By Samantha Clayton
Here are four common exercise mistakes that you can avoid to help keep you on the path toward results that last.
Common Exercise Mistakes
1. Going too fast too soon
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
2. Sticking with your favourites
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. 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.
3. Avoid the heavy weight pressure
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.
4. Quick pick-up games
Getting into a quick pick-up basketball or football 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. 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.