Tag Archives: warm-ups

Water Aerobics Routines for All-Around Fitness

Author: Marjorie SaladawaterWater Aerobics

Water aerobics routines are something that can offer a complete physical workout. A complete workout consists of aerobic, resistance and stretching exercises and all these can be incorporated into a water aerobics routine. The best part about water aerobics is that water exercises will work for groups of people that cannot do other types of exercises, such as; individuals that are morbidly obese and persons that have problems with arthritis.

The water aerobics class I attend from time to time is at a new health club and the nice thing about it is you do not have to be a member of this club to take the class. This class has a huge range of people that attend this workout session. It has almost as many men as women and most of the people are 40 or over. The younger crowd tends to opt more for high-impact aerobics and kickboxing.

We usually warm-up by walking against the current in the lazy river and then changing directions abruptly, causing us to feel like we are walking against a brick wall. If you have ever tried walking against the current when it has momentum, you will find that you do not get very far very quickly. Usually the whole class ends up laughing hysterically, but it is a great warm-up.

Next the instructor introduces that aerobic portion of the workout. This is where you increase your heart rate to target workout rate. This usually includes water walking and other exercises that will elevate your heart rate, such as; jumping jacks and kicking exercises.

Then comes resistance exercises and this is where you work specific muscle groups to build muscle strength. My instructor likes to use swimmers noodles tied in a knot to create resistance as they are dragged through the water. We also use water belts that cause resistance and added weight for strength training.

The class ends with a cool down period that involves stretching the muscles and it feels great. These classes usually have music that makes you feel motivated to move. If you have a good instructor, this can be one of the most enjoyable hours of the week. This class offers a complete workout for anyone.

These are the types of exercise classes that are being offered at many health clubs. They offer complete workouts, making it easy for the busy person on the go to get everything they need out of one class.

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FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsbushrod@exercise-and-nutrition.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Flexibility and Stretching

Author: Clinton Walkerflexibility stretches

Flexibility is the ability of the muscles and tendons to relax and stretch easily. It determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Stretching improves your posture and helps to prevent low back pain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and low back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back. Today, 80% of adults will suffered from lower back pains. Warm-up stretching exercises loosen tendons, increase blood circulation, and help prevent injuries during your workouts or any activity. Cool-down stretching helps relieve muscle soreness and tightness.

THREE TYPES OF FLEXIBILITY

1. Dynamic flexibility — this is your ability to perform dynamic movements within the full range of motion in the joint. An example is twisting side to side, swinging your arms around in circles, or kicking an imaginary football. You may perform dynamic stretches in sets of 8-12 repetitions. Perform as many sets as is required to gain your full range of motion. You should stop when you muscles become tired. Your muscles produce diminished returns during dynamic stretching exercises.

2. Static Active flexibility — this refers to your ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the tension in the agonist muscle. An example is holding one leg out in front of you as high as possible. The hamstring (antagonist) is being stretched while the quadriceps and hip flexors (agonists) are holding your leg up. You can also stand on one leg; hold your other leg out in front of you as high as possible. Each static active stretch should be held for 10-15 seconds and 1-2 stretches per muscle group is sufficient.

3. Static Passive flexibility — this is your ability to hold a stretch using your body weight or some other external force. Imagine holding your leg out in front of you and resting it on a chair. Whereas static active stretching requires the tension of opposing muscles to hold the stretch, static passive stretching uses some other object for support. Static passive stretching helps relax your muscle groups. It should be part of your cool down. Static passive stretches should be held for about 10 seconds and 2-3 stretches per muscle group is enough.

TEN BASIC STRETCHING EXERCISES

For stretching exercises to be effective, raise your body temperature first. A pre-exercise warm up should consist of 5-10 minutes of light aerobic exercise followed by stretching exercises for all major muscle groups.

1. Shoulder Stretch

Interlock your fingers and reach above your head. Your lower back should be flat or slightly arched inwards. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

2. Triceps Stretch

Place your left hand behind your head and reach as far down your back as possible. With your right hand, grasp your left elbow and gently pull it behind the back of your head. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

Switch arms and repeat.

3. Chest stretch

Clasp your hands behind your back. Gently straighten your elbows and raise your arms as high as comfortably possible. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

4. Lower back Stretch

While lying flat on your back, place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently roll it to the left. Try to position your knee as close to the floor as possible without your right shoulder leaving the floor.

5. Groin Stretch

Stand with your feet about 2 meters apart with your toes pointing forward. Gradually shift all your weight to your right leg by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. Place both your hands on your right knee for support. To achieve a greater stretch, increase the starting distance between your feet.

6. Groin Stretch 2

Sit down and place the soles of your feet together. Clasp your ankles with your hands so that your elbows rest on your knees. Gently push your knees down with your elbows until your feel a stretch.

7. Quadriceps Stretch

While standing upright, hold onto a support with one hand (i.e. a chair) for balance. With your other hand clasp take your ankle and pull your heel into your butt. Repeat the same steps for the other leg.

8. Hamstring Stretch

Sitting down; stretch your legs out in front of you while keeping your back flat and upright. Bend your left leg, keeping your left foot flat on the floor. Slowly reach forward and try to touch your right toe with both hands. Bend from your waist keeping your lower back flat and your head up. Repeat these steps for the other leg.

9. Calf Stretch

Stand arms length away from a wall and with feet shoulder width apart. Place your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left. While keeping both heels flat on the ground, lean towards the wall by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. You may push gently against the wall for a deeper stretch. Repeat these steps for the left leg.

10. Achilles Stretch

This exercise is exactly the same procedure as above except as you lean towards the wall let both knees bend. Rather than leaning forward you should feel like you are lowering yourself straight down. Remember to keep both heels flat on the floor. Repeat these steps for the other leg.

Classical Pilates Technique with consideration of the NECK & BACK


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FINE PRINT
This policy is valid from 12 November 2009.  I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog.  For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions.  However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.  Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.  This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

10 Tips for Avoiding Injury During Sports Play

Author: John PerryRunning

Playing sports is a lot of fun.  It’s one of the most exhilarating activities that you can do.  Not only is it fun, though; it’s also healthy.

Playing sports can also be a form of body and mind exercise.  It can strengthen your muscles and your bones.  It also improves your thinking abilities since sports activities hone your mind in matters of strategy and technique.

In fact, playing sports is such a great activity that it can even improve your personality in the aspects of fairness and good sportsmanship.  However, that’s not to say that there are no downsides to playing sports.

Playing sports can be quite dangerous especially if you’re inexperienced.  If any accidents occur when you’re playing sports, the effects can range from mild to serious.  You can either get a minor bruise, a moderately severe sprain, or an injury that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.  You might even sustain an injury that could cost you your life.  So, it’s quite important to know how to avoid these sports injuries in the first place.

The Proper Gear

The first thing to do when you play sports is to prepare all the equipment that you will need.  Your equipment includes not only the balls, the nets and such necessary implements but also your protective equipment.

For example, in football (which is arguably one of the roughest sports) there are a lot of protective gears that you need to put on.  The first and probably the most important one is the helmet which is protection for your head or your cranium.

Helmets differ depending on the sport you’re going to play.  Football helmets are much bulkier than other helmets.  For one thing, football helmets are complete with a face guard and they almost completely cover the head.

There are other protective equipment like ankle guards, shoulder pads, shin guards, mouth guards, and knee caps.  All of these are designed to protect the important parts of the body from any injury.

If you participate in football, chances are high that you’ll be falling a lot.  All these pads cushion your body whenever you fall or forcibly collide with another player.  They therefore help in preventing bone fractures or sprains.  Such equipment may be bulky and heavy and they might prevent you from moving freely but, then again, isn’t it always better to be safe than sorry?

Get a Physical

You need to consult with your doctor before you become active in any sports activity.  Get a physical exam.  This is a precautionary activity that is usually required of professional athletes.  It wouldn’t hurt to follow their example even if you only plan on playing football with your weekend buddies.

Warm Ups

Before doing anything strenuous, you have to warm up your body.  Some people forgo doing warm-ups because they think that it’s too troublesome; they’re too impatient and want to get into the game the game immediately.

But this shouldn’t be so.  Warm-ups are incredibly important because they condition the body for the work-out that it’s going to receive.  Also, contrary to what other people think, warm-ups don’t necessarily mean stretching.  In fact, stretching should be saved until after you’ve warmed your body up a little since if you stretch yourself too much, you might end up tearing a few ligaments.

The first thing that you should do when you’re warming up is to take a light jog.  Then, when you’re done, start stretching your muscles starting from the head down.  You can start by rotating your neck, then your shoulders, then your arms, then your waist, your hips, your legs, and then your foot.  Sixteen counts on each body part should do.

All in all, warm-ups should last for 15 to 30 minutes.  Stretching helps by improving the blood circulation in the said body parts and also by increasing the body’s temperature.  That way, once you get into the field, your body will be more than ready to accommodate all the strenuous tasks that it will have to do.

Strength Training and Bodybuilding Exercises

If you want to be in top form when you play, your body must be in top form, too.  Aside from giving you the required energy for sports, though, a well-honed body is also more resilient, more flexible and, therefore, less susceptible to sports injuries.  Therefore, you should have strength training and regular bodybuilding exercises.

Practice

To avoid sports injuries, you’d do well to be good in your chosen sports.  Thus, you’d better practice, practice and practice some more.  Of course, do not do this without proper supervision.  If no one qualified is there to supervise, no one would be able to tell you whether what you’re doing is right or wrong.

Following Rules

Rules are there for a reason.  Usually, they’re qualified into two:  rules made for scores or points and rules made for common courtesy.  You see, some sports can be dangerous and there are some rules that are put in there for the sake of minimizing injuries and accidents.

Some rules in football that are focused on safety involve the types of blocking and tackling.  If you block the opponent by grabbing him by his face mask, then your move will be considered illegal.  Also, there’s a rule that prohibits tackling from behind and tackling using the top of your helmet.  These rules are made for the official football league but they should also be used in informal games.

Safe Venue

Of course, when you play sports, you have to choose a safe place to play.  When you’re playing rough contact sports like football, it’s best if you choose to play on a grass field.  It won’t help if you play on concrete because if some accident does happen, falling on the cold, hard concrete will only make the fall harder.

Body Mechanics

When playing sports, you should employ what’s called “body mechanics”.  Body mechanics maximizes your body’s potential for movement even as it minimizes the stress that it sustains.

For example, when jumping, make sure to bend or flex your knees to lessen the chance of joint dislocation when you land.  Learn all about the techniques that can make falling easier and less severe on your body.

Constant Awareness

Also, when you play sports, you must constantly be aware of what’s happening around you.  It won’t help if you’re not cooperating with your teammates.

For example, if two of you are trying to catch the ball, pay attention or you might crash into each other.  If someone’s planning to tackle you, try to dodge.  Evading is way better than getting hit since the latter leads to injuries.

Muscle Straining

It’s inevitable that your muscles will start to hurt when you play.  Muscle pain is oftentimes normal, but that doesn’t mean that you have to ignore it.  Never play through the pain because it will aggravate your condition.  Take a break when your muscles start hurting.  Rest the body part that hurts.  It will also help if you elevate it.  For example, if your leg is hurting, prop it up on a pillow or two.

It’s perfectly understandable to want to get right back in the game after you’ve sustained an injury especially if it’s an important game.  But you have to remember that safety always comes first.  If you disregard your injuries, it might get worse and the damage might become irreversible.

Sports are fun and all but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your body in order to play them.  Remember that there are things that are more important in life, like your own safety and wellbeing.  Be wise when playing sports, have fun but don’t let it cloud your judgment.