People normally begin to think in terms of training and injury prevention only when they have been repeatedly injured, and have had to endure pain, lengthy rehabilitation, and reduced function and performance. Most weekend warriors do not understand what fitness is all about. True fitness encompasses strength, endurance, and flexibility. True fitness can only be achieved with proper attention to nutrition and proper hydration. Those who embrace fitness, many times exercise in an uneducated fashion.
These are among the common mistakes among those new to weight lifting:
- Failure to use full range on motion (ROM)
- Lifting too much weight with bad form and using other body parts to jerk the weight rather than lift or pull the weight.
- Lifting too much for the sport you are preparing for. Lifting heavy weights and few repetitions for tennis or golf.
- Lifting that creates muscles imbalances. For instance, training the quadraceps, but not the hamstrings, the pecs, but not the traps, rhomboids, and lats.
- Choosing workouts designed to train a body builder rather than focusing on the chosen sport.
- Failing to stretch between repetitions to offset the tightening effects of muscle contractions.
- Missing important muscles groups particularly the muscles most taxed in your sport.
- Exercising the biceps for maximum beach effect while ignoring bird legs. Legs are used in all sports, while the biceps are that important, since the extensor rather than the flexor are the muscles more engaged in most sports.
- Failing to get the negative as well as the positive of a given movement (the push and the pull). Each exercise should be done with three to four sets with approximately 10 to 12 repetitions. More repetitions with lighter weights using hand weights can produce better effects for golf and tennis than heavy weights on universal machine weights.
The common mistakes of those beginning to work toward greater flexibility include the following:
- Not warming the muscles adequately with light aerobic activity to raise the body heat prior to stretching.
- Not holding a stretch for ten to twenty seconds.
- Bouncing rather than sinking into and extending the stretch.
- Failing to stretch the whole body, particularly the shoulders, hips, calves and ankles.
- Failure to inhale deeply and exhale into the stretch to provide maximum lengthening effect.
The common mistakes of those attempting to increase aerobic endurance include the following:
- Failing to elevate the heart rate adequately for at least 20 minutes to a heart beat of 80% of 220 minus your age. For instance, a man of 50 should get his heart rate up to approximately 125 to 136 for at least 20 minutes.
- Over-exercising. Performing your sport for two hours and than dragging your body through a 10 mile run.
- Improper equipment. Running on broken down shoes, for instance.
- Not varying the aerobic exercise. The body becomes extremely efficient and running at a 8 minute a mile pace can become easy. Vary the routine to shock the body and train different muscles.