7 Major Workout Mistakes That Keep Advil in Business
If "no pain, no gain" is your motto, it's time to re-think your workout plan
No. 1 Mistake: You're not using your brain.
Hall says the most common mistake is sloppy technique. You can't just do what feels right, you have to think about your form. For beginners, Hall says that means rotating the body when swimming freestyle. "Most beginners don't grasp just how important that rotational motion along the axis of their body really is," says Hall. The rotations create a force for the swimmer to pull against -- kind of like riding a wave. You might feel like you're thrashing around, but the extra movement is creating the ideal swimming environment.
For advanced swimmers: "Swim with your brain, not your brawn," says Hall. He says swimmers often default to a stroke that feels powerful, but isn't proven to be the best way to swim.
The Fix: Halls says he sees immediate improvement when beginners remember to rotate. "Add the rotation in, and presto, the swimmer gets further down the pool with each arm pull -- almost like she's pulling on a lane line marker," says Hall. For advanced swimmers, Hall teaches them to pull with the high elbow, which means the elbow is always close to the surface. It feels awkward, but it's the fastest way to swim, because letting your arm drop or sliding it under the body creates a slowing frontal drag.
Avoid Injury: Work on your flexibility, which is required to prevent injury to the muscles that support joints. "My idea of a perfect week? Three days of swimming and two days of yoga," says Hall.
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