Sculpt Strong Sexy Glutes with this Video

WATCH this video to learn how to do dumbbell squats to build great glutes from the authors of The Body Sculpting Bible for Men and The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Hugo Rivera and James Villepigue.

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

JAMES VILLEPIGUE is a bestselling fitness author of 23 books and has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. as a nationally certified personal trainer with National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), with their prestigious Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, The American Council on Exercise and The International Sports Science Association. He has received degrees from Hofstra University, the New York College of Health Professions, and the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching. He now lives in East North Port, New York. He is the author of Mind Over Muscle as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women and Combat Fat for Kids.

Take Your Workout on the Road: A Travel Fitness Routine by Hugo Rivera

Take this exercise band and body weight traveling training routine on the road with you!

Below is a description of the exercise and training part of the routine. You will perform this routine every day in your room by alternating between Workout (A) one day and Workout (B) the next day, using 5 sets of as many reps as possible in each exercise. You may ask if one day in between would be enough for the muscles to recover. The answer to this question is yes due to the fact that you are not lifting heavy weights.

 

Workout (A) – Upper Body

Tri-set #1

Pushups

Rows with the bands

Crunches

 

Tri-set #2

Lateral raises with the bands

Curls with the bands

Close grip push-ups

 

Workout (B) – Lower Body/Abs

Tri-set #1

Squats (Close Stance) with no weights

Squats (Medium Stance) with no weights

Squats (Wide Stance) with no weights

 

Tri-set #2

Lunges (Pressing w/ heels) with no weights

One legged calf raises with no weights

Leg raises

 

There are two tri-sets in each workout, which are three exercises performed one after the other with no rest in between sets. After all three exercises have been performed, you can take a 1 minute rest and start over, or, for a more pronounced cardiovascular effect, and a quicker paced workout, you can continue performing the exercises in circuit fashion up until all 5 sets have been done. Once you are finished with tri-set #1, then you can move on to tri-set #2. You can rest 60 seconds between the time you finish tri-set #1 and start #2 or you can simply start the second one with no rest.

If you perform the routines in circuit fashion without rest, you can get away without doing additional cardiovascular exercise. However, for those of you who would like to still perform your traditional cardio, a quick power walk for 20-30 minutes after the workout or first thing in the morning if you rather do the resistance portion at night.

Also read Travel and Your Fitness Program: Planning Ahead and Travel and Your Fitness Program: Maintaining Proper Diet.

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

 

Take Your Workout on the Road: Make a Plan by Hugo Rivera

Planning and Preparation are key to your success!

The key to keeping up with your natural training and dieting while traveling, provided you are determined enough to do so, is planning and preparation. If you do not plan ahead and fail to prepare in advance it may be nearly impossible for you to keep a healthy and fit lifestyle as you travel. The steps below will make the process of planning and preparation simpler.

Training During Travel

Before you go on your next trip, ensure that you have a place to work out. The following steps will aid you with your planning:

1. Find out if the hotel that you are going to stay in has a small fitness facility or at least a set of dumbbells. Call the hotel and see what they have available as far as fitness equipment. Gather as much information as possible. Most of the time however most hotels are just equipped with some stationary bikes and a “universal type” weight machine at best.

2. If the hotel does not have a suitable fitness facility, then find out the location of the closest gym and plan to work out there. The Internet is a great way of finding out what is nearby the hotel you will be staying at or you can even ask the customer service person from the hotel over the phone to lead you in the right direction.Once you look at the list of gyms – unless it is a well known chain – call and ask for daily rates, times of operation and type of equipment. If you are staying over 5 days, also ask if they have a special rate for just one week as opposed to paying for a daily pass each day. This may save you some money.

3. If there are no fitness facilities in the area, then take with you some exercise bands, which is better than nothing. If this is the case, you can do a maintenance type of routine like this exercise band and body weight traveling training routine.

Also read Travel and Your Fitness Program: Maintaining Proper Diet.

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

 

Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Fitness Results by Stew Smith

When to eat and what to eat are constant questions that affect your fitness and health goals as well as your weight loss desires. The answer will vary depending on your goal, but understanding the After, Before, During (ABD’s) of workout nutrition will better help all groups (performance athletes, weight losers, general health clients) reach their personal goals.

This understanding of what foods and drinks work best for fat loss and health gains requires a constant search for the individual. Here are some suggestions that will help you figure out what to eat and when to eat it.

 

For the Health and Fitness / Body Fat Reduction Goal:

If you are trying to drop some unwanted pounds and get healthy, proper nutrition and a well arranged workout plan are vital to you achieving that goal. You have to experiment with the types of exercise that will create a good caloric burn, as well as find sources of lower calorie foods that work best for your energy level. Keep track of how you feel during workouts whether they are higher intensity resistance training or lower intensity cardio since it will typically measure if you are eating enough quality foods. If you have significant weight (40+ lbs) to lose, try some non impact cardio options like biking, elliptical gliders, swimming, aqua-jogging, rowing etc.

 

The Fat Burning Workout:

If your goal is to burn fat, your workout should get you into a fat burning zone by the time you are finished exercising for the day.  The arrangement of your workout should be calisthenics or weights first followed by steady, aerobic cardio of your choice. Basically, go hard the first half of your workout and burn your blood sugar (anaerobic activity burns glycogen) as your prime energy source first. This can take about 15-20 minutes of intense workout depending on the amount of food you have eaten before the workout of the day. Once you are feeling burned out from that section of anaerobic activity, it is now time to go aerobic and get into fat burning mode.

 

When is the best fat burning time? —- The ideal time is immediately after waking and before having any food.
 

AFTER WORKOUT: Here is where you can stay in fat burning mode a little longer. If you delay eating carbs immediately after your workout for another 30-60 minutes you will be fine and actually still be using fat as your primary energy source. Throughout the next several hours of the day your metabolism will be higher thus burning more calories than having NOT exercised that morning. After a while, you will need to eat good carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) and a protein serving to recover from the workout. Limit the carbohydrates in a day and try to eliminate sugar. Find what carbs and proteins work best for you and your energy requirements for the day (work, home, kids, etc). For a quick fix and in replacement of food in a pinch, you may choose to have some whey protein powder in milk. You still need to prepare for the next workout session by eating something even though you are trying to lose weight.

BEFORE WORKOUT: If you are working out to lose weight and get healthier, depending on your workout intensity, you may not need to have a pre-workout meal. (If your goal is to get into fat burning mode, the fewer carbs you eat prior to workout will decrease the amount of time and effort required to get into that fat burning and low glycogen mode). If you like to work out immediately after you wake up, you are at your lowest in blood sugar for the day. Now is the time to take a short burst of intense exercise then follow it with what is called conversational paced cardio. If you can talk and be a little winded you are in prime fat burning zone.

DURING WORKOUT: Unless you are working out for extended periods of time to get used to 8-10 hours of some sort of specialized training, food intake during normal hour long (or shorter) workouts is not needed. Just drink water to stay hydrated and if you are sweating profusely in the humid, summer heat you should follow with a serving or two of electrolytes to replace what you lose while sweating.

 

Here are some great ideas for protein, carbs, and fats:

Carbohydrate Options: Multi grain breads and pastas, brown rice, cereals, good carbs like vegetables (romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, carrots), and fruits, (tomatoes, strawberries, apples, berries, oranges, grapes, and bananas ) make great carbohydrates for energy. Stay away from white breads, pastas, rice and any flour baked products. Sugar is your killer – eliminate or at the minimum reduce sugary drinks and replace them with water and unsweetened drinks.

Protein Options: Meats, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, almonds, beans, milk, milk shakes with additional whey protein powder (optional), peanut butter.Try eating boiled eggs and salads in between meals during snack time, or have a few servings with a main course of meat or fish for a good balance of plant and animal protein.

Fat Options: Fish, nuts, olive oils, omega 3 fortified products (milk, margarine, peanut butter).

 

The ABD’s of HYDRATION

Anyone who works out needs to hydrate during workouts to stay cool and avoid over-heating and/or dehydration especially during excessively sweaty workouts, but you also need to add electrolytes (sodium potassium, magnesium, calcium as well.) Foods rich in many of these elements are essential to your recovery from significant water and electrolyte loss. Read How to Recover Fast from Hazy, Hot and Humid Workouts for tips on staying hydrated.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

Get in Shape this Summer: Cardio and Nutrition by Hugo Rivera

The Two Ideal Times For Aerobics

Another important point is that in order for aerobic exercise to be an optimally effective fat burner it needs to be performed at the appropriate times. There are two ideal times that aerobic exercise is most effective for burning fat.

The ideal time is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach after drinking 16 to 24 ounces of water in order to prevent dehydration.

When performed at this time Swedish studies suggest that you can burn up to 300 percent more body fat than at any other time in the day because your body does not have any glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in the system to burn. Therefore, it has to go directly into the fat stores in order to get the energy necessary to complete the activity.

The other time that aerobic exercise is effective would be immediately after a weight training session as your glycogen stores have already been depleted. Because of this, once you start doing your cardio, you will start burning fat as soon as you elevate your heart rate since it is the only fuel that will be available.

When aerobic exercise is not performed first thing in the morning or right after the weight training workout, make sure that you wait three hours after your last meal so that you have some depletion of your carbohydrate stores. Otherwise it would take your body approximately 20 to 30 minutes to start burning fat because that is how long it takes the body to deplete its glycogen stores and switch to a fat burning environment.

How Much Cardio?

For this program, the most you will be doing is three sessions lasting between 20 to 40 minutes each at the most. For Weeks 1 & 2, 20 minutes of aerobic exercise per session should be performed. For Weeks 3 & 4, perform 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and for Weeks 5 & 6, perform 40 minutes. You can perform these sessions on Wednesday, Saturday and for the quickest results an optional one on Sunday as well.

What Type of Cardio?

Good forms of aerobic exercise include:

1. Riding a stationary bike.

2. Fast walking (this can be done on a treadmill).

3. Climbing on a stair stepper.

4. Swimming

5. Using an elliptical fitness rider or rowing machine.

6. Using any good cardio tapes or even jumping rope.

7. Or any other form of cardiovascular activity that raises your heartbeat to the fat burning zone.

Note: If you choose fast walking as your cardiovascular activity, ensure that you move your arms in order to get an enhanced aerobic effect.

 

Body Sculpting Nutrition

Keep in mind that without a good diet, your chances of achieving your fitness goals and getting your abs are slim and next to none. Therefore, make sure that you put an equal amount of emphasis in your nutrition program as you do in your training.

A great diet, is a diet that contains all of the macronutrients listed below in the right quantities and ratios:

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, and on a body sculpting diet they should come mainly from complex slow releasing sources such as oatmeal, grits, brown rice, sweat potatoes in combination with fibrous sources such as green beans and broccoli. Approximately 40% of your calories should come from carbohydrates.

Proteins, the building blocks for all tissues in the body, should come from chicken, turkey, tuna, and lean red meats. Approximately 40% of your calories should come from proteins.

Fats, which are used by the body to manufacture hormones, lubricate the joints, brain function and other essential items, should mainly come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources. Canned extra virgin olive oil and flax seed oil should be the main sources of these. Approximately 20% of your calories should come from fats.

This sort of balanced approach to dieting seems to work best for the purposes of losing body fat while gaining some muscle. Depending on whether you want to mainly gain muscle and bulk up or mainly lose body fat, you will simply adjust your calories upwards or downwards accordingly.

For more information on this topic, please take a look at the Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women..

 

Final Thoughts

After six weeks of following this program in conjunction with a sensible diet program (such as the Body Sculpting Bible diet) you should be in considerably better shape. Note that the program changes every two weeks in order to prevent the body from adjusting to it providing you with the fastest results possible.

If you train at a commercial gym and have access to a more varied selection of exercises, then feel free to cycle the exercises as you wish in order for a more varied stimulus to the muscle in addition to prevent boredom.

Once you go through the full six weeks, just start over with week 1. Since you will grow stronger over these six weeks, once you start the program again, your weights should be heavier than the ones you used before when performing 12-15 reps.

If all you want is to firm up and lose fat, this routine will do the trick. Try it out and that lean summer body will be yours in no time.

Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 1 — The Basics and Get In Shape for Summer Part 2 — The Workouts.

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

Get in Shape this Summer: The Workouts by Hugo Rivera

Get In great shape with these body sculpting workouts.

Weight Training Workout

Below is a description of the weight training part of the routine. You will alternate between Workout (A) and (B) every time that weight training day comes around.

NOTE: You can find video demonstrations of proper technique for many of these exercises at the Get Fit Now YouTube Channel.

 Workout (A) – Monday/Thursday

Superset:

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Wide Grip Pull-downs to Front (or Wide Grip Pull-ups to Front)

Superset:

Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

Reverse Close Grip Pull-downs (or Reverse Grip Chin-ups)

Superset:

Incline Flyes

One Arm Dumbbell Rows

Superset:

One Legged Dumbbell Calf Raises

Two Legged Dumbbell Calf Raises

Workout (B) – Tuesday/Friday 

Superset:

Dumbbell Curls

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Superset:

Incline Curls

Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Superset:

Bent Over Lateral Raises

Upright Rows

Superset:

DB Squats

Lying Leg Curls

Superset:

Lunges

Leg Extensions

Abdominal Workout

Crunches (preferably performed on an Exercise Ball)

Lying Leg Raises

 

* Notes on Sets and Reps

This program varies the number of sets and repetitions on a bi-weekly basis in order to keep the body guessing and body sculpting results coming.

1. For weeks 1-2 perform 12-15 repetitions per set and 2 sets per exercise.

2. For weeks 3-4 perform 10-12 repetitions per set and 3 sets per exercise.

3. For weeks 5-6 perform 8-10 repetitions per set and 4 sets per exercise.

 

Training Notes

  • Do not rest more than 1 minute in between supersets. As a matter of fact, try to lower the rest down to 30-45 seconds in between. This not only allows for a better pump and an even better cardiovascular workout, but it also builds endurance and will not affect the strength once your body adjusts since you are supersetting antagonistic muscle groups.
  • As you will later see, the Abdominal Workout is to be performed before the cardiovascular workout. Abdominals should be treated as any other muscle, so use the same set and repetition scheme described above.
  • Put your ego aside and ensure perfect form in all exercises feeling the muscle contract and stretch.
  • Take your sets to the point where performing another repetition with good form becomes impossible.
  • If you are a guy that is interested in gaining some muscle with this routine, do not fall for the myth that supersetting is only for getting ripped and that no muscle can be built while doing it. This is not true as most of my mass has been built through supersetting. In addition, great bodybuilders like Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger also built their physiques with plenty of supersets.

 

Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 1 — The Basics and Get in Shape for the Summer Part 3 — Cardio and Nutrition.

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

Get in Shape this Summer: The Basics by Hugo Rivera

Get In Shape With These Body Sculpting Workouts 

So you want to get in shape and get your abs looking great but you have no clue what workouts you need to use in order to accomplish that. If this is your situation then you have come to the right place.

How Much Time Will Your Workouts Take?

How long do your workouts need to be in order to get in shape and get great abs? Unless you are a competitive bodybuilder who needs to perform several sessions of 45 minutes of exercise a day (some sessions of cardio and some of weights) to achieve the results needed for a competition physique, the most you will need to be in the gym for your body sculpting workouts is 4 weight training sessions of 60 minutes with 2-3 cardiovascular training sessions of 20-40 minutes.

Why Not 2 Hours At The Gym?

Because after 45 minutes to 1 hour of training the muscle building/fat burning hormones of most people begin to deplete while cortisol levels (fat storing/muscle burning hormone) increase.

This routine is designed to be performed in the comfort of your home assuming that you have the following equipment:

  • Adjustable dumbbells.
  • Adjustable bench with a good leg extension/leg curl attachment.
  • Pulley that can be attached at the end of the bench to perform pull-downs or pull-up bar.
  • Determination to get things done.

If you have all that, then let’s begin.

Types of Training

We will use two types of training in order to re-sculpt our physique and get those abs in mint shape:

Anaerobic work: Weight training is the number 1 way to re-sculpt your body. No ladies, weight training won’t make you muscle bound as you girls do not produce enough testosterone to allow for such a thing to happen. Why is weight training so important? Weight training is far superior to any other type of exercise because it increases your metabolism (which in turn helps you burn fat) and gives shape to your body.

Aerobic work: Walking, stationary bike or doing an elliptical machine in your Fat Burning Zone (which is (220 – Age) * .75 = Fat Burning Heart Rate) is a good way to accelerate the fat burning process, as long as it is not overdone, and as long as it is only used in addition to a good weight-training program. Cardiovascular exercise should never be used as a substitute for weight training because aerobics cannot create muscle tone.

Calculate Your Heart Rate!

Take 220 and minus your age which is accurate to approximately +15 Beats Per Minute. You then take that number and multiply it by .75 – .85, which will give you your percentages of 75% — 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate.

(220-Age) x .75 = beats per minute (lower range)

(220-Age) x .85 = beats per minute (upper range)

This is the Target Range or Zone that you want to stay in when doing any type of cardiovascular (aerobic) activity. When in this range your body is getting an optimum workout with maximum benefit, and it stays in a Fat Burning mode.

Also read Get In Shape for Summer Part 2 — The Workouts and Get in Shape for the Summer Part 3 — Cardio and Nutrition.

 

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

WATCH this video presentation on how to do a proper lying leg raise from the authors of The Body Sculpting Bible for Men and The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Hugo Rivera and James Villepigue.

HUGO RIVERA is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, engineer and international best selling fitness author with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He is also the New York Times About.com Guide to Bodybuilding and continues to educate others on how to use bodybuilding in order to achieve their goals. Hugo is the author of Hardgainers’ Bodybuilding Handbook as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

JAMES VILLEPIGUE is a bestselling fitness author of 23 books and has over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. as a nationally certified personal trainer with National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA), with their prestigious Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential, The American Council on Exercise and The International Sports Science Association. He has received degrees from Hofstra University, the New York College of Health Professions, and the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching. He now lives in East North Port, New York. He is the author of Combat Fat for Kids and Mind Over Muscle as well as the co-author of the best selling Body Sculpting Bible for Men and Body Sculpting Bible for Women.

A Beginner Running Plan by Stew Smith

Running injury free requires near perfect technique, great shoes, possibly the addition of orthotics/insoles, and a gradual build-up after long periods of no running or beginning a running plan.

To avoid or deal with running injuries, remember this saying. “If it hurts to run, stop running. If it hurts to walk, do not run. If it hurts doing nothing/walking, go to a doctor.”

Below is a Beginner Running Chart for people seeking to start an exercise plan and need to lose 20+ lbs: (always start your run workout with a quick 5:00 walk and light leg stretch). The RUN / WALK method is highly recommended as you are learning to run.

 

 Each Run Workout is to be done THREE times a week

 

Week 1

Walk 20-30 minutes / stretching entire body daily  (monitor weight loss*)

Week 2

Run 1:00 / Walk 1-2:00 for 20-30 minutes

Week 3

Run 1:00 / Walk 1:00 for 30 minutes (listen body as injuries occur this week**)

Week 4

3 Sets of Run 1:30 / Walk 1:30 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 1:00

Week 5

3 Sets of Run 2:30 / Walk 1:00 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 30 seconds

Week 6

4 Sets of Run 3:00 / Walk 1:30

Week 7

Run 1 mile / try non-stop / walk 1 mile fast

Week 8

Run / walk combo 2.5 miles  (from weeks 8-10 – try to run as much as you can)

Week 9

Run / walk combo 2.75 miles

Week10

Run / walk combo 3 miles

 

 

  • * – if you are losing 2-3 lbs this week by simply adding walking / stretching and more water to your life – keep it up until weight loss slows to under 1 lb per week.

 

  • ** – Typically injuries occur during running programs the 3rd week IF too aggressive with initial training

 

Running When Overweight – The human body is built for survival and is quite resilient to most of the stresses we can throw at it; however, the knee is not designed to take too much excess weight even through a pain free running program. Usually meniscus and articular cartilage will wear away exposing bone on bone and premature arthritis. This takes years though. So, if you are over 40 lbs overweight replace walking/running everyday with some days of non-impact aerobics like biking, swimming, rowing or elliptical gliding.

Read more about proper running techniques to prevent injuries and get the most out of your running workout.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.

Great Advice for Proper Running Technique by Stew Smith

Everyday you can usually spot someone who chooses running as their source of daily exercise. So many times people pass by, running in pain and obviously not enjoying the popular cardiovascular activity. Improper technique is the main culprit for less enjoyment and injury among runners. Maybe they would enjoy running a little more if they knew the proper techniques. Here are a few tips to help you pick up your pace and stay injury free:

Breathing – Take big, deep inhalations and exhalations similar to the way you yawn. This will help you receive the oxygen your body needs. Too many people breathe too shallow when they run, causing a hyperventilation effect. Slow down the running pace if you need to, but concentrate on your breathing.

Stride and Foot Contact – When jogging, open your stride but lean slightly forward to a point where you will land closer to the middle of your foot – not the back of your heel but the middle of your foot – and roll across your foot, pushing off the ground with your toes. But not flat footed! Many people run flat footed, back of heel strike, or on their toes causing stress on their feet, lower back, hips, knees and ankles. You can eliminate this by following the simple audio test. If you can hear your feet hitting the ground when you run, then you are running wrong. It should sound like your shoes are rolling on the ground quietly. Comfortable running shoes will also aid in prevention of injuries. Truly – it depends on if you are sprinting or jogging. If you are sprinting you will run more on your toes and when jogging you want a roll of the foot off the mid foot / top of heel (not bottom of heel).

Arm Swing – You should have a relaxed arm swing but very pronounced. Swing your hands from about chest high to just past your hips. The term “hip to lip” is a good way to remember this when you are running. Your arms should be slightly bent but not flexed. Run limp wristed. It is impossible to flex your arms with a limp wrist.

Relaxed Upper Body – You should relax your fists, arms, shoulders, and face. Too many people clench their fists and grit their teeth when they run. This causes the oxygenated blood that you need to go to your legs to also go to your upper body. The only things that need to be working when you are running are your “lungs and your legs.”

Start slowly and warm up – Do not stretch your legs until you have warmed up your body by jogging or biking slowly for about 5-10 minutes. Run every other day if you are just beginning and only add mileage to your run as you feel comfortable.

Running is statistically one of the most potentially dangerous exercises you can do, but it does not have to be as long as you remember to do everything in moderation and follow these running tips. So, do not be one of 50% of runners nationwide who injure themselves this year by running too often and incorrectly. Good luck and enjoy probably one of the best weight loss plans known to man.

Especially if you are overweight by 20-30+ lbs – running can be downright dangerous for long distances / even sprints. So pick a non impact aerobic activity as you lose weight to avoid the extra impact on your hips, knees, shins, feet, lower back. All of which are susceptible to impact injuries even if not over weight.

See this Beginner Running Plan that will slowly take you from walking to running.

 

STUART FISCHER, M.D., a graduate of Yale University, completed his residency at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, and served as an Attending Physician at Cabrini Medical Center in New York City. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the Associate Medical Director of the Atkins Center. His expertise in alternative medicine, nutrition, and weight loss, is complemented by his strong traditional, hospital-based education. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Medical Emergencies and The Park Avenue Diet.