Kick Your Fitness Plan Up A Notch

Many of us begin on a fitness regimen but few of us follow through and actually reach our goal. Getting fit can be a challenge, but if you have the right motivation and right advice it can be accomplished. This article will help outline some tips on reaching your fitness goals.

Gym classes, led by an instructor, are an excellent way to improve your overall fitness level. Instructors plan routines in advance to optimize the right proportions of muscle work, aerobic work and stretching for each class. You just show up, follow the teacher’s lead, listen to some good music, and hopefully have some fun too.

Cardio training is another vital piece of the total fitness puzzle. Cardiovascular exercise – exercise that elevates the heart rate and respiration – burns fat, improves performance and contributes to overall health and fitness. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that cardio is the most effective kind of exercise for keeping fit – although it should not be anyone’s sole form of exercise.

Keep your neck safe when you are doing crunches by sticking your tongue to your upper palate. It also helps if you look at the ceiling instead of at your legs. This helps you to focus energy on those core muscles that should be getting the workout, not your neck.

Before plunging right in the water and starting to swim, spend some time ducking your body, head included, in and out of the water. Breathe in while you’re on the surface and breathe out while you are under. This gives you time to acclimatize to the water and your swimming will enjoy the benefits.

It is best to not workout on an empty stomach. Your body needs fuel, particularly if you are putting it through a grueling and sweat-inducing workout. Fuel up on good, healthy foods that will provide you with the energy you need to get through your workout and your body will thank you.

To build up your speed when running, try increasing the speed of your stride instead of the length of your stride. Your foot should be aligned under your body when running, not in front of it. Proper propulsion should be achieved by pushing off with the toes of your rear foot.

You can build up your physical strength through the use of lighter weights. Your muscles will have just as much force as when you lift heavier weights, except you will be going much slower. These are especially great for bench-presses. Go with about 40-60% of what you usually lift and do 8 sets of 12 repetitions pushing the weight up quickly. Have a 30 second rest period between sets.

A great workout tip is to perform dips. Dips can work out both your triceps and your chest. To hit the triceps you should do dips with elbows in and your body straight. To hit the chest you should lean forward and flare your elbows out. You will feel a great pump at the end.

When you go to the gym for a weight workout, think small to large when it comes to your activities. Begin with with dumbbells and end with machine work. The smaller muscles you need to use with dumbbell work tend to tire more quickly than the larger muscle groups used in machines. Therefore, end with the machines as your body will then need less from those smaller muscle groups.

Ankle flexibility is a key focus for development when swimming. You can swim faster and more effectively by increasing your “flipper” capability in your feet. Seat yourself on the ground; shoes off. Extend your legs to the front with heels firm on the ground and then simply point forward with your toes as far as you can, then point them back towards your shins. About 1 minute a day will do the trick.

It is important to purchase comfortable sneakers for your workout. This can help prevent unnecessary muscle strains. Try to shop for sneakers after a workout; your feet are probably swollen at this time, so you will know how the sneakers will fit you after every workout this way. Make sure you are able to wiggle your toes.

Go to the head of the class. In your favorite fitness class, don’t be timid – choose a spot right in the front. It will make you work harder knowing that everyone behind you is watching you and seeing yourself working hard in the mirror will boost your sense of accomplishment.

One great way to get fit is to find a series of exercise DVDs that you really enjoy and stick to them. There are many varieties of workouts available, from high octane cardio to yoga. You can get a thorough workout from a DVD and feel great about yourself when you finish an entire disc.

If you have limited time for lifting weights, concentrate your efforts on compound exercises. This target multiple muscle groups instead of isolating just one, which means that you can work more muscles in less time. Examples of strength-building exercises that target more than one muscle are bench dips, lunges, and pull-ups.

By doing sit-ups correctly you will maintain good posture and not hurt your back. You can get the same effect by utilizing a Swiss ball and placing a rolled towel under the lower back. Anchoring your feet to a piece of furniture when doing sit-ups will put a lot of strain on your back.

Having read this article you should now be one step closer to your fitness goals. Knowledge is power, and now you are empowered to actually attempt to tackle your goals. Being fit is no easy task, but now it has been facilitated, so get to the gym and start applying everything you have learned.

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