Hint: you don’t have to try harder
You probably work out hard, follow your trainer’s advice and ensure you don’t skip classes. But often you feel no improvement comes from all of this hard work.
How would you like to have a better workout with just a few simple tweaks? We’re glad you’re interested.
The dark little secret of exercise
There’s no down working out is beneficial in a number of ways. Everybody raves about their increase in energy and confidence when they exercise. They talk of their improved health, their slimmer, toned figure, and the lustful looks they get. But also, they complain about the side effects of working out. The sore muscles, the taxed joints, the prolonged fatigue, and the dreadful overtraining syndrome where you’re convinced life must be over for you. (We’ve all been there.)
You can avoid all these negatives by switching up your workout just a bit. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Use a foam roller before your workout
Have you even tried doing some muscle massaging using a foam roller before working out? Self-myofascial release or self-massaging your muscles improves your flexibility, increases range of motion in your joints and helps blood rush to the affected, inflamed areas to accelerate muscle recovery and warm-up.
Doing a five-minute roller massage will grant immense relief to your tired muscles and prime your body for the workout of a lifetime. But don’t head to class just yet—you have some dynamic stretching still to do!
It’s a golden rule that you must perform a dynamic stretch as a warm-up before your workout. Nobody says otherwise.
Research says that long, static stretching before a workout doesn’t do you any good. On the contrary, dynamic light stretching in the form of squats, lunges and jumping jacks will pump up your heart and awaken your sleeping muscles for action. It will also give you better longer-term performance results.
The people in white coats say so. So next time you engage in a workout, leave static stretching for bedtime.
Make flexibility a fitness goal
Having improved flexibility doesn’t only increase your athletic performance it also keeps injuries at bay. When your body has a fuller range of motion to move in, you expand your flexibility and ensure that you perform each activity or form correctly.
For example, instead of solely focusing on weightlifting that only uses partial range of motion, include in your workout full-range-of-motion exercises. This will strengthen your muscles while ensuring their flexibility is not compromised. One way to achieve this is by using less weights so that you can perform longer or deeper exercises.
Treat yourself to a Ball Massage Post-Workout
Foam rolling before a workout ensures your body is ready to roll. A massage after a workout gives your muscles some relief from the exercise’s tension, and aids in repairing them in preparation for your next workout. But don’t grab your foam roller just yet.
For deep and targeted post-workout self-myofascial release, use a lacrosse ball instead of a foam roller. The size and structure of the Lacrosse ball make it the ideal ally in your battle against muscle soreness and fatigue.
Thanks to its size, the Lacrosse ball can offer you out-of-this-world relief in places such as your calves, glutes, hips, shoulders and feet.
A Lacrosse ball provides you laser-focused relief in hard to reach trigger points too. Try this: stand with your hip against the wall and place the Lacrosse ball between you and the wall. Gently move your hip around to alleviate the area, and feel the tension melt from your tight muscles.
Switch up your workout
Another way you can improve your workout is by abstaining from it for a while. Give your body some time to relax and recompose after rigorous training.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set foot in the gym for a month. Instead, try switching to a different kind of exercise. You can have a shot at yoga, pilates, running or swimming. Anything that will make you eager to work out will do.
Getting into a more gentle workout routine will relax both your mind and body while ensuring you keep yourself in shape for when you return to your prior engagements. This doesn’t have to be a prolonged time-off either, you know. You can simply switch one day of CrossFit with a Pilates class for example, or one day of jogging for swimming. The possibilities are truly endless so have fun with it!