2 Key Exercises You're Probably Doing Wrong and How to Do Them Correctly!

2 Key Exercises You're Probably Doing Wrong and How to Do Them Correctly!


Many people make mistakes in their training. Some errors can be hard to spot, while others may involve completely incorrect execution, causing the exercise to miss the intended muscle entirely.

Read along in this blog, as we will show you how to perform these two exercises like an expert. The guide is based on various studies and experiments.


Squats have earned a reputation as " the king of lower body exercises ", and for good reason. Squats are a super good exercise that focuses primarily on hitting:

  1. Glutes ( butt )
  2. Quadriceps ( thigh muscle )
  3. Erector spinae ( muscle group that rotates the back )

Foot position

A study shows that how you position yourself during a squat matters. For instance, standing very close without angling your feet increases the risk of knee injury and makes achieving full range of motion (ROM) more challenging. This means you limit yourself in the exercise and don't achieve optimal muscle activation.

Your feet should be separated at least slightly more than shoulder-width and angled between 15-30°. You can then experiment with different placements, both in width and angle. Remember that your knees should follow the angle of your feet to avoid putting too much pressure on them. The same applies to the width of your stance, as standing too wide can add more pressure to your hips.

Hvordan squatter man? fodplacering

Can the knees go past the toes?

We've probably all heard that you shouldn't let your knees go beyond your toes in a squat, but this is actually incorrect and can either increase the risk of back injuries or limit the depth of the exercise.

study shows that by avoiding the knees going beyond the toes, the stress on the knees decreases slightly, while at the same time, there is an increase in stress on the hips by about 10 times compared to when the knees go beyond the toes. This means that you protect your knees a bit, but at the same time, you expose your hips and lower back to 10 times more stress. In other words, allowing the knees to go beyond the toes is more protective. However, it should be noted that this should not be done excessively but to a comfortable extent.

Another study shows that deep squats do not increase the risk of injuries as long as they are performed correctly. Deep squats can actually help prevent injuries to the knee joints and lower body. This is because deep squats strengthen the lower joints in the body more than squats with a lower range of motion due to the extra flexion achieved at the bottom.

Må knæene komme forbi tæerne i squat øvelse?

Bench press

The bench press is known to almost everyone who exercises. It is a super good exercise for training your chest - especially if you train for strength or muscle growth. The bench press exercise primarily focuses on hitting:

  1. Pectoralis Major ( chest )
  2. Triceps Brachii ( Triceps )
  3. Anterior Deltoid ( front shoulder )


One of the most crucial aspects, often done incorrectly, is maintaining a good "barpath." Barpath is the route that the barbell takes to go from point A to point B, where point A is the top of the bench press, and point B is your chest.

If you have a completely straight barpath, lifting the barbell straight down towards the top of your chest and straight back up, you limit and expose yourself to injuries. This is because benching at a 90° angle from your elbow puts a lot of stress on your shoulders. Therefore, it's crucial to angle your elbow at approximately 45-70°, as this will activate your chest the most, as the angle of your chest fibers will match your elbow.

A study based on McLaughlin's book shows that using a straight barpath requires more shoulder flexion, while using a curved barpath requires less shoulder flexion. This means that the shoulders experience more stress when lifting straight up and down than with a curved movement. When you have the barbell at the lower chest and need to lift it, it's essential to quickly bring the bar towards yourself and then lift, as otherwise, it can become more of a front raise than a bench press. This is actually worse than lifting straight up and down, which can be seen in the images below. Therefore, it's crucial to practice with precision and start with low weight.

Hvordan bænkpresser mand?


Your grip is crucial when performing a bench press. It's very important to have a secure grip that is parallel to the forearm. Holding the bar too high in your hand can have significant consequences, as it may cause you to bend your wrist while lifting. This not only increases the risk of wrist injuries but also impairs your strength in this position.

greb i bænkpress

Furthermore, the width of your grip on the barbell is also crucial as it can change the primary muscle group you're targeting. For example, holding your hands close together creates a "close-grip bench press," which activates your triceps more. Your grip is paramount for targeting specific muscles, but it's essential not to go wider than 1.5 times your shoulder width, as a study indicates that this can increase the risk of shoulder injuries. This happens because you simply increase the shoulder moment by 1.5 times, and if you're lifting heavy weights in this position, you are at a high risk of injury.

Therefore, the bench press should be performed with a grip width under 1.5 times shoulder width, and in the eccentric, or negative, part of the exercise, it should be done slowly and controlled towards the lower part of the chest. This is done to minimize "shoulder abduction," meaning we minimize how far up we elevate our shoulder, and also to minimize shoulder rotation. In the concentric, or positive, part, the bar can be lifted quickly or explosively.

"Also read: Fast or slow repetitions - Are you training for muscle growth or endurance?"


There are many things to consider when training in fitness. In the two exercises we've discussed, namely squat and bench press, we've highlighted the most crucial aspects that we believe should be emphasized in execution. These are things that may not always be top of mind but can have significant implications. In the squat, your foot placement and knee position are crucial for how much weight you can lift, while in the bench press, it's closely related to your barpath and grip.


We recommend reading Strongerbyscience's how to guides on:

This serves as a comprehensive guide to these two exercises. We've highlighted the most crucial aspects that we believe can expedite your improvement in these exercises.

Did you learn something new or are you perhaps still curious? If so please leave all Your questions in the comments section!

















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