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Monday Fitness Motivation: How to do push-ups & squats correctly

This week personal trainer Geoff Sa Joe looks at the five most common mistakes made when performing push-ups and squats.

Monday Fitness Motivation: 5 common push-ups & squats mistakes to avoid
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Push-ups and squats are two popular exercises for just about every daily workout routine.

When done correctly, these exercises can have amazing benefits. 

But sadly, many people - especially beginners - are doing them wrong. 

Personal trainer Geoff Sa Joe shares five tips to ensure you are doing push-ups and squats correctly. 

Push-Up

1. Maintain neutral spine: You want to maintain a neutral spine throughout your movement. Should you dip lower than your hips, you’ll feel pain in the lower back and if hips are raised, the exercise will feel easier. However, the emphasis will be taken away from the core.

2. Keep it Tight: Keep your naval drawn in, this will ensure that your core remains engaged at all times.

3. Hand Position: Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width and ensure your elbows point slightly back when lowering your body. If the elbows are too square, you will use more of your shoulders as opposed your chest (which is what you are wanting to work when doing a push-up).

4. Chest to floor: Chest needs to be in line with your hands when lowered. If not, then the incorrect muscles are being recruited, which could result in injury.

5. Head Position: Look straight ahead when performing the movement.

Here's how to correctly do a push-up. The first video shows one suitable for beginners, and the second shows a more advanced version.

Squats

1. Foot placement: Feet should be placed shoulder width apart from one another with toes pointed out slightly.

2. Movement: Very important, push your glutes back when dropping your hips, this will take the strain away from the lower back. Should you feel a pain in your mid to lower back, then you need to push the glutes back.

Tip: Pretend as if you are about to sit on a chair, in fact, use a chair. It’s a great guide for beginners. Stop just as you feel your glutes touch the chair, this will take you to about 90 degrees give or take. Keep your knees slightly soft when returning to the starting point. Squeeze glutes when returning to starting point.

3. Head position: Look straight ahead as you perform the movement, looking down will throw your form out.

4. Shoulders: Keep the shoulders drawn back at all times, this ensures a straight back and also an upright upper body.

5. Heels: Most people have a tendency to lift their heels when lowering their hips. This can be a result of weak glutes and quadriceps. It’s vital to keep your heels planted to the ground during the movement, failure to do so will result in injury to your knees.

 About the author

I started hitting the gym from a very early age, purely because I was a small kid. Exercise and sport in general came very natural to me, I loved being active, whether it was cricket, rugby or gym. Strangely enough, I opted to pursue a career in finance & worked in London as an accountant for eight years. I was miserable and my wife pushed me to make the change, well I have never looked back. I’ve been a personal trainer for six years and I have developed my own style of training that’s extremely effective, combining all aspects of exercise.

The best way to get in touch is:

Cell / WhatsApp: 0763229939

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Geoff Sa Joe

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