What’s on your fitness curriculum this year? September is the perfect time to review your current training plan, figure out which strength training subjects need improvement, and move on to more challenging aerobic tasks. You cannot be successful by exercising the same outdated skills you already know or by playing with your healthy habits. For fitness to thrive, a well-rounded curriculum is essential to educate, engage, and motivate.
If you need a muscle building tutorial to become a workout expert, the overview below has all of the exercise elements required for a successful weekly workout.
Preparation and pep. While it’s tempting to skip the warm up when it’s on time, this part of inflating is crucial in protecting your body and preparing you for the exercise. In just five minutes, you can improve blood circulation, increase flexibility, and increase your heart rate at a healthy, steady pace. By giving your body enough time to soak up its temperature and get moving, the chances of injury are reduced and you are less likely to have an effective workout.
You don’t have to be fancy yourself for your warm up to work. Marching in place, making arm circles, or walking works well.
Make a commitment to consistent cardio. At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week is recommended by federal health authorities to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Whether you’re walking your dog or walking around the neighborhood with your baby, commit to 30 minutes of cardio a day, five days a week. For those who enjoy a more vigorous workout like running or a HIIT circuit, aim for a total of 75 minutes per week. The key is that it’s fun and doable on your schedule. If you enjoy exercising, you are more inclined to stick to an exercise regimen.
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Diligent strength training. Strength training improves your quality of life. It strengthens bones, builds stronger muscles, protects joints, and allows you to move easily in your daily activities. Plus, lean muscle burns more calories than fat tissue. To safely train strength and reap its rewards, aim for three days a week with a day off in between. Incorporate this into your cardio workout for maximum results.
When creating your strength training program, the following three exercises should have a permanent place on your list, with variations to avoid plateaus or boredom:
Lower your body to the floor so that your hands are stacked under your shoulders, your spine is straight, your feet are hip-width apart, and your gaze is slightly forward. Hold for 30 seconds. To add to the challenge, add time to your plank or try option two.
From a plank pose, jump your feet further than hip-width apart, then quickly jump back to the starting position. This should be a controlled jump with your hips in line with your spine the entire time. Continue this quick sequence for 10 counts.
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Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders back, eyes forward, and weight in your heels. Bend your hips back to lower them until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push through your heels to stand up and squeeze your glutes up. Repeat 10 times.
Start by standing with your feet together. Now, jump your feet far out while bending your hips back, and lower your right hand toward the floor so that you brush it with your fingertips.
Next, push your heels through to jump back to the starting position. Avoid jumping too high on each rep, as this can cause unnecessary jolts to the joints upon landing. Keep jumping back and forth, alternating the touching hand for 10-12 counts.
Stand up straight and step back with your right foot. With your weight evenly distributed between the front heel and the ball of your back foot, lower yourself until your front and rear legs form a 90-degree angle. Don’t let your front knee protrude past your toes.
Push through your front heel to stand, then lower it back down. Repeat 10 times before switching legs.
Take a large side step to the right, bend back at your hips, and lower yourself into a lunge. Your left leg should be fully extended with all of your body weight resting on your right heel.
Squeeze your right foot to stand as you pull in the inside of your left knee. Hold to strengthen your balance for five counts before continuing a lunge. Practice 10 times, then switch legs.
When it comes to fitness, consider yourself a student who is always striving to learn new things.
Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in South Jersey. To learn more about their virtual exercise program, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.