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Which exercises should I do to improve my fitness?

Gary Miller says ...

Fartlek: A brilliant form of  exercise used by many football and team sport coaches. Fartlek is not a thing you do on the toilet like it sounds!!Instead it  is a running exercise that is done at  a running track.

So to get set up whatyou do is to get eight cones and put them evenly around the boundary of the oval. Then you should jog a warm up lap at around 40% effort, then choose a cone to start from. That cone  that you have chosen you use as a marker; then you need to sprint from that cone at 80% effort to the next cone where you bring it down to to 40-60% again and again and so on. This is an awesome exercise for  stamina building and shedding pounds of fat. I recommend that this type of exercise be undertaken at least once a week and incorporated with 2 other types of running exercise, as it is going to enhance endurance and power simultaneously, making it great for many sports. I will normally run about 12 laps of a 500 m oval in a rouitine workout.

Hill Runs: This exercise sounds fairly straight forward but it needs to be done in the right way.It is very common for people to set out their hill runs too long or too short and subsequently don’t get maximum effect out of them. The best approach is to do a  a short warm-up run and  do a stretch to make sure that no muscles are pulled or strained as hill climbs are notoriously tough on the body if done properly.Beginning at the bottom of the hill have a maximum effort for around 60 m and then go back down the hill with a very slow jog back  down to the bottom. Then build up with these as you go.Many people will struggle to do more than 2 repeated quick attempts initially,but persist with it and try and grind out about 8 or so. After this exercise this try and run for 10 minutes, to negate the lactic acid forming in your leg muscles.

Gary Miller, Weight loss expert, Excellent Ways to Lose Weight

Mark Raynsford says ...

Fitness is an open ended question - fit for what? Football? rugby? your daily job? You should train for what you need to achieve. If it's football, perform intervals, short and sharp like a game of football. Perform lunges and step-ups to simulate single leg movement, rotational work for the turning involved in a game, and pull-ups and pressing movements for upper body strength.

If it's just 'general' fitness, look to pick some exercises that cover the main movements, pushing, pulling, squatting, single leg and rotation, and perform them in a circuit fashion.

Something like;

  • Pressups 10reps
  • Cable Row 10 reps
  • Front Squat 10reps
  • Walking lunges with rotation 10 reps
  • Side Plank with reach under rotation 10 reps each side

Rest 30 secs and repeat 3-6 times.

Fitness is specific to your needs, and a programme should be created in that way, specific to you and your requirements. There should be a reason for every exercise you perform, and why your doing it.

Mark Raynsford. Personal Trainer, Mark Raynsford Personal Training

Joanne Besser says ...

This is a very difficult question to answer without knowing what your definition of fitness is.  Fitness can mean many different things depending on your goals. For some people it is being able to sprint 100 meters as fast as possible, while others would relate it to completing an endurance race such as a marathon or Ironman triathlon which would need far greater stamina and comparatively less speed. Fitness can be measured in strong men by the amount of weight they can lift or the agility of footballers and all of these individuals use completely different criteria to define their training regimes.

If you are new to exercise and just want to become fitter for day to day activities I would suggest you steal a little bit from each of these training areas to build overall fitness… try the below sessions on alternate days:

Running– Start running for a couple of minutes with a walking rest, each session try to increase the time you are running and decrease the rest period until you can run without stopping for 30 minutes.

Once you can run for 30 minutes add in some faster intervals (between 30 and 90 seconds) with walking or jogging rest to promote speed and improve lung function.

You can do both of the above sessions on a bike or cross trainer and even follow the same principles in the pool.

Resistance training– You can weight train at the gym or perform simple body weight exercises at home, try: Triceps dips, press-ups, squats, lunges and improve core stability with the plank and side plank (if you don’t know what these exercises are consult a professional).

Joanne Besser, Personal Trainer, Oomph Fitness Personal Training

Mike Heatie says ...

If you wish to improve your cardiovascular fitness there are numerous ways to achieve this, but choose one activity that you enjoy doing as you have to implement the overload principle. If you run 3 miles every other day then your fitness will not improve beyond that point, you have to keep challenging yourself until youÂ’ve reached your desired fitness level.

If you enjoy a sport then this is a great way to boost your fitness whilst enjoying playing sport.

Mike Heatie Personal Trainer, Mike Heatie Personal Training

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