One of the most rewarding aspects of exercise is its never-ending novelty. Whatever your background, you can always find a new routine, piece of equipment, or even an entirely different sport to try. Fitness can become an exercise — no pun intended — in lifelong learning. With that in mind, you should check out the workout tips no one ever taught you to increase your fitness prowess today.
Just making some minor tweaks to your existing workout routine may make a huge difference. Seemingly minor changes to your breathing or body positioning may make a huge difference in the overall effectiveness of your exercises. Sometimes, something as simple as rethinking your recovery efforts can go a long way.
To learn more about these exercise insights, I reached out to two professional personal trainers. Noam Tamir, CSCS, is the owner and founder of TS Fitness in New York City. One of his goals is to provide clients with the correct education and coaching to work out effectively. Likewise, Marianne Rullo, certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, is the owner of Fitique In Home Personal Training, which covers the Monmouth County Area. She offers personalized training for persons with a variety of fitness goals. With their shared insight, both Tamir and Rullo can help shape up your regular workout today.
1. Use Proper Breathing Techniques
Because breathing is subconscious, it's easy to overlook this crucial component to your exercise. But according to Tamir, practicing diaphragmatic breathing, instead of letting your chest do all the work, can increase oxygen intake and help improve your endurance. Additionally, it's crucial to avoid holding your breath during workouts.
2. Start Slow
When you're getting into a new sport or fitness regime, it's easy to do too much too soon. But as Rullo noted, it's smart to start off slowly in the beginning so you don't burn out. Those fitness gains will come in no time, anyway.
3. Go For Low Reps, High Weights
Sure, it's easy enough to lift those same weights another ten times or so. But, as Tamir noted, going beyond 8 reps will not help you build muscle. In general, it's better to do fewer reps with higher weights.
4. Push Yourself
There's a sweet spot between overdoing it and falling short of your workout potential. As Rullo says, "if the workout is too easy, work harder." Some interval training or heavier weights may be all you need to up the ante.
5. Be Mindful Of Foot Placement
How often do you think about your feet while exercising? According to Tamir, properly orienting your feet, and even using a corkscrew motion while lifting weights, may help transform your squats and other moves. By creating more engagement, you're less likely to have your knees go inward, for instance.
6. Try HIIT To Break Plateaus
Again, if your routine is feeling a bit stale, then upping the difficulty can keep you from getting bored. As noted by Rullo, adding in some high intensity interval training (HIIT) can take your training to the next level. It's pretty much impossible to be bored when you're working at max capacity.
7. Work Bigger Muscle Groups First
Going big to small is a smart move when it comes to weight training. "Go with bigger muscle groups in the beginning, then go into single-joint exercises later," Tamir says. This will prevent your smaller muscle groups from getting fatigued too early.
8. Drink Up
Sure, staying hydrated is important, but you may need more water than expected. As explained by Rullo, drinking 64 to 80 ounces of water a day will help keep you hydrated. If plain water bores you, try adding a lemon for flavor.
9. Use Foam Rolling For Recovery
You may want to rethink the cool-down routine. Tamir says stretching does nothing to aid with recovery, and research on stretching from the National Strength and Conditioning Association backs up this idea. Using heat, ice, or foam rolling after a workout may be more effective.
10. Track Your Progress
Sometimes, just seeing how far you've come can help tremendously. Rullo recommends tracking your progress and results to see how far you've come. It can act as an excellent motivator.
11. Maintain Spinal Alignment
It's difficult to overstate the importance of your spine. And according to Tamir, maintaining proper spinal alignment during workouts is key. Resisting the urge to look in the mirrors or at your phone may help your spine and neck stay healthy.