If you want to improve your health and fitness, one of the most important things to include is conditioning exercise. This includes what people call ‘cardio’, ‘aerobics’, or any other endurance exercise.
The purpose of this article is to explain what is meant by ‘conditioning exercise’. We’ll go over some fundamental concepts, and what current research can teach us. Finally, we’ll end with some simple examples to help you use conditioning exercise to reach your goals.
Understanding conditioning exercise will help you whether your goal is simply the maintenance of good health, or better athletic performance.
What is Conditioning Exercise?
Conditioning exercise focuses on increasing your energy and endurance for a particular task. Essentially, the goal is to make it easier to do something, and for a longer period of time.
Although the primary adaptation to conditioning exercise seems to occur in your muscles, particularly in the early stages of exercise, conditioning exercise also works the cardiovascular system. Exercise in general provides a plethora of health benefits, the most often cited being decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD, the number one cause of death in the world).
Similarly, conditioning exercise can give tremendous improvements in sports performance: namely through increased endurance, either by giving you more energy, or making your usage of energy more efficient.
How does Conditioning Exercise work?
Conditioning is, in a way, exercising your metabolism. When you place a demand on your body, it tends to adapt to make it easier. Require more force? Your muscles will get stronger. If you require more energy, your muscles make the metabolic systems that provide energy more efficient.
Another interesting adaptation is an increase in muscle capillarization. Blood (and therefore oxygen and nutrients) is brought to your muscles by capillaries, tiny little blood vessels. It appears exercise causes more of these little blood vessels to grow in your muscles, improving oxygen delivery and possibly metabolism.
Types of Conditioning exercise:
VIPR Lateral Shuffle
This exercise is very challenging for most because LATERAL movement is something that most people don’t do in daily activity.
It is a great Exercise for the hips and great in everyone’s training program. Great for conditioning!
How can you perform it?
✅ Start with VIPR on the ground centered in the midline of your body
✅ Squat down keeping your chest high and shuffle feet to opposite side of VIPR
✅ placing it on the ground with opposite hand and again centered in midline of body.
You can do this timed or for reps.
Sled rows are great for conditioning, strength, and power!
Put a challenging amount of weight on the sled.
How can you perform it?
✅ Start with your arms fully extended
✅ Quarter squat position
✅ Shoulders retracted and as you stand row
✅ Your elbows past your torso squeezing the shoulder blades together
✅ Repeat this for distance or desired reps!
Farmers walks are great for many things such as posture, grip strength, core strength, and conditioning.
✅ Grab a set of plates, kettlebells, dumbells and stand up straight
✅ Shoulders back and a nice proud chest with great posture
✅ Walk with control the desired path length down and back.
Great and neglected exercise! Implement these in your program today!