Fix the most common mistakes made at the gym

With our busy schedules, we want our time at the gym to be effective.
March 12, 2014 4:44:19 AM PDT
With our busy schedules, we want our time at the gym to be effective.

When personal trainer Dewayne Malone sees someone performing an exercise incorrectly, he wants to help, and fast.

"Mistakes at the gym could really hinder your results and leave you open for getting injured," Malone says.

Here are the most common mistakes people make and how to improve them.

#1: NEVER WORK OUT ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.

"A lot of people think not eating before a workout will get the weight off and is good for them. It is not. It's just like driving your car and forgetting to put gas in there. Your body needs the fuel in order to work," says Malone.

We don't want our car to run out gas, and Malone says our bodies shouldn't either.

#2: ALWAYS WARM UP.

"You want to make sure your joints and tendons are warm, and you slowly raise your heart rate," says Malone.

Malone says ideally, a 15-minute warm-up will prep us and prevent us from injury, but if we're in a rush, a minimum of two minutes will suffice.

#3: STOP TALKING!

"Gym time is not social hour, and if you're running your mouth while you're doing weights, you're not going to have an effective workout," says Malone.

Also, when talking, we can't breathe properly. In addition, Malone adds, socializing could be dangerous.

"You're twisting your neck while you're pulling almost 100 pounds. You're at risk of injuring your spine or your traps."

#4: IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE.

"Posture is so important because it's going to reduce your chance of injury, and it's going to allow you to focus on the area that you truly are trying to target to create better posture. If you're working out with bad posture, then you're forcing the posture to get worse," says Malone.

#5: DON'T SWING THE WEIGHT.

"Swinging the weight you never want to do. Even if that means lightening the weight up because with heavier weight, all you're doing is lifting your ego. You're not doing much," says Malone.

You want to lift a weight that keeps your body in proper alignment where your focus is on the muscle you're working and not all the other muscles.

#6: STOP LOCKING OUT THE JOINTS.

"It's just like taking a break after every rep. Not effective whatsoever," says Malone.

You want to keep constant tension on the muscle. When you lock out the joint, the weight rests on the joints, which could also cause injury to the joints. This goes for legs, arms, shoulders, back, and every muscle you're working.

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