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Bad Fitness Habits You Need To Break

Everyone has bad habits.  No one makes his or her bed every day (or any day for that matter) and I’m sure a lot of you have drunkenly eaten pizza on a Thursday night or forgotten to take off your make-up before going to bed.  Bad habits are only human.

There are some bad habits that need to be squashed, and these are all of the awful things you can see UMaine’s finest doing at the Rec Center on a daily basis. 
Here are the top five worst habits I see daily:
1. Holding on for Dear Life
Listen boys and girls, we stopped using training wheels years ago for a reason.  DO NOT hold on to the treadmill, Stairmaster or elliptical, the safety bars are there only for precautionary reasons and so the equipment companies don’t get sued!  They are not there for you to hang off while attempting to get your sweat on.  Holding on while walking/climbing burns 20% less calories and can cause you to create an improper gate and cause hip alignment problems.  Bottom line, lose the training wheels.

Yeah, I see you doing those bicep curls at the speed of light and I don’t think you’re all the strong.  Doing repetitions too quickly isn’t tough and it isn’t cool.  Instead of using all of your muscle fibers and really working the muscles in your body, you are using momentum and creating much less muscle growth.  Quick reps also have a bigger risk of injury.  So, relax, slow down and work your muscles to their full extent, SLOWLY!
3. Bouncing off the Walls
Ok, I know you are excited your work-out is over and you finally get to cool down and stretch, but please stop bouncing while you are stretching.   Bouncing causes micro trauma to your muscles that must heal with scar tissue.  This scar tissue tightens your muscles, which, in turn, makes for less flexibility and creates more chance for pain.
4.  The Basics

Everyone should know how to perform a basic squat without killing your knees or back.  I see it every day, girls working on toning their legs and booties, but doing so with the strangest form.  The two main things that you want to remember are to maintain a neutral back and to keep your knees behind your toes at all times.  By keeping your upper body erect and trying not to lean forward, tucking your hips and but under, you should be able to maintain a neutral position with your back.  By squatting back, instead of directly down, you should be able to form a 90 degree angle with your legs and keep those knees behind your toes.  This will leave less room for injury.
5.  Dirty Laundry
We all sweat at the gym, it’s normal and good for you.   What’s gross is when you don’t clean up after yourself!  Wipe down your equipment before and after you use it.  Germs are spread very easily in the gym and it’s only polite to clean up after yourself (your mother would be proud).
There you have it!  I hope that this will help banish all of your bad habits that happen at the gym, I won’t judge you for the rest!

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