fitness

4 common mistakes you're definitely making while exercising.

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.


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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?

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"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. 

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After your workout, fuel up with nutrients. "Refuel with a good protein-rich meal with some green veggies. If you don’t have time for that, Bulk Nutrients has good shakes and protein balls that you can have on the go."

If you want to perform at your best (all of us), Lucas said to make sure you’re nabbing at least six to eight hours of quality sleep at night. Not only will sleep give you energy, but it'll also help with muscle recovery and help keep those hunger hormones in check.

Listen to Mamamia's You Beauty - the podcast for your face. Post continues after podcast.

3. Not having a plan.

Ugh. There's nothing worse than hovering around random bits of equipment at the gym when you don't have a clue what you're doing. Absolute nightmare. 

Not only is it a giant waste of time, but you'll probably end up skipping workouts because you don't have a clear intention of what you need to do in that particular session. The best thing to do is to have a plan and stick to it, said Lucas.

"If you are training by yourself in the gym, meet with a trainer to help you write a program that suits your goals before you start. If you are in a class and the exercises start to get too easy, add more weight or change up your reps," he suggested. 

The important thing is to keep challenging yourself - you don't want to get too comfortable otherwise you'll stop seeing progress.

"There is nothing more disheartening than getting no results, but if you are doing the same workout over and over again, or you are not training properly to get the results you are after, you are going to get disheartened."

Anyone else feel that? Cause SAME.

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4. Lifting too heavy.

Lifting weights can be super freaking exhausting. But if you're lifting way too heavy too soon, your form might suffer and your body will become completely fatigued, which can lead to injuries. "Don't lift a heavier weight or do a harder version of an exercise to the detriment of your form and technique," said Lucas. 

"If you are not doing an exercise correctly, or you have chosen a harder version that is so hard that you are not doing it properly, then you are going to get injured, get an imbalance or the exercise may even do nothing for you."

The best thing to do, is to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly. 

"If you are at a gym, ask a trainer to check your form. If you are in a class, listen to the trainer when they give you the cues."

Feature image: Supplied

Are you guilty of these mistakes? Share with us in the comment section below.


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