No doubt over the years you have heard, read and been given loads of advice on fitness. It can get confusing. I’ve researched the world’s best fitness trainers and come up with a list of their best game changing tips and techniques, proven to make the difference you want from your training.
Change from Slow Cardio to HiiT (High Intensity Interval Training)
As I wrote in my last post, HiiT is the most effective technique for getting your body leaner and stronger. HiiT has two main benefits over slow cardio: 1. You burn a greater percentage and amount of fat and 2. You will continue to burn fat long after you have finished your workout.
Always brace your core muscles before each and every exercise
A six –pack of muscles is only the start of it. Your core muscles are a network of muscles that support and wrap around your torso. Getting them strong will protect you from injury and result in a stronger body overall. Switching and holding these muscles on while you do any movement will steady your balance, improve your posture and have them working functionally as they’re meant to.
Swap from Machines to Free Weights
You’re special! We are all different shapes and sizes, some of us are short, some are tall, some have one leg longer than the other. Whatever it is that makes you special, chances are the weight machine you use isn’t built to suit. Trade your machine exercises for dumbbells, barbells and medicine balls to build strength in ways more specific to your body, while also working all the smaller stabilising muscles that machines miss.
Do Push Ups
The push up is one of my favourite exercises, unfortunately I often see people doing them incorrectly. I found this description of best practice and if you keep this cue in mind you’ll be doing the perfect push up each and every time. Maintain a rigid body line from the top of your head to your heels throughout the push. With this in mind, you won't sag your hips, hump your back, or bubble up your butt. Keep your elbows tucked in towards your sides as you lower your body, and push back up, strong as steel from head to heels.
Master the Squat
Another one of my all- time favourite movements is the Squat. It’s another exercise if not shown correct technique it’s easy to get into bad form. When my client is lowering their body into a squat my instruction is "push your hips back" to lower your body. To do this right, imagine that you need to open a door with your butt. This helps you activate the muscles in your lower body without rounding your back.
Lift, then Run
If you perform your strength training before your cardio work, you'll burn more fat while doing your favourite aerobic work. In a Japanese study, men who did the workout in this order burned twice as much fat as those who didn't lift at all.
Use a Diary
Research shows that those who record their progress are more compliant and see better results than those who wing it. This is no doubt true for any pursuit or goal you wish to attain. Keeping track of your improvement is motivating and controls your path towards your objective. A clear plan when you hit your training session results in better use of your time, and provides a rewarding sense of completion.
Take a week off
It’s ok to have a rest, in fact it’s been shown to be advantageous. An interesting study showed men who cut their training volume the last week of each month, actually increased strength by 29 per cent. When you rest, you repair and it’s in the repairing you gain the benefit of the previous work you’ve done. Have a look at your own exercise routine and incorporate these tips from the very best trainers in the world to get all the benefits you deserve from the effort you’re putting in. And always remember ‘your motion creates your emotion’.