Common Exercise Mistakes

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by Casey McIlvaine

It is not uncommon for people who exercise in or outside health clubs to not know how to use exercise equipment properly, or even safely. Whether you’re a veteran or novice at exercising, it is very important that you get the most out of your workout without injuring yourself.

Some of The Most Common Exercise Mistakes Include:

  • The All-or-Nothing Approach– If you don’t have all the time you’d like for your workout, a little bit can add up over time, so just do what you can. Having an unbalanced strength training program is not as effective. It is important to work your whole body as well as your core to achieve balance and health.  If you don’t have all the time you’d like for your workout, a little bit can add up over time, so just do what you can. Having an unbalanced strength training program is not as effective. It is important to work your whole body as well as your core to achieve balance and health.
  • Not Stretching Enough- It is very important to spend a few minutes stretching the muscles you will be working out before you exercise. It is also as important to stretch for about 8-10 minutes after a workout to reduce the risk of injury and tight muscles.
  • Poor Technique or Form- Using an incorrect form can lead to unwanted injuries. A few examples of poor technique include: letting the knee extend beyond the toes during a lunge or squat; using momentum to lift heavy weights, and not exercising through a full range of motion. You can learn proper form by working with a certified Personal Trainer.
  • Not Warming Up- Besides stretching, it is also necessary to gradually warm up to prepare your body for the added demands of aerobic training. Warming up allows your body to re-route blood from your extremities to send oxygen to the muscles, and heart rate elevates to meet the need for oxygen.
  • Not Cooling Down- Not only does your body need to warm up, but it also needs to cool down. It is important to let your body gradually let your heart rate lower to minimize the chances of blood pooling or feeling light headed.
  • Inconsistent Progression- Exercising too hard and too often, or increasing intensity too quickly is a common mistake that can lead to soreness and burnout. Consistency and gradual progression is most effective and important for avoiding injury as well as for making improvements.
  • Incorrect Machine Set-Up- Exercise equipment is adjustable and it’s important that you set it up to fit you before you use it. If you use poorly adjusted equipment it is a set-up for injury. If you don’t know how, ask a staff person
  • Lifting Too Much Weight- Too much weight contributes to poor form when lifting and creates injury to other areas of your body including the muscles you are targeting. The most effective workout is one that is gradual progressive resistance training.
  • Not Drinking Enough Water- Drinking water replenishes all your fluid needs.
  • Poor Gym Etiquette- This can range from simple rudeness like lingering on machines, bad body odor, or not wiping your sweat from machines. Always be considerate of other exercisers.
  • Poor Goal Setting- If you begin an exercise routine with unrealistic or vague goals this can lead to dropout. The key is to establish a training goal that is specific and appropriate for your fitness and skill level.

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