Hi everybody! It’s been a while. Life has been busy, but that’s never an excuse to not get the important stuff done. You make time for what is important to you in the end. Therefore, I shall make the time to blog… and you all can make the time to exercise!
I am a Fitness Coach for Health Systems Group. I circulate the floor at the Miles Nadal Jcc (the fitness center) greeting members, offering them help with operating the fitness equipment and ensuring they (the members) are exercising safely.
In my rounds I have made in my time at the Jcc (and even working out at other gyms), I have witnessed many people with shall we say misconceptions about working out. Some of these mistakes can pose danger to your musculoskeletal health and some are just a matter of being aware of common courtesy, either way, I think it’s good for all exercisers to be aware of these exercise misconceptions in order to workout more effectively and safely.
So, with no further ado, here are the first five of my top 10 Most Common Gym Mistakes.
10) Deadlifts and/or Bent Over Rows with a rounded back
Proper alignment for a deadlift and Bent Over Row
Deadlifts and Bent Over Rows are staples in the weight room. And for good reason, they are very important exercises that everyone should take the time to master (well, maybe not EVERYONE, but you know what I mean). All too often, I see eager exercisers jumping in to these exercises without first learning the importance of the underlying foundation of technique. If you don’t keep that straight back and lose the proper form then you could cause yourself some serious back injuries. At best, if you don’t hurt yourself you will end up working the wrong muscle groups and promoting bad habits in your routine.
9) Unnecessary grunting when lifting heavy weights
Yes, I know you are working hard. Yes, I understand that there are certain breathing techniques needed for heavy lifting. But if you are grunting and moaning loudly for every rep of each exercise, you should probably reconsider the weight or your technique.
8 ) Leaving your equipment all over the gym instead of putting it away where you found it
If you are going to use free weights, or load up the squat rack, there should be an understanding that you leave the area the way you left it. Free weights left on the ground can be a tripping hazard for other members working out. Also, if you move something from where you originally found it (or from where it is intended to be) then it will make it more difficult for other members to find it after you are done with it.
7) Locking your knees(joints) on the Leg Press Machine (or during any exercise at that)
Locking your joints in any exercise is not good for your joints or overall alignment. Keeping a micro bend in your knees or elbows when exercising ensures the muscles stay activated and that your joints stay healhty.
If we continue to use the leg press as an example, when you are using the leg press, ensure that you move through the exercise slow and controlled. If you sit in the leg press machine with your knees locked, you are no longer using your muscles to control the weight, but are just sitting in your joints and fascia which will be putting undue pressure on your knees.
6) Not wiping off your mat/cardio machine/bench after finishing with the machine
Exercise is sweaty. It’s a fact of life. I think we all expect to see sweaty people when we make a trip to the gym. This does not mean that you can get away with using all the machines or exercising on a mat without wiping it down after you are done. It is common courtesy and helps keep the gym a cleaner and more sanitary place.
Tune in next week, as I look at the top 5 Most Common Gym Mistakes. If you have some pet peeves or have some questions about gym etiquette between now and then, please feel free to comment or send me an email for feedback.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Let’s all be greatful for what we have and enjoy this much needed long weekend!