workout

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.

How to Hit Your Health and Fitness Targets

When it comes to health and fitness, everyone has different aims of exactly what they want to achieve. But the vast majority of people struggle to hit these goals, largely because they don’t have a proper plan in place, the motivation that is required or their lifestyle gets in the way. Of course, this all comes down to you and how much you want to achieve your aims. But if you have the level of commitment and motivation required, there are some ways that you can make reaching your health and fitness targets easier.

Start Off With a Plan

To kick things off, you need to have a good plan in place that details what you need to be doing. If you are aiming to build muscle, you could write down the exercises you are planning to do, when you are planning to do them and how you will build this up over time. If you are planning to lose weight, you should think about what method you are intending to take, whether it is one that follows the principles of intermittent fasting or one that reduces certain food groups. Ultimately, having this plan to start off with will help you to achieve your goals.

Break Down Your Goals

Your long-term goal might be to get to a certain weight, but if you only have this as a goal, it may be difficult to maintain your focus. Instead, you can break this goal down into subgoals that are achievable and measurable. Your first goal might be to get a certain amount of exercise every week, and then it might be to prepare a certain number of your own healthy meals. All of these subgoals will help to contribute toward you achieving your main aim.

Give Yourself Motivation

Everyone gets their motivation from different areas, so it all depends what works best for you. A lot of people find that getting a workout buddy can make all the difference as they can drive you onwards on the days that you really don’t feel like exercising. Other people give themselves motivation through positive visualisation of how they will feel when they actually achieve their aims. Experiment with different things until you find a method that works well for you.

Experiment with Different Workouts

If you are continually doing the same type of workouts time after time, it is much easier to become bored and lose your focus. Going back to the plan we talked about at the start, you should always try to be trying to build different workouts into your regular routine. There are all kinds of things that you can try from new fitness classes to different sports. And while you still may want to keep the core of your workout the same, adding in a bit of variety will help to keep you engaged and interested.

These are just four things that you can do to give yourself the best chance of hitting the health and fitness aims that you set for yourself.

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.

The Ways In Which Your Lifestyle Can Affect Your Fitness

More people than ever are becoming obese and suffering chronic health conditions as a result of poor lifestyle choices. The sad thing is that many illnesses can be avoided by maintaining a sensible lifestyle. While there are many people who suffer from health-related issues as a result of their health choices; many more people suffer from smaller health complaints or a lack of fitness that can impact the way they feel. If you are looking to increase your health and fitness; then you need to understand how your lifestyle can affect your fitness, and then you can do something about it.

Leading A Sedentary Lifestyle

Along with overeating, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest causes of obesity. More people than ever lead sedentary lifestyles, where they do not meet the recommended amount of at least thirty minutes of physical activity per day. The health problems linked to a sedentary lifestyle include heart conditions, diabetes, and cognitive decline. This is an easily remedied lifestyle change; however, and there is much that you can do to ensure you live a fitter and healthier life.

Instead of driving everywhere, try walking, cycling or running. A practical way you can do this is by leaving your car at home and getting to work using your own body. Our bodies are more resilient than we believe them to be, so even if you struggle at first, you will soon get used to the cardio, and you will even begin to enjoy it! Joining a gym is an option for people who find the environment of a gym encouraging and motivating; although it is not for everybody. Consider a home workout program, or even get into a routine of walking your dog or going on regular walks or hikes with your family.

Smoking And Drinking

We all know that smoking and drinking alcohol in excess is not good for us, but did you know the extent to which it can impact your health and fitness? Smoking is a habit that, thankfully has become less popular among younger people. However, it is still an addiction for a significant portion of the population. Tobacco cigarettes contain many chemicals and carcinogens that are proven to result in illnesses and even death. Regarding your fitness; smoking will almost certainly decrease your abilities and the ability for your body to use its lung capacity efficiently.

An article on drinkaware.co.uk lists several ways in which alcohol can affect your sports performance, most significantly if you are injured drinking alcohol can slow down the process of your body healing. Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume will make a huge difference to your fitness as well as your waistband; the number of calories in alcohol can take you over your calories needs for the day without you realizing,

Undereating or Overeating

While eating too much is usually the biggest causes for people not meeting their ideal weight, and therefore not reaching their fitness goals; undereating is also a reason you may not be reaching your fitness goals. If you need to lose weight, you will need to be in a calorie deficit and ensure that your nutrition needs are being met. Tracking your food is helpful for some people as it allows them to be aware of what they are eating and where they were going wrong in the first place.

If your fitness goals include building muscle and gaining weight, rather than losing it; then you will need to be in a calories surplus. Your body will require extra calories from good sources of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Although it is tempting to eat high-calorie junk as a quick way to gain weight; this will have an impact on your fitness and overall 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.

Guest Post: How to Get Your Belly Ready for Swimsuit Season

Swimsuit season is coming and if you are not ready to embrace some body positivity and show off your body the way it is, it’s still not too late to shave off some of that unwanted fat from your belly. Not to worry, I’m not going to just tell you to eat less and exercise more, that “secret” has been out for a very long time and it clearly doesn’t work for everyone, but maybe some of these other tips will help you get belly ready for swimsuit season.

Ditch the Transport

Moving is the best way to get your metabolism going, and moving absolutely doesn’t have to be just exercise. Throw away your car keys and the bus pass and start walking, cycling and roller skating to your destinations. This seemingly small increase in activity will do a lot more than it might look on the surface; by constantly using your muscles, you are never putting your body in a dormant state. Which is when our metabolism slows down. If you have a desk job, try not to use the phone to contact your colleagues; rather walk over to their desk and talk to them. When watching TV, try not to just sit or lay down, but rather watch it while ironing the clothes, doing some light stretches, or even just sitting up straight. In short: unless you are purposefully sleeping or resting, try to never be in a position where your body thinks it can fall asleep.

Hydrate

You probably already heard of the “drink a tall glass of water as soon as you wake up” tip. Not only does if flush out the toxins, but it wakes up your body; telling your metabolism that it’s time to wake up and start working. You should always drink a glass of water or tea before eating; it will fill your tummy to a certain point and make you feel full sooner. We, as humans, tend to overeat. Because the signal that goes from our belly to our brain telling us that we’re full isn’t instant; so by the time we get it, it’s already too late and we’ve eaten more than we should. Not to mention that water helps fight cellulite – the other enemy of summer and bikinis – and gives us smoother skin and better hair.

Targeted Fat Reduction

It is simply impossible to target the fat on one part of the body with good eating habits and exercise. Sure, doing certain exercise will give you better muscles in that area; but the fat we lose is the same all over our bodies. The only way to reduce fat in a specific, targeted area is with medical assistance. Don’t worry – in this day and age there is no need to go under the knife. Non-invasive treatments like cryolipolysis are available in some clinics, and they are great for people who want fast results and just don’t have the time to commit to a weight loss plan. But remember – this isn’t a magic wand; you will still have to change up your lifestyle if you want to maintain the results.

No matter what your summer goals are, there is no point in crash-dieting or boot camp workouts a few weeks before the summer. The only way you will be happy and healthy long-term is if you implement changes into your lifestyle that you can follow every day. Start with small, simple changes, and if they stick, you can work your way up to a lifestyle you want to lead. We all feel great when we look great, but it’s important to remember that all bodies are different and all we should be doing is try to be healthy and happy.

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

The Link Between Your Workout And Your Food

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. In truth, it should be something along the lines: What you eat makes you. Indeed, your food is the fuel for your body, from pumping the energy it requires to workout, via maintaining all basic functions – that’s why your body continues to burn calories even when you don’t exercise –, and to rebuilding your energy after a workout, or even after a sport injury. The nutrients you give your body will have an impact on your performance, and on your overall health in relation to sports. While, naturally, training is still the key influence in achieving your goals, what you put on your plate needs to be thoroughly chosen. What you eat supports what you do when you work out.

#1. For The Gym Workout

If you are a gym addict, it’s likely that you are making the most use of all the gym equipment. As a result, training at the gym is the kind of workout that can easily last a couple of hours. From the treadmill to the weights, via the rowing machine, following a full-body workout program – it’s part of healthy recommendations for your fitness training, as it’s risky to build up strength in only one part of your body – demands a lot of energy. As a result, more and more gym members like to rely on supplements such as the pre workout from 1st Phorm, which is designed to provide an energy boost, as well as sufficient endurance to sustain your gym program. Do make sure, though, not to abuse these workout supplements. If you’re not going to train hard, there is no point for them. But if you want to help your body change faster through tough exercises, you need support in both strength and endurance, therefore you need a pre workout shake!

#2. For The Running Program

Runners are well aware of the various needs of their body. Indeed, you need to maintain your activity for the duration of the run – in other words, you need the endurance to keep running – and the energy to perform well. Additionally, running is a high-impact activity, consequently, you need to be looking after your joints and bones too. Working with vitamins and mineral supplements is the best way to ensure that you’ve got the right nutrients for your run. Vitamin B12, which is essential to the formation of red blood cell to carry oxygen through the body is key to fight off fatigue as you exercise. It also helps your body to break down the fat and protein into running energy. Calcium is indispensable to maintain your bones and to prevent cramps and bloating, which can be nasty side-effects from running.

#3. For The Yoga And Dance Stretching

If you need to get flexible as part of your workout, you may want to help your body stretch muscles and joints with the right diet. Oranges help you to fight off free radicals, which are produced when you exercise. As a result, your muscles recover faster and can be more flexible. Grape and grape juice are useful in improving your overall joint health, among other health benefits. Oily fish, which is rich in omega-3, can reduce inflammation, especially around the joint area. Finally, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is used to improve circulation. As a result, it helps to repair muscles and to keep you flexible all year round.

#4. Food To Refuel After A Workout

Naturally, you don’t only need food as a preventive approach to your workout. You also need food to refuel after a tough workout, as this will help your body to prevent soreness. As a rule of the thumb, you should have a recovery snack 45 minutes after your workout. Your snack needs to contain a mix of carb, protein, and fluid to help your muscle replenish its energy, repair the muscle tissues, and hydrate your body. But a recovery snack is not a full meal: you should be aiming at 40g-50g of carb with 15-20g of protein only. In other words, that’s the equivalent of an apple with some peanut butter or two slices of whole grain bread with honey and nut butter.

#5. Food To Recover After An Injury

A sport injury is never fun, especially as it stops you from exercising until your body has recovered. However, you can improve your recovery time with the right type of food. Indeed, protein-rich food will facilitate the muscle repair and also help your body to maintain its muscle mass and strength as much as possible. Fibers will help to reduce the unwanted body fat that can develop when you’re immobilized. Finally, vitamin C from fruits and veg is key to rebuild tissue after an injury.

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.

Avoiding Nasty Workout Injuries

Exercising is a great way to boost your overall fitness, but it isn’t always positive. There is a dark side of working out, and it is known as suffering an injury. Simply put, exercising places the body under a lot of physical strain, and the stresses can cause things to snap. When they do, it’s painful and very damaging to your health. Thankfully, they are avoidable as long as you follow a few simple rules. Even better, you can find a selection of them underneath.

Stretch Sufficiently

There is a difference between stretching and holding the stretch to give your muscles ample time to warm up. If you’re doing it as an afterthought, there is a good chance of an injury occurring. For starters, there needs to be enough strain to get the blood pumping around the body. The increased blood flow should heighten the muscles’ temperatures, and that will boost flexibility. Hopefully, this will be enough to prevent any unnecessary strain while you exercise. As a rule, there isn’t a one-size fit all policy regarding time, but 20-30 seconds is usually suitable. Also, don’t forget to target as many muscles as possible. The more you leave out, the higher the chance of a tear or sprain.

Cool Down

Almost everyone will warm up before working out, yet they won’t cool down. Now, copying the professionals is enough to put anyone off a cool down for life. The last thing you want is to jump in an ice bath after a ten-mile slog. However, their recovery process is a lot more advanced, and you don’t need to follow suit. In truth, a five to ten-minute walk which includes a couple of stretches should suffice. All you’re looking to do is replace the oxygen debt and lactic acid in your body. If they are present the next time you exercise, they could lead to a lot of pain.

Take PT Classes

‘PT’ stands for physical therapy and it might be the difference between substantial damage and staying injury free. You should know that PT isn’t only for people who need to recover from an injury. In fact, lots of people use it to avoid one in the first place as a weekly session acts as a safety net. The best physical therapist establishments all take on pre and post care patients, so there is no need to wait until it’s too late. The people that get ahead of it tend to avoid the nasty injuries which can sideline you for weeks and months.

Don’t Overload

In your quest to get fit, there is the temptation to take on too much work. Because having a rest day doesn’t feel productive, you might want to exercise every day. Although it’s commendable, it isn’t smart. Injuries happen because of wear and tear over time. By working out more, you’re increasing the tension that you put on the body.

The best option is to train hard over the course of a week, but take a rest day in between sessions. After all, the body needs to take a break too.

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.

An Essential Guide to Exercise and Illness

Whether it’s figuring out to what extent exercise can prevent illness, or to what extent illness prevents exercise, it’s important for fitness fans to know more about the connections between the two. It’s essential that you speak to your doctor about specific concerns, of course! But this guide to exercise and illness will help you get to grips with some of the basics.

Boosting the Immune System

The immune system and exercise have a strange and fascinating relationship. It’s also one that’s widely misunderstood. If you want to ensure you get the most out of your exercise when it comes to dealing with illnesses, it’s best that you get to grips with some of the basics. Research has shown that regular exercise can definitely boost the immune system in the long run; those who work out three times a week or so tend to get sick less often. But if you have a really vigorous, heavy-duty, long-lasting workout? Then your immune system may be temporarily weakened. This is why so many marathon runners feel ill within 72 hours of their performance!

Above and Below the Neck

So if you’re feeling ill, should you exercise? There are a few things to consider here. For many people, there’s a particularly useful gauge: if your symptoms are above the neck, then you’re probably good to go. If it’s below the neck, you should take it easy and avoid exercise. Some may find that above-the-neck symptoms prevent them from exercising unless they take something to ease the symptoms; here are a couple remedies that may help. Below-the-neck symptoms tend to include aches, muscle weakness, fever, and problems with the lungs and stomach. Exercising with such issues may make things a lot worse.

Exercise as a cure?

Some may argue that exercise will help you cure your illness faster. Because of the relationship between exercise and the immune system, this may seem to make sense – but it’s a specious argument. Certainly, a brisk walk can help expand your lungs and make breathing easier if your illness is making that difficult. But, in general, there’s no real science behind the idea of exercising so much that you help force the illness away, as though exercise were some sort of exorcism and illness merely a demon! Put focus on exercise when you’re not feeling unwell, and reduce the intensity of your workout if you are unwell – or, again, consider avoiding it altogether if the symptoms are below the neck.

The Dangers of Stress

Another strange but well-documented biological relationship? Stress and illness. Long-term stress isn’t simply a psychological problem, the way most people see it. Stress manifests itself physically, which is precisely why it’s so bad for your health in the long term. Specifically, it can play havoc with your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and even exacerbating the symptoms if you do get ill. Something similar can be said for depression. Exercise helps relieve both of these problems, which is partly why it’s so good for long-term immunity boosting. If your illness is being exacerbated by either, then consider some light exercise to help banish them.

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.

Group Fitness For The Social Sportsperson

Motivation is one of the hardest things to come by when you’re trying to exercise. A lot of people struggle to keep themselves engaged with working out. When you don’t have the drive to do something like this, it can be very hard to force yourself to do it. And, this is a shame; it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you just have to find a new way to spark the excitement for exercise in yourself. For a lot of people, the best way to do this is by working as a group or a pair. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some ideas for sports which can be completed this way. But, first, what benefits do working this way bring you?Working with others in the pursuit of fitness is almost always better than trying to do it alone. Even if it’s just for emotional support; having someone else around during this time is always good. Your motivation will be benefited; because you will feel like people are relying on you to turn up to each session. And, you will feel much more engaged with the exercise. Along with this, having other people to compare your results with gives you a reference to gauge your success. As you share your results, you’ll find that healthy competition is sparked. This will further drive you to keep going. A lot of people don’t like going to the gym simply because they find it boring and unpleasant. But, having someone else with you for this sort of activity will always help to alleviate this feeling. Let’s take a look at some of the options you have.

#1 Jogging Groups

A lot of people find that they enjoy running, once they get out there; but, motivation to get going is often hard to find. Instead, people don’t make it as far as taking their first few strides. Because of the effectiveness of running and jogging, it’s one of the best exercises you can take part in. So, it’s a shame to see that so many people miss out on it because they just don’t have the push to get going. Of course, this could be solved by going to the gym with a buddy. But, this is thinking small! Most places already have clubs set up for the purpose of group runs. A personal trainer will run at the head of the pack, allowing everyone to keep a reasonable and fair pace. Having people around you as you do this will push you further. And, having someone else in control of the route and the distance you run will force you to run the course of the exercise.

#2 Yoga

This next option isn’t quite as intense as running; but, it can still be very good for the body. Yoga hasn’t been around for long, in its current from. Most Yoga practice comes from areas like India and Nepal; thanks to the religions which are predominant in these areas. The activity itself is based on performing long and slow movements to stretch and work your muscles. And, it works. A lot of people herald yoga as one of the best ways to tone your body and make it look sleek and fit. Alongside some basic cardio exercise, Yoga will be enough for most people to have a huge boost in self-esteem. And, most of the clubs offering it are very cheap. But, you could consider taking at the best yoga sites list from bestyogablog.com and consider running your own group. This sort of effort will be worth it; especially as you see people improving with you.

Teams

Of course, some people won’t want to put this sort of effort in. And, others won’t want to do something which is just a regular exercise. If you fall into this category; it’s not an issue, you just need to find an alternative. Team sports provide a way for you to get involved with something you already love and enjoy; while also getting fitter. The pressure you’ll feel to go to each training session will be enough to drive you through. And, to make things even more inspiring, you’ll probably get the chance to compete. Playing your favorite sport against other people is one of the best ways to motivate yourself in this area.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done; if you want to start working on getting fit as a group. It can be hard to find motivation when you’ve got nothing to strive for. But, simply adding other people to the mix will get rid of the need for motivation. Instead, you’ll be relying on horror you feel at the idea of letting others down.

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.

The Dynamic Warm Up To An Explosive Workout!

Do you think of it as being an integral part of your workout, or do you quickly get it out of the way, or not even bother? The warm up is such an important part of your whole gym session, and if you just do a couple of stretches, maybe run on the treadmill for five minutes, and then start lifting heavy, you’ll set yourself up for a nice injury down the line. Bad warm ups will have a bad effect on your workout, because a few simple stretches relax your muscles and central nervous system, and will decrease your overall power. Warm-ups aren’t just about getting your body nimble, they are about aligning your posture, getting the blood flowing, and putting your joints through a dynamic range of motion, so you can lift those weights, kill those squats, or use your body to its full potential. Let’s do this!

Foam Rolling

The first thing to do is always to foam roll. It will remove all the knots and trigger points that build up in the body. It’s like a massage, and as time goes on, it will restore the natural length of your muscle. When you find a spot that’s tender, focus on that point for a while and let the roller do its work. Aim for eight to ten rolls for each part of the body, and then you can go onto the proper warm up.

The Supine Bridge

This will activate your glutes. Lie on your back, bend your knees (at around 90-degrees), and squeeze the glutes making sure you have your heels firmly down and lift the hips. Like the bridge move in yoga. Beware that if your glutes don’t have this strength right now, it’s important not to force your body up into the air. For an increased range of motion, you can spend time using stretching machines and foam rolling for a longer period of time. Make sure to repeat this 10 times, and don’t use your hamstrings for support; it should come from the glutes.

Quadruped Extension Rotation

This will help to counteract your bad posture and increase mobility in your thoracic spine. Get down on all fours, keep your left elbow locked in place but put your right hand behind your head. Use your right elbow to reach to the sky, and you’ll feel a stretch in your thoracic spine. Be sure to look at your elbow throughout the move. Repeat 10 times before switching sides.

Rocking Ankle Mobilization

As many problems begin with the ankles, this move should form part of your warm up every time. Get in a pushup position and lift your hips. Put your left shin over your right calf, and rock your hips, all the while trying to press your right heel down into the ground. Repeat 10 times switch sides.

Scapular Wall Slides

Stand with your shoulders, head, and glutes against the wall; press your forearms against the wall. Squeeze the glutes and press your lower back against the wall.

As a dynamic warm up, this beats the ones you learned in school!

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.

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