Blog by: Arjun Jain
Top Cardio Errors
1. No warm-up. Don’t set the treadmill, bike or stair climber to your fastest pace as soon as you step on. Gradually increase your speed.
2. Doing too much cardio. By doing too much cardio your body perceives cardio exercising as a stressor, and chemically reacts the same way it does to “bad” stress. Therefore, too much cardio can have negative effects on your metabolism the same way that eating too few calories can. In addition, too much cardio exercise can result in muscle loss. Too much cardio also puts a lot of wear and tear on your body, which could leave you open to injury and overtraining.
3. Exercising too hard. If you want to lose fat and not muscle you should not set cardio equipment at the fast cardio pace. Target heart rates for fat burning are posted on treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary exercise bikes. The measurements used to get those numbers are designed to avoid litigation as much as they are as to benefit users.
4. Poor posture. Poor posture, like bending forward can result in injuries to your lower back, and can also put pressure on your knee and hip joints. When using cardio equipment, stand tall. On treadmills, keep the incline and speed adjusted so you can walk without having to hold on to the machine. Avoid leaning back while hanging on with your hands. For stair steppers, keep your upper body lifted. Leaning forward and resting the upper body on the machine means the effort is too difficult. Lighten the load or slow down so that you can stand as you normally would walking up a flight of stairs. When using an elliptical trainer go for a full extension of the legs each time. And, on cycles sit upright.
5. Leaning on the Tread Master rails. If you lean on the handrails during your workout, you’re just defeating the purpose. Keep arms moving as you would when walking or running.
6. Doing cardio before weight training. There are reasons you do NOT want to do your cardio before weight training. Once the cardio is done, the quality of your lifting will most likely suffer. Your energy sources may be used up. Since you reap the most benefit from the last two or three reps of weight lifting, it is essential that you have the necessary energy to achieve those reps. That fuel may not be available if you do a hard cardio workout prior to your weight training. Consistently training in a weakened state actually lead to decrease in strength over time because it discourages your muscles from being adequately challenged. Cardio burns fat and carbs. If you do your cardio first, the carbs may not be there to fuel your weight training.
7. No cool-down. If you want to stay injury free, you should allow yourself time to cool down. Cooling down will help your body to recover and this recovery will help you be prepared for the next workout. Cool down is just as important in allowing your heart rate to lower as your warm up is for increasing the heart rate.
Top Stretching Errors
1. Not holding the stretch. By not holding the stretch you will be defeating the purpose of the stretch. Holding the stretch (Static Stretching) for a period of time will create more flexibility, loosen muscles and tight tendons, and reduces muscle tension.
2. Not stretching at all. When you don’t stretch, your body loses flexibility. Good flexibility not only increases athletic performance but also plays an important role in helping you stay injury free.
3. Bouncing. Bouncing while stretching can cause micro trauma in the muscle, which must heal itself with scar tissue. The scar tissue tightens the muscle, making you less flexible, and more prone to pain. This type of repetitive, bouncing stretch is called Ballistic Stretching and it can strain your muscles and tendons because they aren’t quite warmed up yet.
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