English Pip Black and Kiwi-born Joan Murphy were both athletes who grew up around exercise.
Black made it to nationals in both hockey and running, while Murphy was competing at a national level for triathlon, athletics, and track cycling – “anything that got me out of class,” she joked.
They both then went into business, ending up in advertising.
While trying to balance their careers and busy schedules, the friends were looking for a way to exercise that was perfect for them – but only saw big box gyms with “stale environments.”
“When we were looking around for something we wanted to go to, we found the gym really uninspiring, which led us to put two and two together,” Murphy told Business Insider. “Getting fit and having a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t feel like a chore.”
So in 2009, they opened their first studio, called FRAME. It had a feel-good, fun approach to fitness, and worked on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Now, there are FRAME locations in Shoreditch, Queen’s Park, King’s Cross, and Victoria, with two more to open in Hammersmith and Fitzrovia. The studio specialises in fitness, yoga, dance, pilates, and even hosts classes like “Beyonce Barre” and “Bend It Like Barbie.” It also recently launched “Mum-hood” pre and post natal workshops, hosts running clubs, and offers in-house training.
Alongside their own experiences as high-level athletes, with 150 instructors and 8,500 people visiting FRAME’s 800 classes per week, Black and Murphy have also observed plenty of other people exercising – and they’ve seen what helps and halts their progress.
These are the seven biggest mistakes most people make when they work out, according to the founders of FRAME – along with how to fix them:
1. Overdoing it.
Too much time working out can lead to burn out, add stress on the body, and leaves you at risk of injury, according to the FRAME founders.
“At FRAME we recommend to move your body daily, but it’s important to vary the intensity and give your body the time it needs to recover. Especially with the growing popularity of high-intensity training, getting into yoga or pilates to counteract this will leave you with a healthy body and the best results.”
2. Lacking variety.
If you repeat the same exercise time and again, your body gets used to it, and your fitness will plateau.
“To get the maximum benefits and results, keep your training varied, and re-assess your goals. [For example] the first few times you run a 5k it’s hard, but soon it will feel easy, so you need to push the distance and intensity up to see the same progression as you did when you first started.”
3. Not having fun.
Exercise is supposed to be a mood booster and be fun.
“If you make the mistake of trying to stick to something you really dislike, chances are you won’t stick at it very long. Your body will produce more cortisol – the stress hormone – before you even get going. Try a class, get outside, and try to work out with friends. The best workout for you is the one you turn up to.”
4. Getting the plank wrong.
- Gyorgy Barna / Shutterstock
The plank is a great all-over body exercise when you do it correctly, especially targeting your core.
“A lot of people have poor form or technique by either sagging their hips down low or raising their bum up too high. This can lead to lower back and shoulder pain.”
Here’s how to nail your plank:
- Keep your legs straight and hips raised to create a straight and rigid line from head to toe. Your shoulders should be directly above your elbows. Keep your abs contracted during the exercise. Don’t allow your lower back to sink. Look down at the floor.
5. Getting squats wrong.
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Again, squats are an amazing total body exercise and something you can do almost anywhere.
“If you’re not using the correct technique, you can risk back and knee injury.”
Here’s how to perfect your squat:
- Make sure your knees are pressing out. Weight should be in the heels. Chest open and shoulders back. Make sure your core is engaged. Squeeze your bum all the way to the top. Don’t overarch your back.
6. Doing too much too soon.
When people get started on a fitness or a health kick, they often start too hard.
“Set realistic commitment levels that you can achieve over a longer period of time. Be realistic with yourself on what you can consistently keep up and you won’t feel bad for not reaching unrealistic goals.”
7. Comparing yourselves to others.
- Photography by Nicole Hill / Courtesy of Tone It Up
Everyone’s lives are different, and so are our bodies.
“Be sure to evaluate what YOU need and want to achieve. Keep that top of mind, especially when scrolling through social media.”