You just completed a tough workout, and you’re so motivated that you want to do the next one right away? It may be tempting, but you won’t be doing your body or your progress any favors. You need to rest and recover from the hard work. That’s what workout rest days are for.
So what should you do on rest days? We’ll tell you which mistakes you should avoid and how to get the most out of your recovery days.
Mistake # 1: You don’t schedule workout rest days
Workout rest days should be a regular part of your training plan. This is when your body has the chance to recover and process the progress you’ve made. When you work out, your muscles are pushed to the limit, which stimulates growth. The muscles have to adapt to the increased effort, and your performance level improves.
…but muscle stimulation is just the beginning
Hypertrophy (an increase in the size of muscle cells in reaction to stimuli) only happens on rest days. That’s why it’s so important to schedule time for recovery between your workouts.
Mistake # 2: You don’t listen to your body
The more experience you have with exercise, the more aware you become of what your body needs. Fatigue, lethargy, and muscle weakness are signs that you have overdone it and you’re already in the overtraining zone. This can be caused by working out too much without taking a break to give your body time for muscle recovery. At this point, your body can’t process the muscle stimulation anymore, and your performance drops. Your motivation to continue working out also starts to dissipate. Your body is crying out for a well-deserved break. If you want to keep making progress, you really need to tune in. This is true for both endurance and strength training.
Recovery phases are just as important as your workout!
Mistake #3: You squeeze in a workout just because
Sometimes it’s hard to resist squeezing in a training session instead of taking a workout rest day or time for muscle recovery, but remember, you’re just putting the brakes on your progress. Your body needs a chance to recover to get stronger. Not taking the time to rest will only slow muscle growth, and over time, you’ll start wondering why you’re not seeing results. Another risk of spontaneous workouts is that you don’t do the exercises carefully enough or you overload certain muscle groups, which increases your risk of injury. That’s why it’s smart to follow a training plan with a goal.
Mistake #4: You don’t eat enough on rest days
Obviously, you burn fewer calories on your recovery days than on the days you work out. But don’t start eating less because you’re afraid of putting on weight. You have to fuel your body with energy and nutrients on rest days so that your muscles have what they need to grow. Keep in mind: a balanced diet can boost your athletic performance.
Mistake #5: You’re a couch potato
Doing nothing at all for a day can definitely be relaxing and something you need from time to time. However, try using your rest day for active recovery by focussing on low-intensity activities like brisk walks, yoga, cycling, or swimming.
Since people usually don’t stretch enough, we recommend that you take more time to develop flexibility on recovery days. You’ll relax your deep muscles in the process. Yoga, massage, relaxation baths, and a foam roller are great ways to loosen up tight muscles.
Many people, when starting their fitness journey, are drawn to the machines at the gym that only isolate a single muscle at a time. This is really common, and the truth is, we oftentimes don’t really know any better. We think that by going to the gym to better our health we should be using those machines for our fitness training workouts. But that’s not the most effective way to work out.
The truth is, the foundation of your fitness routine should be stability and balance exercises to…
work to eliminate overcompensations that probably have developed over time
And, there are so manyeffective bodyweight exercises you can do to build this foundation without ever even stepping foot into a gym. Hooray for time and money saved, right?
In this article, you will find basic information on stability and balance training, plus 12 core stability exercises for your next workout:
What Is Stability and Balance Training?
This kind of training is performing an exercise in what we call in the fitness industry a proprioceptively enriched environment. To put it in layman’s terms: an unstable environment.
This can be performing an exercise…
while balancing on one leg
standing on a pillow
or even a rolled-up yoga mat
Stability and balance training demands a lot of core activation and attention (it’s impossible to be on your phone or have a conversation while doing this type of training – so you’ll have to save your selfies until after you’re done) you can take a selfie after). If you want to get a feel for stability and balance training, you can try balancing on one leg while brushing your teeth!
Think like a kid
As a kid, most of us were running, jumping, climbing, landing on one foot, balancing on a balance beam or on the edge of a sandbox…are you getting the mental picture here? We were doing balance and stability exercises without even realizing it. As adults, we’re not climbing all over the place anymore(unfortunately!), balancing and activating our core as we should.
As a result, many of us have a weak core and distressed lower back, and have adopted many movement compensations (favoring one sidewhile walking, standing, sitting, and even while training). Have you adopted any of these bad habits? Not sure?Don’t worry – there are ways to fix it with core stability exercises.
How Often Should You Incorporate This Type of Training?
Aim for one to two workouts per week. This goes for beginners all the way up to advanced athletes. It’s very important that pros improve stability as well.
Start the single-leg deadlift in a standing position. Keep your core engaged. Now slowly move one leg back by keeping it straight. Simultaneously, move your torso forward until it’s parallel to the floor, with your arms straight and at shoulder height, perpendicular to the floor. To come up, pull your back leg forward, and lift your torso until you are back in a standing position. Switch sides and repeat.
Train your balance and stability with speed skaters! Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Now shift your weight to your right leg and move your left leg off the floor. Engage your standing leg as you balance with your left leg slightly behind you. Then jump back to the left foot, in the opposite direction. While doing this, your arms are swinging from side to side like a speed skater.
3.Single Leg Squats (SL Squats)
<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span> Stand straight on one foot if you want to do single leg squats. Bend the opposite leg by bringing it up in front of you, slightly bent at the knee. Now slowly bend your standing leg into a squat position keeping your knee stable and in line with your ankle. After you’ve completed all reps on one leg, switch sides and repeat.
4.Lunge & Twist
<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span> Start in a standing position with your feet together. Keep your core engaged and your chest up. Step your right foot forward into a lunge position. The front knee is perpendicular to the floor, keeping it in line with the ankle and behind the toes. Hold the lunge position, keeping your hips, knees, and legs still while twisting your upper body towards the right from your midsection. Step back into the starting position and repeat the lunge and twist on the opposite side.
Single leg jump squats made easy! Standing on one foot, slightly bend the opposite leg, keeping your foot slightly elevated, lifting at the knee. Keep your core engaged while pushing your bent leg back behind you, slightly squatting with your standing leg. Swing your leg forward, lifting your knee up as you jump off of your standing leg, your arms slightly bent and swinging with the movement. Switch sides and repeat.
Start in a standing position with your core engaged. Step one leg back into a lunge position. Swing the back leg forward in front of you, pushing through the front heel to power a kicking motion. Be sure to engage the glute muscle of your standing leg. Switch sides and repeat the lunge to front kick.
For the side plank oblique crunch, lie on the floor on one side, stacking your elbow directly under your shoulder. Lift your bottom hip up as high as you can while tucking your hips under to stay as straight as possible. Lower your hip back towards the floor, making sure not to touch the ground, and lift back up. Repeat the set on the other side.
Limb raise push-ups can improve your balance and stability. For this exercise, perform a push-up while keeping your hips square to the ground at all times. At the top of the push-up, lift your opposite leg and arm while engaging your core. Your hips and shoulders should move at the same rate, controlling the movement as you raise your arm to shoulder height and lift your leg above hip-level. Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the entire exercise.
Low plank crunches are another great stability exercise. When performing these crunches, it is important to find a steady pace, not moving too fast. Starting in a plank position, make sure only to elevate your hips slightly, placing your elbows directly under your shoulders. Your core, glutes, and legs are engaged when bringing your opposite knee and elbow together, slightly touching underneath your midsection.
You can modify this exercise with a bodyweight exercise that’s called quadruped knee to elbow:
<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span> The one-legged 4 count burpee is an advanced bodyweight exercise, so make sure to execute it correctly. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders in a plank position, and your core is engaged. Keeping one leg lifted off the ground for the entire movement, bring your grounded foot forward under your midsection and stand up straight, jumping upwards. Bring your body back into a plank position by lowering back to the floor on one leg, kicking one leg behind you, landing in a single-leg plank.
Ever heard about the single leg crab bridge? This intermediate exercise can help you improve your balance and stability. Start by sitting on the floor with your hands slightly behind you, feet on the floor with your knees pointed up at the ceiling. Using one leg, lift your hips off of the floor to shoulder level, lifting your other leg in the air. With your wrists stacked under your shoulders and fingers pointing forward, push through the heel of your supporting leg. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge position, making sure that the ankle is directly under your knee on the supporting leg. Repeat on the other side.
For the squat knee to elbow twist, start in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lower your hips into a squat, keeping your elbows up, interlocking your hands in front of you at shoulder height. When you come back up to the standing position, twist at your midsection while lifting up one knee to touch your opposite elbow. Follow your hands with your head, looking forward and keeping your back straight. Alternate sides after each squat.
So, did you try out these stability andbalance exercises? If so, you probably noticed that one side is much stronger and more coordinated than the other. That’s normal – just keep practicing to build more strength and balance!
All of these bodyweight exercises can be found in theadidas Training app! Download it today and start improving your balance, stability, and core control!
Many people think you need weights or a pull-up bar to train your back, but this simply isn’t true. Bodyweight exercises are also an effective way of strengthening your back muscles. The exercises using your own body weight as resistance are usually very complex and great for activating your stabilizing muscles.
Why Back Strengthening Exercises are Important
A strong back is important for more than just looking good. Working together with your abdominal muscles, a well-conditioned back can protect your spine, improve your alignment, and help you avoid sprains and strains.
A lot of us work a sedentary job, which means we’re typically sitting for hours in a forward-leaning position that puts a lot of stress on our spine. Regular back training can improve your posture and is the most effective method for preventing back pain.
6 Back Strengthening Exercises for a Stronger Back
Today we’d like to show you six great exercises for your next back training:
How to Create a Defined Back With These Exercises:
Pick three of the exercises
Do three sets per exercise with 90-120 seconds of rest between sets
Do 10-12 repetitions per exercise and set (for the plank: hold 30-60 seconds for one set)
2. Superman Pull
For extra resistance:
Hold a resistance band between your hands and stretch it out while pulling your shoulders back.
3. Quadruped Limb Raises
4. Low Plank
6. Wall Lateral Pulldowns
Do you want to improve your overall fitness and train your entire body?Get the adidas Training app, and find core exercises, HIIT workouts, and more!
Perhaps you’ve heard about the three different body types, also known as the somatotypes, but did you know that it is also important to work out according to your body type?
Your body type is predominantly genetic, but that doesn’t mean you are limited to a certain level of fitness. While it might be unlikely to get that hourglass figure if you are predispositioned to have more of a straight and narrow physique type, there are ways you can train in order to make the most out of your body type and have a healthy fitness level that feels great!
Since not all body types are the same, you may not find yourself identifying with one specific body type, and that’s totally normal! Still, this post should give you some guidance on how to train and eat to reach your own individual goals.
What are the 3 body types?
The idea of body types generalizes the shape and composition of the human body, and divides the characteristics into three common categories, known as the three somatotypes. The three body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. You can get a good idea of what these body types look like and where they are prone to build more muscle and store more fat from the image below.
The History Behind The Somatotype Theory
The idea of the three body types was first introduced in the 1940s by Willian Sheldon, a University of Houston professor. After studying hundreds of people’s physiques, he found three extremes of body types – underweight, athletic, and overweight.(1)
It may seem simple, but his theory was that human physiques fell into one of three categories and that it was impossible for anyone to change or alter their somatotype since it was determined by their skeletal structure.(2)
Modern Research On The Somatotype Theory
Over the years, there have been many studies performed to test Sheldon’s theory. One study looked at kayakers, basketball players, and football players and observed the athlete’s body type patterns in relation to the sport they played and level of performance.(3)
They found that the high-achieving athletes in each sport had a common body type; high-achieving kayakers fell under the endomorphic body type, the basketball players aligned with the mesomorphic body type, and the football players fell under the ectomorphic body type.(4)
The results of this study concluded that a common somatotype was present in each of the high-achieving athletes in their chosen sport.(5)
On the contrary, there have been other studies that argue that the human physique can’t simply fall into three categories and that there must be either more body types or combinations of the ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph body types where someone shows two primary characteristics of two different body types.(6)
How To Work Out According To The Body Types
Not everybody is going to fit exactly into a single category of body type, but you might notice that there is one type that is more predominant. Let’s break it down a bit further and talk about each body type in more detail as well as how you should approach your fitness training and balanced diet according to your type in order to maximize results.
The Ectomorph is naturally very thin, has narrow hips and shoulders, very low body fat and very thin arms and legs. The Ectomorph might say things like, “No matter how much I eat, I cannot seem to gain weight.” Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is looking to lose weight, as fitness training is also about being healthy. So here are some great tips for fitness training and a balanced diet for the Ectomorphs.
Strength training for the Ectomorph:
Train with heavy weights and lots of rest in between sets (2-3 minutes) as well as in between exercises (5 minutes).
Only train 1-2 body parts per training day to avoid too much caloric expenditure.
Aim for 5-10 reps and 6-8 sets of each exercise.
Take plenty of rest in between workouts and never train a muscle group that is sore. And if you’re feeling really sore, try outfoam rolling for recovery.
Opt for well-balanced meals, making sure not to skip meals or trade for snacking.(7)
Diet of moderate proteins, lower fats, and higher carbohydrates.
Starchy carbohydrates like rice, oats, quinoa, and potatoes are a healthier choice.
A balanced diet could include oatmeal, fruits, veggies, nuts, lean meats, quinoa.
Avoid highly processed carbohydrates like chips and candy.
The Mesomorph body types are able to put on muscle easily, often having strong legs, broad shoulders, and a narrower waist. Generally, they also have very low body fat and are considered to not be overweight or underweight.
Strength training for the Mesomorph:
The more varied the training, the better the results.
Well-balanced and equal distribution of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Dinner idea could be grilled chicken breast, baked sweet potato, and roasted veggies.
The Endomorph body type is more round and pear-shaped and tend to store more body fat throughout the entire body, especially in the legs and arms. Typically,it’s much harder for the Endomorph to put on muscle and much easier to gain weight. However, as mentioned before, health and fitness is possible for all body types despite your genetics. Reaching your goals might take more discipline and time but becoming more fit and healthy is worth the effort of making better choices.
Diet for endomorphs is higher proteins and lower carbohydrates.
Consume food like quinoa, zucchini noodles, hummus, lean meats, and veggies.
With so much information out there, it can be quite overwhelming to find the right body type workout that best suits your needs. Knowing your fitness body type is a great starting point to help lead you in the right direction.And remember, long-lasting results, regardless of your body type, take time and consistency. So keep it up and make the necessary adjustments as you continue on your fitness journey!
Exercise is generally separated into aerobic/endurance training and power/strength activities. Long-distance running is an example of aerobic/ endurance, whereas high-intensity interval training (HIIT) falls into the power/strength category.(1)
Are long, continuous endurance runs better for your training, or should you focus on high-intensity workouts? The answer largely depends on your training goal, fitness level,and enjoyment.
Table of Contents
What Is Endurance Training?
Endurance training is also known as “prolonged exercise training.” It is classically performed at a relatively low intensity over a long duration. Long slow distance training is one type of endurance workout. During long slow distance training, an individual sustains a submaximal workload for a longer time.(2)
Classic endurance training results in enhanced cardiac output, maximal oxygen consumption, and the development of new cells. The result? The ability to maintain cardio exercise for longer distances and times with ease.(3)
What Is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
HIIT is performed with a relatively high load or intensity at a short duration. Typical HIIT workouts qualify as strength training exercises. You perform repeated bouts of work at close to maximal power for a short period.(4,5)
But, just because you’re doing interval training doesn’t mean you’re doing HIIT. For it to be high-intensity training, you’ve got to push yourself to your max with every interval. Studies show that most people overestimate their exertion levels.(6) Be honest and continuously adapt your workouts for progressive overload.
How Does Endurance Training Compare With High-Intensity Training?
Endurance training and HIIT demonstrate a similar energy consumption (i.e., they burn an equal amount of calories during the workout).(8) But how individuals adapt to the training depends on many factors, including:
Furthermore, it’s rare for a workout to be purely endurance or strength training. Most activities combine endurance and strength.(9)Even cardio-focused HIIT, like cycling intervals, will likely develop strength.
Ultimately, both HIIT and endurance training make you stronger, increase your stamina and cardiac output, help you lose weight and fat, and positively impact your fitness.
Studies show that short-term, intense exercise can lead to endurance adaptations. Inversely, low-load training approaching failure can lead to strength adaptations. If you challenge yourself, you’ll see results, no matter the type of workout.(10)
Thoughtful Workout Programming
When planning your HIIT and endurance exercise routines, the adage of “too much, too soon” holds. Studies show that simultaneously increasing strength and endurance training volume impedes progress.(11,12,13)
Goals-Based Training Program
Now that you understand how endurance and interval training at high intensities affect your fitness, it’s time to set some goals! Find your objectives and how to achieve them in the list below. Then, use the Find the HIIT series on the adidas Training app!
Goal 1: Get Started
Lower-intensity HIIT and endurance training
Have you just taken up running and still find it difficult to run for longer periods of time without stopping? Then you should begin with low-intensity intervals. Try running for short intervals followed by walking rests so you can recover. You can find a good program for beginners in our blog post, Go from Walking to Running with These Expert Tips!
Goal 2: Improve Race Times
Endurance training and HIIT
An effective training program for improving your race timeis built like a pyramid:
The stable foundation is composed of longer runs to build your aerobic capacity.
The top of the pyramid consists of race-specific maximum efforts like tempo runs and high-intensity intervals.
Goal 3: Run Half Marathons And Longer Races
If you want to finish a half marathon or longer, you must first put in the mileage. Long, low-intensity runs make up the majority of your preparation. In particular, this helps your tendons, ligaments, bones,and working muscles get used to sustained impact. This helps toprevent overuse and injury. Long-distance runs increase your aerobic endurance and streamline your running form.
*Note: If you want to run a sub-3 hour marathon, you not only have to train at high volumes, but you also need to incorporate speed work and high-intensity interval training into your training plan.
Goal 4: Run 10Ks And Shorter Races
HIIT and HIIT sprints
High-intensity intervals are crucial for short-distance races like five and tenkilometers. The shorter the race, the more fast-paced and intense workouts you should do. For races of up to ten kilometers, you usually run at or above your anaerobic or lactate threshold. This is the level at which the oxygen is no longer sufficient to metabolize the accumulating lactate (lactic acid) caused by high-intensity exercise.
High-intensity interval training and challenging tempo runs at race speed are good ways of building up your body’s tolerance to high lactate levels. This not only improves your lactate tolerance and pace endurance but also increases your VO2 max.
Goal 5: Lose Weight
The best workouts for losing weight are those that help you achieve a negative energy balance (where more calories are burned than consumed). High-intensity intervals burn a high amount of calories in a short period of time. The high intensity of the workout puts a lot of strain on your muscles. The process of rebuilding and repairing your muscle tissue after the workout requires additional energy, and theafterburn effect continues to burn calories post-exercise. HIIT leads to a greater afterburn than endurance training.(14)
Is HIIT Making You Hungry?
Try endurance training if you’re trying to lose weight but feel extra hungry after your HIIT workouts. Your intense exercise might be dysregulating your appetite. Longer, more relaxed activities may soothe your hunger hormones and maintain a negative energy balance.(15)
Goal 6: Build Strength
HIIT workouts are more likely to increase muscle mass throughout the body. Muscles get bigger when exercised to fatigue (or very close). Since HIIT aims to train as hard as possible with every interval, these workouts are likely to develop total-body strength.
But if you’re new to exercise or returning after a break, any workout will increase your muscle mass. So beginners can use endurance training to achieve their strength development goals. Once you get over the initial training hump, avoid a plateau by adding HIIT.
Goal 7: Lose Fat
Generally speaking, endurance training is a fat-burning activity. When you run, cycle, or exercise at around 60% effort, your body uses fat as fuel. Anything about that switches to glycogen and acid for energy (like when you reach your maximal output during HIIT).
After an initial fat loss stage, start incorporating HIIT into your workout program. HIIT workouts increase muscle mass more than endurance training. Muscles increase metabolism, helping you use more fat during the day (even when resting).
Tough training sessions are very hard on the body and require a lot of recovery time. The better your base is, the more training your body can handle, and the less recovery time it needs after intense workouts. Or simply put, you can train harder and more frequently.
Create Your Workout Program
Endurance training and HIIT are equally important.Your exact workout plans are dependent upon your goals and lifestyle. Nevertheless, you should incorporate both styles of exercise to profit from the training effects of each.
Admittedly, going for an hour-long run requires less planning and knowledge than creating your own HIIT workout. To help, we’ve launched a new high-intensity interval training series on our adidas Training app. Let us guide you:
It’s important to stretch, warm up, and cool down if you want to avoid or relieve sore muscles the day after your workout. But don’t forget that proper nutrition also plays a major role. Which foods and drinks relieve sore muscles?
7 Foods and Drinks for Sore Muscles
Drinking 250 ml of beet juice right after an intense workout can reduce muscle soreness.(1) Beets are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. How about a red beet smoothie after your workout? It promotes muscle regeneration.
Ingredients for one serving:
75 g red beets (pre-cooked)
thumb-sized piece of ginger
150 ml carrot juice
Chop the beet and apple into chunks.
Peel the ginger.
Add all ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth.
Relieve sore muscles by drinking 1.5 oz of cherry juice both before and after your workout. Thanks to the juice’s anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidants, your muscles will recover more quickly.(3)
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. The effects of gingerol, the active component responsible for the sting, are similar to those of the active agent contained in aspirin. If you eat ginger regularly, especially on days you work out, you can reduce muscle soreness.(4)
5. Tomato juice
The carotenoids in tomato juice can prevent muscle soreness.(5) Drink this before your workout.
The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish promote muscle recovery and healing.(6)
Good to know:
Do you follow a vegan diet? order to prevent a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids, you should add supplements to your diet. These days you can find plant-based dietary supplements derived from algae. Check with your doctor or nutritionist.
7. green tea
The phytochemicals in green tea (polyphenols) stimulate blood circulation,which has a positive influence on muscle regeneration. This is a great drink for sore muscles(7)
After a tough HIIT workout or a long run, it’s not unusual to experience muscle aches. Include these foods and drinks in your meals and snacks to relieve sore muscles. Don’t forget to take a day off if you’re in a lot of pain. Or, focus on a different muscle group. Your muscles need time to recover.