Bad Training Habits You Need To Ditch NOW!

Coach Loz reporting for duty!

I love it when my #LSFBabes tell me they want to get strong AF! Lifting weights and being strong is such an empowering feeling, however, it doesn’t happen overnight.

My key philosophy is to nail the basics first. I am passionate about educating all of my girls on how to lift with proper form and technique before they progress to a heavier weight. Whether you’re training at home or in the gym, there is a LSF program for you!

It’s important to have performance goals in mind i.e. “I want to squat X amount of weight by X time”. But you’re not just going to be able to waltz in and pick up a 100kg bar - it takes time, consistency and patience. Remember that we all start somewhere! It was only 5 years ago that I was struggling to hip thrust 10kg.

So, let’s talk about WHY getting your form right is so important.

Targeting the correct muscles
When you focus on using correct form when exercising, you’ll notice that it’s easier to target the correct muscles. Feeling an exercise somewhere else that what it’s designed for? There’s a good chance you might be performing it wrong! For example, when performing a deadlift you’ll want to keep your back in a neutral position while lifting the weight. Doing this will help you to target the correct muscles involved in the lift.

Unfortunately I see many people in the gym rounding their back when lifting the weight. This is not only dangerous and could cause injury but it also will place a lot of extra pressure and strain on your spine and back muscles.

Injury prevention
This is one of, if not the most important aspect of getting your form right! Having correct form will ensure you are doing your best to prevent an injury in the gym. Let’s face it, if we get an injury this can set us back weeks or months in some cases, hindering any progress you may have made. If you do find yourself facing an injury, just remember that you are strong, resilient and you will get through it.

A common form mistake I see people making is the “butt squeeze” and pushing their hips forward at the top of the squat. When you ‘butt squeeze’ this can cause your spine to go into hyper extension which can cause irritation to your lower back and lead to potential injury by adding added force in an unnatural direction. Your glutes are most engaged and under tension in the bottom position of the squat aka when you’re standing up your glutes are not under the tension as they were in the squatted position meaning it’s not necessary to squeeze in the upright position of the squat.

Lauren demonstrating an incorrect barbell squat.Lauren demonstrating a correct barbell squat.

Building your foundation
Building a base for your exercises is super important, a lot of girls I see just want to add extra weight quickly but this is where things can go wrong. When wanting to progress with your lifting weight we recommend increasing your reps first and making sure you can safely do all reps without exhaustion. After this, you can then increase the weight slowly, we normally recommend a 2.5-5kg increase for exercises like squats, deadlifts and hip thrusts. For exercises involving the upper body you may want to only increase the weight by 1-2kg.

Nailing the key lifts
I’ve touched on this a little already but nailing your key lifts will ensure you can progress with your training. In my programs I like to add in a lot of different variations involving key lifts. I’m talking about squats, deadlifts and hip thrusts as these will help you develop that feminine and strong physique! For example, one day you might see barbell squats programmed, then a few days laters there will be a slight variation with heels elevated barbell squats programmed. The difference here will be slight but the muscles targeted will be slightly different. E.g slightly more quad recruitment with heels elevated vs slightly more glute recruitment with regular squats.

Improving your strength
Performing your key lifts regularly will help you to continue working on your strength. You might see squats in your program multiple times a week on some occasions and this is so that you can continue to progress with your strength gains. It’s pretty much near impossible to progress with your strength if you are not performing your key lifts regularly.

Ladies, remember the only person you should be comparing yourself to is YOU! Focus on getting the basics right first and progress in your own time. Join thousands of women and be coached by me to become the strongest, most empowered version of you!

Loz xx