October 24, 2011

How To Avoid Common Workout Mistakes

There are many reasons why strength training is beneficial for our bodies. These include increased strength throughout your entire body, burns additional calories, decreases chance of injury, as your muscles become stronger and more flexible, increases joint stability and flexibility, which diminishes the effect of arthritis, prevents lower back problems, improves bone mineral density while reducing the risk of osteoporosis and improves posture and overall appearance.

The benefits of exercise will always outweigh the risks. Be sure, however, to avoid these common workout mistakes when designing your own fitness program.

1. Skipping the warm-up. Muscles need time to adjust to the demands placed on them during exercise. Always perform a warm up on your choice of cardio equipment for 5-10 minutes.

2. Skipping the cool-down. Be sure to take a few minutes to lower your heart rate close to its resting rate following your routine. This will reduce your risk of injury and give you a few minutes to incorporate some relaxation into your program.

3. Not stretching. Remember that flexible muscles are far less likely to be pulled than tight ones. Never stretch a muscle without warming up first to reduce your risk of injury even further. Regular stretching greatly increases your flexibility.

4. Lifting too much too fast. Placing demands your muscles are not prepared to handle is the best way to injure yourself. Gradual, progressive resistance is a far more effective and safe way to increase muscle strength. You should select a weight that allows you to do 10–15 repetitions.

5. Using too light of a resistance. If you are doing over 15 reps or have not increased your resistance in over two weeks, it is time to progress. If you want to improve, you have to keep your muscles stimulated.

6. Using bad form. Through the eyes of a trainer, form means everything. It`s much more effective to choose a lower level, speed or weight and perform the exercise properly than it is to go too fast or too heavy and use poor form and momentum. Lower the intensity to the point at which you can maintain good posture

7. More is better. Many people believe that what is good for 3 days a week must be superior for 7 days a week. Remember that your body needs adequate rest for muscle recovery in between workouts.

8. Employing a no-pain, no-gain attitude. Exercise doesn`t have to hurt to be beneficial. Physical activity to the point of pain can be harmful. Don`t start out too strenuously. Keep moderate levels of intensity as you learn to read the signals to your body.

9. Worrying about bulking up if you are a woman. Only about 10 percent of women will build large muscles due to genetics. If you are one of the 10 percent and don`t want to gain muscle bulk, concentrate on high repetitions, low weight and variety in your exercise routine. The remaining 90% need not worry. It is far more difficult than you can imagine.

10. Just doing cardio and skipping the weights. A well-designed strength training program helps you manage and lose body weight, decreases injury risk and keeps you functional and independent as you age. Aim to exercise each muscle group at least two times a week with rest between days. Strength training combined with cardiovascular and flexibility training provides the benefits of a well-balanced fitness program.

Follow these 10 basic rules and you will be on your way to a healthier body and mind. Slow and steady is the pace you should follow while exercising. Quality of execution in your movements is always preferable to quantity. Listen to your body! Enjoy your new physique.

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