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CRUNCHES
What you’re doing wrong: You bend your head forward, straining your neck. Or, you tuck back your pelvis and grip your buttocks while doing a crunch, which leads to tightness in your lower back and hip joints – this won’t work out your abdominals.
Fix it: Keeping your neck stable, lift up your chest slightly so the tips of your shoulder blade are off the ground. Keep your eyes trained on your knees, and your pelvis in a neutral position.

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LUNGES
What you’re doing wrong: You strain your knee by pushing it forward too much, over your toes. Your pelvis is rotated to one side, causing discomfort.
Fix it: Keep your torso upright and your pelvis facing forward. Your back knee should be bent, while the one in front should be in line with your toes.

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SQUATS
What you’re doing wrong: You push your knees forward too much, straining them by increasing the weight on the joints. If you can’t see your toes beyond your knees when you’re in a squat, you’re doing it wrong.
Fix it: Keeping your lower back stable, go into a squat and make sure you lean your body forward slightly. Push your butt back – almost as if you’re sitting on a chair. Make sure you can see your toes

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ELBOW PLANK
What you’re doing wrong: Your shoulders sag, causing your lower back to arch. Keep this up and you’ll get pain in your neck, shoulders and lower back.
Fix it: Engage your scapular muscles (ie: your shoulder blades) to support your upper body – your chest should be pushed away from the floor. Pull in your abdominals and tighten your butt so that your lower back is straight.

Images: Frenchescar Lim

Expert source: Diego Chia, Senior physiotherapist and pilates instructor at Core Fitness Physiotherapy & Pilates Centre

This story was first published in Her World Magazine August 2014.

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