By this point in your life, you’re probably aware that exercise is necessary for good health. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply go to the gym and throw together a workout each day. To truly see results—whether you want to lose weight, build muscle tone, or simply fend off heart disease—you will need to plan well and execute your workouts correctly. If you are a casual gym goer, you may not realize just how many errors you’re making when you exercise, and this could be holding you back from reaching your potential. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most critical workout mistakes that you might be guilty of:
Lack of Routine
If you don’t know what you’re doing at the gym, chances are you are wasting a lot of the time you spend there. You might actually spend more time going between machines than actually using them, and you might be skipping valuable parts of a good workout routine. To build a better routine, start each workout with a light warmup of stretches and easy cardio. Then, lift weights and focus on isolated muscle groups. Follow this with body weight exercises and movements that build the core muscles. Finish your session with cardio to encourage more rapid muscle healing.
Focus on Vanity Muscles
Let’s say you want to get a six-pack or build beefier biceps. Your immediate inclination would be to focus only on these muscles at the gym, but you’ll be lacking in overall strength as a result, and you might have a higher chance of hurting yourself. Even if your goal is isolated to a single body part, you should incorporate whole body exercises to continue burning fat and encourage more even muscle development.
Once you have a solid workout routine set, you will want to check that you are performing each exercise correctly. Even simple movements like crunches leave room for errors that can cause you to work the wrong muscle groups or injure yourself. Use a mirror or ask a workout buddy to correct your posture.