of you’re not trimming down, toning up, or feeling any fitter, it’s likely due to one of the following exercise errors:
Mistake #1: You Rely on Cardio to Peel Off Pounds. Research shows that weight loss is minimal if it isn’t accompanied by dieting. We may compensate for the extra energy we’re burning during physical activity by doing less the rest of the day, or more commonly, we feel famished after working out, so we eat more.
* The Solution: Keep your diet in check. To drop a pound, which is 3,500 calories, in one week, aim to eat 300 fewer calories every day (300 x 7 = 2,100) while burning 300 calories from exercise five times a week (300 x 5 = 1,500). Drinking lots of water helps too.
Mistake #2: You Race Through Your Reps. Whether your weights are too light or they’re too heavy, your muscles aren’t being sufficiently challenged, which is why they’re not getting more toned.
* The Solution: If you don’t believe you’ve done just about all you can do by the end of a set, pick a heavier weight. Reach for a lighter dumbbell when you aren’t moving the weight with steady control as you lift and lower..
Mistake #3: You Overcrunch Your Abs. If you’re doing more than three sets of 15, you’re wasting your time.Crunches work the rectus abdominus, which is only one of four muscles in the abdominal wall. But it’s the other three deeper muscles [internal obliques, external obliques, transverse abdominis] that give you a leaner look by helping you with your posture.”
* The Solution: Try these Pilates-based moves
- plank (balance on floor on forearms and toes and hold for 30 seconds),
- double-leg stretch (lie on your back, knees bent 90 degrees with feet in air and shins parallel to the floor, shoulders off the floor with arms loosely hugging knees; extend your legs and arms out in a wide V, then return to start),
- side plank (lie on the floor on your right side, propped up on right elbow, feet stacked; lift your hips up, using your left hand on floor in front of you for support. Hold for 5 counts, then lower. Do 10 reps; switch sides and repeat).
Do 10 reps of each move, three or four times a week.
Mistake #4: You Aim to Stay in the Fat-Burning Zone. Because fat takes longer than carbs to be converted to energy, you burn a higher percentage of it when you’re sitting or walking than when you’re running. So the old thinking was that with low-intensity exercise you could torch body fat and lose weight. But the theory didn’t work in practice.
* The Solution: There’s nothing wrong with low-intensity exercise, particularly if you have joint problems. But to lose weight, you’ll probably need to do it for longer than half an hour. Just for general health, the recommendation is 30 minutes five days a week.
Mistake #5: You Skip the Warm Up. Your body literally needs to warm up so that blood flow increases, the nervous system wakes up, and the body starts to use energy and oxygen more efficiently. The upshot: Every step feels like less of a slog, and calorie burn kicks into high gear.
* The Solution: The best warm-up is to do your chosen exercise at a low intensity. Runners, for example, should walk, then jog. Alternately, you can try “dynamic” stretches, which are moves that take your body through the range of motions you’re about to do. For a runner, that can mean high knees, butt kicks, and forward, reverse, and side lunges. Avoid static stretching, where you’re holding poses for several counts. That actually calms the system down and can impair performance.
read article on Yahoo! Shine by Caroline Hwang on FITNESS Magazine: 5 Workout Mistakes to Avoid for Better Results