Learn the fitness lingo and walk into your next fitness class with both knowledge and confidence.
Have you ever attended a fitness class where your instructor called something out and you had no idea what it meant? It might feel like everyone else speaks this foreign language while you hang out in the back of the class, peering over at your neighbors for clues as to what to do next. But it's so common and fitness lingo really can sound like another language! Below are five common fitness phrases and their meanings so that you can walk into your next class with both the knowledge and the confidence to kick some butt.
You might wonder, "How could I ever forget how to breathe?" You're right, it sounds silly. But, without realizing it, you can either stop breathing consistently or only breathe shallowly during exercise. Your body needs that oxygen more than ever when under physical stress, so you have to remind yourself to breathe deeply. Sometimes, you have to breathe through a stretch in order to feel the release. Other times, you have to slow down your breathing and deepen it as you push yourself harder on the treadmill. Listen to your trainer—remember to breathe!
When you perform the same exercise over and over, your body can potentially hit a plateau and you no longer will see any progress. In order to stay out of the rut and continue towards your gains and losses, confuse your muscles by changing up your workouts! Whether that's with a completely new activity or a new rotation of lifts in the gym, change up your routine every four to six weeks so that your muscles stay on their toes.
Imagine your upper body and lower body as two covers of an open book and your hips as the seam. When you hinge at your hips, you are closing one side of the book. You are not bending your back or knees in order to reach down. You are stretching up and out as you tilt your upper body toward the ground. This takes the pressure off of your back and places it on your hips, hamstrings, and glutes.
In yoga, you have to stand still and tall for some poses and an instructor might tell you to root your feet through the ground as you do so. She means to press all four corners of your feet into the ground so firmly that you can feel roots growing deep below your mat. This might not look any different from afar, but you will find your balance and feel more in control of your poses as you consciously press your feet into the ground.
Have you ever found yourself out on a run, normally ready for a few more miles, when out of the blue you have to stop your workout entirely? Sometimes it feels as abrupt as a car running out of gas. That's hitting a wall, or bonking. It's your body telling you that it doesn't have anything left. It used up all of the accessible carbohydrates in your system and you will experience extreme fatigue, dizziness, and weakness. When it's that strong of a red light, listen to your body and finish your workout early. Make sure you eat before your workout tomorrow so that you can go further!