Are you spending hours working out every week, and not getting the results you want? Chances are you might have a bad habit or two when it comes to exercising. Never fear, there's a quick fix for even the most ingrained workout no-nos. Check out these seven workout habits you should drop: Not only will ditching these help you lose the pounds, they will help you become a more efficient exerciser.
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1) The elliptical. I'm not a fan of the elliptical. Not only is it the most boring piece of equipment in the gym, it is also extremely ineffective. First off, the elliptical doesn't use a natural body motion to work your body. Workouts that use natural motions like running, bending, or jumping are much more effective at toning muscles. Sure, the gliding motion of the elliptical burns calories, but that's about it. It is also easy to slack off on the elliptical. With the treadmill you at least have to keep up with the pace you set. On the elliptical you start off with guns blazing, and 10 minutes later you are crawling along like a turtle. You are much better off doing a 20-minute cross training circuit (burpees, jumping rope, jumping squats, etc.) than 45 minutes of slogging along on the elliptical. If you are looking for another low impact exercise, try the rowing machine. This will get your heart rate up, and also work your upper body and back.
2) Working out for long periods of time at a moderate pace. When it comes to working out, slow and steady does NOT win the race. Maximize your time, people! Instead of working out for an hour at an easy-to-moderate intensity level, step it up a notch. Challenge yourself to 30 minutes of nonstop, intense exercise. You can take 15- to 30-second breaks, but move quickly from one workout to the next. Give it 100 percent for 30 minutes, instead of 75 percent for an hour. Need ideas for shorter, high intensity workouts? Check out 15 Minutes to Change Fat to Muscle
3) Lollygagging. You know that girl at the gym who's always fixing her hair in the mirror? Don't be her. Come to the gym with a time frame and a plan. This means no wandering around, no texting your boyfriend in between reps. Come with a set workout to complete, limiting your water breaks to specific points in your circuit for a designated amount of seconds. If this means writing down your regimen, great! Tattoo it to your arm! Whatever! Make the most of your time. Get in, get out. No one likes a gym rat.