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How To Avoid Becoming a #GymFail

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How To Avoid Becoming a #GymFail


The #gymfail video – usually someone using gym equipment far from the way in which it was intended – appears to be the natural evolution of the social media-savvy gym-goer. There’s no saying what a Snapchat of someone failing disastrously on the leg press can do for your motivation.

But as the Instagram account @iggymfails passes one million followers, the UK’s leading gym operator PureGym has looked at some of the most popular fails and offers some advice on how you can avoid being captured in a similarly compromising position.




Rowing Machine

We’ve all seen that guy going at it hammer and tongs, without actually doing a full or proper rep. Don’t be that guy!


How to ensure this move isn’t a #gymfail:

Hold the handle with a relaxed, overhand grip and tuck your thumbs under to avoid the handle flying back if your hands slip away.

Push with the legs first, and as soon as your legs extend, pull your arms in towards your belly button. Avoid from pulling the handle above your chest, keeping elbows in to ensure recruitment of your lats as opposed to your shoulders.

Keep your chest out to avoid hunching and prevent over exertion of your lower back.



Cable Chest Fly

See the gym goer doing a gazillion of these per minute, doing half – or less – reps?


How to ensure this move isn’t a #gymfail:

To carry out the fly motion, imagine you are hugging a barrel.

Keep your arms slightly bent (avoid locking your arms out).

If you feel a stretch in your shoulders then you are probably moving your arms too far back – you should feel a stretch in your chest.


Barbell Bench Press

Seen someone failing to do one rep in an effort to try and lift too much, or smashing our 1,965 reps with a lower weight? Or even worse, trying to lift their mate who’s spotting for them?


How to ensure this move isn’t a #gymfail:

When you lift the bar from the rack, hold it straight over you with your elbows slightly bent to ensure constant tension.

As you lower the bar, let it touch your lower chest, making sure to keep your elbows slightly tucked in so your arms form a 45-degree angle to your torso.

Keep your chest out – try to imagine you’re trying to hold a pen between your scapula.




Smith Machine

Load the weight and see them fail… don’t go too big too early!


How to ensure this move isn’t a #gymfail:

When squatting, place your heels a little bit further forward (i.e. away from the centre of gravity) so you can focus on driving up from the heels.

Make sure to keep your chest up and proud to avoid rounding your back.

Imagine you are screwing your feet into the ground – this will encourage your knees to face outwards and help muscles set the pelvis and lumbar spine in a neutral and stable position.




Lat Pulldown

There are so many ways to do this properly, that it’s amazing to see someone doing it so wrong. Imagine someone with a weight strapped to their back, standing, and doing quarter reps. Yep, these people exist!


How to ensure this move isn’t a #gymfail:

Avoid leaning too far back, no more than around a 30-45-degree angle to target the lats, and avoid using too much momentum to bring the bar down.

Keep your chest proud by concentrating on squeezing your scapula together.

Bring the bar down towards your chest as you breathe out.


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