Fitness Tips

3 Things Guaranteed to Lead to Workout Injuries

Are you dealing with any injuries while going to the gym or meeting with a personal trainer in Chicago? You may want to make the following changes during your next fitness session.



No one likes to be sidelined by injury. Not just because of the pain and discomfort but also because you may not be able to work. It is a double whammy that can sometimes be very harmful to your health. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced lifter or new to lifting, we are all subjected to possible injuries. So how can we avoid injury during a workout? Make sure to pay attention to these five things that can lead to injury during a workout, train smart and listen to your body.


This by far is the number one reason why people get injured. Trying to perform an exercise that you are not proficient in or using too much weight is commonly seen in the weight room. Many of us may think we are strong enough, fit enough and smart enough to know we have the right technique but oftentimes I see people trying to move ahead to fast. The “I want it now” and “I am ready to push it too the limits” attitude has it’s pitfalls.

If you are performing an advanced exercise, say the deadlift or power clean, make sure you are using proper form and move up in weight slowly. You also may need to use a regressed movement pattern in order to master that exercise before you even do it. Also watch the volume of your workout. Quality will always trump quantity.


A warm-up serves two crucial purposes; it enhances performance and prevents injury. An active warm-up that includes dynamic stretching and muscle activation exercises increases body heat and blood flow. An increase in blood flow means that your muscles will be receiving more oxygen, and increased body temperature helps your muscles contract and relax more rapidly, making them more pliable and increases range of motion. Your range of motion directly relates to you performing a movement more efficiently and safely. Make sure to warm-up before every workout to reduce the risk of injury.


During a workout your body goes through tremendous stress. Without proper recovery methods such as proper nutrition, sleep and rest days, you run the risk of overtraining – which can lead to injury. If you are working out and are feeling sluggish, tired, weak and maybe even a little under the weather, this is a recipe for a pulled muscle and terrible workout. If you are feeling pain during a workout that is more injury related and not workout related (example: your muscles burring or lung gasping for air), you may need to call it quits and go home to avoid injury.

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Article Credit:
Author: Justin Grinnell from Muscle and Fitness
3 Things Guaranteed to Lead to Workout Injuries (Adapted from the article 5 Things Guaranteed to Lead to Workout Injuries)
Avoid these workout mistakes while meeting with a personal trainer in Chicago.

8 Exercise Mistakes Fit Women Make


There’s nothing like that feeling of going all out, which is why high-intensity interval training (HIIT) tops many fit women’s must-do workouts. But too much HIIT training can backfire. "Repetitive high-intensity training can stress both your heart and your muscles," notes Jari Love, a personal trainer based in Calgary, Canada.

Instead of doing back-to-back or several HIIT workouts a week, try subbing in one or two days of lighter cardio, like a 30-minute jog or swim. "Doing a less intense workout after a hard day can help with the next HIIT workout, but more important, prevents muscle soreness and injury," Love says. And don’t forget that your workouts should always include some kind of warmup for at least 5–10 minutes before you amp up the intensity.


You’re conditioned to hit the gym day in and day out, but we all require time off. "All of the magic happens when you’re resting," says Andrea Barkley, a personal trainer based in Phoenix, AZ. "Working out is catabolic: You’re constantly breaking down your muscles. Rest is anabolic: It’s the time when you repair and rebuild."

The golden rule for most exercisers: Take at least one rest day—and as many as four—a week, depending on how intense your workouts are. "You can still get out and move. Go for a hike, do yoga, try meditation, dance, anything that feels restorative,” Barkley adds. “I call those the ‘working-in’ days!"


If you’re not using a foam roller as part of your workout prep or recovery, it’s time to start. "Rolling out is vital to helping your muscle and fascia [the tissue that covers tendons and muscles] stay healthy," explains Geralyn Coopersmith, an exercise physiologist and director of Nike SPARQ Performance Training. Fascia has a viscous quality that can easily get stuck on itself, causing knots and adhesions, Coopersmith says. Result: tightness and discomfort that can compromise your performance and lead to injury.

"Think about it like brushing your teeth, something you do every day to stay healthy," she adds. "Even five minutes of rolling each day can dramatically improve the way your muscles feel and function." Start by placing the roller under your calves and work your way up to your shoulders, slowly rolling back and forth under your entire body; when you get to a tight spot, keep rolling for about 10–15 seconds until it starts to loosen up.


If you grocery shop on autopilot and can’t remember the last time your lunch or dinner didn’t include some grilled chicken, it may be time to revisit your menu planning. "Your body needs a variety of food to stay healthy," says Laura Mak Quist, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles. "When you constantly eat the same thing, you not only get bored, but you’re also depriving yourself of important nutrients."

Try adding one or two new things to your menu every week, whether it’s a new vegetable, like eggplant or okra from the produce aisle.. "Take advantage of what’s in season so you’re getting something fresh and delicious," she adds.


Let’s face it: Relying solely on energy bars or shakes for ­recovery or a pre-workout boost often pushes far more nutritious choices out of the way. "When you work out hard you need the best nutrition possible," Barkley says. "Most packaged products lack the important micronutrients found in ‘real’ food."

Instead of always reaching for a bar or powder, try an apple dipped in coconut butter, a broiled chicken drumstick with the skin on (it’s good for you!), or a small grass-fed burger patty with mashed avocado on top as an afternoon snack. "These foods stimulate cellular growth and repair and are well metabolized in the body," Barkley adds.


If it’s a choice between slamming the snooze button or grabbing your sneakers and car keys, many fit chicks will usually choose the latter. But solid shut-eye also plays an important role in helping you get lean and strong. "Sleep is when your body is able to continue that important repairing process," notes exercise physiologist Brad Schoenfeld.

"If you regularly deprive your body of rest, it impairs your ability to synthesize new muscle tissue or recuperate." Try shutting out the lights a little earlier and make sure your bedroom is dark, comfortable, and conducive to catching lots of z’s. "It’s not just the quantity of sleep that matters," ­Schoenfeld adds. "It’s also the quality."


Your workout repertoire likely includes a solid mix of squats, presses, lunges, and curls, but it’s important to make sure you’re moving your body in all directions. "Many women, especially those who are very fit, tend to work in the same plane of motion over and over again," Barkley notes. "But in the real world, we’re ­doing things like twisting from side to side or diagonally in multiple planes."

Add some multiple-direction moves to your routine, like woodchops or scorpion raises (belly down, arms out to sides, opposite toe toward palms of hands) to increase core strength and give an added cardiovascular challenge.


Boosting your weight load or sweating through a new interval plan may help your routine keep its forward progress, but for real advancement, you need to occasionally downshift. "A good workout routine not only involves training at different intensities but also knowing when to deload or scale things back," Schoenfeld says.

Periodized programs (building in set blocks of intensity) can help you stay on track. Try organizing your workouts with three weeks of hard work and one week of recovery in both volume and intensity. "This will help to prevent overtraining and keep you on track for making positive changes," he adds. "At the end of the day, it’s the total workout package that really matters."

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Author: Ami from Muscle and Fitness Hers
8 Exercise Mistakes Fit Women Make (Adapted from 9 Exercise Mistakes Fit Women Make)
Exercise mistakes to keep in mind while you meet with a Chicago personal trainer.

The 15 Most Common Mistakes Personal Trainers See in the Gym

We turned to certified personal trainers and gym owners to find out about the most common mistakes they see every day. These fitness professionals highlighted several key issues—and it’s worth mentioning that hiring a personal trainer could help rectify many of them. Before your next trip to the gym, check out these 15 common mistakes to avoid injury and embarrassment.


“New exercisers tend to be overanxious and expect to start seeing results in an unreasonably short time,” said Robin Visanuvimol, owner and head coach of Beyond Boxing in Vancouver. This poses a few problems: they get burned out mentally, physically and give up on the regimen too soon. “What I normally tell people is that changes often take time. Small exercise and diet changes done over a relatively longer period of time (six to eight weeks) are much more important than extreme changes done all at once.”


“As crazy as it sounds, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is overtraining and not giving their bodies enough time to recover,” said Jessica Lopez, a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant at The Boxing Club in San Diego. “Once you've gained momentum and start seeing results, it's easy to fall into the trap of ‘more is always better.’ Unfortunately, that's not the case when it comes to your body and you could be inhibiting your body from making changes…If you notice signs of water retention, lack of sleep or injuries it may be due to [overtraining]. When you’re working out, you’re tearing your body down, so you need to give it enough time to heal. Listen to your body and take rest days as needed.”


“Let me say that cardio is an extremely important component of our exercise routines. It burns calories, boosts our mood and strengthens our most important muscle: the heart. But too many people spend the majority of their workout time performing relatively low-level cardiovascular exercise,” said Tom Holland, a world-renowned exercise physiologist and author of several books on fitness. “This results in just a few hundred calories burned at the end of their workout. Instead, I recommend doing a mix of cardio and weights. Strength training builds valuable lean muscle which leads to a higher resting metabolic rate, meaning more calories burned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”


“When members walk through our doors the first thing I ask (after saying hello) is what's your plan. Typically their response is ‘I don't know, I'll figure it out as I go’,” said Ainslie MacEachran, a certified personal trainer and professional cycling coach based in Fort Collins, Colo. “Most people don't have a plan, [but] every workout should have a plan. Your workouts will be more effective and time efficient if you have a purpose when you come in.”


“At most, I might see a personal training client four or five hours in a week—and how many hours are there in the week? 168. I've got you here for only a fraction of the available hours. If you don't do your part in the kitchen it’s going to be slow going at best,” MacEachran said. “You can't outrun the nutrition piece. So, pull it together in the kitchen/lifestyle department and you'll get better and more rapid results.”


Blindly following what other people are doing is a mistake that several trainers pointed out. “You have no idea if the person you are watching is doing the exercise correctly,” said Eric M. Emig, a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in exercise scienc. “Furthermore, there may be a reason they are doing a particular exercise. It might not be a good one for you.”


“Numerous guys are guilty of this one—they always sacrifice form and the effectiveness of the exercise to lift more weight,” Emig said. “I'm much more impressed by someone who lifts with perfect technique. Lifting too much weight [with poor technique] will eventually lead to injuries.”


“I can't express enough how important it is to warm up before a workout,” said Lee Pickering, a certified personal trainer with DW Fitness Clubs. “This prepares your muscles for the impending workout and prevents injury. It relaxes your joints and increases your heart rate to ensure your body is ready to challenge itself."


“Many people simply lift too fast, not allowing for both the concentric and eccentric contractions [and instead] relying on momentum,” said Tracee Gluhaich, an integrative health coach, personal trainer and blogger. “When you do a bicep curl, for instance, the concentric phase is when you bend the elbow, but the eccentric phase is when you lower the weight. This should be done slowly for increased muscular strength. The momentum piece is [when] people go so fast, the weights are swinging, their body is rocking and they are using the momentum created to lift heavier. If they slow down, they will work the muscles more effectively.”


Many gym-goers are guilty of skipping out on their full range of motion, doing just partial reps instead and missing out on strength benefits. Gluhaich says the bicep curl is one example where people might not be getting the most out of the exercise. “they don’t lower the weight to the bottom, [but instead] maintain a bend in the elbow. This makes it easier to curl because they are already partially to the contraction.”


“When you step on that gym floor, have a purpose, a plan and energy to execute the workout—it’s as important as just showing up,” said Ramona Braganza, a celebrity fitness trainer with clients like Halle Berry and Jessica Alba. “Goal setting, training appropriately, documenting your progress with a program, and fueling and hydrating properly before and during a workout will get you results.”


“If you find you can talk easily, don’t break a sweat or can stay on that treadmill, eliptical [or other machine] for over an hour watching tv or reading a magazine, then you are not training hard enough,” Braganza said. “[It’s] better to workout shorter but with more intensity.”


“Too many people focus solely on calories burned or that immediate payoff of feeling like they ‘got their butt kicked’. Chasing soreness or being tired for the sake or getting sore or tired is a mistake,” said Ryan Munsey, the owner of House Of Strength Gym and host of Optimal Performance podcast. “The focus should be on getting better, being able to do more (more weight, more reps, more work in the same or less time) from week-to-week and month-to-month. This is how you ensure long-term progress and avoid plateaus.”


“The biggest mistake I see is that people have no variety in their training—they repeat the same program day-to-day or week-to-week,” said Tom Postema, a certified strength and conditioning specialist) at Postema Performance. “Then their progress stalls and they wonder why they can't make the same gains as when they first started their program. If you don't have enough variety, improvements will stall.”


“Forward head, rounded shoulders, arched low back—[These are] very common postural deviations that can lead to injury and/or ineffective exercise,” said Cindy Hauss, a certified personal trainer. “If you cannot maintain good posture when doing an exercise you need to hire a trainer to help you with form, lighten the load or decrease your reps.”

Picture Credit: Andres Rodriguez - Fotolia

Article Credit:
Author: Diana Gerstacker from The Active Times
The 15 Most Common Mistakes Personal Trainers See in the Gym
Fitness mistakes you'll want to avoid while training in the gym.

Over 200 Tips on Weight Loss, Fitness, Stress Management, and More (My Ultimate Resource Guide of Links)!

Up to this point, you've been stuffed with endless health and fitness information from the internet, tv, and magazines. It's time to decipher between fact and fiction! Here is my master list of tips on how to lose weight, achieve peak fitness, cook healthy, minimize stress, and more. Considering the number of articles, I did my best to categorize them in an approachable way. Please share this list with anyone who wants to change their life and finally see a difference in their health and lifestyle. Also, be sure to save this link in a folder for future reference.

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Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Over 200 tips on weight loss, fitness, stress management, and more (my ultimate resource guide of links)!
Weight loss and fitness tips from Michael Moody, author and personal trainer in Chicago.