You’re in the gym. You’re burning calories and listening to your favorite playlist. Nothing can stop you, but something makes you pause. There’s a stranger in the gym vigorously doing pushups, but his form is all wrong. Should you step in or mind your own business?

Stay On Your Level

Bad form for one person is the perfect form for another person. Every exercise can be modified to make it more difficult or to make it easier.

YouTube/Lana Shi

Sometimes a personal trainer will invent an entirely new modification of an exercise specifically for a client so that the client can work a group of muscles without exasperating an injury. You might think another person has bad form, but it could be that you learned to do the exercise a different way.

What If It Really Is Bad?

What should you do in a situation where someone’s form really is bad? While you may have good intentions, it’s important to go about it the right way. Many experts suggest discreetly asking a trainer or gym employee to correct the person’s form rather than doing it yourself.

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People who work for the gym are seen as an authority, and the person with bad form is more likely to listen to an authority figure. Gym employees are also trained at how to correct people without making them feel stupid or embarrassed. Many gym goers are extremely self-conscious about being watched or judged by other exercises, so being approached by another customer can be mortifying.

What If Others Are Put In Danger?

In some instances, bad form can be lethal. For example, bad form with dumbells could put a person at risk for crushing themselves.

Lifehack

In those life or death instances, it’s okay to step in by yourself. Seconds can change someone’s course in life.