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According to research jumping rope for a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness, and when you build to ten minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 RPMs it can provide the same benefits as the following:
In addition, jumping helps to develop the left and right hemispheres of the brain, to further improve spacial awareness and reading skills and increases memory and mental alertness. Jumping on balls of the feet requires the body and mind to make neural muscular adjustments to imbalances created from continuous jumping. As a result jumping improves dynamic balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.
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The plank is a great way to test and train this system. It’s easy to learn and when done properly it’s safer on the spine than any other type of crunching exercise.
Here are many prone (face down) variations that will allow you to continually challenge yourself.
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While the benefits are spread out equally between men and women, men seem to have at least one advantage over women when it comes to this form of training: It creates significantly more muscle protein in men than it does women.
This progression starts with the back knee lifted two inches off the floor while sustaining an isometric hold of 20-30 seconds per leg. Once you are strong and stabile enough to to perform this move cleanly, you are ready to load it with a dumb bell.
The series includes several more advanced sequences which you might work your way into over time, and concludes with an elevated rear leg split squat jump which is reserved for the most fit and athletic among us.
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“Inadequate hip muscle stabilization is the top cause of injury to runners.”
—EXOS Athletes Performance