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Blog / Cardio

The Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down

James Re Jun 13, 2019 Cardio

Getting a proper warm up and cool down allows for better performace and lessens the risk of injury. 

Five Ways to Get Your Cardio Done Outdoors this Spring

James Re Apr 23, 2019 Cardio

Spring is in the air, and that means it’s time to get outside and get your heart-rate up with some classic cardiovascular exercising. We think the following methods of movement in the sunshine will be a breath of fresh air for your fitness routine and will be fun too. (Don’t forget to hydrate and wear sunscreen while you’re out there.)

All about Heart Health

James Re Feb 13, 2019 Cardio

Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, and the most popular type is coronary heart disease, which can restrict blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack.

Holiday HIIT: 20-minute Total-body Blitz

Kelley Vargo Dec 21, 2017 Cardio

Although this time of year is supposed to make us feel joyful and happy, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. But here’s some good news: Dedicating just 20 minutes a day to being active—with this total-body workout, for example—can lower your stress levels, burn extra calories and make this your best holiday season ever.

Fall Fat Loss: HIIT Workout

Kelley Vargo Nov 9, 2017 Cardio

As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaches, don’t let your fitness fall to the wayside. Make fall your new fat-loss season by incorporating this 20-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout into your routine.

7 Benefits of Jumping Rope

Pete McCall Apr 27, 2017 Cardio

1. Jumping rope can increase the elasticity and resiliency of lower-leg muscles, leading to a reduced risk of lower-leg injuries. Calf raises can strengthen the lower leg, but if the muscle tissue becomes too tight it could increase the risk of a number of lower-leg injuries including achilles tendon strain or plantar fasciitis. Jumping rope regularly strengthens the calf muscles and improves the elasticity of the surrounding tendons and fascia. To increase elasticity, try to land on the ball of the foot first, but let your heels go all of the way down to the ground.

2. Jumping rope can help improve your coordination. Jumping rope is a cyclic activity, which means you perform it for a steady, regular cadence. The steady cadence and rhythm of jumping rope can help improve the coordination between your eyes, feet and hands.

3. Jumping rope can help improve your cognitive function. This is because jumping rope involves learning new motor patterns, which improves the nervous system communication between your brain, wrists and lower leg muscles. This, in turn, helps to improve your overall cognitive function, which is an important benefit as we age.

4. Jumping rope can help increase the intensity of circuit-training workouts. Strength-training workouts that alternate between different muscle groups can increase heart rate and provide a cardiorespiratory benefit. Adding one or more jump-rope stations to a circuit is an easy way to increase the intensity of the overall workout. If you enjoy making your own exercise circuits, add two to three minutes of steady rope jumping at the end for an additional calorie-burning opportunity.

5. Jump ropes are extremely portable, which makes them an excellent option when traveling. Most modern business hotels provide guests with a basic workout room that features a few pieces of exercise equipment. That's the good news. The bad news is that the quality or condition of that equipment may be questionable at best and downright dangerous at worse. Don’t let an under-equipped workout room keep you from sticking with your workouts when you travel. If you pack a jump rope in your suitcase, even the most sparsely outfitted hotel fitness facility can provide you with the space for a sweat-filled jump-rope session.

6. The portability of jump ropes make them an excellent option for outdoor workouts at your favorite park or exercise course. Many city parks have pull-up bars and other outdoor exercise facilities. With a jump rope, you can get an awesome total-body workout by combining your favorite exercises on the available equipment with one- to three-minute jump rope intervals.

7. A jump ropes is the only piece of home cardio equipment you really need. And all you need for space is the ability to safely swing the rope without hitting any furniture or knick-knacks.

Invest in a Quality Jump Rope

If you are thinking about making jumping rope a component of your personal workout program it's a good idea to invest in a good, durable jump rope. Purchasing a jump rope is not a significant investment, but you should spend a little to invest in a rope that is easy to adjust and that uses ball bearings to connect the rope and the handle. Ropes with bearings tend to last a little longer than ropes that simply have the end knotted in the handle. The only other piece of equipment you need is a timer, which can easily be downloaded to a phone or tablet and used to set specific work-to-rest ratios.

The Workout

The following jump-rope workout will give you a few ideas for how to add it to your existing exercise program. This workout can either be performed at the end of a strength-training session or as a stand-alone workout on cardio day.

Warm-up

Perform multiplanar jumps by jumping in all three planes of motion. This helps prepare the muscles and connective tissues of your lower legs for the forces they will experience during the workout. Perform eight to 10 jumps, rest for 30 seconds, and perform two sets for each plane.

Split-leg Jumps (Sagittal Plane): Start with your right foot forward and left foot back. As you jump, move your left foot forward and right foot backward before landing.

Wide-to-narrow Jumps (Frontal Plane): Jump the feet out to shoulder-width apart and then directly under the hips.

External-to-internal Rotation Jumps (Transverse Plane): Jump up and rotate your right foot to point toward 2 o'clock and the left foot toward 10 o'clock when you land. As you jump back up, rotate the feet to point to 12 o'clock. To protect your knees, do not over rotate your feet and be sure to land with your knees slightly bent.

jump-rope-warmup

 

Workout

Single-leg Jumps: Set your timer for one minute and spend 30 seconds on each leg. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds. (Note: Start with 30 seconds; reduce your rest time as your fitness improves.) Complete a total of five minutes (two-and-a-half minutes on each leg)

Split-leg Jumps: Start with your right foot forward; switch to left foot forward while in the air, alternate feet while jumping. Jump for one minute and then rest for 30 seconds. As you become more fit, increase the work time to 90 seconds and reduce the rest time to 15 seconds. Complete four to six sets of timed intervals.

Running in Place: Alternate between right and left foot. Jump for 60 seconds and progress to 90 seconds. Likewise, start your rest at 30 seconds and reduce to 15 as your fitness improves. To increase intensity, perform 10-second intervals, alternating between fast and slow paces (sprint for 10 seconds, slow and steady for 10 seconds). Complete four to six sets of timed intervals.

Rope Jumping Ladder: Use traditional jump-rope form, taking off and landing on both feet. Start by jumping for 30 seconds and resting for 15 seconds. Add 15 seconds every set up to two minutes. Rest for 30 seconds and go back down the ladder to 30 seconds. If jumping rope is your only workout for the day, consider taking the ladder up to three or four minutes at 30-second intervals.

jump-rope-workout

 

Cool-down

Calf Stretch: Lean against a wall and place your right leg straight back. Keep your hands on the wall and press the right heel into the floor while keeping the knee fully extended. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and complete two to three reps on each side.

Quadriceps Stretch: Lie on your right side and hold the top of your left foot in your left hand, with your left knee pointed straight down your right leg. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch

High-Intensity Interval Training

American Council on Exercise Feb 6, 2017 Cardio

Looking for a way to add variety to your exercise plan while taking your fitness to the next level? High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a cardiorespiratory training technique that alternates brief speed and recovery intervals to increase the overall intensity of your workout. HIIT is used by athletes and everyday exercise enthusiasts to reach performance goals and enhance fitness and well-being.

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Run

Stephanie Thielen Oct 5, 2016 Cardio

Thinking about running? You don’t have to be a born runner or athlete to get started. Running is a relatively inexpensive sport—all you need to get started is a shirt, shorts and a good pair of shoes. Whether you want to run on a treadmill, outdoor track, road or trail, here are eight ways to get you moving from couch to pavement in no time.

What to Do Before You Run

Justin Robinson Aug 31, 2016 Cardio

For too many reasons to list, running is an amazing exercise. However, also for a multitude of reasons, running can lead to injury (ranging from annoying to serious). Shin splints, knee pain, low-back pain, plantar fasciitis—if you run, you know these all too well.

If your plan is to get hurt, the easiest way to achieve that is to skip your warm-up. Most runners know this and understand the importance of a warm-up. But some warm-up routines are so lengthy that it either exhausts you before you start your run or leaves very little time for an actual workout. Like skipping the warm-up entirely, too much warm up is also far from effective.

Why We Still Need Cardio Training: A More Effective Approach

Jonathan Ross May 4, 2016 Cardio

Cardio training has really been taking a beating recently. In the strength-training world, it’s become trendy and fashionable to make a name for yourself by suggesting that no one ever do any form of cardio training ever again or all of your muscle mass will disappear. Why are we listening to people who can squat 600 pounds with a big gut and can barely move well?

Like many topics in fitness, the accepted view on what you “should” do swings from one ridiculous extreme to the other.

There is no question that the previously dominant view that people have to do long cardio sessions to get fit is incorrect. More isn’t better. But zero isn’t better, either.

Here’s what you need to know:

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