Five Mistakes You Might Be Making at the Gym
If you’re hitting the gym, make sure you’re doing it right! Here’s five common mis-steps people make, plus how to fix them.
1. Problem: improper warm-up. Not warming up properly increases the risk of injury.
Solution: Take at least ten minutes to increase circulation (body temperature), heart rate, and range of motion. Increasing body temperature decreases risk of injury. Never lift weights without warming up.
2. Problem: stretching before warming up. Injury likelihood increases if you skip a proper warm-up.
Solution: If time is limited, spend five to ten minutes on cardiovascular exercise to improve range of motion in your muscles.
3. Problem: wasting time. Spending 30-60 minutes (talking on a cell phone) on an elliptical, bike, or treadmill (not breaking a sweat) is a HUGE waste of time. Manage your time more effectively!
Solution: Work hard for five to ten minutes (break a sweat!) --- then make the phone call.
4. Problem: contributing to existing muscular imbalances. You’ll raise your chances of injury.
Solution: Instead of crunches or other exercises that encourage flexion of the lumbar spine, focus on exercises that provide counter balance to daily activities, like sitting. We sit a lot! Use exercise to counteract the negative effects of sitting. Back extension, for example, are very useful.
5. Problem: not enough variety. Lack of variety decreases the productivity of your time at the gym.
Solution: Focus on a combination of body weight lifts and multiple joint movements, as well as lifting heavy weights. Additionally, a combination of short HIIT (high intensity interval training) and longer low- or moderate- intensity cardio is best. Don’t get in a rut; keep your body guessing!