These 11 muscle building tips can help beginner athletes get started with their muscle building journey. These muscle growth methods can also enable advanced athletes whose muscle growth has plateaued. Muscle building is a complex physiological process that takes significant time and commitment. At the same time, there is a lot of wrong information about building muscle best. Cut through the noise with these 11 muscle building tips to start building bigger muscles today!SummaryMuscle building tips from workout structure (like sets and reps) to how much protein to include in a muscle building diet. Clever ways to build muscle and reduce total workout time with muscle building tips on supersets and pushing to failure. Learn how to increase lean muscle mass ratio.Muscle Building Tip 1: How much weight is best for building muscle?Numerous studies have shown that a weight you can lift a maximum of 8-12 times produces the most significant gains in muscle size[1, 2]. Depending on the exercise and your fitness level, this is equivalent to 60-80% of your one-rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift in a single repetition).Many people mistakenly think that the only way to trigger muscle growth is by lifting heavy weights in a gym.You can build bigger butt muscles, a strong core, a massive chest and even a super strong back with bodyweight exercises (or resistance band exercises) you can do at home or wherever you are!Heavy weights are only necessary if you want to have a bodybuilder’s physique. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean having the type of strength athletes need to compete, which translates to everyday health and fitness.Fact:Muscle growth is mainly due to an increase in the size and not the number of muscle fibers.Muscle Building Tip 2: How many sets per exercise are right for you? Single vs. multiple set trainingA set is the number of times you complete a certain movement (reps) and its recovery period. For example, 3×8 push-ups would be 3 sets of 8 push-ups each. The rest interval is usually 1-3 minutes between sets (more on that below).The optimal number of sets is a hot topic in the strength training world.There are big differences here depending on your fitness level.In the first weeks, novices and beginners show the same gains with single set training as they do with multiple set training.More advanced athletes achieve significantly better results with multiple set training because the training stimulus with single set training is too low to stress the muscles to adapt. Therefore, multiple set training is recommended in this case.Beginners should stick to two or three sets, whereas more advanced strength trainers can do 3-5 or more sets.Good to knowPerform as many reps and sets as you can before your form or technique fails. Continuing to push even though your form has collapsed can lead to injury. Always be in control of your movements and respect the limits of your body and fitness level. One of the biggest challenges is knowing when enough is enough, and this comes with many years (decades) of practice. Skip straight to Muscle Building Tip 7 to learn more about pushing to failure.Muscle Building Tip 3: Reps Per SetHow many repetitions (reps) per set depends on the specific exercise and fitness goals. For example, it would be reasonable to do 30-60 jumping jacks; however, that would be far too many push-ups for most people.Stick to a rep range of 6-12 repetitions of the same exercise if the focus is on building muscle. Once that many reps of an exercise is possible with good form, go all the way to 20 reps for exercises like push-ups, rows, squats, etc. Once 20 reps with good technique are doable, add another set and drop the reps back down to 6-8 reps per set. Add more reps again once you can complete all sets with good form.Muscle Building Tip 4: Rest Between SetsRest between 90 seconds and 3 minutes between individual sets.Add an aerobic component to the workout or if short on time by doing circuit training or supersets. Circuit training means skipping the recovery intervals and going straight into the next exercise. This method of training works the cardiovascular system more than strength training alone.On the other hand, basic supersets involve doing exercises that oppose the same muscle or muscle group—for example, doing a set of push-ups and then going straight into a set of supermans. The two exercises oppose the same muscle group (think pushing versus pulling movements). This means skipping the recovery interval while still pushing hard in each exercise. Check out the below videos to see how push-ups and supermans work opposing muscle groups (known as an antagonist superset): Be careful with supersets because they can leave you with DOMS for days because they work muscles to the limit! Make sure you understand the benefits of super-compensation and the difference between overtraining.Important:Make sure you perform all the exercises at a steady pace and with proper form.Muscle Building Tip 5: How many times a week for you do strength training?Soreness related to strength training is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). It is vital to return or begin strength training very conservatively. Aim for the minimum amount of reps and sets if one hasn’t strength trained in a while (or ever). DOMS may occur one to two days after the initial strength training session. Even if soreness persists, another strength training session two to three days later can help alleviate DOMS and is a good idea for experienced athletes. Athletes who have never strength trained before should do one day of strength training their first week, then try adding a day the next week and see how their body reacts.RememberBuilding muscle is a long-term process. Rushing muscle building will lead to injury eventually, which will cause serious setbacks. Trust in the process, go slow and be patient. Always leave one or two reps “on the table.” When in doubt, leave it out.For beginners, two strength sessions a week is enough. An all-around program that works all the major muscle groups is best. These are often called “fully-body workouts.” Some examples of full-body workouts in adidas Training are: Full Body with Weights (use dumbbells or water bottles as weights), 8-Minute Fully Body Workout, 10-Minute Tabata HIIT, and so many more! More advanced strength trainers can work out three to four times per week.Split training is a good way to make sure there is enough time for muscle recovery. Each major muscle group will work twice a week if you do a two-body-part split four days a week. The most common types of split training are dividing your workout into upper and lower body or push and pull exercises.Advanced athletes can consider building their workouts with the adidas Training Workout Creator. This feature enables athletes to choose specific muscle groups, difficulty, workout duration and equipment. A common way to use this feature to split workouts would be to target legs and lower body one day of the week, then target arms and upper body the next day, then go back to lower body. This type of training is only for advanced athletes because it adds significant training stress, which is needed to promote further muscle growth due to the principle of progressive overload.Muscle Building Tip 6: How many weeks to see visible results?When starting strength training, strength increases, but your muscles won’t look any bigger.This is because the strength gains at the beginning are due to improved intra- and intermuscular coordination (improved activation and interaction between muscles). Training blocks should last between eight and twelve weeks, including a recovery week every third or fourth week depending on experience level and injury propensity.Muscle growth requires continuous additional training stimulus. Muscle Building Tip 7: Push Muscles to Failure Pushing to failure sounds dangerous (and it can be). Pushing muscles to failure is also a great way to induce muscle growth. Pushing to failure means one could not complete another rep with good technique. If one completes that final rep with poor technique, they have pushed past failure, which can quickly lead to injury at worst and is counterproductive at best.An excellent way to push to failure for bodyweight exercises is simply doing as many reps of an exercise until technique suffers. For example, do as many push-ups as possible and stop when hips and/or shoulders sag towards the ground. Rest for a minute, then do another set and note down how many reps are possible. Try to do more reps and/or sets in the next workout to build muscle. The key to this tip is to push just until it is almost too much and then stop. It’s never productive to get injured, so be very careful. Beginner athletes should focus on developing perfect technique before attempting this training tip.For example, here are 9 of the most common mistakes for the most common exercises to watch out for when pushing muscles to failure.Muscle Building Tip 8: Cut Cardio (If Muscle Building is the Only Goal)Cardio or aerobic exercise can impact the body’s ability to build muscle. If big muscles are a primary goal, cutting cardio is required. However, beginner athletes will likely realize significant gains fast if they do strength training and cardio workouts. Being able to climb stairs without getting winded is good for overall health! Plus, muscle growth will happen in a functionally natural way. For example, including running workouts will develop important leg muscles and work the cardiovascular system.The bottom lineUnless bodybuilding is a goal or muscle growth has plateaued, include cardio workouts in training.Muscle Building Tip 9: Muscle Building NutritionBuilding muscle requires fueling muscle growth. Cutting calories to lose weight is counterintuitive to building muscle. Additionally, calorie needs will increase as muscle mass increases.Protein Intake for Muscle BuildingProtein is essential for muscle building. Adequate protein intake doesn’t mean cutting out the other macronutrients of carbs and fat. It also doesn’t mean consuming more than 25g of protein an hour (the maximal protein absorption rate for humans). Supplements that have hundreds of grams of protein are a waste of money. Use this protein calculator to quickly and easily figure out how much protein is needed to build muscle. Carb Intake for Muscle BuildingMany people falsely believe that cutting carbs is an excellent way to promote muscle growth. The body prioritizes carbs as its primary fuel source during very intense exercise (like strength training or sprinting through the physiological process known as glycolysis). If the body doesn’t have enough carbs to fuel the exercise, it breaks down protein in muscles and converts protein into glucose to cover the energy expenditure of the training. This has the negative effect of breaking down the very muscles being built!Eat enough carbs to cover the energy cost of the exercise. Find that out using this carb intake calculator.The bottom lineInstead, eat a balanced diet of protein, carbs and fat. Get protein from the diet, not supplements.Muscle Building Tip 10: Lose Weight and Build Lean Muscle MassIt is possible to use strength training to increase the ratio of lean muscle mass while losing weight . Muscle mass may not increase (and may even decrease) during weight loss. However, increasing protein intake and maintaining strength training while cutting carbs and fat can help one maintain or increase their ratio of lean muscle mass. Think of it like this: if total bodyweight drops but muscle mass stays the same, the ratio of muscle to body weight has increased despite muscles not growing. In other words, lean muscle mass has increased.Muscle Building Tip 11: The Role of RestMuscle doesn’t get built during workouts: they break down. Muscle grows during rest because rest allows the body to repair broken muscle tissue stronger than before. Get eight to nine hours of sleep every night, especially during heavy training. Napping is also critical for serious muscle growth.ConclusionThe most important thing for effectively building muscle (as well as for every training goal in general) is that you continue to work out regularly.If you stay consistent, all the hard work will pay off and you are guaranteed to see visible results.Are you ready to get in shape and build strength? Get the adidas Training app and join a challenge!*** More
If you want lean, strong legs, and a firm butt, then squats are for you!What is a squat?A squat is a strength training exercise for your lower body. The bodyweight exercise targets quads, glutes, hamstrings, and even your core gets involved when you squat.Because all these muscle groups come along to the squat party, you burn many more calories than if you were to do isolated exercises targeting each of those muscles. Squatting is much more functional than isolated exercises (i.e. quad extensions or hamstring curls). Whether you’re a runner, biker, or just want a great behind, the simultaneous strengthening of different muscle groups helps to prevent injury and improve performance. Talk about more bang for your buck for your leg day workout!Now, before we get started with these 20 squat variations, watch this video to ensure you are performing the basic bodyweight squat properly and safely: If a leg day workout is your favorite training session of the week, then you’re going to love these squat variations!Good to know:These are all bodyweight squat variations, but feel free to add weights to some of these exercises for an extra challenge.Top 20 Bodyweight Squat Variations These are all bodyweight squat variations, but feel free to add weights to some of these if you want to.1. Squat and WalkBegin with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Squat down nice and low into a squat position. Keep your chest up and core engaged. Walk four steps forward and four steps back for one repetition. Try to make these big steps while maintaining a low squat position.2. PliÉ Squat + Heel RaisesBegin with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outward. Squat down nice and low. Lift your right heel up and down, and then your left heel. Now, push through the heels to come back up to start. Tighten your glutes again at the top and repeat.3. Squat KickbackBegin with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Perform a squat and as you come up, kick your right leg back like you’re trying to push close a door behind you. As always, be sure to keep your core engaged for balance and control. Bring the right leg down as you lower back down into a squat position. Repeat using the left leg.4. Frog SquatBegin with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outward. Squat down nice and low until your fingertips touch the ground while maintaining a flat black. Then reach your arms up overhead and jump up towards the sky. Land with soft knees in a loaded squat position, fingers touching the ground.Note:If your fingertips cannot reach down to the floor without an excessive forward lean, don’t go all the way to the floor. Work within your limits and just reach down as far as you can!5. 3-Way Jump SquatBegin with your feet close together, toes pointing forward, knees not touching. Squat down into a narrow squat position, with your legs closer together than with a standard squat. Then jump up into the air and land with soft knees in a regular squat position. Again, jump up into the air and land with soft knees in a plié squat (feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing outward). Then jump-squat your way back to the regular squat and position yourself into a narrow squat to repeat.6. Burpee Squat HoldStart in a standing position. Place your hands on the ground and jump your feet back into a high plank position on your hands. Make sure not to arch your back when you jump back into a plank. Then, jump your feet forward outside your hands with your toes pointing outward. Stay low in the plié squat position and only lift up your upper body. Place your hands back down on the ground in between your feet and repeat!7. Squat with Side Leg LiftBegin with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes parallel or slightly outward. Perform a squat and as you come up, lift your left leg up to the side and make sure to squeeze the outer part of your glutes. As you step back, lower yourself into a squat again. Repeat with the right leg. To make it harder, do a side kick instead of a lift!8. Side Step SquatBegin with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Squat down until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Keep your chest up and your core engaged. Now take a step with the right foot to the side. Make sure to keep your thighs parallel to each other and maintain your squat form. Now step with the left leg towards you so that you’re back in a squat. You can switch sides or do 2-3 steps in one direction and then 2-3 in the other.9. Box SquatThis is a great exercise for learning how to squat properly. If you don’t have a box handy, you can use a chair. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back and lower yourself down until your butt touches the box. Make sure not to sit on the box! Then, push the ground with your heels to lift yourself back up.10. Surrender SquatStart kneeling with both knees on the floor. Cross your hands behind your head. Now step into a kneel with one knee up. Push the heel of the front leg to the ground and bring the other leg up and do a squat. Step down into the first position to repeat.11. Single Leg SquatStart with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward and your arms in front of you. Bend the knee of one leg and lift it off the ground. Push your hips back and bend the knee of the standing leg to slowly lower yourself down. Make sure to keep your hips leveled. Go down as low as you can while keeping your form and do not let your other foot touch the ground. Now push back up from the standing leg. Repeat on the other side.12. Cossack SquatStart with your feet in a wide stance and your toes pointing outwards to the side. Shift your weight to one side and squat down, going as low as you can without lifting the heel of the squatting leg off the ground. Push the heel of the squatting leg to the ground and get back up to the wide starting position. Repeat on the other side.8 More Squat Variations to Maximize Your Leg Day Workout From Chair Squat to Pop Squat: If you need something even more challenging to feel the burn, try these 8 squat exercises for all levelsHow to Incorporate Squat Variations in Your TrainingNow, let’s talk about how to incorporate these exercises into your next leg day workout:You can choose one or two squat exercises and add them to your current routine.Or, you can choose 10-12 of the above-mentioned squat exercises for a full circuit-style leg day workout.Perform 10-20 repetitions (depending on your fitness level) of each squat variation with little rest in betweenRest at the end of the final exercise for 2-3 minutes and repeat for 3 rounds.Squatting is a great way to build lower body strength. If you are looking to work your whole body, download the adidas Training app. Explore our exercises and training plans, or build your own workout with the Workout Creator!*** More
If you think trail running only happens in the mountains, you’re mistaken.Running off-road is about leaving the streets and running on a natural surface. We’ll give you 5 tips to make it easier to ditch tar for off-road running. 1. Look for the right trail running routeYou don’t necessarily have to go into the wild for your next trail run. Look for a route that takes you through parks, on gravel paths, or across fields. You’ll find new areas away from where you usually run and get an introduction to running off-road. If you’re not that familiar with your surroundings, take a look at the map and get an idea of where you might find some trails. Expert Tip:Be free and run without a plan. Decide where you want to go according to how you feel; be spontaneous and try different running surfaces. Trail running is not necessarily about setting a PR; it’s also about experiencing your environment. 2. Train for new conditions The biggest challenge you have in trail running is the different terrain you run on. It’s a good idea to develop your leg muscles if you want to run trails. Exercises to improve stability and balance help prevent injuries. You should also strengthen your ankles so you don’t end up twisting or spraining them. Where does trail running happen? In trail running, only 20% of the route should be on paved surfaces like asphalt and cobblestones. The rest is run on rougher terrain. The different parts of the route can be on gravel paths, trails in the woods, and single-track trails. Are you ready for a bit of competition? Lace up your trail running shoes and compete against Gaia, a wild mountain lion, in this year’s Run Wild challenge!3. Prepare for off-road running with bodyweight exercisesWhen you’re ready to prepare for your first trail run, try the following bodyweight exercises:Stability and balance exercises: Plank: This full-body workout is a great way to strengthen your core. Single-Leg Stand: Stand on one leg and slowly come up onto your toes. As soon as you feel confident enough, you can try this exercise on an uneven surface.Single-Leg Deadlift: Stand on one leg and bend forward at the hips. Lift your other leg and stretch it out behind you until it’s at a 90° angle to the leg you are standing on. Exercises to increase jump strength:Jump Lunges: Switch sides as you jump into these lunges. Single-Leg Jump: Stand on one leg and jump up and down or move forward as you jump. Speed Skater: Jump sideways from one leg to the other quickly like a speed skater. Box Jumps: Jump up onto a raised surface with both legs. (Want to become a box jump pro? Check out our box jump blog post.)4. Start slowly Since trail running usually involves a lot of uneven surfaces, your legs will get stronger than running on the road. Your body has to burn more energy to deal with the constant changes in conditions and surfaces. Take it easy on your first trail runs and keep it slow, so you aren’t gasping for breath right away. Over time you can start playing with different speeds on a variety of terrain (like fartlek). 5. Choose the right trail running shoesThe running shoes you wear for the road are fine for flat surfaces. But as soon as you start running steeper trails, you should think about getting shoes with good grip. Remember:Don’t tie your shoes too tight but snug enough so that you don’t slide around in them. Tuck the big loops of your laces into the lacing, so they don’t catch on branches. There is a variety of trail running gear available to make your experience more enjoyable. You can store drinks or energy bars in special running packs, in case you are out for a longer run. Caution — eyes on the ground! Unlike when you run on the road, trails are full of hazards: roots, loose stones, or the wet, slippery forest floor make it essential to watch where you’re going when you run.Would you like to learn more about trail running? We have the Top 3 Beginner Tips from the Pros for you.*** More
Training plans help athletes set goals and achieve them. Creating training plans from scratch can be difficult and potentially dangerous if you don’t have the proper background or athletic knowledge. Our fitness experts put together their top training plan tips so you can decide what training plan is best for you.What is a training plan?A training plan is a useful companion and guide on your journey to get fitness results. Are you looking for exercises to build a bigger butt or shape your abs? Whatever your goal is, your training plan should always be tailored to you and your expectations. When setting a goal, make sure that it is challenging, but still realistic. A goal you think you can achieve helps to keep you motivated.Do you already have a fitness goal in mind? A workout routine is nothing more than a means to an end. It is geared towards your goal and is based on your current (physical) condition. Your 12-week training plan already has a clear picture of where you are going. It keeps presenting you with new challenges. But a good plan not only consists of a mix of exercises: It also includes useful tips on rest periods and intensity.Practical Training Plan tipsThere are a number of training principles that can help you reach your goals. Increase the effectiveness of your training with the following tips:The workout should push you – but not over the edgeEvery training session should push you to your limits, but without overdoing it. If the intensity of your exercises is too low, you won’t see any results. But if the training stimulus is too high, it can even be harmful for your body. If you want to improve your performance, the training stimulus must be adjusted to your (current) physical condition.Think long-termProgress doesn’t come overnight. Your muscles are not the only body parts that have to get used to regular training. Other body systems have to adjust to the increased activity, which takes time. In short, change doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient!Push yourselfTo be successful in your training, you have to keep challenging your body. This doesn’t always mean doing more reps. You can add more weight, do an extra set or just simply be more focused and aware during your workout. The mind-muscle connection in itself can make a big difference.Listen to your bodyThe more personalized the plan, the better. Don’t keep overdoing it, and remember that nobody knows you better than yourself. Does your resting heart rate increase significantly after you get up in the morning? Do you lack appetite and feel completely exhausted and unmotivated? Or does your heart rate barely decrease during the breaks between exercises? All of these can be signs that you are overtraining and that it is time for a rest day. So pay attention and don’t ignore the signs your body is giving you. A training plan is not set in stone. It can be modified and adjusted to fit your condition. Don’t get frustrated if once in a while you have to take it a little slower. The next time you’ll be able to achieve even more.Set realistic goalsNo goals, no success: Clear goals help you keep up your motivation and enable you to monitor your progress.Mix it upSooner or later, doing the same thing over and over again will lead your performance to level off and you will cease to improve. You can break up this monotony by constantly mixing up your workouts. This doesn’t just mean including different exercises, but varying the intensity and rest periods between sets.Stick with itOnce doesn’t count: One training session is not going to produce any noticeable improvements. If you want to get the most out of your training, you need to keep repeating the exercises. Your body won’t start to adapt until you push it to and beyond its limits. This overload causes your body to adapt and helps you to reach the next level.Get the most out of each exerciseThere’s a big difference between giving 50% or 100%. The more you throw yourself into your workout, the more you will get out of it.Give your body time to recoverScheduling recovery time into your training program ensures a perfect balance of effort and recovery. Try to spread your training sessions throughout the week and plan your off days in advance. If the last training session was very intense and tiring, the next one should be more moderate, or you might even want to consider taking the day off.Training is just one piece of the puzzleTraining isn’t the only thing you need to reach your fitness goals. You also need a proper diet, as well as a mix of cool-down exercises, baths, massages, a good water and electrolyte balance, stretching and relaxation exercises and recovery periods. Until you put all the pieces together, you will never really see any major results.How to plan a sessionEvery training plan consists of a number of elements put into a systematic order. Imagine that each training session is a piece of a puzzle: Like a jigsaw puzzle, all of the elements have to fit together, so in the end you can celebrate your success. There are times when it is tougher, and sometimes you have to try something new. But when everything is said and done, you’ll have reached your goal. Each training session should include the following three parts:Warm-up: Warming up helps you prepare mentally and physically for the workout. Plus, it reduces the risk of injury. Use simple exercises that you have done before and know well.Main activity: The main activity is the actual workout part of your training session. The goal is to increase or maintain your physical performance.Cool-down: The cool-down initiates and speeds up the recovery process.If that all sounds too complicated, try one of the training plans in adidas Running or Training. They will help you set realistic goals and guide your training, tailored to your schedule, from start to finish.*** More
Having muscular arms is a sign of strength and fitness. Sporting a pair of guns is one of the easiest ways to make a big impression. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that one of the most popular gym exercises is the biceps curl. Practically everyone who holds a dumbbell in their hand for the first time instinctively does a curl. But what if you want to do a bicep workout at home without weights? Here is a list of bodyweight bicep exercises you can do at home with a pull up bar or resistance band. The best bodyweight exercises for your bicepsHere’s how to combine bicep exercises into a great home workout: Choose three of the exercises and do 8-12 repetitions. Do three sets of each exercise with 90-120 seconds of rest between sets. During isometric exercises, try to hold the position as long as possible. Repeat this three times with 90-120 seconds of rest between sets.1. Chin-upsStarting position:Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Let yourself hang with your arms nearly straight. Maintain tension in your arms and shouldersHow to perform the exercise:Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar (end position). Then lower yourself back down to the starting position in a controlled manner.2. Isometric Chin-upsStarting position:Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. If you are unable to do a chin up, you can still do this exercise by using a chair or step to jump. Alternatively, and a more challenging bicep exercise, you can bend your arms until they are at a 90-degree angle.How to perform the exercise:Hold this position for as long as you can.3. Negative/eccentric Chin-upsStarting position:Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the barHow to perform the exercise:Lower yourself down into a hanging position in a slow and controlled manner. Your arms should not be completely straight in the end position. Make sure to maintain tension in your arms and shoulders in the end position.Note:If you cannot do a chin-up, you can always do the negatives. Feel free to use a chair or step to jump up. Then, perform the bicep exercise.4. Commando Chin-upsStarting position:Place your hands close together on the pull up bar. Your thumbs should be facing you and your arms should be nearly straight. Maintain tension in your arms and shoulders.How to perform the exercise:Pull yourself up with your head to the left of the bar. Try to touch the pull up bar with your right shoulder. Then lower yourself back down to the starting position in a controlled manner. Then, pull yourself up with your head to the right of the bar. Try to touch the bar with your left shoulder.5. Head Bangers (advanced exercise)Starting position:Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Let yourself hang with your arms nearly straight. Maintain tension in your arms and shoulders.How to perform the exercise:Pull yourself up until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. While holding this position, push and pull your body back and forth in an explosive manner, as if you were trying to hit the bar with your forehead.Extra: Bicep exercise you can do at home without a pull up barWould you like to do your bicep exercises at home, but don’t have any dumbbells or a pull up bar? No sweat, all you need is a resistance band.6. Resistance Band Bicep CurlsStarting position:Sit down with your knees flexed under you, so that you are sitting on your heels. Keep your upper body tall and shoulders relaxed. Tuck the resistance band underneath your right knee and hold it with your right hand.How to perform the exercise:Pull your hand up towards your right shoulder against the resistance of the band. Your upper arm should stay stationary as you pull on the band, keeping your elbow underneath your shoulder and close to your body. Release the hold and return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.If bigger, stronger arms and a stronger upper body are your goal – don’t forget to check out the best bodyweight exercises for triceps, too. For more tips on how to build muscle with bodyweight exercises check out Muscle Gain 101. Want to improve your overall strength and fitness? Find the perfect bodyweight training plan for your needs in the adidas Training app now.*** More
The pandemic we are experiencing around the world has challenged us in ways we never could have imagined. When it hit in the winter of 2019/20, many thought that their health, youth, or fitness level might protect them. At this point it has become clear that we are all vulnerable and no one knows how a Covid-19 infection will affect their body. New research is focusing on better understanding the long-term effects of the virus, often called Long Covid or Long-Haul Covid. This often appears with symptoms including fatigue, loss of the sense of smell/taste, dizziness, cognitive impairment, headaches, shortness of breath and can last months. (1) We talked to two of our users about their experience with Coronavirus recovery and they shared their fitness journey with us. Both are healthy women in their 30s, recreational athletes based in Europe, who had mild-to-moderate cases. What was your fitness level before COVID-19?Amélie: I used to run at least twice a week, 5 to 10 km, and also worked out at home with the adidas Training app twice a week. Barbara: I was finally getting back on track with my running after problems with my knee. I wasn’t at my best, but getting there again.What were your preferred sports/types of exercise?Amélie: I really like running. It is always hard for me to get motivated, especially when it’s cold and grey outside but once I manage and run with the right music, it gives me a great sense of freedom and helps me cope with the stress of daily life.Barbara: Running and yoga were my favorites, but I also did strength training & biking.How did you feel physically while you were infected?Amélie: It started with a light headache and serious fatigue for a few days. Then I started to have this strange feeling in my lungs like someone was pressing on my chest. One day I was cooking breakfast for my son and I realized that I couldn’t smell or taste my coffee anymore, then I knew it was Covid.Barbara: My energy level was very low. I had muscle pain, headaches, fever, and lost my sense of smell & taste.How long did you experience symptoms?Amélie: The first 4 days of quarantine were not easy. I was out of breath just from talking on the phone and was very scared it would get worse and I would end up in the hospital. After 5 days the breathing got better but I was very very tired and couldn’t do much.Barbara: I was sick for around 2 weeks, but it took me way longer to get my energy and ability to focus back – for sure a few months. The first days back at work, I worked fewer hours and needed lots of breaks.How long did it take you to start working out again? Amélie: I tried to go running around a month later, I managed to do 5 km but I was completely out of breath during the run and my lungs hurt. I switched to walking and did some short home strength workouts but without cardio.Barbara: I went for a walk again right after quarantine ended, which was roughly a week after my sick leave. I did my first slow & easy yoga session about 2 weeks after my sick leave. My first run after being sick was around 1 month later, and it felt like the first run of my life.How did you restart your exercise program?Amélie: I started running and training again but after 5 months, I still have this strange feeling in my lungs from time to time. I had them checked and the doctor said everything looks good. Nevertheless, I am still tired, my motivation is low, and I get out of breath very fast. I ran 5 km recently and it felt a bit better.Barbara: Slowly. Super, super slowly. With lots of gratitude that I can move again. Just leaving the apartment and being outdoors was a true highlight. Walking felt like a workout.Did you know?An otherwise healthy patient recovering from Covid-19 without treatment who has been asymptomatic for 7 days may begin resuming physical activity at 50% the intensity and volume. (2) Did your performance change?Amélie: Before having Covid, I could run 10 km without any difficulties. Now, the most I’ve done so far is 5 km. My lungs hurt and I have trouble finding a regular breathing rhythm. I used to run at a pace from 5:40 min/km, now I run 6:45.Barbara: Yes, and that was very hard to accept for me. It felt like starting over at zero.Did your goals change after your Coronavirus recovery?Amélie: Definitely. Now my goal is to manage to find the motivation to go running. I just have to listen to my body and not push it too much.Barbara: Definitely. My goal right now is to stay healthy and support my body and mind with whatever type of exercise it needs at the moment. Do you have any words of advice for other people who are infected with COVID-19?Amélie: Be patient and don’t panic. I try to see the positive side of it: I am most probably immune for a little while and I was lucky to have a relatively mild version of it. (3)Barbara: Talk to someone about how you are feeling and what you’re going through, also emotionally – be it your partner, a friend, a family member, or a therapist.Recovering and Moving OnAs much as we’d like to think we are invincible, there are a lot of things that can knock us down for a while. If you’ve had to deal with Coronavirus, illness, or injuries, it can be hard to get back on track and motivate yourself to continue your fitness journey. It’s important to listen to your body. Make sure you take care of your body by building rest days into your training routine. At times like this, it’s always a good idea to boost your immune system and try to manage your stress with regular exercise. Remember, if you are experiencing any symptoms or are recovering from an illness and are concerned about how long it’s taking, talk to your doctor about it. *** More
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!
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:
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.
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.
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!