Besides maintaining a balanced diet and doing regular cardio, hitting the gym and pumping iron are the best ways to manage a healthy fitness lifestyle. But what you may forget is that some moves, routines and workouts may be doing you more harm than good. Injuries and burnout can occur if you over-train and/or fail to stick with proper exercise form. Here are some tips you can follow to train effectively and get the most out of your workouts without incurring troublesome injuries.

Planks are one of the most popular and effective ways to build core strength if you do them properly. Arching or slumping your back instead of keeping it flat and straight can result in painful injuries. To benefit from a plank, you must form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. This means that your back must stay in a straight position, your neck too, and your arms at a 90degree angle.

Squats give you a round solid butt and strong gorgeous leg muscles. But if your knees go beyond your toes, your back is not in a straight position and the barbell rests upon your neck instead of your traps, there will be problems for sure. When squatting, keep the barbell in line with the middle of your feet. Then slowly arch your back and keep your heels on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor, start squatting slowly and carefully.

Deadlifts are excellent multi-joint movements that can result in greater overall body strength and natural testosterone production-if you do them correctly. First, you need to bend your knees, push your chest forward, then arch your lower back. Finally, try to pull your pelvis back. Once you do all these things, put your arms and legs in vertical position.

Dumbbell lunges are a popular exercise for building butt and legs. But if you wobble, sway and twist your knees, serious injuries will occur. To effectively lung, you need to keep your knees in line with your feet and then bend them forming an angle of approximately 90 degrees when stepping forward.

Standing calf raises are the best way to build stronger lower leg muscles. To do these correctly, you need to keep your feet aligned with your shoulders and try standing with 1/3 of your feet at the top of the platform. Then lift your heels as much as you can, hold on to this position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your heels until they are below the platform. Don’t bounce while performing this exercise.

Whether you’re working out upper or lower body, performing biceps curls or deep squats, maintaining proper form with each repetition of every set is crucial toward achieving successful workouts and avoiding painful injuries. Remember the importance of stretching between sets and taking a couple days per week off from the weights in order to ensure proper muscle recovery and growth.