Out with the old, in with the new! Are you up-to-date on the latest rules in fitness?
Popular belief about the most effective exercise techniques to achieve the highest level of fat loss and the best results vary from decade to decade. New studies come out, more data is considered, and we get smarter, more efficient, and more sophisticated in our knowledge and techniques.
Here are 5 NEW fitness rules that will help you take your routine and your body to the next level of success…
1. NEW Fitness: Exercise Partners
A decade ago the mantra was that having a workout partner was the holy grail of accountability and success. Article after article touted the magic of workout partners, and so fitness enthusiasts across the globe obediently found their own fitness friend.
While this rule was made with good intentions, the reality is that not all workout partners are beneficial for your results. In fact, many exercise partners actually serve as a distraction rather than an asset when it comes to getting the most from your gym time.
The new rule about exercise partners goes like this: the right exercise partner can enhance your results, but the wrong exercise partner will tank your gym time. Choose your exercise partner with care, or choose to workout alone if no one in your life can fill that role.
2. NEW Fitness Rule: Athletic Shoes
Athletic shoes have undergone major changes over the past decade. Designs used to emphasize stability and cushioning, with bulky designs intended to give you the most support possible.
Today biomechanical experts have introduced the concept of minimalistic footwear, suggesting that it reduces injuries. While the bulkier shoes from yesteryear prompted strides with a forceful heel strike, putting stress on joints, the minimalistic designs encourage a softer landing with a mid-to-forefoot strike.
Should you swap out your favorite pair of workout sneakers in favor of a more barefoot design? Not necessarily. Simply working on softening your stride by eliminating heel strikes could also do the trick.
3. NEW Fitness Rule: How To Get A Six-Pack
The old school way to a six-pack was to save your ab workout for the end of your gym visit. You’d stop at the exercise mats to spend ten minutes cranking out crunches and sit-ups.
Today the popularity of stability exercises and functional training is on the rise. This means engaging your core (abdominal) muscles throughout your entire workout, not in an isolated movement after your main workout is complete. Exercises that require that you stiffen your core against resistance strengthen your abdominal wall, while protecting you from potential injuries.
Avoid an exercise routine that’s centered around seated weight machines, as these do not engage your core. Instead seek out free weights, cable machines, resistance bands and other stability exercises. And remember to squeeze those abs while you work it!
4. NEW Fitness Rule: How To Do A Push Up
Push ups from your knees are so last millennium! Not only does this position put unnecessary pressure and stress on your knee joints, it’s not as challenging as other techniques since it doesn’t allow for full range of motion to be achieved.
So what do you do if a full push up isn’t manageable? Find another angle, rather than drop down to your knees. Place your hands on a counter or low bench and assume the full push up position with your back flat and spine straight.
As your strength increases lower the angle of your push up until you are doing a full, traditional pushup.
5. NEW Fitness Rule: Your Pre-Workout Meal
Have you ever struggled through a workout on an empty stomach, fighting hunger pains as you feel the burn, simply because you read somewhere that exercise on an empty stomach burned more fat? You can stop doing that.
New research is showing that eating a small, sensible meal before your workout results in a higher fat-burning rate compared to workouts out on an empty stomach. It has also been shown that your workout will be more intense and more effective when hunger isn’t on your mind.
Keep your pre-workout meal small and sensible, such as a protein shake or half a banana with a scoop of almond butter (see recipe below!). The intention of the pre-workout meal is to provide energy and fuel for your muscles in order to get the most out of your time in the gym.