3 Bodyweight Exercises You're Doing All Wrong and How to Fix Your Form

It's no secret- bodyweight exercises are a simple, effective way to burn calories without the use of expensive cardio equipment.

At AMRAP Life, we love bodyweight exercises as much as the next fitness addict but the truth is, the movements are only effective if you're performing them correctly. Even worse, failing to execute an exercise correctly can lead to injury and ain't nobody got time for that, am I right?!

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Here are three, deceptively simple bodyweight exercises you might be doing all wrong (and tips to fix your form!)

3 Bodyweight Exercises You're Doing All Wrong

Squats. From CrossFitters to moms rocking their AMRAP workout at home, squats are beloved by all fitness freaks. The problem is, squats are so easy to perform that we often take for granted proper form. Leaning forward, weight misplacement, and shallow dips are all common squat mistakes. Here's how to get it right:

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Tighten your core and shift weight into your heels.
  3. Lower your body, while keeping your back as flat as possible. Take care not to lean forward.
  4. Lower until hips and thighs are parallel, or as low as you can go before losing proper form.
  5. As you raise back up to standing, push through your heels to activate your biggest muscles.

Mountain Climbers. Combining core and cardio in one move, mountain climbers are a popular bodyweight exercise for good reason. But bootys in the air, locking elbows, and failing to engage your core often sabotage the benefits of the exercise we love to hate. The next time mountain climbers are found on your WOD try these tips:

  1. Place hands directly underneath shoulders and take care not to lock elbows. 
  2. Squeeze your buns, core, inner thighs, shoulder blades, and heels - raising your body in one strong, fluid line.
  3. Keep booty low as you drive knees to chest. Think straight line (plank). As we get fatigued the tendency is to shift weight backwards, losing placement over the hands and sending the booty towards the ceiling. The result? You're not working your core nearly as hard. You'll regret that during bathing suit season.

Burpees. Ah burpees, the exercise we love to hate.


The exercise is so tough that performing about 10 fast-paced reps is just as effective as a 30-second all-out sprint, according to a recent study published by the American College of Sports Medicine. Here's how to get it right:

  1. Place hands directly in front of your toes.
  2. Jump or walk feet back so shoulders are directly over your hands (plank position).
  3. Work through a plank to get body completely onto the floor (this is where people get it wrong!).
  4. Lift your body back into a high plank.
  5. Jump legs forward with feet landing directly behind your hands.
  6. Push back up to standing through your squat and jump with arms reaching toward the ceiling.

So, what's the verdict, are you doing these exercises correctly? If so, kudos to you! Not quite sure? Perform the movement in front of a mirror to check your form or ask a trainer for assistance. One things for sure, when done correctly, these moves will give you a killer workout without wasting excess time or money.

Ready to put it all together? This bodyweight workout incorporates all three movements, torches calories, and can be done in 15 minutes. Score!

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