5 Common Mistakes Busy Moms Make in the Gym
Want to lose your post-baby belly but you're short on time? Tired of your "mommy body?" If so, give your workout a makeover! Don't get frustrated - it takes a lot of time to get your body back. The key is to be patient and stick to your plan. Also, make sure you don't fall for those cookie cutter diets and exercise myths that are all over the Internet.
Let's take a quick look at the most common fitness mistakes busy moms make in the gym:
Using Cookie-Cutter Workout Plans
Many moms turn to cookie-cutter workout plans to get back in shape. These exercise programs claim to offer guaranteed results. You spend hours in the gym and do everything by the book, but still can't lose weight. The truth is that cookie-cutter training plans rarely work.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss or muscle building. Any workout you do should be customized to your needs and goals. This means you need to constantly adjust the number of reps and sets, try new exercises, and vary training load to keep your body from adapting.
Doing What Everyone Else Does
If you're new to exercise, you might be tempted to do what everyone else does in the gym. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for failure. Walking for hours on the treadmill, lifting five-pound dumbbells, and doing hundreds of sit-ups will get you nowhere. If your goal is to lose fat, go for high-intensity workouts like HIIT and tabata. These training methods increase your metabolism and boost overall endurance while preserving lean mass.
HIIT is the best choice for busy moms due to its short duration. Most sessions last 10 to 15 minutes, and provide better results than steady state cardio. Not to mention that you can work out at home! Use HIIT when you do burpees, squats, mountain climbers, or push-ups. This way, you'll get a mind-blowing workout and torch fat in a fraction of the time.
Relying on Gym Machines
Many women tend to favor gym machines over weights because they're safer and easier to use. However, no exercise machine can replace free weights. Working out with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or your on bodyweight improves functional fitness, builds muscle size and strength, and lowers injury risk. Additionally, it provides better results in less time. For instance, you’d have to use three different machines (leg extension, leg press, and hack squat) to get the same results you would with one move, such as the barbell squat or deadlift.
Expecting Too Much, Too Quickly
Another common mistake is setting unrealistic goals. It took you months to gain that extra weight, so it won't go away overnight. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the process instead of focusing on what you can’t do. Now that you're a mom, it's even more important to eat well and make time for yourself. Strenuous workouts and crash diets are not an option. Set realistic goals and come up with a plan. Losing two or three pounds per week is more than enough.
Warming Up the Wrong Way
Years ago, we were told to use static stretches to warm up before exercise. This practice can actually affect your workouts and increase injury risk. According to researchers, static stretching before exercise may reduce your power, strength, and performance.
The best way to warm up before training is dynamic stretching. This exercise technique activates the muscles you're going to use, improves blood flow, and increases range of motion. It also keeps your joints flexible and enhances overall performance. On top of that, it helps prevent injuries. Your warm-up routine can include high knees, mountain climbers, bodyweight squats, jumping jacks, jump lunges, and other dynamic stretches. So, are you ready to give it a try?
- Cookie-cutter workout plans rarely work. Any exercise program you’re using should fit your individual needs.
- Unrealistic goals are a recipe for failure. Be patient, stock to your workouts, and give your body time to recover.
- Free weights produce better results compared to gym machines. No machine can replace barbell squats, push-ups, deadlifts, single-leg squats, bench press, and other compound exercises.
- With HIIT, busy moms can get lose weight faster in less time.
- Dynamic stretching is safer and more effective for warming up before exercise than static stretching.