Working smart is just as important as working hard, which is why you should be aware of these six common health and fitness myths.
1. Squats Pose a Danger to the Knees.
As long as you are lifting a weight that is appropriate to your level of strength and experience, squats do not put an excessive amount of strain on the knees. In fact, knee injuries are not even the most important risk you should be conscientious of when squatting. The most common squatting injuries are actually back strains due to improper form. Remember that your back should be kept straight while performing squats and that any amount of weight that prevents you from doing this is unhealthy.
2. The More Protein, the Better.
The body can only optimally process about 15 grams of protein in one meal. Consuming more protein than this in a single sitting is more likely to contribute to your waistline than your biceps. Unless you are a serious bodybuilder, you should focus on making your diet “well-rounded,” not “protein rich.”
3. Fat Can Be Targeted.
You’ve seen the sketchy internet ads before: “This one weird exercise kills stomach fat in just two days!” Newsflash: no exercise is going to cause a significant fat reduction in two days, and even if it did, fat loss cannot be targeted. If you build a well-rounded cardio routine that burns more calories than you consume, you can burn fat evenly and specific muscle groups can be targeted if your workout routine is focused on aesthetics.
4. Static Stretches Are the Best Warm Up.
If “warming up” brings to mind images of touching your toes or stretching your arm over your head, you’re probably not alone. However, the latest fitness science actually contradictions the notion that these traditional warm-ups are a good preparation for a rigorous workout. These stretches actually put too much strain on muscles without increasing blood flow in an adequate way. Instead of static stretches, try doing dynamic warm-ups such as jogging in place, doing arm windmills, or slow-mo torso twists.
5. No Pain, No Gain.
There is certainly merit in pushing yourself even when you’re fatigued. However, there is also a clear-cut difference between feeling a bit tired or sore and feeling “pain.” Sharp, enduring pain should not be ignored; and “working through” this kind of severe discomfort is only going to be counterproductive to your long-term success.
6. Machines are Safer Than Free Weights.
Weight lifting machines are extremely convenient, and they do reduce the necessity of having an active spotter while performing exercises such as bench press. However, it is also important to realize that workout machines do not necessarily promote proper form. Make sure that you have properly mastered technique before spending significant time on a machine, or you could be missing out on the tremendous benefits that workout machines such as Elliptical Bikes have to offer.