7 cinchy ways to get more from your workout
Work on your form
Watch a few YouTube videos made my fitness professionals, take a minute to observe others around you at the gym or on the track, or sign up for a class. Notice the way other people hold their bodies when they run or lift or do a certain yoga pose. Now, set yourself up in front of a mirror and work on correcting your own movements. The better your form, the more benefits you’ll see from your workout.
Hold your movements for a few breaths instead of a single cycle. This will test your muscles in a different way than upping the number of repetitions you’re executing. As you move, focus on inhaling and exhaling.
Add more weight
Gotten used to the 10-pound dumbbells? Up the anty with 15, then 20. As you increase the weight you lift, it’s essential that you take extra care not to rely on momentum. While adding a little swing to your movements with a lighter weight might not make too much of a difference, you could seriously hurt yourself as you increase the poundage.
Grab a resistance band
High-tension elastic bands are used all the time by dancers and professional athletes—there’s no reason you can’t get in on the goodness! They’re great for strengthening the muscle groups in your arms and legs. Use them to add gusto to your stretching routine and to pilates-style workouts.
Hop on a ball
Got a normal crunch or push-up down pat? Yeah, you’ll be back to basics when you add the balance element of a ball. Small or large, these blow-ups are a cheap tool to help you work tons of muscles in your body all at once.
Build a circuit
If you have a few different workouts you love, or have a few different routines for strength training and cardio, for example, try mixing them all together. Move from station to station—sit-ups to jogging in place to burpees to push-ups.
A final tool in your workout arsenal? Going for high-intensity intervals. This is particularly useful for cardio and endurance exercises. Start with a warm-up, then increase your speed or resistance or incline step by step. Reach your peak, then back off for a few minutes, then step it back up again. Don’t forget to cool down!
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