The following is a list of the 20 best fitness tips that I have found by top fitness experts to get the most from your exercise routines and to keep your bodies safe while burning fat and building muscle. If you have a personal fitness trainer, consult them to get additional suggestions.
It has been proven that fifteen to twenty minutes of interval training can burn more calories than an hour of the steady, traditional cardio workout. It is best to have bursts of high-intensity effort followed by slower, recovery efforts. This will lead to a leaner body and the interval workout will keep burning calories longer after the workout is complete.
Your core muscles consist of a system of muscles that wrap around your torso to stabilize your body, protect your spine and help you stay upright. Work these core muscles before any exercise routine to steady your balance, keep your back healthy and to help you maintain a rigid body position during exercising.
Everyone, including myself, likes using weight machines such as the Bowflex Home Gym for their resistance training. This is a part of my home fitness equipment collection. However, there are drawbacks. Machines like these are built for the weights to travel a specific path.
If you are shorter or taller than the machines designed path, you are not getting the full benefit of the movement. You could increase the chances of injury or develop weaknesses.
Try using dumbbells, barbells or medicine balls to build your strength in ways more specific to your own body type. These are also part of my home fitness equipment and are much cheaper than weight machines. You will also work all of the other smaller stabilizing muscles that are missed using a weight machine.
You can improve the results of almost any exercise by sliding your shoulder blades down and back before performing the exercise. This is a great tip for chin-ups but also works well for pulling exercises, pushing exercises, during squats or even biceps curls. You can improve your results of the exercises, protect against injury as well as reduce painful impingement on your rotator cuff during curls.
Increase Range of Motion
Get the most out of every move by increasing the range of motion during your workout. This is the distance the main movement travels to complete a repetition. Do your squats deeper, increase the height of your step for step-ups, elevate your front or back foot for lunges and increase the range of movement for free weight exercises. Your body will thank you.
Explode Through Your Reps
When weight training, do your slow lifting technique only during the lowering (eccentric) portion of the exercise. For the concentric portion (pushing, pulling, pressing, jumping) of the exercise, move the weight as quickly as you can. This will turn on your fast-twitch muscle fibers even if the weight doesn’t move fast. This will train your body to burn more fat and become more athletic.
Use Multiple Joints
To save time in your exercise routine, do exercises that work multiple muscles and joints. Yes, bicep curls and triceps push downs will build muscles, but more slowly. Add in exercises such as squats that work both legs and back, bent over rows that work your biceps and back or narrow grip bench presses that will work both triceps and chest muscles.
Mix Up Your Grip
For exercises such as deadlifts, chin ups, bent over rows or inverted rows, to keep your hands and forearms from giving out before your legs or back, mix your grip. That means grip the bar with one palm facing you and the other facing away from you. When your hands or forearms start getting tired, reverse both hand grips for the next set. This way, your legs and back will determine when you are done.
Your core is what stabilizes your body. Make it work much harder by creating instability. This means just loading one side of the body. Examples; When doing lunges only hold weight on one shoulder. Press only one dumbbell overhead during shoulder presses. Perform standing, single arm cable chest presses. This will work your abs without crunches.
As I have said before, the push-up is one of the world’s best exercises. Do them often. The main thing is to have proper form. Keep your body rigid from the top of your head to the heels of your feet. Don’t sag your hips, bubble up your butt or hump your back. Try to keep your elbows tucked in towards your sides through the movement.
It will not hurt you to use heavier weights. This will not make you bulky. It will protect you from osteoporosis by increasing bone density and will make you stronger. To keep it simple, use the weight with which you can perform 8 to 12 reps, with the last rep a struggle but not impossible. Be sure to warm up first before any exercise.
The Hip Hinge
For squats and dead lift variations, you should push your hips back when lowering your body. To do this correctly, try to imagine that you need to open a door with your butt. This will activate the correct muscles in your back without rounding your back.
You should have a post workout mix of protein, fat and carbs to help your body build muscle, reduce soreness and recover faster. If you are in a hurry or just miss the post workout snack, then a tall glass of chocolate milk is what you need. It has the ideal mix of nutrients that you are looking for.
Resistance Training then Cardio
Always do your strength training first and then your cardio workout. You will burn more calories this way. Studies have shown that you will burn twice as many calories if you follow this order than you will if you just do the cardio workout alone. Get the most from your cardio fitness routine by strength training first.
You should run hills to burn fat and to reduce injury. Uphill running uses 9 percent more muscle per stride than the same pace on level ground. It also can save your knees. A 3 percent increase in grade can reduce the shock on your legs by up to 24 percent. I always set my treadmill at the maximum slope that it has.
Static stretching before exercise or activity increases your risk of injury as well as can reduce your power. Always warm-up before to increase your heart rate, get your muscles use to moving and to fire up your nervous system. Get your body ready for exercise with exercise.
Explosive exercise involves flight. It is your body leaving the ground (jumping) or weight flying out of your hands (bench press throw). Studies show that men who include explosive chest exercises can bench 5 percent more than men who don’t. These moves will increase strength.
It is far better to keep a workout journal than just trying to wing it. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write it down, I will not remember it. To do more as time goes on, you will need to remember what you have done. Add weight and do more reps to see results and remember.
Use Active Recovery
Rest is not the best thing for sore muscles. You will actually reduce the pain with a little activity. Blood flow to your sore muscles will speed recovery by up to 40 percent. Do some simple rounds of calisthenics, perform some foam rolling or do a light game of basketball. Your body will thank you.
Your body needs sleep to recover from a long day. Studies show that lack of sleep can result in bad workouts. Too little sleep can also slow your metabolism, increase appetite and cause your body to retain more abdominal fat. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. This is also an important overall health tip in additional to one of the best fitness tips.