It’s the New Year, and what better time than now, to add CORE-training to your list of resolutions. CORE-training will improve your physical appearance by toning and firming up your muscles, increase your metabolism so that you burn more calories and fat, improve your posture, coordination, energy level and balance, help prevent back pain and injuries, and much more!!
But you must train properly to achieve these results, so read on……
Gradually Increase Resistance: While your muscles may be strong enough to lift heavy weight, the surrounding connective tissues--ligaments and tendons--usually require more time to adjust to the work-load placed upon them. A gradual, progressive increase in weight is the wisest and safest route to muscular strength and size.
Use Controlled Movements: Your movements should all be controlled, slow and concentrated. Jerking, speeding up, or using momentum (swinging your body back and forth) to lift a weight or complete a set of an exercise, does nothing for you but set you up for big time injuries. (Back muscles are particularly susceptible to rocking or jerking movements.)
Warm-up: Be sure to do a 5-15 minute warm up and stretching session before you begin training, to keep your muscles flexible and avoid injuries. Staying flexible and stretched out will also allow you to move fluidly through the full range of motion of each and every exercise. If you're under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you're over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer.
Train Your Entire Body: To keep your muscles symmetrical and balanced, be sure to train muscle groups equally. Aside from the obvious disproportionate look that may occur from not training symmetrically, muscle imbalances may lead to injuries. For example, if you do 4-6 sets of quadriceps exercises (front of upper thigh), be sure that you also exercise the back of your thigh (hamstrings) muscles for 4-6 sets too, preferably either on the same training day, or on an alternate day of that same week!
Train With a Partner: Exercising with a friend may help you to stick to your workout program, and keep you motivated! So next time you head out for a run, or to the gym, grab a friend. Your friend will thank you too!
Breathe: It seems that almost daily I have to remind a client to BREATHE. Some people concentrate so hard on perfecting their form that they forget to breathe naturally. Holding your breath can increase blood pressure, which can lead to light-headedness and possibly fainting. Exhale while your muscle is working (exerting), or is contracted, and inhale back to starting position.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of non-sugary fluids, preferably water, while you train. Being dehydrated can zap your energy and lead to muscle fatigue and dizziness, so drink lots of water – your body will love you for it!
Wear Proper Workout Clothing: Choose comfortable clothes that flatter your body and make you feel good in them, and wear good, sport-specific shoes with a good arch support, especially if you are doing Plyometrics and other jumping, leaping, bounding types of exercises in your workouts.
More training tips to come in future blogs, so stay posted!
Now get out there and have a great workout!!