5 common mistakes people are making with home workouts and how to avoid them
With summer approaching, the yoga mats and dumbbell sets will be hitting gardens nationwide. Nothing like basking in the sun whilst getting your daily exercise in.
No one wants to trek to the gym in their stuffy cars and experience the inevitable one-sided tan from the open driver’s window. Yet, exercise can’t take the backseat either. Home and garden workouts are a great alternative and let’s be honest, you’ve still got all those resistance bands you bought in a frenzy when covid hit. Before you get them out, however, let’s take a look at where people usually go wrong with home workouts. We don’t want you to make the same mistakes and risk losing the motivation to exercise because of it.
1. No variation or progression with their workout routine
If you’re constantly cranking out the same workout routine every day, there will only be one likely outcome. A performance plateau with a side serving of demotivation. Not only will you become bored of the lack of diversity within your workout regimen but without progression, there’s nothing to aim for. There are a few small tweaks you can make that will add more variety to your workouts and ultimately bring you more enjoyment.
If you enjoy the exercises in your current workout routine and can feel a good connection with the muscles being worked, then there’s no need to swap them out for anything new. Simply try to build on what you’re currently doing. Add more repetitions to each exercise or add some more weight to your dumbbells, barbell or even use a heavier resistance band. Our Olympic barbell and Olympic plate set provide a perfect solution to progressively increase the load on your muscles, which you can do at your own pace. However, increasing the weight or rep range is not the only way to make the workouts more taxing on your body. Try performing your reps slower or adding in pauses.
For example, if you’re squatting with a dumbbell; count to 6 on the way down from the starting position. You can add in a pause too once you’re in the squatting position at the bottom of the movement. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then explode back up to the top.
On the other hand, if you are finding your current set of exercises laborious, then it’s time to switch them out for some new ones. We have quite an extensive selection of different exercises for you to try out and these can be found on our social media platforms. Every week we release a new workout featuring fresh ideas along with tried and tested exercises to help our followers get in shape.
2. Neglecting form and technique
If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you’re interested in building your body in some variety. Whether that’s trimming down to show off more of what you’ve been building underneath or trying to add more muscle mass to your frame. The process is not an easy one and there’s a lot more to it than just picking up a weight and swinging it up and down for an hour. Something that is massively overlooked by many fitness conscious folk, is FORM. If your form is not on point, then you’re missing out big time on what you can gain from each session.
Form (technique) relates to the movement, speed and positioning of your body when performing an exercise. If you don’t coordinate all of these things correctly then you risk the following: Biggest factor here is injury. Keeping your core tight, shoulders retracted and your back straight are different examples of positioning you need to enforce when applying any sort of load to certain exercises.
Secondly, not targeting the correct muscle groups. If you’re performing a chest focused exercise but your shoulders are doing 90% of the work, then your chest growth is obviously going to be hindered. Retracting your shoulder blades, sticking your chest out and tensing your glutes are common tweaks you can apply to chest exercises to make sure you’re diverting most of the work to your chest.
Thirdly, speed. Slowing down is sometimes the best way to speed up… Getting the best possible muscle contraction and mind to muscle connection is achieved by slowing things down a bit. You don’t need to perform your exercises at a snail’s pace but try slowing your reps down slightly and focus on really feeling the muscle working. Squeeze your chest together, feel the pinch on your bicep and hold the deep stretch on your hamstrings.
3. Not focusing on diet and nutrition
Exercise is one step forward but a poor diet is 2 steps back. A well-balanced diet is far more important for muscle growth and athleticism than a lot of people realise. Your body needs the right food to fuel your workouts, just like your muscles need the right food for their recovery. If you’re working your muscles in some way, such as weight training or cycling with additional resistance, then you need to ensure your diet is rich in protein. Your muscle fibres can’t repair themselves without this vital building block. Hydration should not be overlooked either. You can’t expect your body to function at optimal capacity without sufficient water.
The average adult needs a minimum of 2 litres of fluid per day and if you don’t drink enough, you can end up eating more to accommodate for thirst rather than hunger. Furthermore, water helps form the structures of glycogen in your body. If you are dehydrated, then your muscles will be deprived of electrolytes and cramps will ensue.
4. Avoiding Cardio altogether
It’s not uncommon for people to be one or the other when it comes to cardio and weight training. It’s difficult to recruit 30 mins of your day for cardio, right after a solid hour of lifting weights. So, most people tend to skip it and put all of their energy into the weightlifting sessions. This approach means you end up neglecting your cardiovascular and heart health.
Lifting weights will elevate your heart rate and provide some benefit, but you need to keep it in an elevated state for 20-30 mins to really work your heart. Our Ventus 2 air rower is a prime candidate to work your back muscles whilst also elevating your heart rate. If weight training is your bread and butter then you most likely find cardio somewhat tedious in comparison. Try incorporating it into your workouts to make it more manageable and more enjoyable. HIIT workouts with additional weight are a great way to achieve this. You’ll find yourself focusing most of your energy on lifting the weights and not even realising that you’re engaging in cardiovascular exercise. Our 20kg Vinyl dumbbell set with adjustable weight might be a perfect tool to help you achieve this.
5. Getting insufficient sleep
Sleep should be a top priority when it comes to the pursuit of muscle building. In order for your muscles to repair themselves effectively, you need an adequate amount of sleep. In addition, adequate sleep is important for reducing the risk of disease and your overall health and wellness. Sleep deprivation is also known to affect hormone levels in your body which can lead to an increase in appetite. This puts you at risk of unwanted weight gain which can undo the hard work you’re putting into exercise. Furthermore, lack of sleep will affect the amount of energy you are able to commit to your workouts. There’s even a chance you might sack it off completely on the days where you feel really fatigued!
So, there you have it. Other people made those mistakes so you don’t have to. Consider the above and apply it to your own workout regimen. Don’t just go through the motions next time you work out. Build a sustainable foundation of good habits that will allow you to workout at home for the foreseeable future.
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