When you're in a time crunch, you want to get the most out of every minute you spend working out, right? Although there are a few ways to do this, here's the most important exercise safety rule of thumb: Follow good form. By watching your posture and form, you'll get the most benefit from every workout and prevent strains and sprains.
Here are 10 ways to be smart about exercising and get in shape:
- Think Botox. Keep your face relaxed and tension-free.
- Keep your gaze at eye level. This simple move prevents neck strain.
- Relax those hunched shoulders. Drop your shoulders as low as they comfortably go.
- Lift your chest slightly -- not into a military stance with chest thrust out and shoulders way back. This helps prevent rounded shoulders.
- Lengthen your spine. Imagine a string pulling the top of your head up to the ceiling to improve your posture.
- Tighten your abs. Strong abs help support your lower back.
- Don't lock your knees. Keep knees slightly bent. Also, keep your toes lined up to prevent overstressing your knees.
- Breathe. Count reps out loud to avoid holding your breath. As you inhale, relax your lower abs and fill your chest. As you exhale, suck in your abs to force air out.
- Keep moving between exercises. It keeps your heart rate up.
- As you get stronger, work out more. With cardio, go a little longer. With weights, add more reps or use slightly heavier weights in your weight training routine. Again, slightly. Use proper form to stay injury-free.
In other words, to get stronger and leaner, exercise correctly. Good form is way more important than how fast you move or how sweaty you get while working out.