3 of the most common exercise mistakes you don't realize you're making

A woman does a crunch
A woman does a crunchSuza Scalora / Getty Images stock

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By Jenna Wolfe

Whether you’re just starting to exercise or have been working out for years, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. The worst part is, you may not even realize you’re doing these things, which can leave you hitting the gym regularly but not seeing the results you want — or expect. 

Instead of waiting until you’re so aggravated by the lack of results that you throw in the towel, take a minute to see if you’re guilty of any (or all) of these three, common mistakes.

Suza Scalora / Today

1. You go for quantity over quality

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You know that person bragging about doing hundreds of reps of exercises like crunches? Well, chances are that bragger isn't doing them correctly. To do hundreds of anything in good form is nearly impossible! 

The solution: go for proper form first. That way you'll maximize efficiency and actually gain strength and get toned. You can add more reps later once you start to feel stronger.

2. You never change your workout

It's easy to slip into autopilot and do the same workout day after day. But even if you're repeating a tough workout, at some point you'll stop seeing results because your muscles are no longer challenged. 

The solution: shake it up every four to six weeks! If you use all machines in the weight room, try free weights, and vice versa. If you usually run on the treadmill, try some cardio sessions on the elliptical, etc. Also, be sure to bump up the intensity at times and try to work in new moves in the gym to keep things fresh!

3. You set unrealistic goals

Trying to lose too much weight in a short amount of time or attempting a workout beyond your fitness abilities only leads to frustration and injuries. 

The solution: Be honest with yourself. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity as you increase your fitness. Make lifestyle changes you can live with, not temporary fixes you’ll ditch as soon as you reach your weight loss goal. It’s about health and fitness, not a number!

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