Building a healthier, stronger body takes work and dedication, but the results can be magnificent. However, you can make the process a lot harder — and less effective — by developing certain bad habits in the gym.
What bad habits are they? The kind that can leave your fitness pro shaking his head.
1. Not Stretching
It's never a good idea to jump right into your workout without stretching, because you put yourself at the risk of cramps or injuries. Make it a point to complete a five-minute warmup before each workout, ideally one that targets specific areas of your body that will be challenged.
2. Too Much Slow Cardio
There's no question that aerobic exercise is an important part of a total fitness program. But devoting too much time to long, slow cardio at the expense of strength training won't help you lose weight. Lifting will help speed up your metabolism while building and maintaining muscle mass.
3. Sticking To The Same Routine
Changing your routine is crucial to reach your goals, whether that's losing weight, building muscle, or developing a strong core. Aim to incorporate interval training in at least every other workout.
4. Only Doing Abs For Abs
All the abdominal exercises in the world won't produce the results you want is you're not following a well-rounded workout. It's pretty hard to see those tight abs when they're covered under a layer of fat.
5. Not Drinking Water
It's well-documented that dehydration can limit athletic performance. Water is nature's energy drink, and experts say stick with it unless your workout is 90 minutes or longer.
6. Having Poor Form
Doing advanced exercises with poor form is another path on the way to injuries and soreness. Exercises like box jumps and burpees are excellent, if done with proper form.
7. Not Having A Plan
Begin each workout with a plan in mind, rather than bouncing from machine to machine. Without one, you'll more likely focus on your favorite muscles groups while neglecting others.
Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts can help you stay on point and break these habits. Get a jumpstart on your 2016 fitness goals with a Jan. 9 group training session.