These days there is no shortage of killer, stylish boutique fitness studios – think Rocycle, Saints & Stars and High Studios. Not to mention lovely yoga studios and the great outdoors for a good, old-fashioned run. But with all these cool, comprehensive workouts, you may have forgotten what it’s like to just hit the gym on your own, tackling lunges, squats and curls like in days gone by.
And while it’s easy enough to hit the gym on your own, even devising your own workout plan without a trainer, you may notice that going solo may not be getting you the results you expected. In fact, you may feel like you’re putting in a hell of a lot of effort without getting much in return. So, what gives?!
No matter how much of a gym bunny you are, it’s possible that you are not performing your exercises with precision and perfect posture. Though it may seem inconsequential being even the tiniest bit careless with your workout regime can actually hinder you in achieving the results you want. That’s why we want to point out the classic fitness mistakes and help you fix them. Because after all, summer bodies are built in winter!
1. Ditching that warmup. When we’re in class, we obviously do the warmup as instructed. But when we’re on our own…..well, you know the drill. Taking just a few minutes before you dive into your routine to warm up your muscles so that they’re prepared for any explosive movements you might be doing is far more essential than you think. Without a proper warmup, your muscles will be tight and injury-prone. Do a few light exercises and some active stretches before even thinking of touching a weight. That way you can reap the most benefits of exercise.
2. Not using your full range of motion. This is one that few of us likely think about, as we try to up our weights to the heaviest we can possibly handle. But sometimes, that ends up being too heavy to properly complete an exercise. If you’re bench pressing, the bar should actually touch your body. If you’re lunging, you should have consistency in your range and come to a 90 degree angle. Get rid of the super heavy weights until you can have proper form.
3. Avoiding the feeling of discomfort. Honestly, we don’t blame you with this one. No one wants to be uncomfortable and push themselves to the point of fatigue. Rather than banging out three quick sets of ten reps, you need to push yourself until you truly cannot do any more. Increase the number of sets, the number of reps in each set or add weight to movements that are classically done with just your body weight.
4. Exercising without proper form. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Ask a trainer or watch some videos online to make sure you are squatting, lunging or lifting as you should be. Even a slight variation will affect the results you will see.
5. Sticking to the same workout, every time. It’s so tempting to do what you like over and over again. Who wants to do something they don’t love, after all? Not us! But doing the same thing over and over again without varying your workout will lead to a plateau. And then, what are you working out for? Change up your positioning for movements or switch up the rep count. Also, try and incorporate new or different exercises that work the same muscle group. You’ll start to see results in no time.