In today’s fast-paced world, we all want to know how to make our workouts the best use of our time, accomplish our goals as quickly as possible, and how to be our best.
There are five things you can do to improve your workouts, avoid injury, and get as much as possible from every rep.
1. Warmups and Cool Downs Are Your Friend
We have all been pressed for time during one workout or another; the kids are going to be late, you’re going to miss the bus, there’s only 15 minutes until Game of Thrones is on…hurry up already Coaches! When you’re running short on time, it can be tempting to fast forward through the warmup the Coach has planned for you and hit the End Workout button early, but those are just as important as the Strength Blocks.
The Coaches put as much consideration into your warmup movements as the design of your lifts. Just like you let your car’s engine warm up before heading onto the freeway, before you place a lot of demand on your muscles and joints, you need to give them some preparation time. The warmups get the exact muscle groups we need ready before lifting so we don’t get injured.
On the other end, cool downs help your muscles repair properly. Stretching, foam rolling, and slowing your heart rate helps the body to recover after putting out so much effort during your workout. It will keep your stress levels lower and just like your warmup, will minimize injuries in the long run.
2. Make Every Exercise a Core Exercise
Those Tonal Coaches sure do remind you to use your core a lot. That’s because the Coaches see every exercise as a core exercise, and you can start viewing it that way too.
When you engage the muscles that support your trunk, commonly referred to as your core, you not only protect yourself from injury, but you get more out of each movement. That’s because using your core during movements like deadlifts, bench presses, and even burpees, allows the bigger targeted muscles to do their job better.
In order to do this, think about how your core muscles feel in dead bug or a plank, and recreate that muscle activity in all of your lifts. If you forget, don’t worry. Tonal Coaches will remind you during almost every exercise to do this because we all know how important it is in making the most of your workout.
3. Pick the Right Weight
Tonal makes weight recommendations based on your Baseline and previous workout data, but you can also double check that the weights are right for your workout. Whatever rep range you’re working in, you should feel like the last couple of reps are pretty tough but safely doable. For instance, if you’re doing 10 reps, reps 8-10 should feel like you’re getting close to your limit.
If the rep assignment is 6, reps 5-6 should be tough. If you find that you’re getting through your sets easily without that “wow this is pushing me!” feeling, try adding some weight if Tonal hasn’t already done that for you. It works in reverse too; if you didn’t sleep well, are recovering from a cold, or just need an easier day, it’s okay to lower the weights from what you typically lift.
4. Stop Repeating the Same Routines
Doing the same thing over and over, week after week, can definitely get boring. But when it comes to workouts, it’s also not productive. Our bodies are crazy smart, and they adapt fast. It only takes weeks for your body to adapt to repeating a workout, so to keep it challenged and to continue getting closer to your goals, Tonal Coaches recommend that you change up your program every 4-6 weeks.
Luckily for you, we already have tons of workouts for you to shake things up with! Because we’re constantly producing new routines, you can challenge yourself with a new Coach, a new workout, or a whole new program.
5. Pick Workouts You’ll Keep Coming Back For
Finally, the best way you can improve your workouts is by doing activities you actually enjoy and want to come back for. When it comes to moving your body, play around and figure out what you like.
Don’t worry about what the latest article or fitness fad says; the best exercise you can do is one that makes you want to do more and show up in the first place. Feel free to try out different Coaches, goals, programs, and workouts until you find a couple that make you look forward to turning Tonal back on, and to reach out to us with requests for the workouts you can’t wait to do.