PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES?
Hey Wilderness Athletes,
The Holiday season is here!!! That’s right, you know what that means, lots of fun, family, and of course you can’t forget about the food! With all the craziness around the holidays, it is easy to get off track and derail all the progress we have made throughout the year. This doesn’t mean we can’t find balance and still have fun and enjoy the holidays. It’s about moderation. Instead of going to Starbucks 3 times a day for “Pumpkin Spice Lattes” just go twice… ;).
The past two weeks we have been giving you workouts that increase your heart rate and burn more calories. We really want to emphasize the importance of high-intensity workouts with this time of year and how effective it is for our training. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a great work out in. Instead, spending just 15 to 30 minutes of this type of training will be just as effective.
Agility Ladders and Footwork
For this workout, we chose to do something different rather than the typical warm-up that you have seen in our previous videos. There are a few reasons we chose an agility ladder for our warmup. Aside from improving athleticism, it is a fun way to get your body moving. It is an inexpensive piece of exercise equipment that you can roll out on any flat surface or if you do not have a ladder you can draw one on the floor. The movements help with change of directions, strengthening your joints, ligaments, and tendons while improving coordination, focus, and heart health.
Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics. Including a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone.”(4)
To make agility ladders into a complete HITT workout, you need to perform them as fast as you can with short periods of rest. With this intensity, you will be using more muscles than you would if you were just to run in a straight line.
Also, when performing agility exercises like this, you can increase your excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as the afterburn effect. Which means that you’ll continue burning calories after you’re done working out.
Here are just a few more benefits:
First off it is fun, you don’t have to spend hours on the treadmill counting down the seconds until you are done. That gets boring after a while, or after the first 30 seconds. These are fast-paced, controlled, and constantly changing movements that keep your mind engaged.
Secondly, it is improving your functional movements which are those you need to get through your daily life. These exercises improve the rate at which your muscles contract, which otherwise tends to decline as you age. It also improves your balance, including dynamic balance (or balance while you’re in motion), and enhances your natural reflexes so you’ll react with a renewed swiftness (2).
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research even found that agility training is as effective or more effective than traditional military physical training at enhancing physical fitness. In addition, agility training had the added benefit of improving cognitive performance as well, including memory and vigilance(1).
Agility training can also help to reduce your risk of injuries, not only during exercise but also anytime you’re unexpectedly faced with a rapid change of speed or direction.
This type of training improves the strength and resiliency of your connective tissue, improving its ability to lengthen and shorten rapidly, thus reducing your risk of injury(3).
Agility ladders are an all-around great tool to incorporate into your workouts. We really hope you enjoy them and we would love to hear your feedback.