If you want to get great fitness results and keep them long term, then you need to avoid making common exercise mistakes. Today I’ll help you navigate some common fitness traps so you can stay on track with your fitness goals.
When you start exercising, it can make you feel good. It feels like an instant confidence booster, which is most likely due to the release of endorphins that are produced when we exercise. It’s such a wonderful feeling. But it’s during this excitement when people often forget to use common sense and good judgment, which can lead to common exercise mistakes.
Sometimes exercise mistakes are just a part of the fitness improvement process. There will be times when an injury can’t be avoided, or you’ll experience some muscle soreness. Today, I want to share some steps you can take to help you to protect your body from exercise mistakes, and keep you on track toward improving your health and accomplishing your fitness goals.
Here are four common exercise mistakes that you can avoid to help keep you on the path toward results that last.
Exercise progression, especially when it comes to volume and intensity, is one of the biggest traps to fall into. More is not necessarily always best, especially when it comes to exercises that are high impact in nature such as box jumps or jumping jacks.
The saying ‘less is more’ often applies to many areas of fitness. Push yourself during your workout, but listen to your body and know when to slow down a little. Try to maintain a set intensity level for a few weeks. When it becomes comfortable, that’s your sign that it’s time to progress to the next level.
Overuse injuries are very common for athletes and even non-athletes. The primary reason people get them is because they do repetitive movements too often. Athletes often have a team to help them navigate repetition, which is a necessary part of their sport preparation. I recommend, unless you are in training for an event, to try to avoid working the same muscle group on consecutive days. If one day is high impact, follow it up the next day with lower impact moves. Variety is the spice of life, so surprise your body by mixing up your moves. Be kind to your body.
Don’t feel pressured into lifting a weight that’s too heavy for you. A good way to tell if a weight is too heavy is to listen to your body. If you can’t move it in a smooth non-jerky motion, maintain good form or you feel the need to hold your breath, that’s a good indication that you need to downsize your weight. I’m a huge fan of lifting weights, but you must master movement patterns without weight before loading up the plates.
Getting into a quick pick-up basketball or soccer game at the local gym or park can be a wonderful experience. But if you’ve been on the couch for months or sat at your office desk all day, it may not be a good idea. Chances are your knees, hips and Achilles tendon are not ready for the stop-start and lateral (side to side) movements that comes with playing in a fast-paced game.
I want to encourage you to have fun and play because activities, especially those that involve a team, can be so much fun. Just be sure to spend time preparing your body before you jump onto the court. Warm up your body with dynamic movements and stretches, and take it easy for your first few games. Once your body gets adjusted to moving, you can find your inner athlete and increase your game intensity.
My main takeaway for you today is to be enthusiastic, enjoy your new found body confidence and get excited about fitness. In the back of your mind, maintain a little bit of control. Your body has to last you for a very long time, and protecting your most precious asset (YOU) should always be your number one priority.
If you want to get great results that last, you must be consistent with your fitness routine. Being sidelined with avoidable soreness and injury will slow down your progress. I want you to get great results while taking care of your body. Slow and steady progression is a great approach to lifestyle change. I believe that getting fit to improve your health is always better than trying to get fit for just a few weeks. Make a commitment to training safely and get results that will last.