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May Trainer Tip

May 13, 2017

Incorporating sprints into your cardiovascular workouts

We all have had to run at full speed at one point in our lives. Chasing a rogue child, being chased by a bloodthirsty Yorkshire Terrier, playing frogger on a busy road, or just simply trying to cross the finish line one second faster. By tapping into our old muscle anatomy lessons, the muscle fibers that are primarily responsible for sprints are Type II, or commonly known as ‘fast twitch fibers’. By using/training the ‘fast twitch’, they use fat for fuel which leads to fat loss. Also, it will enhance the size and strength of the powerful muscle. This in turn will lead to muscle building; allowing the body to become leaner, and enable the body to go faster and more efficiently. If you are crunched for time sprinting would be a perfect workout. Sprints are quick burst of movement and are often more effective than jogging for an hour.  Sprinting doesn’t always have to be running, it can be in different ways, such as cycling, swimming, or rowing.

 

Do you experience morning stiffness?

Did you work in the garden, clean up tree branches, mow the lawn, went for a walk/run, or played tennis the day before for the first time this spring? You might be experiencing muscle soreness / stiffness, or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, in trainer’s terms). It is perfectly normal to have some soreness in the morning after a busy day. It is your body’s way of telling you that you actually got a good workout in but it is time to stretch out. To loosen up the tightness or soreness you need to get your body moving. You want to perform dynamic warm-ups once you get out of the bed (that is if you’re able to keep yourself up on your feet unlike a newborn giraffe). Start off with a simple body twists (turning of your shoulder and torso). After performing twists for a minute, do knee to chest walks, where you bring one knee to your chest with your arms assisting your leg to be pulled towards your chest. Do the exercise alternatively for a minute. Finally, do toe touches to stretch out your hamstring and low back. You start by standing tall and then bend at the hips allowing your hands to travel towards your feet slowly (your back does not need to be flat, you can arch your back to give it a little of a stretch as well). Hold at the bottom for a few seconds and then come back to the starting position slowly, otherwise you can get a rush in your head and fall over. Perform the stretch for a minute as well. After that, you’ll be all good to go to start another day. 

 

Written by:

 

Joe Peterson

Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer


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