Vitality’s experienced fitness instructors, have joined forces to bring you their top training tips to help improve your health and fitness levels and make your exercise regime more enjoyable and rewarding. So here we go!
Hydration Is Key
Hydration is the key to a successful recovery after a workout or coming through an injury. We recommend 1 – 2 litres per day.
To improve endurance through running try out a threshold running session. Threshold running means running at a pace which will get your heart to 80 to 95% of your maximum heart rate eg 4 x 5 minutes at your threshold pace, followed by a 2-minute recovery jog at a very slow pace.
Importance of Stretching
Do not skip stretching at the beginning or end of a session, it’s important to keep flexibility and suppleness in our joints and muscles. Holding each stretch for 30 to 40 seconds will help to achieve this.
Tone Up on the Treadmill
Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session: Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. I’s an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping.
Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets.”
Power Up Your Runs
Adding wall sits to the end of every run will strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes, improving your speed and endurance. Lean against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, then squat until your knees are bent at 45 degrees. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds; work up to doing 10 sets. Add a challenge by including heel raises: Lift your left heel, then the right, then lift both together twice.
Try This All-in-One Toner
A side-step squat with wood chop works your arms, torso, abs, back, legs, inner thighs and butt. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a three- to four-pound medicine ball in your hands. Bend your arms up so that the ball is at eye level over your right shoulder. As you bring the ball toward your left knee, step out with your left leg and bend it no further than 90 degrees, keeping your right leg straight. Return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps and repeat on the other leg.
Work Out During Your Workday
Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each. This gives you more free time to fit in fun workouts in the gym.
Take the Jump-Rope Challenge
The best cardio workout is the jump-rope double-turn manoeuvre. It’s intense: You’ll burn about 26 calories per minute! Do a basic jump for five minutes, then jump twice as high and turn the rope twice as fast so it passes under your feet twice before you land. This takes timing, patience and power. But you’ll get in great shape just by working at it.
Give Yourself a Break
“You don’t have to be a fitness saint to get results. Follow the 80/20 plan: Eighty percent of the year, you’ll exercise regularly and eat well. Know that you’ll slip 20 percent of the time due to holidays and work deadlines. When you accept that fitness isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition, you’re more likely to stick with it for life.
Don’t Skimp on Carbs
Your body needs them to fuel a workout, so reach for fruit or high-fibre crackers an hour beforehand. If you’re exercising for 90 minutes or longer, include some protein so that the carbs break down more slowly, giving you longer-lasting energy. Your best bets: low-fat cheese and crackers, half of a peanut butter sandwich.
Maximize Your Crunches
Don’t relax your abs as you lower your chest away from your knees during a crunch – you get only half the ab-toning benefit! To get the firmest abs possible, you need to sustain the contraction on the way down.
Intensify Your Push-Up
Squat-thrust push-ups get you in great shape because they work your upper body, core and lower body and improve agility, strength and endurance all at once. From a standing position, bend down, put your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, and jump your feet back into plank position. If you’re strong, cross your ankles; otherwise, jump your feet wide apart. Do a push-up, then jump your feet together or uncross your ankles. Jump your feet back to your hands and stand up. Do eight reps total, rest for one minute, and repeat.
Make Over Your Running Routine
Unless you’re training for a marathon, skip long, slow, distance running; sprinting builds more muscle. Add a few 10- to 60-second sprints to your run, slowing down just long enough to catch your breath between them.
Super-Sculpt Your Butt
Get great glutes by targeting the muscles and connective tissues buried deep in your body. To hit them, do high-intensity squats, such as jump squats. Then, blast off butt flab with running and stair climbing or even some winter skiing.
Vitality Health & Fitness
We hope you found these training tips from the Vitality fitness team helpful. If you want more advice or guidance or if you’re looking to get kick-started with affordable personal training sessions, call us today on the number below.
Our PT Sessions are just £60 for 5 x 45 minute sessions and are ideal to get your training regime on track.