Cross training, or changing up your workouts throughout the week, is a must-do for anyone with a regular exercise routine. Why? Not only does it prevent boredom from creeping in, but it reduces the risk of injury due to overuse and it helps you take it to the next level when you’ve started to hit the dreaded exercise plateau.
To help get you started, we’ve come up with a few essential tips for some of the most effective and fun fitness classes to help you stay on top of your workout game. Take a variety of classes and follow these guidelines to get the most from your diverse workouts.
- Fuel up & hydrate before you ride. Eat something small. Drink lots of water and be sure to stay hydrated throughout your ride. Remember that if you feel thirsty, you haven’t had enough.
- Engage your core & inner thighs. Ensure that your abs are pulling in tight by imagining that you’re hanging by a string above your saddle, rather than leaning over them or on them. Concentrate on using your inner thigh muscles by pulling them inward and toward the seat post or toward your center.
- Relax your shoulders and upper body. Often during cycle class, it’s easy to tighten up our shoulders and grip the handlebars. Remember to consciously relax during the class by loosening your grip and dropping your neck to stretch and find space under your chin.
- Have fun. Remember, if your cycle class isn’t fun, it might be time to find a new class or a new instructor. Your workouts should be a time to sweat it out, enjoy yourself while working hard but also letting it all go.
BARRE & YOGA
- Focus on form. Instead of doing movements faster, try to do them better. In barre & yoga classes, you’ll want to focus on form instead of speed. It’s the precise and isolated movements that are as important for that barre burn or that yoga strength.
- Don’t be intimidated. Both barre and yoga can be intimidating if you think you have to be a dancer or really flexible to take the classes. Just try it. You don’t need to be a professional dancer or the ultimate yogi, for that matter. Just go in with an open mind and no self judgement.
- Go more than once. If you’re consistent, you’ll see change. Not only will you have more fun with it, but if you go to at least 2 barre or yoga classes a week, you’ll see a lot more benefit. The more you add these classes into your other workout programs, the more you’ll see yourself gain strength in areas you never knew you had.
- Drink up. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. You need at least 12 ounces of water prior to your workout, and then you need to keep drinking throughout the class. You’ll sweat a lot, so make sure you replenish.
- Just jump in. Don’t be intimidated by high-intensity workouts. You can always start a little slower in class and modify the moves until you’re ready to take it up to the next level. Choose your weight size & go at a pace that pushes you into a stage of discomfort.
- Get your heart pumping. You don’t need to jump or run to have an effective HIIT workout, you just get need to get your heart rate up. Typically, a HIIT workout requires that you get your heart rate up to 80% of your maximum for short bursts lasting 20 seconds to a minute for 15 minutes.
- Change it up. Make sure you challenge yourself and change up your intervals, exercises, weights or workouts every few months. If you are always doing the same thing, your body will get used to it and you’ll hit an exercise plateau.
Ready to cross-train? Try any of Fly’s classes by signing up here.