Common Exercise Mistakes You’re Probably Making



The Common Exercise mistakes you’re probably making and how to avoid them in future.

Bondi Beauty spoke to Sydney based, expert personal trainer Rachel Livingstone about the most common exercise mistakes and how to make sure you’re working your body properly when you hit the gym.

I was at the gym the other day, and one of the PT’s there came up and told me that I was using the wrong technique when I was planking, then about 10 minutes later came back again to tell me that I was also doing my tricep dips incorrectly (how embarrassing)

This got me thinking that there must be so many people out there who aren’t actually getting the most out of their workouts simply because their technique is slightly off.

So, I decided to talk to Rachel Livingstone from Sydney’s ‘The Health Hub,‘ a personal trainer with 30 years of industry experience, about the exercises most commonly done wrong.

Errors Made Doing Squats:

“These are a great exercise for strength and mobility in the lower body, but only if they’re performed correctly,” Rachel said.

Rachel’s top 3 squatting errors are:

  1. Not enough bend at the hip so that your body weight comes forward through thighs and ahead of feet. This stops the glutes getting a workout and places too much pressure through the knees.

The solution: squat back onto a chair, making you stick your bottom out more and sit back into the squat – squat this way until you master the technique

  1. Bending too much at the hip and not enough at the knees, causing the back to become too arched. This compresses the spine and means that the thighs aren’t worked at an optimal level.

The solution: Focus on dropping down lower into the squat, leaning forward a small amount but ensuring that the back is not arching over.

  1. Letting your knees fall inwards instead of positioning them directly over the feet. This is not great for the knee joint or and can reduce the amount of weights you can lift while squatting.

The solution: Find out what is preventing you keeping your knees over the feet. It could be tight achilles, calf or adductor muscles or weak glutes. Address this to improve your squatting technique.

Errors Made Doing Abdominal/Core Exercises:

“Great for a flat tummy a healthy back and pelvic floor function… if performed correctly,” Rachel said.

Rachel’s 2 top core exercise errors are:

  1. Holding breath or breathing out at the wrong time.

The Solution: Ensure that you keep breathing regularly throughout the exercise, and try to breathe out during the difficult part. E.g: breathe in as you crunch upwards, and breathe out when you lower yourself back to the floor.

  1. Pushing the abs out on the hard phase of the exercise because you are straining and cannot hold the position.

The Solution: You should actually be gently pulling your lower stomach in during the hard part of core exercises, this stope the muscles from bulging and the back from arching. If you find this too difficult then the exercise is too hard for you and you need to do a less strenuous version.

Errors Made Stretching:

“Stretching can has a whole heap of benefits like helping you feel more mobile and correcting muscle imbalances… if done correctly,” Rachel said.

“The biggest problem when people stretch is that they don’t know which muscle or why they are stretching,” she said.

The solution:

“There are different types of stretches so know why you are stretching which muscle. Is it a quick, post-workout stretch where a 30 second hold of each will be sufficient? Are you actually stretching the muscles you just worked? Or are you trying to increase flexibility in a particular muscle and need to hold for longer? Are you stretching a tight muscle that is compensating for an injury?”

If you’re looking for a good guide on why you should be stretching for different exercise regimes, click here to read an article by

Rachel Livingstone has over 30 years of experience in the fitness industry, and has trained in kickboxing, aqua aerobics, Pilates, fitball, yoga and TRX suspension. 

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Sarah Carroll


Sarah navigates health and fitness alongside a sinful sweet tooth and an unfortunate tendency to splash her savings online shopping, eating out or buying $10 cocktails at happy hour. With a love for yoga, animals and musical theatre, Sarah is rarely found without a peppermint-green tea in hand, tearing up over animal videos on Instagram.

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