When it comes to exercise, merely showing up isn’t going to cut it. While the right approach can get you in the best shape of your life, the wrong approach can leave you stuck, frustrated and even injured. Here are the five most common workout mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
You skip the warm-up and stretch
Sometimes you just want to smash out your workout and be on your way. But by skipping your warm-up or rushing off without a stretch, you’re setting yourself up for an injury, and that could see you out of training altogether. A warm-up will get the blood circulating to the muscles you’re about to use, preparing them for exercise. It accelerates your heart rate to push more oxygen around your body and prepares your joints and tendons for the session ahead.
After exercise your muscles can be left in a contracted, shortened state. Stretching helps you restore some length to your muscles and reduces soreness and tightness of muscles in the days after your training session.
Exercising with poor technique
Any exercise performed incorrectly can lead to injury, and that’s the last thing you want when you’re working towards your goals. Avoid this by seeking advice from a fitness professional; they will be able to help you engage the correct muscle groups for the movement, ensure the right range of motion and to move at the best pace.
Doing the same exercises over and over again
It’s a great feeling to master an activity and do it well, but if you keep doing the same movements over and over again, you’re more likely to plateau and risk seeing any results. Avoid this mistake by mixing up your training sessions. If you’re forever doing cardio, try some strength training to challenge the body – and vice versa.
Skipping rest days
Rest and recovery are an essential part of training and skipping rest days can have a detrimental effect on your fitness goals. Overtraining can cause both mental and physical fatigue. If you are training at a high intensity, include at least two days of rest per week.
Not training hard enough or training too hard