I stumbled upon an article this morning about 10 workout “cheats” that could be affecting your ability to lose weight or get the most out of your gym time. I can’t take credit for compiling the information but thought it was worth sharing since some of these I hadn’t thought of before:
- Swinging weights – make sure you’re putting as much effort into the “easy” part of lifting weights as you are for the “lifting” portion. Don’t just drop the weights down.
- Clinging to your cardio equipment during workouts – using your arms to carry more of the burden than intended during cardio sessions prevents maximum calorie burn, so make sure you’re only holding on for stability and not for assistance.
- Quick stretches – hold your stretches for 20-30 seconds each to help increase flexibility and reduce the risk of injury instead of rushing through them. Cool downs are important for a reason!
- Too much down time at the gym – the “wait line” at the gym does little to help your waist line, so take advantage of your time while waiting for equipment by doing planks, crunches, or other exercises that don’t require equipment.
- Stretching between exercises – I personally don’t do this so I’m not sure what the reason would be to stretch between exercises except to make your muscles feel less tight, but try to resist mid-workout stretching as this can actually reduce your strength capacity during workouts.
- Taking the easy road – Push yourself at the gym instead of coasting through workouts. Just going to the gym doesn’t mean you’ll see results; you have to make sure you’re getting your heart rate up, getting out of your comfort zone, and getting an adequate sweat going. Obviously get your doctor’s approval before starting any exercise routine so you don’t push yourself past your limits and injure yourself!
- Arriving late or leaving early – a standard workout should include a warm-up, 30-60 minutes of cardio and/or strength training, and a cool-down. Give yourself ample time for workouts and don’t skip the beginning or end; missing the warm-up and/or cool-down means you’re cheating yourself of the maximum benefits of exercise while putting yourself at risk for injury.
- Focus on the task – reading, texting, or doing “nonworkout” activities while working out means that you aren’t working hard enough. An exception to this is listening to music, which I personally highly recommend for the energy boost it always provides me.
- Same goes for television – just like the above statement about no reading, don’t partake in the passive “channel-surfing” during your workout. If your equipment comes with a television, pick a channel and keep it there for your entire workout.
- Relying on the machine’s “fat-burning zone” ratings –try interval workouts (cycles of high-intensity followed by low-intensity to keep your heart guessing) rather than always staying in the lower-intensity “fat-burning zone” indicated on most cardio equipment.
You can read the original article here: “10 exercise cheats that blow your calorie burn”