Mission: Can I Get Kelly Ripa's Body?
One writer's journey to find strength (and a thinner waistline?) through the celebrity-worshiped fitness workout, Physique 57
Why breath is my BFF and stretching is importantI've never known how to use breath to enhance my workout and it's only with Physique 57 that I have really started to see how important proper breathing is to getting through a strenuous activity. I used to hold my breath at the gym when I was lifting weights or even running, but now I use breath to get me through the movements and keep my energy up. "The more oxygen you can take in, the more energy you will have for the workout," says Becker. Generally, we inhale as we lengthen the muscle (rest) and exhale as we contract the muscle (exertion).
I also used to only stretch before a workout, which is totally wrong and a mistake many women make. "Stretching before a workout doesn't do much for you," as your muscles are stiff and not malleable, says Johnson. After you've worked the muscle during strength training, stretching the muscle guides it in its re-growth. Then over time, you become more flexible, and the line of the muscle will lengthen to create those long, lean muscles every woman wants, she says. Why be flexible? "When your body is flexible and supple, the recovery from your workouts is a lot quicker and your range of motion is greater," says Johnson. Translation: It means you'll be better able to push your body to the max during your workouts, which is when you torch the most calories and have the best shot at changing your body's shape.
But the best lesson I have learned so far from Physique?
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