Step-ups, planking, & your boring treadmill run

Step-ups for toned and explosive legs

Many students think that they’ll gain leg muscles through heavy back squats; this is true, but it isn’t the most efficient way to achieve all around speed, strength, and stamina. It may be attractive walking around with your biceps popping out of your sleeves, but what happens when you’re at the beach and your lovely lady or man looks down at your legs and laughs? Step-ups will not only give you the size and tone you desire, but you’ll feel strong and healthy. Just place your foot on a box or bench and push your body up with your knee pointing straight forward or slightly outward, but never inward. This grueling workout, which can be done with or without weights, targets your glutes, quads, and hips. Start off with two minutes of nonstop stepping followed by a one-minute break—do this five times, or more if desired. Remember, everyone should aim for 10,000 steps a day to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Extreme planking is no good

Did you know that George Hood, a 57-year-old former marine, set the world record for longest plank at five hours and 15 minutes? Many people believe that the longer you plank, the more you’re strengthening your core, but this isn’t the case. The longer the plank, the more it becomes an exercise in mental fortitude. Shorter isometric holds can provide higher-quality muscular contractions, promote better form, and enhance performance. Try flowing from one plank variation to another in the period of time you would have just done a typical plank. Moving your body into multiple positions for 10 seconds each targets separate core, hip, and shoulder muscles, allowing both your physical and mental muscles to work the entire time. The longest amount of time you should plank between rest periods is two minutes. Ask a personal trainer in the athletic facilities about all the different plank movements.

Challenge your boring treadmill run

Are you lacking motivation to jump on the treadmill or find you don’t have the time to increase the length of your run? Well, there are a few tricks that can help combat you from plateauing. First, have you ever tried to increase your tempo? Warm up with five minutes of easy running. Then set the incline at one percent and run at a 7 km/h pace. Increase the speed by 0.4 km/h every minute until you can’t move your legs any longer. Secondly, try the television game—sounds fun, eh? Warm up, then whenever a commercial comes on during a show or game, run two kilometres per minute faster than your warm-up pace until the regular program returns. Do this until you’re on the floor and ready to crawl into the change room.

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