With COVID finally starting to rack off and let us live our lives, many of us have started crawling back to the gym scene. Some of us may have even found new ways to get our sweat on during the lockdown period - like running, at-home pilates or yoga. Go you!
Thing is, though, in order to reap all those delicious health benefits (y'know increase cardiovascular health, improve sleep, reduce stress, yada yada), it's important that you do it right.
Watch: Thinking of trying out pilates but don't know if it's for you? Try this 'Booty Burn' sesh by Peaches Pilates. Post continues below.
Because we're all about results (gimme!), we asked fitness expert and founder of Flow Athletic Ben Lucas, to tell us some of the most common workout mistakes that might sabotage your fitness goals. He even told us how to fix them. What a champ.
1. Going too hard too soon.
"This is the biggest mistake I see people making," said Lucas. "They get excited about working out, they pump themselves up, they book a class in every single day with no chance of recovery, and then they burn out or get injured."
Umm.. it's like you know me, Ben?
"Then after sitting on the sideline as they recover, they lose motivation and struggle to get their head back into the game to go to the gym."
Okay, yes, this is me. What do I do?
"First thing is first, if you are new to training start with three days a week and just walking or swimming on the other days while you build up your strength and fitness. You need to give your body a chance to recover and get stronger."
Start slow and gentle, and build up gradually. Gotcha.
2. Not focusing on recovery.
When it comes to working out, Lucas said that anything you take from your body you need to deposit back in. It's all about recovery, which means repairing and rebuilding those muscles.
"Warm up before every workout to help prevent injury and warm down and stretch after every workout," said Lucas. Like, actually do this though. Warming up before you exercise will help prep your muscles for physical activity and will lower the risk of injuries in the process.
Likewise, stretching after your workout is super important. Not only will it help make sure you're not stiff and sore the next day, but it'll also reduce the risk of injury. Team your stretching routine with a foam roller for a deeper stretch.