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The 6 Worst Fitness Habits

worst fitness habs

We all know that working out is good. But how you work out can make all the difference in the world, be it staying safe, seeing results or making sure your body is balanced. Authors Tosca Reno with Stacy Baker of Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way recently put together the below list of the worst fitness habits. Read on to make sure you aren’t undoing all of those good workouts!

The Worst Fitness Habits

1. Form. I can’t say this enough…form is your safety net. Once you compromise the way you do the move, you’re no longer getting the greatest benefits from the exercise, and you’re seriously increasing your risk of getting hurt. Even if it means lowering the amount of weight you are lifting, follow the correct form for the best results.

2. Overtraining. I believe in staying motivated, but don’t expect to going to dive right in and pound your body into its best shape ever overnight. Not only will this all-or-nothing attitude cause burnout, but you also risk injury and you will definitely give up on yourself because this is an unreasonable expectation. Instead, you need to gradually build up your muscles so they get the most effective and efficient workout possible. If you follow the Best Body Now program, more doesn’t always mean better, faster results. And remember, rest is good for your body. Take days off between training to repair and rebuild or if you’re training daily, don’t work the same muscle groups back to back.

3. Under-training. Once you’re dressed and ready to sweat, commit to giving it your all for the next 30 to 60 minutes. Just going through the motions doesn’t do anything for your body and makes it easy to let boredom creep in. You owe this time to yourself—you deserve it—so make sure you give it your all.

4. Daydreaming. It’s so easy to let your mind wander while you’re lifting weights, but studies have shown that when you’re completely focused on each rep, more muscle fibers are used. You can develop a laser-sharp focus by actively involving your mind in every set and rep, thinking about how your body moves, how the muscle engages, which muscle or muscles you’re using and correct form. This adds up to a better workout and faster results. So forget about the laundry, your kids’ schedules and your afternoon conference call, and stay 100 percent in the moment.

5. Staying with a few exercises you know. Your muscles love being challenged, so if you just stick to the same routine, they’ll eventually adapt and won’t have to work as hard to do the same moves. But if you change the exercises and even the order you do them in, you ensure that muscles don’t get too efficient at any single routine. Not only is this better for toning, but it also helps your mind stay focused and engaged.

6. Holding your breath. Regular steady breathing has many benefits, including keeping you from passing out. The upsides are that proper inhalations and exhalations can help you power through moves, keep lactic acid (a by-product that builds up in the muscles during exertion) at bay and help maintain a steady heart rate. A full breath delivers the maximum amount of oxygen to the blood, which in turn delivers more energy to the working muscles.

Have you committed a workout sin? Have a bad habit? Tell us how you’re going to break it in the comments! —Jenn

The above is an excerpt from the bookYour Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way by Tosca Reno with Stacy Baker. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy. Copyright © 2010 Tosca Reno with Stacy Baker.

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. I’ll admit to some bias, but not working with a personal trainer would be on my list of worst fitness mistakes. All the ones listed above can be avoided by hiring a trainer. Even if you can’t have a trainer every time you go to the gym, try once a month to shake up your routine.

  2. Tracey says:

    This is a great list. I’ve been guilty of all of them at some point. I thought I had good form until recently when I started with a great personal trainer. He pointed out a lot of left side/right side imbalances, things I wasn’t at all conscious of (and apparently my first personal trainer wasn’t either…). I’d also say that it’s easy to overtrain without realizing it. When you start plateauing, that’s a sign that you need to rest or change your routine.

  3. Anna says:

    This is a list meny of the people I know should read….

  4. Cheryl says:

    My worst is daydreaming and the other is sticking to much to a routine. The routine part I’ve made a effort to change, but the drifting off and thinking about Robert Downey Jr. not so much.

  5. Todd says:

    All points are right on point… as usual. 🙂 Form is my biggest pet peeve (of many), but I was surprised at how many people hold their breath. “Breathe people!”

  6. Leslie says:

    I must admit that I used to do the same things every week (almost all aoerbic and wasn’t getting results for all the effort put forth. Since I have a buldging disc in my lower back I have been forced to change things up to keep from doing more damage. Well, the change has been great and I’ve lost body fat in the process. So happy!

  7. Miranda says:

    I’m guilty of holding my breath. I do it without even realizing. I wonder why this is a natural reaction? I’ve really become more careful and focused on making myself breath but sometimes I still catch myself doing it! lol Great list.

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  9. selenar says:

    my biggest struggle is sticking to my routine…I def need some motivation, I have been eating healthier tho and even when I go out, I have been trying out this new vodka called voli thats lower calorie and infused with electrolytes

  10. Amber says:

    My worst habit used to be rewarding myself with food or drinks. Almost every day. “I can eat whatever/drink beer every day I want because I work out so much!” thought my college-aged brain. That thinking is under control now, but it sabotaged my efforts for years.

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