- Improves flexibility: practicing yoga will allow your over-worked muscles to lengthen and become more flexible. The yoga poses target muscles that are not used in conventional cardio routines
- Points out faults: practicing yoga will help you to grasp a better understanding of your body and where you are strong and weak, over-stretched and under-stretched
- Prevents injuries: the strengthening, lengthening, and stretching of muscles during your yoga practice will help you to prevent overuse injuries
- Tones and strengthens your body: the unconventional poses in yoga enhance your overall physique through the endless strengthening poses
- Increases muscle endurance: poses can be held for several seconds and are repeated throughout your practice. With a lot of focus on the core, muscles are strengthened to improve your form in your respective sport.
Still not convinced to practice yoga? Stanford’s director of football sports performance, Shannon Turley, has his players take yoga classes regularly to work on balance and flexibility. According to the New York Times, Turley used yoga to condition Stanford Football Players and reduce injuries by 87%. Combining strength training, flexibility and stretching is the perfect recipe for injury prevention among athletes.
For real trainer tips and to build your own yoga flow, visit GAIN Yoga and stay tuned for GAIN personal trainers in your area that specialize in yoga for athletes!
How often do you practice yoga?
Ready to fire up your workout routine in preparation for 4th of July weekend? Try our GAIN Fitness Firecracker workout to start your holiday weekend off on the right foot, literally. We designed this quick, high intensity workout so that you can squeeze it in before the weekend festivities take over. (Plus, a sneak preview of what our new service has to offer…stay tuned for more!)
1-leg, 1-arm Stiff Leg Deadlifts (15x each side)
Burpees (15 reps, push-up at bottom)
Ab Plank (hold for the amount of stars on the American Flag (in seconds, that’s 50!))
Bodyweight Jump Lunge (15x each side)
One push up for each of the original 13 colonies
(repeat five times)
Good luck! And have a happy and healthy 4th of July weekend!
Business traveler? You can do one of two things: Give up on your fitness plan, or bring it with you across the globe. Don’t let your business plans and family vacations shatter your workout regimen, instead you can bring it with you.
Contrary to popular belief, barbells, dumbbells, and treadmills are not essential for an intense workout. You can still get a sweat-inducing, rigorous workout using just your bodyweight in your hotel room.
Many people are hung up on the fact that working out is all about the setting you are in and the accessible equipment; however, bodyweight exercises can be even more effective.
Bodyweight vs. Non-bodyweight exercise
Winner = Bodyweight!
There are two types of exercises: open kinetic chain exercises (OKC) and closed kinetic chain exercises (CKC). Both are effective in their own way.
Closed chain exercises involve one or more muscle groups moving simultaneously. Your hand (for upper-body exercises) or foot (for lower-body exercises) is fixed on the surface. These exercises are generally performed using only your bodyweight such as push-ups, lunges, and squats. Closely related to daily activities, CKC exercises are seen as more functional and safer than open kinetic chain exercises.
Open kinetic chain exercises, on the other hand, are generally isolation movements. Your hand or foot is free to move and does not have to be fixated on a surface. OKC exercises are seen as less functional and generally involve exercises such as lat pull-downs, bench press, and dumbbell bicep curls.
So, why are bodyweight exercises so great?
- More efficient workouts: you aren’t running around the gym waiting for the next piece of equipment
- Effective for everyone, from young athletes to professional bodybuilders
- Easily modifiable: you can increase repetitions or vary speed from slow to fast to adjust the difficulty
- Improves balance: since there is no weight added, you will automatically shift your focus to balancing for added resistance (one-leg squat, one-arm push-up, etc.)
With the busy traveler in mind, GAIN Fitness developed a series of self-guided workouts that focus on CKC exercises (Road Warrior App). These “hotel room” workouts require no equipment and challenge every muscle group and movement function. You’ll conquer computer posture, slay fat and sculpt a body your colleagues will envy, all while being in your hotel room.
What is your favorite exercise routine while traveling?
Learn how to reap the full benefits of your workout by avoiding these common post-workout mistakes
- Insufficient cool-down
Taking the extra 5-10 minutes to cool-down after an intense workout can make the difference between not being able to walk up the stairs the next day and being able to complete another intense workout. Getting your vitals back to their resting level is also essential in preventing injuries and cutting your chances of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
- Choosing the wrong sports drink
Read your labels! All sports drinks are not created equal! Sure, your favorite Gatorade flavor may quench your thirst after a grueling workout, but be sure to check the label before you reach for it next time. Several sports drinks are packed with sugar that can defeat the purpose of working out—some contain up to 300 calories! It is best to stick to water or low-calorie/low-sugar options to replenish your electrolytes.
- Overcompensating with high-calorie food
Congratulations! You just finished an intense workout with your friends, so now it’s time to head to an all-you-can-eat boozy brunch. You may want to think twice about ordering your fifth mimosa and diving into your fried chicken and waffle. We tend to overestimate the calories we burn and overcompensate by eating more post-workout. Your favorite guilty pleasures are healthy sometimes, but don’t get into the habit of working out for the sake of indulging twice as much.
- Skipping your recovery snack
On the other hand, make sure you DO eat something post-workout! The first hour after your workout is crucial for refueling. It helps prevent your body from breaking down muscle. It is best to have a snack that is high in protein and carbohydrates (ie fruit and nuts, banana and peanut butter, etc.)
Too often people hit the gym and head straight for the cardio machines, with the idea that jogging for 30 minutes and then heading to the weight room will give them the most benefits from their workout regimen. However, the science behind this proves that resistance training should be completed before any cardiovascular exercise takes place.
In order for your body to build muscle, it needs to use its stored fat as fuel. In order to do this, you must burn off your glycogen stores first (where carbohydrates are stored as energy). When you lift weights, you tap into your glycogen stores. From there you will burn more fat during your cardio exercise because you have already depleted your body of carbohydrates.
On the reverse side, if you decide to do cardio first, it may take the entire workout of 30 minutes, or however long you do your cardio routine, to burn off your glycogen stores. So then you are only burning fat for a very small percentage of time in addition to depleting your body of the necessary fuel from glycogen to do your resistance training. In this case, your body resorts to breaking down muscle tissue to use amino acids as fuel—thus leading to muscle loss rather than muscle gain.