It’s spring… finally! Which means spring cleaning is in full force. Aside from cleaning up your home, your workspace or your yard, you can also work on cleaning up your form.

Let’s revisit some of the most fundamental fitness moves: squats, pushes, pulls, thrusts and rows. These essential exercises are used inside and outside the gym, and you need proper technique. Otherwise you may not be reaping the physical benefit, or even causing injury.

Barbell rows

  • Pick the right weight so you don’t “bounce” the bar. Bouncing up and down lets momentum do all the work and you don’t use the correct muscles effectively
  • Keep torso at 45 degrees or less by maintaining a strong core
  • Keep the bar at the midpoint of your shin

Barbell squat

  • Look straight ahead while squatting
  • Your weight should be distributed over your heels and balls of your feet, not your toes
  • Keep your back straight, with your neutral spine and your chest and shoulders up

Chest Press

  • The most important part of bench pressing might just be your set-up. When you lay back on the bench, make sure you line up your eyes directly under the bar
  • Anchor yourself to the bench by fixing your head, shoulder blades and glutes to the bench, creating a natural arch in the back and a solid base to un-rack the weight from
  • Keep your entire body super tight to create a stable platform when performing the lift

Hip Thrust

  • Push through the heels
  • Make sure you get a full hip extension as you move through the thrust
  • Pause for a second once you achieve full extension
  • Press through your heels and lift your toes off the ground

Overhead Press

  • Keep your glutes tight during the lift
  • As you press the weight up, let your head move forward slightly
  • Keep your elbows down and tucked in