Blast Calories Away: The Benefits of Skipping

Skipping RopeSkipping is one of the best ways to really blast away those calories. Skipping for around 20 minutes will burn around 200 calories. The British Rope Skipping Association say that 10 minutes of skipping can have the same health benefits as a 45 minute run. It’s also a lot kinder on your joints than running. You don’t need any expensive gym equipment. You only need a skipping rope that you can easily take anywhere. It’s great for improving your fitness levels as well as your co-ordination. That’s why it’s a staple exercise for boxers for many, many years.

Skipping Benefits

Skipping rope is a great muscle toning exercise as well. Your legs, abdominals, arms and shoulders get a great toning work out. You should start slow if you have not done much skipping before. A simple 5 minutes is a great starting point. You can increase your time once you have got your technique right. The key to improving is dedicating yourself to the full 5 minutes. Even if you only can do around 20 skips at first. I can guarantee you that if you complete the full 5 minutes on a regular basis you will improve. Before long it will feel natural and you won’t need to focus on your technique on every skip.

To make it more fun, once you’ve mastered the basic jump technique you can add different moves like doubles, one foot and cross overs etc. You can add interval training by doing 30 seconds of fast skipping then 30 seconds of steady skipping. The key is to keep it fun. Get your headphones on with your favourite music and mix it up.

100 Training!

Adding 100 training to your training program can be a great way to beat plateau and re-energise your training routine. What are 100s? 100 training involves doing one set of 100 reps for each exercise. If you are able to do 100 reps without stopping then you would increase the weight by a small amount for next time.   If you cannot do 100 reps without stopping, rest 1 second for each rep you have left. So if you have 30 reps left, rest for 30 seconds. Keep repeating this process until you reach your 100 reps. You can rest for 1-2 minutes between sets. Always remember, 100 reps using good form is more important than increasing the weight.

Doing 100 training increases the number of capillaries and also increase the density of current capillaries. Capillaries are like tiny veins. They play a vital role in muscle building. The capillaries transport muscle building nutrients and hormones (testosterone) to the muscle cells. If you increase the number and size of capillaries, more nutrients and hormones are supplied to the muscles. This leads to larger muscles when you go back to a lower rep routine.

100s Routine

Total Body

1) Quads – Leg Press

2) Hamstrings – Seated Leg Curl

3) Back – Seated Cable Row

4) Chest – Bench Press

5) Shoulders – Side Lateral Raise

6) Biceps – Preacher Curl

7) Triceps – Rope Pulldown

8) Calves – Seated Calf Raises

9) Abs – Ab Crunches

Half Body Part 1

1) Chest – Pec Dec

2) Chest – Incline Bench Press

3) Chest – Standing Cable Crossover

4) Back – Lat Pull-down (Wide Grip)

5) Back – Bent Over Barbell Row

6) Back – Straight Arm Pull-down

7) Shoulders – Seated Overhead Press

8) Seated Rear Deltoid Raise

9) Traps – Dumbbell Raise

10) Abs – Swiss Ball

Half Body Part 2

1) Quads – Squat

2) Quads – Leg Extension

3) Quads – Hack Squat

4) Hamstrings – Standing Leg Curl

5) Calves – Standing Calf Raise

6) Calves – Seated Calf Raise

7) Biceps – Barbell Curl

8) Biceps – Hammer Curl

9) Triceps – Dips

10) Triceps – Straight Bar Pull Down

I normally do the 100 training routine every 3-4 months for one week – training for 3 days. I will have 24-48 hours rest between workouts. Give the 100s a go and feel the benefits!

The Benefits of Rowing

Rowing MachineRowing is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise and calorie burners. You can burn around 200 calories with just 15 minutes on the rowing machine. It’s also low impact on the body, so risk of injury is low. It comes as no surprise that Olympic rowers are one of the fittest sports men and women on the planet. To get the full benefits you don’t need to be on the water either! You can use a rowing machine which gives you a similar workout minus the fresh air. When you use an exercise bike or go for a run, your heart mainly pumps blood to your legs. When you are rowing you are using over 80% of the muscles in your body. This means your heart is pumping blood to all these muscles and then adapts to be fitter and improve your cardiovascular health.

When you are rowing you use your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, biceps, triceps, back, lats, shoulders, abs, oblique’s and lower back. As you can see, a vast amount of muscles are worked when rowing. The key muscles worked are the legs. Your legs provide the power to drive you back. Your legs should be doing the majority of the work, not your arms. So remember to concentrate on using your legs rather than the arms and back at the start of the stroke and finish off the final part with the arms, back and shoulders for that final squeeze at the end of the movement.

If you are doing resistance training to build or tone muscle make sure you do rowing at the end of your workout. This will fully fatigue the muscle. An example would be if you are training your shoulders. You could finish off your workout with rowing. This will hit the shoulders to fatigue and also give you a great cardiovascular workout.

Make sure you add rowing as part of you cardiovascular training plan to help keep your heart healthy and your fitness levels high!