Flexibility is an important component of a well-rounded fitness routine,
especially for those who tend to gravitate towards strength training. Adequate range of motion around the joints is imperative to perform
loaded movement patterns safely and effectively using strength-training
tools such as barbells and dumbbells. In addition to enhancing
performance in the gym, incorporating movements into one’s workout
routine that enhance joint stability and mobility
will also address existing muscle imbalance and allow for greater ease
and efficiency when performing activities of daily living (ADLs) outside
of the gym. The following yoga poses focus on stretching the major
muscle groups typically used when performing ADLs (calves, thighs, hip
flexors, back, chest and shoulders) while enhancing mobility in the
hips, ankles, shoulders and thoracic spine.
Incorporating these yoga poses into your workout regimen will help
increase range of motion, as well as enhance stability and mobility.
When you skip your meals, your metabolism slows down and you're not burning calories like you should. Your body thinks your starving, so when you eat again, your body stores more away as fat. It's better to eat 6 smaller meals a day to fuel your metabolism, like a burning fire, the more you feed the fire with wood, the more it burns.
Side plank exercises target the gluteal muscles,
obliques, quadriceps, hamstrings, thigh abductors and adductors.
Strengthening these muscles means that your lower back and spine have
more support and are better protected from injury caused by back strain
and/or sudden movements. Side plank exercises also improve core
& lateral strength; this means increased core stability, which translates into a
stronger back and minimal soreness. A secondary benefit, the side plank also builds strength with the shoulder girdles.
Side planks are relatively simple to perform — but
they are not easy if you are a beginner with little to no core
strength. Start by lying on one side on an exercise mat with both legs
straight and stacked one on top of the other. If that's difficult, keep the knees bent on the floor. Bend the elbow underneath
you and use it to support your upper body by keeping it in line with
your shoulder. Do not press the weight of your shoulder towards floor, keep the shoulder blades elevated away from floor. Keep your hips, spine and neck in alignment throughout.
Exhale and engage your abs, lifting your knees and hips away from the
floor, keeping the side of your bottom foot in contact with the mat.
Pause at the top of the movement, inhale and gently lower yourself back
to your starting position. Repeat on both sides.