Viewing entries tagged
work out

Why You Shouldn't Feel Guilty After Skipping A Workout

Why You Shouldn't Feel Guilty After Skipping A Workout

Do you sometimes feel guilty after skipping a workout?When I started my fitness journey 4 years ago, I used to feel guilty all the time whenever I missed a workout. I used to think that it wasn’t okay. The problem was my mindset.  Like a muscle, I needed to train it. This was harder than anything I've ever done in my life. 

I don’t let myself feel guilty anymore. If I decide to forego a workout, I don’t think of it as a bad thing. The phrases skipping or giving up have such a negative connotations to them. It’s not like you're completely giving up on eating healthy forever, anyway. When circumstances lead to skipping a workout, I accept it. This was my decision. My body wasn’t feeling it at the time. Listen to your body.

No Gym, No Problem: Try This Water Bottle Workout For Your Lower Body

No Gym, No Problem: Try This Water Bottle Workout For Your Lower Body

Who says you need a gym or dumbbells to get fit? Create your own functional fitness station at home with this water bottle workout. PumpUp member @rachaelgervais filled up a gallon-sized jug with water to create some extra resistance. She used chairs as stand-ins for plyometric boxes. Get creative with what you already have!

Working out in your dorm room : A Comprehensive Guide

Working out in your dorm room : A Comprehensive Guide

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Healthy minds and healthy bodies go together like avocado and every food on the planet. Make sure that running ‘late’ isn’t the only form of cardio that you get on a daily basis. The more you train your body, the easier it is to train your brain. Frequent exercise may be an effective way to alleviate depression, it may make you more resilient to stress, and and it’s even associated with higher academic achievement. Not one for the campus gym? Sweat it out elsewhere. Working out in a dorm room can be equally as effective, notwithstanding a few challenges:

Why working out in a dorm room is so difficult

Minimal Equipment

Most dorms probably won’t allow you to modify your room’s basic infrastructure, so forget about nailing a pull-up bar to your door. Whether you live in a shared space or not, equipment can cause a lot of clutter. In addition to having all of your textbooks, cue cards, laundry, and snacks lying around, you won’t have tons of room for much else.

Minimal Space

Dorm rooms are small. Tiny, even. Even without equipment, several dorm rooms bear greater semblance to tiny cupboards under the stairs. Average secondary bedroom sizes range anywhere from 100 to 200 square feet. Chances are that your living quarters are way smaller. This makes exercise difficult (but not impossible), as several forms of exercise require space. How ought you to do walking lunges when you’re barely able to walk more than 5 paces between your front door and your bed?

Noise

Older dorms tend to have older floors, which means that plyometric exercises won’t be friendly to your downstairs neighbors. You might need to take your roommate’s schedule into consideration as well— you’d be hard-pressed to find a roomie who will enjoy studying while listening to you groan about your fifth set of burpees.

 

Why working out in a dorm room is possible

General Pointers : getting started

Working out in your dorm room : a checklist of basic pointers to get you started // The PumpUp Blog

Schedule your workout time

Your time is precious. There will always be one more chapter to push through, one more paragraph to write, and one more meeting or conference to attend. Don’t put exercise on the back-burner. Working out every single day might not be realistic for you, so set a target for yourself (a number of minutes of exercise each week). Carve out a few time slots for exercise, write them in your calendar with pen, and set a phone alarm for yourself so that you don’t forget. Treat each workout as a deadline or an important meeting that you scheduled with yourself: bosses don’t cancel.

Change your mindset

Try not to associate exercise with the same kind of dread that you reserve for chores like taking out the garbage or cleaning out your toilet bowl. View your workout as an act of self-care. It’s difficult to exercise when it’s something that you have to do or should be doing, but it’s easy when it’s something that you want to do or get to be doing.

Invest in light pieces of equipment

A pair of dumbbells and a kettlebell can go a long way as far as dorm room workouts are concerned. Provided that you don’t drop them on the floor like an anvil in a Warner Bros. cartoon, free weights will help you to gradually build strength with relative ease and silence. You may want to get a yoga mat, too. It’s portable, collapsable, and it will prove useful for stress-relieving stretches and pilates moves. When your muscles are really sore, it's useful to have a mini foam roller to diffuse tension and stimulate blood flow to the areas where you feeling pain.

Get creative with furniture and household objects

Turn heavy textbooks and dictionaries into substitutes for weights. They’re especially handy when you’re doing weighted squats or deadlifts. Load your books into heavy-duty shopping bags when you need to do bicep curls. Large water bottles are also great alternatives to free weights (and they’ll remind you to hydrate once you’re finished with them). Flat and stable surfaces like desk chairs, stools, and coffee tables can be used for tricep dips, step-ups, and raised push-ups.

Land softly and quietly

You don’t have to avoid jumping exercises altogether when you’re working out in a dorm room. The softer you land your jumps, the less stress you place on your joints, bones, ligaments and tendons. You’ll prevent injury in the long term while improving your body control, power, strength, and speed.

 

Dorm Room Workout Resources

Printable workout circuits

3 move no-equipment leg and butt workout from the PumpUp Blog: High knee runs, squat reach and jumps, and one-legged reach and jumps. Do 10 reps of each exercise for 3 sets.

If you want to keep distractions and noise to a minimum, printable circuits are the way to go. You can have them on-hand when you’re doing offline studying- making these workouts ideal for quick and efficient study breaks.  Tons of printable resources are available on Pinterest: ranging from workouts you can do with a paper towel, to 4-move HIIT exercises. For more structure, opt for printable programs similar to Aussie trainer Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide.

Workout DVDs and free YouTube workout videos

When you have more time to spare, borrow from sections of workout DVDs like P90X, or look for bodyweight workout videos on YouTube. Make ‘at-home workouts’, ‘ apartment workouts’ and ‘dorm room workouts’ part of your search strategy if you’re looking for quieter exercises that maximize space. Pilates & yoga videos and workouts for your abs will make the least amount of noise and they’re perfect for tight living quarters.

Health and fitness mobile apps

Best health and fitness apps for dorm room workouts // The PumpUp Blog

Your favourite dorm room workout might reside in your pocket. Nike Training Club has over 100 workouts designed by the brand’s trainers and sponsored pro athletes, SworkIt creates no-equipment workouts that can be adjusted to fit your schedule, 7 Minute Workout puts together a circuit of 12 effective do-anywhere bodyweight exercises, and PumpUp lets you discover and share user-generated workouts created by its 3 million-member community.

Bonus exercise 'hacks' for your dorm

In addition to your scheduled dorm room workouts, pair static and dynamic exercises with everyday tasks:

  • Plank while you read textbooks or papers
  • Do tricep dips while you’re watching (or re-watching) recorded lectures
  • Wall-sit while you memorize cue cards or facts
  • Do as many burpees as you can whenever you finish reading a chapter or write a page of your paper
  • Squat while you brush your teeth, brush your hair, or if you’re in between chores
  • Take the stairs as often as you can
  • Do calf raises whenever you’re waiting in line

Working out in a dorm room is tricky, but it isn't mission: impossible. Share your best dorm room workout tips in the comments below!

 

How To Tell If You’re Overtraining and What To Do About It

How To Tell If You’re Overtraining and What To Do About It

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Overtraining is real, ladies and gentlemen. From high performance athletes to the occasional runner, overtraining is a problem that many face—yet it remains undiagnosed. I know this because I have gone through several periods of overtraining myself. Only now, after several years of dedicated training, do I believe to have found the balance between pushing myself and overtraining. Being aware of overtraining, taking precautions towards avoiding it and correctly identifying as well as treating it cannot be emphasized enough.

What Is Overtraining?

To over train means to “train or cause to train too hard or for too long”. Training too hard is a danger for beginners, as they will often go harder than what their untrained body’s can handle. A friend of mine injured his calf muscle on a 5km run he did after having not exercised for years. This is a case of overtraining until injury. When I haven’t worked out for a while, I’ll go light on my first few sessions back. This ensures proper adaption and recovery towards the physical stressor.

Training too long refers to the excessive duration of a workout. Again, untrained individuals are more susceptible to this than novices as their bodies can handle less.

During the warm up phase of a workout, your body is rather stiff and your blood circulation isn’t optimal. Moreover, your full range of motion isn’t at its peak yet.

Once you’ve taken the first few deep breaths, the body is ready for performance. This is when the real workout begins. Your performance increases and then plateaus. After some time, your performance decreases and you slowly wind down your training.

While pushing past the exhaustion is a necessary component of productive training, you don’t want to overdo it. The danger of training too long is especially relevant to runners. At some point, your muscles become painfully sore and your heart is beating like crazy. You start losing focus and your technique decreases dramatically. You become susceptible to serious injuries and the impact on your joints increases. A classic example of training too long.

Working out too often is the third type of overtraining. While the workouts are well planned, you are training often and the body can’t recover fast enough. Personally, I have found this to be the type of overtraining I’m confronted with the most. If you’re training with a deadline in mind (i.e. competition), how do you train as much as possible without overtraining?

This is a tough question to answer without taking any markers or indicators into consider.

What is overtraining? How can you tell if you're overtraining? This infographic will help you to exercise smarter and work out better // The PumpUp Blog

How To Tell If You’re Overtraining

There are multiple ways to gauge your body’s condition. Here are a few good ones:

  1. Low Morning Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

My morning HRV is one of the few numbers I truly believe in and take into serious account. Heart rate variability refers to the space between your individual heartbeats. Contrary to popular belief, your heartbeat is consistently inconsistent. Your body is always making tiny adjustments towards its environment, which can be reflected by more or less unnoticeable changes in the time between heart beats, hence heart rate variability.

When your body is healthy and thriving (not over trained), your HRV is higher. The body is able to handle stress and can react to its environment, which translates into an increase in heart rate variability. Vice versa, when your body is over trained and battered, your HRV is lower. Stress isn't dealt with optimally and you react poorly to your environment.

How does one know if their HRV is high or low? There are multiple ways of measuring it, but my favorite is simply using an app on my phone. “HRV4Training” is an app especially useful for beginners, as it analyzes the data and gives you simple advice. Instead of overwhelming the user with numbers, it provides one score and a sentence informing you about your score and whether or not you should workout during the day. All you have to do is hold your finger over the camera lens for it to measure your HRV.

If your morning HRV is low and you’ve been training hard, consider resting for the day. Take a few days off if your HRV is consistently low or getting lower on a daily basis.

  1. Chronically Tired

Find yourself yawning constantly and chugging coffee despite having slept well? Overtraining doesn’t only cause your body to be sore, it can also make you feel tired and decrease your mental performance. Listen to your body instead of trying to hide the signs of training too much by binging on caffeine. Take a day off or nap frequently.

 

  1. Poor Sleep Quality

Strangely enough, sleep quality tends to suffer when training too much.

One bad night of sleep shouldn't lead to you worrying about overtraining. However, if you have trouble sleeping for a few nights (and you usually sleep like a rock), consider resting.

Aside from your own perception, tracking your sleep is also useful for determining a decrease in sleep quality. You can track your sleep using simple tools such as the SleepCycle app or more expensive trackers such as Zeo tracker.

These trackers will monitor your sleep and give you a report in the morning to inform you about the quality of your sleep. Using the data and your own perception, you can determine whether or not you might be overtraining.

 

  1. Suboptimal Performance 

Declining performance is another great indicator of training too often. If you can’t reach your previous records, you aren’t resting enough in between workouts. If you find yourself tired and sore during the warm up, think twice about working out. Overtraining isn’t always the case when you're sore and not performing well, however it is an indicator one should take into account.

These are just four possible indicators of overtraining. To make use of them, track all four and then make a conclusion rather than only regarding one or two.

 

How To Deal With Overtraining – Simple Methods Of Recovery

If you’re overtraining or are on the verge of doing so, use these recovery tips to eliminate it.

  1. Rest

While there are ways to lower the demand for rest, you can’t avoid it. The body needs rest, period. Take 1-2 days off per week and don’t train more than twice a day. As a hobby athlete myself, I train around 3-4 times per week and find it is demanding enough.

  1. Nutrition

Eating healthy is paramount for recovery. Provide your body with an abundance of nutrients and lower inflammation by avoiding trans fats, added sugar and processed foods. Ensure proper micronutrient intake by eating a lot of vegetables, nuts, meats, fruits and other healthy, unprocessed natural foods. Don't forget to eat enough carbohydrates, fat and protein! Your body needs macronutrients for energy, recovery and overall health.

  1. Stretching And Massage

Stretch daily and after workouts to promote muscle recovery as well as to increase your full range of motion. Runners, weight lifters and other athletes tighten up due to the high demands on the body and thus underperform. Make time for stretching and you’ll not only recover faster, but also feel and perform better.

Massaging is another powerful recovery enhancer. Taking massages with trained professionals is mandatory for athletes. If you don’t have the time (or money) to take a hands-on massage once a week, spend more time on the foam roller.

Self-massage using a foam roller, tennis ball and/or golf ball is referred to as self-myofascial release. Myofascial release (MFR) is a great way to relax the muscle and improve blood circulation. Furthermore, MFR softens up soft tissue, thus allowing for more mobility. Check out this video for a foam roller routine .

  1. Good Sleep

When we talk about sleep, we usually refer to how long one should sleep. The quality of sleep is equally important however, if not more. Increase the quality of your sleep by following these protocols:

  • Pitch black room
  • No screens before bed (unless your using f.lux)
  • Take honey (or other form of simple sugars, such as berries or fruit) and magnesium before bed. The carbohydrates will help your body replenish during the night and the magnesium will relax you.
  • Consume protein before bed for muscle recovery

Aside from improving the quality of your time in bed, sleep 7-9 hours per night.

  1. Cold Exposure

Ice baths, cold showers and winter temperatures are great ways of exposing your body to cold. Why do so? When your body is in a very cold environment, it retracts blood to the vital organs to ensure survival. Then, when you go back to normal temperatures, fresh blood is pumped back to the muscles. This fresh blood boosts the recovery of your muscles.

A cold shower is my favorite way of getting regular cold exposure. I’ll take a cold shower directly after my training, which will get rid of the lactic acid build up as well as refreshing my blood that is in my muscles.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article. For similar articles, please visit LifestyleApex. Follow me on Twitter @MoeHustler and like my Facebook page. Thanks!

Get sweaty with this stability ball workout for your abs

Get sweaty with this stability ball workout for your abs

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The stability ball doesn't only have to serve as an unconventional office chair. Get to work with this stability ball workout for your abs by @soulfulsarahh. You'll be doing 3 sets of 25 reps for each move. You'll build core strength and target your lower abs in particular. If you don't have a stability ball handy, use a set of paper plates or paper towels to increase your range of motion. Do the raised crunches on the surface of a couch as an alternative. Work up a sweat with this stability ball workout for your abs and tag your workout videos on Instagram with #TeamPumpUp so that we can see how hard you worked!

Stability ball workout for your abs

Crunches

Stability ball ab crunches (GIF) - Stability ball workout for your abs // The PumpUp Blog

Keep your back flat on the stability ball. Your hands will rest at your temples and your elbows will be bent outwards. Your legs should make a ninety degree angle with the stability ball. Lift your upper body off the ball with control, crunching up and tightening your core. Lower your body down and repeat.

Lower ab crunches

Stability ball lower ab crunches (GIF) Stability ball workout for your abs // The PumpUp Blog

Lower your entire body onto the floor. Rest your feet on top of the stability ball and lay your arms down beside you. Use your feet to roll the ball towards your upper body, bending your knees as you do so. Slowly and with control, roll the ball back to starting position. Repeat.

Stability ball leg pull ins

Stability ball leg pull ins (GIF) Stability ball workout for your abs // The PumpUp Blog

Begin in a raised plank position. Your arms are extended in a straight line off the floor, keeping your wrists in line with your shoulders. Your feet will be resting on the stability ball and your body should be parallel to the ground. Keep your neck in a neutral position and use your feet and lower abs to bring the ball toward your upper body. Do this slowly and with control. Return ball back to starting position, once again engaging your core and your lower body. Repeat.

For this stability ball workout for your abs, do each move for 25 reps. Do 3 sets of the circuit for maximum results. Tag your workouts on PumpUp with #SweatySunday to show how you worked up a sweat!

This full-body paper towel workout changes everything

This full-body paper towel workout changes everything

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It's okay if fancy resistance equipment isn't within your budget. Get creative and grab paper towels or dish rags instead! This full-body paper towel workout by PumpUp member @rachaelgervais can be done on any flat, smooth surface. It's reminiscent of popular TRX group training classes, but you don't need an expensive gym membership to perform the exercises.  With paper towels placed at the bottom of your feet and beneath your palms, simple workout moves become much more challenging. Try our full-body paper towel workout. You'll hardly need to spend a cent and you'll break a sweat! Full body workout with paper towels // The PumpUp Blog

Ab pikes to push-ups

full-body paper towel workout gif - Ab pikes // The PumpUp Blog

Begin with your body raised in a plank position. The paper towels should be positioned beneath your feet, toward your toes. Engage your abs and push your hips upward toward the ceiling, bringing your lower body toward your chest and keeping your legs straight. Slide your feet back into a raise plank position, then lower your body down towards the floor. Do a push-up, keeping your elbows pressed at the sides of your body. Repeat 12 times.

Push-ups with leg jacks

Plank leg jacks - Full-Body paper towel workout gif // The PumpUp Blog

Begin in a raised plank position, with the paper towels positioned at the ball of each foot. Lower your body straight down toward the floor. As you do so, slide both feet laterally and outward past the sides of your body. As you bring yourself back up to plank, push your arms straight up and slide both feet back to center. Repeat 12 times.

Mountain climbers to leg jacks

Mountain climbers - Full-Body Paper Towel Workout gif // The PumpUp Blog

Start in a raised plank and keep the paper towels at your feet. Drive one knee toward the opposite shoulder, sliding your foot as you go. Return to plank and immediately repeat with the other leg. Bring foot back to center and slide both legs outward, extending past the sides of your body. Repeat 12 times.

Paper towel push-ups

Paper towel push-up gif // PumpUp Blog

Keep the paper towels beneath the palms of your hands. Lower your body toward the ground and slide your hands out past the sides of your body, in a wide-grip push-up position. Promptly bring your body back up to a raised plank, sliding both arms back to center. Make sure to keep your spine straight throughout the entire movement. Legs remain stationary and together, extended straight behind you.

https://instagram.com/p/5ICDoZqlIo/?taken-by=pumpupapp

Loved this full-body paper towel workout? This modification is an inexpensive, yet effective way to make bodyweight exercises much more challenging. Do the moves slowly and with caution in order to avoid injury. Try any of these exercises today and let us know what you thought of them in the comments below!

Why Stress Is Preventing You From Getting the Fitness Results You Want

Why Stress Is Preventing You From Getting the Fitness Results You Want

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When you think of a good fitness routine, what comes to mind? It’s likely that your list would include regular exercise, eating healthy food, and maybe getting good sleep each night. Here’s another item to add: Making time to de-stress.

Almost everyone faces a little stress from time to time, but when that stress builds up or becomes chronic, it can be powerful enough to prevent fitness gains from happening altogether.

Here are 3 reasons why stress is preventing you from getting the fitness results you want, and then some practical techniques for de-stressing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7rNwPkJ2q4

1. Stress Increases Food Cravings

Stress increases food cravings gif // The PumpUp Blog

Oftentimes people struggle to lose weight and are perplexed as to why. They are doing everything “right” but still aren’t getting the results they want. Stress might be the culprit.

Have you heard of the “fight or flight” response? This is a survival mechanism that causes the body to produce adrenaline when faced with stress. Historically it was helpful when the stress was physical danger (like being attacked by a bear!), but today the response is triggered by much less-dangerous stress.

Stress from your job, school, or relationships can trigger adrenaline production. This is problematic because adrenaline is accompanied by cortisol, a hormone that causes hunger.

When stressed, your body will crave food even though the stressful event likely didn’t require much energy to deal with - You don’t burn calories stressing over a deadline at work like you would running away from an angry bear!

2. Stress Decreases Motivation

Stress decreases motivation // Sherlock gif - The PumpUp Blog

Think back to a time when you were really stressed out. Did you feel motivated to exercise? Were you compelled to cook a healthy meal for yourself?

Stressful situations often lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. Things in life seem too much to handle and it’s difficult to even consider doing something as simple as going for a quick jog.

This is one reason why exercise and healthy eating fall off track during stressful times. Your mind (and body) is focused on getting through that stress – Making healthy lifestyle choices gets put on the backburner.

3. Stress Reduces the Effectiveness of Your Workouts

Stress reduces the effectiveness of your workout // The PumpUp Blog

Some people see exercise as a way to deal with stress. Yes, it can be a good way to take your mind off other things happening in life, but exercise is actually just another form of stress. It’s a physical stress on your body.

That sounds like a bad thing, but it’s really not. Physically stressing your body is what allows you to make progress – You push a little further and get better as a result.

Unfortunately, when you are already dealing with other stressors in life, whether they are physical, emotional, or relational, your body has less capacity to deal with the stress of a workout.

Not only does your chance of injury increase during stressful times, but recovery from your workouts is also inhibiting due to less quality sleep. This means that you won’t get the same results from exercise that you would during less stressful times in life.

How to Fix Your Stress: Some Helpful Resources

It’s pretty clear that stress can have a huge impact on your ability to get and stay fit. What can you do about it?

One of the most important de-stressing techniques is simply taking a few minutes each day to relax. This will look different for different people, but it can include any activity that allows rest for your mind and body.

There are some really helpful online tools that can be used to practice stress-reducing relaxation. One is Calm, a quick meditation that you can do on your computer or phone. You choose the length and the style of relaxation and Calm does the rest.

Another great tool is called Do Nothing For 2 Minutes. This simple website “forces” you to stop working. How you spend that 2 minutes is up to you, but the idea is to take time to just relax, perhaps practice some deep breathing, and allow your stress to dissipate.

One other great resource is the 42 Ways to Live Stress-Free guide. This is a compilation of the best techniques and resources that you can use to beat the stress that creeps into various parts of your day.

From waking up in the morning to dealing with stressful relationships, this guide has something for every type of stress you may be dealing with.

Stress is going to happen – It’s part of life. But learning a few techniques to prevent that stress from becoming a chronic problem is key for your mental health and your body’s ability to make the fitness improvements you’re looking for.

About the Author

Dave Smith has been a professional fitness and weight-loss coach since 2001 and was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” in 2013.

He specializes in holistic weight-loss rooted in clean eating, daily movement, group accountability and on-going peer support. His motto is “Strive for progress, not perfection” and his goal is long-term change, not quick fixes.

You can learn more about his healthy living and weight-loss programs at makeyourbodywork.com.

Images (1), (2), and (3) via giphy. Cover photo via Etsy.

Learn how to do a handstand in 5 steps (Beginners)

Learn how to do a handstand in 5 steps (Beginners)

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Do you want to learn how to do a handstand? You don't have to be a trained gymnast, a circus professional or a yogi to do it. Follow these easy steps demonstrated by PumpUp member @randy_dizon  and you will be on your way to accomplishing a handstand in your very own home! All you need is a chair or stool, a wall and a lot of floor space.

Step 1: Warm up your wrists

Learn how to do a handstand in 4 steps (for beginners) | Warm up wrists gif // the PumpUp Blog

Make sure to take your time and really stretch out your wrists in all directions. Not only will this help to prevent any injuries, but you will also be strengthening your wrists at the same time.

Step 2: Push-ups

Learn how to do a handstand in 4 steps (for beginners) | Push up gif // the PumpUp Blog

Learn how to do a handstand in 4 steps (for beginners) | Pike Pushups gif // the PumpUp Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strong pushups will help you gain the upper body strength to hold yourself upside down. Pike push-ups are a more advanced variation that will help you to gain much more upper body strength.

Step 3: Chair-supported handstands

Learn how to do a handstand in 4 steps (for beginners) |Chair balance gif // the PumpUp Blog

Using the chair try to stack your hips on top of your shoulders, once you feel comfortable with that slowly lift one leg up to the sky straight up and then once your comfortable slowing bring the other leg up.

Step 4:Wall-supported handstands

Learn how to do a handstand in 4 steps (for beginners) | Wall Handstand gif // the PumpUp Blog

Go back and forth between this step and Step 3. Using the wall, face the wall in a handstand. Make sure to keep your body completely straight, staying just an inch away from the wall. The only part of your body that should be touching the wall is your toes to maintain balance. It's scary, so you need to trust in yourself and use your fingers to stay balanced.

Step 5: Unassisted Handstands

Learn how to do a handstand in 4 steps (for beginners) | Handstand gif // the PumpUp Blog

Master each step before moving on to this last stage. The most important aspect of your training is repetition! The more you practice, the better your handstands will get. Learning how to do a handstand takes time. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to perfecting your handstand.

Learn how to do a handstand in 5 steps (for beginners) // the PumpUp Blog

For more tips and cool videos follow PumpUp's professional calisthenics athlete @randy_dizon for more fun workouts!

Got 5 minutes to spare? Try this intense conditioning circuit

Got 5 minutes to spare? Try this intense conditioning circuit

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It takes but a moment to work up a sweat with this purely awesome 5-minute conditioning circuit from PumpUp member @joexodus. The instructions are simple: perform all exercises for the amount of reps below, then repeat and see how many rounds you can complete before the 5 minutes are up. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat.

Tuck Jumps: 10 reps

Tuck jump gif from the PumpUp blog : 5-minute conditioning circuit

Begin in a standing position. Jump vertically into the air, tucking your knees toward your chest. As you gain height and momentum, bring your palms flat towards your knees so that you crunch your body in mid-air. Land softly on your feet and repeat.

Mountain Climbers: 20 reps

Mountain climber gif from the PumpUp blog : 5-minute conditioning circuit

Begin in a plank position. Draw one knee towards the opposite shoulder and immediately repeat the same movement with your opposite leg. Keep your arms straight and in a straight line with your shoulders, neck aligned with your body.

Burpees: 10 reps

Burpee gif from the PumpUp blog : 5-minute conditioning circuit

Drop down to the floor and perform a push-up, maintaining proper form throughout the movement. Jump both of your legs towards your forearms, and hop up to perform a vertical jump.

Plank tucks: 10 reps

Plank tuck gif from the PumpUp blog : 5-minute conditioning circuit

Begin in a plank position. Hop both of your feet towards your forearms and immediately hop them back to starting position. Repeat.

Spiderman push-ups: 10 reps

Spiderman pushup gif from the PumpUp blog : 5-minute conditioning circuit

Begin in a plank position with your wrists in line with your shoulders, heels raised and off the floor. Bring your body down into a push-up, bending your elbows and lowering your upper body as close to the floor as possible. As you lower yourself, crunch your knee towards the side of your body. It should almost make contact with your elbow and you should feel a contraction in your obliques. Bring your leg back to starting position and crunch the other knee towards the other side of your body.

Kettlebell swings: 10 reps

Kettlebell swing gif from the PumpUp blog : 5-minute conditioning circuit

Pick a kettlebell weight that you are comfortable with. Firmly grasp the handles of the weight at the top with both hands. Drop down into a squat, swinging the kettlebell between your legs and making sure that your knees don't extend past your toes. As you stand, swing the kettlebell up and over your head. Be sure not to over-arch your back throughout the movement.
5 minute conditioning circuit from the PumpUp blog - This full body workout only requires a kettlebell.
Loved this 5 minute conditioning circuit? Check out more workouts from the PumpUp Blog here. If you have awesome workout videos to share, tag them with #TeamPumpUp on Instagram

The 4 move plank workout that you can do almost anywhere

The 4 move plank workout that you can do almost anywhere

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Brace your core: planks are coming.  If know that you're going to be planted firmly on the couch so that you can watch Game of Thrones for an extended period of time, do a plank workout in between major plot twists. Perform planks in between chapters of your textbooks. Plank it out after answering 20 emails. PumpUp member @nina_1911 demonstrates four plank variations that will allow you to strengthen your entire body as you dive deep into the world of your favourite television show or immerse yourself in your work. Regardless of how tightly-packed your schedule is, be assured that you have planks to help you stay active. How's that for multi-tasking?

4 move plank workout

Plank Variation 1: Normal plank

Plank variation 1 : Normal plank - PumpUp Blog

Rest your hands firmly on the ground, with your feet at a shoulder's width apart. Keep your body in a straight line, balancing on the balls of your feet and maintaining an arm position where your shoulders are aligned with your wrists. Try not to crane your neck too far up, and make sure that your hips don't pike up as you plank. Modification: Perform the plank on with your forearms lowered to the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plank variation 2 : Side Plank

Plank variation 2 : Side plank - The 4 move plank workout from the PumpUp Blog

Begin in a normal plank position. Slowly rotate your body towards one side, so that your feet are stacked on top of each other. Keep one hand firmly planted on the ground and rotate the other arm upwards, so that it is perpendicular to your body. ModificationTry the side plank on one elbow, or rest the stacked foot on the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plank variation 3: Side plank with a leg raise

Plank variation 3: side plank with a leg raise. The 4 move plank workout from the PumpUp Blog

Begin in a side plank position. With one hand planted firmly on the ground and  your other arm perpendicular to your body, lift your stacked leg as high as you can. Keep it straight and parallel to your other leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Plank variation 4: Forward reach

Plank variation 4 - Forward reach. The 4 move plank workout from the PumpUp Blog

Return to the normal plank position. Keep arm firmly planted on the ground and reach the other arm ahead of you, maintaining it aligned with the rest of your body. Raise the opposite leg and reach that upwards. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

The 4 - move plank workout that you can do almost anywhere : 4 plank variations that will keep you fit when you're at your busiest (From the PumpUp Blog)

Loved this plank workout? Do you have other plank variations to show the PumpUp community? Tag your best photos with #FlexFriday on the PumpUp app and tag @nina_1911 if you tried this plank workout!

Fitness jokes and memes that you can 100% relate to

Fitness jokes and memes that you can 100% relate to

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You need a good laugh. Not everybody can be as ingenious as Google, but clever soothsayers around the Internet do have funny fitness jokes here and there to brighten up your day. Don't be forever alone—we're positive that you can relate to some of these sayings in one way or another. While it might not be the most effective nor efficient way to exercise, laughter is actually pretty great for you. Just 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can burn anywhere between 10 and 40 calories. Barring commercial breaks, if you managed to laugh throughout the entire two hours of Justin Bieber's Comedy Central Roast, you may have actually had a decent ab workout.

When you're SO close to finishing your run

running

When your self esteem is low

Never let anybody treat you like a yellow starburst. You are a pink starburst - Motivational quotes // The PumpUp Blog

When you feel like you're earning 'experience points' for every rep

(via LookHuman)

When you run slower than Internet Explorer (but hey, the job gets done!)

slow runners

(via Etsy)

When your legs feel like lead

drag me

(via Etsy)

Can you not?

(via Tumblr)

When the hunger is real

(via Thug Life Shirts)

When you forget your lifting gloves

(via LookHuman)

When an hour of spinning feels like a lifetime

(via Mammamia)

When your jam comes on and Zumba is a judgement-free zone

(via Mammamia)

When your yoga instructor is basically calling for the impossible

(via Buzzfeed)

When your plank commercial-break never seems to end

(via Pinterest)

When the sweatpants come on

(Via Popsugar)

When you contemplate cutting out carbs

(Via Popsugar)

When you basically need to be chained to the spot because the urge to work out is real

When you're scrolling through PumpUp and do a double-take, because it's April Fool's Day

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