LINDSAY: Should you stretch before or after running?
Both. You can greatly benefit from stretching both before AND after your run.
You want to do dynamic (moving) stretches to get ready for your run. Before you get that heart rate going, make sure you’re easing your body into the work it’s about to do… or you’re gonna feel real crappy later.
EXAMPLES: Side lunges, zero-weight single leg deadlifts, straight leg lateral swings, bent knee lateral leg swings, bent knee forward leg swings.
Once you’re done lighting it up, now is the time to work with static stretching (holds). This will help your muscles chill out a little post-run, and it’s a great time to see just how flexible you are! Your muscles cooperate more when you do static stretches after a workout.
EXAMPLES: Lying hamstring stretches, standing quad stretches, heel-drop calf stretches, low lunge holds, IT band stretches, butterflies, cross-body hip/back stretches, abs, and arm/tricep stretches. This is a good time to work on any areas that feel funky after your run.
JASMINE: What’s the perfect BPM for training music?
Oooooh. Great question… because we’ve mentioned before that the perfect playlist will make your training session next-level. The answer… it depends. It can differ depending on the activity… Yoga? You’ll want something between 60-100 BPM. For a long/slow run you’ll want something between 100 and 120 BPM. If you’re lifting, you’ll probably want something faster, around 130 BPM. If you’re going for a quicker pace run, you’ll probably want something 140 BPM and up. If you need some ideas, hit our Spotify account and follow our training playlists. We’re going to be adding new stuff to the MTK Spotify often, so make sure you follow us.
BECCA: How do I build up my grip strength when I lift or some of my wrist strength when I’m doing pushups? Any tips or exercises to stretch that out would be great!
This is a great question! There are quite a few things you can do to build up both your grip strength and your wrist strength.
For both, it’s practice and reps. But, to help get there a little faster you can do things like dead hangs on or with a bar or some kind. You can also add pushups to your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but adding reps each day helps you build up that strength.
Investing in something like wrist straps can help a ton. I wore them in the beginning quite frequently because my wrists just weren’t used to the pressure of the new movements I was doing. By wearing them and getting the reps and practice in, it helped me build up that strength.
There are some mobility things you can do as well to stretch out your hands and wrists. We will link some examples in the show notes and on our social media.
NICK: I have been very sore, especially in the legs, what kind of tips do you have to help prevent soreness?
Move!! The best thing for sore muscles is to move. Specifically for your legs, going for a longer walk that is somewhat challenging (ie: a couple hills for example) helps get that blood flow going and helps to stretch those legs out.
Foam rolling would be my next suggestion. It hurts, sure, but it helps break up that lactic acid build up that’s causing the pain. It’s painful at the time, but the next day you feel so much better.
Stretttch! There are a ton of amazing yoga videos on youtube that focus on the legs and general movement. I love doing like a 10 or 15 minute yoga session if my muscles are tight.
RICK: I’m working out at home during the pandemic, and I’m bored. What can I do to make dumbbells and running more exciting?
Start getting inventive with your workouts. Do things like tempo training with your dumbbells to give your muscles a new challenge – unilateral tempo training will make you a better lifter when it’s time to get back into the gym and under the barbell. Don’t be afraid to dip your toe into some crossfit metcons either… there are a million of them out there, and while they may look simple… chances are good that it’ll kick your ass. Work in bodyweight movements with your lifts – learn to do DB cleans and snatches if you haven’t yet… that will give you another couple of complex movements to get your heart rate up while working your muscles. Farmer carries are a good choice when you wanna get outside and stroll down the street while holding a couple of dumbbells. Add a jump rope to your arsenal, that can give you another cardio option if it’s raining and you don’t want to go for a run.
LINDSEY : What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into fitness and nutrition but is intimidated.
Love this question! Because we’ve all been there. Starting a journey that focuses solely on yourself is and can be difficult. I feel like a lot of us aren’t used to putting ourselves first, and this journey requires you to be willing to do so.
I always suggest to people to start small. Start by just doing something like walking around the block. Start testing out different workouts to find what you like. The best workout is the one that you’ll keep doing.
As far as nutrition goes, I like to suggest to people to start by just tracking your food. Everything you eat, write it down for a month or so. Just so you know what you’re putting in your body. With a pandemic and everything else that’s been going on for the last year, I think it’s been easy for a lot of us to get off track and not be paying attention to how we’re feeding our bodies. By writing down your food, it calls attention to what you’re putting in your mouth. From there, I think the easiest way that I’ve found to track my nutrition is through macros. We have quite a few episodes on this topic, and we can post a refresher on the website with the show notes at meathead test kitchen dot com. If macros isn’t your jam right now, my recommendation would be to focus on eating whole foods and try to avoid processed foods. Whole foods are typically one ingredient (ie: chicken, veggies, etc).