With summer upon us, we’ve all probably scheduled out our days by the pool, at the beach, or at a BBQ with family and friends. This also means that we’re extra motivated to get into shape, fast. We all want to see quick results when we work out, whether it’s running, yoga, or at the gym. White noticeable, sustainable results take time, there are ways you can make your workouts more effective.
We all know how important it is to warm up - it prevents injury and prepares your body for exercise. You can actually improve your warmup routine by incorporating more dynamic stretches that engage more muscles. Dynamic warmup exercises engage multiple muscle groups, such as your arms, legs, and core. It also helps prime your body for a great workout ahead. For a good dynamic warm up, we recommended this routine from Health.com.
Focus on Your Form
An efficient workout comes from quality, not quantity. We can’t stress enough the importance of proper form with exercises. Safety should always be a top concern. Improper form can result in serious injuries like broken bones or torn ligaments, as well as more chronic, long-term issues. Proper form will allow you to engage the correct muscles and get the most out of your workout to strengthen and tone your body.
The best way to improve form is to see a trainer who can teach you proper posture and alignment.
Invest in Simple Workout Gear
Getting some inexpensive workout equipment can transform the way your workout feels. Medicine balls, resistance bands, and dumbbells are relatively inexpensive gear that can help you work out harder and build muscle. They come with different levels of difficulty so they can be used by anyone willing to push themselves a little further.
Try a set of squats with dumbbells or a bicep curl with a resistance band. Trust us, you’ll burn so good!
Work Out in Intervals
Interval training involves a series of high to low intensity workouts and has been shown to be an effective form of exercise. Not only will this form of exercise help you burn calories, it improves blood-sugar regulation and blood flow, boosts metabolism, burns calories, reverses muscle decline, and gives a glorious afterburn.
To do interval training (also known as high-intensity-interval-training or HIIT), you will alternate between bursts of high intensity exercise with low intensity activity. For example, alternating between running for three minutes and walking for one minute.
Roll it Out
One of the fitness industry’s most raved-about product is the foam roller. Using a foam roller stretches and lengthens your muscles so that your exercises are more effective. You can use a foam roller before or after your workout to loosen tight muscles or aid in muscle recovery. You can feel the difference on your body just after ten minutes of foam rolling. To help you get started, here are 10 ways to use a foam roller.
Studies have found that a lack of proper hydration can negatively impact your workout performance. Researchers at the University of North Carolina discovered that losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids can reduce efficiency and negatively impact your body’s ability to recover afterwards. The first step to any routine is to make sure you stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Most experts recommend you drink 15-20 ounces of water at least 1-2 hours before your next workout, 8-10 ounces 15 minutes before begin your workout, and eight ounces every 15 minutes during your workout.
There are no shortcuts for hard work, but if you incorporate these tips into your next workout routine, you’ll see how much more satisfying - and effective - your workout can be.