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.
That's why we asked John Romaniello, trainer, author and founder of Roman Fitness Systems to show us what's what when it comes to strength training.
He'll be helping us tackle some of the most common mistakes we all make while building muscle, plus giving us tips and tricks for better form. This week, we're perfecting the lateral raise.
The Faux Pas: "Dumbbell lateral raises performed the traditional way don't work the targeted muscle -- the lateral head of the deltoid -- as effectively as they could," says Romaniello.
The Fix: A simple repositioning can make a big difference. "Bend slightly at the waist, and lead with the pinkies," meaning the outer edge of the hands should be angled slightly toward to the ceiling. "This will transfer more emphasis," he says.
Tell us how it goes in the comments below, and be sure to check back over the following weeks to fix your bench press, bicycle crunches and more.
Check out more in our Fix Your Form series below:
Fix Your Form
Photos by Damon Dahlen, AOL
For more on fitness and exercise, click here.