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Health and Fitness News

Oops!

Are you making these exercise mistakes?

You’ve been working out for a few months now and things aren’t going as you expected. Maybe you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for or maybe you keep getting injured. In many cases, simple mistakes may be to blame. Perhaps you are stuck in old habits that even your trainer is struggling to help you overcome. Don’t beat yourself up. Everybody makes mistakes. The best thing you can do is learn from them and move on.

Take a look at your workouts to see if you’re you making any of the most common mistakes in the gym. If you are, it’s time to make some changes.

Mistake 1: You Don’t Warm Up

It doesn’t need to take long, but a warm-up is an important part of your workout. You may wonder what the big deal is about warming up. You feel ready to burn some calories, so why start slow? A few minutes of gentle exercises are needed to raise your body temperature and increase blood flow to prep your muscles and heart for a workout. Without a warm-up, you’re more likely to experience injury, especially if you’re doing intense exercise.

Start each workout with a short walk or jumping jacks and 5 to 10 reps of wide-range movements like arm circles, shoulder shrugs, twists, side bends, or squats.

Mistake 2: You Focus on Isolation Exercises

A second common mistake is focusing on training a single area of the body. Maybe you want great-looking arms so you do rep after rep of isolation exercises like bicep curls or overhead tricep extensions. Unfortunately, these exercises only work a limited part of the body and other muscle groups are left out. Focusing on a few muscle groups can lead to imbalances, a lack of results, and injury.

Spend your time doing compound, high-intensity exercises and you’ll build a balanced physique, avoid injury, and get closer to the perfect arms you want. Examples include squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and bench press.

Mistake 3: You Train Too Hard

There is such a thing as too much exercise. When you work out too frequently or your sessions are too long, your body misses out on valuable rest time. It’s during rest that your muscles repair the damage caused by a strenuous workout. Excessive exercise can also lead to adrenal fatigue and poor performance.

Remember that your body has limits. If you feel exhausted rather than energized after exercise, have trouble sleeping, are sore all the time, or seem extra irritable, you may need to cut back on the amount of exercise you’re getting. Plan to do no more than three sessions of high-intensity exercise each week.

Mistake 4: You Use Incorrect Form

While a little soreness is to be expected, pain is not. Any exercise if done incorrectly can lead to injury or lack of results. Work closely with your trainer to learn the right way to perform each exercise you do. Have your trainer watch as you try each exercise, critiquing any mistakes. As you work out, remember that quality is more important than quantity. Make each exercise count by staying mentally focused and controlling each movement.

Mistake 5: You Don’t Change Things Up

Have you become bored with your workouts and no longer feel challenged by them? You may be making the mistake of doing the same workout every day. If so, it’s time to create a balanced routine that includes a variety of exercises. After doing the same workout day after day, your body becomes accustomed and reaches a plateau. You stop burning as many calories and your muscle gains slow down.

Remedy this problem by cross training and try new exercises or increase the intensity of the ones you’re doing. Add in more sets or reps, add interval training to your runs, or take a new spin class.