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    How to Build Muscle for Women • Learn the Benefits of Muscle Growth

    Strength training hasn’t always been the most popular topic among women. Weight training was long considered something for men. Lucky for women, times change and muscle strength is no longer off-limits. In fact, understanding how to build muscle for women can help you prevent bone loss and injury as you age while improving your overall quality of life. Learn the truth about muscle growth in women. Plus, how your hormones, your diet, and specific exercises can help you gain muscle.
    Muscle GROWTH makes you stronger – inside and out
    As you begin your journey toward muscle growth, it’s important to remember that building muscle has a multitude of benefits for women. Not only does it boost your metabolism, which turns your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine, but it also does wonders for your self-confidence. You will stand taller and feel more sure about yourself when you walk into a room. Plus, strength training has been shown to slow bone loss, reducing the risk of fractures associated with osteoporosis.
    If you’re worried about bulking up, don’t bother; men and women who work out three to five times a week will not experience the same muscle growth. Women’s testosterone levels are about 20% lower than men’s, which means if you do want to get those biceps and triceps bulging, you’ll have to seriously increases your calorie intake and target workouts to reach your goal.

    Menstrual cycle and muscle growth
    Do you want to start building muscle, but you don’t know where to begin? Start with your hormones: if you know what phase of your cycle you are in, you can use this valuable information to sync your training to your calendar.
    One female sex hormone is that especially important for muscle growth is estrogen. Studies have shown that the hormone (which is particularly “active” during ovulation) can boost the production of protein and thus stimulate muscle growth.

    Good to know:
    A US study found that birth control pills can limit muscle growth.(2) Women who didn’t take the pill, however, gained up to 60% more muscle mass.

    Why you shouldn’t skip cardio
    It goes without saying that cardio should be part of your training routine. Workouts outdoors or on a treadmill, elliptical, or stepper are great, especially if you are looking to burn calories. But less fat doesn’t necessarily mean firm tissue. That is where muscle or strength training comes in. And…if you want a cardio and strength workout combination that will get you amazing results in 20-40 minutes per day without any equipment, you have to give our adidas Training app a try. You’ll be torching calories all day long after each workout and build that chiseled muscle definition that makes you feel strong and confident.
    If you are interested in achieving lasting weight loss success or improving your general health and fitness, the best way is a combination of cardio workouts, bodyweight training and, of course, a balanced diet.

    Eat right: Tips for forging muscle
    A proper diet is essential to build muscle. The following foods can help you get stronger:
    Water: Did you know that your muscles are largely made of water? Make sure to get plenty of fluids through your diet: salad and other vegetables contain a lot of water.
    Eggs: You need plenty of protein to build muscle. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein.
    Legumes: Beans and lentils not only contain protein, but zinc, too. The latter is especially important for muscle growth. Without it your body cannot build muscle. Our tip: Avoid eating legumes before your workout. They are high in fiber and thus heavy on the stomach.
    Berries: These fruits are true nutritional powerhouses. Berries not only help you lose weight, but they also promote muscle growth.
    Meat and fish: After an intense workout, meat and fish help you replenish your protein stores.
    Nuts: Different varieties like walnuts, almonds, or Brazil nuts contain protein and many important fatty acids. You also shouldn’t forget about vegetable fats (like olive oil and canola oil).
    6 good reasons why you should begin bodyweight training today:
    Do you need a little extra motivation? Here are six reasons why you should try bodyweight training:
    It will enhance your performance.
    It will whip you into shape and tone your entire body.
    It will improve your strength and your posture.
    It will really boost your metabolism.
    It will strengthen your immune system.
    …and it will increase your self-confidence!
    So, do you want to be more active in your life? Download the adidas Training app and start your customized 12-week bodyweight training plan today!

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    Dance Your Way to Fitness >> Make Exercise Fun with this Effective Dance Workout (incl. workout video)

    Ready for something new and more variety in your workouts? Preferably a combination of cardio and strength? We’ve got just what you need! Dance workouts are all the rage on social media, TV, and even in magazines – and for a good reason. 
    What are Dance Workouts?
    Different. Captivating. Great for any fitness level and age. Dance workouts combine music and traditional bodyweight exercises with rhythm and dance moves. The goal of these fitness videos is to motivate you to improve your endurance, strength, and coordination through music and rhythm.  

     
    How are dance workouts created?
    There is no set structure to a dance workout. Some follow the standard warm-up, workout, cool-down program, while others simply combine different bodyweight exercises and dance moves.
    Either way, the individual exercises and moves are done for a few seconds each without a break between them. They can also be combined into a choreographed set and be repeated several times in a specific order. 
    The goal of a dance workout can vary. There are dance workouts focused on one muscle group and others that target the whole body. Some concentrate on improving endurance and coordination. Keep in mind, there are so many dance videos out there by now that you can even choose which kind of music you prefer. There is truly something for everyone. And if you find that you can’t keep up with a certain dance move or exercise, don’t worry. Do your best or run in place for those few seconds. The music makes it easy to always keep moving. 

    Aerobic Workout vs. Dance Workout
    You might be wondering how this is different from aerobic workouts. Aerobic workouts are designed with specific rhythmic steps and arm movements: up, down, right, left. The dance workouts that are so popular these days sometimes integrate this into the warm-up or cool-down, but the main workout is a combination of bodyweight exercises and dance moves. So what is the difference between a dance workout and aerobic dance? It is merely the name – the term “dance workout” is what this type of dance fitness is called today. 

    Top 7 Benefits of Dance Workouts:

    Combines endurance and strength training 
    High calorie burn through constant movement and rhythm change 
    Improves your mood and reduces stress (3, 4)
    No equipment necessary (but feel free to use weights or other objects like a hula hoop!) 
    Have a positive effect on long and short-term memory, attention, and brain plasticity in older adults (5, 6)
    Trainers guide you through the entire workout and motivate you 
    You can do it alone or with family and friends 

    Get up and Dance!
    Long story short – grab your workout clothes, let the music move you, and test your coordination and endurance with Lolu’s cool moves and positive energy: 

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    Running in the Cold: Hot Tips for Winter Running Gear

    There are places in the world in which the winter months are the most pleasant time of the year for run training. Of course, unless you happen to live in Australia or South Africa, you probably won’t feel this way.
    Particularly in the coming months, when there is snow on the ground and it is freezing cold, getting yourself outdoors to brave the weather will present a big challenge. If you still manage to find a way of motivating yourself to keep running in the cold, you can benefit from these advantages:
    Do you often feel tired and lack energy in winter? Then you will enjoy the burst of energy your winter runs give you even more.
    If you don’t take a break from running during winter, you stay fit year round and you get into shape faster in spring.
    You strengthen your immune system and toughen yourself up.
    If you complete your workout despite the bad weather, you will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
    I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” There’s a lot of truth to that saying. To make running in the cold, snow and ice easier, we have put together a list of the hottest tips on cold weather running gear to keep you running in winter.
    Winter running gear essentials
    TDress like an onion! Wear several layers of clothing, one on top of the other. The first layer should consist of special, breathable functional underwear. This absorbs the sweat and then transports it out, away from your body. The second layer of your cold weather running gear should regulate your body heat. A good example of this would be an elastic stretch fleece shirt. The third layer protects you specifically against the wind and the elements like a Windstopper vest or a Gore Tex jacket.
    The right footwear
    For running on winter’s often wet and slippery surfaces, a running shoe with a good sole profile, like a trail running shoe, is essential. A breathable and water-repellent upper keeps your feet dry. Special running socks with extra breathability prevent shifting and slipping and help keep your Achilles tendons and calves warm.

    Warm head and hands despite the cold
    In the case of strong winds and frigid temperatures, wearing a running beanie or a headband is a good idea. Special running gloves keep your fingers warm. That way you’ll be safe from excessive heat loss.

    Our tip:
    Your body produces heat when your muscles move. Therefore, make sure to choose your clothing so the first few minutes of your run are a bit chilly. That way you don’t have to worry about being overdressed and can avoid heavy sweating and overheating.

    An absolute must: Warming up
    When it is particularly unpleasant outdoors, warm up at home. Good exercises for this are jumping jacks or walking high knees. But don’t work up too much of a sweat though, because you don’t want to start your run drenched in sweat.
    The cold won’t bother you much if you warm up before your run.

    Start off into the wind
    If it is not only cold but windy too, then choose a route in which you start running into the wind and finish with the wind at your back. That way you avoid getting too cold at the end of your run.
    Running in the dark
    If you prefer morning or evenings when you go running in winter, make sure to wear the right gear for your safety. Besides headlamps, reflective vests, safety armbands and safety shoe clips, there are reflective running beanies, jackets and gloves for running in the dark.
    More fun running in a group
    Get together with like-minded people. This helps motivate you and makes your training session twice as much fun.

    Don’t forget to cool down
    After you run, get somewhere warm as quickly as possible and take a shower or change into warm and dry clothes. If you are wrapped up nice and warm, you can do your cool-down stretches outdoors without the risk of catching a chill.
    Even if it is not as noticeable as in summer, you lose a good deal of fluids running in the cold. Therefore, make sure to drink plenty of water after your run.

    Our tip:
    Never put your running shoes on the radiator to dry. The strong and direct heat makes the material of the shoes stiff and brittle, thus reducing their longevity. Instead, stuff your shoes with newspaper and put them in a dry, heated, and well-ventilated room. After about an hour, you can replace the wet newspaper with fresh, dry newspaper.

    We hope you feel motivated to try running in the cold this winter. Just make sure you are prepared with the appropriate winter running gear!

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    Streak Running • Tips to Keep You Running Every Day

    Have you ever considered running every day? This is exactly what you do in a run streak. We’ve put together a few tips to help keep you going in a running streak. 

    Definition: Running Streak
    A “streak” is when you run on consecutive days for a certain period of time. According to the rules of the United States Running Streak Association, a distance of at least 1.6 km counts as a run.(1)This is usually 12 to 15 minutes of easy running. You can’t make up missed runs or run ahead in a streak — you really have to run every single day without fail. At the end of the year, you can look at how many consecutive runs you completed. 

    6 Tips for Streak Running
    1. Set a running goal
    Running every day can be challenging for any runner. Choose a time of day that suits you, set your intended timeframe, and you’ve got your running schedule. 

    Tip:
    This method is good for beginners who want to start running; it will help establish some regularity for the body. The goal is to make running a normal activity that you want to integrate into your daily life.  

    2. Begin slowly
    The motivation is usually highest at the beginning. In order to keep this level up, you should start slowly. Streak running is not about breaking a new record every day. Divide your mileage up well, switch between running fast and slowly, shorter and longer distances. This is a great way to develop your running potential. 

    Tip:
    In order to add variety to your daily running routine, you can mix in different training methods: fartlek, long slow runs, tempo runs, or crescendo runs.

    3. Discover the benefits
    Running every day is not at all detrimental to your health. Studies show that moderate daily exercise improves your overall health.(2) 
    By starting your training with short and slow runs, you give your body time to adjust to the effects of exercise. You protect your joints, avoid overtraining, and prevent painful injuries. 
    You can gradually make running a new habit in your daily life. With the short runs you can carve out space in your life for running. Friends and colleagues who might be skeptical about your athletic enthusiasm will be more understanding of short workouts.

    4. Listen to your body
    There is no place for excessive ambition in streak running, like any kind of professional training. Beginner runners should be careful about the goals they set for themselves. Give your body time to get used to running. The moment you feel that you are overtraining, take a break from your run streak. Typical running problems like shin splints and ankle sprains are nothing to laugh at. Knee problems and back pain resulting from poor running form are common side effects of overtraining. You can prevent problems like this by warming up properly. Bodyweight training exercises to strengthen your muscles will help improve your running performance.  
    5. Enjoy the recovery
    Does running every day and recovery sound like a contradiction to you? It doesn’t have to be. Let’s say you run between 2 and 10 km every day, your body still has time to recover. This happens during relaxed, slow runs, during which your muscles experience active recovery. Additional stretching relaxes your muscles and with a foam roller you can stimulate your connective tissue and loosen tension and knots. 

    6. Don’t forget to eat right
    Along with proper recovery, the right nutrition will strengthen your performance. When you run every day, you burn more energy. Make sure you drink enough fluids and eat a balanced diet. Eat meals rich in quality carbohydrates like whole grain pasta to keep your body supplied with enough glycogen. This way you’ll have the energy you need for your daily runs. Healthy fats and protein, which you can find in meat, fish, beans, nuts, and eggs, will refill your energy stores after the run. Fruit and vegetables provide you with additional vitamins and minerals. 
    Check list:
    ✓  Shoes: it pays to invest in good running shoes if you want to be a streaker. The right fit will help prevent injuries. 
    ✓  Outfit: get the right clothing for any weather. Rain is no excuse. Do your short runs on bad weather days.  
    ✓  Route: try running without a route in mind and use these sessions to get to know the area better. 
    ✓  Friends: motivate friends and colleagues to join you. When you run the minimum distance, there’s really no excuse not to come along. Anyone can run 10 to 15 minutes and squeeze it into the lunch break.
    Are you ready for streak running? Download the adidas Running app and track your runs!

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    Can you Build Muscle with Bodyweight Exercises?

    Most of the time when we hear the words “build muscle”, we automatically think of weight training with equipment such as free weights and machines. But can you also build muscle with bodyweight exercises, without the use of additional weights?
    Table of contents:

    What is bodyweight training?
    Bodyweight training is, as the name says, training with your own body weight. In these workouts, the resistance your muscles work against is provided entirely by your body weight. Common bodyweight exercises include push-ups, squats, dips or sit-ups. The adidas Training app offers a wide range of training plans and workouts to exercise at home.

    Build muscle: How does muscle growth work?
    If you want to understand how muscle growth works, a good place to start is with the muscular system. Every single muscle in your body consists of many fibers, like ropes made out of different materials. When these ropes work together better as a team, your strength increases without causing any visible physical changes. Or in other words, the coordination between the fibers improves through the repetition of exercises. This usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks. If you continue to train, hypertrophy will occur and your muscle fibers will grow in size. This is also when you will start to see noticeable changes.
    During strength training, your body thinks to itself: “This workout was hard. I’ve got to find a way to make it easier next time.” Your body thus repairs micro-injuries to the muscles caused by the workout, and at the same time adds a little more tissue for future training sessions. These injuries are tiny “micro-tears” in the muscle fibers caused by intense exercise.
    If you regularly increase your training performance and keep pushing yourself, your body has to continue adapting to the new stimuli. You could almost say that your muscles grow after training just to be on the safe side, so they are ready for anything the next time. Muscle growth begins during the recovery period when your body repairs the damaged fibers. The other important thing you need to know is that the number of muscle fibers in your body was determined at birth. Thus, training does not increase the number of fibers, but instead their thickness and shape.

    Don’t forget:
    The proteins stored in muscle cells are essential for muscle growth. A balanced, high-protein diet is just as important for gaining muscle as working out regularly. Our nutrition guide provides you with the tips you need to eat right for cardio, strength training and rest days.

    Muscle growth takes time
    Your training should stimulate your muscles, but not every workout will immediately cause your muscles to grow. You might be wondering when you will start to see results. Be patient, because it takes weeks and months of regular training until you’ll start to see your muscles develop.
    The only way to stress your muscles is through regular and varied training. Muscles disappear as fast as they appeared if you don’t keep pushing them. Finding a fitness routine that you enjoy makes it easier to stick with your training. After a certain period of time, your muscles will get used to this stimulus. If you continue to use the same routine, eventually you will plateau and no longer make progress. That is why it is important to continually increase your training performance. But don’t forget to schedule rest days, too. Taking days off from training is vital because it allows your muscles to recover and grow. 
    Remember that it is not only your muscles that are changing through exercise. Tendons, ligaments and bones also have to adapt to the new physical demands.

    Bodyweight exercises: Can you build muscle without equipment?
    Of course, you can! You don’t necessarily need free weights and resistance machines to build muscle. It all depends on your goal:
    Home workouts without equipment is a great way for novice strength trainers to grow their muscles. Using your own body weight as resistance really challenges your muscles. This in turn makes them grow stronger and you will gain muscle mass. There are lots of different exercises and workouts you can do using your own bodyweight. As mentioned above, the main thing is that you keep upping the bar to make things more challenging and that you give your body time to recover. Important note: Beginners should let a physiotherapist or fitness expert demonstrate the exercises before starting with training. It is very important that the exercises are performed correctly in order to gain muscle mass properly and to avoid injury.
    Are you already a fitness pro who is working out regularly? If you are interested in high-level strength training and bodybuilding, then weights are necessary to maximize your muscle gains. In some cases, bodyweight training quickly leads to performance plateaus. Weight training with equipment makes it easier to track your gains, know when to increase the weights, and you’ll see results faster. 

    Did you know that…?
    If you want to increase the intensity of your full-body training, focus on extending your range of motion (ROM). If you train with the full range of motion, this means that the muscle is under constant tension throughout the entire range of contraction (maximum flexion and extension). This allows you to build up significantly more strength.(1) Developing a mind-muscle connection is also helpful. This involves concentrating on and thus activating the actual muscle being targeted by the exercise.

    Another option for adding more variety to your no-equipment workouts: You can increase the resistance of your workout by simply using a fitness band.
    Also check out this blog post for more training tips for effective muscle building.

    Positive effects of trained muscles
    Training with your own body weight not only improves your physical appearance. It also produces other positive effects like giving you tighter skin, better posture and reducing stress. Stronger muscles also help stabilize your joints and support your tendons and ligaments.
    Are you also interested in losing fat? Great, then your newly developed muscles will help you burn more fat while you are resting because they require more energy than fat. People who regularly engage in full-body workout also benefit from another effect – the afterburn effect. This refers to the fact that your body continues to burn calories after you finish exercising because your metabolism remains at a slightly elevated level. Exercise also improves your mental health, and stronger muscles build self-confidence.
    Bottom line:
    There’s no question that you can build muscle without equipment. Bodyweight exercises constantly challenge your body in new ways, improves your endurance and can be done anywhere, anytime, without needing any additional weights or equipment. You just need a little more patience. But the results are on their way. Stick with it and keep pushing your body to its limits!

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    Strong Abs = Faster Running Times?

    Do you want to improve your running times? Besides endurance and well-trained legs, a solid core is extremely important for your running performance. Many runners, however, are unaware of how much they can benefit from having strong abs and back muscles. Improve your running performance Running basically consists of constantly shifting your weight and changing […] More