If you want to keep your gym time to a minimum, yet become leaner and stronger, you need to know how to make your workouts more effective with these tips.
Whether you’re at the beginning of your fitness journey or are a seasoned pro, these 3 science-backed tips will help you to get the most out of your next workout.
Stretch and Roll
Your pre-workout is an essential part of your fitness regime. Warming up with foam rolling is one way to prepare your body for a challenging workout. It helps to increase muscle flexibility, and may help to alleviate muscle soreness to enhance your workout performance in subsequent exercise sessions.
So, what exactly is foam rolling? Foam rolling involves using a foam roller – this is a lightweight cylinder, usually made from foam or plastic. Your body is able to lay in different positions to put pressure on tight muscles, undoing any knots in your muscle tissue. Foam rolling for only two minutes has been found to boost your motion by up to 10 degrees, helping you to get the most out of your fitness routine.
Another effective warm-up you can do before your main workout is dynamic stretches. You may be already stretching before you exercise, but dynamic stretches are different to normal stretches.
Dynamic stretches involve body movement rather than standing still in one place. According to research, dynamic stretching can help to improve weightlifting performance, as well as warming up your muscles to reduce any risk of injury.
Dynamic stretches you can do before your workout include arm circles, torso twists, spinal rotations, and walking lunges. If you want to feel more energized during your workout, try adding dynamic stretching to your warm-up.
Try Interval Training
If you’re not a fan of spending hours in the gym, the good news is that shorter workouts can produce better fitness results. Completing just one minute of high intensity exercise may deliver the same benefits as working out briskly for 45 minutes.
What type of exercise is the best for getting the most out of a short workout? It’s time to get acquainted with interval training. Interval training involves combining high intensity workouts with short periods of rest.
Research has shown that combining 8 seconds of high intensity exercise with 12 seconds of low intensity training over 20 minutes for 3 times each week delivers higher weight loss than training for twice as long at a steady pace.
You may also know interval training as HIIT or high intensity interval training. HIIT workouts can last between 10 to 30 minutes long, and may include cycling, running, jumping, squats, burpees, and other body weight exercises.
Studies suggest that HIIT workouts help you burn 25-35% more calories than other forms of fitness. Your metabolic rate is also much higher for hours after a HIIT workout, pushing your body to use fat for energy rather than using carbohydrates.
If you’re new to fitness, attempting a HIIT workout is likely to help you gain muscle, especially in those areas which are being primarily used.
Drink More Water
Being dehydrated can seriously impact the effectiveness of your workout. If you’re sweating a lot during your fitness routine, you may be losing up to 10% of your body weight in water.
Research shows that this water loss can affect your output and recovery in relation to exercise.
How can you prevent this? Many people don’t drink enough water before heading to the gym. If you want to avoid muscle cramps and feeling lethargic during your workout, you need to drink more water.
General guidelines suggest you should drink 15 to 20 ounces of water at least two hours before you exercise. Additionally, in the 15 minutes prior to your workout, you should consume up to 10 ounces. Aim to drink 8 ounces at every 15 minute interval during your exercise routine.
Our cells require water for energy synthesis. During exercise, your body needs more energy, so you need to drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body, while body temperature regulation may also be a challenge.
Making sure you drink lots of water before and during your workout will help you to get the most out of your fitness routine – you’ll have more energy to meet your goals, and you’ll feel less tired afterwards.
Let’s wrap it up
Pairing these three tips with a quality protein powder will ensure you get the most out of your next workout.
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