Want to receive the maximum benefit from your gym workouts? Performing strength training exercises with proper technique is the key to safe and effective results.
Avoid doing these things to get the maximum benefit at the gym:
Neglecting to warm up
The idea of a warmup is to begin gradually, allowing your heart rate to increase slowly, letting your body make a gradual transition into the workout.
• Rather than stretching cold muscles before a workout, it is recommended to warm up with a mild aerobic activity.
• When performing strength exercises, warm up with light cardio exercise or begin with a warmup set by using lighter weights.
• Warm up for five to 10 minutes.
Lifting too heavy and too fast
Throwing the weight usually is an indication that the weight is too heavy.
• You will be sacrificing good form by using momentum rather than muscle power.
• Swinging the weight will not only reduce effectiveness of the workout, but will increase risk of injuries.
• Moving slowly can actually allow you to produce more muscle force without putting extra stress on your joints.
Stretching before your workout might not reduce the risk of injury but it's important for flexibility. (Always warm up before stretching.)
• Loss of range of motion may begin as early as age 20; it can be regained with proper stretching.
• The preferred way to stretch for the average person is static stretching where you hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds; no bouncing into the stretch.
• Stretch until you feel mild tension, never pain.
Never changing the workout
It is very easy to fall into a rut by repeating the same exercise routine over and over.
• Changing your routine at least every four or six weeks will help prevent you from becoming bored and hitting plateaus.
• The more variety, the more challenge for your muscles.
• Cross training (introducing a new activity) is a great way to condition different muscle groups.