Time to hit the gym? Good for you! You’ve been training day in and day out. Working hard and getting stronger, faster, and leaner! But take caution – even the experts make mistakes! The next time you go to the gym, don’t fall victim to these gym no-nos!
1. Going In Without a Game Plan
You wouldn’t build a house without making a blueprint first, right? Well, the same rules apply to working out! When you go to the gym without an idea of what exercises you’re going to do (plus your sets, reps, ect.), you put yourself at risk for wandering around aimlessly. Planning your workouts is also helpful because you’re able to track your progress. Download a workout tracker app, track your workouts on the nope pad on your phone, or invest in a workout log!
2. Skipping Your Warm-Up
Okay, so you’re running late, in a rush, and “don’t have time to warm-up”. Hate to break it to you, but skipping your warm-up will put you on the fast track to injury! Before each workout, you want to raise your heart rate and prepare your muscles for the exercises you’ll be doing. Not only will this prevent injury, but you’ll boost your performance as well!
3. Not Going Through the Full Range of Motion
In order to maximize the exercises you’ll be doing (squats, lat pulldowns, etc.), you need to go through the full range of motion (often abbreviated to ROM) of that exercise. For example, when you do a lat pulldown, you want to fully extend your arms overhead and then fully bring the bar down until it reaches your chest. During squats, you want to squat low enough so that your hip joints dip lower than your knees (aka top of the legs parallel to the ground). Otherwise you’ll only be doing partial squats, which aren’t as effective as full ROM squats. Moral of the story, don’t cheat yourself out of your workouts!
4. Not Wiping Down Equipment
Dude – don’t be that person. Wipe down the machines before and after you use them! ‘Nuff said.
5. Going to the Gym Every Day
Our bodies need rest! When you go to the gym day in and day out without giving your body some down time, you put yourself at risk for injury, overtraining, and burnout. Giving yourself 1-2 rest days per week can do wonders for your performance, muscle growth, and energy levels. On your rest days, go for walks, stretch, play a sport, or do some yoga! Give your body (and your mind) a break from the gym!