If you don't know your way around a weight room, heading to the gym can be intimidating -- and even dangerous. But paying attention to a few simple rules of proper technique can make you slimmer, stronger and healthier all over.
That's why we asked John Romaniello, trainer, author and founder of Roman Fitness Systems to show us what's what when it comes to strength training.
In the coming weeks, he'll be helping us tackle some of the most common mistakes we all make while toning, plus tips and tricks for perfect form. This week, we're tackling the lunge.
The Faux Pas: "The number one mistake here is that people look down at their feet, and, where the head goes, the body follows," Romaniello tells The Huffington Post. We've over-exaggerated this common problem in the photo below. "By looking down at your feet, you force your body to 'round' unnaturally downward," says Romaniello, which can throw you off balance or place unwanted stress on your joints.
The Fix: "Make sure you look straight ahead, keep your shoulders back and spine straight," says Romaniello. Frequently finding yourself glancing down to gauge where to place your forward foot? Rather than worrying about foot placement, lunge forward a distance that simply feels natural, he adds.
Now it's your turn. Evaluate your lunge form, then try the tips above. Tell us how it goes in the comments below, and be sure to check back over the following weeks to fix your squats, planks, crunches and more.
Photos by Damon Dahlen, AOL
For more on fitness and exercise, click here.
For more Fix Your Form, click here.
Related on HuffPost:
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more