In the spirit of the Holidays and some New Year’s resolutions I figured I’d make a short list on how to get yourself started on the path to true health. Implement some of these into your training today and you won’t be disappointed. Let’s take a look at what we’re talking about, in no particular order:
1) Self-Myofascial Release – OK, it’s really just a fancy term for self massage….but it makes me sound smart so I’ll use it. This can be one of the easiest ways to help yourself feel better if done correctly. All you need is a foam roller and a tennis ball and you’re ready to roll….literally.
2) Deadlift – This is the ultimate strength developing move. Now don’t assume that I’m telling you to go throw 300lbs on a barbell and pick it up off of the ground. There are plenty of ways to perform a deadlift safely and effectively: kettlebell, dumbbell, trapbar, sumo, conventional, snatch grip. Pick one and go with it, you won’t be disappointed!
3) Pull-ups/Chin-ups – We talked about this a couple of weeks ago in The Back Manifesto: Vertical Edition. Besides the fact that a well sculpted back is a true sign of strength, these will help keep your shoulders healthy, especially for those of you who love to bench press (which I’m pretty sure is everybody….at least everybody at my gym). Find a bar and start pulling!
4) Proper Warm-up – The first part of your warm-up should be self-myofascial release (see #1). After that you want to do some static stretching (no, it won’t make you weaker…at least not to any point that you will be able to tell) and dynamic stretching. A good dynamic warm-up will help prepare your body for the upcoming workout. Use moves like walking lunges, leg cradles, spiderman, inchworm and side lunges.
5) K.I.S.S. – Ahhh, the good ol’ acronym that everybody should listen to. Yes, when it comes to fitness and health, when all else fails, just Keep It Simple Stupid! Why are you trying to do one-legged dumbbell curl & press while standing on a BOSU ball anyway? Cause it’s great for you balance? Think again…..you want to work on your balance, try Rear Foot Elevated (RFE) squats.
6) Do Cardio – No, I’m not flip flopping on this…I still don’t want you trying to get 5 miles in on the treadmill (remember Busting the Cardio Myth?). Keep it short and sweet. Want to work your muscles and get a good aerobic workout in at the same time? Try metabolic training. One of the best forms of conditioning in my opinion.
7) Get a Routine – The easiest way to make sure you continue down your path to a healthy lifestyle is to make it part of your every day routine. Always plan ahead, because if you don’t you’ve failed before you began.
There it is, short and sweet…like your cardio will be from now on, right? For any clarification on any of these, or any other tips you might be looking for, send me an email at Jerry@scarlatostrength.com. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has safe, food filled Christmas break.