Here at Legacy Physical Therapy, we often see lots of fitness “mistakes” that women make and not reach their goals. We wanted to share our top 5 tips so you can avoid making the same mistakes we see other women make in the past and make the most out of any health fitness training program.
Training Mistake #1: Not doing a long enough warm up.
A lot of women tend to skip warming up and they ignore it because they have a limited amount of time to work out and they don’t think it’s important. This puts them at a higher risk for injury and can affect the quality of their workout if they don’t warm up enough.
Warming up benefits:
- Increased blood flow to the muscles, gets them ready to fire
- Increases your core temperature so your body can get the best out of your workout
- Helps establish a connection to their body before getting into a workout
Training Mistake #2: Not lifting heavy enough
We find many women are afraid to lift heavy because they don’t want to “bulk up” and build big muscles. What is heavy enough is 100% dependent on where you are in your health and fitness journey.
We recommend progressively loading the body and increasing weights to build strength if you want to progress your fitness. There is a caveat, during pregnancy and immediately postpartum it may not be the best time to progressively overload the body. It’s really important that you are smart about your training when you’re pregnant and you might actually have to modify or scale back the weights that you were using during those times because it’s appropriate for where you are.We want you to be safe and smart about your weightlifting but ladies do not fear those weights. There’s a lot of benefits of those weights.
Training Mistake #3: Not adequate rest during workout
Your program should not have you going all out impact training for 45 minutes straight. You should be getting a few moments to breathe here and there to allow your muscles adequate time to recover before moving to the next exercise. If you are exercising at a moderate intensity, typically a 30 – 90 second rest break is appropriate between sets.
Training Mistake #4: Not doing right type of program for your goals
Make sure you are doing the right type of program for your goals. If you have specific goals of wanting to gain strength, or lose weights or rehab your core, you need to have a program designed to target those specific goals. This is where a trained professional, who understands your goals and knows how to develop a program based on your goals is really important. Seek out a trained personal trainer, physical therapist or somebody who knows enough about what your goal is and can help you meet that goal.
Training Mistake #5: Not listening to pain or other symptoms.
Don’t Train through pain or other symptoms. We don’t believe in “no pain, no gain”. This is not referring to muscle soreness. If you are having pain when you workout, pain that sends off “danger signals” in your body you need to stop and reassess what you are doing. We are not saying to stop exercising completely, but maybe you need to adjust the way you are performing the exercises.
The other thing we see women do is push through symptoms like bladder leakage, heaviness in the pelvic and perineal regions. If you are leaking urine when you are exercising or feel like everything is going to fall out of your vagina then you are doing incorrect exercises because your body is telling you it cannot withstand the activity that you’re doing. If you’re jumping in and you’re leaking, or you are lifting heavy and you’re having this sensation that things are falling out, your program needs to be adjusted and modified so that you can eliminate those symptoms.
We tell people to watch out for the 3 P’s with exercise: Pain, Peeing, or Pressure. If you are experiencing any of the 3 P’s while exercising, you really want to seek out a trained professional to help you adjust your programming so you can get back to exercising the way you want symptom free. Working with a pregnancy and postpartum fitness specialist which can include personal training or a physical therapist can be really helpful if you are experiencing these symptoms while you are exercising.
These are our top 5 training tips that we see women experience that are getting in the way of meeting their fitness goals. We want you to be training and exercising the way you want for as long as you want, symptom free and problem free. If you feel like you could benefit from talking to a Pelvic Floor Therapist, go ahead and reach out for a free discovery visit.