The One Form Adjustment That Got Me Serious Results
If you’ve done even just one Tone It Up workout, you know that form is everything to us! Whether you’re doing a squat, a plank, a deadlift, or a row, moving with mindfulness matters. Not only can amazing form keep you injury-free, it can boost the efficacy of your workouts, and get you equally amazing results! I mean, I love this stuff so much I got my degree in exercise science!
And what’s so great about the Tone It Up app is that each of your trainers specializes in something different, so you have the absolute best guidance possible. Want perfect barre form? Check in with Tori! Kickboxing and core work? Chyna’s got you covered. Need cardio and HIIT tips? Stef and Ariel are off to the races! Yoga and meditation? Karena is your gorgeous guide. And hiii, I’m here for all things pre- & postnatal and strength training! (Psst if you haven’t checked out the new Tone It Up Strength program with me and Chyna, head to your Tone It Up app right now!)
So what’s ONE technique tip you can steal from your TIU pros? Read on to learn the top form adjustment that has transformed how we do what we do! ‘Cuz girl, if we can save you extra time, effort, and unnecessary setbacks, we are here for YOU!! Remember: We all started out somewhere. And we’re learning and growing and getting stronger TOGETHER. Every single day!
Keep It Neutral
Ever wonder why planks are still so tough? It’s not just you! Even your Studio trainer Chyna struggled at one point. “I used to have an exaggerated dip in my lower back, which meant that I wasn’t tightening my core in enough. Now, I imagine pulling my belly button in and up toward my spine to activate my core. Developing the habit of keeping a neutral spine has helped noticeably in gaining a stronger core, and has helped my posture as well!” And it doesn’t just apply to bodyweight moves, Chyna says. Her strong, stable base has translated to weight-bearing exercises like deadlifts, squats, and rows. Check out her seriously inspiring barbell moves in your new Tone It Up Strength program!
Sit Up Smart
Sit-ups may seem simple enough, yet there's a right and a wrong way to lift that gorgeous body up. Ariel explains: "When doing sit-ups, I used to pull on my neck to help my torso rise to a sitting position. Doing this not only made it an ineffective core workout, but also put me at risk of straining neck and causing a neck injury." Ariel's top tip for getting the most from each rep? "I make sure that I gently place my hands on the sides of my head and focus on engaging my core muscles to lift my torso up. I actually feel my core working — the burn is REAL!" Find out for yourself with Ari's Level Up HIIT workout in the Tone It Up app!
Find Your Center
Stef knows a thing or two about finding speed and efficiency on the run. But there was a lot of learning along the way. “When running, one tweak I’ve made — whether sprinting or jogging — is to make sure my striking foot lands UNDER my center of mass. This simply means that my front foot lands underneath my body — not stretching out in front of it.” Why that matters? “We want to make sure we’re not ‘reaching’ too far ahead with our lead foot,” which can send more impact through the legs, and create an inefficient stride. Stef’s fix to find her center: “I may have to lean forward slightly, or adjust my cadence, aka steps per minute. This adjustment allows me to use more of my core to stabilize and hamstrings to consistently power me forward.” Even better: “It significantly lowers my chance of injury — shin splints, knee pain, sore quads, and that ‘jammed-up’ feeling in the hips. Perfect your running form and you’ll be running like a well-oiled machine!”
Master Your Chaturanga
Another place where form is everything? Your yoga mat. “Learning how to perfect my form in chaturanga has really transformed my yoga practice. From plank pose, you shift your shoulders over your fingertips, then tuck your elbows into your side body and bend your arms to a 90 degree angle — no lower — to find chaturanga. You will then move into upward facing dog, then downward facing dog for a vinyasa.” Not only does practicing proper technique help you avoid overuse injuries, Karena says, “I feel much more in control and empowered when doing vinyasas throughout class. My shoulders are strengthened and I feel the toning in my triceps and biceps. The difference when making this little tweak in form is incredible!”
Squeeze That Booty
You girls know I’m all about the booty, and it’s for good reason! I naturally have lordosis, a natural curve in my spine, so before I do ANY exercise, I have to really engage my glutes and core. I also make sure I tilt my pelvis and pull my shoulders back, since they naturally curve forward. I started really focusing on that before I went on tour. It completely transformed the way I deadlift and squat. It’s amazing how much a seemingly small adjustment can transform your workouts. It’s helped me activate my muscles better and get me better results. And who doesn’t want a little more bang for your buck, right?!
Tuck It Good
We hear it all the time in barre: “Tuck your pelvis!” But what does it mean exactly, and why does it matter? Tori breaks it down like this: “By aiming your tailbone towards the ground and engaging your pelvic floor — imagine the feeling when you squeeze your muscles when you really need to pee — you are able to engage your low abs and so many more muscles in a more efficient way!”
Tori spent hours in front of the mirror to perfect her tuck. “Rather than an arch appearing in your belly and low back, you want more of a flat low back. It doesn’t have to be completely flat to the point that your shoulders begin to round forward, but avoiding the huge belly-forward arch is a game-changer!”
And this attention to detail paid off. “There were so many years where I thought I would never see results in my abs. I was confused as to why after all the dancing and strength training workouts I did, I just didn’t see any changes. As soon as I made this tweak, I not only saw the changes I had been looking for — I became SO much stronger. It is so much easier to lift heavier, move quicker, and be more precise when every move is initiated through the core. When you’re doing squats, burpees, grapevines, or even just basic bicep curls, the second you think about squeezing your core in the proper form, everything falls into place!”
Try some of our fave quick HIIT and strength routines in the Tone It Up app! You'll break a sweat and see serious results fast!