5 biggest at-home workout mistakes and how to prevent them, according to Sam Wood

5 biggest at-home workout mistakes and how to prevent them, according to Sam Wood

To make the most of each sweat session, fitness expert Sam Wood reveals the most common at-home workout mistakes that people are making – and solutions to each.

Getting your fitness back, on paper, seems simple. Usually, you just need to follow an effective workout routine, eat well and train hard at the gym. But with gym closures that have lasted months, at-home workouts were the only viable option for many.

If you’re still consistently working out at home, but not seeing results, check out these five mistakes you might be unknowingly making.

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1. Repetition

As the old saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Variety will beat volume every single time. Mix up your training to keep your body guessing.

2. Continually doing what you’re good at

There’s nothing wrong with working on your strengths, but we often only have so many hours per week that we can dedicate to our training. If all of that time is spent working on what you’re already pretty good at, then there’s always something important being neglected.

The key is to spend some time continuing to develop your strengths while allocating specific parts of your week or your workout to your weaknesses. Irrespective of your age, fitness level and training history, we should all be aiming to be a well-rounded athlete with a good to very good capability in cardio, strength, power, mobility and all the important parts of functional fitness.

3. Prioritising pushing movements

In technical terms, people who spend too much time doing pushing movements are often neglecting their posterior chain. If you’re not sure if this is you, ask yourself: Do I do a lot of these exercises? Push-ups, dips, squats and lunges. Do I barely do these? Glute bridge, deadlift, rows, chin-ups.

If the answer is yes, in simple terms you are most likely doing too much to work the muscles on the front of your body and not enough for the muscles on the back. If almost all the exercises you do are focusing on quads, abs and chest you are likely to be neglecting your hamstring, glutes and back muscles.

A common reason for this is that to work your back, glutes and hammies you often need to do slightly less well-known exercises. To work your back muscles, you can do some form of row or a pulling movement using a TRX or band. For your glutes and hammies, you can’t go wrong with banded glute activation exercises or deadlift type movements.

4. Lack of progression

You often see people get great results for four to six weeks and then they hit a plateau. In most cases, this is because they haven’t continued to challenge themselves with any form of progression. Progression doesn’t just mean ‘add more weight’. It could be more reps, less recovery, more advanced exercise choices, training with someone fitter than you… anything that pushes you to that next level. Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes.

5. You’re trying to out-train a bad diet

I know this last one isn’t training specific, but I see it all too often and can’t let it go unsaid. If you are investing so much time, effort and discipline into your workouts, you don’t want to undo that good work with poor nutrition choices. Eat real food, be mindful of your portions and remember to stay hydrated.

Sam Wood is a fitness expert and founder of 28 by Sam Wood. Follow him on Instagram @samjameswood.

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