Always perform exercises with perfect form. You've probably had this phrase beaten into your head from every trainer and strength coach you've ever worked with. We certainly say it over and over again on STACK.com. And with good reason: Using poor form—or "cheating"—to bang out a few extra reps with a higher weight, will give you sub-optimal results from your efforts while also putting you at a greater risk of injury. You get less from doing more, and you're more likely to get hurt.
To help you get the most out of your workouts and stay healthy, we polled 10 elite strength coaches to discover the most common exercise form fails they see athletes make. Here's what they said:
"One I see a lot as a coach is athletes failing to engage their lats during exercises like Deadlifts and Squats," says Tony Gentilcore, co-founder of Cressey Performance (Hudson, Mass.). "The lats are a big muscle, with insertion points in the upper back all the way down to the lower back. It's a huge muscle for providing stability to the spine."