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The recovering marathoner – Ways to keep your metabolism up

Since running the marathon in Tokyo, the tendons on my ankle have not been quite the same. If I try to do anything more strenuous than walking fast, the tendon starts to act up and get sore again. Probably too much stress placed on them, walking on holiday for 8 hours straight and not resting at all, after a 42K marathon has taken its toll on me!
Anyway, there are still heaps of exercises one can do to keep one’s metabolism up and to keep burning fat, even while hardcore cardio (i.e. running) is still out of the question.

This morning – 40 min walk with 8KG weights (one in each arm). You can actually do bicep curls, shoulder side raises, even as you walk, to increase your heart rate and burn more fat, while toning up.

After the walk, try these exercises for Ab definition and to keep that metabolism furnace burning!


1. Rotation: Russian Twist

Rotational exercises work your whole abdominal region but focus on the obliques (internal and external). Sitting down, simply hold your hands together, or a weight, above your torso, lift your feet off the floor, and move the weights side-to-side, almost touching the floor on each repetition. Progress by both adding repetitions and weights.

2. Flexion And Extension: The Hanging Leg Raise

Hang from a bar, and lift your legs straight up, till it’s a right angle with your body. This is great for the rectus abdominis (aka. the six pack).
Progression (Advance when you can perform over 10-15 repetitions at a given level)

1. Raise your knees in a dip station, where your back is supported.
2. Raise your knees, hanging from a pull up bar.
3. Raise your extended legs, hanging from a pull up bar (pictured above).
4. Raise your extended legs, with a dumbbell in between your feet.

3. Stabilization: Plank

Plank is my favorite! Here are some variations.. here’s another.
Anyway, stabilization exercises work your entire abdominal region, but the stress is placed upon the transverse abdominis – the deepest abdominal muscle that wraps around your spine. This muscle is responsible for a the majority of your overall balance and stability, so it must not be neglected. Progress by planking for longer durations, and then planking on a stability ball.
General Guidelines
1. Draw in your navel (ie. pull your belly button towards your spine) throughout each movement. It increases pelvic stabilization and transverse abdominis activation.
2. Brace your core (ie. flex/tighten your core/abs). Helps properly recruit and activate the core muscles.

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