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5 common gym workout mistakes and how to fix them

Training for lean muscle development is not as simple as moving weights up and down. To protect the body from injury, and not waste energy and time, some simple fine tuning can make all the difference. Here's 5 common workout mistakes, and how to correct them.

1) Incomplete range of movement.
It's important to work each muscle group through its full range of movement (without extending too far or hyper extending). This will help train the muscle fibres fully to stimulate greater development. You shouldn't go so far as to lock out the joints, stop just before you get to this point. That's how far you want to go. Then contract the muscles all the way back to the beginning point, and 'squeeze' when you get there.

2) Repetition speeds too fast.
Sprinting through a set with very fast reps is not the best way to develop muscles, or protect them. It's better to make rep speeds more controlled and deliberate. For traditional weight training, 1 second up, 2 seconds down is a good tempo to use most of the time. Put your mind in the muscle and really feel the movement that you are doing. Always concentrate on the muscles you are training. This will also help you build the mind muscle connections, to help you build greater intensity.

3) Core weak and not flexed.
It's very important to focus on your core before you perform each repetition. Make sure you flex your abdominals tight to support your body, and keep it stabilised throughout each movement. When you tighten your midsection before each rep, you will feel stronger, and will be able to lift and push heavier weights. If you are having trouble with it, try a short, sharp exhale to 'grip' the core and make it strong and braced (the same way boxers do).

4) Wearing the wrong workout shoes.
Running shoes are for running. They aren't the right choice for weight training. If you can find a pair of low and harder soled shoes they will offer far better stability and help you lift more safely. Chucks or Vans are great. This is important for exercises like Squats and Deadlifts, and even for pressing movements, especially as you start to lift heavier. 

5) Pausing too long between repetitions.
For weight training purposes, you shouldn't have a rest between individual reps. Each set should be a continuous flow of repetitions, like waves at the beach, flowing in and out. If you are performing an exercise, and you stop and have a break between reps, this won't build the intensity in the muscles correctly for development. Only pause momentarily at the top or bottom of each movement, and keep the flow smooth.
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