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5 Common Exercise Mistakes Men Make

Reading up on some of the most common exercise mistakes men make can help you take proactive steps to avoid these errors when you work out. Failure to avoid these mistakes can result in insufficient benefit to your health, a lack of improvement in your workout techniques or even injury.

1. Not Stretching

One of the most common mistakes men make before working out is bypassing the five to ten minutes of stretching that should begin every physical activity. Stretching helps get your muscles flexible and jump starts the circulation of oxygen throughout your body. If you don't stretch, you may pull a muscle. A pulled muscle is not only painful, but it can derail your workout routine for days.

2. Overestimating Strength and Endurance

Since it's considered macho to be strong and have the energy to workout for long periods of time, many men make the mistake of overestimating their strength and endurance. Starting with heavy weights or too many reps in a workout can cause injury and wear your muscles down. You must build up strength and endurance over time. If that means you have to start by lifting five- to ten-pound weights and performing just a few reps, then so be it. Once you get used to that level of exercise, you can upgrade to heavier weights and more reps.

3. Doing Too Much

Another of the most common exercise mistakes men make is to do too much. With a gym at your disposal, it can be tempting to go from machine to machine, spending just a few minutes targeting one muscle and then the next. Instead of tackling the entire gym in one workout, you need to plan ahead and rotate which muscles you want to target each day. Spend enough time at each exercise machine to fully engage the muscles so that you can properly build strength and endurance. Even if it means you only work out at a handful of machines per workout session, your muscles will feel more benefit in the long run.

4. Choosing the Wrong Workout

Unless you were a fitness major in college or you've spent much of your life working out, chances are you don't really know the optimal workout for your own individual fitness needs and goals. Another common exercise mistake men make, then, is to design their own workout routines based on friends' recommendations, tutorials or just walking around the gym and seeing what machines the gym has to offer. When you're just beginning, you can really benefit from one-on-one time with a personal fitness trainer who can help you design an individualized workout and learn how to use exercise machines properly.

5. Overcompensating

Frequent exercise is essential for keeping your body fit and toned. The longer you go between exercise sessions, the more work you'll have to do to build up strength and endurance again. Men often make the mistake of overdoing one exercise session a week or so to make up for a lack of exercise during the rest of the week, but this can be a strain on your body.

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