Football-Inspired Agility Workout

Source: Competitor.com

Source: Competitor.com

It’s fall racing season, and we’ve got one thing on our minds at Team LUNA Chix Portland Run (well, besides pumpkin spiced lattes and cozy sweaters): Getting faster.

Training to increase your foot turnover and develop explosive power can help increase running speed. Which is why we’ve taken a page from the football coach’s handbook and have been focusing on plyometrics and agility drills in practice lately.

Plus, let’s face it, sometimes it’s fun to add a few “toys” into training. But if you don’t want to invest in an agility ladder or speed hurdles, you can just as easily draw squares on asphalt with chalk and blow up a few balloons to use as hurdles that’ll pop if you happen to land on them the wrong way.

footballfield_agility drills workout

If you’re not familiar with the drills above (or a shuttle run), King Sports Training is a great resource for both agility ladder (here) and speed hurdle (here) drills. I use it as a reference when planning workouts — not only becasue they demonstrate the moves with videos, but they also explain the benefits of each.

Do you pull tidbits from other sports into your training? 
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Terrible 20’s Conditioning Workout

Source: Will Dickey/The Times-Union

Source: Will Dickey/The Times-Union

Ever have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?

Well, my friends, it’s about to get worse before it gets better.

Allow me to introduce you to the workout that will go down in Team LUNA Chix Portland Run infamy: the Terrible 20’s. It’s a football-drill-inspired conditioning workout that’s designed to get you in great shape for game time — or, in our case, race day.

I stumbled across it and decided to try it in lieu of our usual track workout one week. That night I got a record number of dirty looks during practice, and the next day I got countless texts from people telling me their whole body was feeling the aftereffects.

I’d call that a workout win-win, if there ever was one!

Here’s how it works:

NFL-FOOTBALL_terrible20s

And you’re not off the hook if you’re working out alone because the Terrible 20’s also works well with just one person. Simply start with your 20 push-ups, then sprint 100 yards, do your 20 sit-ups and count down from there — sprint another 100 years, do 19 push-ups, sprint 100 years, do 19 sit-ups and so on and so forth.

Sounds easy enough, right? Just give it a few rounds, and you’ll be begging for a time out!

Got a tale of torture from a terrible workout of your own to share?

Workout: ‘Fall Back’ Into Fitness This Season

FallBackIntoFitness

Has summer sidelined you from your usual fitness routine? Don’t beat yourself up; just recommit to making exercise a priority as you set your fall schedule.

Easier said than done, though, right? 

Well, give me 20 minutes, and I’ve got a fun way to help get you back on track. Perform this tabata-style routine a few times times a week, and you’ll set yourself up for better success by the time the holiday frenzy hits.

Or if you’ve been consistent over the past few months, this workout is also a great addition to your current regimen. Whether you’re short on time, need to switch up your routine or want improve endurance and speed, it’s one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and build lean muscle.

So set the timer, and get ready for what will likely feel like the longest four minutes of your life!

Are you revamping your fitness plans for fall?

The I’m-Having-So-Much-Fun-I-Forgot-I’m-Exercising Workout

IMG_7790

It’s become a joke this season on our Team LUNA Chix Portland Run team that it’s either scorching or pouring when we meet, so after several weeks of record-high temps I knew it was time to reach into my bag of tricks to get everyone motivated amid the malaise. We did this workout a few weeks ago, and it went over so well that I wanted to share it here.

Ever get one of those days where you’re just struggling to get that workout done? Whether it’s trying to get out the door or waffling on which type of exercise to do, this is the perfect way to fool your body into getting active when your brain’s not having any of it.

The I’m-Having-So-Much-Fun-I-Forgot-I’m-Exercising Workout

What you need: 

  • Deck of cards
  • Marker
  • Track or open place to do some running (at least 100 meters at a time)

What to do: 

  1. Make a list of body-weight exercises (think moves that can be done anywhere, anytime — planks, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push-ups, etc.)
  2. Get a deck of cards, and write an exercise on each card (I wrote in numbers for face cards: Jacks = 11, Queens = 12, Kings = 13, Aces = 14)
  3. Give yourself a little something special for the Jokers (ours were “Run a lap”)
  4. Shuffle up the cards, divide them into four piles and place one pile every 100 meters along a track
  5. Start the timer, run to the first set of cards, grab a card off the top and do the exercises
  6. When you’re done with the exercises, place the card on the bottom of the set of cards and run 100 meters to the next pile
  7. Repeat until time is up!

We did 20 minutes for our workout, and when I gave the five-minute warning everyone was shocked at how quickly time had flown by.

Between the distraction of the run-exercise intervals and the element of surprise from the cards, I guarantee you’ll have a blast — and get a great full-body workout in the process.

Got any tips for tricking yourself into a workout when motivation’s flagging? 

Get Beach-Body Ready: Summer Sizzler Ab Workout

SummerSizzlerAbs

A strong core is always in season, so I created this quick and versatile body-weight ab routine that can be completed anywhere, anytime.

Customize it to suit your needs, whether it’s one set on your lunch break or a multiple-set, full-body workout with the addition of short bursts of cardio (warm-up, cool-down and in between sets).

Hint: As always, if you’re not familiar with some of the moves listed, simply Google the term, and you’ll be able to find a description or video of it in action.

And please remember to focus on quality of movement over speed for the best results!

What’s your favorite workout for getting beach-ready? 

Get Explosive: 4th of July Firecracker Workout

4thofJuly

Light up your 4th of July with a plyometric workout designed to build explosive power. Performing these moves regularly can help you increase your vertical jump, speed and strength, which directly translates to better athletic performance.

A few words of warning, though: Plyo work can be pretty intense, so don’t do this workout in the heat of the afternoon or with a full belly. Your heart rate will soar, you’ll work several muscles at once and you’ll torch calories…but the last thing you want to do is pass out or lose your lunch in the process.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a towel, some water and feel the burn before that big family BBQ!

4thofJulyFirecrackerWorkout

Hint: If you’re not familiar with some of the moves listed, simply Google the term, and you’ll be able to find a description or video of it in action.

And, as always, remember to go at your own pace and use proper form. Think quality over quantity!

Are you planning a special workout for the 4th or taking the holiday as a rest day?

Spirit + Strength: Use Yoga To Take Your Training to the Next Level

Think you’ve got to reserve yoga just for rest and recovery days?

Think again. 

Despite common misconceptions — i.e. that yoga’s purpose is simply to ease tension and melt away stress (although there’s most definitely a time and place for that variety) — a brisk, flowing session can actually do more than help you find your zen; it also improves digestion and circulation, builds lean muscle mass and helps increase your overall metabolic rate.

That’s fantastic news for weekend warriors. But it’s even better news for athletes who not only want to hone strength and flexibility, but also develop proper diaphragm use and breathing biomechanics, get back into alignment and discourage compensation patterns, as well as concentrate on activating specific muscles that have become inhibited.

“Yoga can be an incredibly beneficial practice for any athlete,” says Anabel Capalbo, a yoga teacher, spin instructor and Ironman triathlete. “A consistent yoga practice builds strength and stability, while also working to increase our body awareness and alert us to any weaknesses that could lead to injury.”

And instead of viewing yoga solely as a static practice, Capalbo says it’s helpful think of it as a moving mediation, a time for you to be present and become more aware of your body, your mind and forging a deeper connection between them.

“Not just physical, yoga turns our focus inward and towards our breath, teaching us to find a strong sense of peace and calm when on the mat. For athletes, that ability to turn towards breath and to find strength can be somewhat of a secret weapon,” says Capalbo.

Here’s a sample sequence that can help increase balance, flexibility and strength — not to mention up your athletic game, as well.


Source: Fix.com

Do you use yoga as part of your training routine?