My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years.  I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://ahumanbody.com.
How to do the perfect plie squat

How to Do Plie Squats the Right Way

What are the Different Types of Squats

There are multiple different types of squats, from Sumo squat, Bulgarian squat and many more and I want to share with you here how to do a plie squat.

This is a strengthening exercise that works your calves, legs, and glutes, and it will also help give you more flexibility in your hip area. You’ll enjoy a greater range of motion in your lower body by doing this particular type of squat.

It’s known by some other names, also called the sumo squat, and it targets the inner thighs in particular, as well as your glutes and your hamstrings.

This squat originally came from the Plie ballet position, and it uses a similar form and motion where your back needs to stay straight while you do it and your knees are bent. It’s always a wide stance squat with your toes turned out from the rest of your body.

How to Do Plie Squats Correctly

Now, I want to share with you how to do plie squats. Doing it the correct way ensures that you get all the benefits and don’t injure yourself.

Start by standing with your feet wide apart. You want them a little wider than your shoulders. Point your toes out at about a 45-degree angle and then bend your knees. As you bend, you want to lower your torso and make sure that your abs are kept tight. Your back should be kept straight the entire time you’re doing this exercise.

You’ll enjoy a greater range of motion in your lower body by doing this particular type of squat.

You should continue to bend down until your thighs are almost parallel with the floor. Then, squeeze your glutes and return to the starting position.

Plie Squat

You can also add weights to the plie squats to work the upper body a little bit and gain some extra muscles. This method for how to do plie squats keeps things simple and easy, but there are ways to modify it and make it more challenging for yourself.

You can also try pulsing at the bottom of these squats for about 15 seconds, which is a quick up and down movement that doesn’t put you fully back up to the standing position.

You can also increase the speed and intensity of these squats to make them more powerful for you.

Why Do Plie Squats

The advantage of doing this kind of squat over some of the other ones is that they target specific muscles, particularly your inner thighs and glutes.

If you’re looking to get strong, toned legs or a shapely, taut bottom, then plie squats are an excellent exercise to use. They also work your hamstrings and your quads, so they help you to build strong legs for quick, nimble movement.

What are the Benefits of Doing the Plie Squat

  • Improved range of motion
  • Stronger inner thighs
  • Strengthens the abductor muscle

You’ll improve your range of motion and be able to do more without feeling sore or stretched.

Plie squats put a lot of focus on the inner thighs and adductor muscle, which are not worked by a lot of other kinds of exercises.

If you’re looking to tone up these parts of the body, plie squats are one of the best ways to do that. You can get great-looking thighs that are lean and strong, especially when you pair plie squats as part of a regular exercise regimen with a healthy diet.

What Muscles do Plie Squats Work

Than the regular squats, and they open up your hips and put you in a little bit of a different stance. You’ll be able to stretch muscles that may not normally get stretched, so be careful about going too fast and hard with these at first.

But if you want to work some of your underworked muscles and get a great-looking, toned lower body all around, then you’ll need to do exercises like these.

You will probably start to feel a burn in the inner thigh when you do these exercises, and that’s a good thing. It means your muscles are being worked, and they’re going to strengthen.

If you want to build muscle there, you’ll need to couple these squats with a protein-rich diet. Protein is essential for building muscles.

Any kind of exercise that strengthens your glutes is going to tone and shape your buttocks. Plie squats are great for doing that, and they’re working the largest muscle in the body.

You will benefit more from this exercise than just getting a great-looking tush. You’ll also boost your overall athletic capabilities, enabling you to run faster, jump higher, and do more.

You’ll also make it easier to do just about any kind of workout because of how useful and well utilized the gluteus maximus muscle is.

Do You Need Gym Equipment for a Plie Squat

You don’t need any gym equipment, and you don’t even need much space. They can be done in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t even need to change into gym clothes to pull them off.

It’s a good exercise that can be done anywhere, even when you’re traveling or taking a break at work. The accessibility, convenience, and ease of these exercises make them a great anywhere workout you can fit into your day whenever you want to burn a few calories or make progress towards your fitness goals.

They’re also excellent at improving your stability and your balance. That’s not terribly surprising since the plie squats come from ballet movements. The stance required for this exercise means you’re having to focus on your balance a little bit.

You’ll put your body in positions it’s not used to in order to pull off this kind of squat, so that’s going to benefit your balance and stability, even when you’re not in that particular pose.

You’ll improve core stability and lower body stability as well. Keep at these exercises, and you’ll see all kinds of benefits.

Should Plie Squats Be a Warmup

Any good exercise regimen has warm up exercises to help limber up your muscles and prevent muscle soreness following the workout. Where should you incorporate plie squats into your workout routine? Can you use them as your warmup exercise?

I wouldn’t recommend starting your workout routine with this kind of squat. That’s because you tend to bend pretty far for plie squats, and you’re putting a lot of force on your thighs when you do this exercise.

I would suggest instead starting with a more traditional stretch, particularly to stretch out your lower body before you move on to these squats. They are a great secondary exercise or something you might open up your workout routine with after you’ve done your warm-up stretches.

You’ll improve core stability and lower body stability as well. Keep at these exercises, and you’ll see all kinds of benefits.

From there, you can move on to the plie squats and then go on to something more intense. Because they’re not too intense and the speed can be pretty relaxed, there are good exercise to put near the beginning of your workout or near the end to help your body wind down.

You can do about 10 squats for a single set, take a break, and move onto additional sets. Try to get in about three sets two or three times a week in order to see good results.

Once you’re comfortable doing the regular plie squats, you can add weights to them or make them more intense or even do the pulsing movement for some of them. This way, you’ll get even better results from your workouts.

How to do the front splits

How to Do The Front Splits – A Beginners Guide

Have you ever tried to do the splits? And suddenly realized your body didn’t seem capable of it? This is something that’s a lot easier for children to do, as they tend to be more flexible.

If you’re not sure how to do front splits right now, working your way up to that movement can really improve your flexibility and give you a greater range of motion.

If you’ve not tried to do anything close to the splits in a while, it’s going to take some effort to get your body to the point where it can pull off this maneuver, but it’s definitely possible.

The method for how to do front splits would be a lot simpler for young girls than for a full-grown adult who has poor flexibility.

How to Prepare Your Body for the Splits

So, you’re probably not ready to do the full splits just yet, but you can get your body moving in that direction and work on your flexibility so that you get there one day.

I may not be able to tell you how to do the front splits in one day if your flexibility is very poor, but I can get you started on improving your flexibility.

Splits are very demanding, and it’s going to take a lot of commitment and time to work your body to the point where it can be that flexible. Work on stretches to begin with, as that will limber up your muscles and slowly build your flexibility.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to go straight for the full splits or some of the more advanced versions of the split. You can do side splits or front splits to begin with, which are some of the least challenging ones to do.

There are specific muscle groups you want to try to strengthen and stretch, particularly hamstrings, glutes, groin muscles, adductors, and hip flexors. Working these muscles will prepare your body to be able to do splits more easily.

They still may not be the easiest thing to pull off, but if you’re stretching and building these muscles, you’ll have the foundation you need to do splits.

I want to share with you some stretches you can do, and if you start doing some of these and you’re already fairly flexible, it can be a great method for how to do the front splits in one hour.

You might be amazed at how far you’ve already gone towards doing the splits if you are someone who stays active and who works out often.

Toe touches help to improve your core flexibility and flexibility from the hips. To do these, simply stand straight and tall with your feet together and then bend down with your arms extended until you can touch your toes.

If you can’t reach that far, then simply reach as far as you can. Go back up to the starting position and try again. After you do a few of these, you should notice your flexibility increase and your reach improve.

Which Stretches are Best to Prepare for the Splits

The runner’s stretch is another good exercise you can do to help improve flexibility and to extend your legs out farther than before. If you’re looking for how to do the Pilates front splits, this is a really good way to get your body to that level.

The runner stretch is one of the most effective stretches to use to prepare your body for front splits. These are also known as the half-seated splits, and they area  great warm up and cool down stretch.

This exercise works your hamstrings and hip flexors, opening them up, stretching these muscles and improving their flexibility. To start the exercise, begin in a low lunge position and put one foot forward and keep your hands on the outside of the foot for support.

Then, take your other knee and put it down on the ground. Walk your hands back and lengthen your extended leg as you move your hips towards the heel of the other foot. Holding that position for about 25 seconds or so and remember to breathe. Then, switch your legs out and repeat the exercise.

Another pose or stretch that works really well for how to do the front splits fast is the half pigeon pose. This will open your hips up and boost your overall mobility and flexibility.

You can begin in the downward facing dog pose and then take your left foot and bring it toward your left wrist. From there, bring your shin and knee down to the mat.

Straighten out your left leg behind you and make sure that your right knee is lining up with the right hip. Allow this foot to flex and walk your hands forward from there.

Next, square your hips in the direction of the mat and lower your forehead. Keep this pose held for about 25 seconds or so, then release and repeat.

How to Perform the Front Splits

Now, I want to share with you how to do the front splits. We can begin in the low lunge position. Your back knee should be down on the mat. Put your hands on your hips and keep your front foot flat. Your back toes should be kept pointed while the top of your foot should be allowed to set on the ground.

From that position, start to slide your front foot ahead of you while keeping the toes pointed. Pull the right foot back and allow your hips to ease out toward the mat. You can use your arms to stabilize you and to relieve some of the tension.

At this point, you should start to feel a stretch deepening in your hip flexors and hamstring on the front leg. When you feel that, stop your movement and hold in that position.

You’re not trying to cause yourself pain or injury and move beyond where you’re comfortable. You simply need to go as far as possible and also make sure you’re not bouncing as you do this. Make sure all your movements are slow, methodical, and easy.

This can be a great way for how to do front splits in one day for guys or girls. Simply keep pushing with this exercise until you can go all the way to a fully extended front split.

You may not be anywhere close to doing the front split yet, though. If that’s the case, keep working on the stretches I told you about above and go as deep into the front splits as you can.

How Long Should You Hold the Splits For

You might be concerned about injuring yourself if you hold the splits too long, and you may want to know how long to do front splits- male or female versions. It’s common for females to have more flexibility, but the rules are pretty much the same for how long to hold the splits for and what’s safe.

Remember not to push the splits any farther than when you start to feel a deep stretch happening. For some people, that’s not going to be very far. If you started to feel pins and needles sensations and pain, you need to pull back a little bit.

You don’t want to hold the splits for long if you’re starting to feel pain. Extend it as far as you can for a comfortable stretch that’s not painful, and then you could hold that for about 30 seconds.

That will help you work your muscles and stretch them out a little bit, giving you some progress toward being able to do the full front splits.

Initially, I would say 30 seconds is a good time, and you can increase from there as you start to feel more comfortable with the splits.

Best Bicep Exercises for Women

How to Perform the Best Bicep Exercises for Women       

Are you ready to step up your arm game? And take those biceps to the next level? You’re going to have to get serious about bicep focused exercises, like the ones I’m going to share with you.

We’re talking about the best bicep exercises for women here, and if you do these regularly, you’ll have amazing looking biceps and toned upper arms.

These are all exercises that require no gym and minimal equipment. If you have a set of dumbbells, then you’re good to go, and you can handle the best bicep exercises for women at home.

Are you concerned that doing bicep exercises will make you look muscular and hulk-like? There’s no need to be, because working your muscles doesn’t mean that you’re going to look bulky.

You can simply work at these exercises until you start to see toned arms and real definition. As long as you’re not overworking your arms and consuming a ton of protein, you shouldn’t see big, bulky muscles popping up all over your arms.

How to do Bicep Curls for Women

This is probably the bicep exercise most women will start with once they pick up the dumbbell. You start with the dumbbell held close to you with the fingers of your fist facing toward your body.

Then, extend your arm outward until it is fully extended and flat. Hold it there for just a moment, and then bring it back to the starting position.

This simple movement is very effective and one of the best bicep and tricep exercises for women.

One of the added benefits of this is that you’ll be watching your bicep muscles directly and see how they grow and flex as you exercise.

It’s a great exercise to show off to yourself the kind of progress you’ve made, and it’s also one of the more effective bicep exercises for building both biceps and triceps.

Supinated Bicep Curls – A Bicep Curl Variation

Let’s move on to a variation of the classic bicep curl. You start with dumbbells in each of your hands and your hands resting fully extended down by your sides.

From there, bring the biceps up to your chest in a smooth motion, holding them there for just a second and then dropping back slowly and smoothly to the starting position.

There are other versions of the bicep curl you can do as well, like this sitting bicep curl and reclined bicep curl. All of these have their different advantages and benefits, working various parts of the arm, or requiring more exertion than other versions.

Try out some of the different varieties and see which one works best for you, and I you may want to include a couple different versions into your regular workout routine to build up your biceps or tone your arms.

Arnold Press Exercise for Women

Another one of the best bicep exercises for women at home is the Arnold press. You can do this with dumbbells or barbells. Start by holding the weights in front of your face and then raise them up over your head with your arms fully extended.

Hold the weights there for just a moment and then lower them slowly back down. You want to take your time in doing this exercise so that you don’t hit yourself with the weights or strain your arms.

This exercise works the shoulder and back muscles as well as your biceps, so it’s a great upper body workout. I definitely recommend starting with smaller weights and then working your way up to bigger ones.

Because you’re putting the weight over your head, there’s a risk of falling weights and damage, particularly if you’re overexerting yourself.

Be careful about how long you do this exercise for as well, giving yourself plenty of rest or breaks between each set so that you don’t make a mistake. Once your hands become sweaty, you should stop doing this exercise and switch to something else.

There are some variations of the Arnold press you can do, like putting your arms out at different angles, increasing the intensity, or changing the position of your fists.

Usually, the fingers of your fists will be pointing towards your body, but you can point them away from you or point them towards each other for some different modifications on this exercise.

The overhead press is a variation of this, where your hands will face away from your body and your arms will be in position slightly to the side of your body as well.

This works your muscles in a slightly different way than the Arnold press, with that extra distance between your shoulders and arms creating a tension on your muscles that’s a little bit different.

Hammer Bicep Curls For Women

One of the best free weight bicep exercises for women is the hammer bicep curl. It’s similar to a lot of the exercises we’ve covered already, but different enough that can be considered its own exercise.

You start by standing with a dumbbell in each of your hands and make sure that your elbows or wrists stay next to your side. From the starting position, raise the weights until they’re up to the level of your shoulders.

From there, lower them back slowly to the starting position in a way that is similar to how you would hit a nail with a hammer. You’re not doing it as fast as you would swing a hammer, but you’re using the same pose with your hands and arms.

This is a single rep, and you can do 10 to 15 of these reps for a set, take a short break, and then do another set. With any of these bicep exercises, you want to try to kick in a few sets each time you do them and try to do a few sets several times a week.

Probably two to three times a week is sufficient to see great results in its short amount of time.

Tips for Doing Bicep Exercises

You want to be careful about overworking any muscle, as you can make it difficult to do a regular workout session. That’s why it’s best to keep targeted exercises like these down to just a couple times a week.

These are also some of the best bicep exercises for women over 50, as you can take them at your own pace and use weights that are not too challenging for you.

Remember to start with something small and manageable when it comes to weights and then work your way up from there as you feel your confidence and ability growing.

Keep your pace slower at first and be careful of keeping a fast pace throughout your workout session. You can end up overtiring or straining your muscles.

The faster you go with the exercises, the higher your risk of injury. You especially want to be careful about going too fast while you’re using weights, as any accident puts you at higher risk for injury.

Also be sure to warm up before doing any bicep exercises. If you don’t, you can strain or pull your muscles and you may deal with unnecessary muscle soreness after your workouts.

Taking time to stretch helps reduce soreness and decrease recovery time. That means you can get back to doing your exercises more easily the next day.

Exercise for women

What are the Benefits of Weight Training for Females?

Why should you make weight training a part of your exercise routine? Women may not think that weight training offers many benefits for them, or they may be scared that this kind of exercise will cause them to look masculine and bulky. What are the benefits of weight training for females?

If you’re looking to burn fat, lose weight, get stronger, or simply be fitter, weight training could be advantageous to you. Let’s break down some of the benefits for you, and then you can decide if you want to add weight training to your workout regimen.

What are the Benefits of Weight Training for Females

Of course, one of the biggest advantages of weight training for females is that it will make you stronger. Are you concerned that once you start lift weights that you’re going to develop huge muscles and look less feminine? That’s not actually something you need to be worried about, as women don’t usually get bigger by doing strength training.

How is that possible? It all comes down to the amount of testosterone women have coursing through their bodies. When you compare men and women, adult men have about 90% more testosterone, so that makes it much easier for them to develop muscles and get that bulky, strong look.

When women make weight training a regular part of their workouts, they will typically get more defined and toned muscles as opposed to bulking up their muscles.

Who wouldn’t want to look more fit and athletic? It actually takes a lot of work and a very protein heavy diet for a woman to get a manly, bulked up look, so you can start adding weight training to your workouts without worrying about what it would do to your look.

Does Exercise Make you Happier

Did you know that exercise can make you happy? When you work out, your body will release endorphins.

One of the benefits of women weight training for females is that their mood will improve. The endorphins that your body is producing as you strength train will prevent and reduce feelings of depression. They will also help you to feel less pain and will improve your overall mood.

Strength training is an excellent mood booster, as women who do these kinds of exercises say their confidence levels increase the more they train.

Strength training will give you a mental break and can help you to feel distracted from concerns and stressors that may be bothering you. When you are strength training, you probably won’t be thinking too much about the kinds of things that affect your mood as you focus on what you’re doing.

The emotional and physical balance provided by strength training will help to keep you on an even keel. You’ll start to feel less stressed and more confident as you continue strength training.

What are the benefits of weight training for females? If your mood is improving in so many different ways, you’ll notice the benefits pretty quickly.

Does Weight Training Help with Weight Management

Strength training is a great way to lose fatty tissue and control your weight. It helps you to have a healthy and balanced body weight. As you weight train, your body will burn fat and develop muscle. This is excellent for boosting your metabolism, ensuring that your body is able to burn more fat for fuel more efficiently.

What this means is that you won’t have to work so hard to keep the weight off. Even if you stop weight training, you should still have an improved metabolism for some time.

It should take a while for your metabolism to go back to how it was before you started weight training. So, you will find that you burn fat quickly and more easily and that your body naturally wants to use up fatty tissue for fuel.

Weight training helps to produce an afterburn effect following your workouts. As you build muscle mass, what happens following a workout is that your body will continue to burn fat to provide you with energy.

This effect increases as you build more muscle mass, meaning that it becomes easier to control your weight and keep fat off your body.

Does Weight Training Boost your Energy Levels

That faster, stronger metabolism also means that you have more energy to work with. When you eat food, your body will synthesize more energy, and you’ll be able to keep up a consistently high energy level.

You will be able to work out for longer, see greater gains when you work out, and have more endurance. You’ll be less likely to feel tired and exhausted after doing routine activities.

Do workouts wear you out more than you think they ought to? You may not be doing enough weight training. Do you feel tired even without doing strenuous activity for the day?

Poor muscle mass and excess fat and weight can keep your energy levels low. However, once you start weight training, you may see this begin to change. You may notice that you have more energy all the time, and those higher energy levels are going to boost your mood as well.

Does Weight Training Boost Athletic Ability

Of course, as you get stronger and build muscle, you be able to do more. The kinds of exercises you engage in or sports you enjoy playing will become easier for you.

You’ll be able to run farther and faster, leap higher, and work out more without feeling exhausted. As musculature develops, you will get stronger, and the things you normally do will not be as difficult anymore.

Weight training is a powerful cardio exercise. It is not as great for fat burning as conventional cardio workouts, but it provides cardiovascular benefits.

You’ll be improving your overall health, and it makes it easier for you to do all kinds of other exercises. The strength this kind of workout gives you allows you to do more, and you may be able to do exercises you weren’t able to do in the past.

As you improve your athletic ability, you’ll see greater gains. Working out will burn more fat and develop more muscle. It will be easier to reach your goals, and it’ll happen faster than it did before.

Does Weight Training Improve Heart Health

Weight training improves your heart health, strengthening that organ so that your circulation improves and you decrease your risk of heart disease.

You will especially benefit if you focus on working multiple parts of the body at once, engaging more than one system with complex exercises. This will force your heart to do more work and boost your overall athletic ability and performance.

How much does weight training help your heart health?

According to some studies, regular weight training will reduce your risk of heart disease by anywhere from 40% to 70%.

That’s a substantial reduction, and that’s reason enough to do some weight training every now and then. If you have a family history of poor heart health or heart disease, weight training to help you fight against these genetic, hereditary weaknesses.

If all of this sounds really good, then why not add some weight training to your workout routine? You can start enjoying the benefits immediately, and over time you’ll start to enjoy long term benefits that will help you to live longer and live better.

Basketball Medicine Ball Workout

What is the Best Basketball Medicine Ball Workout?

Medicine balls are one of the most versatile workout tools you can use, and I’m going to show you some different exercises you can do with it as part of a basketball workout routine.

This basketball medicine ball workout will target the areas of your body you’re going to need in order to do well at the sport.

Best Basketball Medicine Ball Exercises

A lot of the exercises I will be showing you are pulled from the same movements you would use to play basketball.

So, you can see why this workout might be effective for someone who’s trying to improve their basketball game and build the muscles necessary for playing the sport.

The Woodchopper Exercise

This exercise will build shoulder muscles, back muscles, and your upper arms. Start by standing with your feet a little bit more than shoulder width apart.

Keep your arms straight and fully extended and hold the medicine ball over your head. From that position, pivot forward at the waist and pretend like you’re throwing the ball backward in between your legs, but keep the ball in your hands throughout the motion.

Then, bring that movement back in the opposite direction quickly, keeping up your intensity, and get back to the starting position.

 

You can do 10 to 15 reps of this full motion for a set, stop briefly, and then do a couple more sets. This is one of the simplest exercises in the medicine ball basketball workout, and it’s a great way to start out your routine and warm up, beginning the exercise slowly and then building up intensity with each set.

Squat to Press

You will find the squat incorporated into most exercise regimens that people do these days, and this is a variation on the squat that uses a medicine ball. Begin by holding the medicine ball close your chest with two hands as you stand straight and tall.

Your feet should be a little more than a shoulder width apart. From this position, bend your knees and push backwards with your hips.

Then, bring your body down until your thighs are lined up parallel with the floor. Push down on the floor with your heels and push your body upwards back to the starting position, all while you’re holding the ball over your head.

Then, bring the ball back down to the starting position, and you’ve done one rep.

This is one of a number of exercises that are part of the North Carolina basketball medicine ball workout, so, it’s what the pros are using to work out and prepare themselves for an entire season of playing basketball.

If you want to develop the muscles, flexibility, and range of motion necessary for a vigorous game basketball, you need to be doing different kinds of exercises that work different areas of the body.

Side to Side Slams

This is an exercise that will work most of your body, but the focus is definitely on your obliques, arms, and shoulders. Start in the standing position, standing tall and straight.

Pick up the medicine ball and lift your arms overhead, fully extending them.

You want to get your core engaged with this exercise and throw the ball powerfully down to the ground and close to your foot.

Throw it at such an angle that it will bounce right back in your hands, and when it does, you can catch it and toss it down to the opposite foot.

Alternate the sides back and forth, making sure that your core is kept tight as you’re doing this. Try to do the slams as quickly and forcefully as you can, as you will be working your arms and shoulders more that way.

Toe Touch

Here’s another flexibility exercise you can use the medicine ball for. Start by lying on your back and lift your legs to where they are fully extended and straight and are at a perpendicular angle to the floor.

Then, hold the medicine ball in your hands and place it above your head with your arms extended straight.

Now, don’t move your legs at all or allow your elbows to bend, and then lift your torso and arms at the same time until the ball is touching your toes. From there, bring your body back to the starting position, and you’ve done a single rep.

This is another of the North Carolina basketball team medicine ball workout moves, and see its usefulness in preparing for a basketball game.

You are going through some of the motions you would use to turn and pass the ball as well as prepare to shoot. You’re limbering up those muscles, stretching them out, and building them up.

Sit-Up Wall Slams

How would you like a medicine ball workout for basketball that works your core, shoulders, and arms? This does all that and feels empowering and invigorating at the same time. It’s a really fun exercise, and I always look forward to this part of my workout session.

Start by sitting down and facing a wall. You want to distance yourself from the wall based on how heavy the ball is and how well it bounces back to you.

What you’re doing is throwing the ball up against the wall and then catching it as it comes back to you. So, put enough distance between yourself and the wall to do that.

Sitting down in front of the wall, grab the medicine ball with your hands and lie down. Pull the medicine ball up to your chest and then do a sit-up.

As you rise from the sit-up motion, toss the ball at the wall. You want to try for a precise throw that will allow the ball to come back to you.

You may want to give it room to bounce onto the ground first and then to you or straight from the wall back to your arms. When the ball comes back, catch it and go back to the initial position with the ball up against your chest.

You’ve done a single rep, and you can do about 15 to 20 of these, take a rest, and then do another couple of sets.

Diagonal Crunch

Let’s give you one more move you can do for your medicine ball workout basketball routine. The diagonal crunch works your core, particularly your abdominals, as well as your arms and some other muscles.

Hold the medicine ball in your hands and lie flat on the floor. You should have your leg extended straight out and spread open wide.

Then, roll onto your left side on the hip and then hold the ball out straight over your head at the 10:00 o’clock position. From that position, raise your arms and torso together and then allow the ball to brush the floor in between your legs.

Bring your body back down from there, but don’t roll back onto the same hip.

Instead, roll over to the other hip and hold the ball out above your head at the two o’clock position. Then, come back to your starting position. That is an entire rep, and you want to move back and forth like this several times for an entire set.

Female Doing Pushups

A Guide on How to Get Better at Push Ups for Females

If you’re struggling to do pushups, you’re not alone. For a lot of people, it’s one of the more common exercises that they simply can’t pull off.

If you try to do a push up, does it feel more like you are struggling to get your arms and core to move in a way they’re not accustomed to?

Women in particular seem to have a tough time with this exercise, but anyone can do pushups. It’s simply a matter of building up your strength and progressing from something that’s easier to do to the more difficult pushups.

I’m going to share with you a few tips on how to get better at pushups female health enthusiasts can use. If this has been the one exercise you simply can’t handle, it’s time to change that.

5 Ways to Get Better at Push Ups

Build Upper Body Strength

Probably, the biggest area where you’re struggling with this exercise is in simply having the strength to do it. Maybe start by developing upper body strength, particularly in your arms and shoulders.

Here are a few exercises you can use to develop musculature there:

  • deadlifts
  • bicep curls
  • pull-ups
  • overhead resistance band stretches
  • pull aparts
  • boxing

Spend a couple weeks doing exercises like these to work on your upper body strength. Couple that with a healthy diet where you cut back on sugar, fatty foods, fried foods, and simple carbohydrates and focus on eating lean meats and protein.

This will help spur muscle development, especially when partnered with a regular exercise routine. Very soon, you’ll notice your upper body strength improving. You may be able to see better muscle definition there, and you might start to feel stronger.

Boost Your Core

Doing pushups means engaging your core as well. It’s not just strengthening the shoulders and upper arms that you need in order to pull off a good push up. You may need to work on your core strength as well.

Any kind of exercise you can do that will build core strength will be helpful. The American Council on Exercise says that low core strength is one of the most common contributing factors to an inability to do pushups. So, you’ll want to build that core strength to pull off a good pushup.

Some of the best exercises to fit into your routine to improve core strength are planking and boxing. Planking is actually one of the best progression exercises to do to work your way up to pushups, since the two are so similar.

The pushup is essentially a moving form of plank, so it makes sense that you could progress from one to the other.

Try to focus on your planking to where you could hold it for a full minute at a time.

Also try to work several sets of planks into your workout routine a few times a week. Doing this regularly, you’ll soon be able to pull off a pushup with ease.

Start with Easy Pushups

Knee pushups are sometimes known as girly pushups, and you don’t need to be ashamed to start there. Not everyone is going to be able to do a proper pushup the first time they try. You may need to work up from something easier before you get to the more advanced exercise.

To do a knee pushup, get down on your hands and knees, and then lower yourself by using your arms until your face is hovering just above the floor. Your elbows should bend outward away from your body, and your pams should be flat on the floor.

For most people, this is a very simple pushup to do, and it helps ease you into the motions of the proper pushup and build up some of the muscles that will be used for pushups as well.

Try doing a few sets of 10 to 15 knee pushups every workout session, getting in a session three to four times a week. Pretty soon, you should be able to do a proper pushup, supporting yourself on your toes rather than your knees.

Try Different Hand Placements

Part of the reason you may be struggling with the traditional pushup is because of your stance. The distance between your hands and where you place them on the ground when you do a push up can affect how difficult the exercise is to do.

The conventional pushup calls for you to place your hands about a shoulder width apart from each other with your palms flat on the ground. That’s far from the only way to do standard pushup, though.

You can place your hands farther apart and see if that is easier for you or place them closer together. They can even be right next to each other. Try these different distances and see how they work for you to find something that’s comfortable and easy for you to do.

You can also try balling up your hands into fists rather than opening your palms as you do pushups. This can place less strain on your wrists, which may be helpful if you have weak wrists.

If you’re doing pushups with fist hands, you can place your hands so that your thumbs point toward each other or turn them upward so that your thumbs point ahead of you.

Try Different Kinds of Pushups

A different placement technique that can help is trying inclined pushups. This usually requires very little upper body strength, and they can minimize the need for core and midsection strength. So, if you’re weak in that area, try an inclined pushup to see if that’s a little easier for you.

You can also slow down your pushups to make them easier. You don’t have to keep pace with an exercise video or instructor as you do the exercise. If they are too challenging for you, just slow things down and see if that makes them more manageable for you.

You can try decline pushups too, which require you to push your entire body upwards and put the burden on your shoulders, back and upper arms.

These different types of pushups can offer you a different entry point to regular pushups, and you may find some of them easier than the regular pushups.

It also helps to keep your expectations low and try to do just a few push-ups in a row. Don’t push yourself too hard at first, as you can make yourself too sore to do pushups the next day.

Whenever you’re trying a new exercise, it’s always best to take things easy and move at a slow pace at first, until you get used to doing regularly.

If you find that you overdid it and pushed yourself too hard with the pushups, you can take a little time off from doing them.

Don’t stop exercising, though. Make sure you stretch out and massage them to get rid of soreness. Try to do some less strenuous upper exercises as you allow your body to recover.

You’ll be able to do pushups soon, as long as you follow the guidelines and pushup tips listed above. Anyone can do pushups, as long as they stick with them and build up the muscles needed for this exercise.

Sleeping Position for Neck Pain and Headaches

Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain and Headaches

It can be very difficult to fall asleep when you’re experiencing neck pain or a headache. You know that sleep will help heal your head and neck, but at the same time, that pain is keeping you from going to sleep. It’s like your body doesn’t even know what it needs to get better.

It’s a frustrating position to be in, but your sleeping position can make a big difference. Finding the right sleeping position can help with headaches and neck pain, preventing them before they happen and allowing you to fall asleep easier when you’re suffering from these ailments.

There are some sleeping positions that work better than others at soothing neck pain and dealing with headaches, and I’m going to share those with you here.

I will talk about some tried and true methods for falling asleep and getting into the right position on your bed and pillow in order to get the rest you need to recover.

The Best Sleeping Position if you Have Neck Pain or Headaches

So, which kind of sleeping position should you be in normally for good posture and a good night sleep? We want to begin with the norm, and then any deviations necessary for treatment or health benefits can go from that starting point.

When you lie down in bed for a night sleep, you should be lying in a position that is good for your posture and that keeps your spine straight. Remember that your spine goes up your back and your neck as well.

So, those both need to be lined up straight in order for your posture to be correct and to avoid you waking up with back pain or neck pain in the morning.

If you’re already lying down with neck or back pain, it’s important that you get into a correct sleeping position so that these problems don’t become worse when you wake up.

The most recommended sleeping position for the average person is to lie on their side with enough support for their head so that the neck lines up with the spinal column.

If your neck is too high or too low, that’s going to put a little bend in the part of your spinal column where the neck and back connect just above the shoulders.

That can mean you will wake up with a crick in your neck or some sort of discomfort there.

So, the best sleeping position in general is this side position with your neck and the rest of your spinal column all lined up straight. You want to be careful about how high your pillow is or how low it is.

Of course, if you’re having breathing difficulties, you need to prop up your neck more to allow extra air passage between your mouth, nose, and lungs. But we’re not talking about sleeping positions for a stuffed nasal cavity.

Instead, we are focusing on the best sleeping position for neck pain and headaches.

How to Sleep with Neck Pain and Headaches

There are two different sleeping positions you can try that will be easy on your neck. The one that I recommended above for sleeping on your side is what’s optimal, but you can try sleeping on your back as well.

If you’re going to sleep on your back while suffering from neck pain, make sure you choose a pillow that’s kind of rounded. This will give you some support to the natural curve of your neck. You can then add a flat pillow to provide cushioning for your head.

There are pillows that come with built-in neck support and that include a headrest indentation.

You can use conforming pillows to help provide better support for your neck and comfort as you sleep.

Feather pillows and shaped pillows with memory foam may help. Just be careful about using pillows that are overly high. That can create stiffness and pain in your neck, and you’re going to feel it in the morning.

To help with neck pain when you sleep on your side, try to place a pillow under your head and neck that’s higher than it is under your head. This will ensure that your spine stays straight while you sleep.

Horseshoe pillows are also good idea, especially when you’re traveling. They help keep your neck straight to ensure that it doesn’t fall to one side or the other as you sleep.

Be careful about using overly large travel pillows, as they can push your head forward too much and put strain on your spine.

What Not to Do if you Have Neck Pain or a Headache

If you’re trying to avoid further neck pain and headaches, you need to be careful with your sleeping position. Propping your head up too high or not even using a pillow can cause further pain and discomfort.

An improper sleeping position, especially when you’re already in pain, can make a headache worse.

If you’re not providing proper support for your neck and spine, you may not get a restful night’s sleep. That’s going to leave you with a headache in the morning.

You want to avoid sleeping on your stomach if at all possible. This can place undue pressure on your neck because of the way your back is arched and how this position turns your neck to the side.

If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, it’s going to be tough to change that just to accommodate your headache and neck pain, but you should give a new position a try.

Attempt to sleep on your side or your back and follow the guidelines I’ve listed above. This may take you a little while to fall asleep to feel comfortable in this position, but it can make a big difference in how you feel in the morning and how soundly you sleep during the night.

Keep in mind that using the wrong sleeping position that’s not considered a healthy one can be damaging over time. You’re more likely to wake up with that back, neck, or head pain because of a poor sleeping position.

Even if you don’t have pain there right now, it’s a good idea to change over to sleeping on your side or your back and properly support your neck, head, and back while you sleep.

How to Help Yourself Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep with Neck or Headaches

If you’re having trouble falling asleep because of neck pain or headache, and you’re worried about waking up during the night, there are few things you can try.

  • take a pain reliever before you go sleep
  • drink a hot beverage like tea or warm milk before sleeping
  • avoid caffeine and excess sugar several hours before you go to sleep
  • don’t drink too much before you go to sleep, as you may need to wake up during the night to urinate
  • get plenty of exercise during the day so that you’re more likely to sleep soundly at night
  • get to bed at a regular time when your body is used to falling asleep
  • give yourself enough time to get adequate sleep during the night
  • relax yourself with calming music, a hot bath, or a self-massage before you fall asleep
  • try to avoid spending time on screens up to an hour before you fall asleep
women doing interval training

What are the Benefits of Interval Training (5 Benefits)

How would you like to burn more calories in less time? Is the idea of spending less time in the gym appealing to you? That’s the idea behind interval training, which involves doing high intensity, high impact exercises for a short period of time.

This is a training method that’s caught on a lot recently, and it’s used by some of the strongest and most physically fit people in the world. Will it work for you? Let me briefly explain the benefits of interval training

#1 Interval Training is More Time Efficient

I teased it just now, I want to dive more into the idea of spending less time at the gym and yet getting even better gains than what you’re seeing right now. That’s one of the major benefits of high intensity interval training.

You won’t need to work out as long to get powerful results. I’m not talking about getting the same results. I’m talking about getting rid of more calories, burning more fat, and seeing greater muscle development.

People who use high intensity training or interval training usually don’t work out for as long as people who are not doing these kinds of training sessions. They get in, get their exercises done, and get out. Instead of working out for 45 minutes or hour, they can work out for about 30 minutes and get even better results.

Of course, that means upping the pace quite a bit. You can’t use a relaxed pace in the gym if you’re going to be doing interval training.

It’s something that requires a lot of energy in short bursts, and then you need to sustain that energy for most of the workout session. You’ll take short breaks every now and then, but your workout pace will be very high for the majority of the time.

#2 Interval Training Gives A Lengthy Burn

So, how can someone work out for only a short amount of time and yet see greater results than someone who works out for much longer?

One of the benefits interval training on treadmill, powerlifting, or whatever else you’re doing is that you continue to burn calories long after you stop working out.

Once you stopped working out and finish your high intensity interval training, you can continue burning calories for about two hours after that.

That’s because the level of heat created by your body causes a thermogenic reaction inside you, burning calories for a long time.

It gets your metabolism working and keeps heat radiating inside your body for a while after. Even after you cool down, this reaction is still happening, whether you realize it or not.

What are the benefits of interval training for weight loss? If you don’t have a lot of time to spend at the gym but you want to burn calories fast and shed those pounds quickly, interval training may be the way to go.

You’ll spend less time and get even better weight loss results, reaching your goals faster.

#3 Interval Training Mixes up Your Workout Routine

You’re probably not used to working out like this, especially if you’re here trying to learn more about interval training. In that case, let me tell you about the benefits of interval training for someone who has never done it before.

If that’s you, then this kind of training can be really exciting. It can chase away the boredom that may have fallen over your exercise routine and get you looking forward to working out again.

You may not be thrilled about the idea of sweating profusely and exerting yourself so hard, but you’re doing something different from what you’re used to. That can motivate you to keep working out.

It may also help with your motivation. If you’re seeing better results, like greater muscle development and more weight loss, then you’re more likely to keep with the workout routine.

Everyone loves to see results, and that triggers the reward part of your brain when you notice that your hard work is paying off.

There are also tons of different HIIT routines you can do. You don’t have to stick with one or two exercises the entire time. You can do everything from swinging ropes to pushing tires to powerlifting to jumping rope for your training session.

interval-training

There’s no need to be pigeonholed with your workouts and end up getting bored of what you’re doing. Instead, find ways to vary it up, like occasionally doing interval training rather than regular workout sessions.

#4 Interval Training is Good for Your Heart

A healthy heart means a longer life, and it also means that you are minimizing your risk for heart problems later on. One of the benefits of workouts that rely on heart rate-based interval training is that they really push some extra effort out of your heart.

As long as you’re not overdoing it, like pushing your training sessions too long or doing them too frequently, you can really benefit your heart health.

High intensity interval training is excellent for your heart, and it can improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels over time.

It can also help your circulation, reducing the risk cardiac arrest, circulatory problems, and other issues that can affect your heart and the rest of your body. You can even prevent and minimize your risk of diabetes by doing workouts like these.

If you have a coronary artery disease, research has shown that doing a shorter but more intense exercise session like this is actually easier for your body to tolerate then a longer, slower session.

If you’re struggling to get through a lengthy exercise session, cutting it back but ramping up the intensity can offer a lot of benefits for your heart and your overall health.

#5 Interval Training Increases Your Endurance

Interval training gives you ways to spice up your regular exercise session, so when you’re swimming, jogging, doing pushups, or anything else, just increase the intensity and start benefiting from internal training.

Throwing in just a little bit of this kind of high intensity training regular workout can have a big impact. Try increasing your intensity for about a minute into an otherwise normal workout and see how it helps you. You may notice improvements in blood pressure.

You may also notice that your endurance improves and that it boosts your alertness by feeding your brain. Interval training increases the levels of mitochondria in your body which provide fuel for your mental faculties.

What’s great about the endurance boost to get from interval training is that it can affect your regular exercises well. You’ll find that you can go for longer without getting tired or needing to stop.

If you don’t want to keep tiring out so quickly and you want to be able to run for longer and enjoy greater endurance levels, try some interval training. You can have a big impact on all the exercises you do as well as your daily activities.

These are just some of the benefits of interval training, and you’ll notice others too as you start to incorporate this training into your workouts.

You can start small, adding just a miniature to each workout session and then progress from there. Pretty soon, you may want to do interval training most of the time, once you start to see how beneficial it is.

female-doing-boxing

What are the Benefits of Boxing for Females

More and more women are taking up boxing as a way to improve their athleticism, strength, and agility. If you balk at the idea of getting the ring with another woman as a necessary step to get stronger and faster, you should know that boxing isn’t all about combat.

There are a lot of benefits of boxing for females that have nothing to do with punching someone else or getting into a physical fight. You can train your body and develop muscles using boxing without ever throwing a punch against another person.

Of course, if you want, boxing can be very competitive and combat oriented. You can get into that physical fighting side of the sport and enjoy the benefits that come from that as well.

female-doing-boxing

Let’s talk about some of the benefits for women in particular when it comes to boxing. Even if you never punch at another human, there’s tons of advantages to going to the gym and hitting a punching bag for a while.

Muscle Toning

You may think that boxing isn’t for you because you don’t want to bulk up and look muscular. Not every woman who boxes looks like She-Hulk, so don’t get the wrong idea that you’re going to bulk up just because you’re taking up some boxing.

Hitting a punching bag is in great way to build muscle tone and definition. It’s a superb cardio exercise that burns a lot of fat and get your heart rate up. It also builds muscles in key upper body areas, working the shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, back, and core.

You can get a toned, fit look in all those areas through regular boxing sessions. You might be amazed at how quickly your muscles develop and how soon you start seeing some real definition there.

Of course, it helps to eat a low carb, low fat, low sugar diet that’s high in lean protein. This will develop muscle and reduce fat growth in the body.

Great for Your Heart Health

One of the other benefits of boxing for fitness for females is that it helps your cardiovascular strength and ability. You will improve your circulation and strengthen your heart, as this cardiovascular activity works your heart muscle and allows it to work for longer and harder.

It increases the stamina and strength of your heart, which can help you to live longer, enjoying a healthy heart and lowering your risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.

Boost Your Endurance

Increasing your heart healthiness means you’ll have more endurance, and it also means that your lung capacity will increase. As you hit the punching bag over and over again, you will be exerting yourself, sweating profusely, and breathing heavily.

Doing this regularly will expand your lungs’ ability to provide air and oxygenation to the rest of your body.

It’s an invigorating workout routine, and you’ll definitely benefit from greater stamina and endurance in any kind of physical activity you do. You’ll take longer to get tired and out of breath, and you’ll be able to run for farther and longer without getting exhausted.

Any kind of physical exercise that requires decent lung capacity and a strong heart will become easier for you. You will be able to do longer workout sessions without getting tired, which means you’ll see greater gains in your musculature and athleticism.

Better Strength and Recovery

As you’re getting stronger by boxing, you’re also building functional strength. This is strength you need for daily activities. You’ll be able to lift more, carry it for longer, and exert yourself without causing muscle soreness and achiness.

Imagine putting yourself through a strenuous workout, the hardest you’ve ever been through, and coming out the other side of that feeling great. Imagine the next day that you don’t feel overtired or sore. That’s because your body has learned to recover faster.

Thanks to the oxygenation your body is getting because of the cardiovascular workouts you’re doing, your muscles recover quickly. Of course, you’re going to have to couple strenuous workouts with plenty of sleep and a healthy diet. That will help your muscles recover as well.

However, doing a workout that is as demanding as boxing and doing it on a regular basis will improve your overall athleticism and muscle recovery.

You have less downtime, which means you’ll be able to spend more time working out and more time gaining muscle and getting stronger. This is all true whether you’re a man or a woman, and boxing provides those kinds of benefits across the board.

Learn Self Defense

As you train, you will learn valuable skills that may help you out later in life. It’s a sad thing that women are at more risk for being taken advantage of than men. It’s sensible to try to protect yourself, and boxing teaches you how to do that.

If you’ve never thrown a punch and if you don’t have much strength in your arms, you may have trouble defending yourself effectively. Boxing as a form of exercise teaches valuable life skills that may come in useful one day, saving your life or keeping you from being taken advantage of.

If you don’t want to be another statistic or a victim, then boxing can be so much more for you than just a way to build some muscle and get a good workout.

You can be prepared when someone tries to do you harm, and you’ll know how to throw a punch and defend yourself. Even without professional combat training, you can learn how to defend yourself properly.

In most instances where someone defends themselves from an attacker, they only need to throw a couple punches, not actually getting into an all-out fight where blows are traded back and forth. They just need to do enough to injure their attacker and escape, and practicing boxing will provide you with the tools to do that to keep yourself safe.

Boosts Mental Health

Boxing is also excellent for your mental wellbeing, allowing you to focus on yourself for a while rather than on others.

Women will naturally want to care for others, sometimes putting the needs of others above their own. This can be to their detriment at times, as they may neglect their own needs.

Boxing puts the focus squarely back on yourself, and if you need time to destress and self-care, boxing can be a great way to do that. As you exert yourself, the body releases hormones that help you to destress and feel better. This can help to use bottled up energy that could be built up by stress and anxiety.

Any frustration or anger you have pent up can be released and dissipated in a healthy way when you box. It could be damaging to your mental health to keep these things holed up inside, and boxing helps you to release them in a way that benefits you and keeps you from hurting other people or saying something you don’t do tend to.

Boxing is a healthy way to vent, and after a tough day or a frustrating week, it’s a good way to work off some excess energy and to invigorate yourself.

 

Foam Roll Exercise

How Often Should You Foam Roll

The foam roller is a piece of gym equipment that’s used for instability exercises as well as for massaging tired muscles. You’ll find the foam roller in most gyms these days, or you may have one at home.

How often should you foam roll muscles, using the roller to care for your tired, achy muscles after a strenuous workout session? Does it matter which kind of roller you use?

There are dimpled and flat rollers and ones that vibrate and ones made from hard materials- you can find the perfect roller for your needs and preferences.

No matter which kind of roller you use, I would give the same advice as to how often you should foam roll. Let’s look at how this piece of equipment works and what it can do for you and then discuss how often you might need to massage muscles with it.

Treating Soft Tissue Dysfunction with Foam Rolling

The foam roller is typically used to put some pressure on a specific area of the body, in conjunction with the user’s own body weight. Most people use the foam roller to treat soft muscles as well as connective or soft tissue.

They make use of rolling action and end up giving themselves a massage or something similar to it in those areas of soft tissue. What this does is activate a releasing mechanism which health and fitness experts will call SMR, or self-myofascial release.

Now, that’s the same kind of muscular release that you would get if you were to visit the physical therapist or massage expert. You’re not going to get the same kind of effect and relief by using the foam roller that you would get if you were to visit a trained physiotherapist.

However, if you want to save some money or you don’t have access to an experienced clinician, you can use the foam roller to treat your muscle aches and pains at home.

 

The tightness and soreness in your muscles may be causing you discomfort that you’re tired of dealing with, and using the foam roller can provide some relief.

It’s understandable, then, why some people would want to use the foam roller rather than to go visit an actual massage therapist.

What Causes Muscle and Soft Tissue Dysfunction?

In order to look at the question of how often should you foam roll, let’s talk about the reason behind muscle and soft tissue dysfunction in the first place.

Muscles form together in bundles of fibers and are wrapped up in an outer layer known as fascia. Typically, the fascia the fibers will work together, gliding side by side without sticking to one another or snagging on each other.

If your muscles aren’t working the way they should, though, there may be some dysfunction there. If you overwork your muscles through intense training or you don’t move around very much for long periods of time, that can cause some sticking between the muscles and the fascia.

Repetitive movements can create the same kind of problem, as can severe strain from lifting something heavy.

You can end up with knots in the muscles, creating points of tension in the body that need to be worked out. These knots are technically known as soft tissue adhesion, and there are points in your muscle groupings where the fascia and fibers no longer glide side by side but are instead glued together.

If the problem isn’t treated, it can cause pain and inflammation. When this happens, some people will tend to avoid stretching or working those muscles very much, even though that’s one of the best ways to treat the issue.

How Does Foam Rolling Help

You see what the problem is, then. Your tissue isn’t working like it should, so massaging and smoothing it back out can help to get the muscles and fascia to glide together once more.

foam-roll

The foam roller is very useful for that, as it works the muscles and connective tissue, stretching them and getting rid of the rough patches. Those places of stickiness and binding can become smooth once more so that they glide like they should.

How often should you foam roll your upper back and other areas that are sore or inflamed? That depends on how often you work out or what kind of injuries you get.

Foam rolling can be used as both a preventative measure and a treatment method. As I mentioned, it’s not as effective a treatment as going to the physical therapist or massage clinician, but it can be helpful.

You can use the foam roller every time your muscles feel inflamed or sore, working them with the foam roller to smooth them out and get them feeling good again. You can also use the foam roller regularly to avoid muscle binding and sticking.

If you know you are going to be working out later on, you can use the foam roller preemptively, preparing the muscles for that activity.

How often should you foam roll and stretch? You can stretch before every workout session, but should you foam roll just as often? The typical guidance for how often you foam roll is about two to three times a week.

ow often you need it may vary based on your activity levels and the kind of workout sessions you do, but two to three times a week is usually adequate.

If you feel like you need to use it more often than that, you may want to substitute it with stretching instead. Stretching has a lot more research backing it up, and there’s a lot more evidence that stretching helps to limber up muscles and prepare them for a workout as compared to using the foam roller.

Should You Foam Roll before Every Workout

A lot of people will use foam rolling ahead of a strenuous workout session, but that might not be the best idea. There’s no clinical evidence that foam rolling makes a big difference, but you could overdo it and foam roll too much.

You can actually damage your muscles by using this kind of at-home self-massage equipment. Because you’re probably not trained on how to massage your own tissue or to smooth out muscles, using the foam roller too often can be damaging and risky.

How often should you foam roll your legs before running? I wouldn’t suggest doing it every time you’re going to run, but if you want to use the foam roller two or three times a week before you go for a run, that should be fine. Anecdotal evidence points to this kind of frequency not putting anyone at significant risk of muscle injury.

Of course, how you use the foam roller is important. You don’t want to be too strenuous and rough with it.

If you’re overly forceful with the foam roller or you have very lengthy foam rolling sessions, you can damage yourself.

Keep it light and easy and see if it makes a difference for you. If you use the foam roller a couple times a week and you see some improvement, there should be no problem with continuing to do that for as long as you like.

It’s not a good idea to increase the frequency beyond about three times a week, though.