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The Best Workout For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

The Best Workout For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Since ancient times, people looked up in the sky when times turned harsh, looking for some comfort. As they accumulated more knowledge, astrologists were born and the stars began to “speak” to us more and more. Zodiac signs were established and since then we always listen to the horoscope before starting our day. How to find your perfume, how to spend your honeymoon and how to deal with a broken heart, can all be decided based on your zodiac sign.

Before the workouts, let’s find more about astrology and zodiac signs

However, there are skeptics like me who need more in order to believe their destiny is altered by the month of their birth. As always, I turned to science, trying to find a connection between the astrological sign and personality traits. First, there are more and more Americans who do believe in astrology, according to data gathered by the National Science Foundation.

But the really amazing findings are those which link personality traits to birthdays, to be more specific, zodiac signs.

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorders are more common in people born under Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are studied intensively, being two of the most common personality disorders, which affect the patient’s entire life. Some studies looked at the incidence of these ailments among patients and found that people born in January, February and March have the highest risk of developing these conditions. A study conducted at the Queen Mary University of London revealed that January is the month where most schizophrenia patients are born, being closely followed by February and March.

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Suicidal tendencies are more common in people born under Aries and Taurus

Still, in London, another study, this time conducted by St. Helen’s College, University College London and the University of Liverpool found that suicide is more common among people born in April and May. The study found that people born in Aries and Taurus have a 17% more risk of committing suicide, compared to people born under other signs. Out of these, women born in April and May have 13% more chances of becoming suicidal, compared to men born in the same months.

People born under Sagittarius, Aquarius and Capricorn have a lower agreeableness level

There are five main personality traits, according to science: agreeableness, extraversion, openness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. Agreeableness is that warmth of character, which, according to a study conducted at the University of Tokyo, is not found in people born in December, January, and February.

Men born under Gemini, Cancer and Leo have a lower conscientiousness level

Another personality trait is conscientiousness, which is the ability to be careful. According to a study conducted at the University of Bologna, men born in summer rate lower for this trait. Another interesting find of this study is that people born in autumn or winter are morning people, while those born in spring or summer are “night owls”.

Now that we know horoscope zodiac signs can and do alter our personalities, let’s check the best workouts, according to your astrological sign.

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Aries – Personalized training

Because Aries likes to be the center of attention and is prone to take the competition to another level way too often, a personal trainer is the best option for you.

Taurus – Cardio workout

Taurus natives are sensual and love art, so dance is the best workout for you, as it offers the intense exercise you need and the sensual form you crave.

Gemini – HIIT

Gemini becomes bored very quick, so a high-intensity interval training is exactly what you need. The intense reps and the short reps don’t let you get bored and provide you with the intensive workout you need.

Cancer – Community workouts

This one is a bit harder to explain: Cancer natives love to have other people around, so if you want the best from your training, you should find someone who can become your exercise mate. Pump up the music and start exercising together.

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Leo – Full body workouts

Leo natives are competitive, strong-willed and ready to take up a challenge, so for you, full body workouts are the best pick. Your motivation is never low, so you can pull it off easily, especially if you have other Leo natives around you.

Virgo – Barre workouts

Virgo is critical and this means you love to repeat until it’s perfect. Barre workouts are based on repetition, while they emphasize form and technique, making them perfect for you.

Libra – Kickboxing

Libra is the sign of balance, so kickboxing is going to provide you with the dose of full body workout you need and the opportunity to unleash your wild side.

Scorpio – Running

Scorpio natives are very focused, especially on great goals, so running a marathon is a great workout for you because it uses your focus and your endurance.

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Sagittarius – Rock Climbing

Social and adventurous, Sagittarius natives are going to love rock climbing sessions. These also provide a complete workout and get you out of your comfort zone.

Capricorn – Ironman or mud competitions

Capricorn natives are tough and determined, so training for the notorious Ironman or mud competitions, which are extra tough, is going to provide you with the disciplined workout you need.

Aquarius – Team Sports

Aquarius natives are team players by nature, so team sports are their best pick when it comes to working out. Plus, the competition is going to sparkle your interest.

Pisces – Yoga

Pisces are said to have a slippering personality, but this is not why yoga is the best for you. Yoga helps you connect with your spiritual side and tone your body, during the same exercise.

Featured photo credit: Albumarium via images.unsplash.com

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Published on August 16, 2019

15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners

15 Strength Training Exercises Specifically for Runners

When you choose the right exercises, and make strength training a priority, it will have a great payoff to improve your running. Studies have shown incorporating a strength training program to your running routine improves running economy.[1]

Here are 15 strength training exercises specifically for runners.

1. Planks

The plank is a very important core exercise that will help give you more control and balance while running. Having a strong core will also keep you more stable and in control if you have to navigate uneven surfaces.

The plank is a simple exercise and involved balancing on your forearms and the tips of your toes, so that your back is “straight as a plank”. You want to focus on keeping your abs tight and imagine sucking your belly button up into your spine to have them properly engaged.

Aim for 30 to 45 seconds for a few rounds. Ultimately, you want to hold them as long as you can with proper form – so every time you perform a plank you want to go a little longer than previous ones.

2. Side Planks

The same concept is applied but you are now engaging your core in a different manner and engaging your oblique muscles too. This time, you are going to lie on your side with your legs stacked on top of each other.

You will lean on your right forearm and lift your hips off the ground keeping your head lined up with your torso and ankles. Keep your other hand on your hip to help ,and control balance, and focus on not moving or swaying. Keep your abs tight to engage them and hold for 30-45 seconds, or longer if you can.

3. Clamshells

For this exercise, you are going to need a simple resistance band. Start with the band wrapped around both legs just below the knee. Your starting position will be on the ground lying on your side with your top hip and shoulder pointing towards the ceiling. Your hips will be on the ground, keep your back straight and your feet together, and lift up with your top knee as far as you can with the resistance.

Pause for a second at the top and lower back down under control. You can do 10 reps on this side before switching over and doing another 10 reps and aim for 2 to 3 sets.

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Clamshells are going to help strengthen your abductor muscles giving you stronger hips and more stability while running.

4. Single-Leg Bridge

You will start lying on your back with your feet on the ground, shoulder-width apart with knees bent. You will straighten out one leg so it’s out in front of you in the air and lift your body up by pushing with the leg on the ground.

You want to flex your abs and glutes while pushing upward and try to keep your hips level throughout the motion before returning to the ground. You can also hold your body in the upright position for 5-10 seconds before returning to the ground to get more engagement before switching over to the other leg.

The single-leg bridge will help strengthen your glutes which are crucial for running power and stride strength.

5. Standing Calf Raises

This is a simple exercise but one that is very important for strengthening the calves. The stronger they are, the less fatigue you will experience during running. You will need to find an elevated step or platform for this exercise.

Stand on the platform with your heels hanging off the edge. Find something stable to hold on to for balance and start by lower your heels down until you feel a stretch in the back of your calves. Then, stand upwards like you are trying to see over a fence. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

6. Arch Lifting

You will start out standing with your feet directly under your hips, and this is best done without shoes. You will rotate the arch of your foot upward while keeping your toes and heels in contact with the ground.

Don’t let your toes tighten and you want to hold for a few seconds at the top before returning to the ground. You can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions and this is going to help strengthen the arches of your feet.

The stronger your arches are the better it is to keep your running stride strong and prevent less fatigue in the feet.

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7. Half-Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch

Strong hips are paramount for running and the hip flexors can easily become strained and overused. This exercise will help to strengthen them and provide more power and stability while running. You will start kneeling with one foot forward and the other knee bent underneath the hip.

Keep your abs tight, your back straight, and shift your body weight forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your hips. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds before switching over to the other leg.

8. Alternating Lunges

These are going to develop power and strength in your quads and glutes to help give you a more powerful stride. You will start standing with your hands on your hips looking straight out in front of you.

Step forward with your right leg and lower down just before your opposite knee touches the ground. Then, push through your heel to return to the standing position before performing the lunge with your left leg. Alternate between the right and left leg so that each one has done 10 reps and you can perform 3 sets of this.

9. Jump Squats

These can be done just with your bodyweight and help to develop explosive power in the lower body. The jump squat is handy for when you have to run hills and need more power for harder stretches of your run.

The best way is to start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. You will drive through the heels of your feet and explode upwards. As your bodyweight brings you back to the ground, control your weight as you go back into the squat position to fully engage the muscles.

Make sure not to let your knees move inwards and keep your abs tight, your head up, and your chest out. Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps.

10. Skater Hops

This will help to build leg and core strength, along with improving balance. You will start standing upright but then bending the knees slight like you’re about to sit down. You will then drive off your right foot, jumping a few feet out to the left.

You will land on your left foot while your right foot swings behind your left leg. Then, drive off the left foot using the momentum of your right foot swinging back to land back on it. You will keep doing these side hops for ten times each leg and the motion should look like a speed skater shifting side to side.

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11. Bulgarian Split Squat

This will be similar to the lunges but, will really ramp up the resistance for the quads and is a great strength training exercise for runners. You are going to need an elevated surface or bench to stand in front of. The starting position will be standing upright with your head up and hands on your hips.

Start with your right foot behind you supported by the bench. You will start by lowering your hips to drops your left leg down to around a 90-degree angle, stopping just before your right knee hits the ground.

Next, push up through the heel until you are back at the starting position and perform ten reps, under control, before you switch over to the right leg. Perform 3 sets of this.

To make this even tougher, you can hold dumbbells in your hands hanging at your sides.

12. Arabesque

These will help in activating and controlling your hips. You will start off by standing on one leg, hands on your hips, and making sure your hips are level and balanced. You can then put your arms out to the side to give you more balance.

Start by tipping your torso forward as your non-weight-bearing leg extends out behind you. You can slightly bend your knee to help with control and you want to have your back and extended leg as level as possible. You should end up basically parallel to the floor with your shoulder, hip, and ankle should be in a straight line.

When you’ve gone as far forward as you can, return to the starting position and perform 8 repetitions before switching to the other leg.

Perform 2 to 3 sets. These are all about quality over quantity so if you can only do 4 or 5, that’s fine.

13. Hip Bridge

This is another great exercise to target the glutes which are the source of your running power. Start by lying on the ground with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Squeeze your glutes and then lift your hips up towards the ceiling.

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Your hips, knees, and shoulders should be in a straight line. Hold at the top for a second and then lower back down under control. Perform this 12 times and then, you can do 3 sets. If these get easier, you can hold a weight across your stomach for more resistance.

14. Push-Ups

A classic exercise, and for good reason. As much as you want to focus your strength training on the lower body, you can’t neglect your upper body. Your arms are helping drive and propel you while running and a strong upper body helps with your overall balance and stability.

You can start laying facedown on the ground with your palms facing downwards and elbows tucked into your sides. Focus on pushing through the heel of your palms upward, stopping just before your elbows lock out. Lower back down under control and stop just before your chest touches the ground.

Focus on keeping the elbows tucked into your side and avoid having them flail outwards. You can perform 10 reps for 3 sets of these.

15. Squat to Overhead Press

This is a full-body motion that works a majority of muscles, builds power, explosiveness, and coordination. You will need two dumbbells and you will start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, with the dumbbells, held up by your shoulders – palms facing forward.

Send your hips back and lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. As you stand up, press the dumbbells overhead and return them to the starting position. Go for 10 reps and three sets.

The Bottom Line

As much as you’d like to, you can’t be running all the time. It can lead to overuse, injuries and burnout. The perfect way to offset this is with strength training, making sure you perform your training with proper form and technique, avoiding mistakes which can lead to injury.

There are many other strength exercises such as the deadlift, which works the back and leg muscles which are vital for running economy improvement and injury prevention.[2] These exercises will make you a more efficient and resilient runner allowing you to improve your distances and times.

Even if you’ve been against strength training for runners, you can see now how it’s necessary in order to improve your overall running ability and performance.

Featured photo credit: Stage 7 Photography via unsplash.com

Reference

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