Using various equipment at the gym is a good way for building and toning up muscles, however, there are commonly made mistakes that make you prone to injuries if some basic techniques are not followed. So, if you are a first-timer at the gym follow these simple techniques to avoid unnecessary aches and pains.

Workout Mistakes and Solutions

So, if you are a first-time beginner at the gym or an experienced fitness expert, following gym mistakes should be kept in mind for ensuring the best workout possible and avoid any unnecessary aches and pains.

1. Wasting Time On the Treadmill

Many people go to the gym and get on the treadmill at a slow pace while watching a TV or reading a magazine. The calories burnt doing this slow style workout is minimum. During this time, no real effort is exerted and a lot of time is wasted.

Solution: Train on the treadmill with a plan and at a gradual pace. Alter your speed and gradient after the initial warm-up and keep your body challenged. Break the routine of starting on the treadmill every time and try a new cardio equipment, or try out a dynamic warm up followed by resistance-based routine. If watching TV or reading a newspaper or magazine still interests you, do it as you cool down before leaving the gym.

2. Skipping Your Warm-Up

People skip warm-up exercises or don't spend enough time on some stretching exercises and move quickly into their exercise sessions. This puts them at the risk of ligament and muscular injury.

Solution: Warm up exercises   make your body fit and ready to perform at its best during workouts. Also, stretching of muscles increases flexibility  and helps prevent injuries. To have enough time for warm up, get to the gym earlier than usual and spend 10 minutes warming up before doing your usual routine of exercises. Do a little bit of cardio exercises like a short, brisk jog on a treadmill or by doing reps of knee lifts and squats. After that do some stretching of different muscle groups of the arms and legs. If you are in a hurry, try out a lighter version of your workout exercises as your warm up. For example, if you are doing weighted squats in your workout plan, do body weight squats as your warm up move. Warming up will leave you less sore after a workout..

Warm Up Before a Workout

3. Doing Too Much of Cardio and Skipping Weights

It is often said that doing cardio is more important than trying out weights, especially for weight loss. This is simply not true. Doing a lot of cardio can cause muscle injuries as seen among the marathon runners. Also, constant pounding puts a lot of stress and strain on runner’s ligaments, bones and joints. Cardio exercises increase your heart rate and include walking, running, biking, jogging, skipping or swimming.

Long duration of cardio is not good for a normal person unless you are a professional athlete. Also, setting too high resistance on equipment like elliptical machine can make one over-do it, thus resulting in incorrect body position and potential injury.

Solution:Try breaking down cardio exercises in small segments. Instead of lengthy cardio sessions, try out interval training. Do two short sessions of interval training, instead of doing five or six sessions of long-duration cardio per week. The idea of doing interval training is that hard work-out is combined with recovery time. As an example, you can alternate between walking and running. If you are a beginner, try a 30-second hard work-out interval with one-minute recovery or a one-minute hard work-out interval with 30-second recovery. As interval training is more difficult than continuous cardio, one should do it only for 20 minutes. Do not worry about decreasing your pace. It is quite possible that you will burn more calories and fat during a 20-minute interval training session than doing a much longer cardio session.

Ask for help from your fitness trainer, who can advise you on machine settings that are appropriate for you, based on your physical fitness level and experience. Do try and mix up your work-out on different types of cardio machines.

Training on the Treadmill

4. Incorrect Footwear

Choice of footwear is important for any workout. Keeping your joints from wearing out or getting injured depends on the investment you make on your footwear.

Solution: Buy shoes that are not too flexible. If you can twist your sports shoes easily it means they are not right for you. Well fitted and cushioned shoes can prevent painful blisters, keep your joints from injury and prevent backache. Get your feet measured before making a purchase, try on the shoes with socks and walk for a few minutes before deciding on the final purchase. Remember if you wish to walk or run the soles are different from those that are used for sports like tennis or golf.  Also, bear in mind that feet tend to swell slightly when hot, so look for shoes with a roomy fit, rather than tight fit.

Use Flexible Footwear

Use Flexible Footwear

Exercise reduces stress and keeps the body physically active. Going to the gym is a great way of exercising, as you can have your own trainer, who can help you with a work-out plan based on what is right for your body structure. A little extra cost for a trainer is worth the penny spent. If the gym is offering you a package membership opt for one that has a personal trainer included or bargain for one by making some extra payment.

The trainer will suggest you a combination of cardio and resistance exercise depending on the muscles or the area of the body that may require toning. Besides the exercises he will also help you with warming up exercises, the right diet, the fluids you should drink and how much time you will need to spend to achieve your goal to either lose weight or tone a set of muscles.


  1. Overuse injury: How to prevent training injuries - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/overuse-injury/art-20045875)

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