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7 Tips to Keep in Mind While Exercising

Everyone knows exercising the correct way is very important for getting the desired results. But do you also know that improper techniques not only don’t get you the body you want but can damage your health pretty severely? Read on to learn about some simple techniques you can follow to ensure your workouts are done right….

Although each exercise is different, there are certain general guidelines that are applicable to any workout. All you have to do is master these tips and you don’t ever have to worry about doing things wrong.

Exercising Tips1. Limb Extension

Whether it’s arms or legs, you should never extend your limbs fully when you are doing strength training. If you do, your joints might get locked and the pressure of the weights will be placed on the joints instead of the muscle you are focusing on. You might also hurt yourself when unlocking the joints with the weights. This is applicable to all the exercises involving free weights, exercise equipments and even push-ups.

 (Image by: lu_lu)

2. Breathing Rule

First of all, you should never hold your breath while working out. It’s very important to keep breathing and it’s also important to know when to breathe in and when to breathe out.

Any kind of exertion requires you to breathe out, be it, lifting your body during pushups, curling your arms using dumbbells or bending at the knees during squats. Breathing out while doing the hard part of the workout helps you push yourself and do the exercise more easily. Breathe in when returning to starting position. This helps you relax and prepare for another repetition.

 

3. Speed

When it comes to working out, it’s not just the count that matters. Speed matters as well. There is no point rushing through 15 repetitions – you won’t work your muscles at all. You have to do each repetition slowly, in a controlled manner – count to 5 each way for every move. You have to really feel the muscle work. Just imagine your muscle getting the workout and growing stronger to keep up the motivation.

 

4. Knee Extension

When you do squats or lunges, make sure you don’t extend your knee beyond your foot. Your knee should be at the same level as your ankle. Otherwise you will put unnecessary pressure on the knee straining it and also taking the effect of your hard work away from your thigh muscles.

 

5. Posture

Always maintain a straight back. Your body should be relaxed and be flexible but you should never slouch your back. Curved spine can lead to several back problems, some of which may be permanent damage. This applies to squats, lunges, push-ups, bicep/tricep/shoulder exercises and so on.

 

6. Pressure on the Neck

Neck is a very delicate region and you should never pull or exert any kind of pressure on your neck. When doing crunches, lift your body from your shoulders instead of pulling at your neck. A simple way to achieve this is by ensuring your head, neck and spine are in the same line and your chin doesn’t touch your chest – this way there is no strain on your neck. A lot of people start crunches by lifting off of their shoulders but eventually start putting pressure on their neck. This will lead to neck problems and may even cause spondylitis.

 

7. Know When to Stop

In our eagerness to lose weight or build muscles, we forget the most important part of any workout – listening to our body. If you feel extremely tired or experience any kind of pain or difficulty continuing with your exercises, you must stop immediately. This is a signal that either you are doing something wrong or your body is very tired and any more exertion is only going to cause damage. Make sure your body gets ample rest before you workout again. A good way to ensure you don’t overwork any muscle group is by avoiding the same group of muscles on consecutive days. For instance, if you work your core today, work your lower body tomorrow and upper body the day after. You can continue repeating this cycle by increasing the repetitions and intensity of exercises over time.

Please note that the workouts I mentioned in the above rules are just examples to give you an idea and not an exhaustive list. You should extend these techniques wherever you think they are applicable.

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