7 home workout mistakes to avoid for fiercer sweat sessions

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Zwei Frauen bereiten sich auf ein Homeworkout vor ©Thomas Barwick

Even before Covid-19 and the lockdown hit, exercising at home was becoming more and more popular – and for some of us, it’s our only option for the time being. Even once lockdown ends, home workouts are flexible and save not only gym fees, but also the travel time. If you want to be fit, strong, and in shape at home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are seven common workout mistakes to avoid – and how to fix them if you find yourself making a few of them!

No fixed routine

Home workouts offer the ultimate flexibility. You can work out when, how, and where you want. Most of all, you can be completely independent, since your sweat sessions don’t need to stick to opening hours.

The dark side of this independence is that it requires extra self-discipline. One of the top mistakes is not setting up a fixed workout routine. Having to decide yes-or-no every day not only uses up your energy; it can eventually diminish your motivation. An exercise program with predetermined workout days and rest days minimizes the potential for slacking off and helps you stay on track. After all, consistency is one of the most important principles of exercise to make progress.

A white woman learns which workout mistakes to avoid while planking in front of a laptop

No training program

A well-structured workout plan is the foundation of your success. That counts for workouts anywhere – especially if you have a specific goal like bulking up muscles or fat loss. Once you’ve figured out a fitness routine with set days and times, you should also plan your workout wisely. To get the results you’re hoping for, you need to carefully plan your exercises and sets. Our Home Workout Guide includes a 4-week training plan to support you.

Good to know: A weight loss workout plan has different content and structure than a muscle building workout plan. While HIIT workouts help people lose weight, muscle building emphasizes complex strength exercises.

Mann sitzt mit Sportequipment zuhause auf dem Boden und schreibt seinen Trainingsplan
©Halfpoint Images

Tip: You know about our free workouts, right? Want to lose weight, build your muscles, or stay in shape? No matter your health goals, you’ll find dozens of free workout plans and how-to videos. We’re also doing live workouts on our social media channels. Follow @foodspring_uk on instagram to see what’s coming up next!

No equipment

Many athletes make great progress exclusively using their own body weight. You don’t need a barbell or cable to get in shape! That’s handy for home workouts – after all, gym equipment can be quite expensive. That being said, you will need a few essentials.

Set up a dedicated workout area. You don’t need much: the bare minimum is a fitness mat. It should provide good cushioning and be non-slip. Resistance bands, a jump rope, dumbbells and/or kettlebells as well as a pull-up bar are also worth the investment. For strength athletes, we also recommend a weights bench.

Workout equipment on a white background
© Sergey Nazarov

Advantages of a home gym: If you have a mat and towel handy, you’ll find it easier to exercise at the start or end of the day, and that can motivate you towards top performance. Plus: with more equipment, you have more options to change your intensity and exercises.

Bad technique

A major disadvantage of strength training at home? There’s no exercise instructor nearby to check out your form. It’s even more important that you make and use a good workout plan. Work with a fitness trainer or exercise tutorials and occasionally ask a partner, roommate, or friend to check your form.

Your results are proportional to the quality of your workouts. Remember, it’s quality over quantity. Proper technique and execution can make or break your results.

Frau macht eine falsch ausgeführten Unterarmstütz


Important home workout basics:

  • Don’t forget to warm up first.
  • For most exercises, engage your core muscles and keep your upper body straight. Avoid arching your back.
  • Especially when working your arms, abs, and back: Keep your shoulders down and back to avoid tensing your upper back and neck.
  • Never yank on weights or perform exercises without control. Don’t use momentum; perform the move with conscious and clean technique.
  • Don’t forget to breathe: Exhale as you perform the exercise and inhale while you return.

Wrong workout intensity

In order to make progress – whatever your goals – your body always needs to be challenged. So don’t make the mistake of underchallenging yourself. This is all too easy to happen at home, where you are completely on your own and may be more likely to slack off a little than to go all out.

But make sure you don’t overstrain, either, by using too much weight, bringing your heart rate too high, or working out too often. This reduces your workout quality, makes your performance stagnate, and can increase your risk of injury.

Mann macht in seinem Wohnzimmer Dehnungsübungen. Sein Hund liegt auf der Couch und schaut ihm dabei zu.


Not giving yourself recovery time

Speaking of overexertion: Give your body enough breaks. Take one or two days of rest before working the same muscle groups.

Recovery is essential for muscle growth and performance. This is when your body repairs muscle tears and replenishes your energy reserves so you can get the most out of your next session, be it weights or cardio.

Wrong diet

Exercising alone isn’t enough to increase your fitness and get closer to your desired body. Did you know that 70 percent of your success depends on nutrition? People who maintain a healthy calorie balance and eat a balanced diet are the ones who succeed in reducing fat, defining muscles, or building muscle mass.

A balanced diet contains all three macronutrient groups: carbohydrates (approx. 40 percent), fat (approx. 30 percent) and protein (approx. 25 percent). Proteins in particular are the decisive factor when it comes to building muscle. Our Whey Protein or Vegan Protein will support you.

Frau sitzt nachst vorm Kühlschrank und isst heimlich ein Stück Pizza

Last but not least, make sure you’re getting enough micronutrients: essential minerals and vitamins that are mainly found in vegetables and fruit. Fruit and veg should be on every menu – especially the nutrient-packed vegetables!

Tip: Our Daily Vitamins cover your daily vitamin supply without having to think about it.


You can get results at home just as effectively as in the gym. These seven tips will maximize your home workouts:

  • Flexibility is all well and good, but having a set exercise schedule will help you stick with it.
  • A well-structured exercise plan helps you hit your fitness goals.
  • Having a fitness area with basic equipment can make it easier, more varied, and motivating.
  • Good form always takes priority over volume and speed. It’s easy to cheat or slack off at home, but it won’t get you anywhere.
  • Challenge your body, but don’t overdo it. Since no instructor is watching, listen closely to your body’s signals.
  • Make sure you get enough recovery by taking days off and getting enough sleep.
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet by supplying your body with all the important macro- and micronutrients.

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.