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FAIL: Rushing Your Reps

It’s tempting to try and get through your reps at lightening speed. But you'll get better results if you dial it down a bit, says Rubenstein. Referred to as "time under tension," the amount of time it takes for you to complete your repetitions plays a role in building "tone." Using momentum by speeding through your reps also increases your chances of injury and decreases effectiveness, says Holland. For strength and tone, Holland recommends a two-second count on the concentric phase (contraction of the muscle) and a four to five second count for the eccentric (lengthening or stretching phase) of each move.

(CREDIT: H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)
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