Here are a number of tips I have found to be useful in my years of my training and training others…
- If you are considering running to work make sure you purchase a light weight rucksack that both clips across your waist and chest. This ensures it doesn’t bounce around when running, If you are more comfortable you are more likely to keep doing it.
- When starting out running consider Lycra shorts or Vaseline between your legs. This prevents thighs rubbing together. If you’re not a fan of the Lycra look put a pair of shorts over the top. Be prepared for chafing whatever you are doing if it’s for a long period of time…there will be rubbing. Most common places for rubbing are between your legs, under arms, nipples (men). If you are on a bike it’s the bottom area.
- Ladies purchase a decent sports bra. It’s worth spending that little bit extra as that support can help posture and prevent back ache.
- When doing heavy lifts or presses visualise yourself bending the bar, this should help you to fully engage your shoulders and back.
- When lifting always keep your back straight. Tilt from your hips and use your bottom.
- Good grip; nobody likes chalk all over the floor. Try liquid chalk. If your hands are getting cut up, try taping over the cuts and calluses, wrapping the tape around your hand. Wrap your hand prior to cuts etc. appearing.
- Ask for help on technique and assistance (spotter) this will help you to improve and progress. You need to overload muscles in order to progress safely. Do this with the help of a training buddy.
- The more flexible you are, the better range of motion you will have, the more muscles you will work and the more calories you will burn. This helps to develop even more muscle, increasing your metabolic rate.
- Static stretching alone will increase flexibility
Warm up/cool down
- Start your routine with dynamic movements/stretches moving through the range of movements specific to the session you are about to do. This warms you up and stretches you off. Only use static stretches post workout, improving flexibility and hopefully reducing DOMS (Delayed onset of muscle soreness)
- Using a roller pre and post workout will help to loosen off muscles and increase range of motion.
- Ice baths – some say they work, some disagree. The theory is that they may help to reduce muscle tightness. Try it and see if it works for you?!
- Eat – make sure you have eaten at least 2hrs before training and almost immediately after, make sure you drink throughout the session to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Lastly (but most importantly)
When asking for technical fitness/training advice; make sure you ask a qualified PT rather than an avid gym goer. Just because someone is a keen gym goer and looks like they know what they are doing doesn’t always mean they do, or that they are doing it right!