Admit your weaknesses. If you have an exercise or set of exercises that you don’t like to do, do them. If you are avoiding them, you are probably weak in that area. Forcing yourself to do them not only increases your discipline, it also will help balance your workouts.
Save time and muscle. Keep weight workouts under an hour. After an hour, research shows that your body will start to produce more Cortisol which tends to have a muscle wasting effect.
We still like sit-ups! Sit-ups have gotten a bad rap from time to time. Done correctly however, the standard sit-up is still one of the most effective abdominal exercises. There are dozens of variations of sit-ups and crunches and we won’t go into them all here. Avoid doing sit-ups with anchored feet as this tends to expose the lower back to undue stress. Otherwise, find a method that works for you. Also, avoid working your abdominals every day. Abdominals are like any other muscle, they need to time to recoup.
Focus on Flexibility as you age. If you’re under 40 years old, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you are over 40, hold your stretches for 60 seconds. As we age, our muscles become less pliable and need more attention to maintain flexibility. Maintaining or increasing one’s flexibility is a key factor in avoiding injuries as we age.
Huff and Puff your way to stronger Abs. If you exhale forcefully at the top of the move while doing crunches, it forces your abs to work harder. Harder work equals stronger abs!
Flatten your Gut. The Transversus Abdominus is the muscle that lies under your Rectus Abdominus (commonly referred to as the “six-pack”). This is the muscle that you use when you suck your gut in. Strengthen the Transversus Abdominus by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Repeat 6-8 times. While you can’t see this muscle, it will help flatten your gut!
STRONGER AND FASTER. Doing the same amount or exercises during your workout in a shorter period of time helps build muscle. It forces your muscles to work harder and has the added benefit of building muscular endurance. If you do your workout routine in 40 minutes, try to get it done in 35 minutes.
Isolate your Abs. When doing reverse crunches, round your back by rolling your hips and pelvis towards your chest as opposed to just raising your legs. Otherwise you will engage your hip flexors for the majority of the work. In order to get the maximum benefit when working your abs, you must isolate them as much as possible.Drink your way to fitness. We’re talking water here! Most people don’t drink enough water. You have heard the standard recommended amount of water; eight 8 ounce glasses a day. In reality, how much water you need depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is how big you are.
Water supports a host functions needed to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and to assist your body’s operating systems. It helps flush toxins from your system; lubricates joints and muscles; maintains muscle tone; aids in the fat burning process (being dehydrated slows the process!); helps deliver oxygen to your muscles. Dehydration lowers blood volume, which decreases blood flow to your muscles leading to feeling tired.
Drinking an adequate supply of water every day is a key component of your fitness level. If you only drink water when you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drinking more water will also not make you look bloated, in fact it will have the opposite effect.
Go shorter, Go faster, AND GO safer. Consider mixing up your running routine by going shorter distances faster. This tends to improve your running form making you less susceptible to injury. Also, running shorter distances creates less wear and tear on your body.
It’s easier to buy new shoes than new knees. Shoes have a shelf life, even if they don’t look like they need to be replaced. On average, shoes will have a useful life of 500-600 miles. To figure out when you should replace them, simply divide your weekly average running distance into 500. You then know when you are in the replacement time frame.
Warm up BEFORE your work out. Warming up for your weight workout by walking on the treadmill isn’t really warming up effectively. Since you are warming up a different set of muscles on the treadmill than you will be working while lifting, the benefit is almost non-existent. Instead, use an un-weighted bar and mimic the exercises you will be doing. This provides a more effective targeted warm up.
Your Abs are hurting your lower back. We have a tendency to focus on doing tons of abdominal work and not so much on working the opposing muscles in the lower back. This creates an imbalance and can pull your posture out of alignment. This leads to tension in the lower back and further erodes good posture. To avoid this problem, always match each set of abdominal exercises with a corresponding lower back exercise. You will look better, feel better and save yourself a pain in the back!
Feed your muscles post work out. Include at least 20 grams of sugar with your post work out meal. Sugar helps carry protein to the muscles you just worked. So, a little sugar with your chicken sandwich will help build stronger muscles quicker. Just be sure to limit sugar intake the rest of the day.
If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve written or would like to book an appointment with us, please click HERE to be directed to our contact page. Beverly Hills Posture is proud to offer Chiropractic Care with an abundance of options including- Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic, Acupuncture, Acupressure and Massage Therapy. We dedicate ourselves to creating a healthier you.