Here is a great, short article from Fitness Magazine to help us fix some of our fitness mistakes. Everyone is guilty of at least one of these common errors so check it out!
5 Top Fitness Mistakes- Fixed!
By Meryl Davids Landau
Nobody’s perfect, but certain common fitness faux pas can compromise your workout progress- and increase your risk of injury. Tweak your technique with these tips from our experts in five different fields.
The mistake: Not warming up
Why you do it: Leaping full throttle into a workout seems like a good idea when you’re pressed for time, but you’re shortchanging yourself in the long run, says Thomas Altena, Ed.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the nutrition sciences department at the University of Missouri. “Your muscles need a few minutes to warm up, which makes them more elastic and responsive while your heart and lungs adjust to working harder” he says.
The fix: Begin your workout by spending at least three to five minutes exercising at low intensity (about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10). Increase in one-minute stages until you reach your target intensity (ideally a 7 or 8). If your gym enforces strict time limits on the equipment, bookend your routine with a warm-up and cool-down on a less popular cardio machine.
The mistake: Poor posture
Why you do it: Slouching may make lifting heavier weights easier, but it also makes the workout less effective and increases your risk of back injury.
The fix: Start by exaggerating good posture- keep your back tall, puff out your chest, tighten your abs. When fatigue sets in, your hunchback won’t. “If you feel silly about how erect you are, you’re probably exhibiting great form,” says Michele S Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama.
The mistake: Pointing your toes
Why you do it: Many women- especially if they frequently wear high heels- point their toes downward when riding a stationary bike. But in order to get the most power out of your pedal stroke, your foot needs to be flat, says Lucinda Christian, director of education at Mad Dogg Athletics in Venice, California.
The fix: Focus on pulling your foot up each time you finish a stroke. “Imagine scraping a piece of gum off your sole. This will help you pedal with your entire foot,” says Christian.
The mistake: Overstretching
Why you do it: “It’s human nature to want to keep up with others, so we often push ourselves beyond our limits,” says Rainbeau Mars, a Los Angeles- based yoga instructor. “But there will always be someone more flexible or more experienced.”
The fix: A prop like a yoga block, strap or blanket may help you get into a pose more safely; stop when you feel discomfort that borders on pain. Also, remember to breathe deeply while in a pose- it helps you move into it and avoid overstraining.
The mistake: Hunching your shoulders
Why you do it: People often let their shoulders ride up to counteract other movements, such as deep abdominal contractions, says Michell Dozois, owner of Breakthru Fitness Personal Training an Pilates in Pasadena, California. But you’re undermining your workout, because your abs can’t work as hard with the added strain.
The fix: In any Pilates move that requires you to lift your arms, pull your shoulder blades down and back to relieve tension in the shoulders.