How’s Your Form?

We love having you as patients, but we are most happy when you move on and don’t need to return to physical therapy time and time again! Sometimes technique mistakes can result in injury or can prevent you from properly building the muscles you want!

Below are three exercises with some common mistakes to look out for!

Squats

Common Mistake: Tucking butt under, putting added stress on knees and relaxing the glutes.

When you are squatting down, you want more weight to be distributed in your heels, instead of your toes- this forces your glutes muscles to work. At the same time, make sure that your toes are flat on the ground as well. Also, push your hips back and stick your bottom out like you are sitting in a chair (all before bending your knees). Remember to keep your chest up and abs tight!

Seated or Standing Rows

Common Mistake: Overusing your neck and upper shoulder muscles (upper traps) instead of your mid-back (middle traps and rhomboids).

Before you begin, check your posture! Chest is up and out, sitting up tall with shoulders over your hips, shoulders relaxed, and shoulder blades are pulled back.  As you are rowing, keep your torso still and pinch your shoulder blades together and down. Think: squeeze in and down!

Planks

Common Mistake: Letting the abdominal muscles relax, resulting in an increased arch and use of the low back.

When you are performing this exercise your shoulders need to be positioned over your elbows, feet are shoulder width apart, head and neck is relaxed with your gaze slightly in front of you. Keep your body in a straight line (hips aren’t sagging and your hips are not sticking up in the air). Tighten your abdominal muscles by imagining bringing your bellybutton towards your spine.

If you find your low back is sagging too much during this exercise, always go down to the modified plank position (on knees) with the same technique tips in mind.

Need some more tips? Follow along with any RET social media this month!

About RET Physical Therapy Group

RET Physical Therapy Group has been “Your neighborhood physical therapy clinic,” since it was founded in 1973. The company is made up of 24 locations in the Puget Sound area that are all locally owned and operated by a team of physical therapists focused on a single purpose: to provide consistent, quality patient care within neighborhoods and communities. For more information, visit www.retptgroup.com

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