The moment when you finally hit your stride with your workout routine is seriously the best. It’s like the honeymoon phase of a new relationship.
Everything is (relatively) easy. You feel like you’re on top of the world. Nothing can slow you down.
Until suddenly, it happens: You hit the dreaded workout plateau. Now, you’re no longer seeing results, and your motivation is all but gone. What are you supposed to do now?
Well, as we see it, you have three options:
quit (but you’re no quitter, are you?);
keep doing the same workout routine and growing increasingly frustrated with your lack of progress, or
bust through your fitness plateau by leveling up your workouts.
If you want to start seeing results again, there is no question that option number three is the best course of action.
So, how do you make it happen?
6 Useful Strategies for Making Your Workouts Better
Create your workout playlists, pack your bag with essential workout gear and follow these pro tips to get yourself out of your fitness rut.
1. Switch up the intensity
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your workouts to maximize your results. If you enjoy hopping on the stationary bike in the morning and blasting T-Swift on your phone, then by all means, keep doing it! But instead of pedaling for 45 minutes straight at the same intensity, try switching up the intensity with an interval workout.
An interval workout involves periods of high-intensity mixed in with low and medium intensity and, according to research, it’s super effective at blasting fat.
In a 2017 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that interval workouts can burn up to 28.5 percent more fat than a continuous workout with moderate intensity.
If you normally use the bike for 45 minutes on a low intensity, try doing a 20-minute bike interval workout instead. Start your ride with easy pedaling for five minutes, dispersed with moderate, high-intensity and all-out pedaling before cooling down for another five minutes. Trust us, you’ll be feeling it in your legs the next day.
2. Try something completely new
Okay, we know that we just said you didn’t need to reinvent the wheel with your workouts, but hear us out: Trying a new workout routine can do your body some serious good. Like, a lot of good. As in, omg-I-can-finally-see-my-abs kind of good.
That’s because your body eventually adapts to exercise after about 4-16 weeks of the same workout routine. Once that happens, your progress will come to a screeching halt until you make a change in your workout.
While interval training is an effective way to challenge your body, why not try something new and exciting?
Replace one of your running workouts with a kickboxing class. Swap a cardio session for yoga (which is packed with workout-enhancing benefits, by the way). Who knows? You may just find a new type of exercise to get you excited all over again.
3. Fuel up the right way
Sorry to break this to you, but your low-calorie diet is secretly sabotaging your workouts.
Yep, it’s true. In fact, when it comes to fitness, undereating is arguably much, much worse than overeating. That’s because eating a low-calorie diet won’t provide your body with the proper nutrients it needs to fuel your workout, which inevitably leads to you feeling tired and unmotivated to do that extra rep or mile.
Furthermore, not all calories are created equal. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates (an essential macronutrient), your body will eventually rely on the protein in your muscles as fuel, which is the last thing you want!
To fuel your body properly, start counting your macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins). If you don’t know how to do that, use this helpful macronutrient guide or see a certified nutritionist who can help you. Also, don’t be alarmed if your nutritionist tells you to eat way more carbs than you’re used to! Just trust the process. We promise that you’ll look and feel a million times better once you start fueling your body with the proper macronutrients.
4. Wear comfortable workout gear
Look, we can all admit that exercise isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. You’re sweating, your face is flushed and all you can think about is taking that glorious shower after you’re finished. But while exercise itself is generally uncomfortable, that doesn’t mean you need to make it a million times worse by wearing the wrong workout gear.
The wrong shorts can cause chafing. The wrong bra can cause breast pain. The wrong shoes can cause painful blisters that put you off your running game for an entire week or more. In other words, you need to make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing that won’t slow you down or negatively impact your performance. Prioritize your comfort and you’ll be amazed at how much more motivated you are to do that one additional rep!
5. Set specific goals
When you first started working out, you probably had one goal: Just show up. Get in the gym, do the thing and pat yourself on the back. And to be perfectly fair, that’s a worthy fitness goal—for a fitness newbie. Now that you want to take your workouts to the next level, you can no longer just wander into the gym without a plan. Not if you want to see progress, that is.
So, what do you want out of your fitness regimen?
Do you want to build more muscle? Increase your running speed? Or maybe you just want to get enviable abs like Kate Beckinsale (can you believe she’s 46?! Talk about #bodygoals).
No matter what your fitness goal, it’s important that you know what you want out of your workouts. By knowing the final destination, you can create a fitness road map to get you there much, much quicker.
You don’t even need any equipment to get started. Your body is the equipment! Bodyweight workouts involving squats, pushups and reverse lunges are a super-effective way to train and will help build muscle that boosts your cardio workouts. Plus, you can also use resistance bands, kettlebells, and medicine balls to take your workout to the next level. Before too long, you’ll be looking in the mirror and thinking hot DANG!
Don’t let yourself fall into a fitness slump. Use these pro tips to get back in the game!
Annie Kuniansky is the manager of the Red Dress Boutique editorial team. She oversees all of the content creation and outreach for the company. When she’s not working or writing you can find her researching the latest fashion trends or hanging out with friends.
It’s never too late to get into athleticism when you grow up. Some individuals may believe that you either learn to stretch at a young age, or you’re stuck with low flexibility as you grow older. And while stretching when you’re young makes it a whole lot easier to have the body you want, people of all ages can push their muscles into being far more flexible through exercising and training.
Here’s what you need to know.
No matter what flexibility level you want, starting with yoga is always your optimal choice. This goes especially for yoga styles that focus on mostly flexibility, such as Yin or Hatha. You can enroll in your local gym for Yoga classes, or you can learn poses through many videos available online.
Hyperbolic Stretching Classes
What primarily hinders stretching or makes it difficult for your muscles is something called reciprocal muscle inhibition. Hyperbolic training programs have been proven to be beneficial for all ages, and have mostly been tried and tested on older individuals who have trouble leaning down or bending over.
But now, many individuals use these programs to do full splits with little to no warming up, and this hyperbolic stretching review explains it in more detail if you’re unsure what the training program includes. Of course, you should never do this without a professional present because stretching, when done improperly, can cause irreversible damage to your muscles and tendons.
Sounds all too easy? Perhaps jogging every morning and doing cardio regularly wouldn’t help you with doing high kicks and full splits, but leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause muscle atrophy. So it’s more of a prevention method than one you can use to promote flexibility. You cannot be flexible if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you have a typical desk job. Get up and get moving, even if it’s just on your indoor treadmill. This will keep your muscles always warmed up and ready to be molded into whatever flexibility you aim for.
Dancing differs from workouts because they usually compel you to challenge yourself with different moves and poses, this works to slowly boost your flexibility, utilizing your joints and muscles to do something your body is not used to. You can watch free videos online, take online courses, or enroll in dance classes like Zumba. An added benefit is that you’ll see yourself rapidly losing weight, which can also massively help with your flexibility training.
You always see yoga and Pilates paired together, and that’s because they both focus on flexible poses and can be meditative for both your body and mind. Flexibility isn’t just about training your body to do certain poses but requires the mindset for you to drastically change your posture, as well. Pilates will also immensely prevent you from overworking your muscles, so you won’t have to deal with fatigue as much.
Working your way into a more flexible body doesn’t require a certain biological age. All ages can benefit from the previously mentioned workouts and training programs and can grow to be as flexible as those athletic bodies you admire. However, this journey will take some time, so it needs patience and dedication on your part as well.
If you were to take just five minutes to scroll through your Instagram feed, you will no doubt come across many snapshots of gorgeous women immersed in steaming baths adorned with flowers and bubbles.
These posts all feature beautifully manicured feet conspicuously sticking out the water, and expertly applied the facial mask and even a glass of sparkling wine to complete the picture. You are sighing, saying to yourself that will only happen to you when you win the jackpot, right?
Possibly, but hang on there!
Self-care for yourself as a woman is vital, it is not meant only for the fortunate few. It is a necessity, in fact, no matter what kind of a lifestyle you lead, and no matter own much money you have or don’t have.
Self-care in women isn't selfish – it’s imperative
Self-care is a term which when simply defined means taking care of one’s own health and needs.
Let’s explain it better here:
It’s a true story, the one of Poppy Marler. She had a realization when she decided to look at herself at 40; to change her life and begin a new journey head-on.
She says that when she was a young mother, she just put everything on hold, being hyper-focused on her child’s care. She actually put her own life on hold. She neglected friendships and bored anyone who’d listen with baby stories and pictures.
When she got into real social situations, she found she could not add anything to the conversation because all of her current experiences were about her parenting experiences. She had no life or interests outside of motherhood.
She didn’t notice that she had put on a whole lot of weight either because she no longer dressed in her professional or party clothes. In fact, there were very few times when she wore anything nursing and spit-up friendly. She gradually realized that she had no life outside of her child.
Finally, a dear older and wiser friend of hers told her that it was an essential thing, apart from taking care of her family, to take care of her own needs because her own health and happiness directly impacts her ability to care for her family. She then realized the consequences of her self deprioritization :
Lack of socialization
Poppy eventually realized that just like how in an airplane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help others; in order to help others, you need to take care of yourself first. It was then that she discovered how taking steps to care for yourself each day should be a top priority.
9 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love and Make Your Life Better
She went on further to start involving these important aspects of her life:
Exercise, because moving your body keeps your blood circulating, keeps you strong, and keeps your mood happy.
Eating well: She says she learned to eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, ensuring that she got all her nutrients in, removing all the junk foods.
Maintaining relationships outside your family. It was important that her family remained her top priority, but she also learned not to under-estimate the power of good friends. She found that just having someone to talk to was a great help in advancing feelings of well-being.
Getting enough sleep: Without good and enough sleep, the quality of your life deteriorates rapidly. Sleep is what is needed to help your body recover and repair itself, and also to avoid television as well as snacks which are high in sugar and fat before bedtime
Getting dressed every day: Working and walking around all day in sweats and slippers is not good for anyone’s self-esteem. We know that when we look good, we feel so good.
Having a positive attitude: A positive, mindful attitude used on yourself and others will change the way you view life. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning and face whatever challenges come your way!
Have a hobby: You need interests of your very own outside of the home and family because it maintains your individuality.
Spend some time alone: Just taking a relaxing bath for 30 minutes or a few hours out to do your hair and nails or reading a book you have been meaning to read, these are what boost your morale, your spirits, and make you feel good about yourself and life.
Ask for help: If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help, because it’s true, we can’t do everything alone – no man is an island.
“Learning to take care of your own needs isn’t selfish, it’s downright essential.”
It makes you a better caretaker because after all, happiness and health are top assets to have, aren’t they?
It’s a lifetime investment – how are you really doing?
Be it in the gym or at home, if you tried every trick in the book to build a six-pack, but still haven't achieved it yet, you are in the right place!
With everyone in the fitness industry talking about incredible ab transformations, it's only natural you want to be part of it too. Even though the hype created around home workout routines might have convinced you that's the way to go, working out only at home is not enough.
Also, another thing you have to keep in mind is that a proper diet is always essential for getting six-packs abs. So, if you are ready to know what are the best exercises, which will help you get the six pack abs you’ve always wanted, you can start by doing these seven key ab exercises at the gym.
While most workouts focus on one particular muscle, this exercise works on all of your muscles at once.
Apart from letting you get six pack abs fast, Hanging Leg Circles will help you to strengthen your muscles including your arms, back, and legs. Also, while doing this exercise, you can burn a considerable amount of fat in your body, so integrating it into your daily routine will come with amazing advantages.
How to do it:
Start by holding on the pull-up bar with your palms parallel to each other. While keeping your legs straight in the air draw a big circle in one direction. Next, repeat the circle, in the reversed direction. Avoid rocking back and forth and brace your abs tight while performing the exercise. Avoid rocking back and forth and brace your abs tight while performing the exercise.
After you kneel on the floor, hold the handles of the ab roller with your hands. Slowly push your hips forward and roll out the ab wheel as far as you can, all the while keeping your back flat and the arms extended in front of your body. Push your hips to the extent so that you can not roll in anymore and then slowly bring your hips back to the starting position.
3. Pull-up Bar workout
Even though some people think that pull-ups are actually legitimate exercise for arms, this workout routine targets many abdominal exercises. For anybody who wants to have a ripped six-pack ab, pull-ups are undoubtedly crucial.
Grip tightly on the pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip, palms towards you. Cross and bend your legs behind you, and pull yourself up until your collarbone reaches the pull-up bar. To finish the movement, lower yourself without touching the floor while making sure at the same time that your elbows are straight.
4. Horizontal Seated Leg Press
Horizontal Seated Leg Press will not only help you to maintain a harmonious physique, but it will also help you to develop and target all the major muscles of your body.
Start by resting your back and head comfortably on the padded support of the equipment. Next, place your legs wide apart forming a 90 degrees angle at the knees on the platform. Hold on the assist handles, then brace your abdominal muscles and push the platform with the help of your heels.
Before returning to the starting position, stop for a moment and inhale. While inhaling, gradually bend the knees while keeping your head against the seat pad. Note that the knees and back should be held flat throughout the exercise.
5. Roman Chairs Crunch
If you want to get that slim waist and also burn extra fat, roman chair crunches are an excellent way to reach your goals. This type of exercise focuses on the lower back, an area of the body that many people tend to overlook while exercising. Besides, you'll get killer abs!
Pull a roman chair in an upright position while putting your pads as low as possible. Afterward, get on the chair and hook your legs under the pads.
Lower yourself to a certain limit and then get back to the starting position. Keep in mind that you need to squeeze your abs on the way up.
6. Standing Biceps Cable Bar
For beginners, this exercise is one of the best and quickest ways to get a sick pack. Besides, biceps cable curl is the only exercise which includes upper arm biceps muscles that are beneficial to both men and women.
Stand up straight while holding a cable curl bar. Keep your elbows close to the torso while you grab the cable bar at shoulder width. Don't move your upper arm while your steadily lower the curls cable as you breathe out. Note that only the forearms should move. Continue the exercise until your biceps are nearer to the bar. Afterward, bring your arms to the starting position and repeat the movement.
7. Seated Chest-Press
Chest press muscle exercise is excellent for toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles, and it also helps to burn any extra calories.
First, when starting this exercise, you need to grasp the handles and push the bars away from your chest area while you breathe out. Pay attention to your elbows, and perform the movement without locking them out. Focus on inhaling as you come back to the starting position. Besides, by doing the seated chest-press, your upper ab muscles will get more definition while your body fat percentage will get lower.
If you can put into practice all these exercises above, you'll soon find yourself in excellent shape and finally get the six-packs abs you always wanted!
So, don't wait until tomorrow, and step into the gym today!
After all, it all comes down to building an inner discipline that will make you exercise on a regular basis, which will mold in return the body of your dreams.
Once you stop waiting for magical transformation and get ready to put in all the required work, the stunning six-packs you always wanted will soon start showing.
Author Bio: Lyuthar Jacobs
Lyuthar is a Health and Lifestyle addict who blogs at Dealslands.co.uk. He is that kind of geek who loves to write about Lifestyle hacks, Money Saving, and Finance. In the above post, he is sharing tips on what are the best exercises for building an incredible sick pack.
Previously fashion used to be an exclusive thing, made to appear extravagant, lavish & uber appealing, but come today, fashion is not just the demand of the ultra-rich or incredibly stylish, it’s a phenomenon that pervades every sphere of our lives. We are a more conscious generation who wants to look good where it be. Category clothing has gone under the same transformation and the most prominent among this category has been the tremendous growth of gym/fitness clothing, or more popularly known as athleisure.
Athleisure took the world by storm. It’s defined as comfortable, stylish clothing that can be used for exercise and be worn casually as well. We didn’t think that yoga pants could make it to Vogue but they have. Consumers have responded to Athleisure so positively that it has prompted designers and big fashion brands to release their own Athleisure lines. Brands such as Lululemon Athletica are spearheading the movement and consumers are loving it!
Millennials have emerged as the most health conscious generation so it’s no surprise that they make up the majority of Athleisure sales. Although Athleisure is thought of as clothes primarily for women, 40% of Athleisure consumers are men; women do spend significantly more on athleisure products – hundreds and thousands of dollars’ worth. You see, Athleisure doesn’t come cheap, an average cost of branded yoga pants from one of the major Athleisure outlets can cost between $75-$100 dollars.
Are women actually wearing all these Athleisure outfits that they buy? Turns out they aren’t – but what is it that’s keeping them hooked?
Athleisure is comfortable
The biggest reason behind the growth of Athleisure is the fact that these outfits are incredibly comfortable. Maybe we just desperately needed to get out of our skinny jeans and needed to slip into something breathable and lets us move freely, which could by why we’ve accepted Athleisure with so much veracity. The comfort and practicality of Athleisure cannot be matched with those of our favorite jeans – combine that with some cute styles and you have outfits that you don’t want to take off.
Pressure to stay fit
Psychologists and sociologists have delved into the matter and come up with their own answers that can explain why women continue to invest in Athleisure.
Over the years there has been a shift in what is considered the ideal body for women. Earlier, thin bodies were considered perfect for women – this has now changed. Today, it’s not just to do with how slender you are, it’s to do with how toned you are. Michelle Obama’s toned arms made headlines for a reason. Celebrities are posting videos and photos of themselves working out on social media for the same reason. There’s an evident shift in attitude when it comes to fitness and health. Those that do adopt healthy lifestyles are generally deemed as successful individuals, who’re making good choices in life. Being fit is ‘trendy’ at the moment, which explains the emergence of popular diets (gluten-free, organic, veganism etc) and the diversity in the types of workouts people can choose to do.
Women are expected to be fit, just a thin body won’t cut it. Due to this pressure to stay fit, women are drawn to Athleisure for what it represents. Whether or not they stay fit or not, just being in the clothes makes them feel like they are fit. Because women assume that they will be perceived as more attractive if they project themselves as someone who stays fit, they buy athleisure outfits.
Your clothes reflect your lifestyle therefore being in workout gear suggests that you are someone that looks after their health. Through Athleisure you are letting people know that you’re healthy. You could be a lazy person but that’s not what people see.
The term “enclothed cognition” was coined in 2012 by scientists who found that clothes had the ability to influence your psychological processes. In their studies it was revealed that people who put on white coats they believed belonged to doctors, would pay more attention than those who believed they were wearing white coats belonging to a painter.
This phenomenon was then tested with different types of clothing and it was found that wearing proper gym attire enhanced your performance at the gym. Further research showed that our physical experiences is what affected our thought processes – leading to what scientists are calling “embodied cognition”. Dr. Galinsky, who is leading studies on embodied cognition explains that our brain responds to physical experiences and putting on types of clothes counts as an experience.
When we slip into specific clothes, we are more inclined to take up the role of whatever the clothes represent; wearing the correct attire for the gym leads to you performing better as well. In the past gym clothes just symbolized the hours we spent at the gym but now they signify a lifestyle that most people idolize. Buying and wearing Athleisure, helps us embody a fitness enthusiast which in turn leads to us performing better during our workouts. Slipping into Athleisure causes us to take pride in our workouts and as a result we’re motivated and willing to push ourselves harder.
Fully committing to workouts is still a struggle for most people therefore the boost in motivation they get from athleisure outfits can make them much more productive.
With Athleisure making its way onto top fashion magazines and to the ramps of all Fashion Weeks, there is no denying that Athleisure is fashionable and ladies do not want to miss out! If funky yoga pants and stylish sports bras is all you see around you then you’re going to want to get in on the trend.
Even though Athleisure fulfills the purpose of regular gym clothes, it has become a fashion statement today. It’s no longer just known for just its functionality which is why its target audience extends beyond just those who are passionate about working out, to those who wish to be comfortable and stylish at the same time.
The wealth factor
Because Athleisure is quite expensive, branded Athleisure clothing have become a bit of ‘status symbol’ representing that you are wealthy and can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on it. It’s the equivalent to spending on higher-end brands.
Today Athleisure may not be purchased for its primary function but it has secured its position as a category in the fashion industry and more importantly, in the fitness world.
Athleisure will enhance your performance during your workouts and keep you comfortable when you’re out of the gym as well.
Author Bio: Judy Robinson
Judy Robinson is an enthusiastic blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers. Her forte is Fashion, Fitness, and Lifestyle, keeping a keen eye on latest trends in those industries. Currently, she is associated with a Florida based women clothing store Sophie and Trey for their blog operations. For more updates follow her on Twitter @judyrobinson
I believe in protecting the body today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives. But I also love, love, love playing in the sun! I chase it every chance I get.
Those that know me, know I'm a big fan of bodyweight based workouts. So when Coppertone® Sport Sunscreen asked me to share two of my favorite fun in the sun workouts while testing the new Coppertone Sport lightweight and breathable formula, I was totally game. I can barely feel it on my skin. After 80 minutes of sweating or swimming, just reapply and keep moving.
Ready and willing, with the sun out, we set out to Seseh Beach in Bali, Indonesia, and got our guns and buns out! Check out the video below…
2 Beach-Body-Ready Workouts to Help You Get Your Guns n' Buns Out Next Time the Sun's Out
Suns Out, Guns Out: 5 Rounds for Time
Set your timer and work through 5 rounds of the following circuit:
10 squat jumps or Reverse Lunges
10 mountain climbers
When you're done, write down your final time and compare your progress next time you give this one a try.
Suns Out, Buns Out: 15 Minutes As Many Rounds As Possible
With your countdown timer set for 15 minutes, see how many rounds of the following circuit you can complete. 1 round is as follows:
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Coppertone. The opinions and text are all mine.
And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.”~ Coach Moose