Going the Distance

All athletes know that stamina is a key to winning. If you can run farther, push harder, climb higher than your opponent, you’ll win. When others give up, winners keep going. Here are a few tips on how to increase your stamina so that you can conquer your competition or sport of choice.

Build Cardio and Strength

To build your endurance, you need to increase both your anaerobic ability and your muscle strength. Many athletes depend solely on cardio to increase stamina, but building muscle strength plays an important role in developing endurance too. Instead of devoting one day to cardio and one day to strength training, try combining the two. Circuit workouts are a fun and easy way to incorporate both.

Incorporate Compound Movements

Movements that isolate one muscle at a time, like bicep curls, expend little energy and won’t do much to increase your stamina. Your body needs to work out several muscle groups at once to improve its ability to exerting a lot of energy over a long period of time. Try compound movements like squats, which engage the thighs and core, or pushups, which engage the arms and core.

Avoid Routines

Doing the same workout over and over can lead to a plateau in your endurance training. Keep your mind and body guessing by switching up your workouts every two weeks. If you’ve been biking, try swimming. If you’ve been running, try boxing. By changing the type of activity you do, your muscles move and develop in new ways that increase your stamina and avoid overuse.

Do HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training is a great way to challenge your body and increase your stamina. Keeping a moderate, steady pace throughout a workout is actually the enemy of endurance. HIIT allows you to exert maximum effort over a short time, which translates into increased speed and explosiveness in competition.

Stamina Workout
Instructions: Perform one set of all five moves in a row with no breaks and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.

1

Push-Up / Knee Tuck With Gliders
Start in the top of a plank position, with your arms straight and your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your toes on gliders (or hand towels). Perform one push-up.
Putting your weight onto the balls of your feet, pull your knees toward your chest, pausing when they are about three inches in front of your hips. Hold for one second and then slide your legs back out into the top of a plank. Do another push-up and repeat; keep going for 30-45 seconds.

2

Frog Jump
Start in a plié-squat position, with your feet wider than hip-width apart, your toes turned out to a 45-degree angle, and your quads parallel to the floor. Bring your palms together in front of your chest.
Jump up, traveling forward a few inches, and land back in the plié-squat position. Jump again, this time moving back a few inches, and land in the plié-squat again. Continue jumping forward and backward for 30-45 seconds.

3Crouching Tiger Push-Up
Start in a push-up position, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Lower your chest toward the floor, and then bend your knees and press back through your shoulders to bring your knees directly under your hips (your upper body will be in a position similar to downward dog).
Lift your hips to straighten your legs (like in downward dog).
Round your spine, articulating each vertebra. Move back into the starting position. Repeat for 45 seconds.

5

Glider Hamstring-Curl / Bridge
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on gliders (or hand towels), keeping your weight in your heels. Your arms should be straight at your sides, palms facing down. Lift your hips so you are in a bridge position.
Keeping your hips lifted, push the gliders away until your legs are almost straight.
Dig in with your heels to pull the gliders back to the starting position. Squeeze your butt before doing the entire move again. Repeat 20 times.

 

4

Alternating Lunge Jump / Squat Jump
Start in a squat position with your hands clasped together in front of your chest.
Jump, driving from your heels.
Land in a lunge position, with your right leg in front and your weight resting on the heel of the right foot. Jump again, landing back in a squat. Jump again and land in a lunge, this time with your left leg in front. Continue for 30 seconds.


Written by: Anna Limoges

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