Exercise physiologist and personal trainer Amanda Bisk, who is also a former Australian pole vaulter, is all for working out at home to stay in shape. But she knows that you may be at greater risk of getting injured — depending on what workout you’re doing, you might not have access to proper tips on form and safety. It also might be easier to fall out of a routine if you’re not being held accountable the same way you could be at a gym.
According to Bisk, there are a list of mistakes that people tend to make while exercising in their homes. She delves into further detail in the above video, but these mistakes include the following: going through the motions, not knowing the focus of your workout, having a lack of variety, getting distracted, choosing the wrong training space, not doing full reps of each move, not doing enough back exercises, and failing to stick to a routine.
For each of these mistakes, Bisk offers advice for how to avoid them. For instance, in order to make sure you’re completing full reps and, by doing so, not just going through the motions, Bisk wants you to tap into more motivation by doing exercises for time. You can also do follow-along workouts that will explain how to do each move correctly and provide a focus for your sweat session. She notes that you should make sure the videos and plans you’re following are taught by fully-qualified professionals. Here’s more information on that.
It’s also important, Bisk says, to know if the workout you’re doing is for “strength, fitness, or skill.” If you’re working strength, you’ll want to do slower, more controlled movement so you can add weight. “You want more rest when you’re doing a strength workout because you want to make sure you have maximal muscle contraction when you do your reps,” Bisk explains. For a workout focused on fitness, or cardio, you’ll want to move more quickly, she notes. If you’re working on skill, you’ll want to move with control as you perfect exercises.
As for other tips, Bisk says we need to make sure we’re balancing moves such as push-ups, planks, and burpees that work the chest with back exercises that she demonstrates in the video (they all require you to get onto your belly like you’re about to do a Superman pose). Watch Bisk talk about her advice in the explainer above, and read up on how to safely work out at home here.