We asked experts to point out our most common training mistakes and tell us how to fix them.
Not Thinking About Your Tongue While Doing Sit-Ups
Women, in particular, tend to use their neck muscles more than their abs when doing sit-ups, which is very uncomfortable, says Colorado sports and exercise psychology expert Haley Perlus, PhD. . Focus on your abs by pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth before you begin your reps. This helps relieve tension from your neck, forcing your stomach to do the work instead.
As far as form goes, it’s very easy to tire your knees doing lunges and squats because people tend to step too far so the knee extends past the front ankle and toes, said Sabrina P. Sawlani, DO, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Orthopedics at UCLA and assistant physician for the UCLA athletics team. “This causes pressure to be absorbed in the front of the knee, rather than working the proper muscles,” she says. Check your lunge form by keeping your front heel firmly planted on the floor. Or if your knees just can’t hack it, substitute the move for back lunges or single-leg bridges, which can achieve similar results, Sawlani says.
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Carrying your phone to the gym
Our phones lead us to distraction, and distraction can block our workouts, says Perlus. “It’s very easy to get lost in our phones, browsing through playlists and workout videos, so much so that we can lose momentum during the workout and therefore not complete it to the best of our ability. abilities,” she said.
A weak core can lead to poor workout posture, which can lead to errors such as arching back during overhead presses or push-ups, leaning too much to one side with one-arm exercises or lose balance with single-leg exercises, says Sawlani. Instead, keep your core energized throughout every move you make by taking a deep breath as if preparing for a stomach punch, from cardiovascular exercise to strength training. It also helps keep your posture in check by engaging your core when sitting at your desk or walking.
being too diligent
Beginner runners tend to add miles to their jaunts too quickly, without incorporating enough rest days. Failure to include adequate rest days can lead to muscle fatigue, poor form and injury, Sawlani says. She often sees bone damage and stress fractures because of it. “Bone stress injuries mean that the bones cannot tolerate repetitive mechanical loading. It is usually felt as localized bone pain and pain that worsens with weight-bearing activities,” she says. She says a rule of thumb is to “start low and go slow,” limiting distance increases to no more than 10% each week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Crane to see what the instructor is doing (at home or in person)
Perlus says one of the biggest exercise mistakes she sees is ironically made when people try hard to train well. “Contorting your neck to look at your screen or the instructor in the packed room can be a big mistake,” she says. Instead, she recommends learning to rely on auditory cues as much as possible during workouts. “At first you can observe and understand what the instructor is doing, but you have to listen. Some instructors give great hints. You can also place your screen in your profile or directly in front of you. “Try to position yourself so your back is never on screen to maintain alignment and keep your head from spinning too much,” she says.
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