How To Improve Your Workout (And Results): Planes Of Motion
Kai Wheeler writes:
If you are looking for guidance when it comes to exercise selection this video is for you! The primary objective of any workout program should be functionality, including exercises that translate to everyday activities. Many traditional exercise routines focus on isolating one muscle group at a time in one plane of motion. This is problematic because our bodies are designed to move in dynamic patterns utilizing prime movers, secondary movers and stabilizer muscles. If you overtrain one muscle group in one plane of motion you are not using your body as an integrated system of movers. The three planes of motion are sagittal, frontal and transverse.
Shaking Off “Gymtimidation”
If you’re making a new commitment to exercise, you’ll probably be active around other people, and that can cause anxiety. You may worry because you have a large weight-loss goal, get winded easily, or you can’t lift much weight. You may even have been the target of mean-spirited comments from others.
Unfortunately, the world has a generous helping of jerks in it. You still have to look out for yourself, and that may mean getting a little uncomfortable. Here are some suggestions to ease the way:
- Wear earphones while you exercise: Well, not if you’re riding a bike outside, but then you’ll be sailing past any haters, anyway. Especially in the gym, though earphones — plus favorite music, a great (or just plain fun) audiobook, or some podcasts from a favorite show — can help you tune out the world and focus on your workout. Music has even been shown to enhance performance.
- Map out a plan before you hit the gym: Know exactly what you’re doing before you get to the gym. It could be as simple as a list of exercises you want to do, or as complicated as the order and other details about them. Bonus: you have a checklist to help you see what you’re accomplishing while you’re there. (And keeping a log of your activities, even if it’s just dated lists in a manila folder, can help you stick with your plan and improve it, too. Here are some ideas for things you can keep track of.)
- It’s really true: the people who matter don’t mind, and the people who mind don’t matter. Sometimes the gym seems like an obstacle course of people who are better at everything and eyeing you critically. Appearances can be deceiving. The most capable, consistent, and knowledgeable gym-goers are almost always friendly, enthusiastic, and interested in helping others share their enjoyment of exercise. In other words, the best people help build others up — they don’t tear others down.
Exactly how fast you move or how much you lift doesn’t mean much outside of formal competition. For almost all of us, the most important part is whether we can do more — or feel better — than we did yesterday, or last week or last year. No human will ever beat a cheetah in a sprint, but that’s OK, because our job is being good humans. (And when the distances get longer, the tables turn!) This is one reason it helps to find activities you enjoy. Enjoying your exercise makes it easier to focus on what’s really important: how you are getting better over time.
This is clearly an image from an ad campaign (others in this style include a swimmer racing a dolphin and a soccer player facing off against a spider goal-tender), but I don’t know the source — please let me know if you recognize it!
Do you have some favorite tips and tricks for keeping your focus?
Tara Stiles writes:
This is a gentle 10-min yoga routine you can do at home to relax, restore and recover your entire body and mind.
Three Simple Ways to Improve Running Efficiency
Get Strong. It’s not uncommon for runners to acquire muscle imbalances that create more work for the body when we ask it to run or move (inefficiency). In fact, even runners that strength-train regularly can fall victim to muscle weakness if they’re not addressing the imbalances directly.
For example, prolonged sitting can cause the glute medius on both sides to weaken or shut off, causing instability and lateral shifting in the hips. This weakness hinders your running form via wasted lateral movement and can also cause overuse injuries like Iliotibial Syndrome and other issues down the chain.
The key is to not only include the typical functional multi-joint exercises for runners (squats, lunges), but to also include the more simple exercises (like the clam) that might not seem like they’re doing much but are helping you activate and strengthen a weak, inactive muscle. Here is a list of exercises that will help balance your body strength and better stabilize to run more efficiently with less wear and tear.
- Planks (standard, mountain climbers, side plank raises)
- Squats (single and double leg)
- Push Ups
- Row with resistance tube or weight
- The Bridge (with both feet on the ground or single leg)
Get your power on. Adding plyometrics into your regular routine will boost strength and speed by improving the elasticity of the muscle via the stretch-shortening cycle. That is, when the muscle is stretched before an explosive contraction, like bending through the knee before a single leg jump, it contracts more powerfully and quickly.
Because these exercises are explosive in nature, it is best to weave them into your program after you have established a solid base of strength-training, once per week, and in rotation with your strength-training program. Perform these exercises after your runs to focus on good form, as performing plyometrics with sloppy form can quickly lead to injury. Here are three plyometric exercises for runners. By the way, plyometrics are a little like child’s play once you get the hang of it.
- Power skips: Keeping your arms in running form, skip for a total of 20 on each leg, focusing on landing lightly on the balls of your feet and increasing the height of each skip.
- Leg bounding: With an exaggerated running form, bound forward by jumping with each stride, focusing on an exaggerated knee lift for 20 seconds. Walk back to recover and repeat 2-3 times.
- Squat jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend into squat position with your hips back and knees bent. Tap the floor with your hands and jump up reaching your hands to straight over your head. Bend your knees as you land, touch the ground again, and repeat for 20 seconds.
Improve your stride rate. Your stride rate is simply the number of steps you take in a minute. To find it, count the number of strides on one foot for one minute and double it. The goal is to have a stride rate of around 180, or 90 per foot. If it’s much less (170) than that, it likely means you’re creating more vertical energy (oscillation), projecting more upward motion than forward, and you guessed it, wasting energy. It also means you’re employing braking forces with every stride rather than rolling quickly over the ground. The key is to practice patience while increasing your stride rate and decreasing the time you spend on the ground.
To improve your stride rate, you can run to a music mix at 180 bpm, invest in a metronome (musician’s timing device), or add the following drill to the beginning or end of your runs (it makes a great active warmup). Although this drill (and running with a faster cadence) may feel awkward at first, that just means you’re creating new neuromuscular patterns that will soon start to feel more natural. It’s important to note that when running to music or a metronome, it’s best to focus on taking shorter strides and increasing the cadence gradually. If your stride rate is 170, for example, you could set it to 174 and progress slowly from there.
Striders: On a flat straightaway, start running with short, quick strides. Gradually increase the length of your stride while maintaining quick turnover for 30 seconds. Slow down gradually, walk back to the start, and repeat a total of four to six times.
It’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and optimal running efficiency isn’t, either. The good news is a little time invested with these exercises can make a significant difference in your running performance down the road.
Why Do My Knees Hurt During Lunges?
Kai Wheeler writes:
If you are someone who experiences knee pain during lunges this video will benefit you. There can be many factors that influence knee pain during exercise but I have identified the three most common issues I encounter with my clients. I will show you how to restore tight hip flexors, improve proper weight distribution, strengthen the core stabilizer muscles and finally I will cover the mechanics of a lunge.
The Watermelon Workout
This is my first total body workout video using Fruit ONLY as weights! You gotta try this one you’ll have a lot of fun!! This particular week, watermelons at Costco are only $3.00!
…Exercises & Detail
3 Sets of 20 Reps: Watermelon Sumo Squat and Press
3 Sets of 35 Reps: Watermelon Sumo Squat Pulse
3 Sets of 20 Reps: Watermelon Shoulder Press
3 Sets of 40 Reps: Watermelon Pushups (alternating 20 reps on each arm)
3 Sets of 10 Reps: Watermelon Squats Figure 8′s
3 Sets of 40 Reps: Watermelon Swings
Workout printable here
Workout video here
Quick And Easy To Follow Tips For People Who Want To Gain Weight
Dr. Nina Cherie writes:
Since losing weight is so important to so many people it’s sometimes hard to believe that there are thin people with an ever so unique goal of gaining weight. Now, if you have a strong desire to gain weight, you may feel inclined to terminate exercise completely while eating haphazardly. This will surely do you more harm than good in the long-term.
When attempting to gain weight, it’s best to implement a slow and steady approach so as not to pose any risks to your health. You can best accomplish this by altering your eating habits in a healthy way while minimizing the amount of calories you burn during exercise. Here are seven great strategies for doing this.
Read more here.
Fitness || The Ultimate Guide To Protein Powders
There are so many protein powders out there, how much do you need? Which one should you take? Does eating protein make you bulkier or skinnier? In today’s video I’m going to breakdown all the types of protein powder available in this ultimate guide to help you make the right choice.
How much protein do you need per day? Take this quick test: http://bit.ly/1rD4cCl