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 tips and tricks for perfect form. This week, we're taking a closer look at the dumbbell row.
The Faux Pas: "The single-arm dumbbell row is generally well-performed in terms of the movement itself," says Romaniello. "What people screw up is their posture." Rounding the back can make your spine and shoulder vulnerable to injury, he says.
The Fix: "Instead, make sure to keep a straight spine and brace the core," he says. Lift the weight up toward the hip until the upper arm is level with the back.
Now it's your turn. Evaluate your row 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 and more.
Check out more in our Fix Your Form series below:
Photos by Damon Dahlen, AOLMissed It? You can still participate in the 30-Day Summer Shape Up: