We’re sorry to break it to you, but we have some news for you. We’re just going to come right out and say it – the workouts that you’ve been doing actually may have been just wasting your time by not giving you the optimal results.
It’s not you, it’s the workouts. We promise.
Weather you’ve received them form a personal trainer, a video off of Instagram or Google search – the good old days are over between you both. It’s never fun when one person carries the weight, and the other just drags on and on (literally). I mean, why do extra work without extra gain? There’s no need to be bitter either, sometimes things are just a plain misunderstanding. Besides, new effective and efficient workouts are waiting for you, and they will fulfill your needs more than any of the other workouts you’ve been faithful to in the past.
So, the time has come where you need to move on, and break up with the following workouts:
We all want a 6-pack, right? Well doing traditional crunches isn’t the most efficient way to get there.
Why? Because your abdomen is separated into 4 different muscle groups, assigned to the acronym T.I.R.E.
It consists of Transversus Abdominis, Internal Obliques, Rectus Abdominis and External Obliques. When our 6-pack starts peaking out, it’s really the Rectus Abdominis peaking out. To work this group, you need to do repetitive exercises again and again (i.e. a lot of crunches), but sadly it can only grow so much considering the muscles are very thin. When you’re in the position to do crunches, you need to have a strong Rectus Abdominis to perform the crunches correctly. Without this, you may be doing them without correct form, which then could lead to back injuries – ouch.
So, how do you get this muscle group strong?
Of course, you could spend a lot of time doing many, many crunches (and hope that you’re doing them the right way). Or, you can train the other parts of you core to have an overall strong core. This would include working the Transversus Abdominis, a muscle group that you totally miss when doing crunches. Workouts such as the plank, leg lifts, wood choppers, ab rolls and working with a medicine call prove to be much more effective for training more areas of your abdomen. It’s finally the time to go your separate ways.
Often, you see people at the gym reading a book or a magazine while using an elliptical machine. Of course, they may be warming up or cooling down (which is an important aspect of your workout), it’s not an efficient use of time at the gym.
Why? Because you’re better off doing stretching or breathing exercises for a warm up or cool down, considering you’ll actually get more benefits from them, and they’ll enhance your workout. If you’re at the gym to sit on the elliptical bike, while reading a magazine, you’ll need to be there for 2 hours to burn off the same amount of calories that you could have burned off with 1 hour of HIIT. That’s double the time you’ll spend at the gym. Besides, if you make this into a routine, your muscles will adjust very quickly, thus not giving you any value in your workout.
Many machines force you to work muscles independently of each other that typically work together in real life. This can even make you prone to an injury since it causes unnatural pulling on joints. An example is the leg extension and leg curl machines. Your hamstrings and quads never work independently of each other and it is bad for your knees to train them that way. Instead spending the extra time, and extra risk of injury, do jump squats, burpees, planks and mountain climbers for a more natural way to burn a lot more calories in a lot less time.
Ah, the world of squats…..
It always seems like it’s expanding, doesn’t it? New variations, new sequences, and new intervals. It can be easy to get lost or overwhelmed in wondering what the best type of squats you should be doing. Taking into account the measures for avoiding knee injuries and any other type of injury, where do you start? Weighted squats? Pile squats? Single leg squats?
The truth is, the actual movement of fully extending into standing position is useless.
Wait what? Yes – form the position of your legs being about 45 degree above your 90 degree squat doesn’t actually build any muscle or stretch your legs. It is just a mark to make your mind think you’ve completed the squat – but you actually already did the hard part coming half way up – you know, where you felt the burn.
No one feels the burn standing up, right?
Instead, to avoid doing unnecessary movement, try micro-movements. Essentially, you’ll stay between your 90 degree angle, and 45 degrees above it. Not only are you going to build your booty fast, you’ll also be more inclined to focus on your breathing since it involves more cardio (something that we often neglect when doing squats!). Health professionals have cracked down on how effective micro-movements are, and the verdict is that you’re actually working the muscles to the point of exhaustion and past your comfort zone using your own body weight. Since you’re performing many, many reps you’ll definitely start feeling the burn as you’re activating different muscle groups.
Next time you do your type of squat – try to incorporate micro-movements into instead. Oh yea, since they are micro-movements and half the time, double your amount of reps you do and really feel the burn. You’ll never squat the same again.
Those Workouts That Just Drag On
You check your phone before your workout, and when about 15 minutes rolls around, and your first droplet of sweat rolls down your face, you check your phone again.
Really? Only 15 minutes?
It feels like much longer… and you still have another 45 minutes to go. By the end of your “workout” you’ve spent a full hour and only sweat a little bit and aren’t even panting by the end of it.
Was that reaaaally worth an hour of your time? Chances are workouts on machines or that are heavy on cardio (but not intensified cardio) actually end up taking more time than efficiently that they give you. Plus, 1 hour of repetitive tasks isn’t stimulating for your body or brain, therefore making it just a waste of time.
Instead, you can try mixing up your workout every couple of days. Health professionals say that “there are numerous benefits to mixing up your workout routine” such as training different muscle groups, beating boredom and overall more satisfaction in your workout.
Any Workout Without Proper Breathing
If you’re not breathing correctly, you’re working out wrong. The organs that are activated during a workout are the heart and the lungs. The lungs bring oxygen into the body, to provide energy, and remove carbon dioxide, the waste product created when you produce energy. The heart pumps the oxygen to the muscles that are doing the exercise. Without proper use of your lungs, you may be performing shallow breathing, or chest breathing. This will affect the amount of energy you produce from your workout, and how the workout is digested by the body, and whether your lungs are functioning at full capacity, or only half. If you’re not breathing properly during any type of exercise, you are not utilizing the exercise at its fullest capacity, thus making it less efficient and a time waster.
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