Every time we go to a gym, we see super common mistakes, and for some reason, its feels super awkward to give advice to some younger lifters (they don't really look in the mood to listen). So here are the fixes to the most common problems.
Not closing out the squat
Soft hips, or not getting your hips under the bar seems pretty innocent, but its a sign of super tight hip flexors, or you setting up to push you butt back and use no quad in the descent.
The fix - tense your butt at the top. If you can't flex the glutes, it means your hips aren't closed out.
Image from Stonglifts
Benching with the bar way too high
Not everyone wants maximum strength via a lower bar path, but benching to your collarbone makes it really hard to get your scap back. Also, benching in a smith machine fixes that position.
Your shoulders shouldn't click or hurt when you bench.
The fix, at the start of each rep, depress and retract your scap - think bring your chest to the bar (not the bar to your chest).
A huge growing issue - huge forced anterior tilt during squats
This has to be the biggest issue we see, formally just in the ladies would do this when filming for insta - but it seems to be across both sexes and all the time.
You do not need to flex your spine backward, ever. Making your back like a banana so your butt while you pose is one thing, but with a weight on your back, its quite dangerous.
This is most common, right at the bottom of a squat (also why we don't like the chest up cue). Your back should stay neutral, yes, that is hard to achieve, but flexing backward is a bad habit. Trying to keep a neutral head often helps, as when you go head back, you tend to arch.
Fix - lots of planks, lots of hamstring work. In both cases, try to film or get someone to say when you are in anterior tilt.
Yes, some level of tilt is fine and normal, no, pushing your butt out is not normal.
Not close enough to the bar when initiating deadlift
We see this a lot when people use straps. As seen in the image of Laura - get close to the bar before you put straps on, or if you are a bigger person, set up on your knees then roll the bar back in.
Fix, bar should be on your shins for the initiation of a lift