The No. 1 Thing That Makes Your Trainer Peeved

You’ve been getting some pretty nasty glares from the trainers at your gym, and you can’t seem to figure out why. Our friends at Shape are letting us know why trainers are getting annoyed and how to fix our mistakes.

Nobody is perfect. I’m definitely not. My squats are funky, I battle tendinosis in my ankle, and I have scoliosis that exacerbates a cranky rotator cuff. Though annoying and often painful, these injuries keep me focused on one important element of working out: form.

After all, injuries can sometimes lead us to do exercises incorrectly¡ªeven trainers, like me. Yet bad form can be a product of more than just injury¡ªsometimes our own lifestyles are to blame. For example, if you sit at a desk or even just use your phone frequently (let’s be real, that’s all of us), your body might form to a highly-rounded position. (Psst… Do you know How Much Texting Harms Your Posture?) And this means you may end up doing exercises with improper form¡ªwhich can lead to a possible injury like a torn shoulder labrum or even a herniated disc.

Too many times, I’ll glance around the gym floor and spot athletes with rounded shoulders, a scrunched neck, and a curved lower back (ouch!) while attempting exercises like mega-heavy deadlifts or a planks. I have to resist the urge to run over and correct them before something goes awry.

Not only are we making ourselves physically smaller by making these errors, we’re perpetuating posture that can actually hurt us.

Scary? Totally. Avoidable? Likely. The biggest challenge is learning to take your time¡ªyou need to make sure you can maintain a long spine throughout the entire range of motion for any move you do. So start with these easy steps¡ªsome you can do on your own; some for the gym¡ªto fight back and perfect your own form. (Then try the Perfect Posture Workout.)

On Your Own:

    Check your posture. Roll your shoulders back so your palms are facing forward. Your shoulder blades should feel like their being pushed down into your back pockets. Your chest is open and proud, like you’re presenting your clavicle to the hottie you spotted over the weekend. Your back shouldn’t be overly arched or super tucked in. This is actually the anatomical position, crazy as it may feel. Our chests and shoulders want to be this open, this is how the joints function best. Before you hit send on your next email, check to see how you’re holding yourself.Relax your neck. Are you having a totally stressful day? Try gentle head nods and tilts to alleviate any tension that could be building, which may lead you to tighten your shoulders and upper back muscles.Feel it out. If you happen to have an office or a private little nook, stand against a wall for a moment. Your shoulder blades should be against the wall. Your lower back should slightly be curving away from it. This tactile cue helps to train your mind what this posture should feel like.

Check out more great stories from Shape:

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The Best Diet Tips of All Time

57 proven ways to lose weight ¡ª HealthAvoid packed gyms with this at-home workout ¡ª Real SimpleNew app reveals the actual truth about your sugar intake ¡ª ShapeThe pan that all breakfast-lovers have been waiting for ¡ª SelfHow to up your hiking game and feel the burn ¡ª Women’s HealthThe best gym-free excercise ideas for beginners ¡ª Cooking LightHow your diet shows up on your face ¡ª YourTango12 simple portion-control tricks for weight loss ¡ª HuffPost Healthy LivingNina Dobrev revealed strong, toned legs in her vacation photos ¡ª POPSUGAR CelebrityImage Source: Shutterstock

Forget the Resolution, These 9 Tips Will Actually Make Fitness Your Priority

The following post was originally featured on Fit Bottomed Girls, who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Your busy life needs some good old-fashioned order to make fitness a priority. After all, practicing good habits leads to good experience and great results. These nine tips are a perfect way to complement your life and introduce fitness to your day to keep you focused on your goals, plan ahead and get you the results you deserve. Because you deserve to feel happy and healthy!

1. Start Small

Before you do anything, you have to get your fitness goals in order. Decide on your goals, when you can squeeze workouts into your week, where you plan to workout, which workouts you plan to do and how often. These are the first initial steps to guide you through the next.

2. Save Time

Since you live a busy life, saving time is important. Find ways to spend less time traveling to the gym and more time at the gym. Think about bringing your gym equipment with you to work and changing there so you can get started as soon as you arrive. And think about showering at home to help you beat any traffic. The less you stress about time the better you’ll feel.

3. Work Out Outside the Gym

All your workouts don’t need to be at the gym. If you know you won’t be able to make it tomorrow, wake up 10 minutes earlier and work out before you start your day. If you need a quick pick-me-up midday, hop up and do some push-ups on your desk, add some calf raises and even some squats for full-body blood flow. The world is your playground.

4. Make Fitness Part of Your Everyday Life

The more you incorporate fitness into your regular activities, the better your body will look and feel. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the office and walk a few extra blocks. You won’t feel it, but your body will know you’re putting in extra work and the results will show.

5. Interval Training

If you’re short on time try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Think fast-paced, minimal rest and all-out energy. Whether you do Tabata, interval training on a treadmill or circuit series, save time while getting amazing results with HIIT.

6. Lose Bad Habits

Shedding bad habits will make the difference in your fitness goal. Avoid poor posture, losing focus when you’re training and staying stuck on the same routine week after week. These small little habits lead to injury, limit your success and eventually make fitness feel dull.

7. Stay Patient

Life can go on a bumpy path occasionally. The best way to handle it is to find detours. You’ll never know what tomorrow brings, so always have a back-up plan to keep your fitness plan going. Also, keep in mind that no one gets amazing results instantly. Pace your body and your training, and know that change is coming.

8. Rest

As much as you want to work out, without rest you’ll hardly notice your progress. Aim to get a full eight hours of sleep, take off days at the gym, warm up before a workout and cool down to make sure you never push it too hard.

9. Breathe

Your body needs oxygen flowing to function properly. So when your heart rate is increasing from exercise, you’ll want to ensure that you’re breathing fully. Proper breathing makes all the difference in turning eight reps into 12 and jogging three miles versus one.

You’re all set! These nine tips will set you on the path for everyday fitness success. Grab your gear and get ready on a new path to a healthier lifestyle. ¡ª Kevin Jones

Image Source: Fit Bottomed Girls

How to Make Yourself Do Everything You Hate Doing

Our friends at Men’s Health know how hard it is sometimes to motivate ourselves. Luckily, they have a trick to increase our willpower.

Unless you’re Tony Robbins, finding the motivation to exercise can be tougher than the actual workout itself. Your willpower can be easily defeated by the demands of a family, the responsibilities of work, or even the enticing glow of a TV.

That’s probably why dozens of studies over the last three decades have all found that more than half the people who start an exercise program quit within one year.

Lack of motivation may also play a large role in the reason why 68.8 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.

So are we all screwed? Or is there a way to keep motivation consistently flowing?

The key may be a process called “temptation bundling,” according to a study in Management Science.

The process pairs two activities¡ªone you should do, but avoid; and one you enjoy, but isn’t necessarily productive, explains lead study author Katherine Milkman, associate professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions at The Wharton School.

In her 7-week study, Milkman found that participants went to the gym significantly more often when they were given audio books to listen to during their workouts than when they weren’t given them.

The simple act of bundling exercise (the activity you avoid) with an audio book (the activity you enjoy) increased the participants’ willpower to stick to a workout regimen, Milkman explains.

But they weren’t listening to War and Peace. “These books were pre-rated as addictive,” she explains. “So you had books like The DaVinci Code, The Bourne Supremacy, Hunger Games. They were cliffhangers.”

In essence, they were tempting, so the participants looked forward to going to the gym to listen to them.

And the motivational effect was even stronger when the bundling was withheld between training sessions, instead of being self-imposed, Milkman says.

When Milkman’s team locked the audio book devices away in a locker between training sessions, participants worked out 60 percent more often. That number dropped to just 40 percent when the participants were allowed to listen to their books outside of the gym, too.

If you think temptation bundling sounds starkly different from the “No pain, no gain!” philosophy that conventional wisdom has taught us to employ when it comes to exercise, you’d be right.

Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t like, you’re turning the activity into a positive one. One that you actually look forward to.

And that’s a much more sustainable approach than telling yourself to just “suck it up!” all the time.

It works so well, in fact, that 60 percent of the study participants said they’d be willing to pay a monthly amount for someone to restrict access to their audio books in order to increase their motivation. On average, the participants said they’d pay $7 to have their temptation locked up.

One participant, however, said they would pay as much as $100 a month.

Stop to think about that: People struggle with workout motivation so much that they’d actually pay someone to take away their own possession if it resulted in more willpower.

You can use temptation bundling outside of the gym, too, Milkman says.

For instance, you could watch an episode of the latest season of Homeland every Sunday night as you iron your work shirts or fold laundry. You could pay bills while cracking a cold beer and tuning into the Monday night game.

Or you could finally catch up with your annoying relative at a restaurant that serves the burgers you always crave, says Milkman.

You can use temptation bundling for almost anything, she says, but you should take into consideration the actual date you start.

Milkman’s co-author, Hengchen Dai, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis, has found that temptation bundling may be most effective when it begins on a temporal landmark¡ªor a moment that signals a transitional point in our mind. Think: a new year, your birthday, or even the start of a new season.

“You may feel psychologically different on this day than any regular day,” Dai says. And therefore, “more motivated to start or engage in an activity that helps you reach a goal.”

Check out more great tips from Men’s Health:

Try These 30-Minute Cardio and Muscle Workouts That Transform Your Body5 Guys Who Wake Up at 4 a.m. to Work Out Tell You How They Do It13 Exercises That Are Better Than Burpees For Fat LossImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

How to Make Yourself Do Everything You Hate Doing

Our friends at Men’s Health know how hard it is sometimes to motivate ourselves. Luckily| they have a trick to increase our willpower.

Unless you’re Tony Robbins| finding the motivation to exercise can be tougher than the actual workout itself. Your willpower can be easily defeated by the demands of a family| the responsibilities of work| or even the enticing glow of a TV.

That’s probably why dozens of studies over the last three decades have all found that more than half the people who start an exercise program quit within one year.

Lack of motivation may also play a large role in the reason why 68.8 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.

So are we all screwed? Or is there a way to keep motivation consistently flowing?

The key may be a process called “temptation bundling|” according to a study in Management Science.

The process pairs two activities¡ªone you should do| but avoid; and one you enjoy| but isn’t necessarily productive| explains lead study author Katherine Milkman| associate professor of Operations| Information| and Decisions at The Wharton School.

In her 7-week study| Milkman found that participants went to the gym significantly more often when they were given audio books to listen to during their workouts than when they weren’t given them.

The simple act of bundling exercise (the activity you avoid) with an audio book (the activity you enjoy) increased the participants’ willpower to stick to a workout regimen| Milkman explains.

But they weren’t listening to War and Peace. “These books were pre-rated as addictive|” she explains. “So you had books like The DaVinci Code| The Bourne Supremacy| Hunger Games. They were cliffhangers.”

In essence| they were tempting| so the participants looked forward to going to the gym to listen to them.

And the motivational effect was even stronger when the bundling was withheld between training sessions| instead of being self-imposed| Milkman says.

When Milkman’s team locked the audio book devices away in a locker between training sessions| participants worked out 60 percent more often. That number dropped to just 40 percent when the participants were allowed to listen to their books outside of the gym| too.

If you think temptation bundling sounds starkly different from the “No pain| no gain!” philosophy that conventional wisdom has taught us to employ when it comes to exercise| you’d be right.

Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t like| you’re turning the activity into a positive one. One that you actually look forward to.

And that’s a much more sustainable approach than telling yourself to just “suck it up!” all the time.

It works so well| in fact| that 60 percent of the study participants said they’d be willing to pay a monthly amount for someone to restrict access to their audio books in order to increase their motivation. On average| the participants said they’d pay $7 to have their temptation locked up.

One participant| however| said they would pay as much as $100 a month.

Stop to think about that: People struggle with workout motivation so much that they’d actually pay someone to take away their own possession if it resulted in more willpower.

You can use temptation bundling outside of the gym| too| Milkman says.

For instance| you could watch an episode of the latest season of Homeland every Sunday night as you iron your work shirts or fold laundry. You could pay bills while cracking a cold beer and tuning into the Monday night game.

Or you could finally catch up with your annoying relative at a restaurant that serves the burgers you always crave| says Milkman.

You can use temptation bundling for almost anything| she says| but you should take into consideration the actual date you start.

Milkman’s co-author| Hengchen Dai| assistant professor of organizational behavior at Washington University in St. Louis| has found that temptation bundling may be most effective when it begins on a temporal landmark¡ªor a moment that signals a transitional point in our mind. Think: a new year| your birthday| or even the start of a new season.

“You may feel psychologically different on this day than any regular day|” Dai says. And therefore| “more motivated to start or engage in an activity that helps you reach a goal.”

Check out more great tips from Men’s Health:

Try These 30-Minute Cardio and Muscle Workouts That Transform Your Body5 Guys Who Wake Up at 4 a.m. to Work Out Tell You How They Do It13 Exercises That Are Better Than Burpees For Fat LossImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

How to Start Working on Your Body Goals in 2016

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How to Start Working on Your Body Goals in 2016

Fitness guru Cassey Ho shares her advice on reaching fitness goals ¡ª HealthA do-anywhere method to shake off stress in a snap ¡ª Real SimpleThe best ab-concentrated workout ever ¡ª ShapeHoliday cocktails that won’t wreck your diet plan ¡ª SelfWhat everyone needs to know about the new GM diet ¡ª Women’s HealthLearn to bake with gingerbread beyond the traditional cookies ¡ª Cooking LightYou should think twice before skipping the postrun stretches ¡ª Fitness76 ways the magic of coconut oil can change your life ¡ª GreatistFlavorful tea recipes to keep you healthy and happy in Winter ¡ª POPSUGAR FoodImage Source: Shutterstock

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How to stay healthy and fit while traveling ¡ª HealthGet a chiseled six-pack in 9 moves ¡ª ShapeThe world’s best races for runners that are worth checking out in 2016 ¡ª SelfThe fanciest cocktails for the holidays ¡ª Women’s HealthHow to make a unique mulled wine for the holidays ¡ª Real SimpleEasy slow-cooker recipes for the busiest season ¡ª Cooking LightLet your body recover with a great relaxation run ¡ª Women’s RunningInsane recipes that will make you fall in love with pasta again ¡ª POPSUGAR FoodImage Source: Shutterstock

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How to stay healthy and fit while traveling ¡ª HealthGet a chiseled six-pack in 9 moves ¡ª ShapeThe world’s best races for runners that are worth checking out in 2016 ¡ª SelfThe fanciest cocktails for the holidays ¡ª Women’s HealthHow to make a unique mulled wine for the holidays ¡ª Real SimpleEasy slow-cooker recipes for the busiest season ¡ª Cooking LightLet your body recover with a great relaxation run ¡ª Women’s RunningInsane recipes that will make you fall in love with pasta again ¡ª POPSUGAR FoodImage Source: Shutterstock

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