Are you really present when working out? Do you pay attention to how you move?
Or are you rushing through the workout simply so you can move on with your day?
The next time you work out, think about how you are moving your body and why you do it the way you do. Try to empty your mind of everything else and be present. Put your mind into every single rep you are doing, because it will make a huge difference in your performance.
When someone is told to do 10 push ups, he may be able to do it in five seconds. Okay, that may mean the person is really strong and fast, but it can also mean that he didn't put too much focus on his moves and therefore missed half of its benefits.
By going really low in each rep and making the most of every inch as you are moving down and up, the push ups can be very hard and and very beneficial.
Try it yourself: Do ten push ups as fast as you can, without thinking about lowering yourself all the way and without letting your chest to touch the floor. Ten reps is easy like that!
But in the next round, make every rep count. Lower your body slowly, feeling exactly how the muscles are working. Take the push up as low as you possibly can, try to touch the floor with your chest and push yourself up from there.
It should feel very different.
Keep doing nice and clean reps also when doing timed exercises, where the goal is to do as many reps as possible. Don't rush them through with poor technique!
The same is true for the plank exercise.
You may know someone who can stay in plank position for five minutes. Again, this person may be strong as hell, but it may also be that he doesn't really activate his body as well as he could.
When planking, think about squeezing every singe muscle possible. Tuck your belly in, activate your glutes and quads and keep the core tight to avoid your hips from sinking. Put your mind into every second and you see how different it feels from slouching and just “hanging put” there.
Last week I did a really tough workout. Tough but really good! So good that I had to repeat it this morning. As always, it consisted of full body compound movements to maximize the muscle work and make it metabolically most efficient.
It consisted of three exercises: Kettlebell Swings, Burpees (you knew it was coming, right?) and running. An unbeatable combo.
In Kettlebell Swings, being present is extremely important. I have learned to make the most of my Kettlebell Swings by practicing a lot. You need to focus on your hip thrusts. This is the number one thing to keep in mind when doing this exercise.
Here's the thing: You need to push those hips powerfully forward, and as your arms come up and you extend your body, squeeze the glutes really hard. Do that in every single rep.
Your glutes will be saying thank you the next day.
Okay, here we go!
Here's the breakdown one more time
In five minutes, do as many rounds as possible of 20 Kettlebell Swings and 10 Burpees. Keep repeating the same set again and again until five minutes is over. Then, run 300 meters.
Repeat for two more rounds. It will take you 15 minutes + the time you use for running. The total is probably 18-20 minutes, but definitely less than 30 minutes.
How to do Kettlebell Swings
Hold the kettlebell handle with your both hands. Lower your body into a half squat, swing the kettlebell back between your legs and powerfully thrusting your hips swing it up to your eye level. Your hands are only the instrument for holding the kettlebell, but you are not swinging it by using your hands but legs, butt and hips.
How to do Burpees
Stand still with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat position. Place your arms on the ground and jump your legs back coming to a push up position. Lower your body down until you chest touches the floor. Start pushing your chest back up and at the same time, jump your legs back to the squat position. Jump up and extend your arms overhead.