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Stretching for Runners – 6 Ways to Take Care of Your Muscles Before and After a Run

Most runners need to run to feel normal, happy and healthy. So, it makes sense to do what you can to increase the longevity of your ability to run, because one day you won’t be able to anymore. If you commit to stretching regularly, you will improve your flexibility over time and reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

Stretching will also help with endurance, as it improves circulation, ensuring oxygen reaches your working muscles. However, knowing how and when to stretch is vital to improving your runs, protecting your muscles and joints and improving overall health.

Before You Run:

Don’t Static Stretch Before You Run

Most of us grew up playing soccer, football or basketball and huddling in a group on the floor to stretch before each session. Youth may have saved us then, but it can be damaging to your muscles to static stretch before having warmed up properly.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching resembles real movement more than static stretching does, which makes it much better for your body pre-workout. It’s a great way warm your muscles up and improve your range of motion before exercise. Try 10 to 15 minutes of dynamic stretches to warm your muscles before running, including movements such as straight-leg lateral swings, and alternating side lunges.

Walking Lunges

Walking Lunges opening up your major leg muscles and hip flexors, which are prone to tightening when running. They also simulate the forward motion of running which make them particularly useful as a running warm-up.…


Weightlifting Training Tips

Power up your workout by learning from Olympic weightlifting training.

Olympic weightlifters demonstrate strength, speed, power and execution. They are fit, but work tirelessly to perfect their technique so they can lift heavier weights and minimise the risk of injury. For the majority of people bodybuilding, they want to lift and train with more power and see tangible results from their training efforts. In the gym, there is no better athlete than the Olympic weightlifter.

Here are a few things that you can learn from Olympic weightlifters.

Make sure that your technique is flawless.

Look at any person that is new to the gym and the first thing you will see them do is try to lift heavy weights with poor technique. It’s the quickest way to gain an injury and to completely miss achieving your gym goals.

Instead, focus on executing the right movements that will allow you to lift heavier weights in motions that will allow you to lift with more speed and power. Even if you decide not to go for power, lifting in the right motions that will allow your body to break down the muscle is important.

It’s common for Olympic weightlifters to train with little or no weights so that they perfect their technique. Once their technique starts to feel like second nature, they add resistance weights and continue to build their power, strength and speed, whilst still holding their technical form.

Be patient

Olympic weightlifters train for up to four years to have their moment in the spotlight.…


Exercise rollers

Avoid muscle tightness and injury by using rollers and massage balls.

If you want to stimulate muscle growth, strength and tone, you need to improve your flexibility. When you train the muscles, they will naturally fatigue, break down and contract. If you aren’t careful, you will overstretch the muscle and cause yourself aches and pains. Alternatively, the muscle could be so tight that it starts to affect another muscle group in your body.

This can lead you to becoming injured, gaining pains and sprains that you need to have treated by a specialist. Visiting these specialists can set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

So what can you do to keep your muscles loose and fluid so that you minimise the risk of injury?

Use a roller to add pressure to the muscles.

Little Bloke Fitness offers a range of rollers that can help to keep your muscles loose and relaxed. The more flexible your muscles are, the more range of motion you will have when doing the exercise. Better yet, you will minimise the threat of injury to the muscle.

In the video below, you can see how rollers are used to help relax the muscle, improve the blood flow in the muscle and stimulate better muscle recovery.

Use a massage ball to trigger muscle tension release.

Some athletes use tennis balls or golf balls to trigger the muscle release in certain areas of the body. But it is much easier to use a massage ball to help ease out the muscle adhesions (knots) that your body develops from doing physical activities.…


Exercise power bands

Have you considered using power bands in your workout?

The instant association that most people have with bodybuilding is that they need to have heavy resistance weights to do their exercises. The fact is the muscle needs to have enough resistance to break down the muscle. This can be accomplished with bodyweight, heavy resistance weights and also power bands.

Power bands tend to be underutilised in and outside of the gym. This is because many people don’t really know how to use them effectively to workout their body properly. In this post, we’ll share some power band exercises that you can do to help build and sculpt muscle.

Woodchoppers

Wrap the resistance band around the pole and pull the band away from the bar. You want to contract your core (in particular, your obliques).

Assisted pullups

Tie the band around the top end of a pole and then place one foot inside the band. You will use this to take off some of the weight when doing pullup and chin-up exercises.

Lateral shoulder raises

Bend over with the band in front of your chest and stretch the band out as wide as you can. This movement should work out your deltoids (shoulders).

Band push press

Stand with the bands underneath your feet and pull the band upwards so that it sits upwards on your wrist around your chest. Push the band up as if you are doing a push press with the barbell. Ensure that you extend the movement to the point where you can feel a contraction.…


Bodybuilding protection

Essential protection gear for the gym.

There’s nothing worse than suffering as a result of your workout. It might render you physically incapable to do anything or it might be cosmetic and affect your confidence. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want these to affect your workout goals and ambitions.

Protective gear is essential. Your body can only take so much weight and intensity when doing exercises. You don’t want to continually make progress only to have your body be affected.

Little Bloke Fitness offers protective gear for gym-goers. Here are a few items that should be used when working out.

Weight training gloves.

When you’re training with resistance weights, it’s common for the bars or dumbbells to rub against your skin. This can turn the skin hard and also cause peeling on your hands. It can be a bit difficult to get rid of, but it is also noticeable whenever someone clasps your hand.

For men, it might not be so much of an issue. But for women, it may affect their confidence knowing that their hands won’t feel soft and feminine.

Investing in protective gym gloves helps to prevent this. The gloves are available from $19.95, which is actually worth the investment. Should the hard skin need to be removed, you will need to see a manicurist which will set you back at least $30.

Weightlifting belt.

It’s important to develop your core to handle the weight when you are completing exercises with heavy weights.…


Skipping exercises

Skipping exercises that will boost your overall athleticism.

The world’s top athletes that rely on explosive power do skipping exercises regularly. Look at some of the world’s best boxers, MMA fighters or track and field athletes and you will find that skipping is a part of their regular exercise routine. Skipping isn’t an exercise for the faint-hearted. When done well, it is a high-intensity exercise that can burn calories and improve muscle power, allowing you to jump higher, further and to run faster.

It’s one of the best exercises to improve your overall athleticism. Here’s a few skipping workouts that you should include in your exercise routine.

What you will need?

You will need to invest in a speed skipping rope. This will allow you to do quicker skips and will also force your body to do more explosive jumping repetitions. You can find these skipping ropes in the LBF store.

Single skips

This simple movement will trigger explosive development in your muscles. It will also train your body’s mechanics to have a quick reaction time off the ground, forcing your muscles to focus on explosive power. Aim to complete up to 100 repetitions in a single set. Ideally, work towards doing three sets.

Double skips

One of the most effective exercises for developing explosiveness, you will be aiming to complete double-under skips for a series of repetitions. The more that you can do, the better. However, the aim of the exercise is to explode upwards as much as possible so that your body has a quick reaction time off the ground.…


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