June 2007
Andy and JamieWelcome! In this month's issue Andy and Jamie discuss improving your endurance with hill runs.  They offer some great tips for abdominal exercises to stay in shape. Lastly, in the "Ask the Trainer" section, Andy and Jamie explain about how to stay motivated in an activity that you have not participated in for a number of years.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #43: Improve Your Endurance With Hill Runs 
Hill runs challenge your cardiovascular system and help develop leg strength. This is an advanced drill. You should be able to run 20-30 minutes at a moderate pace, before trying this drill.

Find a 200 to 400 meter hill that's fairly steep; Start with a 12-15 minute warm up run. There are special techniques to use when running up hills. Lean slightly into the hill, using your arms, lifting your knees high, with rapid foot turn over. Keep your momentum forward and the level of physical effort relatively constant. Shift foot plant to the balls of the feet.

Find a 200 to 400 meter hill that's fairly steep; Start with a 12-15 minute warm up run.

Complete 4 to 12 reps to the top of the hill. Turn around and walk or jog to the bottom, take a quick rest and repeat. This drill is called hill repeats. Try to find a hill with sure footing, and a soft surface, such as grass or dirt.

Uphill technique: 

  • Lean slightly into the hill.
  • Rapid foot turnover.
  • Keep your momentum forward.
  • Shift foot plant to the balls of the feet.

Downhill technique:

  • Lean slightly forward
  • Let gravity grab you and pull you along.
  • Focus on proper running technique
Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Effective Abdominal Exercises
You don't have to spend hundred of dollars on exercise equipment to strengthen your abs. Here are some tips for strengthening your core muscles. 

Bicycle Maneuver -  To do this exercise, you lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Breathe evenly throughout the exercise. Start with 3 sets of 30. 

Crunch On Exercise Ball - A high-quality exercise ball is necessary to do this exercise. Sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor. Let the ball roll back slowly. Now lie back on the ball until your thighs and torso are parallel with the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and slightly tuck your chin in toward your chest. Contract your abdominals raising your torso to no more than 45 degrees. For better balance, spread your feet wider apart. Exhale as you contract; inhale as you return to the starting position. Start with 3 sets of 30 crunches. 

Abs Need Regular Workout - Abdominal exercises should be done frequently. Five minutes a day of abdominal exercises can make a difference if you do it regularly. Strengthening the abs can actually help maintain good posture and alleviate lower back pain. For a healthy-looking mid section, a combination of ab work, proper diet, and regular aerobic exercise is the most effective strategy. As with any fitness program, though, check with your doctor first before starting abdominal exercises.

Ask the Trainer:
"I've been an avid runner for the past 10 years. I ran track in University and now that I'm not competing any more, I have a hard time staying motivated. - What tips do you have to motivate me?"

Staying motivated in an activity that you have participated for a number of years can be difficult, especially when you have been competitive at a high level. When competing, you had goals and a schedule to follow. If you want to continue running, either find some others to run with or join a running club. You can also try alternate activities like roller blading, or cycling. Try to set up some structure and get back to a regular schedule.

- Andy Dumas

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Product Recommendations:
MO0338  Pull Up Bar - Fixed 12" Wall Mount
MO0451  Pull Up Bar - Fixed 18" Wall  Mount
MO0210  Pull Up Bar - Adjustable Wall Mount
Pull Up Bar  - Universal Boxing Stand
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Endorsed by the World Boxing Council
Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.