Siobhan Byrne: The ultimate workout to burn calories
Combining cardio exercises with strength training makes the perfect workout
If you look around a gym, a lot of the equipment you see is cardio - from treadmills, crosstrainers, steppers, rowers, bikes, etc and then there will be strength-training equipment - dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells and machines. If you are planning on starting out exercising, what do you look at using and why?
For most people getting fit, healthy and in good shape is usually their priority when it comes to what they are looking for from going to the gym.
In order to achieve this, there are three important factors - diet, weights and cardio - and the three combined can provide great shape, strength and fitness.
Many people find cardio a great escape without understanding what it actually does. Traditional cardio training will burn large amounts of glycogen and muscle tissue, so what use is that going to be for lifting any type of weights?
You need to understand how the body works. The body converts carbohydrates into glycogen, if there are no carbohydrate to be used the body starts converting fats for energy.
Leaving your cardio for after strength training will mean saving all your energy for those heavy lifts. This means if you are trying to develop any type of tone or definition, you will have the energy to lift heavier weights without tiring out the body beforehand.
Running on the treadmill for an hour may make you feel as if you have done a great workout. Judging by the calorie counter, you would be getting a much better calorie-burning workout with a strength-training programme or, even better, combining the two for an ultimate calorie burner, in what probably would have been the same amount of time you spent pounding that treadmill, so no need to use time as an excuse.
Cardio burns calories while you are doing it but a good weight-training workout will burn calories throughout the day.
Focus on cardio
Cross over push-up
1/ Support your body on your toes and hands, with your elbows bent and chest nearly touching the floor. Push up to a straight arm position.
2/ Move one hand across the other, crossing at the wrists. Move the other hand out and away, opening your hands again to shoulder-width apart. 3/ Lower your chest towards the floor, bending at the elbows.
1/ Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lock your fingers behind your head.
2/ Bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor, then simply push back up to the starting position and repeat.
1/ Start in the top position of a push-up with your arms straight.
2/ Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor while at the same time bending one knee and bringing it to your elbow with your foot off the floor.
3/ Push back up to the top position and repeat with opposite leg.
For a more advanced version try the crawling variation of this. Start with your fight knee at your elbow, immediately extend your right hand out to crawl, then bring your left knee towards the left elbow and repeat the move.
1/ Stand upright with your arms straight.
2/ Take a step backward, dropping your back knee to the floor and leaning your torso slightly forward with your weight on your front leg.
3/ Push off your front foot to return to the start position.
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