Whether you’re going to the gym to get a hardcore chest workout, or staying at home to get your cardio exercise, it’s important to understand how you can maximize the time you put in! There are many ways to improve your workout beyond what pre or post workout shakes you make.
Start and End with Stretching--Less Muscle Soreness!
It’s important to prep your body when it’s going into a fitness routine. Doing a full body workout, cardio, or weight lifting can be benefited by beginning and ending with a good stretching routine.
Dynamic Stretching--Warm Up Your Muscles
Start out with dynamic stretching! Simply put, dynamic stretching is when you’re stretching while incorporating movement. Good examples of this are arm windmills, leg swings, and lunges. These kinds of stretches enable your muscles to literally warm up and become more pliable while stretching to avoid injury.
Static Stretching--Post-Workout Muscle Care
After finishing your workout, move on to static stretches. These stretches are done after your muscles are warmed up. The only difference between static and dynamic stretching is the lack of movement and amount of time you hold the stretch. During static stretches, you are only stretching your muscles--no extra movement required.
Examples of static stretches are the butterfly, back stretches like the mermaid stretch, and simple calf stretches.
Stretching is a great way to increase the effectiveness of your workout--it prevents injury while reducing recovery time and soreness.
Time it Right
Weight LiftingThe amount of time you spend working out is just as important as what you’re doing for your workout. Sometimes, less is more! Getting your workout done in under and hour can help increase your efficiency, and reduce burn out.
When you’re weight lifting or doing strength movements it’s especially important to keep this in mind. Running out of steam can increase your likelihood of injury. Additionally, when you push past the point of muscle exhaustion it cuts into your recovery time while making it difficult to work your muscles effectively.
Doing too much cardio can also be a detriment to your success. Exhaustion and fatigue are obvious ramifications. However, pushing yourself past the limit can also suppress your immune system and you risk repetitive motion injury as well.
Plan for Success--Goal Oriented Training
Oftentimes, when you put a time limit on your workout routine it can help you plan for success! Planning out your to-do list for each session can increase gains, weight loss, and other fitness related goals.
If you’re confused about how much time to spend in the gym to reach your goals, speaking to a fitness professional or personal trainer can help you focus on your needs.
Enjoy What You’re Doing!
Sometimes going to the gym can feel like a drag. Whether you’ve got a detailed plan or you’re just going in to get your heart pumping--you should have fun! Pick an exercise that you genuinely enjoy and do that exercise when you’re having a tough time working up to a sweat.
Positive attitude about your goals and challenges in the gym can make or break your routine.
There’s more than just this list of things to help you succeed in your workout! But, if you’re just getting started or looking for ways to improve what you’ve been doing, this is a great place to begin. Get out there and start sweating!