Stop Making These Common Workout Mistakes!
Exercise and physical activity as a whole are the miracle cures we’ve always had! From controlling weight to combating unwanted health conditions and disease, there’s strong scientific evidence that points to exercise as being one of the most effective life changes to help you lead a healthier and happier life! However, it’s important to create and maintain a good workout plan to ensure you are going about everything safely and as efficiently as possible.
Exercising with intention and know-how will help you avoid the many mistakes you could make while working out, which in turn significantly lowers your risk of injury and increases your rate of success!
So to make sure you don’t waste your energy and stall your progress, Bar None Fitness Studio has put together the FIVE most common workout mistakes you need to avoid!
1. Taking the all or nothing approach
Wanting it all is exhilarating! It’s exciting and fiercely motivating! But getting there doesn’t mean you’re pulling all the stops at once! The winning combination of willpower and habit means that you’re undoubtedly ready to make some changes to your lifestyle and health, but it also means that taking it one step at a time will lead to better and more long-lasting results! If you set your short-term goals weekly or monthly to achieve one or two things, you’ll be able to master those things to create sustainable habits, which are then much easier to build on for the next week or month. Rather than going for it all in one shot and losing track of it three or six months down the road, take it step by step! Give your body time to adjust; the ability to shock the body and add something new becomes more valuable. If you do it all right off the bat, you’ll have nowhere to go later when you meet a plateau or standstill.
2. Undervaluing the importance of mobility
Mobility? What’s that?
One of the most undervalued and neglected pieces of our fitness journey is mobility (and flexibility). So we may know or have at least heard that we should be stretching every day. But holding your leg up for thirty seconds, bending over a few times, and pulling your arm across your body, honestly, hardly counts as stretching. The quality and time we put into our flexibility matters! Flexibility is probably the one we are more familiar with. Still, now we also have to consider mobility, our ability to move a joint or limb through a complete range of motion! This will impact our ability to exercise fully and help avoid injury, but it’s also a necessary prerequisite to strength. Increasing strength requires feeling stability and comfort in your body while performing an exercise. If reaching your arms overhead feels tight, you shouldn’t start loading a barbell for overhead presses. Doing more functional movements like a single-arm overhead dumbbell squat will not only help to improve your overhead stability but will also open up your hips and ability to squat with more ease and strength. Try step back lunges with a torso twist, dumbbell windmills, prone angels, or wall walks to strengthen a few of the smaller stabilizing muscles and tendons. Just like you plan your workouts, plan to get your mobility sessions in each week as well! These types of exercises are easy to trickle into each strength training or bodybuilding workout too!
3. Not focusing on perfect or good form
Mobility also ties right into exercise form. There is some debate on how important perfect or good form is these days. So is pretty good form enough? Or does it have to be perfect? Well, understanding why form even matters makes all of this much easier! Having proper form is important in avoiding injury. It’s needed for a full range of motion, and it’s also necessary to maximize the output of an exercise. This means that each and every rep you are doing actually counts towards increasing strength and muscle and helps you avoid getting injured. Simply going through a movement pattern is never ideal or the best bang for your buck! You’re best off trying to isolate the muscle or muscles you are working on and concentrate on a forceful and strong contraction. Proper form is going to play into that! If you are properly positioning your body in a squat by maintaining an active neutral spine and keeping your knees bending forward and out towards the outside of your foot, you will be more able to activate the glutes, quads, and core without excessively straining your back and overloading the quads. Targeting the right muscle should be our primary focus, followed by learning to really contract or flex the muscle in focus (which can take more time to master). Both of these things require good to perfect form. There’s always some leeway because our bodies aren’t identical in how our bones are situated or even the length of our limbs. So the actual angle of our torso in a squat is less important, but keeping our core engaged, using the glutes to push through, and maintaining a neutral spine will all require an active torso. The key focus points in an exercise will allow us to actually squeeze the right places and make the most of our reps! So good form is necessary and perfect form is ideal! Otherwise, we’re adding a lot of wasted reps and time to a workout!
4. Failing to visualize fitness goals
The most common fitness goals seem to be all about getting fit and toned, losing weight, avoiding pain, or getting stronger. But what does that actually mean to you?
Does getting fit or strong mean you want to look a certain way? Does it mean you want to have more energy during the workday? Does it mean you want to run five kilometers? Or do a hundred push-ups in a minute?
Our perception of what fit looks or feels like could be very different. You’ll be able to visualize your goals much better by actually having something specific you want to achieve. That specificity will not only hold you more accountable but also uncover you! So WHY is this “goal” so important to you? What is the deeper meaning behind it? Sometimes this isn’t obvious at first, but questioning and revisiting your why is what really helps you stick to your plan on the days it seems difficult or even impossible to. Your why fuels your desires and wants! It gives you the mental strength to push past what you think your body can’t do! Take the time and effort to get real with your why!
5. Not having any accountability
We like to think of the desired end result as the accumulation of all the little things added together! It takes more than just the obvious working out and eating better to achieve our fitness goals. What it really takes may require prepping your meals once or twice a week. It may mean avoiding certain aisles in the grocery store or writing down your meals or dinners for the week or even month. What about going to bed a little earlier each night or waking up a little earlier each day to get your workout in? Maybe it means working on your inner gut health to align your hormones and bodily functions to give you your desired results both internally and aesthetically. And it definitely means working on your mental health and stress levels just as much as your physical body. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about all of the little things that make up the big thing you want! Having a workout buddy, a friend or family member that holds you accountable, a trainer that meets with you, or a like-minded group that you can check in with is almost like a booster or spark when we’re doubting ourselves or need that extra push to keep moving forward. Setting up reminders, uplifting-quotes, sticky notes where you spend most of your time are also great ways to keep your mind and body focused and positive!
The little things we often neglect are actually the necessary things we need to succeed! Remember that!
To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to the experts at Bar None Fitness Studio. We are a leading personal trainer in Burlington, ON, and our mission is to optimize your life through exercise, nutrition, and positive energy! Our Personal Fitness Studio facility is dedicated to welcoming everybody - regardless of your age or fitness level!
We have a fully-equipped fitness studio with clients visiting us from Burlington, Brampton, Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Mississauga, Milton, and Oakville, ON.