Skip Nav
Low-Calorie, No-Bake Brownies — They're Vegan, Too!
Nutritionists Recommend the Perfect Dinner Equation For Weight Loss
Arm Exercises
Your Arms and Abs Will Transform After This 2-Week Challenge

Four Common Fitness Mistakes Women Make

The 4 Most Common Fitness Mistakes Women Make

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

When it comes to getting fit, it's not as simple as just showing up. While the right approach can get you in the best shape of your life, the wrong approach can leave you stuck, frustrated and even injured.

We spoke to two trainers to find out what fitness missteps women commonly make, and how you can avoid them.

Mistake #1: Being cardio-obsessed
According to Jessica Smith, a Florida-based wellness coach and star of "10 Min. Solution: Belly, Butt & Thigh Blasters," when it comes to strength training, your fear of turning into the Incredible Hulk is completely unwarranted.

"We're not genetically gifted in that sense," she says."While the exact amount of calorie burn has been debated, the bottom line is that muscle DOES burn more calories at rest than fat, and it DOES give your body a nice shape, lift and definition. Think of muscles as your total body corset!"


Learn the other three mistakes and how to correct them when you read more.

Fix it: Go heavy. "To build muscle, you have to wear it down — and not by doing 100 reps with a 3-pound weight." Incorporate AT LEAST one day of strength training into your routine where you do moves with a weight that's heavy enough that you can only complete 8 to 10 reps per set.

Mistake #2: Only focusing on one or two muscle groups
Stop obsessing about your abs and glutes. "In order to have a strong, well-functioning body, we need to incorporate workouts that address the total body through multiple planes of movement, hitting the muscles in a variety of ways," says Mary Jayne Johnson, Ph.D., spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise.

Fix it: Make the cable pulley machine your new best friend. It's a one-stop shop for strength and works your muscles through their full range of motion. Here's a great starter workout.

Mistake #3: Not fueling your workouts
"In an effort to lose weight, women will often work out without having enough healthy energy in their systems," says Johnson. "As they work out hard, their blood sugar becomes depleted and they may feel faint or ill."

Our muscles need fuel. Without it, your results will suffer and you'll be more likely to binge on bad stuff when you're starving post-workout.

Fix it: Don't just eat a salad — you need a combo of protein and carbs. Think trail mix with a mix of nuts and berries, yogurt with granola or a banana, apples and cheese or a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter. Aim to nosh about an hour before your workout, so the goodness has a chance to work its way into your system.

Mistake #4: All-or-nothing attitude
"Many women start on a rigorous exercise routine with goals and expectations that are unrealistic," says Johnson. "It is not long before they cannot keep up the routine and simply give up all together. Very much like yo-yo dieting — it's yo-yo exercising."

Fix it: Track your progress. Use the latest fitness tech toys to your advantage and you'll be able to track even the smallest of victories, which will keep you motivated.

What are your worst workout habits?

More from SELF!

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
imLissy imLissy 6 years
It depends on the type of yoga. If your muscles are sore the next day, then yes.
yasume yasume 6 years
I don't know how many times these fitness mistakes have been discussed. I love fitness and health and have been doing it for over 20 years. I am not anywhere near bulky (fit and toned). It is amazing how I still get "but I will get bulky" or "I just want to work on my hips or abs" responses from women. Total body conditioning is the way to go. I am dedicated to doing a variety of exercises to work my muscles from all angles including body weight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups).
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
Amen. I would love to never again hear a woman say "but I don't want to bulk up!"
Losing Your Virginity at a Young Age
Cute Sports Bras
How to Build Boys' Self-Esteem
Bad Parenting Habits
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds