Here are two great bodyweight workouts to push you into the New Year. Pick your level between the two and get ready to burn serious calories!
Burn serious calories in a short amount of time as Nicky Holender takes you through this 34 minute HIIT workout, complete with warm up and cool down. You'll do 9 exercises. Each exercise is broken into 60 seconds of cardio, 20 seconds of a hold move, followed by 30 seconds of high intensity. Exercises include burpees, stand up paddles, lateral doggies, tricep step ups, extended planks, renegade rows and more.
Utilize range of motion and isometric exercises to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, while burning muscles with low intensity cardio exercises. Trainer Nicky Holender will take you through 40-minutes of combo strengthen and stretching workout. After a 10 minute warm up, you'll move into 30 minutes of training exercises, and finishing with a quick cool down. Exercises include standing quad reaches, lateral dodges, salsa ladder drills, crescent kicks, bird dogs and half flying cross. This workout can be modified for most conditions.
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Do you slouch in your office chair at work? Are you starting to notice rounded shoulders with your neck protruding forward? By the afternoon are you feeling aches and pains in your back, neck and shoulders?
If you answered "Yes" to these questions, you are amongst many office workers who experience postural problems from sitting in a chair all day long, either at your desk or driving.
Slouching all day in an office chair forces your chest muscles to tighten and constrict. This shortening of your chest muscles pulls your spine forward and rotates your shoulders inward, while at the same time weakening the muscles of your upper back that aid in posture. Not only does this drive that slouching posture, making you look like a hunchback, but it creates all those aches your are feeling in your back and neck.
The good news is that Hyper Kyphosis, the clinical term for this condition, is completely reversible. And best of all, when you feel like you are hunched over too much, just slip into the bathroom and do these exercises to relieve chest tightness and strengthen your upper back muscles to help you look more like a human and less like an ape.
These 5 exercises can all be done in a bathroom stall to give you a mid-day postural fix.
Stretch your chest muscles. Tight chest muscles can pull your shoulders forward and cause you to slouch. Stand in an open doorway and place your forearms vertically on the door frames, or against a wall. Your upper arms should be level with your shoulders. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Keep your arms in place and step through the doorway to stretch your chest. Relax and don't hold your breath. Hold the stretch for 30 to 90 seconds. The longer you hold the stretch, the more beneficial it will be.
Perform wall angels. To strengthen your upper back, especially the muscles between your shoulder blades, stand with your back to a wall and lean against it. Raise your arms out to shoulder level and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Turn your hands so that your palms are facing forward. Slide your hands up the wall as far as you can while pressing your arms flat against the wall. Lower your hands back to the starting position and repeat. Perform this exercise slowly, taking 10 seconds to raise your hands and 10 seconds to lower them. Really squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower your arms and then repeat for eight to 12 repetitions.
Standing upward dog stretch. To reverse the constant curve in your back, arch back the opposite way to prevent muscle fatigue. While standing with feet slightly apart, place hands on the small of the back (fingers will be pointing downward). Lean back as far as you can, lift your chest and squeeze your elbows together. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds while maintaining your breathing.
Chin tucks. Perform chin tucks by sitting up straight and pulling your chin backwards using the muscles in the back of your neck. Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times. Work up to three sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.
Stand straight against a wall. Find your proper posture and engage your core muscles that will keep you here. To find proper posture. Place your feet about shoulder width apart, the same stance you would use for working out or many other physical activities. Stand up straight. This is, of course, the key to good standing posture, and bears repeating. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet. When you rest on your heels, your natural tendency will be to slouch. Instead, stand up, and make an effort to stand on the balls of your feet. Keep your shoulders squared. It may feel unnatural at first, if you have not developed good posture habits. Pull your head back and up. Picture yourself reaching for the ceiling with the top of your head. Keep your head square on top of the neck and spine as you do this. Not only will this improve your posture, you will look taller and leaner, too. Hold this for 2 minutes.
To ensure long term changes, it is critical that you become more conscious of posture when standing and sitting. Needless to say, human beings are not designed to sit in an office all day. We are built to move. Getting out of your office chair to walk around several times throughout the day can go a long way.
If you need to sit at a computer all day, make sure you perform these exercises once a day and that your workstation had proper ergonomics. The monitor should be placed at arm's length directly in front of you at 15- 30 degrees below your line of sight. Your forearms should form a 90 degree angle as you type and your legs should form a 90 degree angle as you sit. Keep your shoulders back, chest out, head up and use a wrist pad placed directly in front of the keyboard. By incorporating these exercises and tips into your daily habits, you will enjoy improved posture and health.
So you are proud of yourself for pushing through that grueling workout. While that was tough enough to get through, now you have to live through the muscle soreness. This muscle soreness often then provides an excuse not to workout for the next few days.
While reducing soreness might be the immediate need, you should understand the importance of recovery.
Intense physical activity strains or tears muscle fibers, which is why they become sore a day or two after. Muscles grow and become stronger when they are subjected to forces that cause tiny tears in the muscle fibers. Intense physical activity strains or tears muscle fibers, which is why they become sore a day or two after. You can avoid, or at least minimize, muscle pain with proper body conditioning before undertaking such activities. It is during the recovery period after a workout that the body repairs these fibers and builds new blood vessels to the stressed area. But that's not all. During the recovery period, the energy-generating components of the cells develop a higher work capacity, and your bone density increases.
Although soreness cannot be completely eliminated, it can be controlled, and proper post-workout recovery protocols will also allow your body to recover more quickly and respond better to your workouts. Here are five tips to a healthy and speedy recovery:
#1 - Protein and Carbohydrates
Immediately after a workout, you have a maximum of about two hours to most efficiently absorb what you eat as energy and repair fuel, which will help repair the ripped muscles and tendons. Protein and carbohydrates, which are converted to energy, are essential in building muscle mass, so adding them to your diet immediately after a physical activity will hasten this process and help heal your muscles faster. If you do not eat, you may not have enough carbohydrate energy for your next workout, you will certainly not have the protein you need to repair muscles, and you will not have enough healthy fat for your hormones and joints.
#2 - Hydration
Your muscle cells need water, so when it comes to recovery, dehydration is one of your biggest enemies. Try to drink one 20-24oz bottle of water for each hour of exercise.
#3 - Easy Exercise
Performing a brief cool-down after a workout helps contracting muscles milk out excess soreness-generating fluids. In the same way, Just because you have muscle pain does not mean you should altogether stop exercising. In fact, it will help you to go on with your regular routine, but keep things light and easy in the meantime until you have fully recovered. Do easy exercises that use different muscles than those that have been inflamed, because it will counteract the stiffness while supporting those sore parts.
#4 - Blood Flow
Muscles become sore because as your body burned energy during the strenuous activity, there was likely a shortage in oxygen during the process converting glycogen (stored energy) into glucose. Your muscles eventually stiffen because of poor blood circulation. Techniques that can improve blood flow include cooling down after your workout with a walk or easy bike ride, wearing compression garments, performing light stretching during or after each workout, alternating every 30-60 seconds between hot and cold running water in your post-workout shower, taking an ice bath after a strenuous weight training workout or long run, and performing a light walk, swim, or easy exercise routine the day after a hard workout. Massaging the painful areas with slow, even strokes. Applying just enough pressure will help improve circulation and reduce the pain.
#5 - Topical Ointments, and Warm and Cold Compress
Most of these techniques work to reduce swelling and inflammation, and relieve pain. You apply cold compress in the sore area for 10 to 20 minutes. Do this every six hours for the next two or three days until the swelling subsides. Then, you can apply a hot compress also for 10 minutes. Heat serves to relax sore muscles and relieves pain.There are also several compounds that you can rub on a muscle to eliminate soreness and improve recovery. Most of these compounds work by creating a pain-relieving and cooling sensation, increasing blood flow, or displacing elevated levels of calcium. Popular remedies include Arnica rub, Traumeel, Ben-Gay, and Tiger Balm. All of these ointments can be rubbed into the muscle immediately after and up to several days after a workout, until soreness subsides.
Muscle pain develops after engaging in rigorous physical activity that your body is unaccustomed to. You usually get this following a new and more intensive exercise routine, or by overexerting yourself after a long period without regular physical activity. The degree of pain varies according to the kind and length of the activity done. But getting fit doesn't have to be painful. So if you find yourself sore, use the techniques in this article to recover properly and get fit quickly!
Take the time today to give your muscles a thorough stretch. Do this routine after your workout, or after a long day while your muscles are still warm! Amy Dixon will take you through exercises that will improve you flexibility and balance.
Stretching should not take a backseat in your workout routine. Stretching can improve your range of motion, reduce risk of injury, increase athletic performance, and improve posture.
It also works out those mid-week kinks you feel from sitting in a desk chair! Take care of yourself in just a few minutes by stretching out your aches and pains.
We all feel the impact of working out in different ways, which is why it’s always important to stretch and let your body recover when it needs to. A commonly felt area is the back, which is also one of the hardest areas to lengthen and stretch. That’s why we like Heidi Kristoffer's Cranky Back Flow.
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