We all have our bad habits when it comes to training. Usually, these bad habits involve cheating on the way we execute a certain workout, just so we could have the satisfaction of finishing the WOD or beating our rivals. These are habits we have to break. Here are the some of the most common bad workout habits seen in athletes.
1. The Lazy Jog
WODs are intense and continuous. It’s common for athletes to use the run portion of a workout as a rest period. It’s okay to use parts of the workout that are easy for you to give you some time to rest. This allows you to save up energy for the next movement. There’s nothing wrong with that.
It becomes a bad habit when athletes compromise their form and turn their jog or run into a long walk on the beach. You need to put in the work in a workout. Runs are put there to increase your speed, your cardiovascular endurance and to also improve your form. You won’t get these results if you do your run sloppily. If you can jog, you can run. So run.
2. The Push-Up Nap
A literal nap in the middle of a workout? No, we’re talking about that prolonged period of rest in prone position on the ground. When athletes lower their bodies during a burpee or a push-up, some tend to stay in this position for a while rather than bouncing back straight up for the next rep.
This is wrong for a couple of reasons. First is that you need that momentum or “bounce” from rebounding your chest from the floor. This propels you upward. You lose this momentum when you decide to take a rest. In the end, you just make things harder for yourself.
It’s normal to feel tired during a workout. A nap sounds like a great idea when you’re all spent. However, a WOD is not the right time and place for one. If you need to rest, rest on your feet. Walk around a bit. Resist any temptation to use that prone position to nap. Bounce back up.
3. Shallow Squats
Your impressive weight does not count if you do not do your squats properly. It’s important to make sure that you at least make parallel. But there are a lot of benefits to doing a full squat. Build better habits by squatting as low as you can. This will improve your muscle memory more and will give you far more power than not going all the way.
Squatting all the way gives you better preparation for receiving weight in a clean or a snatch in a bottom position. Full squats also put your muscles under tension for a greater period of time, helping your leg muscles become even stronger. At the same time, it’s safer for the spine, safer for your knees, helps improve your stability and helps you build stability in the lower back.
4. The Back and Forth
You know this. You stand in front of the barbell and get ready to do your reps. The first set goes well, until later you begin to feel the fatigue really set in. You take a short break and step forward, thinking you should go for it, until you hesitate and step back. Familiar, right?
Sometimes this goes on for a few minutes and you have already lost momentum. Then you jump into it and get to work. Rest is good, but you’re only losing precious time by hesitating like this. Don’t let the weights intimidate you. Compose yourself and just rip at it.
5. Non-Existent Reps
After a set or two, it becomes tiresome and painful to do movements with correct form. Your focus becomes getting it over with and completing the required number of reps. The instinct becomes to count no-reps as successful reps.
This is also a common habit for those who want to “win” the workout or beat out a rival in the box. It doesn’t give you anything more than bragging rights, which doesn’t mean anything compared to actually reaping the results of your workout.
Counting no-reps as successful ones instills no-rep muscle memory. When you count no-reps, your body is tricked into thinking that your faulty form and incorrect movements are natural and correct. In turn, your future attempts to complete the movements will be faulty and you will continue to make no-reps in your future workouts. No one wins.
Whether or not you plan to compete professionally, it’s better to make proper form a habit and make sure all your reps are legitimate.
Do your movements with correct form. It doesn’t matter how slow you are or if you can’t lift impressive weights just yet. You have better chances at reaping the fruits of your labor if you do it with proper form, with the right strategies and give it your 100%. Break those bad habits and get to it.