HOW TO INTENSIFY YOUR CARDIO WORKOUT
By: AP On: 4 January 2019
HOW TO INTENSIFY YOUR CARDIO WORKOUT
Cardio Fitness Machines are designed to help intensify your workout in a short period of time, making you get the most out of your daily exercise no matter how much time you have. This is great for our busy lives however most people don’t use their equipment correctly.
People often make the mistake of bouncing up and down while running. When running your head should stay level, otherwise you will tire quickly and put excess strain on your joints.
The solution is to focus on smoothing your stride by improving your flexibility. Gaining flexibility can be done by stretching your legs once your muscles have warmed up. Try holding onto the handle bars of the Treadmill, stand on one leg and swing your other leg back and forth; While keeping your upper body still. Alternate legs and repeat twice to help loosen your legs.
Avoid running for a long periods of time at the same speed and incline. To get the most out of your workout you should mix between high intensity speed and inclines, this is knows as interval training.
To help get you started you can try by increasing your incline to 2 percent, adjusting your speed as needed. Over several sessions you can work up to 10 percent incline. You can also change between incline interval and speed intervals.
Speed interval workouts are when you start by increasing your speed so you are jogging at a steady rate. Jog for say a minute and then increase the speed so you are doing a fast run for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds decrees the speed to a steady jog for a minute and then increase the speed to a fast run for another 30 seconds. As you continue to do this you will be able to run/sprint for longer amounts of time with smaller jogging breaks.
A 10 to 15 minute intense interval session, if done properly can be just as effective as a steady 30 minutes workout.
STATIONARY EXERCISE BIKE
It is important to set the height of the seat correctly on your exercise bike. If you have the seat too high your hips will rock from side to side which decreases the effectiveness of your workout. If your seat is set to low you are putting stress on your knees and will cause your legs to fatigue sooner.
To find the perfect position place your heel in the middle of the pedal or where your foot feels most natural. Extend your leg to the lowest point in the pedal rotation. At this point your leg should be slightly bent at the knee. If you were to put your weight on that leg and straighten it completely you would raise between 2 to 3 inches off the seat. If your position is correct, your legs should never straight completely whilst peddling.
Again, as with a treadmill you should avoid long steady workouts with no variation of speed and intensity. To increase the intensity of your workout, pedal at a high speed with high resistance for 2 to 3 minutes, with 3 minute recovery of low speed and resistance. Repeat this for 15 minutes. To mix things up you can also change between just speed intervals or just resistance intervals.
ELLIPTICAL TRAINER / CROSS TRAINER
Often people make the mistake of not increasing the resistance. Many people tend to let the momentum of each stride propel them forward instead of pushing with your leg muscles every time.
To fix this you can increase the resistance so you are able to feel that you are pushing your legs forward after every revolution instead of letting them swing around freely.
Don’t get bored while using the Elliptical Trainer/ Cross Trainer. Try a 90 second sprint at high resistance with a recover time of 2 minutes. By doing this you are forcing your body to reach a higher intensity workout for a long period of time. You will notice over time your body will need less recovery time.
Don’t let your hands bump your knees, it can throw out the overall rhythm of your rowing stroke.
Focus on creatinga fluid motion. Try counting 1– push with your legs, 2- moves your hands up your body as you lean back, 3- drop your hands down to your rib cage. Then reverse the steps, 3- extend your arms, 2- move your body forward from your hips, 1- bring/bend your legs up after the handle passes your knees.
Again you need to alternate your speed, stroke depth and length and power. Increase your resistance and speed to maximise your workout. Start with medium resistance and do 4 to 6, 6 minute sets of fast rowing, with 2 to 3 minutes low speed rest time. By doing this you are forcing your heart rate to slow down enough so it can regroup with concentrated effort.
By maintaining a high intensity workout you will be able to reach your fitness goals quicker and more efficiently. Remember persistence is the key and although your workouts may seem hard at first your body is very good at adjusting and soon you will find you will need less breaks in between intervals.