One of the biggest mistakes I see and have seen in the gym is people working out and not using proper form when they lift weights. These mistakes are usually made using free weights but I see them made on cable machines, and stationary weight machines as well
Proper exercise execution and form is crucial for not only safety but seeing the best possible results from your workout.
The biggest form mistakes I see are:
1) Swinging and using momentum during the lifting and lowering of the weight. Though this will allow you to handle more weight but this type of form will get you no where as far as the results go.
2) The tempo of the movement is too fast and momentum takes over. Lifting too fast again prevents you from focusing on the muscle and only the movement. The muscle is always more important than the movement.
3) Using your lower back and lower body to help you through the movement. When someone struggles to lift a weight or to get a few extra reps they tend to use their lower back to help them. This is a recipe for disaster. You need to drop the weight and use proper form.
4) Bouncing the weight off your chest. This is very common when I see someone doing barbell chest press. If you have to bounce the weight then you are using too much weight. Bouncing the weight prevents you from really using all the muscle fibers in your chest and allows momentum to help you.
5) Not fully extending at the top of the lift and not coming far enough down to get the most efficient range of motion. Proper range of motion allows you to work all the muscle fibers in that muscle efficiently. Partial reps are not recommended for most people.
6) Locking the joints out on every lift. Locking your legs out at the top of the squat or locking your arms out at the bottom of a bicep curl. The problem with locking the joint out is one it puts more stress on the joint and two you lose the tension on the muscle and this makes the exercise less effective.
7) Not keeping core tight and looking down while doing standing exercises. During a squat its very common for someone to use their lower back and knees by looking down and leading with their knees and shoulders. This will put stress on their back and knees. Keeping core tight, looking straight forward, and sitting away from your knees (leading with glutes) will allow you to the squat safely and effectively and put stress on the muscle and not the spine, lower back, knees and joints. (see photo above)
I always tell my clients “You need to focus on the Muscle not the motion” You should always know what muscle you’re working and focus on the muscle while lifting and lowering the weight. If you’re not feeling it in that muscle while you’re lifting and lowering the weight then you’re probably not working it very efficiently. Any one can do the motion and movement of lifting the weight but if you are not focusing on the muscle you’re really not doing much.
Resting Too Much.
Another mistake I see in the gym is people resting way too much between sets of an exercise and between exercises. If your number one goal is strength and size resting will allow you to lift more weight. However, it will also affect your endurance and you keeping your heart rate up. So if you want to increase your strength more rest is needed yet I wouldn’t recommend resting more than 90 seconds maximum. If your goal is not strength and size there is no reason to rest so much. Ninety percent of the people that come to see me want to get in better shape, improve their stamina, lose fat, or get ripped. Yet I see so many people at the gym with these goals doing a set and resting for a minute or more. I recommend making your time and workout more efficient by doing super sets, or circuits. This will allow you to go from exercise to exercise and rest a muscle group with out resting your heart. This will also allow you to get a great intense workout and not to mention you will burn more calories, challenge your heart, and get your workout in a much quicker period of time .(30 minutes or less)
This concludes “The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make In the Gym.” If you were making some of these mistakes I hope you will apply the new information you have learned and make your workout routine more efficient and effective!
Now let’s go get it!
Look for the next series “The 5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes People Make In and Out Of the Kitchen” coming soon!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach
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