Archive | Fitness

How To Structure A Circuit Training Program

I have experienced great success with circuit training. It has been an extremely effective way for me to develop and maintain both strength and stamina simultaneously. Another way it has served me successfully is as the strength and conditioning coach for the boys’ soccer program at a local high school. Just as in my own personal program, I have been able to provide a high level of fitness for 60 boys in a minimum amount of time by increasing their strength and cardiovascular fitness simultaneously.

Circuit training is not an exercise in and of itself but rather a method of workout routine that combines a sequence of exercises with short rest periods in between each exercise.

In the paragraphs that follow, I’ll reveal how to structure an effective circuit training workout routine for to either improve overall fitness or to improve performance in a specific sport.

How To Use Circuit Training

1. Overall Fitness

Circuit training is a highly effective and efficient way to develop and maintain overall fitness for the person with a busy lifestyle because all that is needed is three or four short sessions per week. The key to improving both strength and endurance simultaneously is performing a sequence of resistance and high intensity cardio exercises with little or no rest in between them.

2. Developing Basic Strength

When athletes begin a program designed to increase performance in their specific sport, they should always be focus in an initial period emphasizing basic strength during the off season in anticipation of preparing for more challenging conditioning in the preseason period.

The athletes who I train have been playing soccer since grade school. Their off season circuits stress correcting their muscle imbalances. For example, soccer players are notorious for neglecting upper body training so I consistently employ exercises to work on that. The remaining exercises employ as movements commonly used in our sport like kicking, jumping, and lateral movement.

3. Developing Muscular Endurance. In my sport, soccer, as in many others like basketball, lacrosse, and water polo, just to name a few, its necessary for athletes to have cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Circuit workout routines can be designed to meet the sport’s unique requirements By making rest periods short, cardiovascular endurance is increased. A workout routine for a interval-sprint sport like soccer will look much different than one for a cross country team.

General Fitness Guidelines

All that is needed is three or sessions per week. Similar to conventional weightlifting, there should be 48 hours between sessions. In selecting an exercise, the level of resistance should be such that a person can exercise for a period of 30-60 seconds. If not, the exercise, whether its performed with dumbells, resistance bands, or plain old bodyweight, should be modified to make it easier or difficult as necessary.

Each routine should have between 7 – 12 exercises that are performed from 30 – 60 seconds. There should be a total of 20 – 25 sets so that means 2 or 3 times through the sequence. The amount of rest between exercise is determined by the fitness level of the person. Novice exercisers may need up to 90 seconds. My soccer athletes take no rest between sets.

Circuit workout routines are appropriate for on, off, or preseason training. Three or four sessions a week can be mixed with cardio sessions on off days.

Guidelines For Short-Term Strength Endurance

The way to train for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse is to use 30 second bursts of high intensity exercise. In these best was to imitate the action of these sports. Be sure that the exercise movements copy movements used frequently in these sports.

Try this circuit:

1) Squats 20

2) Incline Pushups 20

3) Jump squats 20

4) Decline pushups 20

5) Lateral Lunges 20

6) Cross Body Mountain climbers 20

7) Dumbell swings 15

8] Close-grip pushups 20

3 Times through the sequence

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

A Guide To Choosing Between A Spinning Dance Pole or A Static Dance Pole for Fitness Pole Dancing

Should You Get A Static Dance Pole Or A Spinning Dance Pole?

Static dance pole or spinning dance pole? Even if you’re only a beginner pole dancer and have barely scratched the surface of looking into a buying a pole for pole dancing, you’ve probably heard these terms but may not know exactly what they mean. We’re going to take the mystery out of the decision-making process and explore the differences between static dance poles and spinning dance poles to help you figure what is the best type for your needs.

What is a static pole?

Static poles are what the majority of pole dancers learn on. Simply put, static poles do not move as you dance. This makes it much easier to actually learn the technique properly.

Everyone should learn the basics on a static pole before they move up to a spinning one.

Why?

Because it requires much less muscle strength and control to dance on a static pole than on a spinning one. There’s no need to give yourself a much higher learning curve than you need to, especially in the beginning.

These type of poles are cheaper than their spinning counterparts, but keep in mind that they can’t be upgraded to spin later on.

What is a spinning pole?

Unlike statics, spinning poles are constructed to spin with the force of your body’s moment. This means when you started to dance or spin, the pole will spin with you.

In general, your spins will require less force to be executed beautifully because you will have this added help. Of course, dancing like this requires more coordination, and at the very least, you’ll have learn how to keep dizziness under control.

The difficulty level and challenge is high, but after you master this method, the sheer exhilaration of feeling like you’re flying can be a wonderful feeling for some.

All spinning poles have a mechanism that can make them static, so if you purchase one, you will have the option of either spinning or static.

Which should you choose?

  • If you intend on making pole dancing a long-term serious endeavor, then it might suit you to purchase a spinning dance pole.
  • If you don’t intend on seriously pursuing the sport or the thought of spinning around at dizzying speeds makes you sick just imagining it, feel free to save your money and stick to a static dance pole.
  • And of course, if you’re indecisive or like to keep your options option, go for a spinning pole because it can always be converted to a static one.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Face Bleaching Tips – How to Choose the Best Facial Bleaching Cream For Whitening Skin at Home?

In order to flaunt a fine skin you should perform bleaching. Face bleaching enhances your look by reducing blemishes. Most people carry out this face lightening process to look good and attractive but it is always advisable to know about the ingredients available in the bleaching substance. Most of the creams contain hydroquinone, mercury and steroids, which should be completely avoided in order to prevent deadly disease such as leukemia, liver damage and thyroid problems.

Face bleaching is extremely important for diminishing age and liver spots, blemishes, hyper pigmentation and freckles. It is always advisable to use natural bleaching substances for attaining flawless skin tone. Some people also undergo laser treatments for diminishing those fine lines which can also be harmful for the health of your membrane.

How to choose the Best Facial Bleaching Cream?

* One should be very careful while choosing bleaching creams because most of them contain harmful chemicals, which can cause damage to your body in future. It is always advisable to buy nature-based products for a safe treatment. One should read its ingredients before purchase. The presence of deadly ingredients such as Hydroquinone, mercury and steroids can be dangerous for your skin. You should avoid creams containing these ingredients.

* You should know the type of skin you are carrying before pure purchasing a skin whitening cream. You can even consult a beautician for guidance.

* One of the most effective skin lightning cream is Meladerm, which claims to diminish age spots and membrane discolorations in 2 weeks. This product contains nature-based ingredients such as lemon juice extract, mulberry extract etc., which can completely rejuvenate, exfoliate and nourish your skin tone. The best part of this product is that it doesn’t contain Hydroquinone. You can easily use this cream from the comfort and convenience of your home for treating various membrane complications such as freckles, age spots, birth marks, liver spots, wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, brown patches and dark circles. This cream inhibits the production of melanin in our body, which consequently lightens our skin.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

The Disadvantages Of HIIT (High Intensive Interval Training)

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a beneficial style of fitness training that involves switching between high intensity and medium to low intensity exercise intervals for a period of 5-30 minutes. Studies have shown that it can substantially increase your cardio fitness, lower your body fat levels and much more. However, despite its many benefits, HIIT does have its critics. This article will focus on these criticisms and list some of the main disadvantages of HIIT.

1 – It Has A Relatively High Injury Risk

HIIT is one of the most challenging cardio exercises around and pushes your body to its limits. This large amount of pressure that HIIT places on your body makes injuries much more likely compared with gentle cardio exercises such as cycling or swimming. While you can easily stay injury free by warming up properly and allowing your body to rest when it needs to, this elevated injury risk is still something to bear in mind.

2 – It’s Not Suitable For Beginners

As mentioned above, HIIT is extremely challenging and requires a very high level of fitness. If you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or your current levels of fitness are low, HIIT won’t be suitable for you.

3 – It’s Not Specific

If you want to train for a specific sport or fitness discipline, HIIT won’t be enough on its own. While HIIT is a great option for getting a quick workout and blasting through calories, it doesn’t develop the specific skills that are necessary for many sports and fitness disciplines. So if you want to become a better runner or improve your sporting performance, you’ll need to combine your HIIT workouts with a more focused training program.

4 – It Has Longer Recovery Times

One final disadvantage of HIIT compared with other styles of cardio is that it takes longer for your body to fully recover from a workout. While you may be able to perform 5 minute HIIT sessions daily without needing an extended recovery period, a 30 minute HIIT session is likely to require 2-3 days before your body fully recuperates.

Summary

While HIIT isn’t the perfect fitness tool that many people portray it to be, it can still be a valuable addition to your fitness regime. By combining HIIT with a more specific, less intense training program and making sure you give your body plenty of time to recover, you can enjoy all its benefits and negate many of the disadvantages highlighted in this article.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

How to Jump Higher for Basketball – Two Tips From a Volleyball Player

So you’re here to learn how to jump higher for basketball. Then you find out that I’m a volleyball player. Don’t leave! I know how to jump higher than most basketball players out there. Today, I’ll be giving you a couple of tips that I learned from my coaches that I’ve had throughout the years. If you’re just waiting to get a few inches added to your vertical, read these tips and follow them closely.

Remember to always “push through”

What I mean by “push through” is a rather simple concept. When people jump, the normal shift of energy goes from the balls of your feet through your toes, pushing off the ground until every single part of your foot is in the air. Now this is much more of a psychological trick than a physical trick, but picture yourself “pushing through”. Focus not on making that initial push, but rather on your feet straightening out as your toes leave the ground.

You will find that your toes point down and you feel more power as you jump. Guess what? You actually are jumping higher, too!

Stretch, stretch, stretch – Sit on your shoelaces

I’m not only a volleyball player; I’m a swimmer, too. In both sports, my coaches have told me to stretch out my ankles by sitting on my foot with the “shoelaces” part facing down. Then, lean back and pull your knees up. Your ankles should stretch out nicely. A big problem with basketball is that running often undoes this stretch. So, if you really want to know how to jump higher for basketball, it’s simple. Do this stretch every day!

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Horizon Elliptical Trainer Review

Horizon elliptical trainers are inexpensive machines designed for the budget-minded. They compete heavily in the $500-$1,000 price range with brands like ProForm and Nordic Track. Before I proceed with this review, I must state that I am never comfortable recommending elliptical trainers for less than $1,000. They generally are equipped with cheap components, and are not well engineered. Spending $1,000 or less is not going to buy you a precision machine. That is evident when you test the Horizon elliptical trainers.

Most of my fitness equipment testing is at stores like Dick’s Sporting or Sports Authority. Testing equipment in these mass retail environments can be very revealing. That is due to the fact these machines are abused. You get a real sense of the durability of a particular model.

My experience is that the Horizon elliptical trainers do not hold up well under strenuous use. At least half the machines I tested had loose handlebars. Of course, all you have to do is tighten them, but few other machines had that problem. Some of the Horizon ellipticals developed squeaks, while others seemed less than stable. I

Small Stride Lengths

My biggest complaint about the Horizon elliptical trainers is the stride. Although this is not true with all their machines, I find many have a very small stride. I am average height, and when I get on the lower cost Horizon ellipticals, the stride seems short and restricting. It is less of an elliptical motion, and more circular. You tend to bounce. This is particularly true with the ellipticals that have the 14″ stride. They are designed for little people. The 18″ stride machines are preferable.

If you are shopping for a Horizon elliptical trainer, you will notice they have numerous models. They sell in two series, the Elite and the Horizon. On their web site, I counted 13 models. On Dick’s Sporting Goods site, I counted several more models that are not listed on the Horizon site.

If you were considering purchasing a Horizon, I would recommend staying away from the low-end models. Consider the CSE 4.6 or the EX44. Both are available at Dick’s, and have 18″ strides, with a nice range of resistance levels. Call first to see if the store in your area carries these models. You may also want to consider an extended warranty, particularly if you plan to use the machine extensively.

So should you purchase a Horizon elliptical trainer? It depends! If your budget is limited and you cannot spend more than $1,000, the Horizon is definitely a contender, and one of the better values. However, if you plan to workout regularly, and want quality and durability, you need to move up to the $1,500+ price range.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

10 Unmissable Tips For Goalkeepers

If you’re a goalkeeper, or a soccer coach looking to help your goalkeepers improve, then maybe you’ve got some tried and tested methods that work for you. If your methods aren’t working, why not give some of these tips a try?

1. The goalkeeper is the most important player in the team. As long as the goalkeeper and the team doesn’t concede, the team won’t be beaten. If the goalkeeper is beaten, then the team has to score.

2. Contrary to popular belief, the goalkeeper isn’t always the one to blame for conceding a goal – the ball has to go past 10 players on his/her team first. It may be a goalkeeping error, but it could also be that attackers, midfielders and defenders weren’t concentrating, or doing their jobs properly. Blaming the goalkeeper won’t do their confidence any good, and won’t help at all.

3. Goalkeepers often train with the outfield players, and whilst the fitness and some of the ball control aspects is relevant, a lot of a goalkeeper’s work is done with their hands, so they need a separate training session.

4. In a young team, or even for a more experienced older team, all players should have a go in goal, to see what it’s like. It will give them more of an idea how they can help their goalkeeper, and what the goalkeeper can do to help them. In addition, it may unearth a better goalkeeper! A goalkeeper shouldn’t be chosen on height alone. There are several world class goalkeepers who are “short” and many outfield players who are tall enough to go in goal.

5. Learning how to catch properly is important for any goalkeeper, and getting it right will dramatically improve the keeper’s confidence and ability. Additional skills such as narrowing the angle, and dealing with certain situations such as corners or free kicks and penalties can be learnt later on.

6. After the keeper has caught the ball, they need to stay calm, and think about what they’re going to do with the ball. There’s no point pulling off a great save, and then throwing the ball to an opponent, or booting the ball upfield before the team has had chance to regroup.

7. A goalkeeper needs to stay focussed for 90 minutes. It only takes a second to concede a goal. In a young team and especially for children, concentration should not be emphasised too much. Children have a short attention span, and will be easily distracted by something.

8. Learning how to dive should be encouraged, but for children it shouldn’t be forced. A young goalkeeper should learn the basics of catching and distributing the ball, before learning how to dive.

9. Encourage goalkeepers to use specific soccer drills designed for goalkeepers. These can include travelling sideways between the posts, catching, and distribution. By practicing with team mates and other goalkeepers, skills and confidence can be improved, so that when it comes to match day, there is nothing left to chance.

10. Goalkeepers are often said to be a breed apart. They put their heads where other players wouldn’t put the ball, they are the first to be blamed when their team concedes, and they can’t hide when they’re having a bad day. Still, the best goalkeepers will rise to the occasion, and do the the best they can.

The important thing is to enjoy playing football, and to enjoy being a goalkeeper. It’s not the most glamorous role on the pitch, and they are the first to get the blame when things go wrong. However, when it all gels, and the goalkeeper has a good game, they are usually the first player to get the praise. Will you become the number one goalkeeper?

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

The Sport of Mountain Biking

The sport of mountain biking is one of the best active sports you can do for a number of fitness reasons and depending on what style of mountain biking you partake in, it can be also a great deal of fun as well as keeping you fit at the same time.

People are usually unaware of how may muscles you use when riding a mountain bike, and how quickly you can burn calories off riding a bike as it can be an extremely good work out for the body.

If you plan on riding cross-country along different styles of trails, riding a bike can be quite a task. So if you riding over a vast distance up and down hills, along slippery single trail it can be very exhausting on the legs and the lower back.

So if you are just starting to ride bikes for the first time, please don’t just jump on the bike a go for a 20 mile ride as it may do you more harm than good. One thing that is recommended is to do short rides to start with, maybe only a couple of miles which will take no time at all on a bike to get your fitness training up to scratch before hitting the bike ride.

MTB Fitness Training

All of the major athletes of the sport will tell you that mountain bike training is vastly important and you should take part in mountain bike fitness training when ever the opportunity arises. Going on those short rides will benefit you hugely and will stop you from injuring yourself.

Parts of your body that will benefit from training are your legs. Your legs will be the first part of your body in particular that will get tired very quickly. Building up your leg muscles either at the gym or one the bike will help improve your personal and bike fitness quickly.

The more you train the better your pace and your stamina will improve. Once these two have improved you will be able to go on longer and better rides than will enhance your fitness.

One of the major benefits of riding a mountain bike on a regular basis is that in order to ride your bike you use some of largest muscles in the body which in turn will burn off fat quickly. This will of course help you to lose weight and the more you ride you bike the more weight you will lose.

When you ride your bike on flat ground at a slower speed you are still burning a great amount of calories due to the fact that you will be able to continue that pedaling motion for a longer period of time. This is also perfect for people who don’t have the stamina for a highly intensive ride at different speeds and climbs etc. Low intensity work outs also don’t give you all the extra muscle either so the weight will stay off.

In summary using a mountain bike to keep yourself fit what ever your style of riding is a great way to keep fit, and training will also keep you one step ahead of your game.

Don’t forgot even if you don’t ride cross-country and are just as happy down the local skate park you are still having fun on your bike and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

How to Get Taller – 4 Ways to Hack Your Height and Cheat Mother Nature!

In today’s society, people, especially males, are often judged by their height. A tall man will most likely receive more job offers and have an easier time getting dates than a short man. While this is unfair, it is a fact of life that is not going to change anytime soon.   

So what do you do if you’re a short guy? Besides surgery and growth hormones which are costly and painful, it is possible to add two or more inches to your height with a few crafty methods that do not involve sawing into your bones or injecting yourself with a hormone.  

The primary key is that most people appear a bit shorter than they are because of poor posture and lack of physical exercise.  Poor posture and slouching can shrink a person’s height by two inches or more!  The best way to fix posture is through specific stretching exercises that focus on your core muscles which in turn will help strengthen and straighten your spine which will make you appear taller.  

Four types of exercises you can start right now to get taller are:  

1. Abdominal Crunches

2. Seated Rows

3. Reverse Flies

4. Lateral Pull-Downs  

These exercises focus on your core stomach muscles and your upper back and both are necessary to strengthen and stretch the critical muscles for increasing your height. Results are not going to happen immediately. You will need to stick to an exercise regimen for at least 6 weeks to start seeing results. However, if getting taller is important to you, the payoff will be worth it.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Basketball Fitness Training – Why Every Hooper Should Hill Sprint

Serious basketball coaches are always looking for ways to get an edge on the competition – to gain an advantage. It’s why you spend so much time researching methods of training that will make your players faster and stronger – and jump higher – without taking up too much time to get results.

That’s why I believe that running hill sprints (which includes running bleachers and stairs) is a must for any basketball player.

This is because hill sprints provide a number of benefits to the basketball athlete. Here are the Top 6:

1. Hill sprints provide the perfect combination of strength and speed training.

It’s like lifting weights and sprinting at the same time. The hill gives resistance to your athlete’s sprints, making them more difficult while being shorter in distance and duration. Including hill sprints in your training program can bring great results in as little as 15 minutes 1 or 2 times per week.

2. Hill sprints build stamina.

Endurance is something that every basketball player needs – but it is a special kind of endurance. If you want your athletes to perform at their peak, then low, slow distance types of cardio just won’t work. Their endurance training needs to mimic the demands of the game. Those needs being – short bouts of intense exertion broken up by periods of lower intensities.

Hill sprints provide just this type of interval training. They will take your players’ hearts and lungs to intensities far greater than those found in jogging or traditional types of endurance training. Their body will become used to reaching these higher levels, and recovering quickly in between the “sprints.”

More and more scientific studies are showing that VO2 Max (the traditional measure of aerobic endurance) is improved as much – or more- by using high intensity interval-type exercise like hill sprinting.

Want your team to have their “wind” at the end of the game? Hill sprint.

3. Hill sprints increase ankle strength – helping to prevent one of the most common injuries in sports – the ankle sprain.

Ankles are made stronger due to the need to push off harder when sprinting up the hill. Because of the incline, more drive is needed than when sprinting on a flat surface. Improved ankle strength also leads to the ability to push off harder during the game – benefiting a player’s important “first step” and lengthening their stride when sprinting in a breakaway on the court.

4. Hill sprints increase basketball players’ speed and explosiveness.

This is because hill training promotes two key factors in running faster and jumping higher. First, it forces proper knee lift – essential for driving the legs downward and back for more force. Second, hill sprinting makes the sprinter dorsi-flex their foot while running. The closer the toes are brought to the shin, the more force they can apply on ground contact. Think of dorsi-flexing as loading your foot – then unloading it into the ground – pushing you forward.

Explosiveness is also shown in the way hill sprints can increase your players’ vertical jumps – a key measure of power. Jumping is really the same as sprinting – pushing your body forward (or up) against gravity. The more power you can generate from your legs when pushing, the farther or higher you will go.

5. Hill sprints provide a way to safely train your athletes.

In addition to protecting your ankles, hill sprinting protects your athletes’ from other types of injuries as well. The last thing you want to do is to injure your athletes while conditioning.

Hill sprinting provides safety in two ways: One, the slightly shorter stride length while running a hill sprint is a great way to protect hamstrings. Most hamstring pulls and strains result from over-extension – something which rarely occurs when sprinting hills.

Second, hill sprints can decrease the pounding on your players’ legs. Studies have shown that even a slight grade added to sprints can decrease the impact on the runner’s legs by as much as 25%. Shin splints, foot problems and sore knees can be greatly reduced by getting on the hills for your sprints.

6. Hill sprints as mental training

Besides all of the physical benefits of hill sprinting, they also promote mental toughness and goal-setting behavior in your athletes. Looking up at the hill can be daunting when your players are fatigued and nearing the end of their sprint session. By using the hill as a metaphor, you can show them the importance of having a goal (the top of the hill), taking the steps necessary to reach it (one step at a time up the hill), and celebrating their success when they reach their goal (their very own Rocky imitation at the top of the hill). Looking back down the hill after their workout, your athletes can feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something that may have seemed an impossible obstacle.

With all of these benefits for your basketball team, adding hill sprints to your training program should go to the top of your To Do List. It’s no coincidence that we found out that this year’s NCAA player of the year Kevin Durant made hill sprints a key part of his training. You can develop your own “special” players the same way.

Make your athletes stronger, faster, better conditioned, injury resistant and mentally tough with this “old school” training. You, your team and your fans will be glad you did.

Posted in Fitness0 Comments

Page 20 of 62« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »