You squat, you run, you lift, and on occasion, you even brave that killer spin class that allows you to burn 1,000 calories a pop! While you are devoted to each and every workout, the question isn’t what you’re doing right (you show up and give it your all, so that’s huge!) The question is, what are you doing wrong? Here’s a few pitfalls in the weight room to steer clear of.

Never Hold Your Breath

One of the worst (and most common) habits people fall into is the ‘breath hold.’ If you’re holding your breath while you lift, lunge or press, don’t! Holding your breath can disrupt your body’s rhythmic patterns, and cause a health risk for people with hypertension. Instead, incorporate this rule of thumb: exhale while you ‘push’ or ‘press’ your weight machine, and always maintain a steady, controlled breath.

Woman holding on sore knee isolated on white.

Never Be Half In, Half Out

Unless you can’t because of injury, it’s really important to make sure that you’re exercising properly. This means don’t exercise by failing to use the full momentum or range of motion that’s necessary. When you work out by using a full range of motion, you’ll be able to achieve a greater overall strength and muscle size in a shorter period of time than when you cut yourself short. Don’t go half in, half out by cheating yourself of a true workout! If you’re doing lunges, don’t go down as much as you’d like – make sure you lunge down until your knee is an inch away from the ground, just as the exercise entails. Cheat on the workout, and you’re only cheating on yourself.

Never Have Poor Posture

Sure, you may have benched more than you ever have before, but you’re wasting time and energy if your posture is all wrong. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during a workout is lifting hard, stepping, plunging or squatting with a back, neck or set of knees that are incorrectly positioned. Did you know that even moving your head during a squat can result in a serious spinal disc injury? It’s true—and it’s not something mess up. Make sure that with each set (no matter how ‘simple’ or routine the exercise may be) that your spine is straight, your shoulders are back and you’re inhaling/exhaling with precision!

Never Position Knees in Various Directions

One of the most common types of injury you can get during or after a workout is a knee injury. Pay extra attention your knee placement. If you’re doing a leg press or lunge, look down before, and several times during your workout. Are your knees turned inwards, or turned out? In the case of a squat, you want to make sure that your feet track right over your toes.