Newsflash: If your goal is to score a bikini bod by summer, then you’d better get started on that workout, stat! One thing to remember: Doing your exercises in proper form is the key to reaping all the benefits of your hard work. Yes, no matter how intense or frequent you work out, if you’re not doing any of the exercises right, then you can kiss those flat abs or perky butt goodbye. Time to do things right! Here, the top mistakes in performing some of the most common exercise moves—and how to do ’em the right way.

A staple in every exercise routine, the squat focuses on building the strength of your lower body. The result? Steadiness, balance, and an improved hip stability

What you’re probably doing: Arching your back, letting your knees fall in, and not going down beyond 90 degrees. If you continue these mistakes, your glutes and the rest of your lower body won’t get stretched and targeted properly. 

How you should do it:

This is another exercise that focuses on the lower body to strengthen it and improve your balance

What you’re probably doing: Tilting a little too forward with your back knee touching the floor and your torso almost touching your thighs.

How you should do it:  

Jump rope 
It’s a cardio exercise that looks simple to do, but believe it or not, most people do it without thinking of the proper form and posture. 

What you’re probably doing: Jumping too high, kicking your feet back, and swinging your arms too wide. 

How you should do it:

Want to tone your thighs? Don’t skip the wall-sits! Its calorie-torching abilities come from the fact that it’s a body-weight exercise similar to some traditional calisthenics (or physical exercises done without any equipment).  If you want to check how many calories you burn whether you’re exercising or not, check the calorie calculator here

What you’re probably doing: Slouching and having your feet placed inward. 

How you should do it:

The plank is a balance and core conditioning exercise that requires you to maintain a certain stance for a period of time. It looks simple, but again, there’s a proper way to do it.

What you’re probably doing: Lifting or craning your neck up, torso is sagging down causing your spine to be unaligned. 

How you should do it:

Photo: Bridesmaids, Universal Pictures (2011)

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