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8 Weight Lifting Mistakes Everyone Makes

April 20, 2015 3 min read

Your workout is only as good as what you put into it. The bad news is that most women are filling their workouts with the wrong moves and poor form. So before you hit your next strength training session, read these common mistakes so you can correct any that may be appearing in your routine.

1. Not having a workout plan

Do some research first. If you just walk into the weight room willy nilly thinking 'gee, what do I want to do today?" you won't get the results you want according to strength coach Holly Perkins, CSCS. You workouts need to fit your goals. It is also important to determine how your exercises all fit together so you don't end up with muscle imbalances and possible injury.

2. Only doing the exercise you love

Sure, we get it. The better you are at something, the more you do it but doing this in your strength workout isn't very useful. Because your favourites are likely the exercises you can bang out without much trouble, you are more than likely just reinforcing already strong muscles and ignoring those that aren't as strong. If there is an exercise you hate, that's the one you need to be doing. Perkins says, "If you abhor walking lunges, I guarantee they are the exercises you need most. Get better at them, and the rest of your workout will improve."

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3. Resting too long between sets

Taking long breaks between sets not only wastes your time, it rewinds your results, Perkins says. If you give your muscles more rest than they actually need, they will treat each set like it is a warm up and not an actual workout. If you are doing high reps with lighter weight, you should only need 30-45 seconds between sets. When you approach your one rep max weight (can barely do 4-6 reps with proper form), you should allow for 3-4 minutes of rest but never sit down. You do enough of that in the rest of your day.

4. Lifting too little weight

You need to challenge your body. You 2.5 pound dumbbells aren't going to help you build muscle, burn fat or get stronger. You should be lifting a weight heavy enough that if you were performing a set of 12 reps, for example, the last few reps would feel nearly impossible.

5. Wearing running shoes

Think about it. If you were to do you workout in high heels, your quads would get all the actions while your hamstrings and glutes go on vacation. The same principle applies to running shoes. Most runners have a 12 mm drop, meaning the heel is higher than the toe. Perkins suggests going to a 4-6 mm drop before going flatter. You should also remember that running shoes don't have much side to side support which is not good when performing things like side lunges. It is best to wear a lifting shoe when lifting.

6. Letting your shoulders move

If you let your shoulders move, your traps do some of the work for you. When your chest burns, the traps pick up the slack and you don't train the muscle you were attempting to in the first place. To keep your shoulders stable, pull your shoulder blades back and push them toward the hips. Focus on holding that position during each rep. When your shoulders start to move, it is a sign that your muscles are tired and it is time to stop the set. burpees

7. Performing only isolated movements

Isolated exercises are great for pinpointing muscles that need special attention but you still need to perform big movements that work large groups of muscles and joints at the same time, like lunges or burpees. You want to train your muscles to work together because that is how they work naturally throughout your day. As a bonus, the more muscles you work in a single exercise, the more calories you'll burn while you build more strength.

8. Not bracing your core

In a perfect workout, you work your core in every exercise and not just when doing crunches or while planking. Your core helps you keep good form by anchoring your pelvis and shoulders. It also helps transfer power between your upper and lower extremities. If you brace your core, your weightlifting performance will sky rocket, to say nothing about how amazing your core will look! Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.43.19 PM Looking for the ultimate home weight set? Check out our Hiit-Bar - it comes with 35 lbs of weight and is perfect for home workouts! Fess up, are you guilty of any of these weigh lifting errors?

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