Tag: Fitness

Want to Get Fit? Here’s How to Make it Happen

Want to Get Fit? Here’s How to Make it Happen

Many of us have resolved to get fit and live healthier, but haven’t been able to achieve our goals. But just because failure is common doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. If you want to get healthier and more fit, these tips will help you follow through to make it happen.

Be Realistic

According to Zenbusiness, choosing a goal you’re unlikely to achieve is only setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration. As tempting as it may be to set big, lofty goals, it’s better to commit to ones that are significant without being out of reach. For most people, that means aiming for personal bests rather than trying to become the best in your sport. While it may feel less exciting, the sense of accomplishment you feel when you achieve your goal makes it all worth it.

Make A Plan

Every goal is doomed to failure without a gameplan. Instead of setting vague goals like “start running,” make your goal specific. If you want to become a better long-distance runner, for example, you can resolve to run 10% further every week until you meet your target distance. Want to grow stronger? Learn about the Mathias Method Strength System approach to strength training which can help everyone from beginners to advanced lifters.

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Break Down Big Goals

Big goals are daunting, and it’s easy to feel paralyzed by the scale of the task ahead. Keep it manageable by breaking down your big goal into smaller chunks with shorter deadlines. Want to run a half marathon but can’t make it around the block without getting winded? Start by aiming to run a mile without stopping, then aim for a 5K, a 10K, and beyond. This strategy not only makes your goals seem less intimidating, it also builds your motivation with mini-successes along the way.

Give Yourself The Tools To Succeed

Physical fitness isn’t achieved in isolation. Finding the energy to get active day after day requires treating your body right all of the time, not just when your running shoes are on. Likewise, exercise can clear the path for other wellness goals. For example, quitting drugs or alcohol makes it easier to have time and energy for workouts, just like exercise and a healthy diet make it easier to curb cravings and cope with the stress of addiction recovery.

Share and Track Your Goals

If you don’t tell anyone about your fitness goals, no one knows if you fail. While that might seem like sound logic, it also makes it much easier to give up on a goal that’s important to you. Instead of keeping your ambitions a secret, share them with friends and family to increase your odds of sticking to it. Simply talking about your goals on Facebook can make you 36% more likely to achieve them, according to reporting by Shape.

Too shy to share your objectives publicly? Smartphone apps offer more discreet ways to hold yourself accountable.

Forgive Slip-Ups

The path to self-betterment is rarely linear. The odds are good that you’re going to lose sight of your goals at some point during the year. Instead of beating yourself up or deeming yourself a failure over a slip-up or two, acknowledge setbacks as part of the process and make a plan to get back on track.

Reward Yourself

Finally, be sure to reward yourself for successes—both the big one and the little ones you find along the way. Even when it’s hard, meeting your fitness goals shouldn’t feel like a punishment. By rewarding yourself when you meet a benchmark, you keep your motivation high so you can make it to the finish line.

Creating new habits is hard, and it’s easy to write off your fitness goals as just a bunch of empty promises. But the truth is, they’re only empty if you let them be. This year, kickstart healthier habits and make “get fit” a reality. Your future self will thank you.

Best Workouts to Improve Your Sports Performance

Best Workouts to Improve Your Sports Performance

Practice makes perfect, but subtract the exercise component, and you may not be living up to your maximum athletic potential. Contrary to popular belief, even low-impact sports such as golf or yoga require ample and particular exercise routines to improve your sports performance.

Remember, your equipment only contributes a fraction of the work. And no—walking for exercise isn’t going to cut it. If you’re looking to improve your overall form and performance, here are a few workout styles you need to incorporate into your fitness routine.

High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an all-time gym favorite. It involves periods of quick sprints and slow-paced recovery zones that force your cardiac muscle tissue to increase strength and endurance, quickly.

HIIT is ideal for improving your performance in any sport, as it’s versatile and completely customizable. If you like you can even do HIIT workouts in the pool by doing swim sprints!

Strength Training & Cardio

While many gym enthusiasts will recommend separating strength training and cardio, we recommend combining the two. Why? Grouping these two together will help increase your endurance, which is vital for improving overall sports performance.

Also, strength training isn’t just an excellent test of your strength—it also improves your mental fortitude, which is an underrated aspect of sports training. The quicker you can achieve your strength-related goals, the more you will see your sports performance thrive.

Drills, Drills, and more Drills

You can never go wrong doing sport specific drills. So, in between your cardiovascular and strength training sessions, try to get in some plyometric and agility training. Exercises such as lateral plyometric jumps and dot drills do wonders for improving speed, coordination, power, and targeted sports techniques.

We recommend forward-running, high-knee drills and lateral running to engage your legs and core, if your gym has an outdoor space. Otherwise, you can easily perform in-gym workouts such as box jumps that improve your response to resistance.

Squats

When it comes to sports that require mobility, power, and balance, squats can take you a long way. Even variations like split squats improve mobility, strength, and stability, while goblet squats can improve carry-through movements in the hips and thighs.

Compound Exercises

While engaging one part of the body is an excellent way to whip it into shape, compound exercises like squats and deadlifts are more effective at building total body muscle and strength. In addition, by focusing on compound movements, you engage multiple joints at once, which improves workout efficiency.

Banded Exercises

Training with bands does more for your body, and overall sports performance, than you might anticipate. When you react to a resistance band, your muscles have to continually contract faster and harder to keep the weight moving; improving your strength, power, and even endurance. You can start by getting some light bands and adding a little tension to your main lifts once a week!

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, building strength and endurance can go a long way towards improving your sports performance. Along with maintaining a good diet, regularly engaging your muscles and building power can make you the athlete you want to be. By regularly hitting the gym and making the most of your time, you can start inching your way towards championship wins and broken records!


About the Author

Jordan is an experienced sportsman and expert at golf. Through Golf Influence, he hopes to provide accessible resources on the best equipment, performance tips, and reviews.

Core Stabilization is Key to Success in Sports Athletes

Central Core Stabilization is Key to Success in Sports

Every professional athlete understands the importance of central core stabilization. And while some still underestimate its impact on one’s exercise effectiveness, more and more people start to implement core training into their workout routine. Ask any famous professional coach like Lucas James, and they will tell you that you will not get anywhere if you do not take care of your central stabilization.

Why is that? We will discuss it in a minute. Below, you will find all the information regarding central core stabilization, how it is essential to success in sport, and the best core exercises to add to your training routine. Read on and see for yourself how to take your workouts to the next level.

Definition of Core Stabilization

Core stability can be defined as an ability to control your body position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis and leg. That allows optimum power generation, distribution, and control of force and motion along the kinetic chain.

Central stability comes in handy, especially during the rotational movements, which are
required in almost any sport. In other words, every time you swing a tennis racket, shoot a football, throw a handball, or turn when skiing, it is your core stability that allows you to do it effectively.

That is not all, though. Strong central stability also allows athletes to hold their body
positions for an extended time. For instance, if you are a swimmer, your core is vital for you to maintain your hydrodynamic line in the pool. The same goes for runners, who require a strong core to maximize their power output.

Central Stabilization & Injury Prevention

Athletic performance is one thing. However, as mentioned in the title, there is much more to central stability than meets the eye. Whether you are an athlete or not, core stability plays a significant role in injury prevention.

Focusing on central core strength will help you stabilize injury-prone body areas and
rehabilitate lower limb injuries. That is because when the core is weak, an athlete starts
overusing other muscle groups in order to generate the force and movement they want. That puts more strain on muscles and joints, increasing the risk of injuring them.

For example, various researches have discovered that knee injuries are usually associated with weak hip muscles. Those force athletes to shift weight from their trunks to their knees, making them more prone to tearing. Because of that, a majority of conditioning and rehabilitation programs have started to emphasize hip strengthening and central stabilization.

Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Core Stability

Now that we have discussed how central core stabilization works and why it is the key to success in sport, it is time to show you what you can do to strengthen your core and improve its stability. Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises you can incorporate into your training routine:

1 – Marching Hip Bridge

This exercise focuses on lumbo-pelvic stability. To perform it, lay on your back with hands placed by your side. Then, lift your hips to the bridge position. Next, lift the right foot off the floor to 90 degrees at the hip and knee. Return the foot to the floor and do the same thing using your left foot. Repeat it 20 times while keeping the hips lifted and maintaining a neutral pelvis.

2 – Supine Toe Taps

Supine toe taps is a perfect exercise for core stability. Lie on your back on the floor with your arms by the side. Engage the abdominal muscles and draw the navel toward the spine.

Then, lift your knees to 90 degrees, and on a two-count, lower your right foot to touch the floor. Perform the same thing with your left foot, and repeat it 10 times.

3 – Plank With Torso Rotation

This one focuses mostly on core strength and shoulder stability. Position yourself into the traditional forearm plank. Then, lift the top arm over your chest and use your rib cage to rotate your body and draw your hand underneath the ribs. Repeat it 10 times and change sides.

Final Thoughts on Core Stabilization in Athletes

As you can see for yourself, central core stabilization is vital for improving your athletic performance. Moreover, even if you are not a professional athlete, maintaining a strong core will spare you a lot of trouble with potential injuries. With that in mind, make sure to implement the exercises provided above into your training. Also, remember that there are many more core stabilization exercises. We have merely scratched the surface.

For more information, we recommend contacting a professional physical therapist. They will tell you everything you need to know about strengthening your core. Then, contact a coach who will ensure you do all the exercises correctly. Central stabilization is not something you should underestimate, so it is vital to make sure you do everything the right way. Otherwise, you risk severe injuries.

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What Percent Body Fat Do You Need To See Abs

What Percent Body Fat Do You Need To See Abs

Have you ever wondered what percentage of body fat you need to be at to see your abs? If you are into fitness, or have ever cut weight to achieve your best look, then you have likely pondered this question. And although this number and exact percentage is different for everyone, there are some good general guides to get you close. This article will cover those.

As a general rule, 10% body fat for men (14-17% for women) is the key number to really show your abs. You will start to see the definition of your abs before you get down to 10%. However, to really see the definition of your 6-pack, then 10% is your best target number.

Getting to 10% is simple, but it’s not easy. And always keep in mind that most of the work and heavy lifting is done in the kitchen, not in the gym.

Many people have the opposite perception of this important fact. You can do ab work and core work every day for hours, but if your diet is full of fat and unhealthy foods, then it’s a nearly impossible journey to get to 10%.


The Fundamentals of Getting to 10% Body Fat

Reality is, to cut weight and get to 10% body fat you simply must lose excess fat on your frame.

And the most effective way to do this is to consume less calories than you burn over a given period of time. And that period of time of course depends on your starting point.

If your body fat percentage is 25% or higher, then that is defined as obesity. So the journey will take longer but it’s still totally achievable. Whereas if your body fat is 15%, then you are very close to your target and it will not take as long.

However, if you have ever cut weight and reduced your body fat to 10%, then you likely know that the last 5% are oftentimes the most challenging. If you are obese, or severely obese, the weight falls off rather quickly when you start dieting and cutting weight. The first few months it’s possible that you might lose 5 pounds a week just with small changes.

But as your body adapts and becomes more efficient, and your metabolism changes to adjust to the reduction in calories, it is natural for the process to slow and become more challenging. But look at this as a positive thing, as your body is becoming more efficient.

Check out our friends at A Lean Life for more info on the process of getting lean.


Reduce Carbs…But Not Entirely

Most people trying to get extra lean need to reduce their carbohydrate intake. Carbs are a major stumbling block for many people, and the key to getting to 10% body fat is reducing carbs.

Cutting back on carbs has plenty of health benefits like losing weight, and it can also get you closer to getting your target % body fat. But how does one actually do this when most of us have diets that include a lot of carbs?

Here are some Diet Tips to get you to 10%:

1 – Enjoy healthier drinks.

Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda or iced tea are high in sugar and carbs. If water quenches your thirst, but not your craving for something tasty to drink, add lemon or sugar-free sweeteners like Stevia, Erythritol, or Xylitol. This will make your iced tea or water pretty tasty!

Also, fruit juices contain lots of carbs and so much sugar. Even those that claim they’re 100% fruit! So, you might as well eat the actual fruit so you can have some fiber too.

2 – Low-carb snacks can also make you feel full.

If you get really hungry a few hours before a meal, enjoy a quick fix of low-carb snacks like nuts and cheese—make sure you have them in small servings! Protein bars (100 to 250 calories) also work really well.

3 – More veggies, less bread and potatoes!

Especially when eating out, a lot of meal choices include bread and potatoes. Check with the restaurant if you can replace these high-in-carbohydrate foods with healthy vegetables instead. Healthcanal.com has compiled a list of the healthiest vegetables with detailed nutrition facts that you may find useful. White bread and pasta are considered simple carbohydrates, and are on the no-go list when you’re cutting to get shredded. Not to be mistaken with complex carbs, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread (which are healthy and necessary).

4 – Load up on protein.

This will make you feel full because of the “fullness hormone” PYY that’s released by protein. It reduces the feeling of hunger, and can help stop certain cravings of more food. Have at least one of these with breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Lean meats (sirloin steak)
  • Fish
  • Poultry (white meat chicken – grilled, no skin)

5 – Read food labels and count carbs!

Choose food items that have lower carb and sugar content, and also watch your calorie count. A good target is a calorie deficit of 200-300 calories per day.

You’ll lose fat, but not too fast where you start to lose muscle also.

You can even try out using nutrition trackers – look for available apps on your phone. These trackers will help you keep count of your carbohydrate intake.


The Bottom Line on Body Fat for Abs

If you want to see your abs, then you need to be 10% body fat (or at least very close). It’s not an easy journey, but it’s very doable with some discipline and a lean diet.

Learn more: Fat Loss Forever >>

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A Practical Guide To Level Up Your Exercise Routine

A Practical Guide To Level Up Your Exercise Routine

When you started working out as a beginner, your ultimate goal was probably building a consistent exercise routine. Of course, it’s one of the best habits to have since consistency is an essential element of discipline. But once your body has adapted to what you’re doing and reached a certain level of fitness, any change may be necessary.

Locking into your established workout routine for a long time can set you up to a plateau, demotivation, and even burnout. Note that you’re likely to see a decrease in performance when you experience any of these things. By all means, you would not want that to happen after working so hard on your fitness goals.

Thus, if you’re beginning to lose interest and focus during your workouts, it’s most likely one of the indicators that you need to switch things up. So, here is a practical guide to level up your exercise routine.


Make An Assessment

Before making any changes, it’s essential to assess where you are right now and what you’re currently doing in terms of your fitness goals. Are there any significant improvements? Or are you getting the same results? Do you want to see better changes in your body? Take the time to look at the areas where you excel and need some progress.

You may want to consider the following factors when making an assessment.

Nutrition

Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, or get a ripped body, you must evaluate what you’re currently eating. Many people struggle with nutrition, which has a great impact on their bodies. Remember that what you’re feeding yourself can either build or ruin your fitness goals.

If you think this is one of your weak areas, you may visit websites like BarBend.com to give an idea of what other nutrients are a good addition to your diet.

Exercise

It’s also important to assess what exercise routines you are already doing and your progress in each of them. Are you performing endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises? Or are you only focusing on one type of training or workout?

Besides assessing the forms of exercise you’re doing, you may also have to consider the following aspects:

  • How hard are you working out?
  • How often are you doing the exercise?
  • And how long are you exercising?

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Make Necessary Changes

Once you’re able to get an assessment of your current nutrition and exercise plan, it’s easier for you to make the necessary changes. That said, you have to adjust your goals and apply new steps to acquire the fitness level you desire.

Change Your Exercises

When you do the same exercises repeatedly, your mind space out as your body goes through the familiar patterns. As a result, you may experience boredom and eventually reach a plateau. That’s why adding variety to your exercise routine is the first alteration you may have to make if you want to level up.

Besides performing unilateral exercises, you may use something unstable like a ball or foam roller to add a challenge to your balance training. You can also do two exercises at once, such as squatting with an overhead press.

Varying your workout can help you stay physically challenged. But change it up based on your experience level and training cycle.

Change Your Frequency

How often you should do your routines depends on the type of training you’re doing and the goal you want to achieve. Let’s say you’re weightlifting, and your goal is to be fit and strong. You may stick with two or three days of bodyweight workouts every week. However, you may have to lift every day if you want to build lots of muscle.

When your goal is building up, it would always make sense to increase the frequency or the number of days you work out in a week. But then again, it’s advisable to change the number of workouts you have each week occasionally to prevent adaptation. For instance, you usually do four workouts per week. You can then try doing three workouts if you have hit a plateau.

Change Your Intensity

Another way to level up your exercise routine is to change your intensity. It’s basically how hard you are working out. Remember that intensity has nothing to do with how difficult or easy your workout session is. But it’s more of how much weight you lift in comparison with your reps.

If you notice you can do more reps than before, try to increase your workout intensity. You can do it by moving faster, adding vertical challenge, increasing resistance, cross-training, or interval training.

Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is necessary to level up your exercise routine to the next level. However, be mindful not to overdo it.

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Change Your Workout Length

How long you should workout is a personal preference. But in order to make more consistent gains, you can alternative your workout length from time to time.

If you also want to increase your fitness level, you may try to work out six to nine hours a week. However, you must pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after every workout.

Change Your Diet

Fueling your body with essential nutrients is part of leveling up your exercise routine. Keep in mind that your body needs a certain amount and type of food to work out at an optimal level. Your muscles also need it to recover after doing a lot of physical activity. Taking supplements is a good thing to add to your diet plan to level up your fitness routine and performance.


Takeaway

There is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to taking your exercise routine to the next level. It depends on a number of factors, such as your current progress and desired fitness goals. But learning how to pay attention to how your body responds is of the utmost importance.

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