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By Ian Oliver

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How to Use the RPE Scale It should not take too long to ascertain at which level you are working out. At least you do not need any equipment and are spared making calculations; you just 40 need to be totally honest with yourself about how much effort you are expending. By recording your findings in a log you should be able to monitor your progress. If you keep a cardio training log you should after a time notice a reduction in perceived effort. At times like this you can step up the level of exertion in order to avoid reaching a plateau; working in the comfort zone for an extended period may achieve maintenance but is unlikely to bring about improvement.

Just have a stretch session The warm-down stretch can be used as a stand-alone session, just so long as your muscles are warm before you start. Consider taking up Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates or The Alexander technique if you want to improve your posture as well as your flexibility. It must be considered that weight training will improve your strength, but not your flexibility, which is an equally important aspect of your well-being; so many people have a good weights workout but neglect to stretch properly afterwards.

Fingertips rest against the side of the head. Crunches with feet on box Crunches with ankles crossed 61 5. Reverse curls All levels Lie on your back with your hands close to your sides. Your legs should form a right angle at the knee and be crossed at the ankles, with your feet in the air. From this position slowly lift your backside off the floor by bringing your legs towards your rib cage. Once your backside has left the floor lower it back slowly to the start position. Try not to Reverse curls just roll backwards but contract your abs while breathing naturally.

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