Working out is great, but it is even better when it comes with the desired results! When you’ve been working out for a long time and you don’t see the progress you would like to see, check if your workout routine fits any of the descriptions listed below!
- Only doing cardio: Cardio definitely has a part to play when it comes to improving your fitness level. It is great for heart health, helps with fat loss and helps you improve your endurance. However, only doing cardio most likely won’t give you the results that you’re looking for. If you’re striving for a toned and well defined body shape, resistance training should also be included in your plan.
- Training abs to lose belly fat: While having strong abs is important for a number of reasons, doing abs exercises is not an effective way of losing belly fat. I wrote a whole post on losing belly fat and core training a while ago, you can check it out here: Fitness myth: Losing belly fat with core exercises
- Not using weights: Unfortunately, it is still a common misconception that women will get bulky and look manly if they lift weights. However, women do not have enough testosterone to make themselves look bulky and build muscles in the same way men do unless they are on a special plan to try and accomplish just that. But even then, they would still have to help it along with supplements. If you include weight lifting into your training a few times a week, a lot of good things will happen, but you getting bulky is not one of them. You will get stronger, the muscle that you build will help boost your metabolism even at rest, and your body will get that tight, toned and defined shape. Who would not want that?
- Not taking rest days: Training regularly is great, but taking at least one rest day a week is equally important. If you don’t take rest days, your muscles don’t have time to recover and regenerate after your workouts, which will lead to overtraining over time. Overtraining increases the risk of injury and can have numerous other negative effects; it can for example weaken your immune system and therefore make you more susceptible to illness. When you overtrain, your performance will also decrease, and you will not be able to make any progress with your workouts, so take and enjoy those well deserved rest days!
- Neglecting flexibility and mobility: Let’s face it- it’s easy to skip stretching after a workout. You’ve already been at the gym for a while, you’re probably tired, hungry and short on time, and all you want to do is go home. However, improving your flexibility gives you some great benefits that might just convince you to spend those ten more minutes. When your flexibility improves, so does your range of motion. As a result of that, the risk of injury when exercising is reduced because it is less likely that you go past your range of motion by accident and injure yourself. If you move with more ease through a greater range of motion, you can train more effectively and improve your performance. Finally, stretching can also help release stress and tension, and in combination with strengthening, it can help improve posture and prevent or decrease pain that is caused by postural issues or tight muscles; for example back pain.