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.
He'll be helping us tackle some of the most common mistakes we all make while building muscle, plus giving us tips and tricks for better form. This week, we're perfecting the dumbbell overhead press.
The Faux Pas: "When a client attempts the overhead press, they generally wind up with a tremendous arch in the low back," says Romaniello. That arch is a dead giveaway that you're compensating with your spine to lift the weight above your head.
The Fix: "Tuck your tailbone underneath you, engaging the core" he instructs, "and press straight overhead." Squeezing the glutes can also help. If you're still arching, back down to a lighter weight you can comfortably lift with correct form and work up.
Tell us how it goes in the comments below, and be sure to check back over the following weeks to fix your dips, bicycle crunches and more.
Check out more in our Fix Your Form series below:
Photos by Damon Dahlen, AOL
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