Enhance your workout
Four exercises you should add to your workout routine
By Maria Triassi
This article was previously published in WesountMag.ca
Many people train at the gym every day to stay in shape and lose weight. However, they often forget to combine functional exercise in their routine that will strengthen them overall and take their fitness to the next level. Here are four exercises that should be added to your routine to aid in functional training and make you a better overall athlete.
We all love to work out those abs as we do a million exercises to get those tight six-pack abs but most often we forget about the lower back which is crucial for core strength and prevention of back injuries. The problem arises when there is an imbalance between opposing muscles; in this case abs vs lower back. What happens is the abdominals become stronger but the lower back becomes weaker, leaving an opportunity for back injuries that can arise with a sudden movement. For example, shoveling your driveway. In order to prevent these injuries, you must do exercises to strengthen the lower back. Here is a great exercise that not only works your lower back but your abs and balance—a great compound exercise to add to your routine.
Flexibility and Stretching
I know more than anyone that when you are reaching the end of your workout the last thing you want to do is stretch, but I have learnt over many years of training how important it really is for injury prevention and sports performance. When you have more range of motion in your muscles and joints, and you are placed in a situation where you are overextending your muscle, your risk of getting injured will be decrease because your body has more “give” to it. The same thing applies to sports performance; think of your muscle as elastic, the more it can stretch the more snap you can get out of it, which can help improve your sports performance and strength.
The time of taking 10 minutes to stretch will give you huge benefits that you might not think of. The key to this is making your stretching fun. Here is a great stretch to open your hips which can get tight from sitting for long periods of time or if you are an avid runner.
Balance is important for everyday life. Whether young or old, athletic or not, balance training is important to add to your workout routine. Here are some reasons to why balance training is so important:
● It will activate the little stabilizer muscles in your body
● It will help with core strength
● It will balance out weaknesses in your body.
For example, if you are doing a squat you might add more body weight to your stronger leg without noticing. Using balance exercises will outline your weakness while working on making the weaker side stronger.
All of this will help in the prevention of falls, especially taking into consideration the lovely icy walkways we are walking on a daily basis. Here is a great balance exercise that will challenge your balance and work on toning those legs and butt as well.
You might be asking, “What the heck are compound exercises?!” Compound exercises use multiple muscle groups to maximize calories burnt and muscle activation. This can be done with or without weights. Why you will love this:
● It will reduce your workout time
● You will maximize calories burnt
● It will increase lean muscle mass therefore burning more calories while resting, more than cardio alone.
● Helps in building bone mass.
Now you might not care about bone mass now but wait until your elder years as this will be very important the prevention of osteoporosis.
Here is a great compound exercise that incorporates your legs, bicep and shoulders.
Maria Triassi has been involved in the fitness industry for over 10 years. With a background in kinesiology and personal training, Maria started SURFSET Montreal to provide an efficient, effective and fun way of working out. She wants to bring her ever growing knowledge of the body and fitness to all of her classes to help clients achieve their lifestyle and fitness goals.