If you are currently engaged in an exercise routine, or just starting one out (or just thinking about one), exercise mistakes are the last thing you want to interfere with creating a stronger, fitter you. And while some mistakes are easy to identify and avoid (wearing a pink spandex leotard to a spinning class, for example) there are other workout mistakes that may not seem like mistakes at all. To get the most out of your workout and avoid frustration and injury, avoid these common exercise mistakes.
This can happen especially at the beginning of a new workout routine or a new dedication to fitness (or a panic to get into shape for a special event.) Your body needs time to rest and recover from a workout, and pushing yourself too long or too hard (or both) can lead to physical injury. Avoid this workout mistake by exercising no more than 30 to 45 minutes per day, five or six days a week.
Lifting weights that are too heavy/too light
Lifting weights that are too heavy can lead to improper form, straining and jerking your body in ways that will eventually lead to injury. Lifting weights that are too light means not seeing any real improvement in your muscle tone or strength. Avoid these workout mistakes by choosing a weight you can lift twelve times, with the last few reps being hard to complete.
Doing the same routine over and over
Just like the dreaded diet plateau, your body can also hit an exercise plateau. After a while, your muscles adapt to whatever exercise routine they are being put through, and the physical benefits fall into a holding pattern. To avoid this common workout mistake, be sure to vary your exercise routine. If you normally run, take a spinning class; for strength routines, try out a few different machines or mix up the order of your workouts. This will keep the physical benefits of your workout going.
Having unrealistic goals
If your workout goal is to look like Jillian Michaels in three weeks, exercise every day for two hours, or lose thirty pounds in one month, these mistakes are setting you up for failure before you’ve begun. These workout mistakes can only lead to disappointment, which will in turn probably lead you to just give up on exercising all together. Instead, set small, reachable goals, such as increasing your cardio routine by ten minutes or working up to a five pound increase on your strength routine. This will help you achieve your goals and feel successful with your workout routine.
Doing the wrong workout
If your goal is to flatten your abs, all those triceps curls aren’t going to get you there that quickly. And if your goal is to run a 5K or compete in a bike race, you need to focus on your endurance and technique. If you’re not sure which exercise routine is best for your goals, speak to a personal trainer or seek advice from a fellow runner/biker/(whatever your goal is). This will keep you from making this common exercise mistake. Yes, it’s good to engage in a variety of exercises and focus on strength as well as cardio, but don’t frustrate yourself if you have specific goal in mind.