Signs You’re Not Exercising Correctly
This entry was posted on September 25, 2018.
If you’re like many of us in Jackson, MS, you take your workouts seriously. After all, they are hard work, take dedication, and good old-fashioned elbow grease with each and every session.
But have you ever wondered if you’re actually exercising “correctly”? If so, you’re not alone. Exercising can be highly rewarding when done right, but it can also be detrimental to our health and downright dangerous when carried out improperly.
Incorrect Form Can Greatly Affect Your Workout
For example, incorrectly exercising could lead to:
• Overtraining and injuries
• Cardiovascular damage
• Depressed immune system
• Central nervous system fatigue
• And muscular, skeletal, tendon or ligament inflammation or injury
Sounds like a bad time right? Right.
This guide will help you understand the signs of exercising improperly, and what you can do to address and remediate the situation so you can continue your fitness journey in a safe, satisfying and productive way.
Without further delay, let’s dig in shall we….
1. You’re not Seeing the Expected Results
If you’ve been hitting your local fitness center or home gym equipment for a while now, but are not quite seeing the results you had expected, it might be time to re-evaluate.
Getting “in shape” takes time, whether its increasing your cardiovascular endurance or building muscle, nothing happens overnight. But if you’re failing to see even small increases in performance week after week, or even on a monthly basis, this might be a sign you are not exercising correctly.
When it comes to cardiovascular fitness, the following can be tweaked to enhance your workout and get better results, be it on your exercise machines, hitting the pavement for a good old-fashioned run, or through playing sports.
See better results by:
• Increasing the time spent on the exercise machine, track, etc.
• Increase the velocity or speed of the activity
• Increase the level of resistance (such as an incline on the treadmill or setting on a fitness cycle)
• Implements intervals of high and low-intensity bursts with short rest periods in-between.
If you’re looking to buy exercise equipment to improve your cardiovascular health, we find the Horizon Fitness Elite T9 Treadmill to be a great addition to your home gym equipment line-up or fitness studio.
Weight Lifting / Resistance Training
As it relates to resistance training, there are a few key things to consider with regards to your health fitness equipment and free weights.
Do bear in mind that nutrition also plays a large role in building muscle, but nutrition aside, if you’re not seeing weekly improvements in strength and endurance or monthly increases in lean body mass, then consider the following:
• Safely increasing the weight or resistance level of your home gym equipment or free weights
• Increase the number of sets or reps performed
• Increase the pace while decreasing the rest periods between sets
• Vary your rep speeds and sets
In a nutshell, “time under tension” is what matters most as well as volume (reps x weight) for building lean muscle. Dial those in and you’ll see results in no time.
Looking for an exercise machine that can help you take your resistance training to the next level? Check out the Life Fitness G3 Home Gym for a multi-station machine that can help you hit virtually every muscle group!
2. Frequent Injuries, Strains, Soreness, and Pain
A key indicator that you may not be utilizing your free weights and exercise machines correctly is the frequency at which you find yourself:
• Getting injured while working out
• Straining muscles, ligaments or tendons
• Experiencing moderate to severe soreness
The aforementioned are clear indicators that something has gone awry with your exercise planning and execution.
Let’s look at a few possible reasons why you may be experiencing the above issues….
Unless you’re a professional athlete whose job is to hit the iron or treadmill multiple times a day or 7-days a week, you might want to slow your roll a bit. Overtraining is a common, yet largely overlooked, aspect of injury and over-exertion with the casual fitness minded individual and weekend warrior.
Fact is, your body is like a machine. But that doesn’t mean you can run it non-stop without expecting some wear and tear. Both the frequency and intensity of your workouts can contribute to overtraining, as well as inadequate nutrition to resupply your body with the micro and macro-nutrients it needs to properly recover and repair itself.
Overtraining might very well be a factor if:
• You work out for more than one hour at a time
• You work out more than 5 days a week
• You don’t feel fully recovered before your next workout session
B. Improper Form
The other leading cause of injuries and lack of progress is the use of improper form when using exercise machines and home fitness equipment.
No matter how hard you work out, if you fail to maintain proper form you’ll simply end up spinning your wheels, likely becoming discouraged with poor results, or worse yet, injuries.
There are a number of steps you can take to further educate yourself on proper form:
• Take the guided tour of your gym
• Hire a personal trainer
• Take part in a group fitness class
• Learn online from apps and video instruction
3. Constant Exhaustion, Lack of Energy & Decreased Motivation
If you’re feeling “drained” both emotionally and physically it could be a sign that you’re incorrectly exercising, putting too much strain on your body, failing to address the additional nutritional requirements necessary to support your athleticism, or even failing to get enough rest.
Signs you may need to readjust those aspects of your routine include:
• Changes in resting heart rate (higher than normal)
• Soreness that doesn’t go away
• Oppressing fatigue
• Decreased motivation
4. You barely break a sweat during workouts and are rarely sore the next day
Working out too hard can be detrimental to your health and well-being, but so can going at it with all the gusto of a tortoise. There is a sweet spot somewhere between those two extremes that will yield the greatest results no matter if your goal is fat loss, enhanced athleticism, or building up lean muscle mass.
Here are a few signs and what you can do about them…
A. The last rep was hard but not really a struggle
By the time you get to your last rep, you should really have to push hard to get out (but not so hard that you break proper form). If that last rep isn’t feeling like much of a challenge it’s high time you increased the resistance, weight or number of reps.
B. You barely break a sweat / your heart rate doesn’t get very high
If you don’t really get winded when hitting your cardio, it might be time to kick things up a notch, Increasing the speed, resistance or incline on your treadmills, bike or stair-stepper. Alternatively, you can add in high-intensity intervals.
Want to buy an exercise machine to make you go from a stroll in the park to lighting your metabolism on fire? Check out the Matrix Rower Machine for a full body workout you won’t soon forget!
Closing Thoughts – getting the most from your exercises
Exercising correctly is important. After all, no one has time to waste in the gym without seeing the benefits you’re working so hard to earn. With a little effort, knowledge and sweat, you can safely and effectively improve the outcome of time spent in the gym or at home working out to your favorite tunes.