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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

Exercise Routine That Best Fits You (With 3 Difficulty Levels to Choose)

Exercise Routine That Best Fits You (With 3 Difficulty Levels to Choose)

Do you find it difficult sticking with an exercise routine? Do you love the idea of creating a routine, yet still lack the motivation to apply your creation? If so, you are not alone. If you have not heard of my 24 Hour Workout, let me introduce you to the ultimate exercise routine hack.

Let’s examine the routine by splitting it into three levels as my routine can seem a little intimidating at times.

Why you need an exercise routine

The ultimate exercise routine identified here is different than most routines in that it requires no gym membership and can be done anywhere at any time. The benefits of exercise (and maintaining an exercise routine) will lead to an overall healthy life.

Simply adopting this exercise routine will completely change your life. Let’s examine 11 Benefits of Exercise provided by Dr. Axe:[1]

  1. Boost happiness levels
  2. Learn to set and achieve goals
  3. Reduce risk of heart disease
  4. Improved sleep
  5. Boost in overall energy
  6. Increased strength and flexibility
  7. Improved memory
  8. Increased self-confidence
  9. Perform better at work
  10. Less susceptible to disease
  11. You will live longer

An exercise routine (combined with a morning routine) is the ultimate life hack. Not only will it provide you with a way to think, look, and feel great, but it will also boost your productivity, increase your energy level and intelligence, improve your memory, and increase your overall quality of life.

Equally important, you can begin an exercise routine at any stage in your life.

The 3 levels of exercise routine

This exercise plan is designed based onthe American Council on Exercise (ACE) Health-Fitness-Performance (HFP) Continuum as a guide for better health, fitness and performance:

    I have broken the fitness program into three different difficulty level: beginners, intermediate and advanced.

    Workout routine for beginners

      It is easy to imagine starting an exercise routine, yet it is very difficult to begin doing the actual work. That’s why it is actually the hardest level.

      The following is a beginner’s exercise routine:

      1. Exercise hourly or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

      When:

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      Monday, Wednesday, Friday

      • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
      • How long: 2 months

      Both options are exercises that can be done at home (or anywhere indoors).

      Option A – Exercise hourly (if possible)

      Using a version of the Pomodoro Technique, use a timer and set it for every 60 minutes.

      Once the timer goes off, do the following:

      Power Push-up. Start with 10 push-ups and do these five times a day. Watch the following video:

      Plank. Hold the plank for at least 30 seconds (five times a day). Watch the following video:

      Option B – High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts for beginners at Home (morning or evening)

      Before beginning the following workout, make sure you warm up for 3 minutes (jumping jacks, quick jog, etc.). After you have completed the workout, rest for at least 1 minute and stretch.

      The HIIT Workout for Beginners at Home by Anytimestrength.com outlines the perfect alternative to my 24 Workout.[2] Follow Circuits 1-4 in the image below:

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        2. Cardio workout exercises of your interest (works with Option A or B)

        • When: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
        • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
        • How long: 2 months

        Do some form of cardio (i.e. jogging, elliptical, stair climber, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, etc.) for at least 20 minutes.

        Before you do any cardio exercises, do this 5-minute warmup routine to prevent injuries:

        Fitness tips for the beginner level

        • Stand while you work. This simple change will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and prevent neck strain.
        • Drink more water as it will increase your energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, and flush out toxins.
        • Take a cold shower to wake up.

        Workout routine for intermediate level

          After 2 months you will want to step it up. At this point you should start seeing some of the benefits of your new exercise routine. The following is an intermediate guide:

          1. Exercise hourly or 10-minute home fat burning workout

          • When: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
          • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
          • How long: 4 months

          Option A – Exercise hourly (if possible)

          Using a version of the Pomodoro Technique, use a timer and set it for every 60 minutes. Once the timer goes off, do the following:

          Power Push-up. Do 20 push-ups (five times a day).

          Plank. Hold the plank for at least 50 seconds (five times a day).

          Option B – 10 minute home fat burning workout (morning or evening)

          Before beginning the following workout, make sure you warm up for 3 minutes (jumping jacks, quick jog, etc.). After you have completed the workout, rest for at least 1 minute and stretch.

          ATHLEAN-X provides a fantastic (and killer) workout you can perform in the morning or evening if you are not able to exercise hourly.[3]

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          Watch and follow along with the following video:

          2. Cardio workout exercises of your interest (works with Option A or B)

          • When: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
          • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
          • How long: 4 months

          Do some form of cardio (i.e. jogging, elliptical, stair climber, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, etc.) for (at a minimum) 30 minutes.

          Don’t forget to do this warmup routine to prevent injuries:

          Fitness tips for the intermediate level

          • Stand while you work. This simple change will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and prevent neck strain.
          • Drink more water as it will increase your energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, and flush out toxins.
          • Take a cold shower to wake up.

          Workout routine for advanced level

            After 6 months you should start to think, look, and feel really good. It’s now time to enter into beast mode! The following is an advanced guide:

            1. Exercise hourly, or Bodyweight only HIIT workout

            • When: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday
            • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere (try it in an airport!)
            • How long: the rest of your life!

            Option A – Exercise hourly (if possible)

            Using a version of the Pomodoro Technique, use a timer and set it for every 45-60 minutes. Once the timer goes off, do the following:

            Power Push-up. Do them until they hurt (ten times a day).

            Plank. Hold the plank until it hurts (ten times a day).

            Bicep curls with a resistance band (as many as you can ten times a day – can be done anywhere and everywhere). Learn how to do it with this video:

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            Pull-ups (as many as you can 5 times a day). Watch this video to do it right:

            Option B – Insane HIIT Challenge – Bodyweight Only HIIT Workout (morning or evening)

            Before beginning the following workout, make sure you warm up for 3 minutes (jumping jacks, quick jog, etc.). After you have completed the workout, rest for at least 1 minute and stretch.

            FitnessBlender.com provides an insane HIIT workout and I recommend it as an alternative to my 24 Hour Workout if you are unable to exercise hourly. [4] Watch and follow along with the following video:

            2. Cardio workout exercises of your interest (works with Option A or B)

            • When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
            • Where: Anywhere and Everywhere
            • How long: the rest of your life!

            Do some form of cardio (i.e. jogging, elliptical, stair climber, jumping rope, swimming, cycling, etc.) for (at a minimum) 30 minutes. Bump it up to 60 minutes or more when training for an event (i.e. a marathon).

            Always remember, warming up your body before any exercises is important:

            Fitness tips for the advanced level

            • Stand while you work. This simple change will improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and prevent neck strain.
            • Take a Vitamin B-12 to increase energy and improve cardiovascular support.
            • Take a Nootropic. Known as “Smart Drugs” will boost your memory, increase focus, and can provide mood enhancing benefits.[5]
            • Drink more water as it will increase your energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, and flush out toxins.
            • Take a cold shower to wake up.
            • Listen to audiobooks while you exercise.
            • Read a book while you plank.
            • Sign up for an event (i.e. a marathon).

            Adopting an exercise routine is a life-changing experience. I guarantee, if you adopt the exercise routine discussed here, you will see significant improvements in your life. You will find that your “happy” chemicals in your body will receive a boost, your stress levels will reduce, your ability to cope with stress will get better, your self-confidence will increase, and your mental capacity will improve.

            Essentially, you will think – look – and feel better than ever!

            Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

            Reference

            [1] Dr. Axe: 11 Benefits of Exercise — Start Working Out Today!
            [2] Anytimestrength.com: HIIT Workouts Beginners Home
            [3] ATHLEAN-X: 10 Minute Home Fat Burning Workout
            [4] FitnessBlender.com: Insane HIIT Challenge
            [5] Artofmanliness.com: Supplements to Boost Your Brain

            More by this author

            Dr. Jamie Schwandt

            Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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            1 15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine 2 10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation 3 15 Important Benefits of Stretching Before, After, and During a Workout 4 The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level) 5 5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

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            Last Updated on April 19, 2021

            15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

            15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

            Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts. While they are great for both, static stretches can offer a boost to any workout routine for people of all fitness levels.

            Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. Static stretches come with myriads of benefits, such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness, which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

            For the purpose of this article, we’ll zero in on several great static stretches and take a look at the benefits and when they should be done.

            Benefits of Static Stretches

            Static stretches come with tons of benefits that can help you make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

            Improved Flexibility

            If you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Luckily enough, static stretches are all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

            Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1]

            Although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretches have been shown to greatly increase muscle and joint flexibility[2] and tissue length[3], which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

            Prevent Injuries

            If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and again that performing the right stretches pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

            Think of it this way:

            When you stretch, you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time, and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

            Increased Blood Flow to the Joints

            Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation, and removal of metabolites.

            For static stretching, though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

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            However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5]

            Improvement in Recovery

            If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling sore muscles for days.

            Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibers back to their tip-top condition.

            Research has shown that practicing static stretches after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

            Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released, and this encourages reduced inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

            Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

            • Improved relaxation
            • Increased movement efficiency
            • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
            • Reduction in muscle tension
            • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
            • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
            • Relief from cramping

            15 Static Stretches to Enhance Your Workouts

            Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

            1. Neck Stretch

              While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head, and place the other arm out to your side. Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat for the opposite side.

              Many people tend to hold stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. If you find this is the case, this is one of the best static stretches to use for a muscle release in this area.

              2. Chest Stretch

                Stand upright, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks. While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

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                3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

                Shoulder Cross-Arm Stretch « CASS FITNESS

                  Stand upright or sit up tall on a chair or mat, and extend one arm out in front to shoulder height. Grab the extended arm with your other arm, and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight. Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                  4. Triceps Static Stretch

                    Lift your arms overhead, with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                    Many know this stretch from gym class, but it really is one of the best static stretches for the arms.

                    5. Biceps Stretch

                    Arm Exercises | Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch

                      Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you. While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders, and chest. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                      6. Wrist Stretch

                      11 Best Tennis Elbow Exercises For Pain Free Mobility [PDF]

                        While standing up straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Grab your right fingers with your left hand, and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite arm.

                        7. Side Stretch

                          Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side. Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite side.

                          The muscles down your side body are notoriously difficult to stretch out. This is one of the best static stretches to try on a consistent basis to get them loosened up.

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                          8. Abdominal Static Stretch

                            Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up. While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push your upper body up from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                            9. Reclined Spinal Twist

                            Supta Matsyendrasana - Supine Spinal Twist - Yogaasan
                              Lie down, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor. While keeping the right leg straight, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side, and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.

                              Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground, and you should feel the stretch around your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                              10. Knees to Chest

                              Knee-to-chest exercise from Physical Therapists' Advice to Manage Pain at Home - The Active Times

                                Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent. Hold your shins, and pull your knees toward your chest. This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. If you’re looking to loosen up your back muscles, this is one of the static stretches you can do daily.

                                11. Hip Flexor Static Stretch

                                How to Do the Standing Lunge Stretch

                                  Stand upright in a standard lunge position, and place your two hands on your hips. Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                                  12. Figure 4 Stretch

                                  How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch | Openfit

                                    Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent. Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

                                    13. Standing Quad Stretch

                                      Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture. With your left hand, grab a pole, wall, or anything durable for balance. With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.

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                                      Keep your knees close together while doing this, push your hip forward, and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other side. This is one of the best static stretches for the quads.

                                      14. Hamstring Stretch

                                        Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent. Reach forward with your right hand, and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.

                                        Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the left leg. If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead, but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                                        15. Calf Stretch

                                          Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you. Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.

                                          Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg, if you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                          Bonus: Stretch With a Resistance Band

                                          Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights and create tension throughout your movement. Get the free 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge, and challenge yourself to stretch with a resistance band.

                                          When Should You Do Static Stretches?

                                          Static stretching is great when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up routines before an explosive workout session.

                                          This is because static stretches have a cool-down effect on each muscle group and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                          That doesn’t mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out, but do it sparingly. Dynamic stretches, which involve more movement, are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body prepare better for the work ahead.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running. You need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training, and that’s the whole point of static stretches.

                                          Starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine, and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                          More Tips on Stretching

                                          Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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