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Common gym mistakes to avoid






At Kelsey Kerridge we love to see people enjoying their work outs and getting a lot of benefit from the time they invest in themselves. However, there are also some common gym mistakes that we see time and again.

Nail the technique

One of the most common gym mistakes is around poor technique. Not lifting weights correctly, jerking movements that puts stress on joints, leaning forwards into a squat, rushing the exercise and not completing the movement. Bad technique means that the person exercising is risking injury and also wasting their time because they will not reap the benefit of a well-executed routine.

The answer to these common gym mistakes is to learn how to do things properly and then slow down. Speak to a personal trainer and gets some tips on how to perform an exercise correctly. Learn how it should feel as you are lifting weights. Learn about the lowering technique as well as the lift. Then do it all slowly – the mantra should be quality over quantity.

Woman lifting weights

Common gym mistakes learnt from the fitness class

One common gym mistake is to take what you learn in the fitness class onto the gym floor. In a fitness class, such as a circuit, the instructor will demonstrate the movement to the entire class and then you are often left to your own devices. The circuit starts, the trainer is motivating the entire class to work hard. As you get tired, so your form may drop and so you do the exercise with poor technique. Don’t be scared to approach an instructor after a class to ask for a demonstration of any exercise you are not sure of. A fitness class should leave you tired and aching but not injured and out of action.

Hard work pays

Another common gym mistake is to think that going to the gym is enough to get fit. This is the person who sits on the exercise bike and reads a book, or who lifts some light weights and chats happily for several minutes between sets before moving on with barely a bead of sweat on their body.

The recommendation from the NHS is 150 hours of moderate activity plus two weekly strength sessions. We would go further and say that a healthy adult should be pushing themselves to do hard exercise rather than moderate activity. Push yourself to achieve more, lift more, run faster. The sense of accomplishment is as good for mental health as the activity is for physical health. Again, our personal trainers are on hand to help with this. If you have any health concerns, chat these through with a health professional before embarking on your fitness activities.

A common gym mistake – all the gear…

You have all heard the phase “all the gear and no idea”. We don’t think that turning up in the gym for a workout in the latest gym fashion-wear guarantees a good workout. You actually don’t need the latest, most expensive sweat-wicking gear to do an effective workout. A t-shirt, shorts/leggings, socks and good trainers are all you need to get started. Of all the gym kit, it is the footwear that should be the gear you invest in the most.

Ask yourself ‘why?’

Why you go to the gym is a big factor in what you gain from your session. In the gyms, as in life, it is a good idea to ask yourself: What am I doing here? For some people it is to get fit, for others it is to develop new social circles with like-minded people. It might be for psychological reasons – to let off steam or release stress. Whatever your reason, make sure you tap into that motivation and align it with goals that suit your needs. If you are looking to increase your social circle, maybe join classes or seek an exercise buddy. If the aim is to get fitter, you could enter an event such as a 5k run and then train towards it. Match goals and actions to your initial motivation.

50 plus fitness class

Find your fitness zone

Finally, go at your own pace. This works both ways. We would advise people looking to add more exercise into their lifestyle to do a health check first. But don’t allow barriers to crop up unnecessarily. For example, people with disabilities are often told what they cannot do. We would like the message to be more about what they can do. Likewise, older people in the gym are equally capable of training at a high intensity as a younger person. It is a case of finding the exercise routine that works for you.