Don’t let common mistakes sabotage your workout plan

Did you know that some common mistakes can work against the time and energy you invest in working out? Two that might be keeping you from the best possible results are forgetting to stretch and lack of proper form.

should I stretch? To stretch or not to stretch

While the evidence for the benefits of stretching before and after exercise is mixed, most experts agree that the flexibility benefits of stretching help us stay fit and mobile, particularly as we age. Physical therapist Mitch Kaye also notes that “warm muscles are less susceptible to injuries.” The Mayo Clinic agrees, concluding that stretching can “improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion.”

Form and function

Proper form is key to making your workouts effective. According to the American Council on Exercise, using incorrect form is a quick route to injury and poor results. Whether it’s on a yoga mat or weight machine, proper body mechanics are key.

Follow expert advice

So how do you avoid these mistakes and get the most out of your workout? Following the advice of experts is essential. While you may not be able to have a body mechanics expert supervise your exercise routine, you can get guidance at your fingertips with a physical therapy iPad app called Motion Doctor. Motion Doctor puts more than 60 high-quality, PT-approved exercise videos just a few taps away, with narrative and written text instructions, as well as rationales for each exercise. “The app aims to teach consumers how to properly maintain their bodies and prevent injuries,” said Desirea Caucci, PT, DPT, creator of the first-of-its-kind app. Desirea is co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy in Conshohocken, Penn., and is a member of the Physiquality network of therapists.

Physical therapy app — Motion Doctor iPad appMotion Doctor allows you to filter exercises and stretches by body part, occupation, sport or activity, so you get step-by-step instructions for exercises and stretches specific to your interests and workout goals. The video, audio and written instructions help ensure that your stretching routine and exercise form are correct.

Another way to get expert advice for to maximize your workout results is to consult with a Physiquality provider in your area. Physiquality’s network of clinically trained, carefully screened physical therapists are the medical community’s leading experts in helping people improve the way their bodies work, feel and move. You can find the Physiquality locations near you by using the zip code search on, or by using the Find a PT function in the Motion Doctor iPad app, which is populated by Physiquality therapists.

However you access expert advice, keep in mind that educating yourself about proper stretching and exercise form will pay off big dividends in your workout results.

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For further reading:

Stretching: Focus on flexibility. Mayo Clinic, February 23, 2011.

The material and information contained on this Web site is for information only and is not intended to serve as medical advice or consultation.

Consult your personal physician before beginning any exercise program or self-treatment.