Throughout my own life I’ve made quite a few exercise mistakes- from lifting weights incorrectly to not warming up before I worked out. And as you embark on our fitness journey you’ll find that you’ll make some mistakes too. But hey, everyone makes mistakes from time to time. And ultimately, it’s learning from your mistakes that’ll you a better, fitter and stronger version of yourself. Let’s check out these common exercise mistakes, and learn how to correct form now so you can reach your fitness goals faster!
Doing a Workout You Hate
Take a poll and you’ll find quite a few people who think exercise is supposed to suck. And boy do they have it wrong! Let me make this very clear: Exercise is supposed to be fun. So if you absolutely hate your current workout routine, it’s time to quit it and find something you love doing. Doing a workout you hate is a waste of time because you’ll be too focused on getting it over with and you won’t be focused on pushing yourself as hard. So if you hate the treadmill, don’t use it! And if you don’t like to dance, why are you taking Zumba? Find something new or return to something you know you enjoy. Because once you find your soulmate workout, exercise will soon become one of the things you can’t do without.
Overtraining basically means working out too much, and yes, it’s possible to work out too much! No one is exempt from this—even fitness professionals like myself need to watch ourselves so we don’t over-train and cause injury. Your body needs rest and changes in your body actually occur during rest, not during the work. At rest your body is repairing and rebuilding so it’s stronger and ready for the next go round. So plan one or two rest days into your week. And if you absolutely feel like your body can handle it, you can do what’s called “active rest” which are slower-paced workouts like yoga, walking, or just some light stretching.
Always Doing the Same Ole, Same Ole
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to abandon your favorite workout. However, it’s important that you recognize that your body is extremely adaptable. This is one big reason people hit fitness plateaus. Their body gets used to a workout and no more change occurs because there’s no challenge. That’s why you should shake things up every so often. If you like to run, add in super fast sprints, stop drop and throw in a few push-ups, or find a new route with more hills. If you lift, increase the weight, or find a new move that challenges your muscles in a different way. Take group classes with different instructors since each will have a different approach to how they lead class. Point is, you’ve got to push your limits and throw your body a curveball every so often to wake it up and spark change.
Working Out Your Ego, Instead of Your Muscles
It’s fine to be inspired to go harder by others, and I can definitely understand the desire to show off a bit, but don’t let your ego make you into a weaker (or possibly injured)athlete. Guys, at the end of the day you should be working out for YOU—not anyone else. That said, you should definitely pick up the heaviest weights you can, but if you’re trying to curl 50-pound weights and it feels like your arm’s going to break off, put them down and get the 25’s before you get hurt. And if you’re in class and seriously feel like you need to take a break, listen to your body and take a break! Catch your breath, grab some water, then jump back in as soon as you can. Be smart as you progress through your workouts, keep your ego in check, and you’ll be well on your way to your best shape ever!
Have you caught yourself making any of these exercise mistakes? What changes will you make to get yourself back on the right track? – Doc
Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a physician, author, certified personal trainer, and creator of the fitness site, DrPhoenyx.com. Check out Dr. Phoenyx’s natural hair care book If You Love It, It Will Grow - available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. And don’t forget to say hello to the Doc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!