Viewing entries tagged
flexibility

How to Touch Your Toes (Even If You Can't)

How to Touch Your Toes (Even If You Can't)

You can easily touch your head, your shoulders, and your knees — but what about your toes? The straight-legged toe touch can be deceptively difficult. A 2007 audit estimates that over half of the UK population can’t touch their toes. Stiffer than the Whomping Willow? Nobody expects you to Bend It Like Beckham straight off the bat. With consistent practice, simple stretches can make all the difference. Use the straight-legged toe touch as a launching pad for further adventures in the world of flexibility.

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For a shot at #PumpUpSwag this week, all you have to do is post and tag a pic of you doing your favorite exercise move or activity with #PumpUpSwag, and ‘like’ this photo on our Facebook page! (Search PumpUp Fitness). You have till Monday! Photo credit: the wonderfully talented @brookekatott

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Flexibility can help you avoid injury, so remember to stretch after you exercise! Let’s also take more than a moment to appreciate @iyarbo’s penché: “This is not even my best… but I do not care because I feel like a champ!” Her energy and enthusiasm on the app is contagious! 

The Most Important 5 Minutes of Your Workout

warmupWhen you show up to the gym, what’s the first thing you do? Do you start with a few crunches? Pick up some dumbbells? Quickly scan for your crush and do what they’re doing? It’s really easy to forget the most important area of your workout - the warm-up!

Every good workout starts with a solid warm up. Why is warming up before you work out so important? Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Protects you against injury. Your warm-up loosens up your muscles and makes them ready for more strenuous work so they don’t snap under pressure.
  2. Improves your flexibility. It’s not hard to believe that moving your muscles makes them more flexible.
  3. Increases your heart rate. Remember, your heart is your most important muscle. It’s important to get it pumping before it needs to do hard work.
  4. Prepares your muscles for power. You got it - warming up your muscles gets them closer to the optimal temperature for performance.
  5. Decreases post-workout muscle pain. Warming up your body gives your muscles the extra room they need to rebuild after a workout and improves your blood flow to transfer the necessary nutrients to them.

There are two different kinds of warmups that are important to know.

General Warm-Up

Do 5 to 10 minutes of cardio of your choice (treadmill, bike, etc.). A very basic approach, but also very effective! End with a good stretch and make sure to keep your heart rate up.

Sport-Specific Warm-Up

Do 5 to 10 mintes of a warm-up that resembles the sport you’re playing. For example, if you’re a volleyball player, low intensity jumps and overhead shoulder stretches would be a great warm-up for the perfect spike.

Let’s be honest - all of this can be hard to remember… but don’t worry! When you use PumpUp to build a workout, you get an effective warm-up automatically targeted at the muscle groups you’ll be working. So remember, stay warm and pump up!