#FoamRolling hurts so good, and it’s a great way to prepare your body for the next day’s #workout. Once you start, it’s hard to stop: your rolling obsession will have you questioning how your body every performed without it. Let’s dig into why.
First off, rollers are the most popular form of self-myofascial release (cue the fancy term for stimulating stretch reflexes and breaking up scar tissue). Rolling out after a workout greatly reduces muscle tension, and improves mobility as well. Sure you can squat a baby hippo, but your hamstrings are so tight you can’t touch your toes. And that’s no good. Using a foam roller will increase your range of motion and reduce unnecessary tightness. Consistency is key!
Ideally, you should dedicate a 10-20 minute window for a foam rolling session every day. Once you’re rolling and you find an area that needs work, use short, slow movements to work out any kinks and knots. If there’s any form of good pain, it’ll be this one: try to relax into your movements despite any discomfort and you’ll wake up feeling 100x better the next day. Pinky promise.
Back, glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads. Massage it ALL, friends. And remember: slow movements, deep breaths, get your zen on and focus on your rolls (the foam kind, save the cinnamon ones for cheat day).
#Moderation? In this day & age? Good one, friend. Less is more is a term of the past: it’s 2018 & we want more of everything. #MoreWeights, #MoreProtein, more life. But listening to your body and taking #RestDays is just as important. Why, you ask?
We’re no exception to the idea that exercise is addicting. Especially once you start seeing results, it can be hard to take a day off. You want to keep your momentum, and there’s nothing wrong with a little motivation. But problems arise when you don’t let your muscles rest at all. In order for them to rebuild, they need to heal. For them to heal, you can’t keep breaking them down with workout after workout.
One day, even a few days off, isn’t going to derail your progress or (shocker!) kill you. We know, the thought of taking a rest day is enough to get your palms sweating. But trust us when we say that recovery is an underrated part of the fitness process.
Raise your hand if you’re the happy medium just trying to make it out here in the all or nothing society of today. Just because everyone around you is overstressed, over-worked, and over-worked out, doesn’t mean you have to follow suit in order to be fit or healthy. The best thing you can do, for YOU, is listen to your body.
So take that rest day. Let your muscles recover. Feel your strength & endurance improve. And hey, maybe the weights need some rest too, Schwarzenegger.
If you hate the cold, this one’s not for you. If turning yourself into a human popsicle sounds like something you’d enjoy, keep reading. #Cryotherapy is a trend we’ve all seen emerge over the years, so what’s it all about?
Cryotherapy is a form of therapy used to treat pain and soreness. It involves getting into a freezer-like chamber that gets down to VERY cold temperatures. Like...Antarctica cold. But don’t worry, temperature decreases slowly so you’ll have some time to get acclimated.
This extreme cold encompasses the body and kills any irritated nerves. Cryotherapy treatment has been proven to improve recovery, benefits the nervous and vascular systems, as well as improve stamina & energy.
Cryotherapy has also proven to be significant for athlete recovery especially. Say bye-bye to ice baths: cryo chambers are all the rage now. We’ve tried it, we like it, and we recommend it to anyone looking to expand their horizons as far as recovery and overall wellness.
Yeah, it’s just about as cold as it sounds (maybe a little colder) but the benefits can be felt immediately. After you’re done thawing, you’ll be relieved of any soreness and discomfort from your previous workout. So what do you think? Sounds like a pretty cool experience, right?
Nothing is more #motivating than #PhysicalChange. Whether you #workout for #aesthetics, #strength, or size, seeing #results brings about a different type of drive. That being said, here’s why you should start snapping #selfies to monitor your progress.
You’ve been dieting for weeks. Your workouts are consistent and challenging. But where is the change?? There always comes the morning where you wake up, step on the scale, and oh damn! You’ve dropped a couple pounds. But the scale shouldn’t be your only indicator of progress.
Gaining muscle will increase your weight, which is why taking pictures of your physical transformation is so important. The number on the scale isn’t a reflection of your progress: your body is.
It can be hard to gauge physical difference by looking in the mirror and relying on your memory to remember what you looked like in that moment. Take a pic today & another in 3 weeks. The difference in the photos can’t lie, & they also serve as a visual motivator to keep making progress. Plus, now you have social media material for #TransformationTuesday. Holla!
There are even apps out there that will hold you accountable for taking progress pictures. They will prompt you for different angles & poses, making your photos routine in time and visually consistent.
Now you don’t have to go sharing these photos with the world. Even if they’re just for you, progress pictures serve as a great tool to remember how far you’ve come.
When it comes to #training, #fatigue is the enemy. No matter how #motivated you are, sometimes the tired takes over & you’re left with no #energy. #Caffeine isn’t always the answer (wait what?!) so here are some tips on how to naturally boost energy.
You know those days where nothing seems to wake you up? You’re training from training, or work, or any of life’s other trials and tribulations. These little remedies are good for people who experience random bouts of fatigue. If you feel as though you’re chronically exhausted, it might be smart to take a look at some of your lifestyle factors: are you overstressed? Not getting enough sleep?
For those in a little funk, try the three tips below:
1. Beet Juice: Beets improve cardiovascular functioning, as they are packed with healthy nitrates and can help increase stamina substantially
2. Your favorite tunes: Did you know that when you jam out to your favorite songs, your blood vessels expand by 26%? Healthy pump ftw!
3. H20: this one may seem obvious, but less people than you think drink the daily recommended amount of water. Dehydration affects your focus, brain function, and energy levels. Drink up.
Slamming an energy drink may be tempting, but if you’re tired to begin with… get ready for that crash. Let us know how these natural remedies worked for you.
Ok #Hulk, you can put the 150 #dumbbell down now that you’ve proved to every girl in the #gym that you can *barely* pulse #curl a lot of #weight. Congrats? #Strength & size are two different things, but #lifting too heavy applies in both cases.
Have you ever seen someone in the gym squatting so heavy they can barely break parallel? Facepalm. Heavy lifting does equal more size but this only counts if you can maintain good form for at least 6 of those reps. Otherwise you’re risking injury & not doing much for strength/size either.
1. Use a challenging amount of weight where your muscles are under tension & your form is strict & controlled. Really concentrate on feeling the burn in the right places.
2. Lifting too heavy causes your body to utilize the wrong muscles just to get the weight up. By taking it down a few kg’s, you’ll be able to work the intended muscles without putting strain on the rest of your body.
3. Heavy Weight/Low Reps: this is a great technique for building strength & size but don’t get carried away with the heavy part. Heavy = challenging, not 75+ lbs out of your power range. As long as you can bust out 5-8 reps with solid form, keep doing what you’re doing!
Not-so-friendly reminder: no one cares how heavy you’re lifting. Don’t bust your back trying to show off to whoever’s around because chances are they’re focused on their own workout! Use those weights to improve, not impress.
#Coffee, the elixir of life. It wakes you up in the #morning, picks you up in the afternoon & if you’re into nightcaps, #decaf is always an option. Cup after cup adds up calorically but there are ways to modify your coffee order to make them guilt free.
Coffee makes the world go round. Whether you’re into straight espresso, vanilla lattes, frappuccinos, or any other variation of the stuff, most people indulge in some form of the beverage. Quitting isn’t an option, so here are some tips for making the most (or least?) of your orders:
1. Go for the smaller size: I know, the small one is too small and the big one is too big. You might as well pay the 75 cents for twice as much coffee, right? Wrong. The more you purchase the more you consume, so choose moderation over making the most of your change.
2. Be a minimalist: do you really need the whipped cream, or the whole milk, or the sugar-ridden syrups? Opt for less toppings, non-fat (or almond!) milk, and sugar-free syrups instead. They exist, you just have to ask.
3. Stick to the basics: while those frappuccinos are tempting, they verge more on dessert than they do coffee. Get straight to the point and stick with basic drinks + minimal ingredients: cappuccinos, americanos, cold brews, espresso. More caffeine, less calories!
Whether you’re ordering out or brewing your own latte, keep these tips in mind to make the most of your morning cup.
We all know that #BuildingMuscle happens with #HeavyLifting and adequate #protein intake. #BootyBands aren’t going to take those glutes from 0-100 on their own. BUT! They are a great warm-up/additional tool to incorporate during your #workouts.
Like we said, any of those instagram models who claim their glute growth came from booty bands alone is full of B.S. (sorry not sorry). What they do do is add extra resistance to get that booty working a little harder than it would be if you were only using body weight.
Booty/Resistance bands help activate your glutes, specifically those smaller muscles that don’t get a lot of love when doing less concentrated movements such as squats and lunges. By warming up with a band, you’ll get these muscles working and be able to better target them when going heavy during your actual work out. Embrace that burn!
Bands come in a variety of sizes and resistances: depending on your goals, you can go lighter for warm-up purposes, or opt for heavier ones (place these above your knees during squats and hip thrusts to add even more resistance. Knees out!).
Booty bands are great for warm-ups, and an effective addition to lifting heavy weight. The bands themselves aren’t magic, but the effort you put in while using them will lead to booty-ful results.
Does jumping to conclusions count as #cardio? We know, those first few minutes on a #treadmill feel like you’re trying to catch your soul as it leaves your body. But #running isn't the be-all-end-all of cardio, here are our favorite alternatives.
Let us go on record by saying we hate cardio. Nothing about a treadmill is appealing, not even the ones with the built-in fans, phone chargers, TV’s...nope! Count me out.
What IS appealing about cardiovascular exercise is a leaner figure, reduced risk of heart disease and enhanced brain function (having brains as big as your muscles is cool too). So we’ve learned to take our cardio elsewhere! These are our favorite exercises that burn fat and are great alternatives to running:
1. Spin Class: cycling is low impact, you get to choose the level of effort you put in, plus you have music & an instructor to boost motivation.
2. Swimming: swimming is a great full-body workout that incorporates both the lower and upper body. Challenge yourself with different strokes, or try our go-to water-based workout.
3. Stairmaster: this one might be known as a sister to the treadmill, but I’ve found that cardio is much more enjoyable when I know I’m getting some glute and quad work in. Alternate between HIIT and LISS, or throw on a resistance band and really get the most out of your workout.
Cardio is all about finding methods that work for YOU, what are your favorite alternatives?
#Diets: You hear the “d” word. Panic ensues as your mind is consumed by thoughts of bidding all of those tasty donuts adieu. Luckily, #NutritionPlans don’t need to be based on elimination. What about all of the new foods you can add? Let’s talk balance.
When you are starting a new diet or nutrition plan, it’s easy to feel really bummed out about all of the things you “can’t,” eat anymore - namely, all the fun stuff.
Most of those diets out there tell you that you can’t have donuts, french fries, cheese, alcohol, peanuts, and the lists go on and on and on. When you’re flexible dieting, we don’t tell you what you can and cannot eat (but this isn’t necessarily about that).
Instead of focusing on things you think you can’t have anymore, let’s focus on all of the new things you can have in abundance. What we’re saying is that you should make your nutrition more of an, “add this,” not, “eliminate that,” diet.
You know you should probably add more veggies, so try a new one each week. You know you should probably drink less alcohol, so allow yourself one instead of three. It doesn’t have to be complete elimination, just less of certain things and more of other things.
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