Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

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10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People


The TRX suspension trainer  is the best versatile tool that is portable and easy to use. You can easily attach it to your doorpost or a pole if you are on the go and have no access to your gym. The exercises that you can do will challenge your core and work your upper body muscles and even your legs. Because it works the whole body, you are sure to burn calories and tone muscles on the go. You can easily shift from one exercise to another and do your own circuit training using your body weight.

Read about the TRX here.

You still don’t believe that you can do lots of exercises by just using the TRX suspension trainer and your body weight and work your upper body muscles, core, and legs? Check out this video below and see 70 various exercises that you can do with the TRX suspension training system!

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The TRX suspension trainer is safe to use and the package comes with a easy-to-read guide for exercises that you can do at home, in your office, or even at the beach!

If you don’t have your TRX yet, get yours now from amazon through the links below!


TRX Suspension Trainer


TRX HOME Suspension Trainer


Become a TRX Trainer

Running is one of the best ways to exercise – it is free and natural, almost everyone can do it!

Running feels great because it releases more than just sweat – you also get to release your worries and stress. Every time you run and catch your breath, you breathe in as a new person.


There are lots of exercises that you can do with the TRX suspension system. You can bring it anywhere and easily attach it to a pole or doorpost or anywhere stable. It is easy and safe to use and you can get a total body workout with this dynamic tool!

Here are three advanced exercises that you can do with the TRX suspension system by Naudi Aguilar. Naudi is a trainer and coach for MMA fighters and professional athletes, so expect his workouts to be intense. He incorporates functional training for MMA fighters and athletes in his exercises. The video below is a circuit of only three movements using the TRX suspension trainer. You’ll really burn your muscles with these three exercises in less time! These exercises on the TRX suspension trainer works the upper body especially your pulling muscles, your core, and even your legs. Watch the video below:

Watch another advanced exercise by Naudi Aguilar using only your body weight! Click here.

If you don’t have your TRX yet, get yours now from amazon through the links below!


TRX Suspension Trainer


TRX HOME Suspension Trainer


Become a TRX Trainer

run shoes
Every runner needs to have the perfect running shoe that fits well and works well for them. Specific footwear characteristics should match the individual needs of a runner. Also, each training type – endurance, strength, or speed – that runners undergo have different demands on their bodies and also their running shoes. Thus, it is important to know which kind of running shoes match your specific goals and individual needs.

With the wide developments in running technology today, it can sometimes be confusing and even intimidating when choosing your new pair inside a running shoes store. How will you choose what’s best for you and your training when there are different categories, shoe types and shapes within the standard Neutral, Stability, and Motion Control?

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The design and technology of shoes varies depending on the brand and type of shoes. As a general guide for running shoe categories, here are brief definitions for the 3 major categories of running shoes and some tips when buying your new pair:

NEUTRAL
The shoes under the neutral category are usually designed with a flexible forefoot and soft but firm midsole. These are the best types of shoes when you tend to land on the outside of your foot. You can determine where your foot lands by checking the soles of your old shoes – if the outside of the sole is worn out, then you tend to land more on the outside of your shoes. This may also be the running shoes for people with a high foot arc. Check if the arc of the shoes you’re planning to buy has enough support or rigid especially if you have a high foot arc. These kinds of shoes support the arc of your foot more than your ankle or your knees. You can observe that this type of running shoe often has a curved sole.

When buying a shoe, observe the arc and check the heels.

When buying a shoe, observe the arc and check the heels.

Get your running shoes from Amazon. Click here.

STABILITY
Running shoes that are under the stability category are designed to control your feet from turning outwards when you run, balances your heel, and supports the arcs of your feet. These types of running shoes provide extra cushioning and excellent stability for your feet when you run. These shoes are for runners who lands on the outside of their heels and slightly turns their foot inward (pronates) when running. The arc of these shoes are not as rigid and may have varying degrees of support.

MOTION CONTROL
The soles of running shoes under the motion control category are usually straight or flat. Some designs have slightly curved soles but the main goal of these running shoes is to keep the heel secure and minimize the rate of pronation when you run. These shoes usually have a wider landing base for your heels, and a strong, rigid heel counter. These running shoes are good for runners who have flat feet or low arches. Runners who tend pronate their feet and have unstable knees when running can benefit more from these types of running shoes. Check the soles of your old shoes – if they are worn out on the midsole, then this running shoe category is for you.

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How to choose running shoes? Here are some tips when buying your running shoes:
1. Walk and Run in the store. Spend time with the pair of shoes before buying it. I know lots of people who buys specific kind of shoes just because they discovered that some great runner used it to finish first place in a race. You have different needs and what works for others may not work well with you. Test out the running shoes in the store. Don’t be afraid to take a few steps on them and even run a couple of meters if possible. Some good running stores even have treadmills for you to run on!

2. Don’t throw your old pair – yet. Bring your old pair of running shoes to the store where you’re going to buy your new shoes. If the place where you are shopping for a new running shoes is specifically a running shoe store, they may have staff who knows about shoes and can analyze the wear pattern of your old shoes. Because you will want to try on walking and running on your new shoes, bring your socks with you and any orthotics if you have one. If the running store have equipment for foot analysis, do not hesitate to have your gait analyzed even if you already know your foot arc or foot type. Let the staff know your running history, goals, injuries and what type of training you usually do.

3. Know your soft spots. One of the main reasons why we need to wear shoes is comfort. Your feet should be comfortable enough while you walk or run in your new running shoes. Pressure spots or loose fitting shoes often leads to blisters.

stock-footage-closeup-of-woman-tying-running-shoe-at-beach4. Perfect Fit for your Feet. If your running shoes are too loose and your feet slides inside your shoes, you will lose energy on every push off that your feet makes when you run. It is okay to adjust and re-adjust the laces of the running shoes while inside a store. Tie your laces so that you have a feeling of security without discomfort.

5. Running shoes are special. Running shoes are designed specifically for forward motion (i.e., running forward), heel cushioning and arc support. If you have time to observe the soles of different types of shoes, you can see that running shoes have horizontal line patterns on their sole. If you plan on using running shoes for other sports or physical activity, you will wear your running shoes out faster and you may even risk yourself injury. Cross-training shoes are designed for more lateral support (moving sideways, etc.) and toe flexibility. Buying a different pair of shoes like a cross-trainer for other activities is a good investment because your running shoes will last longer and you will reduce risk of injury.

Buy your cross-training shoe from Amazon. Click here.

When to buy your running shoes
You may ask yourself, “When do I need to buy a new pair of running shoes?” Usually, the top part or the body of your running shoes looks like they are still in great shape but the cushioning and motion control may have already been lost. Check the soles of your shoes if they are worn out too much. It is helpful to mark the date that you bought your running shoes. If you keep a record of your runs, compare it with the date that you bought your running shoes. When you reach around 800 kilometers or 500 miles, you may need to buy a new pair.
Getting a new pair of running shoes is an investment since your feet are the only parts of your body that touches another surface and absorbs all the impact when you run. Your legs and feet are your main engine for running so you need the excellent tools for support, stability, and comfort for them all the time. One of the keys to reducing risk of injury is to replace your shoes once they break down or wear out.

Choose the GPS watch that fits you. Read an overview of Garmin watches here.

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Buy more sports gadget or gear from Amazon for a lower price and ship it for free.
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The TRX is a great tool for functional training that works your whole body and challenges your core. You can read from my previous post that the TRX is a versatile device where you can do a lot of exercises and bring it anywhere! It is simple to attach and use on your own.

Read about the TRX here.

Because it works the whole body, you are sure to burn calories and tone muscles on the go. You can easily shift from one exercise to another and do your own circuit training using your body weight. Check out this video for basic exercises that you can do on the TRX:

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If you don’t have your TRX yet, get yours now from amazon through the links below!


TRX Suspension Trainer


TRX HOME Suspension Trainer


Become a TRX Trainer


Fitness Blender is one of my go-to resources for conditioning exercises and workouts. Most of the exercises are done in a circuit format and uses minimal to no equipment. Body weight exercises are emphasized since fitness blender is designed for people who want to continue working out on their own without needing to go to a gym.

Read about what an HIIT is.

Like any other exercise or intense physical activity, make sure that you are medically cleared for a heavy workout. HIIT is designed for those with a baseline level of fitness in terms of endurance, strength, coordination, and balance. The pace of the workout is fast and the exercises are continuous. If you are not sure about your fitness level, you can watch the video first and try the workout for 1 set at a slower pace. Rest whenever you need to.

Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before doing the exercise routine and cool down properly after the workout. This video shows a 10 minute High Intensity Interval Training workout that will surely burn calories in less time. The pattern of this HIIT is 20 seconds continuous work to 10 seconds of active rest (20 seconds ON, 10 seconds OFF) done for 2 straight rounds per exercise. You will be doing only two exercises: Sidewinder Mountain Climbers and Toe Touch Jacks.

Watch the video below:


Beachbody.com

therabandWe all know that we need to eat protein, but what is it? How does protein help someone gain weight or build muscle? How much protein should you eat? And most importantly, what are the sources of Protein for maximum results? I am writing a two-part article with the first part aiming to simplify what protein is and how the body uses it (without getting too nerdy) and the second part enumerating the different protein sources for the body.

Read Misconceptions About Protein Supplements here:

What is Protein?
Protein is one of the six essential nutrients that the body needs for daily functioning. The essential nutrients are those that the body needs to take in from outside sources, that is the food that we eat. Non-essential nutrients are those that the body can produce by itself. Proteins are made up of amino acids, a term that you may have heard of before that is usually associated with Protein. Simply put, amino acids are the building blocks, that is, the smaller chemicals that composes the structure of Protein. Smaller chemicals are called Peptides, but as promised, this article won’t be nerdy.

Proteins can be found in every cell of the body and is used for a myriad of very important purposes.

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What are the uses of Protein?
Proteins are found in every cell of the body and serve various important purposes:

  • Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of our body’s tissues and cells.
  • Proteins are involved in a variety of metabolic and hormonal activities. For example, Enzymatic proteins in the digestive system helps break down food. Hormonal proteins help control your blood sugar concentration.
  • Other proteins are used for nerve cell signaling processes.
  • The antibodies of our immune system which help fight infections and foreign substances are also made up of proteins.
  • Proteins move important molecules in our body such as the protein hemoglobin which transports oxygen through the blood.
  • Proteins compose the actin and myosin filaments, the cells in our muscles which are responsible for muscular contraction.
  • And lastly, proteins are needed by our cardiac muscle — the muscles in our heart.

One more notable use of protein is that during fasting, the body uses the protein from our muscles to produce energy. This means that if your diet has insufficient carbohydrate and fat for energy, or if you refuse to eat 2 to 3 days to lose weight, your body will resort to the best way to produce its needed energy to survive carbohydrate and fat deprivation, which is to break down protein.


What makes up the proteins in our body?
As I have said earlier, amino acids are the building blocks of Protein. There are twenty-two different kinds of amino acids that the body uses to make proteins which includes eight essential amino acids; and again ‘essential‘ means that the body cannot produce it on its own and should get it from outside sources. These are the eight essential amino acids:


            1. Isoleucine
            2. Leucine
            3. Lysine
            4. Methionine
            5. Phenylalanine
            6. Theronine
            7. Tryptophan
            8. Valine

Don’t be too blown away by the names of these amino acids. Being familiar with them may be helpful especially when you want to know which sources of protein is better, or which supplement would work best for you. Apart from the eight essential amino acids, there are seven conditionally essential amino acids. These are amino acids that the body has difficulty in processing (nerdy term: synthesizing) so they usually are needed to be obtained from your diet as well to make sure that you’re getting enough. The seven conditionally essential amino acids are:


            1. Arginine
            2. Cysteine (cystine)
            3. Glutamine
            4. Histidine
            5. Proline
            6. Taurine
            7. Tyrosine


What are the kinds of protein that we can eat?
Protein sources from our diet are also classified into two. Dietary protein can be a complete source of protein or an incomplete source of protein. A complete source of protein means that it contains adequate amounts of the essential amino acids. Animal sources such as meat, fish, and poultry contain all essential amino acids and are thus considered complete sources of protein. Incomplete sources of protein are food sources that lack some of the essential amino acids, such as vegetables, red beans, and nuts.

Also, these protein sources vary with the quality of protein it contains depending on its amino acid profile and how the protein is easily digested. This helps determine which kind of protein source or supplement produce good quality proteins.

How does our body digest and absorb protein?
Protein digestion (the breakdown of food into smaller components) and absorption (the process of absorbing the nutrients into the body) is also valuable to note. The body digests carbohydrates and fats as soon as you put the food into your mouth and the enzymes in your saliva breaks them down. However for proteins, digestion does not begin until the food reaches your stomach and the acids in your stomach breaks them down. Then the amino acids are absorbed through the wall of the small intestine. After being absorbed by the small intestine, they are transported through the blood to the liver to be utilized by the body. This means that dietary protein sources travel a long way first and takes several hours for the body to be able to use it.

In application, after a long or intense bout of physical activity, your body would need sufficient protein supply to replace the broken down protein from your exercise or sports training. If you fail to replenish your amino acids, or if you fail to eat sufficiently after your workout, you are already depriving your body of its protein needs. The body digests protein for several hours, but once these amino acids are available, they can freely enter the blood and are cleared within 5 to 10 minutes. This gives you reason to drink that chocolate milk soon after your workout or take in an extra amino acid supplement.

How much Protein does our body need?
Can we eat too much Protein? The answer is yes. We can actually ingest too much protein and it may be detrimental for our body. Note that the cells of our body only uses the amount of amino acids that they need for a certain time. The unused amino acids are processed again (called deamination) which eventually leads to that processed amino acid being required to be excreted by the body. This all happens in the liver where the deaminated amino acid is converted into ammonia. Ammonia then is converted into urea which travels through the blood and is finally removed from the body by the kidneys in the urine.

The easiest way to know how much you need is to calculate your body weight with the recommended dietary allowance. As a standard, children ages 11 to 14 years need 1.0 g/kg of body weight per day; adolescents 15 to 18 years of age needs 0.8 to 0.9 g/kg of body weight per day; and adults need 0.8 g/kg of body weight per day. This means that if you are a 75 kg adult male, you need (0.8 g x 75 kg) 60 grams of protein per day. If you are a 50 kg adult female, you need 40 grams of protein per day. Here are some references for better understanding of how much these values are in food (source: www.cdc.gov):

  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams of protein.
  • A 3 ounce piece of meat has around 20 grams of protein. Four ounces of meat is like a deck of cards, so 3 ounces would be 3/4 of that deck of cards.
  • 1 cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein.
  • An 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein.

Other factors such as pregnancy, obesity, and exercise affects the protein requirements of the body. It is proven that intense exercise increases the body’s protein needs. Athletes are recommended to consume 1.5 to even up to 2.0 g/kg of body weight of protein per day to make sure that the body receives enough protein supply. Generally, the more intense the physical activity, the higher the amount of protein is needed by the body. Moderate intensity exercises would require a lower amount of protein from this range. Aerobic activities also require sufficient protein replenishment that is higher than the average recommendations. Ingesting amino acids after an intense workout, then can help the body replenish its protein requirements quickly as amino acids can be readily absorbed and used by the body.



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In Summary:

  • Protein is one of the six essential nutrients that the body needs for daily functioning. This means that protein can only be obtained by the body through ingesting food sources.
  • Protein is used by the body for different important purposes.
  • Some food sources are complete sources of protein and some are incomplete. It is best therefore to have a balanced diet that provides all the essential amino acids and other nutrients that are needed by the body.
  • Proteins are composed of amino acids which takes a long time to be processed by the body. Our food sources for protein then should have good quality so that the body can replenish its protein supply effectively.
  • Check the Recommended Daily Allowances for Protein to know how much protein you will need on average.
  • Intense physical activities require athletes to consume more protein than the recommended average.

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My next post will be about the sources of protein and how they rate as your option.

Also check out my post about the effects of Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplements for performance.

Visit my Articles page for more nerdy posts. 🙂

Reference: NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition. National Strength and Conditioning Association. Campbell and Spano. 2011.

Photo from Ace Fitness

A few weeks ago, I posted about how Circuit Training might be the exercise of choice for busy people who also want to train both their aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Circuit Training is also a good way to boost your metabolism which simply leads to more calories burnt compared to the usual resistance training.

To reap the full benefits of a High Intensity Interval Training workouts (which includes Circuit Training), the total volume should be high, which makes it a bit reserved for the elite athlete. However, the format of Circuit Training can be adapted for the novice exerciser and still gain most of the benefits that the workout can give.

If you are trying to start your healthy habit to exercise, or you are just looking for an easy alternative workout, here is a beginner’s Bodyweight Circuit Training workout that you can do with minimal or no equipment at all. I assume that you will ‘practice‘ exercising at home, so you only need improvised gym equipment that can easily be found in your house. The most that you need might be an exercise mat – if you don’t have one, you can use a big towel for exercises on the floor. Another good thing about this body weight circuit training is that you can do this while watching T.V. during commercial breaks!

10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

You can workout somewhere near your stairs and a wall (of course your house has a wall anywhere). For additional resistance, get two regular 500ml water bottles (filled with water or any liquid). Alternatively, you can use two equal-sized and equal-weighed books.

Remember to warm-up properly by doing slow head rotations, arm circles (forward and back), arm cross overs, alternating leg/foot reach while standing, lunges, and jumping jacks. (10 to 12 repetitions of each). Warm up is important to make sure that your body is ready for more work and so that your heart won’t get surprised by the stress from the exercises. If you are new to exercise, add a few more repetitions to warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes.

Read about how the body reacts to exercise stress and how your workouts should be programmed.

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If you’re warmed up and ready, here’s the body weight circuit workout that you can do at home:

Start by doing 12 repetitions or 12 counts for each exercise for your first set. If you feel 12 reps is too easy, you can do 15 to 20 reps for each exercise on your next sets.

 

  • Do Jumping Jacks for a metabolic start. Hold one water bottle for each hand and do moderate to fast jumping jacks.
  • Wall Squats. Lean with your back against the wall and squat down until your legs are bent to about 90 degrees. Hold the squat position for 12 slow counts. You can hold on to your water bottles for this one, but for additional intensity, you can alternate lifting your heels.

  • Stand from your squat position and do bicep curls using your books or water bottles. You can do it either one arm at a time or both arms at the same time.

    Crawl Leg Extension. Image from Webmd

    Crawl Leg Extension.
    Image from Webmd

  • Next, do alternating front and lateral arm raises with your water bottles. With both arms straight, lift them up sideways to shoulder level and bring them down, then lift both arms again to shoulder level but this time bring them in front of you, then bring them down. That counts as one repetition. Do 12 to 15 repetitions for bicep curls and arm raises.

 

    • Crawl Leg Extension. Go down to your hands and knees to do a crawl to work the back of your legs and your buttocks.  Do a minimum of 12 repetitions, one leg at a time. This exercise also works your core muscles – abdominal and back – if you maintain proper form while kicking by not letting your tummy or your chest sag.
    • Lie on your side to do Side-lying Leg Lifts.  Lying on one side with your shoulders on top of each other and the bottom arm supporting your head, align your spine by making a straight line from your bottom foot to your hips and to your shoulders and head. Lift the top leg up and slowly lower it down. Do a minimum of 12 repetitions for each leg.


Turbo Fire - Intense Cardio Conditioning

  • If you’re watching T.V., quickly run to the bottom of your stairs to do the Stair Climb with Overhead Raise. Yes, this includes an arm exercise so if you forgot your books or water bottles, go back and grab them! Holding on to your home equipment, reach both arms straight up and overhead, reaching towards the ceiling without arching your back. Keep your arms up as you do moderate to fast stair-climbing. Use your right foot first to step up, followed by your left foot, then use your right foot to step down, followed by your left. After a minimum of 12 steps, continue doing the exercise but this time starting with your left foot and followed by your right. Your core muscles are also challenged in this exercise as you keep your arms up and your spine stable throughout the exercise. This exercise is also great for your posture!
  • Catch your breath, then lie down on your back to do the Hip Bridge also known as the Glute bridge. As the name implies, this mainly works your glutes, but I included this exercise to this circuit for another purpose. If you have been sitting all day or haven’t been stretching regularly, then you might be having chronic low back pain. Low back pain sometimes arises from tightness on your hip flexors – the muscles opposite your low back (i.e., in front of you) which connects from your pelvis to your spine. The Hip Bridge alleviates the tightness by putting a good stretch on the hip flexors. Also, it challenges your core muscles to stabilize the position of the exercise. The photo below shows a good variation of this exercise by reaching your arms up – this adds some stretch to your upper back and shoulders. When you reach this position, lower your hips without touching the mat then push your hips up again to bridge position. Do this for a minimum of 12 repetitions.

    Image from rrstar.com

    Image from rrstar.com

  • Straighten your legs then roll over on your belly to do the Dry Swimming. This is a good Pilates exercise that you can add to your circuit to work out your back muscles and shoulders. Hold on to your water bottles and straighten both arms and legs. Make sure that you keep your abdominal muscles engaged by ‘sucking in‘ your belly button all throughout the exercise. Keep your gaze down on your mat as you reach both arms and legs up. And as the name implies, alternately lift and lower opposing arms and legs, as if you’re swimming on land. Count at least to 12 seconds for this exercise.
  • End the circuit with a nice Front Plank. If you’re starting and haven’t done a plank before, hold it for at least 15 to 20 seconds. If you think you’re an expert on this exercise, hold the plank for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Rest and stretch by doing the prayer position, kneeling with your feet relaxed and your hips almost touching your heels. Curl your spine down and reach your arms straight and forward. Relax your shoulders every time you exhale on slow breaths for 15 counts.

 

That makes one set of 10 easy body weight exercises for your home circuit workout. Rest for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute (or wait for the next commercial) before doing another set. Try doing 3 sets of this routine to reap maximum results. You can do this 2 to 3 times a week for around 2 weeks, gradually increasing the intensity, then you will be ready for a more intense circuit.

 

Enjoy!


Beachbody.com


A significant amount of Flexibility is important even to non-athletes.

A significant amount of Flexibility is important even to non-athletes.

In a previous post, I stated the benefits of stretching and a couple of different kinds of stretching. A helpful video was also included.

But do you know that like any part of your training, Stretching or Flexibility training should also follow the FITT principle?

Frequency – Ideally, stretching should be done everyday to maximize the benefits and improve overall flexibility. However, this does not always happen especially for busy individuals like you and me. At least include a sensible stretching routine after every workout that you do.

Intensity – A good stretch should feel good. Joints should never be stretched beyond their Range of Motion (ROM) that it becomes painful. The focus of the stretch should be to bring the joint just to a point of slight tension.

Time – As a standard for static stretching, holding a stretch for 30 seconds produces beneficial results. If you are doing a passive stretch (assisted by your personal trainer or someone else) this would be easy to do. You might need more motivation to hold the stretch for every joint for at least 30 seconds if you are stretching on your own. Stretching is usually the part of the workout that gets cut short when time is running out. A good workout design would ensure that this essential part of the training would not be left out.

Type – Mainly, you can do either Dynamic or Static stretching in your workouts. There are other kinds of ‘advanced’ stretches that you can do depending on your need, like the PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretch, AIS (Active Isometric Stretch), etc. Stretching can also be done using other equipment such as elastic bands, yoga straps, foam roller, and even your towel.

 

Here are some tips on how to stretch properly:

  • Work within your limits. Do not try to overstretch your joints and muscles. If you are in a group exercise class such as yoga or pilates, don’t be intimidated by those who can touch their nose to their knees (it sometimes looks weird anyway). Remember that the stretch should feel good.
  • Incorporate breathing to your stretching routine. This works well especially when you’re doing the static stretching as cool down. Do long breaths, exhaling upon relaxation and then slowly inch your way to a greater ROM.
  • Do static stretching only after your muscles are warm. Muscles lengthen more easily when they are warmed up.
  • Try other kinds of stretching activities such as Pilates, yoga, and breathing classes to make your stretching more fun and interesting.