragm, then pushing the bar straight up to the ceiling
  • Some tips for this movement would be to keep your elbows in tight close to your body and make sure that your glutes stay on the bench during the entire movement. 

Incorrect form


correct form

  • There are 2 factors that come into play with the biomechanics of  your specific body type that could effect how you choose to squat 
  • First, bar placement could be chose high-bar or low-bar depending on what is comfortable for you 
  • To help you decide which may be a better fit for you.
  • Play with the two different bar placement and see which one helps you. Squeeze your shoulder blades tighter together to ensure a solid and stable back
  • Second, your stance could be narrow or wider depending on your individual biomechanics.
  • In addition, with the stance you choose you could also find toes pointing outwards more comfortable, rather than your toes straight forward
  • During the movement itself make sure that you bend at your waist instead of using your knees and imagine that you are sitting down into a chair
  • To push yourself up from the squat imagine pushing the ground with your heels and keeping your knees away from each other.

incorrect form

Bicep Curls

correct form

  • First, stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand with your knees slightly bend shoulder width apart
  • Rotate your palms facing toward the front of the room and keep your upper arms as close to your body as you can while performing the movement
  • Make sure that you are slow and controlled on the way up and on the way down
  • Avoid rocking your upper body to aid in getting those weights up

incorrect form


correct form

  • There are 2 different stances that you can choose to perform the movement which is conventional stance and sumo stance 
  • In the video provided, we have Angelica demonstrating the sumo stance and Bryan demonstrating the conventional stance 
  • With the deadlift you can keep your upper back tight and stabilized by bringing in your elbows close to your body which engages your latissimus dorsi muscle of your back 
  • To bring your elbows close to your body imagine that you have a piece of paper that you want to hold on to in-between your upper arm and body as you can get it
  • Warning! Your shins will get bruised if you are doing it correctly as a beginner so wear socks or pants! 
  • The key tip for this movement to prevent injury is to not allow your back to round during the movement.

incorrect form

As you progress...

Through weightlifting something you may want to consider with the compound movements are things such as progressive overloading by increasing weights gradually and increasing speed of movements to increase strength. Also, repetition ranges do matter with weightlifting and are based on your personal goals such as muscular strength or muscular endurance. It is not required for you to lift weights until failure to achieve the results that you are aiming for. Do not be afraid to switch things up with your exercise regime because if you are on autopilot during your workouts and get bored you may not want it to be a priority anymore. Create an exercise program that is fun for you and challenges you so that it becomes a lifestlye! 

Other Sources

  • http://www.acsm.org/  
  • https://medlineplus.gov/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html