In today’s digest we bring you articles on Dig Out Your Dumbbells For This Full-Body Home Workout, How Fast Can You Finish This Metabolism-Boosting Bodyweight Challenge?, A runner’s guide to strength training – how to plan your workouts and Why the box squat might be your solution to knee pain – Fitness and Power. Hope you enjoy them…
Dig Out Your Dumbbells For This Full-Body Home Workout
If your home workout well is starting to run dry, give this simple but effective full-body circuit a go. All you need is a set of dumbbells. The workout has been put together by Dan Price, head of nutrition and PT at London gym SIX3NINE, who recommends doing it twice a week at first. “This…
If your home workout well is starting to run dry, give this simple but effective full-body circuit a go. All you need is a set of dumbbells. The workout has been put together by Dan Price, head of nutrition and PT at London gym SIX3NINE, who recommends doing it twice a week at first.
“This five-part circuit targets every major muscle group and, with minimal rest between each exercise, will get the heart rate pumping,” says Price.
How To Do This Workout
“Perform one set of each exercise with minimal rest between sets,” says Price. “Rest for one minute after the fifth set, then repeat the circuit for a total of three rounds. The workout should take 15-20 minutes to complete.”
How To Progress This Workout
If you’re flying through the below without really breaking a sweat but don’t have access to heavier weights right now, then try increasing the difficulty in one of these three ways recommended by Price.
- Gradually increase the reps each time you work out from 10 to 15.
- Increase the number of rounds from three to five.
- Do the circuit four times a week rather than twice.
1 Reverse lunge
Reps 10 each side
Muscles worked: Glutes, quads and hamstrings
Stand holding dumbbells by your sides. Take a big step back and lower until both knees are bent at 90°. Then drive back up to standing.
“Keep your weight on the standing foot,” says Price. “There should be a slight forward lean in your torso as your hips travel back. Drive through the heel of your standing leg to return to the start position.” Complete all the reps on one side, then switch.
Muscles worked: Chest, shoulders and triceps
Start in a high plank position. Lower your chest towards the floor, then push back up.
“Your hands should be outside shoulder-width apart, and keep your shoulders rolled back and down with the chest proud,” says Price. “Keep your core and glutes tight throughout the movement so your body moves as one. As you lower, make sure your elbows aren’t tight to your body but don’t let them flare out to the sides either. Breathe out as you press back up.”
3 Romanian deadlift
Muscles worked: Hamstrings and glutes
“Unlike the squat this movement doesn’t involve your knees travelling forwards,” says Price. “This is a backwards and forwards movement for your hips, rather than up and down.”
Stand holding dumbbells by your thighs with a slight bend in your knees. “Push your hips back, allowing your torso to come down towards the floor,” says Price. “Make sure your back stays flat throughout the movement and your knees aren’t travelling forwards. Squeeze your glutes and thrust forwards to return to the start position.”
4 Bent-over row
Muscles worked: Back and biceps
“Stand with soft knees and push your hips back, allowing your torso to come down towards the floor,” says Price. “Keep your chest high and back flat – maintain this position throughout.” Let your arms hang down, then row the weights up by pulling your elbows back towards and past your hips.
5 Toe taps
Reps 10 each side
Muscles worked: Core
Put the weights to one side. “Lie on your back with your left leg extended, right knee bent and right foot on the floor,” says Price. “Keep your left hand by your side and right arm extended behind you. Keeping your lower back on the ground, bring your right hand and left foot to meet above you, keeping your leg straight if possible. Your upper back and head will come up off the floor during this movement.” Complete all the reps on one side, then switch to work your left hand and right leg.
Dig Out Your Dumbbells For This Full-Body Home Workout was originally published at https://www.coachmag.co.uk/home-workouts/8527/dig-out-your-dumbbells-for-this-full-body-home-workout
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How Fast Can You Finish This Metabolism-Boosting Bodyweight Challenge?
wundervisuals In this home workout, you’re going to work in a ladder format, starting high and gradually reducing the reps each set (one rep at a time on your pull-ups, two reps a time on your lunges and squats). This means you naturally gain momentum as fatigue sets in, forcing you to push hard all…
In this home workout, you’re going to work in a ladder format, starting high and gradually reducing the reps each set (one rep at a time on your pull-ups, two reps a time on your lunges and squats).
This means you naturally gain momentum as fatigue sets in, forcing you to push hard all the way through. Perform the movements in circuit, before heading back to the top for each rep-reduced round.
“This one is a real burner – your body is forced to work harder and harder, forcing blood from your upper to lower body and taking advantage of what we call ‘peripheral heart action’, to ramp up the difficulty and subsequent calorie burn,” says Andrew Tracey, Men’s Health fitness editor.
You might be aiming for a fast time, but make sure every rep is impeccable. We’re trying to build muscle not break ourselves after all. “This one’s going to be tough enough by design,” says Tracey. “Take your time on each rep and you’ll soon see that speed isn’t necessary to truly feel the burn.”
1) Pull-ups x 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Hang below a bar with your arms outstretched (A), squeeze your shoulder blades together to initiate the pull, bending your elbows and bringing your chest up to touch the bar (B). Lower back down under control. Don’t rush these. Correct form is king.
2) Split squat jump x 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
Step one foot backward and sink into a deep lunge, with your rear knee lightly touching the floor (A). Explode upward, switching legs mid-air (B) to land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat the movement, alternating legs each time. Each jump equals one rep.
3) Prisoner Squat x 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
Stand with your torso upright and your hands on your head (A), Drop your hips back to sink into a deep squat (B). Hold for a second, before pressing through your heels to stand up, repeat.
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How Fast Can You Finish This Metabolism-Boosting Bodyweight Challenge? was originally published at https://www.menshealth.com/uk/workouts/a33430585/home-workout-challenge-metabolism/
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A runner’s guide to strength training – how to plan your workouts
Adding tempo runs, long runs, and speedwork to your routine will help build speed and efficiency, but strength training is key, too. ‘Strength work accomplishes three goals for runners: it prevents injuries by strengthening muscles and connective tissues; it helps you run faster by boosting neuromuscular coordination and power; and it improves your running economy…
Adding tempo runs, long runs, and speedwork to your routine will help build speed and efficiency, but strength training is key, too. ‘Strength work accomplishes three goals for runners: it prevents injuries by strengthening muscles and connective tissues; it helps you run faster by boosting neuromuscular coordination and power; and it improves your running economy by encouraging coordination and stride efficiency,’ says Jason Fitzgerald, running coach and founder of Strength Running.
Many fear that lifting builds bulky muscle, which will slow you down. But unless you’re lifting very frequently and eating tons of extra calories, you’re unlikely to put on weight that would impair your running, explains Joe Holder, a Nike+ Run Club coach. ‘I remember a quote from a strength coach who said, “There are no weak fast runners”,’ says Fitzgerald.
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Lay the groundwork
Focus on lifting, not on raising your heart rate. Many runners turn their session into a metabolic workout by including too much cardio – think CrossFit workouts or circuit-based fitness classes, says Fitzgerald. But runners get enough cardio. Instead, they should focus on gaining strength and power. Fitzgerald recommends focusing on relatively heavy weights for a moderate number of repetitions, with full recovery.
Focus on working your entire body; you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you emphasise mostly compound exercises – those that involve multiple joints and muscle groups, such as lunges, squats, rows or dead lifts –rather than isolation exercises, which involve just one joint and one major muscle group, such as a biceps curl or hamstring curl. ‘The goal is to get used to controlling your weight through multiple planes and increasing the level of strength proficiency and body awareness, which will lead to increased mobility, balance and speed,’ says Holder.
Don’t forget that your own body serves as weight. Bridges and planks are excellent exercises – they target areas where weaknesses could lead to increased risk of injury, such as the glutes, hips and core. So if picking up a barbell or dumbbells is a big stretch for you, ditching the weights and adding body-weight exercises instead can still build strength while you master proper form.
Train for strength, not gains
As a runner, train for strength and power, not to bulk up with massive muscles. Choose your weights and reps wisely if you want to get stronger but not necessarily bigger. ‘Runners should be lifting heavy,’ says Brad Schoenfeld a strength and conditioning specialist and associate professor of exercise science at Lehman College in New York, US. ‘Volume builds muscle, whereas strength is maximised by heavy loads.’
A strength-training programme should be periodised like running, explains Fitzgerald. ‘At the beginning, focus on three sets of 10 reps, which is a fairly basic set and rep scheme, building up movement capacity and getting more efficient with using moderate weight,’ he says. ‘Then you can add on weight, periodising appropriately, until you eventually get into power-based moves or Olympic lifts, where the reps come down and sets increase to something like two to five reps for four or five sets.’
How heavy is heavy enough?
One important consideration is to not allow weight training to add so much stress to your body that you get injured. ‘Runners tend to be type A– we want to feel the burn – which is why it’s typical for us to sometimes run too fast or too long,’ says Fitzgerald. ‘But that also means that we can go too hard in the weights room.’
Before you add any resistance to an exercise, make sure you master perfect form with your own bodyweight. If you’re just starting out in the gym weights room, focus on these four pointers to help you choose how much weight to add:
- Begin with a weight that you know will be too easy.
- Perform three sets of 10 reps.
- See how you feel and slowly add more weight from there.
- When the last few reps of the third set feel really tough, start with that weight.
You can increase the weight every two weeks, similar to the way you increase your running mileage in a training plan. By month two or three, you should be performing fewer reps and more sets, with heavier weights.
Or try this trick from Schoenfeld: think of the load as a type of run. If an easy jog is a five on the exertion scale, and 10 is an all-out sprint, you want to be lifting at an eight or nine – like a fast run, but not quite a sprint. ‘The last rep shouldn’t be easy. You should be some what struggling,’ he says.
After each set, rest for two to three minutes to fully recover. Shorter rest periods, which keep your heart rate up, will affect your ability to heft those heavy loads.
Incorporate lifting into your training schedule once or twice a week. As for how to schedule it? Consider how intense your runs are on each day when determining how to place strength training around them.
Running at maximal effort could be impaired for up to 48 hours after lower-body resistance training, says Kenji Doma, a sports and exercise scientist and researcher at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. So you may want to schedule an intense running workout at least two days after your strength training.
For those accustomed to resistance training, running performance at lower intensities is typically not affected by lifting, so if you need to double up on an easy run and a leg workout the same day, you should be OK – as long as there are at least nine hours between the two.
On days when you run and lift weights (and you also intend to run again the next day), it’s best to run first: Doma has found that lower-bodyweight workouts six hours before running at moderate to high intensities have carryover effects of fatigue the next day that are more significant than in the reverse scenario.
Try this plan:
Monday: Strength train upper body/core
Tuesday: Tempo run
Wednesday: Easy run; Strength train lower body
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: Tempo run (evening)
Saturday: Easy run
Sunday: Long run
Why the box squat might be your solution to knee pain – Fitness and Power
In this article, we’ll explain why the box squat can be a solution to your knee problems. We all know that a barbell back squat loaded with relatively heavy weights is the most effective lower body mass builder, as well as one of the exercises which engage almost your entire body. However, there’s a risk…
In this article, we’ll explain why the box squat can be a solution to your knee problems. We all know that a barbell back squat loaded with relatively heavy weights is the most effective lower body mass builder, as well as one of the exercises which engage almost your entire body. However, there’s a risk to doing them and if you’re not executing the movement right, you can put your knees at great risk of injury, not to mention great pain.
If you hear someone complaining about how doing squats makes their knees hurt, you could help them by first asking them to show you how they do the movement. In almost every case, you will see a terrible form. Most of these people blame the squat for their pain, instead of looking objectively at their form and trying to correct their mistakes.
Learning how to squat correctly is not exactly rocket science, however, sometimes it might take some time to get used to the movement. If we also take into account that every person has unique body measurements and the style of execution may differ, things might get complicated.
You should focus on your form
We need to make one thing clear about squat form from the start. There will always be some forward movement of the knees when squatting. The notion that the knees shouldn’t go past the toes because it’s dangerous is a myth and should be dispelled right away. Having said that, however, allowing the knees to move forward so much that the heels come off the ground can pose a serious risk. That’s exactly when you start putting the need under more stress.
You can see this happen quite often in many gyms. This is where the box squat comes in handy. The box squat is beneficial in that it helps you groove a properly executed movement pattern and keep the shins as vertical as possible so that the heels stay on the ground. It also takes the stress off the knees and places a greater load on the hips. This is very important because the hips are a larger and stronger joint than the knees. They are practically designed to handle bigger loads.
If you experience pain in your knees while squatting and provided you’re not suffering from any pre-existing injury, it’s because you’re lifting the weight with your knees doing more of the work than your hips. If you want to keep your joints healthy it is very important that you learn how to use your hips more when squatting. The box squat can help you do that.
The box squat will also keep you honest about your squat depth. You might have heard someone saying that squatting below 90 degrees is dangerous and that it places greater stress on your knees. This is another myth. On the contrary, studies have shown that squatting through a full range of motion is a lot healthier for the knees and ultimately makes them stronger.
How to do the box squat:
- Get a box that is 14 or 15 inches high. The height can be adjusted depending on the lifter’s body type. As a general rule, the thighs should be just below knee level when you are in the bottom position of the squat.
- Do the squat without a barbell first. Once you nail the movement pattern, put the box in a squat rack, unrack the bar, and stand in front of the box with your feet positioned a bit wider than hip-width apart.
- The toes should be pointing outwards at 15-30 degrees.
- Start the squat by moving your hips. Sit back on the box while at the same time pushing the knees out and imagining that you spread the floor with your feet. There’s no need to push the knees out to a point where all of the weight would shift to the outer part of your feet. You only need your kneecaps to be in line with your middle toes.
- Touch the box with your butt gently, don’t just fall on it.
- Reverse the movement back to the starting position, whilst squeezing the glutes at the top.
Why the box squat might be your solution to knee pain – Fitness and Power was originally published at https://www.fitnessandpower.com/training/bodybuilding-exercises/leg-exercises-bodybuilding-exercises/box-squat-knee-pain