When it comes to working out, it's easy to think that what matters most is the number of calories you're burning. You're exercising and burning those calories — isn't that enough? Well, sort of.
The fact that you're at the gym — or going for a run or doing a workout video — is a good start, but there's more to getting in shape than putting on your shoes and sweating. Adam Rosante, a CosmoBody trainer and creator of surf-inspired (and equipment-free) workout WaveShape, shares with us a few common workout mistakes people make and the easy ways to remedy them.
Don't: Bumble through your workouts.
Instead: Have a fully fleshed out program lasting at least 4 weeks. Just going to the gym and messing around on the machines without a well thought-out plan is likely to result in a lot of mediocre workouts. To make matters worse, a poorly or completely unplanned program can lead to muscle imbalances, injuries and a lop-sided looking body.
Don't: Stretch before your workouts.
Instead: Warm-up dynamically. Taking your body through all its movement patterns will help prepare you for a tough workout. You'll create elasticity in your muscles, lubricate your joints, activate your central nervous system and mobilize your body, all important parts of preventing injury while also enhancing calorie-burn. I've got a great dynamic warm-up on CosmoBody. Some people even turn to it as a workout when they're strapped on time. You've gotta give it a try.
Don't: Turn every workout into a cardio session.
Instead: Alternate between cardio sessions and strength training. I say it every day: Strength is the baseline for all physical performance. The stronger you are, the better your performance will be, not just in your workouts, but all areas of life. So, spend some time each week (3 days is great) lifting challenging weights. If you're a woman, I promise it's not going to make you bulky.
Don't: Think every cardio session has to last an hour.
Instead: Try high-intensity interval training. You'll send your heart-rate through the roof and burn a ton of fat without having to endlessly pound along on a treadmill. My Score a Bangin' Beach Bodyworkout on CosmoBody is under 15-minutes and will leave you dripping in sweat.
Don't: Skip stretching.
Instead: Stretch after every workout, holding each stretch for 3-5 deep belly breaths. I also like to practice Yoga at least once a week. In addition to being a kickass workout on its own, it's one of the best ways to enhance your mobility. My friend Tara Stiles has a ton of great yoga videos on CosmoBody.
Don't: Let your phone interrupt your workouts.
Instead: Put it away (or on airplane mode if you're using it for music) and workout. This is your time to focus, destress and get strong. Instagram can wait.
Don't: Assume the workout's over once you've left the gym or finished your video.
Instead: Take a 360 approach to fitness. That means eating a clean diet, building appropriate rest and recovery into your program, making sure you're getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night and drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. And if you really feel like going for the gold, start meditating every morning. It's a game-changer.
For great workout videos and fitness advice from Adam and CosmoBody's other trainers, head over to CosmoBody.