1 in 4 TikTok fitness influencers giving wrong advice

New research has been released that reveals that one in four fitness influencers on TikTok are giving incorrect workout advice, despite increasing demand for useful ‘FitTok’ content during lockdown.

Money.co.uk worked with qualified personal trainer, Maiken Brustad, to analyse hours of fitness content on the video-sharing app and grade them based on the techniques and forms being advised. The findings showed that, shockingly, over a quarter of videos contained incorrect advice or bad form.

Common mistakes that Maiken was looking out for included: elbows not placed under the shoulders during planks, landing on your toes when doing squat jumps, not keeping your chest high whilst lunging and bending your back during deadlifts.

The findings revealed that over a quarter (27%) of TikTok workouts contained influencers using poor or incorrect form, meaning the advice they were giving was not suitable to follow. Shockingly, 5% of videos viewed were given the lowest score possible.

The analysis showed that the exercise which was incorrectly executed the most was a kettlebell swing – a move using kettlebells to work your core, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, glutes and back. Common issues with this movement include not driving through the hips and only using arms, not locking your hips or squeezing the glutes enough in the top position, not packing the shoulders and leaning too far forward and not keeping the chest high. Of the videos watched which included kettlebell swings, 80% had incorrect form.

Sometimes known as the ‘king of lifts’, deadlifts was another move that many influencers were performing incorrectly. This exercise is where you lift a barbell off the ground whilst standing to your hips and is very popular. Common mistakes made while performing this exercise include keeping the weights too far from your body, bending the back, not packing the shoulders and looking up. The research showed that 57% of these exercises on TikTok were done incorrectly.

A huge 42% of renegade row moves, another weighted exercise where you’re in a plank and lifting a weight one hand at a time, were shown with the incorrect form on TikTok. Bending the back, not keeping a straight plank, lacking controlled movements were all incidents spotted during the research.

Personal trainer Maiken doesn’t want this to put anyone off getting fit, but does want people to consider that not all advice they see on social media is good or from a qualified professional:

“It’s amazing that people can use apps like TikTok to get inspired to get fit, but not using the correct form can lessen the impact of your workout or even cause you an injury. I’d recommend taking new exercises slowly and if you’re using weights, start out very light. If possible, research the person who’s made the workout and look for influencers with professional personal training backgrounds”.

With gyms currently closed, the popularity of working out from home has unsurprisingly skyrocketed and many of us are turning to social media for quick and free fitness routines. The video-sharing app TikTok has become hugely popular in the past year and millions of people are using the app for their workout inspiration – in fact, there have been 27.6 billion views of videos with the hashtag ‘workout’ and it is known as ‘FitTok’.

To read the full FitTok report visit: https://www.money.co.uk/mobiles/fittok-report

Top 10 Exercises Performed Incorrectly:

  1. Kettlebell Swings – 80% incorrect
  2. Deadlifts – 57% incorrect
  3. Renegade row – 42% incorrect
  4. Plank – 37.5% incorrect
  5. Lunges- 37.5% incorrect
  6. Burpees – 33% incorrect
  7. Side plank – 28% incorrect
  8. Squats – 14% incorrect
  9. Leg raises – 13% incorrect
  10. Push-ups – 12% incorrect




Chris Price