With gyms closing, many of us have turned to social networks for advice and videos for our home fitness sessions. But is that always a good idea? This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, according to a new study showing that over a quarter of the workouts on TikTok have influencers of incorrect shape.

Curfews and gym and sports facility closings can’t stand in the way of the positive resolutions we made earlier this year. Instead of swiping on our couch, we opted for the many videos available on social networks, including TikTok, to complete our daily workout. According to a study by the website Money.co.uk, videos with the hashtag “Training” generated no fewer than 27.6 billion views over the past year.

Steel abs

And when it comes to reshaping or grooming our figure, we often turn our attention to the abs first. In any case, the report shows a clear appetite for training videos on this body part on TikTok, with a total of no less than 1.5 billion views for the hashtags “abworkout” and “absworkout”. Next are the muscles known as glutes with more than 680 million views for the hashtag “glutes”, and then the legs with nearly 350 million views for “footwork”.

It also seems that we are looking for highly efficient workouts – which means we want to train as many parts of the body as possible in record time. No wonder then that the plank, a core strength exercise, tops the list of the most popular moves on TikTok, with no less than 10 million views for the videos it contains (“plank workout”). Next up are squats that shape the buttocks and legs, with more than 6 million views for the hashtags “squat workout” and “squats workout”.

Another observation directly related to the global pandemic is that these trainings are mostly conducted at home. Videos tagged with the hashtag “Home Workout” generated more than 6.6 billion views last year. Note that workouts on the beach are also popular (32 million views from TikTok), while the bedroom appears to be the preferred place for fitness activities at home (6.5 million views for videos with the “bedroom workout” tag).

Bad advice and bad form

Money.co.uk has teamed up with sports trainer Maiken Brustad to determine if the videos shown on TikTok, which are often suggested by influencers, are effective for optimal workout. To do this, she analyzed hours of content of the application and classified them according to the techniques and poses taught. The result seems conclusive as more than a quarter of the videos (27%) contained flawed advice and bad form.

The report says the kettlebell swing is the worst exercise on the network, with 80% of the advice and forms found incorrect. A finding that is not without consequence, as this movement is supposed to work on several parts of the body such as shoulders, trunk, quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and back. It was found that the deadlift was performed with errors 57% of the time and the breakaway series with errors 42% of the time.

“It’s amazing that people can use apps like TikTok to get inspiration to get fit. However, if you’re not using the right form, it can lessen the impact of your exercise or even cause injury. I would recommend perform new exercises slowly and when you do. ” Start with weights very easily. If possible, research the person who conducted the training and look for influencers with a professional personal training background, ”advises Maiken Brustad. The coach states that the point is not to discourage those who use these videos to train but rather to be aware that these tips and tricks are not necessarily provided by qualified professionals.

The lists of top workouts were compiled by examining the associated hashtags on TikTok and the number of views. All data are from January 2021.