Even though I have enjoyed running for a couple years, I get bored of it sometimes. Running is such a tempting workout because it is fast and yields immediate results. When I worked at a gym, I would run after work every day and loved it. After a couple weeks, my body was constantly aching and I assumed I was doing something wrong. I decided to invest in better sneakers and talk to some personal trainers that worked at the gym. They informed me how dangerous it is to run more distance than your body is prepared for. Since I was not used to running long distances very often, my body was informing me to take it easier. I learned how important it is to incorporate strength training and various forms of cardio. I have previously encouraged weight training over prolonged cardio, but I want to talk about some card workouts that burn fat and build muscle, in a safe manner.
I decided to run less and bike for about ten minutes before leaving the gym. I was amazed how much a short bike could effect how sore I would feel the next day. The thing is, biking uses different muscles than running. In some ways, at least for me, it is harder to bike for a long time than running. I decided to keep with biking everyday and adding some elliptical exercises in. After a week or so, both exercises seemed more appealing to me. Surprisingly, running less and biking more made the biggest impact in how I would feel when I would run. Runs felt more energized and my legs were sore, but not achy.
Mixing it up is always important to build the essential muscle to do more of your favorite cardio workouts. Popular in many workout plans today, body weight workouts are an easy and effective way to build muscle. The awesome thing about body weight exercises is that they usually do not require any materials or much time. The hardest part about starting body weight exercising is getting informed. I’m going to lay out the fundamental workouts you need to know to get beneficial results in little time.
First, arm muscles tend to show results the fastest. Because elf this, I have always enjoyed doing arm workouts because you feel stronger right away.
Push-ups: With your hands laying flat on the floor at arm’s length distance, slowly lower your entire body while bending your arms to a 90 degree angle. Make sure you keep your body flat or parallel to the ground to ensure proper form.
Pull-ups: Personally, I like to bend my knees when doing pull-ups because I am tall and usually they will touch the ground. You should try this too if you want to feel more comfortable with the workout.Start hanging from a bar with your arms nearly straight and your body relaxed. Then bring your body up towards the bar until your chin reaches the top of the bar. Try to remain calm and avoid moving your legs or entire body back and forth. This workout is supposed to be controlled to avoid injuries and reap the best results. Once you slowly revert back to straight arms, continue the movement for as long as you can.
Tricep Dips: Using a bar or any surface that is above the floor, place the palm of your hands on the edge closest to you and wrap your fingers around the edge of the surface. Remaining stable, let your body sink to the ground and then lift in up using your arm muscles.
Push-ups with Exercise Ball: Similar to a regular push-up, use an exercise body ball to lever your feet up. Maintaining balance can be tricky, but doable after a couple tries. This is a great way to work on balance and agility.
Building a strong core is essential to building your stamina and endurance in cardio. These workouts are easy and can be done in a gym or in your dorm room.
Bicycle crunches: Lay on your back with you legs crunched and knees bent. Have your arms bend with your hands supporting your heard. Move legs like a bike and have your arms and abs replicate the motion. Do this about 50 times with 30 seconds rest. Repeat as many times as you can.
Leg lifts: This is the perfect workout to grab a friend and compete over who can do more. First, lay on your back with your arms and legs straight. Using your abdomen, lift your legs up straight until you form a 90 degree angle. Then lower your legs back to the ground, without letting your legs bend. If you are working out with a friend, alternate doing leg lifts and pushing the other person’s legs down. This makes avoiding hitting the ground harder.
Possibly the most essential to building muscle for running, a little can go a long way when it comes to leg workouts.
Squats: With so many variations of squats, it is hard to say which one is the best. Be sure when you bend your knees you have your feet far enough from each other on the ground. Squats are a compound workout, so they work many parts of your body. Squatting can help your bones and muscles and increase flexibility. Basically, squats are a necessity when it comes to body weight workouts.
Some of the popular squats are sumo squats, jumping squats. If you want to use extra exercising tools for squatting, you can incorporate using added weights, bosu balls and resistance bands. All of these are awesome ways to amp up a simple workout and build leg muscle fast.
Lunges: Make sure your knee is directly over your front foot when executing a lunge and keep the upper half of your body straight and relaxed. Proper form is essential to working the muscles and making your you don’t pull anything in the process.
Give these workouts a try and see how they effect your cardio performance. Building muscles will give you the means to do more of what you love and risk the chances of injury.