It may be the way we are built; it may be the different things that cause us to lose focus, or perhaps the way that we’ve been trained early in life, but we women sometimes tend to fall into these 4 exercise traps. So keep a look out for these issues when you’re going through your workout:

The mistake: You favor weight machines

The issue: “Functional fitness” exercises that mimic the moves we do every day strengthen the muscles used most often and help us avoid injury. Weight machines, on the other hand, usually focus on one muscle group at a time.

When’s the last time you laid down on your back and pushed a heavy object up with the soles of your feet, like you would on a leg-press machine?

Weight machines are not the most efficient way to build muscle—for example, you’d use three different machines (leg press, back extension, overhead press) to work the same areas you would with one total-body dumbbell move (squat and overhead press), and you could still get injured. What’s more, these machines are usually designed to fit men’s bodies, which tend to have a longer limbs and an extended reach.

The fix: For maximum efficiency, try total-body exercises that involve squatting, bending, lunging and reaching. Wright suggests cardio-strength moves like walking lunges with a weight ball, squat jumps and wood-choppers. Or alternate your machine workouts with boot camp classes that focus on strength-building moves.

The mistake: When doing squat jumps or box jumps (hopping up and down with both feet on platforms of various heights), you try not to land too heavily or too hard.

The issue: When you’re jumping down from any height, you increase the force and pressure on your joints, so the way you land becomes crucial in preventing injury. For some reason men, instinctively seem to get it: They land with their butt sticking out and their knees both facing forward and deeply bent, which absorbs impact. Women, tend to land with their legs straighter and their knees closer together, which can be hard on the joints (it could even cause a ruptured ACL).

The fix: Wright recommends starting with standing broad jumps (where you swing your arms and jump forward with both feet) until you perfect your form and are able to land without wobbling. Increase the height very gradually, and consider stepping down to the ground instead of jumping.

The mistake: You use your time in between sets to call your sister, scroll through Facebook updates or check for online sales of yoga pants.

The issue: While at the gym take a look around. You’ll notice women hanging out between sets talking, checking email, etc., which can really undermine their workouts. Socializing on the phone gives your muscles too much time to recover—you need them slightly fatigued in order to build strength. 

The fix: Instead of taking a break, taking a brief “pause” that lasts for just 15 to 30 seconds. If By resting longer than that you lose the benefit you gained from the previous set. So put down those cell phones and focus on you.

The mistake: You don’t want to admit when you’re pooped or in pain.

The issue: When you’re tired or unfocused, you compromise your form, and that’s when injuries ca occur. Over time, pushing yourself too hard—or letting someone else push you—can lead to serious overuse injuries.

The fix: Tell your trainer as soon as you feel dizziness or pain (even soreness can be a problem if it’s affecting your form) or if you’re seriously dragging. You trainer won’t hold it against you—in fact, it’s in her best interest to keep you healthy, safe and active.

Any soreness after a workout is normal. The day after it may be even worse so if you need assistance with any lower back pain, or pain in your shoulders, then make sure that you look up a good massage therapist. We happen to know a great one! 

Call at Jodie Brown at Therapeutic Massage and book an appointment with her. Tell her Goddess Fit sent you!

Now go out there and tackle that next workout like a PRO!!!

Until next time!