If you’re focused on building a huge chest, arms, and legs, you…
Could be ignoring your body’s foundation. Be sure to work in three planes of motion and strengthen the stabilizer muscles around your shoulders, hips, and midsection to build a powerful core, and provide protection against injury. Make medicine balls, physio balls, mini-bands, and rotational movements (lifting, chopping) part of your arsenal. We’re talking water, of course. Dehydration of just 3% can cause a 10% loss of strength, hindering your training. Drinking enough water before, during, and after exercise can increase performance up to 25%. Drink ½ to 1oz of water per pound of body weight per day to maintain hydration.
Generations of gym teachers and track coaches gave stretching a bad name by having us push against walls or pull one heal to our butt. So-called static stretching is most effective after a workout. Instead, activate your muscles by taking 5 or 10 minutes before training to perform an active warm-up consisting of movements such as walking lunges, planks, glute bridges, and marching in place. You’ll be better prepared for a great strength workout-and less likely to hurt yourself.
Do you perform a set of 10 reps and wait two minutes before doing another? Make better use of your time and get better results with super sets. If you do a pushing exercise, like a bench press, follow it immediately with a pulling exercise, like a dumbbell row. While one set of muscles is working, the opposite set is resting. You’ll save time and perform better since the non-working muscle recover faster while their opposing muscles work. See how many sets you can do while the people around you are playing with their phones.
The body adapts quickly to even the most brutal workouts. That’s why it’s important to keep challenging it with different movements. It’s easy to fall into familiar routines in the gym. After all, you’ve no doubt mastered the movements and added more weight to the bar. But your body has been lulled into autopilot. Workouts should be like snowflakes, no two should be alike.
Article credit: Men’s Fitness
Photo credit: AMI