Men's Health (Singapore) - - FITNESS BULLETIN -

How do you make your ses­sions count more on legs day? Put the ket­tle on. Ac­cord­ing to sports sci­en­tists, ditch­ing the plates and hang­ing ket­tle­bells from your bar en­gages more mus­cles by cre­at­ing an un­sta­ble load dur­ing your squats. This fires up more of the fi­bres that count. In a study pub­lished in The Jour­nalof Strength andCon­di­tion­ing Re­search, sci­en­tists found that ac­ti­va­tion in par­tic­i­pants’ core rose by 86 per­cent – that’s a hefty num­ber for such a sim­ple swop. Just grab ket­tle­bells that weigh 50 to 60 per­cent of the load you’d nor­mally squat, and hang them from the bar with re­sis­tance bands. Five sets of 15 reps is all it takes be­fore you can turn your at­ten­tion to some­thing more palat­able. For­get all that bro non­sense about go­ing big or go­ing home. It’s time to go fast, then head home smil­ing. All sports re­quire short, sharp, mul­ti­di­rec­tional dashes, and it’s mo­bil­ity and sta­bil­ity ex­er­cises that al­low you to do so. Lance Walker, global di­rec­tor of per­for­mance at the Michael John­son Per­for­mance fa­cil­ity for pro­fes­sional Amer­i­can foot­ball, ice hockey and soc­cer play­ers, says inch­worm drills can de­velop an­kle flex­i­bil­ity and back sta­bil­ity for No­vak-es­que changes of di­rec­tion. Place your hands by your toes, inch them for­ward into a plank po­si­tion, then inch your toes for­ward in­toa pike po­si­tion, and re­peat. It’s hard to train for alpine climbs when the big­gest hill nearby is the speed bump at the end of your street. But bi­cy­cle train­ing on flat roads with a lower ca­dence (60rpm) and higher gear (so it’s harder to pedal) can help, says Tim Ker­ri­son, head of ath­lete per­for­mance at Team Sky, home of two-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome. The ex­tra ef­fort re­cruits more mus­cle fi­bres, so your body learns to han­dle the sus­tained ef­fort needed to con­quer real cloud scrap­ers.

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