Exercising regularly can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out. When you start your workout plan, you should include these vital aspects in your training programme.
Flexibility is the range of motion of any joint or a group of joints. Each joint and group of muscles in your body is likely to have different ranges of motion and different levels of flexibility. It’s also the extent that a muscle group can extend itself. Overall, being flexible depends on the range of motion (ROM) of your muscles.
Flexibility training includes:
• Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, arms resting freely at your sides.
• Slowly tilt your head toward your right shoulder and perform counter-clockwise circles with your head.
Cross body shoulder stretch
• Start standing or sitting tall. Grab one arm above your elbow with your opposite hand, and pull it across your body toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
• Make sure to keep your elbow below shoulder height.
• Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Lying lateral leg lifts for the hips
• Lie on one side with the legs together. Keep the lower leg slightly bent.
• Raise the top leg to a 45-degree angle from the floor, keeping the knee straight. Hold the position for 2 seconds. Lower the leg and repeat 10 times.
• Turn onto the other side of the body and repeat, lifting the other leg.
Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness program. Whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle, strength training will do just that.
It involves a type of resistance to challenge and builds your muscles. As you incorporate strength training exercises into your routine, over time there will be an improvement in your muscle mass and you’ll likely be able to lift weight more easily and for longer periods.
Strength training can help you burn more fat, avoid injury, improve mood and boost your confidence. Each exercise focuses on a specific muscle group and usually requires gym equipment.
Strength training includes:
• Chest exercises such as bench press, push-ups and dumbbell flyes.
• Shoulder exercises such as lateral raises, front raises and overhead press.
• Bicep exercises such as bicep curls, hammer curls and concentration curls.
• Triceps exercises such as triceps extensions, dips and kickbacks.
• Back exercises such as one-arm row, back extensions and pulldowns.
• Abdominal exercises such as crunches, reverse crunches and pelvic tilts.
• Lower body exercises such as squats, lunges, leg press, deadlifts and calf raises.
This is one that most of us miss, and it is critical for long-term joint health.
Mobility refers to your ability to move freely without stress on the body. Mobility training can improve the range of motion of your joints and muscles and your posture too. It’s also a combination of flexibility, which measures what your joints and muscles allow, and extensibility, which is the ability of your muscles and connective tissues to lengthen and shorten.
With great mobility, you’ll be able to perform functional movements with no restrictions on the motion of those movements. On the other hand, a flexible person may not necessarily have core strength, balance, or coordination to perform the same functional movements as the person with great mobility.
Mobility drills are exercises that help mobility by taking the muscles, tendons, and joints through a full range of motion.
Mobility exercises include:
Happy cat, sad cat
• Kneel on all fours with hands and shoulder width apart and feet and hip width apart with a flat back.
• While breathing slowly, round your back upward and lower your head. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your back down, pushing your bum upward and lift your head.
• Repeat the exercise five times. Meow.
• Lay flat on the floor with your knees up.
• Lift your toes so that only the heel of your foot is in contact with the ground and then lift your body off the ground, while keeping your shoulders flat on the mat.
• Keep your arms on the floor parallel to your body to help you balance and squeeze your buttocks together.
• Hold at the top for a moment or two and then lower yourself slowly back down. Repeat between 10 and 15 times.
Align 90/90 stretch
• Lay on your right side with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, one on top of the other.
• Bring your arms forward, palms together with the back of your right hand resting on the floor. Then lift your left hand over to the other side so that your upper body is in a T-shape.
• Turn your head to face the left side and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times on each side.