Creating the ideal workout routine is something that many fitness enthusiasts have attempted on numerous occasions. There are certainly aspects of a routine that should be incorporated to a certain degree for everyone involved in physical fitness, but each person is unique in their physiology and capabilities. Because of this, no single workout routine can be called ‘perfect’ since what works for one person might not work as well for another. The trick is to learn your strengths and weaknesses and then to create a system that balances your goals with your potential. To help you get started toward your own perfect workout, here are five tips that will put you on the right path.
“It is imperative that you incorporate a warm-up and cool-down phase into your exercise routine if you want it be maximally efficient and safe” says Pure Barre. A pre-workout warm-up will prevent your muscles from overexerting themselves too soon, which can cut down on injuries and improve the efficacy of your workout. A cool-down phase is also a good idea so your body doesn’t go from one physical extreme to the other. Stretching is both a good warm-up and cool-down technique, but anything that gets the blood pumping can work for a warm-up. A short walk makes an excellent cool-down activity.
- Alternate Muscle Groups
Depending on your fitness goals, it may be tempting to focus entirely on your ‘show muscles’ in the upper body. These typically include the chest, arms, and back, but those are not the only areas that need focus. A good way to make sure you hit every group is to alternate upper body and lower body workout days. This will allow each group to recuperate between workouts, and it ensures that no areas are ignored. If you skip leg day all the time, you’ll end up top-heavy and in sub-maximal shape. Try to design your individual workouts with alternating muscular exercise as well. The goal is to keep your muscles guessing, which essentially keeps them in a constant state of repair and growth.
- Pay Attention to Form
You’ve probably been to the gym and seen some huge guy practically throwing weights around simply because he can lift them. While it might seem impressive, it’s also a good way to invite injury and reduce the effectiveness of your routine. Proper form is necessary with strength training in order to glean the most value from your efforts. Pay attention to your rhythm, and watch out for any slips in your form. It is highly probable that you’re using too much weight if the form is too difficult to maintain, but don’t be ashamed to reduce the weight in order to attain better technique. In the long run, you’ll see greater results and a more toned, stable physique.
- Exercise Variety
Even if you’re attempting to focus entirely on strength training with weights, it is a good idea to incorporate other exercises as well. Cardio is vital for optimal health, and core exercises promote greater strength through the extremities. You should never stick with one exercise genre for too long, even on a single day. Create a workout that includes a good amount of variety so that you don’t overwork a particular area. Cardio is a good way to warm-up for a strength training routine, so you can kill two birds with one stone by starting your routine with a light jog. If you’re focusing on loosing weight through a cardio-heavy routine, don’t be afraid to add some strength training and core exercises to the mix.
- Keep a Steady Tempo
Even the best workout routine will produce subpar results if it isn’t executed properly, and maintaining a regular tempo is one of the most efficient ways to maximize the efficacy of the routine. It’s usually fairly easy to keep a good tempo early on in the workout, but pay attention to your speed and don’t let it falter to make up for your exhaustion as the routine continues. It can help if you create a system of slowly counting each rep so you can be sure they are as close to identical as possible.