Top Mistakes People Make in the Gym
making time to exercise is the first step toward improving your health,
but it's not the only step. Workouts can be challenging and mistakes in
the gym are common.
these mistakes can cause mild strains or more significant injuries. By
changing small parts of your routine, you'll begin to see incredible
results, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
developed the following mistakes commonly made in the gym and offers
tips to help individuals stay safe during their workouts:
all-or-nothing approach. Not having a full hour to exercise is no
reason to skip your workout. Research shows that even 10 minutes of
exercise can provide important health benefits.
Unbalanced strength-training programs. Most people tend to focus on
certain muscles, such as the abdominals or biceps, because they have a
greater impact on appearance or it is where they feel strongest. But to
achieve a strong, balanced body, you have to train all the major muscle
form. The surest way to get injured in a gym is to use bad form. For
example, allowing the knee to extend beyond the toes during a lunge or
squat can put undue stress on the knee, and using momentum to lift
heavy weights or not exercising through a full range of motion will
produce less-than-optimal results.
progressing wisely. Exercising too much, too hard or too often is a
common mistake made by many fitness enthusiasts. Rest and gradual
progression are important components of a safe and effective exercise
enough variety. Too many people find a routine or physical activity
they like -- and then never change it. Unchanging workouts can lead to
boredom, plateaus and, worse case, can lead to injury or burnout.
adjusting machines to one's body size. Most exercise equipment is
designed to accommodate a wide range of body types and sizes. But it's
up to you to adjust each machine to your body's unique needs. Using
improperly adjusted machines will lead to less-than-optimal results and
increase your risk of injury.
on anything but your workout. The importance of being "mindful" of the
task at hand cannot be overstated. Reading or watching TV can adversely
affect the quality of your workout because the distraction can
literally slow you down.
properly cooling down after your workout. Too many people wrap up their
workouts and head straight to the showers. Instead, take a few minutes
to lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles. This not only
improves flexibility, but also helps prepare the body for your next
9. Poor gym
etiquette. This can range from simply being rude -- lingering on
machines long after you are done or chatting loudly on your cell phone
-- to poor hygiene and not wiping your sweat from machines once you're
finished. Always be considerate of other exercisers.
setting realistic goals. Unrealistic and vaguely stated goals are among
the leading causes of exercise dropout. The key is to establish a
training goal that is specific and appropriate for your fitness and
skill levels -- something a bit challenging but not overly difficult.
Council on Exercise is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting
the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against
unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors
university-based exercise science research and testing that targets
fitness products and trends and sets standards for fitness
For more informtion on the American Council on Exercise, www.acefitness.org.