Freestyle Fitness for Women ///
The key to success with Freestyle is an emphasis for the legs and glutes. These exercises burn maximum calories, shape and define a greater percentage of your total mass and provide phenomenal cardiovascular benefits. For men, the squats have earned the title "The king of exercises" for the lower body, but "The Queen of Exercises" for women is the Lunge.
One major difference between a squat and the lunge is that during a Lunge the torso remains upright. With a squat there is a considerable forward lean that can stress the lower back, whereas, the Lunge is back friendly. The major body shaping advantage the Lunge has over the squat is that it works the butt muscles, especially the largest one called the gluteus maximus, through the greater range of motion.
In terms of body shaping - the greater the stretch, the better the butt. The greater range of motion also improves the flexibility in the hip flexors, the muscles located on the front of the body that are involved in raising the legs. If you participate in regular aerobic classes, the hip flexors often become tight. This excessive tension pulls the spine out of its natural alignment, which increases your risk of back pain and injury.
Sports Specific Advantages ///
If you participate in cross training sports, the flexibility gained from performing the Lunge will improve your performance. The increased flexibility enables you to develop a more efficient running motion because you can increase the time your feet spend on the ground, allowing you to achieve more power from the push off. In addition to running, the lunge will help you with any activity that requires lunging movements, such as tennis and dance. What's nice about the Lunge is that there are many varieties you can perform- an advantage that increases the variety of your training and makes workouts more enjoyable. The most effective and safest variation of lunging is the Reverse Lunge.
Put It In Reverse ///
Unlike a forward Lunge, taking a step backwards rather then forward completes a reverse Lunge. The effects on the muscle are the same, but the reverse Lunge places less stress on the knees because the knees cannot extend beyond the toes. We tell people all the time, if in the beginning of the routine, if their knees start to hurt, to do the reverse lunges all the time in the beginning until their knees get stronger and used to the regular daily leg workouts. Also, with a forward Lunge your balance must shift forward as you step, a condition that often makes it difficult to maintain your stability. In contrast, during the reverse Lunge your weight is primarily centered upon your forward leg, which remains stationary, making it easier to maintain your balance. All these factors make the Reverse Lunge the best lower body exercise to perform for novices and the unconditioned.
Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, torso erect. Take a slow, controlled step backwards. When the ball of your foot touches the floor, continue the movement by lowering your hips so that your forward thigh becomes parallel to the floor. At this point your forward knee should be positioned directly over your ankle or foot slightly behind. Your front foot should be pointing straight ahead, and your trailing knee should be extended to stretch your hip flexor muscles. After reaching the most comfortable bottom position, shift your balance forward and then push off with your rear foot while straitening your forward leg. When you have returned to the starting position, repeat the movement with the other leg.
Always strive to keep your torso as upright as possible during any Lunge exercise to minimize the stress on the back. If you have balance problems when you first perform this exercise, separate it into two distinct motions. First step back, stop in this position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your torso. After a workout using this method you will develop the coordination to lower yourself in one natural, fluid motion. As you progress you will be able to lunge deeper and consequently provide a greater training effect to the glutes. A Variation of the Lunges are: reverse Lunge, Forward Lunge, Inner Thigh Lunge, Crossover Lunges (Front & Reverse) and side to side Lunges.
Lunging Cycle Program ///
Beginners: 3 Lunge exercises, 15 repetitions each leg- 2 cycles = 6 sets
Intermediate: 4 Lunge exercises, 20 repetitions each leg- 3 cycles= 12 sets
Advanced: 5 Lunge exercises, 20 repetitions, each leg- 3-4 cycles= 15-20 sets
Whichever level you start with, depending on your current conditioning, work up to the goal cycles listed above. Do not start with the above program; start with 50% or less until you feel comfortable to increase.
"The difference between a winner and a loser is that the winner has failed more." ///
Freestyle is the first program to address specifically the needs of a woman. Freestyle, gives great results to women that tend to gain a majority of weight on their hips, buttocks and thighs. Since this type of woman represents nearly 90 percent of all women, it is no surprise that Freestyle has created such a commotion in the world of fitness. As a matter of fact, we would have questioned anything other than a phenomenal response to this training method for Woman. I want to share with you the basics of Freestyle training whether you are a future competitor or getting in the best shape possible.