Going to the gym consistently is a great start, but here are a few common mistakes you could be making. Correcting them can help you get the most out of your workout.
1. Using your lower back on the rowing machine. The power should come from your legs and seamlessly transfer to your core and upper body. Bending forward and pulling from your back can put stress on your back and result in injury.
Fix: Start with knees bent and arms reaching forward holding on to the handle. Then, extend your legs. Keep your arms straight until your knees are mostly extended, and then bend your arms at the elbows to bring the handle to the upper part of your stomach. Next, move your hands away from your body as you extend your arms. Your upper body now moves forward over your hips as your hands move past your knees, which begin to bend, and the seat slides back to the starting position.
2. Leaning over while using the stair climber. Slouching over and leaning on the stair climber reduces the workout and calorie burn. Putting all your weight on your arms can irritate your tendons in your wrists.
Fix: Stand up straight with your elbows down and in toward your body, creating a single line.
3. Staying in the far burning zone on cardio machines. Most cardio equipment suggests a heart rate that is too low. But at higher intensities during the same amount of time you can burn twice as many calories.
Fix: To burn the most calories do the interval training option on the cardio machines.
4. Holding the treadmill rails. You cheat yourself out of the workout you are trying to achieve and you risk injury by not using the proper form.
Fix: Stand firm and place only your fingertips on the rails. If you need to grab the rails because of the incline, the grade isn’t appropriate for you.
5. Sitting too high or low on a stationary bike. You can strain your lower back and you will not be getting the maximum workout you can with your quadriceps and hamstrings.
Fix: On each peddle stroke your leg pushing downward should be almost straight with your knee slightly bent.
6. Using your arms on the elliptical. Doing this decreases the workout for your legs and you will get tired faster limiting your workout.
Fix: Your arms can help you, but don’t let them compensate for what your legs could do.