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Fitness 3 strength-training habits you should quit immediately

If you're mixing up your workouts ALL the time, you're doing something wrong.

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Experts say the way lots of us approach the weight room is akin to a child in a playroom: short attention span and stuff all over the place.

"Too many women try to do too many things in their strength workouts, and they end up getting very little done," says Justice. Three habits you should stop immediately:

1. FORCING CLASSIC CARDIO INTO YOUR STRENGTH SESSIONS

It can be a great way to get a two-for-one workout, but it won't produce the muscle definition you're after. It's better to program your strength workouts so they have aerobic payoff. "

I prefer supersetting strength moves—doing two exercises back-to- back with no rest in between—to keep the intensity high and heart rate up, and to work as many muscles in as short a time as possible," says trainer Heidi Powell, coauthor of Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days. Research bears that out.

According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, this training strategy leads to a bigger calorie burn afterward. (Try it in this free strength training plan to drop up to 10 pounds in no time.)

2. CONSTANTLY MIXING THINGS UP

A little variety—a boot-camp session here, a few new plyometric moves there—can help spice up your workout routine, but moderation is key. Switch activities too frequently and it becomes hard to measure your actual progress since you don't have anything to compare it to.

The simplest way to make sure your weight workouts are, y'know, working, is to have at least two sessions that are the same week after week. That way, you notice when you start getting more proficient at a move, when you can use heavier weights, or when you don't feel as gassed during an explosive exercise. (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you've been waiting for!)

3. ADDING INSTABILITY TO EVERY MOVEMENT

Sure, single-leg variations and standing on BOSU balls fire up your core activation to help you balance, but you usually can't add enough resistance to truly maximize your strength gains while you're that unsteady. Plus, says Powell, "doing more than you're ready for will only risk injury and frustrate you in the process."

For more fitness tips, check out the April 2017 issue of Women's Health on newsstands now.

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