Depending on your fitness goal, there are some common mistakes that could be stalling your progress. Whether you're doing cardio to drop weight, lose body fat, train for a race, or decrease stress, we will show you the common mistakes and how to fix them fast and get maximum results.
Mistake: If you get on the same cardio machine, clock the same amount of time, at the same intensity every day, you’re wasting your time. Fix: Each time you workout, push yourself harder than the last time. If you’ve been using the same machine for more than 4-6 weeks it’s time to switch it up.
Mistake: Using the treadmill to train for a race doesn’t work as well as hitting the streets, unless your race is on a treadmill which is doubtful. Fix: Hit the streets or the trails to get ready. You should also look up the elevation of the race you want to peak for and train for hills if necessary uphill and downhill.
Mistake: Leisurely strolling on the treadmill or the elliptical for a solid 45 minutes may get you sweating, which will help with temporary weight loss, but there are more effective strategies for your longer term goals. Fix: Plan on a 20- to 30-minute workout. Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes, then perform a 30-second to 90-second interval at a pace you couldn't hold for longer than that.
Mistake: If your goal is active recovery or stress relief, be careful you don't go too hard and actually damage your recovery. Fix: Instead of being at the gym indoors, go outside and enjoy your surroundings with a leisurely walk. Sunshine has been shown to help decrease cortisol, your stress hormone.
Mistake: Too much bouncing up and down. Your head should remain relatively level while running; otherwise you'll tire out your joints and yourself too soon. Fix: Improve flexibility to smooth out your stride. Try leg swings hold the handlebar, stand on one leg, and swing the other back and forth, keeping your upper body still. This will loosen your legs.
Mistake: The seat is too low or too high. A low seat fatigues the legs and stresses knees. Set it too high and your hips rock from side to side; which is inefficient. Fix: Sit on the seat and place your heel in the middle of the pedal, where the ball of your foot would normally go. You want your leg fully extended, at the lowest point of the pedal rotation.
Mistake: Many people allow momentum to do the work for them instead of propelling the step with their leg muscles. Fix: Set the resistance correctly to be able to feel that you are pushing the ramp down when you make a revolution rather than flipping around freely.
Mistake: A lot of people put their hands on the railing and lock their elbows with arms straight down. That's like using crutches. Fix: Rest your hands lightly on the bars only for balance. Keep your body upright, with just a slight lean forward.
Mistake: A long, steady slog, which leads to inefficient exercise. You're spending too much time rowing at a moderate intensity. Fix: With medium resistance, do four to six 10-minute sets of high-intensity rowing with 2 to 3 minutes of rest in between. This will allow your heart rate to come down a bit so you can regroup with intense effort.
Mistake: You dash out of the door immediately. Fix: It is the number one reason why many people complain of muscle and joint cramps even after exercising consistently for a number of months. Do warm-up after your workout to avoid the debilitating pain of cramps. Cooling down with some stretches after a gym session.
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