Beauty & Health, Fitness

Re-do Your Routine

By Nicole Flanagan

Spring is on its way. The days are getting longer and warmer and everything is waking up from winter. With springtime comes a new energy to evaluate and recommit to fitness plans. It is almost like a second shot at a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you need to set some new goals, or even start over completely. Here are a few ways to tweak your workout and keep your fitness moving in the right direction.

Train Smarter. If you are looking for an all-in-one training tool, check out the TRX Suspension System. It is portable, versatile and makes the most out of a bodyweight workout. Because of the suspension, you must use your core to stabilize and therefore work more than one muscle group at a time. With the TRX system you can get a workout done in as little as twenty minutes. The TRX system is designed for all fitness levels from novice to elite. It comes with a workout guide and there are many ways to modify the exercises whether you are just starting out, or are looking to bring your workout to a new level. It really is an all-in-one workout. Staying with the idea of a portable workout, another great piece of equipment is an exercise band. They are inexpensive, compact, and you can carry them almost anywhere.  Try this; from either a seated or standing position, pull a band up around your thighs, slowly pull your legs apart at the knees. This works both inner and outer thigh muscles. Start with three sets of ten.

Back up your workout. You know how to train your abs, but what many forget is how important it is to strengthen your entire back. By adding a few exercises that work to improve back strength and stability you will be doing your core a big favor. Try this. Starting on your hands and knees, slowly raise your opposite arm and leg until your body forms a straight line from fingertips to heel. Pause then return hands and knees to starting position. Do three sets of fifteen to twenty.  Let’s talk about the ab routine. If it typically consists of things like sit-ups and V-crunches than it may be time to rethink your core workout. You have five lumbar vertebrae, and each one gives you about seven to nine degrees of motion, for a total of forty -five degrees. That means to truly work our core you need to to stay between zero degrees (like a plank) and forty-five degrees (like a crunch). From forty-five degrees to a full sit-up, you’re engaging your hip flexors, which attach directly to your lumbar spine. Too many reps will not only make you hip muscles sore, but our lower back will start to hurt as well.

Eat and drink. Workouts cause muscle damage, it’s how muscles repair that makes them stronger. If all you do is break down muscle cells, you are on the path to injury. The first ten minutes post workout is the time to replenish those cells so they can begin to repair and be ready to work out again. You don’t have to run out and grab a sandwich right after a workout, but something light, like a banana and peanut butter or a protein shake, will help.  Lastly, drink plenty of water. Water is one of the most underrated nutrients; we often forget just how much too much or too little water can affect a workout. Most people do not drink enough water. When you are dehydrated your workout suffers. The best way to make sure you are drinking enough water is to bring a water bottle with you. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and during and after workouts. If you start to feel thirsty, you are already a little dehydrated.

Whether you needed a full revamp of your workout or just a few minor adjustments, now is the time to get your fitness routine back on track. With spring just around the corner it’s a great time to find some new motivation.

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