muscle

Amazing Health Benefits of a Stationary Bike

Have you ever felt the need to strengthen your lower body or felt like having an equipment that could take care of your fitness needs even when you were feeling lazy in the gym? If your answer is yes, then there is an exercise machine to answer these questions for you – spin bike!

Almost all gyms have a spin bike in them and it looks like a usual exercise bike, which is a stationary cycle that comes with a saddle, pedals, handlebars and a display monitor that shows your heart rate, calories burnt, speed and other details. Apart from this, spin bikes have amazing health benefits which we will share with you in this article.

Great For Cardio Workout

Cardio does not mean just running on the treadmill, sometimes you do need a change. If you do the same exercise daily, your body will become immune to it and it will start having less effect on your metabolism. Cycling on a spin bike can be a great option for your cardio workout as it has great cardiovascular benefits and helps to strengthen your heart and respiratory system without going overboard with it.

Increases Strength in Lower Body

Cycling mostly focuses on strengthening the muscles within your lower body. You can choose to increase or decrease the resistance level depending on your level of comfort. This will help in effectively strengthening and training the lower body. When you start cycling on a spin bike on a regular basis, it will help you in burning fats and exerting your muscles easily. Cycling leads to constant expansion and contraction of your muscles and helps to build the muscles in your lower body.

Lose Weight Faster

Everyone wants to lose weight these days to look fit and reduce their love handles. Cycling on a spin bike will help you in toning down the excess fats in your body and burn the large number of calories. It also helps to strengthen and build your muscles. All you need to do is regularly cycle on a spin bike for close to 20-30 minutes daily, and maintain the consistency.

4.  Improves motion of joints

Cycling on a spin bike helps to improve your joint mobility especially in areas of your knees, ankles, and hips. Everytime you paddle, these joints rotate and helps to strengthen the mobility in the long run.

5. Toned lower body

You might have seen how toned and beautiful the legs and butt of a cyclist are. If you cycle regularly, it will affect the areas of your quads, calves and glutes and help you in sculpting them to shape. Cycling helps to tone down the muscles of your lower body, primarily focusing on your inner thighs, hamstrings, calves, shins and glute muscles.

6. Energy booster

Spin bikes are also called mood lifters. They help in improving the user’s mood and also boosts their level of energy to a considerable extent. It also helps one in reducing stress. You can cycle on a spin bike even when you are watching your favourite show on TV or talking to someone. It further improves the user’s mental health.

Cycling on a stationary bike such as a spin bike not only helps you to loss weight and strengthen your muscles but overall improves your health. Research says that those who cycle regularly, tend to live two years longer than a non-biker and also suffer from 15% less chronic illness. Apart from improving your cardiovascular health, it also helps in improving your overall internal health.


Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

How to Ease Achilles tendon Soreness for Running

If your Achilles tendon has pain after running or workout, physiotherapists recommend you stretch your calf muscles and the Achilles. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body – but it’s also susceptible to serious injuries during a sport that will keep you on the feet and employs some pushing-off motion.

I’ll discuss how to reduce Achilles tendon soreness, for better running, before it escalates to a tendon tear – which otherwise has slow and painful recovery.


Avoid Achilles Tendon Rupture

Running might inflame your Achilles due to calf muscles’ tightness and excessive rubbing of the structure surrounding it. Further, the Achilles tends to weaken over time after every run – which could lead to tendon tear or rupture.

Therefore, stretching your calf muscles regularly (before and after runs) will help ease the pressure landing on your Achilles. For athletes, particularly runners, I recommend the Soleus stretch and Gastroc stretch for a minimum of 4 minutes every day.

Another great hack for beating pain from Achilles tendonitis is to cut the running stride to the most appropriate. Also, use the outer heel when striking the ground – this is particularly true for forefoot/ and midfoot striker

Upper Calf Muscle (Gastroc) Stretching

In this exercise, you’ll need to stand and faces the wall that is appropriately an arms-length away. Next, slide the feet on your affected leg backward.

Ensure to keep your heel on the floor (turn it outward a bit) and knee must remain straight – until you have stretched your upper calf. So, maintain this position for about 15 seconds.

Lower Calf Muscle (Soleus) Stretching

For this stretch, place your foot and body just like in the Gastroc stretching above but now bend both knees until you feel the lower calf stretching. Equally, remain in this position for 10 seconds.

Achilles Tendon Stretch

For the Achilles tendon: Stand on a stair (or raised surface) with the balls of your feet, and place your heels off from the edge of the surface.

Raise your toes, maintain that position for 10 seconds, and then lower your heels to the farthest point possible.

Fit Your Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis

Shoe inserts (orthotics) such as heel pads can help cut the elevation and resultant pressure on the calf and Achilles tendon. Shoe inserts are particularly helpful for with Achilles issues triggered by over-pronation and angular tendon pulling.

Further, you’ll need to get fitted for Achilles Tendonitis shoes. Check out more info on top rated Achilles Tendonitis running shoes. You must make it a routine to have the shoe fitting or changing exercise so that you don’t put undue pressure on your Achilles tendonitis.

Gradual Running – 10% rule

If by any chance you’ll be increasing your intensity and distance or running – you must follow the 10% rule. The rule states that at any one time, you can only increase your running distance or intensity by 10% of your current values. This will ensure that you do not load your Achilles tendon suddenly, which would cause stress.

However, you must not keep off running (equivalent to Achilles tendon loading) for a long time as this could be detrimental. In addition, before beginning your runs make sure you warm the tendon using some warm water. On the flip side, when you close your running, ensure you cool the tendon using some ice.

Further, if you’re strength training, take it slow for a start. Listen to your Achilles tendon to let you know if you’re straining it – you could feel soreness or morning stiffness. Slow loading will enable your tendon gradually develop tolerance and thus avoiding sorenessor tearing.

Conclusion

Continue with these stretches daily for 2 weeks until the pain subsides. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor or physiotherapists to analyze the foot motion and gait since it could be the issue.

Remember to tell the medical practitioner about any specific run or stretch that increases the pain. I hope you’ll add these stretching routine to your running schedule now. Also, let me know if they help relieve the Achilles soreness.

5 Dance-Inspired Moves For a Fit Summer Body

Summer is almost here. Now is the time when we ask ourselves why we had those extra calories all winter. Everyone faces this dilemma. Even dancers, who work at their craft all year must take a serious look at their bodies to determine if there is an area that needs attention.

In this post, we will explain five great dance moves that will help you tone up for your beachwear. Before we do, we must address your shoes. Sneakers for dancers are not the same as sneakers for everyday wear. They look cool, and some are glam and glitter. But these shoes are a tool. They are the tool that will protect your feet and other parts of the body.

Imagine for a moment, you are in the middle of a dance routine. You are using all the muscles in your body for a perfect performance. But, when it is time to turn, your shoes stick to the floor. They do not slide with your body’s momentum. You will be injured. It is a matter of where and to what extent. But, you will be injured.
10-minute pro workout

Benjamin Allen is a professional dancer and choreographer. He has developed a 10-minute work. We will not say it is easy, but there are no complicated steps. Once your body has adjusted, you will be marching toward fitness. These workouts tones and strengthen the legs, thighs, pelvis area. They will also rejuvenate your abs. You will burn a lot of calories, work your abs, leg, backside, and arms. For a video on how to use this workout, click here.

Apple Pickers Arm Toning

Stand with your legs open and even with the shoulders. Extend both arms above your head. Bring your arms down (at the same time) until they are bent at the elbow and you are holding them in a “U” formation.

While you bring your elbows down to a bed, raise your left leg. Your left leg should be raised enough that the knee is almost touching the elbow. Repeat with the right leg. As you get the hang of it, your body will reward you. Continue for 5-10 minutes
.You can work up to that point.

Feet Raised Tummy Tuck

Lay flat on your back (no pillow.) place your arms at each side of your body. Raise both feet about 4-6 inches above the bed. While you are holding your feet off the beds, hold.

This is a great exercise to help you get in shape. You can do this in bed before you get up, or at night before sleep. Or, you can do it on the floor using an exercise mat.

Pull in your stomach as far as you can. Imagine you are trying to get your belly to touch your backbone. Hold this pose to a count of 5. Relax, and then go again. Every day or two you should get stronger and you should add a number. When you have gotten to the number 10, you are doing well

Tip: you can tone your stomach muscles all day. While you are driving, walking, or working pull in your stomach in as far as it will go. Count to then relax. This will tighten your muscles and take inches off your waist.

The Elevator

There is more to having a sexy body than having a flat tummy. When you slip into your bikini, your legs, back, bottom and arms are exposed. The “Elevator” addresses all of these areas.

Stand with your feet apart to the width of your shoulders. This dance move is usually done as part of the choreography, but it is not done repeatedly as you will do for exercise.

You will put all your weight on one leg. Bend the other leg and raise your knee. At the same time lower your chest to try to touch your knee. You will repeat this to a count of 10, or do 5 on each leg and 5 on the other.

Tip: while you are doing this move, the bent leg should never touch the floor.

The Balance

The balance is also known as the “waltz.” It is a three-step combination in which the dancer steps to the side with one foot, lifts onto the ball of the second foot from behind /the ankle, then replaces weight on the ball of the first foot to begin again on the other side. Here is a tutorial for the balance. Please note, with practice you can do this with handstands and forearms.

Warning! Your Rest Days Could Be Ruining Your Gains

If you set aside a couple of days per week to rest and recover from your workouts, then you’re on the right path. Generally, the concept of a rest day is a good idea and will benefit you. It’s not healthy to workout every single day, you’ll overtrain and damage your muscles, leading to no gains at all.

I won’t have a go at you for being a tad confused here already. Clearly, the title says that rest days could be ruining your gains. But, I just said they were good…so…what’s all that about then? The keyword in all of this is ‘could’. Your rest days could be ruining gains, but only when they’re not used properly.

Now, you will be surprised to know how many people wrongly use their rest days. Which is hilarious considering how easy a rest day should be for you. All you really have to do is rest and recover, how can you possibly go wrong? Well, I’ve written this article to show you some of the bad things you might do on your rest days that lead to a lack of gains in the future. Give them a read, and follow any advice that might help you stop doing the wrong thing.

Eating Too Much

The thing about a rest day is that you shouldn’t do much physical activity at all. As a consequence, you won’t burn many calories on these days, but that’s okay! This only becomes an issue when your food intake is large. I know so many people that sit at home on a rest day and just binge eat. They think it’s a chance to have a cheat day and just fuel up on food ready for their workout the following day.

The logic behind this is fairly well thought out, so I’ll give you credit if you do this. To prepare for your next set of workouts, you consume a lot of calories and carbs to provide more energy and get you nice and refuelled. A bit like stopping your car overnight and filling up the tank, right? However, as I said, you aren’t burning many calories on a rest day, so all that food is just going to pile on, with very few calories coming off. It makes it harder to lose weight and could be why you’re not doing so. Instead, you need to follow a low calorie diet, particularly on rest days. Try and reduce the calories, even more, when you aren’t working out. This prevents any unnecessary calorie overloading and will keep you on the right path to fitness success.

Doing Your Cardio

Bizarrely, quite a few people set aside their rest days for cardio. I know, it doesn’t make any sense, it’s not a rest day if you’re exercising. People do this as they think you only need a rest from generic training. If you train using weights, then cardio counts as a rest, correct?

No, it doesn’t. You’re still working your muscles, you’re still putting your body through some tough work, it’s not a rest. You’ll run the risk of overtraining, which is exactly what you should avoid by taking a rest day. Do cardio either on the same day as your regular workouts or on another day. Rest on your rest day, don’t work out in any way!

Not Stretching

So, there are certain things you’re doing that you shouldn’t be doing, and there’s one thing you need to do that maybe you aren’t. Stretching is essential if you want to keep your muscles healthy and feel less sore. If you lengthen your muscles, you become more flexible, less prone to injuries, and will see more gains in general.

You should set aside time during your rest days to really go through a full body stretching and mobility routine. The reason you do it on your rest day is because you should have a good hour or so spare where you’d normally work out. Get a solid stretching session in to prepare your body for your workouts and keep it in good health.

After reading this, it’s maybe more apparent how your rest day can go totally wrong. If you’re eating loads, still doing workouts, and not stretching, then you’ve really messed up your rest day. I can’t stress enough how important one or two proper rest days per week will help you. Use them properly, or you will see issues with your gains. If you feel like you’ve maybe hit a wall recently, then this could be the problem.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

You Shouldn’t “Walk Off” An Injury

While often used as a comedic device, the idea of being able to “walk off” an injury is nevertheless a persistent one. Trip and fall while out running? Walk it off! Stretch too far during a yoga class? Walk it off! However, here are some reasons you shouldn’t walk off an injury.

The whole idea is based on a fundamental lack of understanding about the human body. While there are some injuries which are temporary – momentary spasms of pain that will recede on their own – there is a huge threat caused by trying to “walk off” an injury that can’t be walked off. Of course, you have no way of knowing if the injury you have sustained can be walked off before you try it – but what happens if you give it a go, and what harm are you doing if you’ve calculated incorrectly?

Think About R.I.C.E.

You’re more than likely aware of what “R.I.C.E” means in an injury capacity, but if not, let’s be clear – it’s not this:

What it actually stands for is the way that you should handle an injury:

R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation

While you might think you will always know which injury needs the R.I.C.E. treatment and which doesn’t, you’re probably incorrect. R.I.C.E. is not just for those sudden, sharp injuries like turning your ankle – it should also be used for gradual stress injuries, that you might not even notice are building up.

As a rule, if you feel persistent pain – no matter how mild – in any area of your body, it needs to be R.I.C.E-d.

Strength Through Rest

You might think that because you work out regularly, use supplements like AlgaeCal, and have done your research, then you know best. You know that resting an injury can sometimes be worse for it than anything; back injuries, particularly, have a tendency to get worse rather than better if you cease all exercise.

However, learning about the AlgaeCal plant calcium side effects and researching the latest exercise techniques does not mean that you have the power to see into the future. How do you know the pain you’re experiencing in the moment is the kind that won’t benefit from rest?

Put simply: you don’t. It’s great that you have educated yourself on the supplements you should be taking if you exercise regularly and know your way around dealing with workout aches and pains, but you can’t predict the future. It’s far better to stop the moment you feel pain and make a clear-headed assessment of what’s happening to you.

Pain Isn’t Embarrassing

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the “walk it off” line is often used in comedic terms – i.e. someone walks into a door and is told to “walk it off”. This suggests that pain is an embarrassment, the fault of the person who is feeling the pain.

This isn’t the case. It might be embarrassing to trip over while running, but the pain itself should never be a cause for shame. Bodies go wrong. We make mistakes, miscalculate, and hurt ourselves – it’s completely natural. What is embarrassing is trying to carry on when your body is telling you to stop, thereby inevitably making life worse for yourself. Don’t fall into this trap; if something hurts, stop, evaluate, and then make a decision on how to proceed – no matter what anyone else thinks.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

3 Ways To Alleviate Running Pain

Running is a hard, but enjoyable past time for us. It gets us fitter, it makes us feel good by releasing endorphins into our system, increasing our quality of life overall! However, like any sport, running does come with pains and aches, some more serious than others. There are many different ways to alleviate running pain, and here are the best 3 ways to do it!

Get The Right Pair Of Shoes

Running shoes are incredibly important for the well-being of your legs. They properly distribute the weight of your feet across the sole and support your feet, unlike normal trainers. This is important because naturally, humans run on their feet! But in shoes, we run flat footed, and over extended periods of time, this causes damage to the feet themselves, the ankles and the knees. If you’re not running very often than a normal pair of running shoes will do you fine, but if you’re a more regular runner you need to get specially fitted shoes! Companies like FleetFeetSports offer fitting services and can find the perfect shoe for you, eliminating the risk of getting any foot related issues!

Stretch Out After Each Run

Stretching is also a very important component of running. When you exercise, your muscle contract and relax, however, due to the intensity of exercise your muscles don’t fully relax, instead they keep slightly contracted all throughout your run. If you get back from a run and don’t stretch out, you will continue to feel pain in your legs! Stretching forces your muscles to stop their constant contraction, meaning that you can relax and not have any problems. As an example, many runners will have stumbled across problems with the dreaded iliotibial band, causing a clicking whenever the knee is bent. This can be incredibly debilitating, however, if you purchase a foam roller from companies like Trigger Point there are stretches you can do to slowly nurse the IT band back to full health!

Get Physiotherapy

This is the last line of defense in alleviating injuries, and should only be done if you really need it! Physiotherapy differs from person to person as each problem is unique. However, they do offer medication and exercises after a consultation and examination of the problem you are having. Then a physician will take you through the necessary things you need to do. The treatment can often include massages and other muscular stimulation exercises. If you want to find out more about this topic, because it is very complex and specific, go to PainEndsHere.com. Companies like this are able to offer professional help for those that need it. So, if this applies to you then you should definitely reach out to one of these businesses.

So there you have it! The three best ways to alleviate running pain, any of these are guaranteed to make your pain go away. However, if it is more serious you need to make sure you see a doctor because you can’t remedy everything yourself! If you’re looking for other ways to avoid injuries when preparing for a run, read this.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

5 Tips For Getting Back On The Track After a Muscle Injury

Things are going well. Your running times are improving all the time, you can feel your body adapting to the demands of the sport, and you’re confident that all in all, you’re on the right track (hey) for running success. And then you feel a twitch in your leg and, just like that, you’re laid up and unable to run. There are two options in this scenario: you can lie down and bemoan your luck, or you can do all you can to get back up and running as soon as possible. Let’s take the second option, and get back on the track after a muscle injury.

Keeping Things Cool

If you’ve injured yourself now, then you’re fortunate that it’s summer, because things are about to get pretty cool. When you have a strained muscle, ice will be your friend. How you do is up to you; you can get an icepack and target the sore spot exclusively, or you can be brave and have an ice bath. Settling into a bath of icy cold water might not sound like much fun, but it has bags of benefits before your injured muscle, including boosting your all round recovery, boost circulation, and even give your happiness levels a lift too.

To The Core

You might have a massage to help you unwind, but to recover from a muscle injury? It’s true. A deep tissue massage will relax your muscles, which will soothe the pain of the injured area, and also get those deep-lying toxins and tight muscle areas moving, too. Beyond speeding up your recovery, there’s another obvious advantage to getting this type of massage; you’ll feel extra relaxed, which might be important when you’re not able to release those tensions through long running sessions.

Stretch it Out

Stretching is an underrated tool for runners. For starters, if you make stretching part of your everyday routine then you’ll be greatly reducing your chances of getting injured; indeed, it’s because of inadequate warm-ups that cause most injuries to happen in the first place. When you are injured, stretching will help strengthen your muscles in a low-impact way. When you get back to running, your muscle will be stronger and less like to be re-injured if you’re stretching every day!

To the Pool

Everyone knows how important momentum and being in the “workout groove” is when you’re trying to build endurance and prepare for a long race. If you’re lying on the couch every day, then by the time you get back on the track you might have lost the edge you’ve gained during your training. As such, head to the water when you can’t run. It’ll cause no troubles for your legs, but will help you stay active and build up your endurance. And who knows: you might fall in love with swimming, too.

Rest

OK, last tip: when you’re injured, it’s extra important that your patient and get plenty of rest. If you neglect to do either of these things; then you’ll run the risk of having a relapse as soon as you’re back running. Not what you need!

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post: 7 Ways to Burn Calories and Fight Extra Weight

Although your physique is partly determined by your genes, there are still other external factors that can help you change the way you look. Achieving your goal weight requires determination and strong will that will motivate you to stick to your workout routine and strict diet. Even if it takes you more time to notice the first changes in your body, the most important thing is to stay consistent and determined.

#1 Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance for your general well-being, and it’s necessary for your body to function properly. Since dehydration can slow down your metabolism, drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial if you want to lose weight. It has actually been shown that drinking plenty of water can increase your metabolic rate for up to 40 minutes. Estimates show that an increased water intake by 1.5 liters per day for over a year can help you lose approximately 2.3 kilograms.

#2 Eat Spicy Food

Eating spicy food can actually help you burn calories more quickly, so it’s time for you to spice things up. Include chili, garlic, turmeric, ginger, horseradish, and cinnamon into your diet to give your meals an authentic flavour and to boost your metabolism. These spices are rich in essential oils, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and nutrients that will contribute to your overall well-being.

#3 Don’t Ban Fats

Completely eliminating fats from your diet won’t help you achieve your goal because they are an important energy source for your body. The key is in consuming the healthy fats that occur in lean meats, fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, etc. So, instead of completely banning fats from your diet, make sure to control your fat intake and limit it only to healthy fats.

#4 Lead an Active Lifestyle

Even the smallest habits can help you become more active and change your life around. If you spend the most of your day in a sedentary position in front of your computer, you need to take frequent breaks and use them to walk around. Other habits, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking rather than taking the bus, can help you burn calories and lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

#5 Start Working Out

Having a frequent and consistent workout routine is absolutely necessary if you want to lose weight, so you should motivate yourself to start working out as soon as possible. There is a range of different types of exercises, and you can easily find the one that works for you. The more intense your workout is, the more calories you’ll burn. You can try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which will definitely make you break a sweat, but you’ll see results before you know it. If you’re not into a specific type of workout, you need to introduce at least 30 minutes of cardio into your routine if you’re really determined to lose weight. Whether you like running, swimming, or cycling, cardio exercises are simply a must when it comes to losing weight.

#6 Include Strength Training in Your Routine

Strength training will help you build muscle tissue that will burn more calories and keep doing so even after your workout. In particular, the muscles in thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms are the largest calorie-burners. However, try to include more balanced exercises that will engage several muscle groups instead of just one.

#7 Consider Alternative Ways

Sometimes, despite your efforts, you can’t lose weight, so eventually, you might be tempted to give up. It’s important that you stick to your diet and workout routine no matter how difficult it seems. However, you can increase your chances of success by incorporating supplements, such as effective weight loss pills, into your diet and workout plan. If you don’t consume all the necessary nutrients, you can also take diet supplements to provide your body with everything it needs.
Losing weight is a difficult task, but with the right approach, you can reach your goal weight. By becoming more active and changing your diet, you’ll succeed even in spite of your genes.

Losing weight is a difficult task, but with the right approach, you can reach your goal weight. By becoming more active and changing your diet, you’ll succeed even in spite of your genes.

Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

What is Clean Bulking?

Getting in shape doesn’t always means slimming. For those that are already slim, it can often mean bulking up. Clean bulking is a way of combining diet and exercise to build muscles mass. It’s most popular amongst men wanting to tone up, but recently many women wanting to develop a fuller figure have developed an interest in it too.

Much like slimming, clean bulking require discipline and a lot of motivation. If you’re eager to start here are some of the steps you’ll need to take.

Fixing up Your Diet

You can’t bulk up unless you’re upping your calorie intake. This can scare many people off that fear they’ll get fat as a result. However, if you’re complimenting extra eating with lots of exercises, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Like any slimming diet, the key is still to eat healthily, so that all energy is converted into muscle. Instead of processed carbs like sugary snacks and fried foods, consider eating lots of potatoes, rice, and pasta. Protein is also essential to muscle growth and many people will take supplements such as protein shakes. Organic meats, eggs, nuts and milk can be another great unprocessed source of this protein.

On top of eating the right amount of food, you’ll need to consume a healthy amount of water. Other minerals can also help with a progress. You can find many dietary tips and meal plans for clean bulking online.

It’s all Connected to the Core

A healthy core will affect every other part of your body. It’s what helps you to balance and keep you upright. Most people assume that the core simply means the abs, but it actually incorporates all your torso muscles.

Individual exercises can help with many core muscles. Dips can help build your pecs – you’ll find help online on how to do dips at home for the chest. Sit ups, crunches, Russian twists, and leg raises meanwhile can be great for the abs. Endurance exercises such as the plank meanwhile are great for strengthening your whole core and good additions to add at the end of a workout.

Working Your Arms

There are many ways to bulk up the arms. Push ups and pull ups are great for testing most of your arm muscles. Specific exercises meanwhile can be catered to more specific arm muscles groups such as bicep curls and tricep dips. Gyms will often have all the specialist equipment, but you can often achieve the same result simply by buying a pair of dumbbells and working out from home, as well as getting imaginative with furniture (a couch is brilliant for tricep dips and elevated push ups).

Leg Day

Many people, specifically men, will pay little attention to their legs when bulking up. Forgetting leg day however will make you look disproportioned and have a knock on effect later as your legs aren’t able to support the rest of your body.

Many activities are great for building leg muscle. Cycling works out all your muscles groups from your quads to your calves to your glutes. Other exercises are more focused such as deadlifts and squats that specifically target your quads. If you have a gym membership, you’ll find many machines that can further build up your legs.

Creating a Routine

Bulking up requires a good routine. If you’re working out every day, a sensible option is to cycle between core, legs and arms. This will allow you to focus on each group whilst also allowing enough recovery time. Another approach is to exercise your whole body in one session but to give yourself a day’s break between each session.

A personal trainer may be able to help you create a routine that fits around your weekly schedule. As soon as your routine becomes comfortable, you can then start to up the stakes by increasing the number of reps, the time or the weight.

Whilst most of your exercise regime will be strength-based, it’s good to also include some endurance in there. Cardio exercises strengthen the heart and a healthy heart is much needed when bulking up to provide the extra muscle mass gained with the blood and oxygen it needs.

Staying motivated

Keeping motivated is the biggest challenge. Often the best way to stay motivated is to have a tangible target. This could be a target body shape, a target strength that you wish to be able to reach or a clothing size. From week to week, you should also be setting yourself micro-goals. These could be anything from beating your time at the plank to managing an extra weight.

Tracking your progress is important. Some gyms will have machines that do this for you so that you can keep on target with each week. If you’re training at home, you may be able to use apps to measure your progress. Having body stats available can greatly help to spur you on.

You can also take photographs in the mirror. These will show you how far you’ve come and may provide you the motivation to keep going.

Blogging and social media reporting also helps for some people. From week to week you can report your progress so that others can read and get inspired or simply spur you on.

Some people also find that training with someone else helps. This could involve training with a friend or could involve hiring a personal trainer to help put you through your paces. Make sure that if you are training with a friend or family member that you’re still sticking to your routine. Exercise classes may work for some, but probably not for the majority – whilst the likes of CrossFit incorporate many weight exercises, they do not stick to a routine from week to week and focus more on general fitness. Bulking requires specific training catered to the individual in most cases and you’re unlikely to be able to follow this working with a group of people with different goals and needs. That said, such as exercise groups can be still good to do on the side and have been known to introduce many people to weightlifting and new exercise ideas.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post – Sprint Workout: How to Maintain Muscle and Still Lose Fat

When you are sprinting, you always feel accomplished even if the sprint lasts for a split-second. Sprinting is one of the most intense workouts known by man. Olympic sprinters are capable of covering a distance of 100 meters in less than 10 seconds meaning that they output a lot of energy, concentration, and power.

Sprinting is a great workout strategy for persons looking to burn fat but maintain their muscle mass. Although it does not burn a lot of calories within the short period of the actual work, it is an effective fat-burning exercise after the workout.

Sprinting stimulates your metabolism level on a great scale and therefore after the sprint, your body burns a lot of calories and fat for close to some hours after the intense sprinting workout is over. Here we look at the basics of sprint workout and its effectiveness in helping you lose fat but maintain muscle.

Why is Sprinting Considered an Effective Workout?

Sprinting is effective in maintaining the muscle mass in your body and losing fat due to its nature of being a power-based workout. When sprinting, you make use of all your three energy systems i.e. aerobic, glycolytic and anaerobic.

Sprinting is considered as an effective workout as it not only burns fat in your body effectively but also pushes you to your absolute mental and physical limits. It requires you to fully focus on the workout at hand and push through the oxygen deprivation and muscular fatigue thereby making you become a powerful athlete in the end.

Important Instructions for Your Sprint Workout Sessions

Before starting on your sprint workout, it is essential to take part in a thorough warm up. This is very important as it prepares you both physically and mentally for the training session ahead while decreasing the chances of suffering from injuries. Here is an important guide to follow when warming up:

  • Low-intensity Cardio: You should have a CrossFit jump rope that you should use for jumping for about 4-5 minutes in order to break a sweat. Jogging could be another great alternative for a great warm up session.
  • Precise Sprint Drills — you should perform a series of skips (power skip, side skip, and front skip), lunges (stationary or walking) as well as leg swings (side-to-side and front/back). You can do these sprint-specific drills for about 4 — 5 minutes.
  • Accelerations and Plyometrics — you can do some light plyometrics like squat jacks, high knees, and skater hops as well as 10, 20 or 30-meter accelerations again for about 4 — 5 minutes.

Your warm up sessions are geared towards activating your body muscles and sharpening the reaction time in order to generate speed in a quick and safe manner. After warming up for 15 minutes, you will be ready for the sprints.
Sprint Workout

It’s possible to choose your preferred number of sets to take part in for an effective sprint workout. Here are some sets that can be used in a sprint workout:

– Four sets where you cover a distance of 40 meters at 95%, walk back to where you started and do another sprint. The sets should be done after every two minutes before taking a five-minute rest after doing all the four sets.

– A single set of 400 meters, where you should sprint as fast as you possibly can before taking a two-minute rest.

– Four sets of 100-meter strides where you take easy strides and cool down before walking back to the starting point for another set.

You can jog for half a mile and stretch a bit as a form of cooling down. Beginners should sprint once a week but athletes can do it twice in a week.

Other Ways of Burning More Fat and Maintaining Muscle

Apart from sprinting, you should also incorporate weight lifting in your workout program. Investing in a good Olympic weight bench will be important in ensuring you lift weights safely. Lifting heavy weights and sprinting very fast increases your body’s fat mobilization as well as muscle maintenance.

It is important to chart your progress in the weight room to note any reduction in strength as it could point towards a probable muscle loss. You can also invest in the best treadmill to build up your sprinting power and speeds for an effective sprint workout.

Tips to Becoming a Sprint Workout Pro

In order to become a pro in sprint workout, you ought to start slowly with shorter distances and work your way up. At the beginning, you should take adequate time to rest but as you get better the rest period should be decreased slowly. Sprint for the shortest period of time at your best speeds since it will be more effective than sprinting for long but at a less velocity.

References

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-maintain-muscle-while-losing-weight/

http://www.builtlean.com/2016/05/09/sprint-workout-burn-fat/

http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/how-to-lose-fat-without-losing-muscle/

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