Fitness Lesson – Proper Form Of Common Exercises

Apr 27, 2012 by



Hello my dollies 🙂

As promised I have another fitness video lesson for you :), this lesson is about common mistakes people make in very common exercises. Before I made this video I looked at many many videos on youtube of people exercising, trainers and regular people as well. And let me tell you what I saw in some of those videos burned my eyes. Most people don’t know how to exercise then they wonder why they are not getting results.

Now I want you guys to know that perfect form takes a lot of practice, it’s always best if you learn it when you are a beginner, it’s easier that way. Because if you have been exercising for a while and with bad form then it can be quite difficult to get you learning all over again, but with dedication you will be able to achieve it faster then you think.

Before I do my workouts and especially if I have new moves I always get in front of the mirror and practice the exercise, you have to feel the form that’s how you are going to remember it. After a while it will come natural to you, you just have to learn it once.

I already have a post when I go over the critical importance of the proper form so in this post I will just let you watch the video. I picked some of the most common exercises, but I am planning to make several of these videos at your request, just let me know in the comments which exercises you think you need to work on.



Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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  • Moon-se .

    Thank you for this video! It’s quite helpful!

  • Di

    Brilliant, awesome  and so funny))) thank you and looking forward to the next one))))

  • taltul73

    Tatianna, Excellent, Excellent video. really. i always try to keep my back straight, but one thing i can see i need to fix it the mountain climbers. need to keep more attention to my back been straight.   i was LOL when i saw the way you showing us about the wrong form. your funny. 

    • Thanx girlie, 

      Yeah I tried my best to show the what the wrong form looks like, I was laughing a lot when I played back the video LOL

  • jt

    Thanks Tatianna for another ESSENTIAL video!! Hahhhh you totally got me with those push-offs and throwing the sandbag away lol ;DDD 
    And I had such a massive confusion with mountain climbers… some trainers did one way, others the other way..! Now it’s all clear and know which way brings more benefits 😀 And yes, most trainers seem to want you to do “more” instead of “better”…
    I’d love if you covered different lunges 🙂 : backward lunges, switch lunges, etc… I love the fact that you explain the benefits of proper form and what kind of injure would result if you’re not doing it right, “Health first” 🙂 Such a fountain of wisdom you are!! 🙂

    Have a fantastic weekend you too and thanks again!!

    • Thank you JT, 

      I want people to know how to exercise correctly, it’s important not only that it brings great results, but it prevents you from injury, which is very common when we workout. 

      Have a wonderful weekend as well JT :)!

  • Hi Mariana, 

    Yes proper form is more important then speed, because if you are doing your exercise fast but in bad form then your results as well as your spine will suffer.  Glad you are going to focus on form now and not speed!

  • You are welcome darling :), form over speed !!!

  • sus

    I agree with jt.  THIS post is essential!  When you do the one-leg squat video, can you include proper form for various type of squats?  Also, different type of lunges in proper form would be amazing too!  I think the mountain climbers were the most helpful for me.  I haven’t done them in a long time because I never really knew the right way to perform them.  But this cleared it all up.

    You were so funny when you were showing the wrong ways.  I was laughing.  You are so much fun!  The end of sets part was the best one!

    I am just loving these videos and your site. Thanks again.

    • Ha Ha Ha, I will definitely include all those in the next proper form video :).  I try to add my own sense of humor onto things, that way you guys can have fun while learning something new :).  The way we put down the weights is very important, because the wrong way will damage our back in the long run.

  • Mariasole Verdi

    interesting! i used to hump my shoulders and also arching my lower back during workouts. it took me time to correct my posture and now i cant do improperly cause it comes naturally to stay straight as musch as possible. the hard part for me is doing jump.lunges with proper form cause i loose balance when i land on my feet and going lower touching the floor with back knee . thanks for all you do

    • Hey Mariasole, 

      I sometimes too loose my balance that’s why I keep my hands in the front folded, it really helps me to balance my body. 

  • KirryKaatje

    Excellent video! I think I’m might be doing mountain climbers and knee raises the wrong way, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on those. I’ve been practising my squat and pushup form religiously these past few weeks. I’m always afraid to ruin my back when doing squats.

    • Oh yes be very careful with squats, those exercises are very tough on our back, form is so important and it definitely needs to be emphasized more in Fitness. I think I recently started this ” Proper Form ” trend, but it should of been emphasized a long long time ago. 

  • Leja Lederer

    Just made me laugh so much, when you did your squat thing and then put down the bag all wrong and crazy!:)))

    Great video!

    • Ha Ha Ha, yeah I wanted to make it a little fun as well as educational, I think it’s more fun to learn that way 🙂

  • Anna

    Love the way you explain excersises, very clear. I found in many webpages a lot of workouts but they never explain the form to do it. Too bad for us beginners and thanks God I found you!
    I have a request for you, if it’s possible… Never know  were to put my hands when doing a push up: shoulders wide apart? Wider than my shoulders? Aligned with my chest? Aligned with my shoulders? Aligned with my ears? ?!?! Could you make this clear?
    Thanks a lot for your job, you must know some of us really apreciate it.

    Kisses from Spain!

    • Hi Anna 🙂

      I’m very happy to be helpful :).  With push-ups it depends what kind of muscles you are working on, the regular push-up is just a tiny bit wider then shoulder width but not much, keep your elbows tucked inn.  The wide push-up works mainly your chest and here you will place your hands wide apart and try it out to see if your chest muscles are and also a bit of your upper shoulder is working.  Placing your hands into a diamond position close together will work more of your triceps.  

      • Anna

        Ok, great I understood! So no wrong position, just diferent positions = diferent muscles working. I’ll try diferent ways to see how they feel on my body muscles. The one that hurts is the one you are working (I learned that pretty quick, hahahaha!).

  • Tatianna!!!
    Thanks for this laught!! You’re so funny!!
    But, let me tell you something… I saw myself when you were doing the wrong form in more than a couples of exercises. Omg…  And then I was wondering why I wasn’t seeing results quickly!
    This video is really really HELPFULL!!!
    Thanks for your dedication and for taking the time to explain this in a funny, but still so clear way!!
    Hoping you’re having a wonderfull week!
    Bets wishes always for you and all what you do,

    • Thank you Elizabeth :), I am really loving making these videos and having you workout with me 🙂


      • I love working out with you!! You’ve always great routines!!
        Thanks again Tati!!

  • That’s what I love to hear!!!  Or see since I am reading it 🙂

  • midimidi

    ha ha that was me, throwing my bag down at the end of a set, embarrassing!  is crawling from one exercise to the next bad form?…probably!  thanks for this post. sometimes these moves look so much easier but doing them with proper form is more effective. 

    • I knew it LOL :), it’s a pretty common mistake, at least now I know you are watching your form !!!

    • You are so funny – ” Crawling from one exercise to the next “, yep that’s not very good :).  You have to always use controlled movements when working out, if you have to crawl then it’s better you give your self a few seconds extra break, 5 extra seconds can make a huge difference in the whole workout. 

  • Your video was SUUUUPER helpful!  One area I would love info is squats.  I have actually injured myself doing these badly, and I found the proper form on the web (I was both rounding at the bottom and sometimes standing up from the squat butt first, not head upright and first), but I’m interested in how to know how low down you should go before your form gets bad.  I really like going all the way down, but of course, it’s really easy to injure yourself going down past parallel.  And I feel like other sites don’t really address this very much.

    PS. Your website rocks.  I love how much care you put into everything on here–the posts, the advice, the workouts.  I’m really having fun getting to know my way around. 🙂

    • Hi Kendra 🙂

      I will definitely be doing a follow up to this video, will sure to include squats.  One main key point in every single exercise is ” Back “, if you can remember this one point you will always have a good form, squats and all.  Your back has to always stay straight, if you feel or see that your back is even slightly rounded – that is improper form.  You can go all the way on squats, as long as the back stays straight.  Also if you go all the way on squats you are working more on the front of your legs, if you are only going half way while keeping your torso straight then you are working the back and the front. 

  • Awesome video Tati!  A lot of people get caught up on WO sites and forums competing with others on reps and time.  I certainly have done it. 🙁  I do know that some of the best improvements I have seen came after i was in “good” shape and made a point to slow it down.  I would target Z’s time or reps and figuer if I was much faster then probably was not getting the form or the proper intensity from the move.

    Again Love the vid, great explanations you should do one for all moves!

    • Thanks darling :), soon there will be a part 2, let me know if you want me to include certain exercises 🙂

      • one that makes me crazy is Dive Bombers, I really struggle on that one doing it properly throughout a set. Probably cause it is an easy one to “shortcut”

        • Gerri Lee Schafer

          ohhhh, you found a short cut…lol…I love dive bombers, really don’t think i short cut them though…I think guys have a harder time with them,,,shoulder mobility? dunno

        • Sure I will include dive bombers :), have you ever tried push back push-ups?

          • I have not I saw you doing them on one of you vids and looked really cool though!

          • They are very cool, you absolutely have to try them, the muscles that they work are very similar to dive bombers, but I will definitely cover the dive bombers in my next proper form video. 

          • midimidi

             hindu pushups? i like these better for my core and feels good.

  • tee_w

    hi tatianna

    I know the proper form but since I had my kids I cannot get my shoulders off the floor during ab exercises that involve having the legs up. like toe touches or a sit up or crunch with legs on a bench or even bent knee.  If I can have my legs down or am able to move them I can get up.  Is there something I can do to strengthen them or should I just continue working on the other ab exercises until I’m stronger.

    Also probably related but when I do plank exercises I don’t “hump” but I tend to end up with my arms out in front rather than under my shoulders,  probably “piking”  I assume that would be weakness in abs as well?  If you could cover something like that in your video would be great!  thanks!

    • Wow Tee_w I am surprised you have kids, you have so much energy and you workout so much, my hat is off to you :). Now, have you ever tried keeping the arms under your shoulders during plank?  

      If you try to get you shoulders off the floor does it hurt? 

      • tee_w

        I work opposite shift of everyone, I go to work and kids come home, it’s a bummer but have to make a living! plus my kids are teenagers now!

        I start my planks with hands under shoulders, but if there are movements I find my arms getting more and more of an angle. I think it must be my abs, I should probably just practice holding a plank, but that’s boring! lol

        and no pain, just can’t get up! lol like a turtle stuck on her back! I’m guessing since I can do it when legs are down or able to move that I use my hip flexors to compensate. just not sure what I should do to strengthen them.

        • Well my darling, I know that planks can be boring but they are effective in strengthening your core like no other!  If you want to improve, and fast ( I know the word fast will catch  your attention 🙂 ) then you have to do planks before and after your workouts.  I suggest 4 planks 1 minute each before and after training. In a week you will notice the difference – trust me!

          • tee_w

            grrrr! I knew you were going to say that! lol

            Oh by the way, we talk a LOT! sorry! ha ha!

  • Hi Chris :), 

    Welcome to Loving Fit, so happy you are joining us!!! I am writing down all of your guy’s exercises and proper form requests 🙂

  • Gerri Lee Schafer

    me too….Hi Chris

  • YESSS!  Mountain climbers were one that always eluded me–I always felt like it was kind of a waste of an exercise, although I did always feel and enjoy leaping mountain climbers.  Doing them more controlled like this definitely makes them SOOO much harder, and those oblique ones you do are awesome.

    • Thank you Kendra :).

      Mountain climbers are actually pretty hard exercise if you do them in the proper form as well as controlled.  If you keep your back straight and your hands underneath your shoulders, plus every time one leg goes backwards try to keep it straight, then you will feel it in your abs, shoulders as well as legs, it’s quite a killer. 

  • tee_w

    I’m starting not to feel so slow now! ha ha! you guys always wiped the floor with me, but I work out more like Tatianna and Zuzana more deliberate and not so fast! lol

    kettlebell clean and press is what has my shoulders and triceps aching yesterday and today! owiees!

  • Jessica20

    Hi Tatianna,

    Thanks again for such a great video. Just like Chris and some of the others, I, too, am one of the Disavowed Rockers. I love that you focus more on proper form instead of churning out the max number of reps. I always wondered why I never really felt much while doing mountain climbers and now I know why. I could also see the mistakes that I was making while doing planks and side jump lunges.

    If you are planning to do another video like this one, would it be possible to request proper form on dive bombers?

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Jessica, 

      So nice to meet you!  Yep I already wrote down the dive bombers, I will absolutely include them 🙂

  • Evaleen

    I must not have watched this all the way through the first time, as I don’t remember those ‘advanced’ knee raises– wow!! I had figured the next step would be to keep legs straight or do ‘circles’ (sideways lifting legs up and over the back of a chair). And I actually really like those fast ‘mountain climbers’, or a much more technically correct name, “sprinters” (as the focus is almost all on cardio). Really don’t get why trainers don’t just call them that instead of mountain climbers…

    And well, I’ve been working harder than ever on keeping my form right since I bought a mirror about two months ago (only $6 from a department store), but though I ‘think’ I’m pretty spot on with everything, I still get some (temporary) strain in my back when using weights in front of me– like holding a heavy weight at chest level, doing dead-lifts, or swings. Maybe it’s just a matter of practice though, as front weight seems to challenge my balance. I also need to work on contracting my muscles more (glutes, abs, etc), but I make no excuse for that, it’s just laziness on my part. :/

    • I like that name ” Sprinters “, we shall call them Sprinters from now on :). If you feel back pain it’s an indication that you are doing something wrong with your form, keep practicing cause you don’t want to put too much pressure on your back.

  • You are very welcome 🙂

  • How about the regulars, such as crunches, deadlifts, and bent over rows? Actually, I thought i knew how to do all of them, but someone at the gym pointed out how my crunches were wrong, just yesterday. Good thing I haven’t been doing them very often because apparently I’ve been wasting my time. Have to say i was rather embarrassed, since I don’t consider myself a beginner, but it really got me thinking and made more aware of my form. But now I’m doubting how much I’m doing right and wrong!

    • I rarely do crunches, they damage our back overtime.

      • Evaleen

        I’ve meant to ask this before, but what makes a crunch worse as opposed to other ab moves where you lift your back up off the floor… is it the curling/rounding of the upper back?

  • Shanna

    WoW Tati, I am so stoked I stumbled upon you!!! I was wondering if you could either explain some exercises to target or a workout to target the area of lifting the little lip under the but cheeks and around the outer side that comes off the lower but and how to get rid of the loose skin under there and around the back and sides of the lower back? my muscles are strong and hard but the skin drives me crazy…i have a very good clean diet too since I know that matters huge…thank you so very much!!!

    • Hey Shanna,

      We are actually starting a new Booty challenge on Monday :), it will help you to lift your butt and get rid of that lose skin under. But you have to combine it with your lower body workouts. Here at loving fit we do 2 lower body workouts per week and 2 upper body workouts.

      • Shanna

        you are my new hero!!! I am so stoked!!! I am totally on board:) if I workout on Monday and Tuesday, take Wed off and then workout on Thursday and Friday should I do just alternating the upper and lower body? I am going to start with your video on form…I have always been super athletic, martial artist and volleyball (scholarship for college) but I wasn’t doing the form right on alot of my upper body and I seriously damaged my spine and lost and inch and a half in height, I have to see a sports therapist once a week for 3 years now:( but I won’t give up! thank you so much for all the work you do!!!