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    The Smart Way to Top Form: Tips for Your Training Plan

    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

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    Tight Hip Flexors? 3 Stretches & Hip Stability Exercises

    Do you have lower back pain, pain in your glutes or hips, trouble walking, bending, or standing? The problem might lie deep within your hips in muscles that are often overlooked in strength training. Your hip flexors are the powerhouse of motion. They play a key role in core strength and stability. If your core is weak, your hip flexors will take over, causing the iliopsoas to tighten up, which limits your mobility. Stretching and strengthening these stabilizing muscles can improve your athletic performance and reduce reduce the risk of pain and injury.(1)Find out if hip flexors are causing you pain and if so, what to do about it. What are hip flexors?The hip flexors are a group of muscles located around the top of your leg in the pelvic area. They connect the lower back to the hips, groin, and thighs. The primary hip flexor is called the iliopsoas and is responsible for lifting your leg off the ground and moving forward when you run, walk, and climb stairs. It is a compound muscle located in the inner hip and comprised of the iliacus and psoas muscles. 6 Symptoms of Tight HipsIs your iliopsoas your problem? Here are six common symptoms:Tightness in the lower backPoor postureNeck tightness and painWalking with stiff kneesGlute painAchiness in hipWhat causes tight hip flexors?The most common cause of tight hip flexors is too much sitting. If you sit at a desk all day, your iliopsoas shortens, which tightens your hip flexors. The muscles maybe also be weak, putting more strain on the joints.Tip:If you have a desk job, adding regular stretching during breaks can relieve tension in your hips, neck and back, too.A weak core will also contribute to tightness in your hips, as your flexors take over to stabilize the spine, compensating for the lack of core strength. Make sure to incorporate regular strength work for your core––especially if you are a runner. Runners often suffer from tight hips, because the iliopsoas is responsible for lifting the leg with each step. Since there is no movement in running that balances out that shortening of the iliopsoas, it is essential to stretch your hips and quads regularly.3 Hip Opening StretchesReady to loosen up your tight hip flexors? Try these warm up stretches with running legend, Haile Gebrselassie. Each stretch should be held for 20 seconds; do two rounds of the three stretches.1. Hip flexor stretch [embedded content]2. Knee hug stretch [embedded content]3. Hamstring stretch[embedded content]Hip Stability Exercises for the IliopsoasDon’t stop at stretching. Increased flexibility is just one step in the journey to flexible, strong hips. Research shows that hip flexor strength training can improve sprint and agility performance among amateur athletes.(2) The benefits of strong hip flexors include greater hip stability, which can lengthen your running stride and reduce joint strain, more power in your explosive movements like jumping and sprinting, plus reduced back pain. LungesLunges are a great way to strengthen several muscle groups in and around your hips. Start with the basic forward lunge and then move on to curtsy lunges and jump lunges when you’re ready.Leg raisesStraight leg raises are an easy way to work your lower back and hip flexors. Make sure to keep your back on the floor. If the double leg raise is too tough, start with one leg at a time.Speed skatersThis exercise targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, gets your heart rate up and builds stability and balance.Looking for more strength and mobility workouts? Check out the wide variety of workouts in the adidas Training app for full body strength training. *** More

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    9 Plank Variations You Have to Try

    I am sure you have all probably heard of a basic plank, but what about these challenging plank variations for every level?Planks not only work your abs but also recruit your legs, arms, shoulders and your entire core. Plank-based movements are the foundation of my training and really help build total–body strength.Why? Because you are not isolating a single muscle group. You are integrating many different muscle groups in a practical way that mimics real-life movement.Not convinced you can get in an effective ab workout in only 5 minutes?Then you haven’t tried planking. I have 9 of my favorite plank variations to share with you today so that you can really understand the power of a plank.Beginner and Intermediate Plank Variations1. Plank T RotationsThis plank variation works your obliques and arms.Roll your toes to the side and stack your feet on top of each other. Pause in plank position and check your engaged core. Rotate hips and shoulders at the same time.[embedded content]2. Low Plank TapsThis fun alternative to the standard plank works your core, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings and triceps. Any kind of object will do. The faster you tap, the harder it gets! [embedded content]3. High Plank DumbBell Pull-ThroughNo dumbbell or similar piece of workout equipment? No problem. Just fill up a water bottle and use that instead! This dynamic plank variation works your core, shoulders and lats muscles. The closer your feet are, the more impact the movement has on your core and stability. Drop your knees to make this plank variation easier.[embedded content]4. High Plank Knee TouchesThis plank variation will have you sweating in no time! It works your oblique muscles and shoulders.Make this plank variation harder by keeping your feet closer together. This helps you work on stability and balance. Make this plank easier by moving your feet further apart.[embedded content]Advanced Plank Variations1. Side Plank Cross CrunchThis alternative plank will develop full-body coordination. It works your core, oblique muscles, hip flexors and shoulders. Keep your elbows under your shoulders. Don’t let your hips drop while rotating. [embedded content]2. Tiger Bend Push-UpIs this plank variation a plank or a push-up? It’s both! It works your core, shoulders, chest and triceps.Rock your body backward if your hips come up too much when lowering down onto your elbows. Start in an elevated position to practice this move. Focus on a straight line from shoulder to elbows and all the way through your wrists when coming up.[embedded content]3. Military WalkThis alternative to the classic plank is excellent for working your core, hip flexors, shoulder and trapezius/upper back. Try to move the opposite arm and leg at the same time for a smooth movement. Crawl backward and forward.[embedded content]4. Low Plank Walk-InsThis plank alternative combines the two classic yoga poses: plank and downward dog. It works your core, shoulders and legs. Slowly walk into a pike position. Keep your shoulders engaged. Keep your legs as straight as possible.  You can bend your knees to make it easier.[embedded content]5. Low Plank Booty TapsThis plank variation is a must-do for full-body strength! It works your glutes, triceps and quads. Make this move even harder by raising your opposite leg at the same time you move your arm. [embedded content]How should you incorporate planks into your workout?Choose 3-5 of these plank variations and try to do them for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times if you can. I know that seems like a short amount of time, but—trust me—it’s challenging and you will probably need breaks. Often, I do an entire workout based on plank variations like these. Plus, you can plank anywhere and everywhere. Here are 9 more plank variations to try!If you have energy in the tank, you have the energy to plank!*** More

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    Do These 10 Core Exercises for a Strong Core and an Awesome Ab Workout

    Include these 10 core exercises in your next ab workout to strengthen your core and tone your abs. A strong core will keep you healthy and pain-free. Sculpt your abs while strengthening your core in the same workout!Your core is your center of gravity. A strong core allows for stronger functional movement throughout exercise and everyday life. You should constantly engage your core, whether you are doing a workout, standing in the kitchen cooking a meal, or sitting down at work. Check out these desk-specific stretches if you’re feeling tight.A strong core will help prevent injury and promote more efficient workouts overall.Suffer from back or neck pain? Strengthening your core can help get rid of seemingly endless back and neck pain too. Try these exercises to loosen up your neck. You can do these ten core exercises without equipment. Strengthen your core and tone your abs whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced. Include these core exercises in your next ab workout!1. HollowmanI learned this move from Jillian Michaels. This is an isometric core exercise, meaning it has no movement. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Keep your low back on the ground.2. High PlankThis is my absolute favorite core exercise of all time. I do plank variations in every single workout. If I had to do one core exercise for the rest of my life, this would be it.3. BridgeMost people think that a bridge is for your glutes. Bridge is also a fantastic core strengthening exercise when performed correctly with your hips tucked and low abdominals engaged.4. Superman pull[embedded content]This move really targets the low back. In fact, many people suffer from low back pain because their core (including their low back) is really weak. Skip the “pull” part and just practice raising your arms and legs off of the ground if you find this core exercise too difficult.5. V-upsThis move took me a while to master. The full V-up is pretty advanced, but you can always do the modified version as you work up to it. Once you master the V-up, you can even try holding a weighted medicine ball in your hands.[embedded content]6. V-sitSee how long you can do this ab exercise move without shaking! Bend your knees if extending your legs is too difficult. Make sure that your shoulders stay down and away from your ears.7.  Plank knee crossesExhale and blow all the air out of your lungs as you pull that knee towards the opposite elbow. The idea is to get as close as possible can and aim for the outside of the elbow.Mastered this core exercise? Try doing them slower for an even bigger challenge!8. Leg raises[embedded content]This move should not hurt your low back. If it does, place your hands underneath your low back for support and/or don’t drop your legs down as low. This exercise is meant to work your core and abs, not hurt them. Always listen to your body’s signals.9. Elbow plank twists This core exercise is the perfect addition to your next ab workout. Think of yourself like a towel that needs wringing out as you do this exercise.10. Plank shoulder tapsAs you can probably tell by now, I love planks! This plank variation is excellent for challenging your balance and core strength. Avoid rocking your hips and body from side to side when doing the shoulder taps. The only motion that should be happening is your hand moving to the opposite shoulder. Work at it, and you will get it!*** More

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    Best 6 Bodyweight Bicep Exercises >> With a Pull Up Bar or Resistance Band

    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

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    Make Your Own Resistance Band Workout with These Exercises & Tips

    Resistance bands are likely the best inexpensive training tool you can get. Whether you are a beginner or already at an advanced fitness level, resistance band exercises can give your muscles a good challenge.You can use resistance bands for exercises that target any body part without putting extra pressure on the joints. And while the usual strength exercises focus on bigger muscle groups, resistance band exercises can be great for targeting those smaller muscles that function as stabilizers, too.Types of resistance bandsResistance bands can differ in shape, size, color, and the level of resistance they provide. Here is an overview of the main categories…Shape & size of resistance bands:Looped bands: can be shorter and thinner, also called mini bands or thera bands, or longer and thicker.Non-looped bands: available with or without handles.Color & resistance level:Resistance bands come in many different colors – not every band in the same color will offer the same resistance – it depends on the manufacturer. Tip:When buying your band, check to see which other resistance bands/levels are available. For lower body training choose a stronger one, for upper body a lighter one. If you are not sure, green often provides intermediate resistance.Resistance levels vary from light to heavy: thinner, smaller bands normally come in ranges from 1-10 kg (2-40 lbs) and longer, thicker ones from 5-90 kg (10-200 lbs) of resistance.How to use resistance band exercises to reach your goalYou can use these exercises in two ways:One: as a full strength workout, total body, or for a specific body part, by choosing 3-5 exercises, doing them for 8-25 reps and repeating 2-5 rounds. The repetitions and rounds will depend on your fitness level and the resistance level of the band.Two: as a warm up, to activate a specific muscle group. Example: If you find it hard to really feel your glutes working…do 2 rounds of Fire Hydrants & Side Squats before your next leg workout. Do as many reps as you need to feel your glutes working Top 11 resistance band exercises1. Wall Lateral PulldownTargeted muscles: Lats, upper backHow to do the exercise:Stand with your back against the wall. Place the resistance band around your thumbs or wrists and stretch your arms straight up over your head. Pull your arms down and your elbows to the side, bent at a 90 degree angle, while stretching the band and bringing your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position.2. Triceps ExtensionTargeted muscles: Triceps How to do the exercise:Hold the resistance band in your hands with your elbows bent. Put your right elbow over your head with your right forearm parallel to the floor. The left hand should be in front of the left shoulder. Extend your right arm while keeping it close to the head. As the right arm straightens, you should feel the band stretch and the muscles of your right upper arm working. Return to the starting position.Want to feel your triceps really burn? Check out 7 bodyweight exercises for strong triceps.3. Bicep CurlTargeted muscles: Biceps How to do the exercise:Sit on a chair, step, or on your heels. Tuck the resistance band underneath your right knee and hold it with your right hand. 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.4. Shoulder External RotationTargeted muscles: Shoulders, upper back How to do the exercise:Place a mini band around your wrists. Bend your elbows and keep them close to your body. Move your forearms out to the side to stretch the band. Rotate your palms at the same time, so that they face up once the band is stretched. Return to the starting position.5. Fire HydrantTargeted muscles: Glutes, hamstrings How to do the exercise: Start on all fours. The resistance band should be above your knees. Keep your neck, back, and hips aligned. Move your left leg out to the side to stretch the band. The rest of your body should stay in place; don’t turn to the side. Return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.6. Donkey KickTargeted muscles: Glutes, hamstrings How to do the exercise: Start on all fours. The resistance band should be above your knees. Keep your neck, back, and hips aligned. Kick your left heel up to stretch the band. Make sure you keep your hips level and don’t round your back. Return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.7. Modified Side Plank Leg LiftsTargeted muscles: Abs (obliques), glutes How to do the exercise:Support your body in a side-plank position. Your right leg is flexed and your left leg straight, so that your right elbow, right knee, and left foot are touching the ground. The resistance band should be placed above your knees. Lift your left leg up against the resistance of the band. Keep your body straight and engage your glutes. Return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.8. High Plank Leg LiftsTargeted muscles: Abs (obliques), glutes, hamstringsHow to do the exercise:Support your body in the high plank position with your hands and feet touching the ground. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heel. The resistance band should be placed around your ankles. Engage your core and glutes and lift your left heel up against the resistance of the band. Keep your body aligned, don’t round your back. Return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.9. Squat with Side RaiseTargeted muscles: Glutes, thighsDid you know?This exercise, as well as the Hip Abduction (nr. 11), targets the part of the glutes called the “gluteus medius”. The gluteus medius works especially hard when balancing in a single-leg stance. That’s why strengthening it helps stabilize and improve your running form, too!How to do the exercise:Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes parallel or slightly outward. The resistance band should be above your knees. Perform a squat and as you come up, lift your right leg up to the side by squeezing the outer part of your glutes. As you step back, lower yourself into a squat again. You can switch sides with each repetition.10. Jump SquatTargeted muscles: Glutes, thighsHow to do the exercise:Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes parallel or slightly outward. The resistance band should be above your knees. Perform a squat and then rise forcefully into a jump. Land softly on the balls of your feet. You can stand back up in between or continue with another jump.Check out more squat variations, most of them can be done with a resistance band, too!11. Hip AbductionTargeted muscles: GlutesHow to do the exercise:Stand next to a wall and hold on to it with your hand for support. The resistance band should be placed around your ankles. You can lessen the resistance by moving the band above your knees. Lift your right leg to the side while squeezing your outer glute. Keep your body straight, don’t bend your torso. Return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.Need more ideas?Check out 9 resistance band exercises for the whole body that you can do anywhere for a killer strength workout!*** More

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    Working Out on Your Period >> Understand the Menstrual Cycle Phases

    There are days when you power through a HIIT workout with ease and then those days when you don’t want to get out of your bathrobe. By understanding your cycle, you can stop seeing your period as a burden and be able to take advantage of the physical and emotional benefits. Find out how to schedule your workouts to maximize those hormonal boosts and learn when it’s best to focus on recovery and regeneration. Breakdown of the Menstrual Cycle PhasesMenstrual PhaseWhat’s happening in the body?Your cycle starts on the first day of your period. The lining of the uterus is shed through the vagina, releasing blood, mucus, and tissue. Symptoms like cramps, bloating, headaches and mood swings can add an extra challenge to your fitness motivation. Yoga Poses for Cramp ReliefDo you get cramps? Try easy yoga poses like the child’s pose, cat-cow, and savasana to ease the pain.You might feel tired or lethargic and need more rest than usual. This is a great opportunity to cancel plans, stay home, and write in your mindfulness journal. Set some goals for yourself that you can achieve during the follicular stage. Keep in mind, this is not the time to stress yourself out with setting a new PR (personal record). The goal of working out on your period should be to stay active and listen to your body.What to WearWhether you prefer tampons, pads, menstrual cups, period underwear, adidas Techfit Period Proof Tights, or a combination of these – there are plenty of options to keep you comfortable during menstruation.Your workoutFollicular PhaseWhat’s happening in the body?Your period is over and now your pituitary gland releases the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. Your estrogen and testosterone levels will begin to increase, which energizes you and might improve your mood. You’ll feel more social, and assertive as testosterone stimulates your libido. Now is the time to take the initiative and focus on achieving goals. An egg will be released from a follicle in your ovary around day 14, at the end of the follicular phase. At this point the estrogen and testosterone peak, which makes you feel more confident. Enjoy it!Your workoutLuteal PhaseWhat’s happening in the body?Your body is starting to wind down after the high of the follicular and ovulatory phase. After the first couple of days, your estrogen and testosterone production will decline and your body will ramp up progesterone levels. Focus on a healthy, balanced diet right now and boost your serotonin levels by staying active. As you enter the second part of this phase, you may notice your skin getting oily or even breaking out, breast tenderness, and mood changes. These are all symptoms of PMS or premenstrual syndrome. Reduce your symptomsCut down on caffeine to reduce breast soreness, reduce your sugar intake, and make sure you stay hydrated. Avoid fatty, processed foods and salt, too, as they increase water retention. Studies show that regular yoga sessions can reduce the common symptoms of PMS.(1)Your workoutTime to build lean muscle. Focus on strength training and challenging yoga sessions. Research shows that this is when strength training really pays off.(2)Gradually shift to lighter workouts as you approach your upcoming menstruation. Try the Strong Before Your Period workout in the adidas Training app.TakeawayThe key to staying active throughout your menstrual cycle phases is understanding what is happening in your body. Everyone’s cycle is different; keep track of yours so you can really get the most out of those powerful follicular and ovulatory phases and use the luteal and menstrual phases for healthy nutrition, recovery, regeneration, and mindfulness. Remember, if you want to keep working out on your period, there’s no reason you can’t. Just pay attention to how you feel and make sure you take a bit more time to rest.*** More

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    Stronger Glute Muscles: How Butt Workouts can Prevent Injury

    “Use it or lose it!” I am sure a lot of us have heard this phrase before in regards to vacation time from work, mental strength, or musical skills. But when I say, or think of, this phrase, I immediately think of GLUTE muscles! Now this has a great deal to do with my profession, but as the percentage of people working at a desk is at an all-time high, butt workouts should also be something that begins to creep into the minds of others outside the fitness industry as well. Technology is amazing, but the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies it – not so much. Whether you are sitting all day, or even standing, your posterior chain, your glutes, your butt is not doing much of anything.What are Glutes?The gluteus maximus is the largest of the 3 glute muscles, and gives the sought after round and firm shape. The medius and minimus are found on the sides and are responsible for abduction (or drawing the hip away from the body) as well as stabilizing the hips. All 3 of these muscles perform a much needed function to help us work and train harder, safer and pain free.Why you Should Activate Your Glute MusclesNow to make matters worse, when your glutes are inactive, they are also developing, a term coined by Dr. Stuart McGill, “gluteal amnesia.” So not only are they working less, but they are also forgetting how to activate when needed. And trust me, they ARE needed. When the glutes forget how to do their job, other parts of the body (such as the lower back muscles) have to pick up the slack and perform a job that they were not designed to do. This can lead to low back, knee and even hip pain.Where to StartAre you a runner wondering how to get more power in your stride? Stronger glute muscles can give you the explosive force you need to make that final sprint to the finish line. But where should you begin? Start with glute awareness. Do you know what it feels like to contract (squeeze) your glutes during exercise? If not, it’s time to become well acquainted with your backside. Start being really mindful of the contraction by doing some squats and standing or prone leg lifts. That way when you go for your next run, you can ensure that your glute muscles are working as they should.Move MoreNow going back to that office scenario. When you get up to leave work after sitting all day, your hips are in a shortened position. If your hips are shortened, and you automatically take off for an after-work run, you are more prone to injury. Make sure you take the time to do some lateral movement in the frontal plane of motion since the sitting and standing you’ve been doing all day at work is only occurring in the sagittal plane. A dynamic warm-up including skips, butt kicks, and ankling is a great way to get the glutes ready to work.Focus on Glute MusclesIf you’re looking to really develop your glute muscles, you need to target them with butt workouts. Try this 15-minute workout for your legs and glutes:[embedded content]TakeawaySo think about it. When was the last time you trained your glutes? Do you often experience back, hip, or knee pain? Does your job confine you to a seated or even standing position? Then you need to do some butt exercises! There are plenty of exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, without any equipment except yourself and a mat. When you’re ready to crank it up a notch, add a resistance band to your workouts. You can find plenty of butt exercises, as well as exercises for your entire body, in the adidas Training app. Download the app today and start strengthening your body from head to toe – glutes included, of course! Be consistent and your glutes and performance will develop.*** More