John Basedow: There are several quick and easy exercises anyone can do to get in shape, but it's important to make sure you practice the correct form. Here are three exercises that people often do incorrectly and how to make them work for you.
Pushups are great for strength, but you're missing out on the full benefits if your form is out of place. Make sure your hands are placed shoulder with apart. When you bend your elbows, keep your spine straight and don't raise your butt in the air. Your chin should hover about four inches above the floor. If need be, drop to your knees until you can maintain a straight spine.
Squats strengthen your glutes, legs and core, but incorrect stance can damage your knees and back. And remember don't squat more weight than you can handle. Your legs should be about shoulder with apart and your knees should never cross over your feet when you bend them.
With crunches, make sure, your abs are doing the work, not your head and neck. You can call strain or serious injury that way. Make sure your knees are bent and feet are flat on the floor or elevated on a bench, depending on which variation you choose.
Use your hands to support your head, not to pull your body up. Contract your abs, bring your shoulder blades a few inches off the floor and lower yourself down.
To get the full benefit of your workout, quality not quantity is key. Simply check your form in a mirror or ask your workout partner or trainer to point out any errors. By practicing the correct form, you're sure to get the most benefit from your workout.