Exercises are often attributed to good health and a good physique. Working out does give you a more appealing body and improves your overall health greatly. However, there’s an aspect of fitness that’s commonly overlooked, especially by non-athletes whose primary intention in getting into fitness is to lose weight or improve their health. That aspect is what is known as conditioning.
In simple terms, conditioning involves improving your whole athleticism, from power and speed to body coordination and spatial awareness. It also builds muscles enough to withstand impact and pressure that average people would probably buckle under. Of course, to actually build up your body to near-superhuman levels requires the dedication of a professional athlete. Nevertheless, conditioning is heavily beneficial to an average person, too.
Conditioning for the Average Folk
But why should you bother with conditioning in the first place? For one, it will make you considerably stronger. When you exercise, you may develop a good physique but not be functionally strong. Conditioning addresses that. It can help you improve your endurance, develop balance, increase strength, not to mention train the muscles to become a lot tougher and less prone to injuries. Adding conditioning to your workout routines is relatively easy.
Conditioning isn’t that much different from your regular exercise. Essentially, your regular exercises can fall into the conditioning category if done a certain way. Any form of exercise can unintentionally condition your body in the first place. However, when done with intent and goal, you can turn your regular “keeping-fit” exercises into conditioning routines that can protect your body from harm.
Here’s how you can add conditioning exercises into your routine.
Increased Quantity, Decreased Intensity
If you’re used to lifting heavy weights and doing a few reps, then it’s time to change that. Try going for the lighter weight (1/3 or 1/4 of your regular weight should be good), but increase the repetition to at least 1.5 to 2 times more than your usual routine. You might find doing more reps even with lighter weights challenging. And that’s a good thing. This trains your muscles to increase their endurance, allowing you to move with power more and training your muscles to be tight and lean.
Go for Calisthenic Exercises
Bodyweight exercises make for great conditioning workouts. You’re essentially using your own weight and mass (something you carry with you every day) to train your body, making you feel lighter and more agile as a result. Doing the high-rep, low-intensity formula for conditioning also works best with calisthenics. The lack of external equipment makes the repetitive motions easier on the joints (provided you’re doing the form correctly).
Your Lower Back Is Crucial
While barbell deadlifts are a popular form of exercise, not many people actually understand what it does and why it is important. It develops the lower back muscles, which are crucial in our daily activities. We use them whenever we sit up, stand, or even walk. It’s involved with many everyday movements. To better condition your lower back, consider doing kettlebell swings. It’s a more dynamic exercise than deadlift and can even help your deadlift performance.
Core Exercises Are Not Just for Show
Just as the lower back is an important muscle group, the abdomen is also essential. Abdominal exercises aren’t just for show either. They help you gain more balance and strength when standing up. Remember that our muscle groups are stacked together with the lower back and core in the middle. That’s why they both need to be strong. Consider increasing the repetitions of these core exercises and targeting a more general area of the abdomen instead of area-specific exercises.
Of course, you want to recover faster and more efficiently. All your conditioning and exercising will not be useful if you’re in constant pain every day. Here are a few recovery tips you can do to help:
Ice Your Muscles
Muscle soreness is a common occurrence in the fitness industry. To ease this pain, you can simply reach into your Scotsman ice machine or freezer, grab some ice, and just put it over your sore muscles. That’s the most efficient way of reducing soreness and pain.
Hydrate More After
After training, you’re often dehydrated and parched. A sip isn’t just enough to replenish that, and you shouldn’t skimp on the water either. Drink more to recover lost fluids and maintain peak hydration.
Take Fatty Omega-3
Exercising is rough on the joints. It runs the synovial fluid dry, and one way to make sure that our joints are lubricated is to increase the fatty omega-3 in your body. Fish oil is a popular source, as well as other fitness-specific supplements.
Staying fit is more than just looking good. Building resistance is also crucial. You can do this by performing core exercises that focus on your endurance. You also have to make sure that you are taking care of your body after every exercise session. With proper conditioning, an average person can stay lean and strong.