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Need to get some bounce back in your step this New Year? Incorporate these five tips into your fitness plan!
1) Dare to be Different – For the next 4 weeks, do something completely different with your workout. If you only lift weights, add some cardio and/or interval training. If you only do cardio training, start building some muscle through weight training. Never work your legs or back? Incorporate/learn how to perform exercises such as deadlifts, squats, rows, chin-ups and all of their variations. This is what being efficient and getting in great shape is all about! It’s not about spending 80 minutes in the gym doing the same thing you have always done — your body is used to that by now. Pick movements that build a more balanced body and always use great form! If you need further instruction on these movements, the staff at North Loop Fitness is always there to help!
2) Get Your Roll On — Start rolling on a foam roller. A foam roller is a tough, foam tube that allows you to essentially give your muscles a massage. Foam rolling is critical in that it helps to improve the quality of your soft tissue and assists in breaking down scar tissue — this, in turn will reduce aches and pains in your body. If you are pain-free, awesome – use it as a preventative/warm-up tool.
3) Blessed with Mobility – Incorporate mobility movements into your warm-ups before your workout. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of mobility preparation! If you have injuries, aches, pain, imbalances or dysfunctions within your body, work on your mobility and you will function a heck of a lot better. After 5-10 minutes of foam rolling, use mobility training to prepare your muscles for your workout through a series of movements with only your bodyweight. Perform this series of movements as a circuit and execute the repetitions in a smooth fashion — not too fast, not too slow. Do NOT go to failure on anything here. Remember, you’re just trying to warm up. Here is an example of what a very basic mobility circuit might look like: Jump rope for 1 minute; controlled bodyweight squats for 20 repetitions; pushups for 10 reps; step over a bar or hurdle for 20 reps; bodyweight row on Olympic rings or a bar for 10 reps; lunges for 20 reps; plank hold for 1 minute. You will go through this circuit two times total. I will explain more about mobility training and its benefits in future blogs.
4) Listen Up Runners! – “Don’t run to get fit — get fit to run.” I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken if you think that running alone is enough to properly maintain your body. Eliminate your weaknesses and strengthen your body to achieve balance. Again, strength training, foam rolling, mobility prep and flexibility are your friends. You must understand and listen to your body — body awareness is a powerful tool.
5) Food Fight!!! — If I was your body, I would find a way to punish you for skipping breakfast every morning. This truly is the most important meal of the day and gets your metabolism going.
Try incorporating more protein, veggies, berries, healthy fats and fiber into your meals. If you are still hungry or craving sugar after this advice, you didn’t follow my advice! It works. And please, please, please drink more water. Honestly, just do it. You’ll thank me later.
Incorporate these tips and you’ll feel like a million bucks within three months. Until next month’s installment — HAPPY NEW YEAR from North Loop fitness!!! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by!
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