Workout For The Day – Santa Monica Stairs

sm stairsGo for 10 sets:

Just to be clear, going up and down is one set.  Or down and up.  You can’t call going down and up as 2 sets!

Do the 10 sets walking, not running. Stretch hamstrings, quadriceps and calves at the top each time.

Finish with 100 crunches on the grassy area in the middle of 4th near Adelaide.

Want to target your glutes more?

Here are 3 ways to work more glutes on the Santa Monica stairs:

  • Make an effort to hinge at your hip with step and squeeze your working leg’s glute.
  • Lift your free leg back behind you with each step but just make sure not to kick anyone behind you!
  • Step partially sideways – at a 45 degree angle. I would say this is more for the hips (saddlebags).

No pressure, but my girlfriend and I used to do 15 sets…

Yes, all these tips work on any stairs, even the stepmill.

How Stretching Improves Your Workout Results

stretchingThe sign of a good workout is NOT sore muscles. Your body should work hard to ensure a good, fat-burning, muscle-building session, however, sore muscles are a sign of an improper warm-up or a buildup of lactic acid. Both of which can be helped by incorporating a solid stretching routine to your workout.  Stretching improves your muscle recovery and reduces the risk of injury.

Cardio and strength training actually cause your muscles to contract so you need stretching to lengthen your muscles, increase flexibility and improve your performance. Balance is also quite important especially with age and proper stretching will keep your joints in good shape and help prevent injuries. A good stretch will increase the blood flow to your muscles and speed up the recovery after strenuous strength workouts, plus decrease muscle soreness. An added bonus: Stretching is also great for mental health, it relieves stress and relaxes muscles. Proper stretching techniques are the key to your stretching routine.

1. Warm Up. Never stretch cold muscles. Warming up is key to any workout; cold muscles increase the risk of injury. Walk slowly, move your arms and legs before beginning to stretch.

2. Be sure to stretch before and after a workout. Fitness experts advise light stretching before exercising and a more rigorous one afterwards.

3. Hold Stretches for 60 seconds. If a muscle is tight, you might want to hold for up to a minute because it takes time to lengthen tissues safely.

4. Hold a pain-free stretch. Don’t force any strech beyond mild muslce tension. If it hurts, you might have gone too far.

5. Breathe slowly and deeply. Your diaphragm is also a muscle. Deep breathing helps circulate blood and oxygen to your body, especially when stretching or lifting weights. Never hold your breath. If you’re unable to take full breaths during a stretch, you’re not using the proper form.

6. Stretch both sides. This assures equal range of motion on both sides of your body. Learning how to stretch properly is also important.

It’s easy to pull or tear a muscle if you’re using bad form. If you want to start a proper stretching routine, check to see if your gym offers a stretching or yoga class or, better yet, meet with a personal trainer to develop a well-rounded workout. Learning to stretch correctly takes time and effort, but is well worth it. You’ll need to pay attention while stretching to be sure you’re using proper form and breathing.

By adding stretching to your workout, you’ll see an improvement in your posture as well. Relaxed muscles will help you reach better health and look younger.