If like us here at Infruition HQ, after weeks of staying up late to watch the Olympics in Rio, you’re probably feeling really inspired to take on something new (Floor routines anyone?!), or to go back to a sport you’ve done before, but with much more focus and dedication. The Olympics are great because they show athletes at the very peak of their careers, doing what they absolutely love.
Our friends at ActivBod - whom have many Olympic brand ambassadors - sent us their top 5 hacks to take your workouts to the next level.
1. Up the reps and/or the weights depending on what you are trying to achieve. There are debates going backwards and forwards on what is best – upping reps or upping weights. There doesn’t appear to be right or wrong answer, more reps works your slow-twitch muscle fibres. For long term progress and to keep things interesting why not incorporate both into your workout by switching up the sets and reps. Remember though to always increase things slowly and build it up.
2. Set a goal. When did you last set one? Or push your last one? By now we all know about “SMART” goals, so we won’t bore you with the details - but if you’re looking to make any change then setting a goal is a great way to help you achieve something. Without a goal it’s easy to just coast through whatever you’re doing without really making any improvements. Even the most simple goal can help you to keep moving forward.
3. Ask for help. If you’ve decided you want to try out rhythmic gymnastics, don’t just buy a leotard and a hoop and hope for the best! Olympic athletes have a team behind them who help and support them along the way; whatever sport you’ve decided to have a go at, give yourself a fair shot by enlisting the help of a professional. Sign up for a class, hire a coach or join a club.
4. Add some instability. Don’t worry you don’t need to come some tightrope walker overnight but exercises that require you to balance as you do them work your core muscles harder. Not tried the wobble board or gym ball yet? Now’s the time to give it ago.
5. Ditch the machines for free weights. Using free weights requires more balance, co-ordination and works your stabiliser muscles. They are also more versatile than machines, great if your workout is in need of a mix up or reboot. But remember to pay attention to your form and posture, you don’t have the machine to guide you, so perhaps get your new P.T or team mate to help you.
And remember you’re never too old to try something completely new. Nick Skelton is coming back from Rio with a gold medal at the age of 58, and the oldest ever Olympian was a 72-year-old Swedish shooter who won a silver medal in 1920. Before you shrug about that being almost a century ago, it’s worth remembering that this year 40-year-old Katherine Grainger won a silver medal for rowing and Oksana Chusovitina took fifth place in the vault finals at 41 - meaning she has been competing in the Olympics since before many of her competitors were even born! If you’re inspired and you want to try something, just go for it; you might need to slow it down a bit or adapt an exercise to suit your level of flexibility or strength, but never let your age be the reason you don’t try.
Let us know what sports you were inspired by in the comments section below.
Until next time,
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