If you’re new to training, or even if you’ve been working out for a while, some movements may feel clunky or awkward. You may be asking, ‘Am I holding these weights right?’ Or ‘Am I moving my back safely?’ And, especially, ‘Do I have the correct form?’

We always try to give you reminders about your form on the various exercises in our videos, but the format doesn’t often allow for in depth discussion of each movement. And sometimes you may want a little more workout advice and background information . Our job is to help you work out effectively and safely – we want you to feel confident in your movements so you can continue to crush it!

Why correct form is important?

‘Fitness and gym’ is rated as the second most popular physical activity performed by Australian adults. But just because it’s popular doesn’t mean we’re always doing it right. It’s essential that those of us who love working out, do so safely.

It’s no secret that exercising with poor form can lead to injury. A study that looked into weight training-related injuries presenting to US emergency departments found that the upper and lower trunk were the most commonly injured body parts, and 90.4% of injuries occurred with free weights.

Education around correct technique and appropriate use of weight equipment, as well as adequate warm-up and cool-down exercises, are essential. Ensuring that your education comes from qualified experts is also crucial. And that’s where master trainer Luke Sharp’s training videos come in.

Luke recently hopped onto our Facebook community to conduct a live Q&A video, where you asked your burning training questions and Luke shared his best workout advice.

You can read all of his best tips below.

Luke’s workout advice

What is the correct method for deadlifts?

It depends what kind of deadlift it is. We want to have soft knees if we’re doing what is called a Romanian deadlift, where we’re starting from the top of the movement and working our way down towards below the knees, and then coming back up. But when we come up, we want to lock the knees out.

Remember that a deadlift is essentially hinging at the hip. I’ve just made an instructional video on squats, deadlifts and other big lifts in the app [insert link] so if you’re a member, jump on now.

For ladies over 50, how many days should resistance exercises be done compared to cardio?

Generally, strength training is important as we age – especially for females. This is because the chances of conditions like osteoporosis get higher, and heavy strength training is great for your bones. So take that into consideration, but obviously your personal situation is going to determine the answer as well.

What is the best way to engage your core?

The core is a whole group of muscles up the front and back whose primary role is to stabilise the spine. That means its job is to prevent your spine from moving too much when exercising. The strength training way of bracing and engaging your core is taking a big belly breath and holding that breath throughout most of the rep. That breath creates what we call intra-abdominal pressure, which means pressure around your spine to make it more rigid.

Is there a kind of resistance that increases your metabolism more efficiently?

Metabolism is how many calories you’re burning throughout the day. Everyone burns calories whether you’re lying down, asleep or moving. The ‘basal metabolic rate’ is how many calories you burn when you’re at rest and the main way that your metabolism changes is around your weight. So when you weigh more, your basal metabolic rate is higher.

When you’re training and trying to improve body composition, then having a bit more muscle will help increase metabolism. So I would focus on that type of training.

When doing floor touches, is it better to touch the floor but go slow, or not go as low but go faster?

That’s a good question because we can take that across all different realms. You’ve got to think about what the goal of the exercise is. If the floor touches are in a cardio session, then generally we’re trying to move fast. So in that session, I would normally say go faster and do less range of movement. But if it’s in a strength training session, I would be focusing on getting a bigger range of movement.

How can I keep my back flat on the floor?

I’m guessing that question is around when you’re doing something like a ‘dead bug’ or ‘hollow hold’ movement. Everyone is going to be a little bit different in terms of the natural bend through their lower back – but generally if your back is coming up off the floor, bring the knees into the chest a little more.

Want more?

If you’re after more workout advice, make sure you join our Facebook community so you can see past answers and put your burning fitness questions to Luke. He will be running these live Q&A videos on an ongoing basis so you can hear his professional workout advice and level up your training. Join HERE.

Watch the first Q&A video here.


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