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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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    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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    3 STRETCHES AND EXERCISES: TREAT AND HEAL SHIN SPLINTS

    You want to get off to a flying start and hit the road full of energy and motivation. But right from the start you feel pain running up the inside of your lower leg. Most of the time, the pain goes away while you are running. But frequently the pain lasts for several days and makes it difficult to keep training. “These symptoms are a sign of medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), or what is known as shin splints. Nearly a quarter of all interruptions in training can be traced back to this overloading syndrome. The pain usually builds up for weeks and in severe cases, can make running virtually impossible,” explains running expert and coach Sascha Wingenfeld.The following three exercises help prevent shin splintsThese exercises and stretches will help heal shin splints and decrease the likelihood of them happening to you again. 1. Heel-to-toe raise:3×30 repetitions per dayInstructions: Rock back on your heels and pull your toes up. Bend your knees and roll forward up onto the tips of your toes. Focus on a smooth transition from heel to toe.Benefits:Stretching and strengthening the shin muscles will help prevent shin splints from keeping you from exercising.About 2-3 minutes per dayInstructions:Raise your heel and rest your forefoot and toes on the ball in a relaxed position. Try to slowly stretch your joints as you roll the ball of your foot from left to right starting from your big toe.Instructions:Slowly roll the sole of your foot down the ball and increase the pressure on sensitive spots for about 60 seconds.Benefits: Reduces tension in foot muscles to relieve pain from shin splints. Foot rolling for a few minutes every day is an excellent exercise to keep shin splints from reoccurring. Plus, it feels amazing on your feet—bonus!3. Foot and lower leg strengthening:3×30 repetitions per dayInstructions: Wrap a resistance band around your forefoot and push your ankle down as far as you can. Make sure to extend your foot all the way through your big toe and try to get as much power out of your foot muscles as possible.    Benefits:Strong foot and shinbone muscles are less likely to be injured. They will also help you run further and more often without pain in your shins.  5 tips to recover from shin splintsAct quick once you start to feel pain. Ignoring shin splints will make them worse. They can even limit or even stop your running training for months. This kind of overuse injury is often the result of a combination of different factors in your training program and running technique.The following five tips can help you identify the source of the problem and get you running pain-free again:Tip 1: Recovery from shin splints means restPain is a sign that your body needs rest. Short and very easy runs are fine if your shin pain is not severe. The only thing that can help stop severe pain is to take a few days off from running. You must give the affected muscles time to recover since this is an overuse injury.Tip 2: Use your break for something newJust because shin splints have forced you to interrupt your training doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. Low-impact sports are a great way to not only recover from injury, but come back stronger than ever. Swimming, aqua jogging, cycling or inline skating offer a welcome change of pace. The Runtastic Training app has workouts to help you build muscle in neglected areas too, which is good when you can’t run anyway.Tip 3: Focus on running techniqueShin splints are a sign that you should work on improving your running technique. Maintaining ground contact too long under the full weight of your body can overload your foot and lower leg. Likewise, if your foot lands too far in front of your body (overstriding). These specific running drills can help you avoid shin splints when you are healed enough to get back to exercising.Tip 4: Strengthen your feetShin splints often affect people that lack foot stability. Overpronation (excessive inward roll of your foot after landing) puts tremendous stress on the muscles of your feet. Choose running shoes with the proper support for your foot to compensate for any potential weak spots.Tip 5: Take care of your bodyAfter the pain from shin splints subsides, calf and foot stretching and strengthening exercises can help you stay pain-free. You should perform these before and after your run. These exercises help to warm up the muscles that keep your foot stable when you run. Running barefoot is also an excellent way to improve foot strength, but be careful.Where does the pain come from?Your leg hurts where your calf muscles connect to your shinbone. In technical terms, the pain occurs at the insertion point where the tibialis posterior and soleus muscles attach to the shinbone via the periosteum, or outer surface of the bone. These muscles are responsible for maintaining proper tension in the arch of the foot—essential for running. The muscle cells around your shins can harden if they become irritated and overworked. This causes radiating pain in your lower leg. This is why it so difficult to describe and pinpoint the source of lower leg pain.How to (safely) return to exercise after shin splintsRethink your training (and cut back)Shin splints tend to occur when you rapidly increase running intensity and/or volume. Focus on recovery best practices especially after long runs and hard workouts. Don’t ramp up training too much for too long. Better yet, follow a training plan tailored to you that balances fitness gains with appropriate recovery.Change your routeThe greatest impact on your body comes from running downhill. Without proper form, the foot tends to land too far in front of the knee (overstriding), which puts a lot of strain on your muscles. This is why you should choose a level surface to run on when your shin splints are particularly bad.Start slowly and carefullyReturn to exercise and training only when the pain from shin splints has faded. Follow a professionally structured training plan tailored to your fitness needs and goals. Incorporate stretches for shin splints and strengthen neglected muscles. You only have one body—take care of it, and it will take care of you.*** 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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    No Training Motivation? Forget these 6 Excuses

    Everyone’s been there: you planned to exercise today, but you’ve got no motivation to work out. You can think of plenty of excuses why it’s not possible to squeeze in a strength training session today…Are you ready to tap into a well of training motivation? It’s time to forget about these 6 excuses.Excuse #1: “I don’t have time to work out”A long workday, cook dinner, do laundry…there’s no time for a workout. Right? Wrong! Everyone can find at least 15 to 20 minutes for a workout 3 to 4 times a week, whether it’s during your lunch break or in front of the TV in the evening. A short workout is better than nothing; any kind of exercise is good for your body. Put together your own home workout.  Excuse #2: “I have no motivation to work out”No motivation to work out is probably the most common excuse for skipping exercise. This is when it’s time to think about what inspires you. What motivates you to get fit? Could it be working out with friends or the encouraging comments from your followers in the adidas Training app? Training motivation is contagious. Surround yourself with other people who are excited about exercise (offline and on), and you will catch their enthusiasm.(1) Excuse #3: “I don’t know which workout to do”There are so many different kinds of workouts out there, it’s hard to know which one is best for you. In the adidas Training app, go to the “Workouts” tab and you will find a collection of featured workouts to choose from. You can see exactly how long the workout will take and which exercises are included. Or try a guided workout in the app. Train with professional athletes like David Alaba and get inspired. Motivation guaranteed! Excuse #4: “I want to strengthen specific muscle groups, but don’t know how” Do you want to shape your glutes? Or strengthen your upper arms? It’s easy with our Workout Creator: choose which muscle group you want to focus on, decide how long, and get started! The workouts are suitable for any fitness level. The longer you do it, the tougher it is.Excuse #5: “I’m too tired”There’s nothing wrong with skipping a workout once in a while when you’re too tired or your muscles are sore. Listen to your body. But did you know that regular exercise improves the quality of your sleep? People who exercise sleep better. And the better and longer you sleep, the more you can push yourself in your workouts. If that’s not enough to motivate you to exercise….Excuse #6: “I ate too much/the wrong things before my workout” What you eat can energize you, but it can also weigh you down. That’s why it’s important to know what you should eat before and after a strength training session. Leave at least 2 to 3 hours between a full meal and your workout. Make sure it includes the macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fats. If you’re still hungry before exercising, have a small snack that’s easy to digest. Go for carbohydrates and protein. The best pre-workout snacks:porridgebananadatesalmondsplain yogurt/soy yogurthummus with carrot sticksThere are also a few things to avoid before a workout. These can cause digestive difficulties and affect your performance. Foods to Avoid Before Strength Training:legumesvegetables that cause bloating (onion, cabbage, broccoli) fatty foodsspicy foodscarbonated beverageswhole grain foodsWant to know more about nutrition and exercise? The nutrition guide in the adidas Training app will get you on the right track for a healthy diet. Find loads of tips on what you should eat if you want to build muscle, run faster, or lose weight. We hope you’ve found the training motivation you need to get going. Forget the excuses and start today!  More

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    10 Effective Push-Up Variations for Different Fitness Levels

    If you haven’t started incorporating push-ups into your workout routine, start now! Push-ups are great for the entire upper body including the chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps, as well as a real challenge for your core and glutes. Whether you are a workout beginner or fitness pro, this functional bodyweight move is a must in your fitness routine and here are 10 push up variations for you to try.Beginner:1. Wall Push-Offs and Wall Push-UpsThis variation of push ups is performed on an incline (your upper body higher than your lower body) using a wall or step. The greater the angle of your body and the ground, the easier it is. Place your hands on the incline and lower down into a push-up. Then, push yourself up powerfully until your hands release from the incline, keep your core nice and tight and then go right back down into the next push-up. Make sure you land with soft elbows to avoid hyperextension.[embedded content]Are you a beginner?Start with easy wall push-offs (with your elbows slightly bent) before you add push-ups.[embedded content]2. Inclined Push-upsAre wall push-ups too easy for you? Then you’re ready for the next level. Use a chair or a box and do your push-ups off of it. Make sure your hands are directly below your chest and that your core muscles are tight. [embedded content]3. Knee Push-ups This push-up variation is done on the floor. Support your body with your knees instead of your toes. You can lift your feet and cross your calves in the air or rest them on the floor, whichever is easier for you. Get in the push-up position and place your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Rest your knees on the floor and tighten your core. Slowly lower your upper body to the floor using your arm and shoulder muscles. Then push yourself up again to the starting position. Keep your back straight; your upper body should remain stable. [embedded content]4. Push-up Knee DropsStart this exercise in a regular push-up position. Tighten your core. Now rest your knees on the floor and do a push-up. When you’re finished, stretch your legs out again, controlling your body tension, and start from the beginning again. With this exercise you will slowly build body tension, making it possible for you to hold the position longer. [embedded content]Intermediate:5. Side-to-side push-up For this variation you are going to start with your hands on the floor closer than shoulder width (as in the narrow push-up). Keeping your knees (or feet) planted, lift your right hand up and move it further to the right as you do the push-up. Push yourself up and bring the right hand back to center. Repeat on the left side.[embedded content]6. Up & Down Push-upThis exercise strengthens both your arms and improves your body tension. Start off in the push-up position with your arms extended. Now move into a low plank, then push yourself up again. Keep your body as stable as possible without swinging your pelvis. Keep your legs and core tight. If you need a break, you can hold each position for a few seconds before you move your arms up and down.Tip:The closer together your legs are, the tougher it is to hold the position.Just as the name says, this is a push-up performed in an elbow plank. Get into plank position on your elbows (make sure your elbows are directly underneath your shoulders). Lower your chest towards the ground and squeeze your shoulder blades together and then drive through your forearms to push yourself back up.[embedded content]7. Commander push-upFirst perform a regular push-up on your hands and toes. After one push-up, engage your core and bring your right knee towards the outside of your right elbow then back. Do another push-up and repeat the knee-to-elbow on the left side. This variation will really work the obliques![embedded content]Advanced8. Pike Push-upsThis push-up variation mainly works your shoulders and triceps. Start from the yoga position “downward-facing dog”. Your weight should be on the tips of your toes and palms, your arms close to your chest. Now bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the floor. Then push yourself away from the floor again. The power should come from your shoulders and not your hips. The shorter the distance between your legs and hands, the more difficult the exercise is, giving your shoulders a tougher workout.  [embedded content]Our Tip:Put a pillow on the floor the first few times you try this exercise, that way you won’t hurt yourself if you fall on your face.9. Push-up jackStart out in a plank position on your hands with your feet together. As you lower down into the push-up, jump your legs out to a wider stance and then jump them back in as you push yourself up. This variation will really get your heart rate up.[embedded content]Want more of a challenge?Try to jump into a push-up position while moving your arms and legs at the same time.[embedded content]10. Alligator Push-upThe challenging part of this push-up variation is combining the movements of the commander push-ups. As you move your elbow toward your knee, drop down into a push-up, come up, and extend your leg at the same time. Repeat this on the other side. You can make this exercise even harder by moving forward as you do the push-up combination. [embedded content]*** More

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    Foam Roller Exercises: How to Relieve Tension with a Fascia Roller

    Your whole body is sore, you’ve got tight quads and calves, a stiff neck or joint pain after your workout? Yesterday’s bodyweight training or your running session must have been a bit too intense.To avoid or ease sore muscles and tightness, proper stretching is absolutely essential. Relaxation and recovery are just as important as the training itself. The best way to help your body is with the right stretching and foam roller exercises.    Foam rolling — what is it exactly?Fascia is the muscular connective tissue of the body: It holds everything together and acts as an elastic shock absorber. Fascia training with a foam roller or a Blackroll, therefore, plays an important role after your full body workout. Sometimes, intense bodyweight training or a tough running session causes the fascia to dehydrate. As a result, the fascia loses its elasticity and binds down, making the body more prone to injury. Regular foam roller exercises……relax the deep tissue, loosening up and restoring flexibility to the muscles. The best times to do foam roller exercises are shortly before your workout and right afterwards, although then it should be slower and longer. Focus on the following body parts:1. ThighNumerous squats and burpees can really take a toll on your quads. You can reduce muscle stiffness by slowly rolling your anterior, medial, and posterior thigh muscles after your workout.2. Lower legYour shins and calves also get a pretty good workout when you go running or do bodyweight training. Therefore, don’t forget to foam roll them, too.3. BackFull body training requires a strong back and core stability. One way to avoid back pain is to massage these muscles regularly with a fascia roller. But don’t overdo it – make sure to massage slowly and carefully. When it starts to hurt, that’s when you should stop.Roll Yourself Fit Everyone who does physical exercise knows that stretching helps prevent sore muscles — it allows your muscles to recover after an intense workout. All too frequently, however, this knowledge doesn’t make its way into practice. Our daily life is stressful, and there is seldom time for thorough stretching. Taking 5 or 10 minutes for foam roller exercises after the workout is easy to squeeze in and can be really helpful for recovery. How-To Video: Foam Roller ExercisesThis video will show you which foam roller exercises can help you loosen up tight spots and ease the pain of sore muscles. Tip:Limit each exercise to 30 seconds and make sure to perform it in a controlled manner.[embedded content]*** More