3 Biggest Workout Mistakes and How to Fix Them

HIIT is great with a jump rope, but beware of common workout mistakes before trying it! Credit: stayhealthier

Workout Mistakes to Avoid

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is being used by exercise enthusiasts to add new challenge and variety to workouts. It is a cardiorespiratory training technique that increases the intensity of a workout by alternating between brief speed and recovery intervals to maximize your training sessions in a short amount of time. But the danger lurks when the active recovery intervals are carelessly overlooked.

The Fix: Watch your intervals. While there isn’t one single best way to structure sessions, when getting started with HIIT, after completing a five minute warm-up, begin with a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of speed intervals to active recovery intervals. This means one minute of speed work to every two or three minutes of active recovery. Avoid the temptation to shorten the recovery intervals or to let the recovery periods be less than active. These recover intervals are when the body produces more energy for the next bout of high-intensity exercise and also removes metabolic waste from the muscles. Remember, active recovery periods should always be as long—if not longer—than the high-intensity intervals. And in terms of perceived exertion, high-intensity intervals should be about a seven or higher (on a scale of zero to 10) while active recovery intervals should be at about a four or five.

Were you making any of those workout mistakes? Do you love doing super-intense workouts? Tell us all about it! —Jenn

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  1. Courtney says:

    I can definitely vouch for the kettlebell advice! I do CrossFit, and hated any workout involving KBs because I found the movement to be impossible. Turns out, when you let your hips do the work and hinge rather than swing, you feel SO much more powerful [maybe they should stop calling them KB “swings” – it’s quite misleading!]. I was lucky to get the movement down before suffering a back injury, and was INSTANTLY able to grab a KB ten pounds heavier. My tip is: you know you’re doing it right if your glutes BURN after the workout!

  2. You’ve hit on some of the biggest dangers lurking for people new to exercise! Regarding plyometrics, landing is a critical skill that is not taught. This leads to injuries for girls who end up playing things like soccer. We like to have people START from a good landing position and drive into “triple extension” – finishing with their arms in the air. Kind of jumping in reverse.

  3. Jared Coad says:

    Great Post….The KettleBell might be the single greatest piece of workout equipment ever made!! If you are just getting started with the bell or not sure what weight to get, you may want to make a T-Handle….perfect for 1 or 2 hand swings, and to figure out what weight you should be using.

    RKC delivered to your door get wicked expensive. I put up a how to video if you are not familiar with the T-Handle or Hungarian Core Blaster as it’s also called

    Hope this helps save you some dough, Great post

  4. Andrew Fox says:

    Great insights in all three areas. Form, posture and body mechanics are hugely important factors that dictate the overall effectiveness of a workout.

  5. Mike Luque says:

    This advice about landing doesn’t make sense. When you land from a jump, just as you would when you step down a stair, you land on the ball of your foot, not mid foot. The true reverse of the jump is to use the ball of the foot as the initial landing point, to use the calf muscles before the force transfers to the knee. You wouldn’t go from mid foot TO the ball. You’ll always land on the ball of the foot first.
    But yes, land softly. Like a ninja.

  6. Tina says:

    Good article, there were a few new to me ideas.