Your Second Routine – Where To Go Once Once You Have Started Your Training!!

So, you’ve managed to make it through the first few weeks with your first routine? You think you’re ready to move on to a slightly more difficult routine now? Well, lets hope you have managed and are ready. If you aren’t quite ready yet, that’s not a problem at all. We all progress in time, some of us will progress quite rapidly and others will take a bit more time. All of our bodies are different. SO there’s no need to be discouraged if you think you’re not moving forward as quickly as someone else. As long as you keep working at it, you will continue moving forward yourself. That’s all that matters.

Now before we begin, I must ask you a few questions. Are you completing 2 sets of 12 reps for each of the exercises you have been doing? Excellent!

Are you finding the exercises have become to easy to do? Like you’re completing the sets without a struggle? Excellent!

Finally… Are you mentally prepared to move forward in your pursuit of a healthy and happy lifestyle? Excellent!!

Then lets begin shall we.

FIRST STEP – WARM UP

The first step is of course, warming up. As you will be working harder now than your last routine you will want to take at least 10 minutes to warm up. You will need to start off at a slower rate, and increase it over the first few minutes. This will get your heart racing and your muscles nice and warm and relaxed. This is important to reduce the amount of injuries that you risk. Again, how you warm up is your decision. Maybe you have a treadmill, maybe you have a stationary bike or maybe you just want to do a bunch of starjumps and rabbits. That’s entirely up to you and what you prefer.

You will be best to include some dynamic stretches into your warm up as long to prepare your muscles for the workout they are about to do.

FIRST EXERCISE – SQUATS (Calf Raise or Jumps)

The first exercise again will be squats. However they will be at a higher intensity, you have a couple of options for this. The first option (which is personally my favourite) is a squat with a calf raise. How do we do this you ask? Lets take a look shall we.

Place your feet in line just wider than hip width apart and your hands down by your side. Once you’ve got your feet in position, bend at your knees to lower your body like you are about to sit on a chair. As you lower your body, raise your arms out straight so they are at a ninety degree angle from your body. This will help you with your balance as well as your technique of keeping your back straight while you’re beginning. You lower your body as far as you can but you pause at the bottom position. Rather than pushing straight back up, you lift your body onto its toes while you remain in the seated position. Hold like that for a second, drop your heels to the floor again and then you push yourself back up. Repeat to the desired amount of reps to complete the set.

As we are still fairly new and getting into things, you will want to aim to do around 10 reps and complete 2 sets. Work your way up to 12 reps for the 2 sets.

The other option is squat jumps if you prefer a more cardio approach rather than muscle building approach. A squat jump is very similar to a regular squat, except when you push back up you must do so with enough force that you jump off the ground. As you land you will want to land onto your toes and then the rest of your foot as though you are running and you use the momentum to continue sitting down into the next squat.

This exercise is excellent if you are after more fitness improvement than muscle or strength. Now when I saw that, I’m not saying you won’t gain muscle and strength by doing this; you absolutely will. However it will improve your fitness and muscular endurance much faster than the other option. Once again, you will want to aim for 10 reps and 2 sets working up to 12 reps for 2 sets.

SECOND EXERCISE – PUSH UP VARIATIONS

The second exercise will be a variation of push ups. You again have a few options, which include side to side push up, shoulder tap push up, staggered push up, close grip push up, diamond pushup. There is a large list of push ups, these would be the ones I would recommend for the time being, However I will only be going over my favourite couple of options.

I personally recommend the shoulder tap push up or the staggered push ups. They are both still fairly basic and straight forward to do while you’re learning but they are work your muscles differently making them tougher than your regular push up.

We will first talk about the shoulder tap push up. To perform a shoulder tap push up you will start in the standard push up position. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest is about an inch off the ground. Push back up, then lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Then repeat, alternating arm to shoulder each time. Completing 2 sets of 10 reps and working up to completing 2 sets of 12 reps.

The second option I personally recommend is the staggered push up. So how do we do them?

For the staggered push up you should start in the standard push up position. Then move one hand forward a couple of inches, the other hand slightly out to the side. Lower your body until your chest is about an inch off the ground and then push yourself back up. Repeat. Switch arms between each set to work both sides evenly. Once again, yes it is the same. 2 sets of 10 reps, working up to 2 sets of 12 reps.

THIRD EXERCISE – PULLUP SUPERMAN

Third exercise is going to be a more advance form of the superman which you have just got used to doing. It’s called the pullup superman. It is quite a straight forward progression from the superman you have been doing.

To begin this exercise you will need to lay down on the floor on your stomach and chest. Your arms stretched out in front of you as if you are superman flying through the air, and your legs out straight behind you up on your toes. Raise your arms, chest but this time not your legs; your toes stay on the ground. Rather than just holding for a couple seconds and then releasing back to the ground, you will remain with your arms and chest in the air. Then pull your arms back, bending your elbows as if you are doing a pullup and then extend your arms back out straight. That is one rep, you now repeat without lowering your chest to the ground until you have completed all of your reps.

This exercise is more advance than the superman and works the back muscles more, strengthening them and also helping to build muscle. You will want to do 2 sets of 10 reps, working towards 2 sets of 12 reps.

FOURTH EXERCISE – LEG RAISES

The fourth exercise this time will be leg raises. This is an excellent exercise to work your core and abs and is great for stepping towards being able to do more advance ab exercises. It is simple enough for beginners to do but it still works your abs and core well. So how do we do them properly?

Lay on your back on the floor, with your legs straight and together and your arms down your side with your palms on the floor. Keeping your legs straight, lift them into the air towards the ceiling all the way until your backside comes off the floor. Slowly lower your legs back down until they’re only an inch off the floor, hold for a second and then raise your legs back up again. Repeat this motion as many times as you can. The slower you lower and raise your legs the more difficult the exercise will be. If you’re finding it too easy then slow down.

You will want to aim to do 2 sets of 10 reps, working toward 2 sets of 12 reps.

COOLING OFF & STRETCHING

The last step of the routine is to ensure you cool off and stretch properly. We will go over this in detail in another post coming up shortly, but you will want to use dynamic stretching if you plan to stretch before cooling down properly. Otherwise you will stop your muscles too quickly which can increase the chance of stretching.

The other choice is to cool off first and then you can use your normal static stretches. I will generally just go for a short 10-15 minute walk to cool down, not a fast walk but also not a slow walk. Then when you get back from your walk you can stretch your muscles out.

This concludes your second routine, if you have managed to get through it with all your sets and reps that is excellent. If you have struggled to complete it, that is ok to. You just need to keep working and you will get there. If it was too much of a struggle then you should consider going back to the previous routine for another week or so. But not too worry, you will get there and you can be proud once you do get there.

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