If you don't know your way around a weight room, heading to the gym can be intimidating -- and even dangerous. But paying attention to a few simple rules of proper technique can make you slimmer, stronger and healthier all over.
We spent an afternoon at Equinox with trainer and manager Rebecca Woll, learning the ins and outs of some of the most popular strength-training machines.
In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing Woll's thoughts on the biggest mistakes we all make while building muscle, plus her tips and tricks for better form. This week, we're breaking down the row machine.
The Faux Pas: Most people resort to using momentum to help them lift a heavy load on this machine, says Woll, meaning they'll lean way back on the bench while allowing the shoulders to sink in.
The Fix: A little lean from the hips is fine -- it "engages your core a little bit," says Woll. But the chest should stay high and the shoulder blades should be back and down. Imagine trying to pinch something between your shoulder blades -- or ask a workout partner to place her hand there like Woll demonstrates below. As you bring the cable in to your chest and let it out, keep that pinch to prevent your shoulders from rolling forward.
Tell us how it goes in the comments below, and be sure to check back over the following weeks to fix your form on the shoulder press and more.
Check out more in our Fix Your Form series below:
Photos by Damon Dahlen, AOL
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