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Are you making these gym mistakes?

March 21, 2016 14:50 IST

Here are 7 common workout mistakes women make. Fix them to get the results you want!

Avoid these gym mistakes

1. Too scared to lift heavy

The most common mistake women make is not lifting heavy weights; for fear of developing manly muscles. It is not possible for the female muscles to grow like male muscles because we do not possess the high levels of testosterone responsible for building large muscles.

Lifting heavy is important. It increases muscle and bone strength. As you age, the muscle and bone mass start to decrease making your joints and bones weak, leading to problems.

The weight you lift should be heavy enough for you to feel fatigue between 8-12 repetitions of the exercise.

2. Doing only cardio workouts

Since the biggest goal of most women is to get thin, they end up focussing only on cardiovascular exercises while leaving out weight training or any other resistance exercises.

While you do lose weight, your body isn't getting strong or flexible, thus missing out on 2 of the 3 components to an overall fit body.

As you grow older it is extremely important to make these a part of your training too, and enhance your overall well being.

3. Skipping the warm up

Your day is hectic; you feel it okay to miss the warm up and go straight into the workout. It's not okay!

A warm up is done to literally WARM up the muscles and joints so they can perform the exercise to follow properly, without risk of pulling or tearing a muscle during the exercise. Warming up also prepares you mentally for the exercise routine. So set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier to make it in time for a warm up session.

4. Skipping the stretching and cool down

You are done with the main part of your workout and cannot wait to dash out since you have a zillion other things to do. Wrong again!

The post-workout stretch and recovery is essential for your body.

Stretching relaxes and lengthens out the muscles that have constantly been contracted and shortened during the exercise. Skipping it leaves you with short, tight and sore muscles. Over time it could lead to joint problems. Dashing out in a rush doesn't give you a chance to compose your mind.

Give your body and mind a few minutes to relax and restore post exercise to feel rejuvenated.

5. Only working on fat body parts

Typically, most women will pin point to a particular part/s of her body she wants to burn fat from and tighten up. Dear women, sorry to break this to you, but it is not possible to burn fat off in particular spots only.

Fat burn occurs overall and the part that you are complaining about is going to be the last place it goes from because there is so much more accumulated there!

You can tighten and tone specific muscles that lie below the fat but the fat will only go over time with cardio exercises and eating low fat, well balanced meals.

Additionally it is important to know that all body parts must be exercised to achieve an overall shapely body and prevent skeletal imbalance.

6. Being irregular

A busy life often results in missing gym sessions. Between schedule of work, the husband, children, a social life and more, the workout is often put on a back burner. This is going to do more harm than good.

You need to be in top health and fitness form in order to carry on living your life and being there for friends and family.

Pick a time of day you are least likely to be needed, commit to it and never miss your exercise!

7. Doing abs but not the back

A big trouble zone -- the abs! Most women want to beat this bulge and end up doing a whole lot of abdominal exercises. (Please also refer back to point 5).

When you only work the abs and not its partner -- the back -- you end up with loose back muscles causing the back to round and more worryingly, throw the backbone out of balance. This is turn leads to spinal problems like slip discs, spondylitis and chronic back or neck pain.

If you do 3 exercises for the abs, you must do 3 for the back. Maintain the balance and a strong spine.

So ladies, correct these mistakes and watch the transformation!

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Photograph: Adobe Stock

Brinda Sapat