Good muscles are the most important thing for our health, especially the abdominal and back muscles strengthen us, prevent pain and ensure that we are in shape even in old age. Who would know better than Erika Rischko? The 82-year-old cannot imagine life without sports. And it was only when she was 55 that she began to take care of her fitness.
Today, the retiree easily stabs most of the younger ones in the gym: “If they don’t know me, the young people are looking and probably thinking, ‘What does Grandma want here?’ But when I start, I see how impressed they are, ”says Erika Rischko, who can not help but laugh.
No wonder: planks with weights in minutes, lifting kilos of dumbbells, cycling for hours. “It gives me energy and gives me joy,” sums up Erika Rischko. She shares her training and successes online and has hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and TikTok.
But she also knows: “It does not go without effort, sweat and sore muscles.” This applies to any training and especially when you want to see fast results. “I have never been busy myself, and therefore I have been able to build muscle over the years. I have a lot of tension in my body now, especially in my stomach and back. ” The 82-year-old does not have a six-pack, but thanks to many years of training, she knows how to build muscle effectively.
The basic rules for gaining muscle fast
To gain muscle mass, you should follow a few basic rules. Rule number one is: Do not save! “Muscles need to burn,” says Erika Rischko. When you feel you can no longer, strive to get 3 more repetitions.
Rule number two: Take breaks! Typically you do 10-15 reps per exercise, then rest for 30-60 seconds and start again. There must be three runs in total. “If you feel like you are not reaching your limit, either increase the individual repetitions or the number of repetitions,” the sports influencer said. Either way, you should also give your muscles time to regenerate and grow. Specifically, this means that you take a break every three days.
Rule number three: Eat a healthy diet! Our body is largely made up of proteins, that is protein – including our muscles. In order for the body to build muscle, it absolutely needs protein. Try to eat a diet high in protein and avoid too many carbohydrates and especially sugar.
Rule number four: Exercise regularly! “If you want to build muscle, you need to train not just once or twice a week, but five times,” says Erika Rischko. “Ideally, you work through different muscle groups during the week.”
For example, Mondays focus on legs, Tuesdays arms, Wednesdays core, Thursdays flexibility (yoga, Pilates) and Fridays cardio. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults exercise 150 to 300 minutes a week, or at least 2.5 hours. This means that you must consciously do something for your body for 30 minutes five days a week, exercise, challenge yourself.
Many paths lead to success, the training units can of course also be mixed or defined according to goals and preference. You just have to keep at it. And it’s sometimes very difficult. Just as hard as building a sixpack. “If you want to do this in the shortest possible time, you really have to bite your teeth together,” says the fitness influencer.
“Of course, if you have a lot of belly fat, it will take longer than someone who is slim. Therefore, it may be advisable to lose some weight first. There will never be a six-pack if it is covered in belly fat. ” Erika Rischko explains here which exercises can quickly lead to a sixpack.
Exercise 1: sit ups
For beginners: Lie on the floor and pull your legs up so that your knees are bent. Support your fingertips on the sides of your temples. Then tense your abdominal muscles and back muscles and lift your torso straight up, with the tip of your nose first. Keep your feet on the ground, do not lift off. The upper body goes straight up so the shoulder blades are a few inches from the floor. Do 15 repetitions three times, including a short pause between sets.
Then you train your oblique abdominal muscles by not pulling the upper body straight up, but with the tip of the nose first to the left knee, then to the right. You can work the pages one at a time, e.g. 15 repetitions per. side, or toggle between left and right as you go.
If you can do it well, then move on to the harder variant: The exercise is called a jackknife. Sit on the floor, preferably on a training mat. Pull your legs up so that they are bent. Then sit back slightly with your back straight. Hold the tension for a moment to feel confident in the position.
And then it starts: stretch your legs straight away from you, lift them up and bring your outstretched arms towards your legs. Feet and hands should touch and move towards each other like a jackknife. They remain stretched out lengthwise and are not angled. Then open up again, hold the tension, do not let go, and bring hands and legs together again. Again: 15 repetitions, three sets of breaks. Do not always forget to breathe calmly and evenly during your workout.
Exercise 2: Hip Lift
Lie flat on the floor, preferably on a thin sports or yoga mat. The arms lie loosely next to the body, the gaze goes to the ceiling. Lift your stretched legs lengthwise so that your feet point toward the ceiling so that your legs are perpendicular to your torso.
Now start pushing your feet out of the pool – as small pushes as if you were touching the ceiling with your feet. Work only from the pool. You tense the abdominal muscles on your own and work with them. Up, down, up, down.
Try to get 15 repetitions three times with short rest. During the repetitions, do not lower the pelvis completely, but stop a few millimeters above the floor so that the ground tension remains.
Exercise 3: twisters
For this exercise, use something you can hold in your hands, such as a ball or a bottle. Try what weight and shape you feel comfortable with. Sit on the floor and pull your bent knees towards you. There should be about a forearm length between your bottom and your feet. The back is straight. Sit back a bit and lift your bent knees off the floor. Orient yourself briefly in the position and tense all the muscles so as not to lose balance.
Now take the object in both hands, ie. grab it. The upper body is still strong and straight. Then turn your upper body to one side and tap the object briefly on the floor, but never put your feet down. Then move the object to the other side and tap the ground again. Do this exercise for 30 seconds and then take a short break. The same goes for here: three passes. At least.
The good thing about all these exercises is that you not only train your sixpack, you also strengthen your thighs, buttocks and back. “It’s important so you can still bend down in old age,” says Erika Rischko, wishing all sports fans: “Good luck and lots of success.”
Erika Rischko has written a book about her life with sports: Erika Rischko / Prof. Dr Ingo Froboese: “It’s never too late for fitness. Active and mobile into old age”, ZS-Verlag, 160 pages, about 23 euros.