Are You Making One Of These Common Workout Mistakes?

Are You Making One Of These Common Workout Mistakes?

Whether it’s neglecting your warm-up or failing to keep an eye on your heart rate, chances are we’re all guilty of making at least one of these common workout mistakes. We asked three personal trainers to remind us why they’re worth correcting.

MISTAKE ONE: Sticking To Cardio

“In order to lose weight, you need to balance getting your heart rate up and loading your muscles. This way, you will burn fat and build muscle, creating a body that is not only lean and toned but one that is balanced, flexible and agile, which is just as important. And cardio doesn’t need to be boring. People often equate it to hours spent on a treadmill or cross trainer – but plenty of other things count as cardio, such as box jumps and kettlebell swings. Anything that gets your heart rate up, is cardio.” – Alex Parran, personal trainer for Meglio

MISTAKE TWO: Ignoring Stress Levels

“Anything that puts the body under stress – including an intense workout – will have a negative impact on your adrenals, which can lower immunity, hamper recovery and lead to fat gain around the stomach. It’s therefore crucial to incorporate a rest day or two into your week – the body needs time to recuperate to grow back stronger. Instead of working out, think about ‘working in’, especially if you have a demanding and stressful work schedule. If you lead a busy life, the optimal rest day includes exercises that nourish the body’s parasympathetic system, such as tai chi, yoga and steady pace walking. Magnesium salt baths and stretching can also expedite and improve healing.” – Andy McGlynn, personal trainer at GSquared Health Clubs

MISTAKE THREE: Not Tweaking Your Warm-Up

“A warm up should always be specific to the movement or activity you are about to do. Too often I see PTs warming a client up on the treadmill before moving into a resistance-based workout. The best thing you can do is a movement-based warm-up that includes all seven movement patterns – push, pull, twist, squat, lunge, bend and work on your gait. If you are creative, you can quickly pull together a short routine that incorporates all of these movements – do this and you’ll be ready to go. If you have time, a couple of minutes of foam rolling, both before and after your workout, can also make a huge difference.” – Andy


“HIIT is hugely popular, largely due to studies which show it can quickly improve fitness levels and burn fat, but it pays to do it properly. If you jump straight in with HIIT without first addressing postural or muscular issues, chances are you’ll end up with an injury sooner rather than later. You’ll get a much better workout if your body is physically ready and conditioned for the high-intensity nature of HIIT. Think about it – if your body isn’t moving correctly, there’ll be reduced muscle activation, meaning you’ll get less bang for your buck. If you are just starting out with fitness, ease yourself in and work your way up to a HIIT session.” – Andy

MISTAKE FIVE: Getting Confused With Core Work

“Having a flatter, stronger tummy is a popular fitness goal, but it pays to know that your core and abs are actually two different things. Your core is a group of more than 20 muscles that sit across your lower back, stomach and hips, while your abs is just a small fraction of this. With this in mind, an exercise like a sit-up will train the abs, but isn’t effective when it comes to training the core. Working your abs is a starting point for building a six-pack, but it won’t solve lower back issues and overall performance that comes with developing a strong core. For example, slow and controlled sit-ups done with a Swiss ball are ten times more effective for your core than quickly doing a set of ab curls.” – Andy

MISTAKE SIX: …Or Just Doing Planks

“A standalone plank isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in terms of building core strength. And holding a plank for minutes on end is totally unnecessary. You’re far better off challenging your core in a different way by making the move more dynamic – think shoulder taps, plank hacks and hip dips.” – Nicole Chapman, personal trainer

MISTAKE SEVEN: Forgetting About Hormones

“If you exercise obsessively to get rid of body fat on the lower part of the body, you’re wasting your time. Body fat found on the lower half of the body tends to be related to an imbalance of oestrogen or poor oestrogen detoxification, meaning all the exercise in the world won’t necessarily address the issue. Instead, balance out oestrogen levels by supplementing with DIM, which metabolises excess oestrogen. DIM can also boost levels of ‘good’ oestrogen, which can help to burn stored fat, especially in the lower half of the body.” – Andy

MISTAKE EIGHT: Not Eating Properly

“Under-fuelling is one of the most common workout mistakes. You may feel like you are eating enough, but if you are working out regularly, you need to fuel your body efficiently. If you’re training hard but neglecting to fuel yourself with adequate carbs, protein and healthy fats, your performance will be affected and your workout will feel a lot harder than it needs to be. Think of your body like a car – a car requires both the right type and amount of fuel to keep the engine running. If you have a high-intensity workout planned, have a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal beforehand to increase liver glycogen and blood glucose, which your body will need to prevent fatigue. Post-workout, look to protein and carbs.” – Nicole

MISTAKE NINE: Not Listening To Your Body

“Striking the balance between intensity and overdoing it is a fine line. Change only comes when you challenge yourself, but go too hard and you could end up injured. If you are doing cardio, feeling light-headed, dizzy or sick is a sign you’re pushing yourself too hard – similarly with strength training, check whether you are still performing each move correctly with proper form. Post-workout, the warning signs are just as important. It’s normal to feel sore for up to 48 hours after a tough session, but if soreness exceeds this window, then this could point towards an overuse injury. Never work through joint pain – the term ‘no pain, no gain’ doesn’t extend to your joints.” – Nicole

MISTAKE TEN: Ignoring Your Heart Rate

“Keeping an eye on your heart rate is a faultless way of making sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard and staying in the right zone. It may seem logical to push yourself as hard as possible in every session, but 80% of your runs, cycles and other workouts should be done at only a moderate intensity, and the remaining 20% done at high intensity. If you don’t stick to this balance, you’re far more likely to get ill or injured and your body will be in a constant state of stress.” – Alex

MISTAKE ELEVEN: Trying New Classes Every Week

“Variety in a fitness routine is important to avoid a plateau, but to get fitter, faster and stronger, it all comes down to progressive overload. By constantly changing your exercise programme you lose the ability to track your progress. Having said that, a certain element of variety is needed – aim for two strength sessions per week alongside two sessions that combine strength training with high intensity cardio. You can switch up the moves in the cardio element, but keeping the perfect level of resistance training will guarantee real results.” – Nicole
For more information visit, and Also follow Nicole on Instagram @IamNicoleChapman.
DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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