7 Mistakes You’re Making At the Gym #WorkoutSabotage

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It’s mid-February — are you still sticking to your New Year’s fitness resolutions? If so, hopefully you’re seeing the fruits of your labor by now, and if you’re not, there may be reasons you’re not making any progress or haven’t uncovered that six pack yet. Establishing a consistent fitness routine is no doubt impressive, but simply checking into your exercise venue of choice still isn’t guaranteed to get you to where you need (or want) to be fitness-wise.

Getting to the gym is definitely half the battle, but performing well in the sweat chamber is also just as important and something that is surprisingly forgotten. Exercisers often get frustrated and disillusioned when they do cardio or the same strength training for a month and then see no results. What gives? Here are seven examples of mistakes that people make at the gym to unknowingly sabotage their workouts. If you’re going to peel yourself out of bed in the morning to work out, you might as well do it right. Here’s how.

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1. Not stretching

It can seem like a tedious, time-consuming practice, but failing to stretch can sabotage your workouts in more ways than one. Everyone has heard time and time again that your workout should include a warm up and cool down, but stretching for at least 10 minutes, ideally at the end, is just as important to prevent soreness and promote recovery and repair.

Personal trainer Andrea Metcalfe explains via Oprah.com that stretching after a workout helps release the tension of your muscles and returns them to a relaxed state. She encourages gym-goers to at least stretch the main muscle groups — hip flexors, outer thighs, chest, shoulders, and ankles — as this increases blood flow and circulation to reduce muscle soreness and also helps athletes attain better posture and alignment.

In addition, failing to stretch can cause soreness and impingements that can hinder the effectiveness of your next workout, as well as lead to injuries down the line. Skipping a 10-minute stretching routine is not worth the consequences.

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