Avoid These 5 Common Exercise Mistakes

The last thing you want to do when exercising is make a mistake, which could derail your exercise efforts, lead to injury, or prevent you from seeing fitness growth. When first starting out, it’s important to find a regular exercise routine that works for you. Then, you need to remember to keep safety at the front of your mind to avoid putting undue stress and strain on different parts of your body.

Learning to listen to your body and using good common sense can help you sidestep these common exercise mistakes. Always be sure to focus when you’re putting in a lot of physical effort and follow our tips for which common exercise mistakes to avoid. It will not be worth it.

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5. Exercising through pain

We’ve all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain.” However, this is not good advice at all, as pain happens when your body is trying to tell you to stop what you’re doing. This is one of the most common exercise mistakes, which can most easily lead to injury. When we ignore and fail to listen to pain, we run the risk of having to take time off or even something more serious.

How to avoid this?

It seems really obvious, but you should stop exercising whenever you feel pain and assess what it is caused from. Did you pull or sprain a muscle? Did you just overdo it? Is there any swelling or visible sign of injury? If the pain does not go away or is getting worse, it is time to see a doctor for further evaluation.

4. Doing the same exercise over and over again

Don’t get stuck in an exercise rut of doing the same routine each and every day with no variation. That is sort of like putting ourselves on autopilot and taking a nap while the plane does all the work.

The main issue with always doing the same thing for exercise is the risk of overuse. When the same muscle groups are repeatedly used, this puts a lot of stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons involved causing irritation, inflammation, and even stress fractures. Plus, when you don’t give your body enough time to recover, your muscles can’t work as hard, which can actually hinder your results in the gym. Proper rest days are important as is mixing it up.

How to avoid this?

The answer here is simple – cross-train. By mixing up your exercise routine, you can add variety of movements to each muscle group and prevent overuse.  On some days focus on strength training, other days on aerobics, and don’t forget to practice flexibility. Mixing up your workouts will also ensure you’re working the hardest that you can for those exercise gains.

3. Doing too much too soon

When first starting an exercise plan or new sport, some people are a little too overly enthusiastic. Sure, it’s great to be excited about working out, getting in shape, and working towards the body you’ve always wanted, but be careful to not do too much too soon.

Going too hard or too fast at the beginning of an exercise regimen can lead to you becoming overly sore, injured, and dreading physical activity. Lifting weights is one of the main types of exercise where doing too much too soon can cause serious injury. Running is another sport in which you can easily do too much and end up with shin splints, pain, or other potential serious issues.

How to avoid this?

Take it slow and be realistic on what you can do when starting an exercise program.  Even elite athletes started out slowly at one point. It is much safer to gradually work up to a fitness or health goal as opposed to diving in expecting to run a 5k on your first try. As you become stronger with more endurance, you’ll soon take on more challenging activities than ever before.

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2. Not taking a day off

This is a big one. We understand that you might be excited about seeing the positive results from working out and want to do it every day. However, we all need at least one day of rest each week to refuel, give our muscles time to heal, and enjoy other activities. Again, overuse and potential injuries are the main factors why you need that weekly break.

How to do this?

Choose a certain day or two of the week when you take it easy from exercise. This can be easy to pick based on your school, family, or work obligations. For others, it might be a decision you make in the morning when you’re not feeling it. This doesn’t mean you can’t go for a casual walk in the park, but we recommend avoiding high-intensity workouts on these days. Avoid this common exercise mistake by giving your body that break from stress.

1. Having poor form or technique


When you are new at certain activities, it is expected that you might not know exactly what to do. In this case, it can be easy to do things with the incorrect form, which could lead to pain or injury. The same thing goes for lifting weights in the gym. Weights that are too heavy or exercises that are too complicated can result in you overcompensating with other muscles. As a result, you won’t be targeting the desired muscles and this is not what we want when on a fitness journey. If you don’t use the correct form or perform exercises sloppily, you can set yourself back in terms of your health goals.

How to do this?

Part of doing exercise is learning how to properly execute and control your bodily movements. Sometimes if we are not trained correctly, are going too fast, or not paying attention, we can start to develop sloppy and poor form.

If you are unsure of your form, work with a personal trainer in the beginning to learn the correct way of accomplishing exercise moves. You can also ask for help at the gym or in a workout class if you’re new and someone can spot what you are doing. Asking for help is never a bad thing, especially when it keeps you from making common exercise mistakes and getting injured.