How To Stay Safe During Bodybuilding Workouts?

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Are you using potentially dangerous exercises in your workout?

You have to be very careful with strength training equipment because it may not be the most effective or functional available.

How do you know that the exercises you are performing are safe?

Check below some potentially dangerous exercises with suggestions on how they should be done correctly or avoided completely.

Bodybuilding by weightlifting if done wrongly is a sure recipe for injuries. Sometimes, even painful and permanent injuries will derail your bodybuilding program.

This article will address the common injury prone mistakes bodybuilders make in their quest to build a fit and muscular body and how to avoid those weightlifting injuries.

Many people who exercise in gyms complain about backaches and they blamed it on their desk bound jobs sitting in front of the computer at long stretches of time. Perhaps they are right.

Then why is it that more bodybuilders have backaches when compared to their non-gym going colleagues?

Aren’t those people who lift weights are supposed to have stronger back muscles to support their musculature and should be less prone to backaches?

Perhaps you are getting the drift. Many bodybuilders suffer from common weightlifting injuries that they don’t even know it.

Many people actually think that if they do not suffer any pain when they are lifting weights, they are not injured.

This bodybuilding myth must be debunked right now. You see, many weight lifting injuries are very often sustained over a period of time.

It is because of the wrong weightlifting form being repeated over and over through many training sessions that cause the wear and tear of joints, tendons, cartilages and muscles.

Many injuries do not just occur immediately or overnight like the weights dropping on your toes or painful muscle tear during your lifts.

Therefore, executing your weightlifting movements in the correct form and techniques not only help your muscles to grow big and fast, it is also crucial to prevent bodybuilding injuries.

Common causes of injuries can also be attributed to lifting weights that are too heavy or that the bodybuilder who may be sick.

And yet, headed for the gym when his condition is not optimum for handling the weight he usually lift as he is in a physically weakened state.

So when the weights are too heavy or you are too weak to lift the weights you usually do, you are forced to cheat by swinging the weights up using momentum and lowering the weights by using gravity.

These movements not only waste your time in the gym as they are definitely not helpful in helping you build muscles. They will cause injuries.

An example of a common exercise done in the wrong form and a recipe for injuries is the common bar bell curl.

Barbell Biceps Curl – This exercise is perhaps the most commonly executed in the wrong form and causing injuries that people don’t even know why they are injured.

In every gym, you will see people swinging their barbells with their body rocking thru and fro in the movements.

The rocking movement places tremendous stress on the shoulder joint which is the most unstable joint in the human body and the lower back.

Over time, the shoulder joints and lower back will pay a heavy price for the wrong form and technique used during the lift.

Other common bodybuilding exercises which are often wrongly executed are the lat pull down, bench press, leg extension, military press and list goes on.

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Common Bodybuilding Weightlifting Injuries

Sit-up

Traditional abdominal exercises such as the sit-up, incline sit-up and hip-raises are exercises that are used to train the obliques and the upper and lower abdominals.

They are performed by first anchoring the feet on an abdominal board which prevents you from sliding back then raising your shoulders up towards your feet, tensing your abs at the top of the movement.

Slowly lowering your shoulders back down and then completing the movement again.

The dangers of performing this movement are the shearing forces on the vertebrae and spinal discs when you have a flexed and rounded spine.

In this position, the pressure is mostly placed on a very small area of the disc area, which can cause small ruptures.

The safest and most productive way to train the abs is to use the brace and hollow technique.

This is a basic isometric exercise that helps strengthen the abs and the muscular girdle around your waist.

Pec Deck

The pec deck is an exercise that trains the chest (pectorals) and shoulder (front deltoid) muscles.

This exercise is performed by sitting at the machine with your back flat against the back pad.

Placing your forearms on the padded levers and position your upper arms parallel to the ground.

Pushing the levers slowly together and squeezing your chest muscles at the end of the movement. Return slowly to the starting position.

This exercise is potentially dangerous because it places the shoulder into one of its least stable positions, the dislocation position.

Because of the extreme position when performing this exercise at the starting position it can also cause tearing of the ligaments and injury to the rotary cuff tendons.

More effective and less dangerous is the bench press, keeping the arms at shoulder width and exercising in the strongest range of motion (partial reps) and the parallel bar dip with the elbows out.

Behind the Neck Press

This exercise trains the neck (traps) and shoulder (deltoid) muscles and is performed by placing a loaded barbell onto your upper back just above the trap muscle.

This exercise is done by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the bar about three inches wider than the width of your shoulders.

Push the bar overhead to arm’s length, holding and then slowly lowering back down to your shoulders.

This exercise can also be done seated. Try performing it in a smith machine or power rack for added safety.

This is a workout that places the shoulder joint into the dislocation position and the range of motion puts unnecessary stress on the rotator cuff tendons of the shoulders.

Many trainees may experience injuries from this behind-the-neck movement. It is the same with stick with dips and bench presses for your shoulder work.

Dead Lift

The dead lift is a compound movement that works the hips, lower back and also exercises the hamstrings and glutes (buttocks).

You can perform the dead lift by approaching a loaded barbell and taking a stance about as wide as your shoulders.

Grip the bar so that the arms are slightly on the outside of your thighs. Your feet should be pointing straight forward with the shins about two to three inches from the bar.

Heave the load upward using the hips and lower back keeping the back straight and the bar as close to the shins as possible.

At the top of the movement, hold for a few seconds and then lower the bar to the starting position.

The exercise has a knock-on growth effect on the whole body when worked hard. The problem with the lift is that if the spine becomes rounded during the lift it then becomes dangerous. Because of the forces working on the vertebrae and the spine injuries may occur.

A lot of these problems can be solved by keeping the back as straight as possible during the lift and keeping the bar held close to the body during the lift as the forces are then not that excessive.

Leg Extensions

Leg extensions are arguably one of the most popular leg exercises for strengthening the quadriceps (thigh) muscle.

These are done by using a leg extension machine and sitting in the seat with your feet hooked under the padded lever.

Raise the weight with your legs until they are pointing straight out in front of you.

Hold briefly, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

Leg extensions are a potentially dangerous exercise because when only the shin is in motion, the exercise draws the patella back onto the femur increasing joint compression forces, which can damage the connective tissue and the ligaments supporting the knee joint.

It can also cause anterior knee pain so people with existing knee problems may aggravate them by doing this exercise.

For greater safety and equal effectiveness, try doing the Squat, Leg Press, and Lunge for safer and more functional use.

Prevention is better than cure, so avoid bodybuilding injuries by having proper warm ups before exercising and use correct form and techniques when training with weights.

doctor_first aid

First Aid Treatment for Bodybuilding Injuries

Below are the immediate first aid treatments you will need to recover from a bodybuilding induced injuries.

That is assuming that the injuries sustained are not too serious that need immediate medical attention.

Okay, so sometimes bodybuilding exercises hurt. But how do you know when it’s a good hurt or a bad hurt?

The good hurt tends to occur after a bodybuilding workout and feels like a dull ache in the muscle or commonly called the “delayed onset muscle soreness” (DOMS).

This type of ache usually indicates that you have been working on that particular muscle hard enough and is a response to the effectiveness of your weight lifting workout although not always necessarily so.

The bad hurt, which generally signifies an injury, is usually sharp pain and the pain comes from a specific spot like in a specific joint or muscle spot.

It usually starts as an uncomfortable feeling, which you think will go away. Next thing you know, you are in full-blown pain! What to do next?

Treat bodybuilding injuries with “RICE”

The acronym RICE is for the general treatment of minor weightlifting injuries such as sprains, joint pains, tendonitis, pulled ligaments and so on.

R = Rest

I = Ice

C = Compression

E = Elevation

Rest

Avoid all activities that aggravate your injury. You may even need to skip your gym workout for a couple of weeks.

Rest can mean the difference between a long recuperation and possibly medical invasive procedures or just a few days or a few weeks off.

Ice

Ice helps reduce swelling by restricting blood flow. 15–20 minutes, three to four times a day is recommended as long as the pain remains.

Compression

Put pressure on the injured site to help keep swelling down. You want to wrap a bandage or a towel tightly enough to feel some pressure but not enough to cause numbness or affecting blood circulation.

Elevation

Elevate the injured area to reduce swelling.

Your condition should improve with “RICE” treatment. Most of the time, you should see some results within 20 minutes of treatment.

However, if the pain persists or gets worse, then it time to see your doctor or a sports physician as your condition may be worse than what was initially thought to be.

Hence, the next time when you have backache or joint pain, don’t blame it on other causes if you are a bodybuilder and that you lift weights often.

Just reflect on the weightlifting exercises you are doing and examined them as to whether they are the cause of your injuries.

Better yet, hire a personal trainer or a bodybuilding book with picture illustration and description to learn how to lift weights in the correct form and technique to prevent common and serious weight lifting injuries.

 

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How Strength Training Helps In Fat Loss And Getting Ripped Abs?

strength training

 

Have you considered including strength training in your fitness routine? In this article, find out how strength training burns fat, how it can help you lose more fat, get ripped abs and other benefits of strength training.

Strength Training Burns Fat

While the best way to burn fat is through aerobic exercise, you can also burn fat with certain types of strength training.

The reason is that the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn though normal activities.

You can also combine aerobic exercise with strength training to get a double whammy effect against fat.

Don’t Worry about Bulking Up

Strength training doesn’t necessarily have to bulk you up. It can actually tone your body and help build your muscles just enough to help hold your body in more perfect alignment.

Doing so can help you appear thinner and reduce body fat at the same time.

Try Circuit Training

This is something you can find at different studios that involve doing each machine for a specific period of time – usually at a fast pace.

It’s a good way to get both cardio in and strength training. Usually there is little or no rest in between each machine and exercise are done in between machines.

Isometric Weight Training

This is a type of resistance training where you use the weights by holding them at certain angles for 30 seconds to one minute instead of doing faster repetitions.

This kind of strength training can also be done without weights. For instance, doing planks works well too. It increases strength and stamina.

High Volume Training

This type of strength training involves working one muscle group per week, concentrating on cardiovascular the rest of the time.

This gives the muscle groups ample time to recover allowing for the best and most efficient building of strength training without bulking up your muscles. You can have long, lean muscles with high volume training.

Core Exercises

Doing core strength training exercises such as Pilates and yoga will help your body become a fat burning furnace.

Try hot yoga, or purchase a Pilates machine to use at home for no excuse workouts that build endurance while building strength.

The better shape your core is in, the better your fitness level will be and the more fat you’ll burn.

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How Does Strength Training Help You Lose More Fat?

The vast majority exercises regularly do not do it to enhance their flexibility, increase strength, or build muscle. They do it to keep their body fat percentage low.

But what exactly is the best and most efficient way to lose weight?

Is it spending as many hours as possible on the treadmill?

Running for miles up a hilly terrain?

Or could it be engaging in High Intensity Interval Training during your workouts?

While these 3 methods are effective in their own ways, there’s a secret fat loss weapon that many women are yet to discover – weight training, which also increases strength.

Yes, lifting weights is the best way to go if you want to lose weight permanently and in the fastest way possible. But how does it work?

Well, here’s a look at how lifting weights leads to significant loss of weight.

It Burns Calories Continuously

The secret to losing weight is burning more calories than you eat. When the body stays in a calorie-deprived state for long, it starts burning through its own tissue for fuel.

Weightlifting helps your body remain at a constant calorie-deprived state by initiating the burning of calories during and long after your workout routine.

Lifting gives you a great burn during exercise where a routine as simple and short as a circuit of eight moves can burn 160 to over 200 calories.

Additionally, studies show that a well-designed weightlifting routine can elevate your metabolism by up to 39 hours after the workout.

The reason for this, after a weightlifting routine, muscles need energy to repair their fibers, which they get by burning calories.

The heavier the weights you lift, the higher and longer your metabolism rate gets elevated.

It Triggers More Fat Loss

Cardio activity only burns calories during workouts, which means you do not get to burn fat when not exercising.

With weightlifting, however, you burn a great deal of calories during and after your workouts. This translates to more fat burned between sets as well as during the workout itself.

It Increases Muscle

It’s no secret that weight lifting results in a direct increase in muscle mass.

This is why many steer clear from this form of training due to fear of developing a man-like muscular physique.

What most people do not know, however, is that the more muscle you have to contract, the more calories you burn.

If you have a large percentage of muscle mass in your body, you end up burning more calories when you engage in any form of physical activity (be it lifting dumbbells, doing squats, or even the simple act of walking) than someone with low muscle percentage.

Whether you have struggled with weight loss for a while or simply want to tone up fast, strength training can help.

Just make sure to avoid overdoing it and include a proper diet and aerobic training to the mix. This way, you’ll avoid injury and enjoy more profound results.

Get Ripped Abs

Get Ripped Abs by Doing Basic Strength Training

The best way to get hard ripped abs is by doing some strength training.  Increasing your cores strength has many benefits and strength training is the most important in this case.

Strength training is not running on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, or using an elliptical machine.

Although those types of aerobic machines use “resistance” to increase your workout intensity, it’s not the same as strength training.

Strength training is structured according to different goals throughout the season, just as training is structured around key races.

This type of training is a fancy way of describing the process of building muscle power by lifting free weights or working out against resistance, by using equipment like Nautilus or Universal machines or by working against large elastic bands.

While “aerobics” was the exercise catchword of the 1970’s and 80’s, strength training is the trend of the 1990’s, hailed as a critically important complement to aerobics in a total fitness program.

Strength training is linked to high bone mineral density in adults of all ages and both sexes.

Osteoporosis is a type of skeletal deterioration, characterized by decreasing bone density that weakens the bone structure (Graves and Franklin 2001).

It is performing a lift for several repetitions, 10-20 generally is recommended for children.

There is such a high level of concentration for weightlifting that the chance of injury outweighs any potential benefit.

Likewise, this kind of training is a great way to spice things up and add a completely different challenge to your body. The nice thing about strength training is that it offers so many ways to set up your workouts.

There’s always something new to try and you never run out of new exercises, different types of resistance, new routines and a variety of ways to work your body. It is any exercise you do against some kind of resistance.

This resistance can be machines, free weights, tubing or your own body weight. It is essential for optimal health, fitness, and function. This is especially true in the over-50 audience.

The challenge is in making strength training safe, sensible, and effective, given the specific needs of this market segment.

Strength training is the practice of using free weights, weight machines, and rubber resistance bands to build muscles. With resistance the muscles have to work extra hard to move.

It is done FIRST following the warm-up on days when you do both strength and cardio training. This will optimize the hormonal response that maximizes your body’s ability to build and develop muscle.

It is primarily an anaerobic activity, although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.

Strength training differs from bodybuilding, weightlifting, power lifting and strongman, which are sports rather than forms of exercise.

This training is a great way to improve strength, endurance, and muscle tone. But remember to start slowly, use proper form, avoid heavy weights, and increase workouts gradually to prevent injury.

It is important for cardiac health because heart disease risk is lower when the body is leaner.

One study found that cardiac patients gained not only strength and flexibility but also aerobic capacity when they did strength training three times a week as part of their rehabilitation program.

This training is critical for combating frailty and disability, for increasing strength and mobility, for staying active and self-sufficient.

Research has consistently shown the fitness and health benefits of strength training for older adults.

Strength training is physical activity intended to increase muscle strength and mass.

Adults who engage in strength training are less likely to experience loss of muscle mass ( 1 ), functional decline ( 2 ), and fall-related injuries than adults who do not strength train ( 3 ).

This type of training is not just for male bodybuilders and competitive athletes. It is for everyone and yields many benefits to the human body, internally and externally.

Other Benefits of Strength Training

The benefits of a good strength training program are almost endless. Less disease, happiness and most importantly, showing off your muscles at the beach.

Strength training should be part of everyone’s routine. Even if you are low on time, strength training.

According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), it only needs to be done 2-3 times per week with each session lasting no more than one hour. For 2-3 hours per week, huge benefits can be realized.

Regular strength training will:
  • help you in day to day activities around the house and in your yard. It will keep you independent which is especially important in the older population. Imagine not being able to lift a 5 pound bag of flour or take the garbage out by yourself.
  • lower the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes
  • help you avoid lower back pain
  • increase bone density which is important for post menopausal women
  • increase muscle mass which burns more calories throughout the day than an equal amount of fat.

Even with all these benefits, many people are reluctant to start training with weights. Concerns include injury, incorrect form and for women; not wanting to grow muscles and look like a man.

When beginning your strength training program, the risk of getting hurt can be greatly reduced by starting out with machines rather than free weights.

As you become more comfortable with the machines, slowly learn to use free weights. If you want to stick with the machines, know that they will give you the same benefits as free weights.

As for the concern that women will look like men, it won’t happen without the help of steroids, which you shouldn’t even consider using.

Sometimes when we think of being healthy, we think of eating and running. While these are important, strength training should never be left out.

Strength training provides benefits to your health that cannot be found with any other mode of exercise and shouldn’t be forgotten.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Strength Training Burns Fat

  • Don’t Worry about Bulking Up
  • Try Circuit Training
  • Isometric Weight Training
  • High Volume Training
  • Core Exercises

How Does Strength Training Help You Lose More Fat?

  • It Burns Calories Continuously
  • It Triggers More Fat Loss
  • It Increases Muscle

Get Ripped Abs by Doing Basic Strength Training

  • Strength training is structured according to different goals throughout the season
  • Strength training is linked to high bone mineral density in adults of all ages and both sexes.
  • This training is a great way to improve strength, endurance, and muscle tone.
  • Strength training is physical activity intended to increase muscle strength and mass.

 

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you into strength training program?

– If not yet, are you interested to try basic strength training?

– Are you looking for ways to lose fat and get ripped abs?

– Do you know that strength training helps you drop fat and get ripped abs?

– Do you like the other health benefits of strength training?

 

 

How To Prepare For A Pilates Class?

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Are you planning to soon join a Pilates class?

If so, are you using Pilates mat exercise? How about music in Pilates class? Find them out here.

Be warned that walking into any Pilates studio could be daunting, especially if it is your first time.

You would notice a variety of very odd-looking contraptions, which you could logically infer as ‘Pilates machines.’ Never worry.

Whichever studio you go to, there surely would be a knowledgeable and friendly staff or personnel who would accommodate and orient you to Pilates sessions.

How could you prepare for your first ever Pilates class? You might be truly excited. There is no need to be nervous or to be embarrassed. Beginners are always welcome to join such classes.

Here are practical tips that would help you overcome your first-time jitters.

What you should bring?

Remember that you do not need to take with you much when you drop by any Pilates studio.

Generally, the studio provides every equipment and material you would need for the workout. However, you may prefer to workout using your own mat.

Pilates mats are commercially available in various stores. You should be lucky enough to learn that your studio might actually be selling such items.

Take note that such mats are usually made a bit thicker than any conventional yoga mat. Ask your instructor about his recommendations before you purchase your Pilates mat.

It is important to make yourself properly hydrated prior to starting the workout. Thus, you would still need to carry with you a water bottle.

You would not need to guzzle water during the workout just like what you usually do on your aerobic and cardiovascular workouts.

But you certainly would feel a little thirsty at the middle of the session so keep a water bottle handy.

pilates for weight loss

What to wear?

You should not dress to impress when attending a Pilates class. It is very important that you make sure your clothes are comfortable.

Wear outfits that would enable you to make movements and to fully stretch. Loose clothes are fine, but keep away from baggy clothes.

The instructor should be able to see your body during the workout to see if your alignment is correct during movements.

Baggy clothes may tend to be too revealing especially because there are certain movements that are very complicated.

As for the footwear, take note that Pilates should be done barefoot. There is no need to buy and wear fancy and fashionable shoes.

Avoid wearing excess accessories. Belts, long necklaces, and dangling bracelets are not only distracting; they could also pose dangers especially if they get caught up in the Pilates equipment.

You surely would not want to strangle yourself. Also make sure your hair is tied back so it would not fall into your face and cause discomfort. You may also opt to wear hair bands. There would be no problem if your hair is cut short.

One last advice: do not wear strong perfumes and deodorants before going to the Pilates class. This is because many people are simply sensitive to strong scents. You need to be considerate of others.

What you need and what you get from a Pilates mat exercise?

Pilates Mat exercises have been considered very beneficial, especially for those who want stronger abdominal muscles and a stronger core.

Usually, exercises are done with Pilates machines. But Pilates Mat exercises however, have more challenging exercises simply because your body doesn’t have to rely on the support of the machine to do the work, making it shoulder the work that you are making it do.

These results in a variety of developments, more so, on the abs than any part of the body, and we all know that that piece of fat under the navel is really hard to get to.

The other benefit of a Pilates mat exercise is its sheer lack of exercise equipment. Unlike other Pilates exercises, this only requires you, as the name says, a Pilates mat.

And you’re ready to go, of course every Pilates exercise requires you some sort of instructor, either a real one, or a video, to tell you what to do, or if what you’re doing is correct, which brings us to the question of do I really need an instructor?

And the answer is yes, every exercise needs an instructor, even something you might think as simple as a Pilates mat exercise won’t look very simple once you’re in a hospital bed.

Pilates mat exercises can be very advanced body work, and doing it wrongly can as with every type of work out, give you injuries.

A Pilates mat instructor has to be certified by a qualified school make sure that your instructor has real qualifications before you take Pilates mat classes.

A DVD or a real one? Essentially, most Pilates experts recommend a real instructor, an instructor can point out what you’re doing wrong, can position you correctly if you don’t have the right posture, and can personalize the exercise you’re doing specifically for your body’s needs.

However, there are lots of Pilates mat exercise videos out there that have been getting good reviews recently.

Some people might have gone on to saying that it’s as good as the real instructor, well to each his own, but my suggestion is, if you can afford a real instructor, then get one.

That’s the problem with real instructors though, the price, you’ll have to pay for classes monthly for that, but with a DVD, you’ll only have to buy it once and then you can use it for years to come.

What’s also good with a Pilates mat exercise DVD is its convenience, you won’t have to travel to the gym or to class you can just spread your mat on the floor, turn on the DVD and the you’re good to go.

Pilates equipment

Pilates Exercise Equipment

Pilates exercise equipment can help make a wonderful workout program into an amazing way to transform your body.

There are a handful of useful items available that will help you maximize the benefits of your routine. These helpful tools are great for the seasoned exerciser as well as the beginner.

The first piece of Pilates exercise equipment you want to get is a DVD that offers a viewing of a typical routine.

You simply work out right with the people on the screen. While this is not the newest innovation in Pilates exercise equipment it is the most important item.

Following a good plan is simple if you have the instructor right there with you. Those of us who can’t afford a personal trainer opt to buy the DVD Pilates exercise equipment instead. Using a DVD will help you finish a complete routine without skimping. It also provides great motivation for the user.

The Pilates ball is a favorite among people of all abilities. This Pilates exercise equipment is just plain fun. You can accomplish a lot in a workout by balancing on one of these large bouncy balls without feeling a thing.

The results are great and you barely break a sweat. This is among the most popular Pilates exercise equipment on the market.

One of the most important aspects of this type of workout program is its safety. This approach to fitness is very kind to the body. In fact, it is even used in some physical rehabilitation approaches.

This is a very appealing feature that is the key to the Pilates workout. People of all ages and abilities are able to use this program.

No matter how safe any workout is you really want to choose a mat when completing floor exercises. Pilates exercise equipment includes this necessity to floor workouts.

Perhaps, this is one of the most important pieces of Pilates exercise equipment, especially if you have hardwood floors.

Resistance bands are great for adding a little more challenge to the routine. While the resistance bands are not an absolute necessity to a successful workout they can really help to keep things interesting for the advanced client.

This Pilates exercise equipment can be introduced at the intermediate level but not recommended for beginners.

There are various other items that can be used to supplement the workout. No matter if you use additional Pilates exercise equipment or not you will definitely see results if you stick with the routine.

pilates for back pain

Should Pilates Classes Use Music?

Pilates classes are very popular these days. Most gyms and fitness centers offer regular Pilates sessions that are guided and facilitated by fitness professionals.

In reality, it is very different from all other fitness sessions. But many individuals do not readily identify that difference especially when their Pilates sessions use music.

Some Pilates experts do not use music while others make it a point to feature facilitative tunes to make participants more inclined to do the tasks.

Should Pilates classes use music? It is considered a matter or preference whether a facilitator/ instructor would use music or not in every Pilates class.

There are specific times when music would help in making the session more effective, though there would also be instances when it would just serve as a form of unnecessary distraction.

Professionals should know when music should be used in their Pilates sessions.

For classes that involve mostly beginners, music could be used sparingly. This is because when people are relatively new to the program, it could help them attain and maintain interest if there is an appropriate music or tune that comes with the basic Pilates movements.

However, in some instances, music is omitted especially when the instructor wants to make sure participants would listen to and understand specific Pilates movement instructions.

A competent and effective Pilates instructor would ensure that participants focus on keeping proper posture alignment, breath control, and stability.

They should also make sure the students maintain a neutral spine or lying position.

In this regard, it would help if music used would not use catchy tunes and interesting lyrics.

Thus, most instructors prefer to use meditative music to prevent the participants from focusing instead on the lyrics.

For advanced Pilates students or participants, music could be used as an effective strategy to attain and support smooth movement.

The right choice of music to be used is important as it could be significant and vital to ensuring a smoother flow of movements.

The good flow of sound could also help keep the movements become more targeted.

However, when using music during Pilates classes, make sure you avoid using heavily rhythmic music.

This is because such tunes could only encourage and prompt the class to unnecessarily choreograph Pilates movements just to keep up a tempo.

In general, the Pilates class members should be able to move more naturally so they could be enabled to move at a strategic pace that would suit their bodies with their individual variations.

Overall, music could surely enhance any Pilates session or class. For people who have become very familiar to Pilates movements, music could be a form of further enhancement to achieve more harmony between movements and breathing.

For beginners, music should definitely take a back-step because such participants could only be unnecessarily distracted.

Doing Pilates without music could also be effective especially if you do the movements on your own.

But for classes, meditative or strategic music could certainly be of great help. Instructors should take their choice of music to be used as another challenge.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Are you planning to soon join a Pilates class?

  • What you should bring?
  • What to wear?
  • What you need and what you get from a Pilates mat exercise

Pilates Exercise Equipment

  • DVD Pilates exercise equipment
  • Pilates ball
  • Resistance bands

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Are you interested in Pilates?

– Have you attended a Pilates class?

– What equipment you use in Pilates?

– What do you wear in doing Pilates?

– Does music help in doing Pilates or not?


 


How Dancing Makes You Fit?

dancing to be fit

How To Dance Your Way To Great Physical Fitness?

Now are you one or more of the following:

  1. Don’t exercise
  2. Hates exercising
  3. Don’t have time to exercise
  4. Hate gyms
  5. Hate monthly fees
  6. Love making excuses not to go to the gym in spite of being charged a monthly membership anyway
  7. Bored with your conventional predictable Aerobics left, right up and down exercises
  8. Conscience of your shape at present and want to hide at any given rate
  9. Love to smile but forgotten how to
  10. Does not take exercising and having fun and laughing, at one self not to seriously
  11. Would love to improve their general physical appearance, stamina, overall look, weight loss, health, fitness, Cardio health, flexibility and most importantly their night life activities!

Then, keep on reading…

dancing

Why Dance Lessons Are Good For Your Heart

Keeping your hearts healthy is important.  Cardiovascular exercises, which increase heart rate, keep your hearts in shape.

Regular exercise has also been shown to lower blood pressure, freeing your heart from some of the effort in moving blood through your system.

But many people don’t get much enjoyment from disciplined workouts.  They know they need regular cardiovascular exercise to stay heart-healthy, but what activities are there to steer clear of tedious typical exercise programs?

Many find dancing to be one such activity.  Dancing allows you to get your heart pumping and your limbs moving without having to endure the monotony of exercising on a treadmill or at a gym.

Dancing regularly keeping not only keeps ones heart healthy, it also helps maintain balance and coordination.

Plus, of course, dance lessons and events let you get you out of the house regularly and make and meet friends.

Local organizations, universities, community and, sometimes, churches hold dancing lessons and events that are open to people of all abilities and skill levels.  If you haven’t danced in awhile, or even if you’ve never tried it before, it’s never too late to learn.

Adding another skill to your list never hurts, and dancing is an ability that comes in handy mighty often.

Dance lessons are typically offered by style (ballroom, folk, Latin, swing, et cetera) and ability level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, competitive).

Most dances that you’re probably familiar with fall into the category of “ballroom dancing.”

Ballroom dancing is performed with a partner (don’t worry; there are typically a number of “singles” taking lessons.  You’ll be able to pair off when you go to the lesson).

Everything from the internationally renowned waltz, to the classic American Foxtrot, to the Latin salsa and cha-cha, fall into the category of ballroom dance.

Folk dancing typically refers to square dancing, contra dancing, or one of several Irish, Scottish, or English styles of dance.

Folk dances can sometimes be more social than ballroom dances (since partners typically split up and join with others during the course of the dance).

Other popular styles of dance include swing, Latin, traditional and many others.  Feel free to explore.

Books and videos can also be found online, if you just need a refresher, or would rather get the basics in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re looking for a great way to be heart-smart, stays fit, and meet new people, try dancing.

Dance lessons allow you to try something new, exercise, and take part in a social activity all at the same time.  Find a style that interests you, pick the appropriate skill level, find a place, and dance!

5 Tips to “Dance The Weight Away”

If you love Latin rhythms and want to lose weight keep reading. No longer do you have to spend your money going to the gym.

By following my simple weight losing tips while listening to Merengue Latin grooves, you’ll be able to shed pounds effortlessly.

Many people like to listen to music when they work out but a small percentage of people around the world know about my little Latin-dance work out strategy.

You can dance at your own pace because it doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a professional salsa dancer, you just need to follow the rhythms, listen the drums, and listen to amazing Latin beats.

 

Tip number #1: Make a commitment to pop in a Merengue or Salsa audio or download some Merengue or Salsa music online that will  make you start dancing while breaking a sweat.

 

Tip number #2: Take 2-3 Merengue or Salsa dancing classes. You cav take a basic Latin dance class or intermediate to advance level class based on your experience.

This will eventually improve your Latin dancing skills and dedication and will make you look like a professional. These moves also help strengthen your abdominal muscles which can help  keep fat flab off your tummy.

 

Tip number #3: Make a commitment to dance at least 60 minutes a day before work, after work or on your lunch break.

Don’t forget! If you are a female, shake your hips. If you are a male, shake your chest. The first 30 minutes should not be interrupted, stay active and in constant motion for the full 30 minutes because this is when you start burning fat and calories.

 

Tip number #4: If you don’t want to take the time and money for classes, begin with the simple 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 steps starting with a right step in front and left step back and fourth while counting 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. This will help you dance the weight away.

 

Tip number #5: Keep your stomach and back straight for better stability, as it is very important to maintain your center of gravity when changing direction. Good balance will allow you to be in the correct position to hit the next dance step.

Dancing to Latin tropical rhythms like Salsa and Meringue this summer will get you in shape in no time.

By increasing your power with the following Latin grooves exercise, you can improve your overall fitness goals in less than a month.

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Dance To Your Health

We as a world are more aware than ever of the importance of physical fitness to our overall health.

While we remain aware of the need for physical activity far too many of us find far too few reasons to incorporate physical activity into our daily lives and routines.

There are many reasons that we procrastinate in this particular effort. For some, time is the defining factor while others will readily admit that they have no appreciation whatsoever for those activities that come to mind when exercise is considered.

Whatever your reason for not incorporating exercise and physical activity into your daily routine, have you considered dancing for your health?

There are all kinds of wonderful reasons to dance though there are very few that would be better than dancing for the sake of your health and physical well being.

The good news when it comes to dancing is that in most instances it doesn’t feel as though you are getting exercise and the burning of calories doesn’t sting nearly as much when you’re having fun burning them.

Dancing has evolved a great deal and while the history of dance is a long and noble history. Even, one might add, a quite manly history for those men who haven’t considered dancing in the past.

Benefits of Dancing

In addition to burning calories, a good thing for dieters everywhere, dancing also helps strengthen your muscles and bones. It can provide either a low impact or high impact workout according to your wishes and the music you select.

It can be entertaining and feel like fun rather than a chore—this means you are more likely to actually do it than many other exercise programs.

And it can help tone all areas of your body rather than focusing on one particular area as many exercises do.

Dancing also provides an excellent opportunity to socialize and meet others if you take classes while in the process helping you gain a better sense of balance and grace.

Dancing, and the physical activity alone can help you ward off potential illnesses that are often associated with excess weight and too little physical activity.

Even as little as thirty minutes of dance 4 days a week can bring about profound results when it comes to your overall health and well being.

More importantly however than any of these benefits of dancing mentioned above dancing is fun.

This means that you will enjoy life a little, laugh a little, and accidentally work a little physical fitness into your life without feeling as though you are suffering for the sake of doing so. So many people get very little physical activity because they do not see physical activity as fun.

If you are wondering what sort of dance is right for you, there are many from which to choose. Square dancing is great fun for couples as are ballroom and swing dancing.

Line dancing, contra square dancing, clogging, and tap dancing can be great fun in larger groups or as a participant in a class.

If you want something a little sexier for your dance efforts you can always try Salsa dancing, Flamenco dancing, or belly dancing.

If you live in or around a relatively large community it is quite likely that you can find classes or teachers for private lessons for each of these forms of dance quite easily.

You do want to make sure that anyone you take lessons from knows what they are doing. You can also look in your local paper for square dancing groups or bars or clubs that offer line dancing classes on designated nights during the week.

Whether you have been dancing all your life or are a rank novice when it comes to dancing, this is a great way to bring physical fitness into your life and improving your health without feeling as though you are really working for it or experiencing a sense of dread at the very thought.

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Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) as a Fun Exercise Program

One of the main reasons people quit an exercise program is a lack of motivation and goal setting.  You may start an exercise program in hopes of losing weight and becoming fit.

However, as you continue exercising, you may feel that you’re putting in so much effort but gaining so little.  You become unmotivated because it’s not worth it.

With ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ kids, teens, and adults can find a way to stay motivated, exercise, and have more fun.  ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ is a music game available on both console and arcade.

You can choose from a variety of energetic dance songs.  As the song plays, you have to step on a specific pattern of arrows in response to the song’s beat.

Like most games, learning ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ takes practice.  There is a range of tempos, song genres, and step difficulties, so there is something for everyone.  Beginners can start off with easy slow-paced songs.

To get better, simply practice, practice, and practice.  Become familiar with the songs.  As you progress you can gradually choose faster songs and more difficult step patterns.

With enough practice and persistence you’ll gain stamina, become better at foot-eye coordination, and have a better sense of rhythm.

Since the game grades you on how well you’ve played each song, it is easy to set goals and stay motivated.

For example, if you achieved a ‘D’ rating on a song, you can set a goal to get a ‘C’ rating in a certain timeframe.  If you failed a song, you can set a goal to pass that song in a certain number of tries.

Also, with a partner, you can both play the same song and participate in some friendly competition.  This competition adds a great deal of fun.  It helps you strive to improve and keep playing so you can beat your dance partner.

To play ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ look for your local arcades and see if any of them has a ’Dance Dance Revolution’  arcade machine.

If they don’t, or you don’t want to travel to an arcade, you can get a ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ game for a console like Playstation, Playstation 2, or XBox.

Of course, you could play with a regular controller but then you wouldn’t be exercising (unless you consider finger manipulation exercising).  To experience the game the right way, you’ll need a dance pad.

There are three main types of dance pads: soft thin pads, ignition pads, and metal pads.  Soft thin pads are flexible, made of plastic, and wear out quickly.  They tend to slip around a lot.  You have to constantly realign your soft thin pad while playing harder songs.

If you simply want to test out DDR, soft thin pads are great.  Ignition pads are soft pads which have a foam insert.  The foam insert provides weight, durability, and comfort.  It feels different from the arcade but is easy to adapt to.

Like the soft thin pads, ignition pads will wear out.  The best pads for expert players are the metal pads.  They have been designed to give more of that arcade feel.  They have greater durability and accuracy.

Thus, there are many ways to dance and integrate it into your fitness program. Likewise, dancing could be your interval activity in between your regular exercise routine.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Why Dance Lessons Are Good For Your Heart

  • Dancing allows you to get your heart pumping and your limbs moving without having to endure the monotony of exercising on a treadmill or at a gym.
  • Dancing helps maintain balance and coordination.
  • Dance lessons allow you to try something new, exercise, and take part in a social activity all at the same time.

5 Tips to “Dance The Weight Away”

1: Make a commitment to pop in a Merengue or Salsa audio
2: Take 2-3 Merengue or Salsa dancing classes.
3: Make a commitment to dance at least 60 minutes a day before work, after work or on your lunch break.
4: If you don’t want to take the time and money for classes, begin with the simple 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 steps starting with a right step in front and left step back and fourth while counting 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
5: Keep your stomach and back straight for better stability

Dance to Your Health

  • In addition to burning calories, dancing also helps strengthen your muscles and bones.
  • It can provide either a low impact or high impact workout.
  • Dancing, and the physical activity alone can help you ward off potential illnesses that are often associated with excess weight and too little physical activity.
  • Dancing is fun.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Do you dance?

– What type of dance can you do?

– How often do you dance?

– Does dancing improves your balance and coordination?

– Who you are with when you are dancing?

– What are your favorite moves to dance?


 


Teenage BodyBuilding You Should Know

bodybuilding for teens

Teenage bodybuilding is becoming ever more popular. Teenagers have always wanted to impress and greater numbers than ever are looking to do this by having a spectacular body, with muscles to match.

Finding the right advice for building muscle can be difficult for any age group, so here we give you some great teenage bodybuilding advice.

Tip 1

There is one area where teenage bodybuilding is no different from any other, and that is in the need to have a coherent plan.

Do your research, decide exactly where you want to go with bodybuilding, and design a workout routine to fit.

Just joining a gym and lifting weights without any clear goal in mind will be wasteful and counterproductive. Work out a plan and focus on it.

Tip 2

Don’t miss meals. A lot of teenagers are constantly on the move, and their diets and eating habits are often erratic.

A vital part of teenage bodybuilding advice is to create a consistent diet plan and stick to it.

Your workout plan will not achieve optimum results with a high enough calorific intake, and without enough of the right nutrients being absorbed.

Tip 3

Never go at it too hard. A teenage body is still developing, growing, and going through changes of hormones before becoming an adult.

Teenage bodybuilding needs to be done with care, as the body may well have another short period of growth or weight gain to go through.

Be patient with your bodybuilding, as you don’t yet know the exact form your adult body will take!

Tip 4

Take in plenty of protein! Teenage bodybuilding is similar to any age group bodybuilding in this crucial aspect – protein is absolutely essential for muscle growth and repair.

There is simply no way to get your muscles to grow if they are not fed enough protein, and your workouts could even have a detrimental effect, as your muscles will not have the nutrients they need to repair properly.

Some Considerations for Teenage BodyBuilding

Most teenagers are not yet full grown, so special considerations must be taken when a teen undertakes a body building program.

However, you should know that this is a great time to start a workout program that you can carry through to your adult years.

There are some things to keep in mind before you start, though.

  1. DO NOT start lifting weights or undertaking an intense body building regiment before you turn 13. You can exercise before this “magical” age, but limit your exercise to low-impact workouts like push-ups and sit ups.
  2. Squats and dead lifts should never be performed either before you are 16. These types of exercises require some execution techniques that need to be performed properly or else you will injure yourself.
  3. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you take any type of testosterone supplements before you reach adulthood. You already have plenty of testosterone in your body.  Adding more could contribute to growth stunting.

After that, you should do some serious research on different workouts and start slowly.  Don’t push your body beyond its limits.  You could seriously injure yourself and set your progress back markedly.

Everyone’s muscles grow in different ways, so try not to compare yourself to other people.  Just get a well-balanced workout routine and perform it correctly with good form.

Diet is also important to teen body builders just as it is to adult body builders.  Eat lots of protein and vegetables as well as grains and carbohydrates.  Keep yourself well-hydrated with lots and lots of water and stay away from sugars.

Rest is also important since, like adults, this is the time when your body’s muscles will grow.  At least eight hours of sleep is recommended, if not more.

You will be doing your body a favor by giving it time to heal from the damage you’ve inflicted on your muscles and allow them to grow naturally while you rest and build up your energy for the next day.

There are certain exercises that teens can perform that can build mass in your muscles without the risk of harming them.  Some of the adult exercises won’t be appropriate for you, but some of them will.

 

Here are a few that you should use:

Dumbbell Curls

These will work your biceps as you lift the dumbbell from your knee up to your shoulder in a slow, smooth motion.  Alternate arms between sets and remember to breathe.  Concentrate on the lift and working the muscles.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Hold the dumbbells like you would a hammer.  Alternate your arms lifting from your side to your shoulder, again, in a slow, easy motion.

Flat Bench Press

Lay flat on a weight bench with the barbell above you.  Hold in a wide grip and slowly lower the barbell down to your chest and up again.  Pay special attention to the way your muscles are responding to the weight.

Dumbbell Flyers

Hold the dumbbells like you are doing hammer curls.  Keep your arms straight up with your elbows slightly bent.  In a semi-circular motion, lower the dumbbells slowly down to the sides of your chest.  This will work your inner pectoral muscles.

Dumbbell Shrugs

Hold a dumbbell in each hand lowered to your side with your palms facing your hips.  Raise your toes up and then shrug your shoulder to work your trapezius muscles.

Shoulder Press

While seated, hold a dumbbell in each hand.  Sit straight and press them up.  Resist when you are lowering them down.  This works the deltoid muscles.

These are just a few exercises you can do, obviously.  You may want to consult with your Physical Education instructor at school or ask someone at a local gym to help you with other exercises that you can safely perform so that you can accomplish your goals.

Bodybuilding is an extreme sport that can yield amazingly satisfying results.  But you must be sure that you stay committed to your goals.

Unless you are sick or there is a very, very good reason, you should stick to your workout under all circumstances.

If you want to meet your goals, you CANNOT put them off just because you want to.

If your parents are concerned about your bodybuilding efforts, have them take you to your family physician and tell him or her about what your plans are as well as the exercises you want to do.

Listen to what the doctor has to say and heed any advice that is offered.  If you undertake this program in a responsible way, your parents will be impressed rather than worried!

Once you start seeing results in your body, you may decide that you want to enter a body building contest.

These can be great motivational tools to keep you on a workout regimen, but there are some things that you should know.

Take on board these teenage bodybuilding tips, and you will be starting your development in the right way.

 

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How Strength Training Leads To Fat Loss And Ripped Abs?

strength training leads to fat loss

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Have you considered including strength training in your fitness routine? In this article, find out how strength training burns fat, how it can help you lose more fat, get ripped abs and other benefits of strength training.

Strength Training Burns Fat

While the best way to burn fat is through aerobic exercise, you can also burn fat with certain types of strength training.

The reason is that the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn though normal activities.

You can also combine aerobic exercise with strength training to get a double whammy effect against fat.

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Don’t Worry about Bulking Up

Strength training doesn’t necessarily have to bulk you up. It can actually tone your body and help build your muscles just enough to help hold your body in more perfect alignment.

Doing so can help you appear thinner and reduce body fat at the same time.

Try Circuit Training

This is something you can find at different studios that involve doing each machine for a specific period of time – usually at a fast pace.

It’s a good way to get both cardio in and strength training. Usually, there is little or no rest in between each machine and exercise is done in between machines.

Isometric Weight Training

This is a type of resistance training where you use the weights by holding them at certain angles for 30 seconds to one minute instead of doing faster repetitions.

This kind of strength training can also be done without weights. For instance, doing planks works well too. It increases strength and stamina.

High Volume Training

This type of strength training involves working one muscle group per week, concentrating on cardiovascular the rest of the time.

This gives the muscle groups ample time to recover allowing for the best and most efficient building of strength training without bulking up your muscles. You can have long, lean muscles with high volume training.

Core Exercises

Doing core strength training exercises such as Pilates and yoga will help your body become a fat burning furnace.

Try hot yoga, or purchase a Pilates machine to use at home for no excuse workouts that build endurance while building strength.

The better shape your core is in, the better your fitness level will be and the more fat you’ll burn.

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How Does Strength Training Help You Lose More Fat?

The vast majority exercises regularly do not do it to enhance their flexibility, increase strength, or build muscle. They do it to keep their body fat percentage low.

But what exactly is the best and most efficient way to lose weight?

Is it spending as many hours as possible on the treadmill?

Running for miles up a hilly terrain?

Or could it be engaging in High-Intensity Interval Training during your workouts?

While these 3 methods are effective in their own ways, there’s a secret fat loss weapon that many women are yet to discover – weight training, which also increases strength.

Yes, weight lifting is the best way to go if you want to lose weight permanently and in the fastest way possible. But how does it work?

Well, here’s a look at how lifting weights leads to significant loss of weight.

 

It Burns Calories Continuously

The secret to losing weight is burning more calories than you eat. When the body stays in a calorie-deprived state for long, it starts burning through its own tissue for fuel.

Weightlifting helps your body remain at a constant calorie-deprived state by initiating the burning of calories during and long after your workout routine.

Lifting gives you a great burn during exercise where a routine as simple and short as a circuit of eight moves can burn 160 to over 200 calories.

Additionally, studies show that a well-designed weightlifting routine can elevate your metabolism by up to 39 hours after the workout.

The reason for this, after a weightlifting routine, muscles need energy to repair their fibers, which they get by burning calories.

The heavier the weights you lift, the higher and longer your metabolism rate gets elevated.

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It Triggers More Fat Loss

Cardio activity only burns calories during workouts, which means you do not get to burn fat when not exercising.

With weightlifting, however, you burn a great deal of calories during and after your workouts. This translates to more fat burned between sets as well as during the workout itself.

 

It Increases Muscle

It’s no secret that weight lifting results in a direct increase in muscle mass.

This is why many steer clear from this form of training due to fear of developing a man-like muscular physique.

What most people do not know, however, is that the more muscle you have to contract, the more calories you burn.

So, if you have a large percentage of muscle mass in your body, you end up burning more calories when you engage in any form of physical activity (be it lifting dumbbells, doing squats, or even the simple act of walking) than someone with low muscle percentage.

Whether you have struggled with weight loss for a while or simply want to tone up fast, strength training can help.

Just make sure to avoid overdoing it and include a proper diet and aerobic training to the mix. This way, you’ll avoid injury and enjoy more profound results.

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Get Ripped Abs by Doing Basic Strength Training

The best way to get hard ripped abs is by doing some strength training.  Increasing your core’s strength has many benefits and strength training is the most important in this case.

 

Strength training is not running on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, or using an elliptical machine.

Although those types of aerobic machines use “resistance” to increase your workout intensity, it’s not the same as strength training.

Strength training is structured according to different goals throughout the season, just as training is structured around key races.

This type of training is a fancy way of describing the process of building muscle power by lifting free weights or working out against resistance, by using equipment like Nautilus or Universal machines or by working against large elastic bands.

While “aerobics” was the exercise catchword of the 1970’s and 80’s, strength training is the trend of the 1990’s, hailed as a critically important complement to aerobics in a total fitness program.

 

Strength training is linked to high bone mineral density in adults of all ages and both sexes.

Osteoporosis is a type of skeletal deterioration, characterized by decreasing bone density that weakens the bone structure (Graves and Franklin 2001).

It is performing a lift for several repetitions, 10-20 generally is recommended for children.

There is such a high level of concentration for weightlifting that the chance of injury outweighs any potential benefit.

Likewise, this kind of training is a great way to spice things up and add a completely different challenge to your body. The nice thing about strength training is that it offers so many ways to set up your workouts.

There’s always something new to try and you never run out of new exercises, different types of resistance, new routines and a variety of ways to work your body. It is any exercise you do against some kind of resistance.

This resistance can be machines, free weights, tubing or your own body weight. It is essential for optimal health, fitness, and function; this is especially true in the over-50 audience.

The challenge is in making strength training safe, sensible, and effective, given the specific needs of this market segment.

Strength training is the practice of using free weights, weight machines, and rubber resistance bands to build muscles. With resistance, the muscles have to work extra hard to move.

It is done FIRST following the warm-up on days when you do both strength and cardio training. This will optimize the hormonal response that maximizes your body’s ability to build and develop muscle.

It is primarily an anaerobic activity, although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.

Strength training differs from bodybuilding, weightlifting, power-lifting and strongman, which are sports rather than forms of exercise.

This training is a great way to improve strength, endurance, and muscle tone. But remember to start slowly, use proper form, avoid heavy weights, and increase workouts gradually to prevent injury.

 

It is important for cardiac health because heart disease risk is lower when the body is leaner.

One study found that cardiac patients gained not only strength and flexibility but also aerobic capacity when they did strength training three times a week as part of their rehabilitation program.

This training is critical for combating frailty and disability, for increasing strength and mobility, for staying active and self-sufficient.

Research has consistently shown the fitness and health benefits of strength training for older adults.

 

Strength training is physical activity intended to increase muscle strength and mass.

Adults who engage in strength training are less likely to experience loss of muscle mass ( 1 ), functional decline ( 2 ), and fall-related injuries than adults who do not strength train ( 3 ).

This type of training is not just for male bodybuilders and competitive athletes. It is for everyone and yields many benefits to the human body, internally and externally.

Other Benefits of Strength Training

The benefits of a good strength training program are almost endless. Less disease, happiness and most importantly, showing off your muscles at the beach.

Strength training should be part of everyone’s routine. Even if you are low on time, strength training.

According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), it only needs to be done 2-3 times per week with each session lasting no more than one hour. For 2-3 hours per week, huge benefits can be realized.

 

Regular strength training will:
  • help you in a day to day activities around the house and in your yard.
  • keep you independent which is especially important in the older population. Imagine not being able to lift a 5-pound bag of flour or take the garbage out by yourself.
  • lower the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, and diabetes.
  • help you avoid lower back pain.
  • increase bone density which is important for post-menopausal women.
  • increase muscle mass which burns more calories throughout the day than an equal amount of fat.

Even with all these benefits, many people are reluctant to start training with weights. Concerns include injury, incorrect form and for women; not wanting to grow muscles and look like a man.

When beginning your strength training program, the risk of getting hurt can be greatly reduced by starting out with machines rather than free weights.

As you become more comfortable with the machines, slowly learn to use free weights. If you want to stick with the machines, know that they will give you the same benefits as free weights.

As for the concern that women will look like men, it won’t happen without the help of steroids, which you shouldn’t even consider using.

Sometimes when we think of being healthy, we think of eating and running. While these are important, strength training should never be left out.

Strength training provides benefits to your health that cannot be found with any other mode of exercise and shouldn’t be forgotten.

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Workout With An Elliptical Trainer

elliptical-trainer

Elliptical trainers are a great way to burn calories and lose weight to stay in shape and fit. They suit people of all ages and can be conveniently used at home.

Some elliptical trainers can also be folded away o make the maximum usage of space. Elliptical trainers are also known as elliptical exercise trainers, cross trainers, stair master and by many other names.

The companies, which manufacture the elliptical exercise trainers, are Proform, Nordic, Healthrider & Weslo Momentum. They make various models to suit the needs of all people.

Elliptical trainers are available for as less as $300, however these models will offer the very basic functions. At times they are not made of good quality material.

It’s important that when you work out, you have all the functions, which are required. It’s possible to get a balance of both cost and the functions.

In fact, there are many good options for the review reader which can help you to buy the elliptical exercise trainers and at discounted prices too.

You can look at the stores where they retail or can buy during the holiday season, when there are discounts available on all products and services. You can also look for a used elliptical exercise trainer.

Elliptical exercise trainers are a great way to lose weight. In fact the same number of calories would be burned on an elliptical exercise trainer as you would in jogging for the same amount of time.

While one is working out on, keep the shoulders relaxed on the elliptical exercise trainer and don’t lean too far. Try to keep the heart rate and the pulse rate at the optimum level.

In fact the control panel can tell you the optimum levels for your current workout and help you to stay in great shape.

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Exercise with an Elliptical Cross Trainer

This part will cover the top 6 reasons you should work out with an Elliptical Cross Trainer.

The Elliptical Cross Trainer has become one of the most popular methods of exercise for the reasons you are about to discover right here.

This exercise machine has easily risen above that of the treadmill and other exercise equipment because of its overall workout scheme.

So sit back, relax, and read on. You will learn the many different reasons that you too should be working out with an Elliptical Cross trainer.

Reason number one – An elliptical cross trainer provides the user with a workout using weight-bearing exercises.

A weight-bearing workout works to improve a wide variety of aspects of your body.

For example, by using an elliptical cross trainer you can increase your bone density, improve conditioning, burn calories, and strengthen your muscles. All these benefits you can get by using one exercise machine.

Reason number two – With an Elliptical Cross Trainer you will receive a low impact workout.

This is extremely important to anyone who chooses to exercise to maintain his or her health. A low impact workout means you are putting less stress upon your bones and joints while you are exercising.

The trainer has pedals that you use during cross training and your feet will never have to leave those pedals. This decreases the amount of impact placed on your body.

Reason number three – Improve your overall fitness by using an extensive cardiovascular workout.

This is one of the key factors that tempt many people to exercise with an Elliptical Cross Trainer. A cardiovascular workout is essential to promoting good circulation and overall heart health.

Reason number four – With your Elliptical Cross Trainer you will receive a total body workout.

From head to toe and everywhere in between, the Elliptical Cross Trainer allows you to work every muscle.

Some other exercise machines only work on specific areas of the body, meaning you would need a few different machines for a full body workout.

The elliptical cross trainer does that for you with one machine for a total body workout.

Reason number five – Lose weight with an elliptical cross trainer

Because the cross trainer gives your entire body a workout, with exercise and a proper diet you could find yourself losing weight while toning your body at the same time.

Reason number six – Maximum results in less time. This is another key factor that lures people to the Elliptical Cross Trainer.

Because you get a total body workout, those with a busy life and little time left to spare find that exercising on the elliptical cross trainer provides you with maximum results in less time.

This allows you to get the benefits of exercising and still have enough time in the day for other activities.

As you can see, there are many benefits to working out with an Elliptical Cross Trainer.

If you find the proper machine, do the right exercises and follow a healthy diet regimen, you will have no problem benefiting from all that an Elliptical Cross Trainer can offer.

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Why You Should Settle For An Elliptical Cross Trainer

Elliptical cross trainers are simply one of the bestsellers in the fitness market today. Want to know why?

Because it is so easy to assemble, simple to operate, and gives the body a full workout. And who could possibly say no to an absolutely no impact routine?

Do you need more convincing to buy an elliptical cross trainer instead of all the other fitness equipment being offered to you?

Here are more information enough to push you towards purchasing an elliptical cross trainer instead of a treadmill or stationary bikes.

1. It is more effective than any other fitness machine.

Some research were made and it was concluded that elliptical cross trainers are effective in terms of promoting oxygen consumption, maintaining good heart rate, and expediting calorie burn.

Motorized treadmills are the devices that come close to elliptical machines if these benefits are considered. But they all fall short on other relatively important features.

2. It is the only one with the lowest impact produced.

No fitness equipment can provide a full exercise routine with zero impact on the joints and some muscles.

And because of this low-tension feature, exercising with an elliptical trainer ensures the body not to cause any orthopedic problems and injuries. No other fitness equipment can top that!

3. It has the lowest perceived exertion.

A lot of studies show that people using elliptical cross trainers think and feel the workout to be simpler than any other equipment. But that is just a perception.

The reality is, they are burning as much fats as they would use other trainers, but they do not feel as exhausted.

They get the same results but with lesser body strain. And what do users the gain? They tend to exercise more and still have enough energy to last the day.

4. Elliptical cross trainers produce the best total body workout.

While treadmills and stationary bikes tend to work out only the lower body, elliptical cross trainers offer the best full body workout.

It does not only work the legs, which seem to be the favorite of other equipment. It works out the arms, the hips, and the shoulders as well.

5. Elliptical cross trainers are the only one to offer exercise variation.

Elliptical cross trainers are very versatile. It provides for a forward or a backward motion. Some models have features where you can turn it to stationary bike with steady handles.

It has adjustable levers to determine the level of toughness of the workout. No other fitness equipment can offer this much versatility.

6. It provides noiseless operation.

A lot of other exercise equipment has quiet operation. And this is one of the good features that an elliptical fitness trainer has as well.

It ensures operation as quiet as a whisper. This makes it ideal to be used in condominiums and apartment complexes.

7. Elliptical cross trainers require minimal maintenance.

To complement the all-inclusive good features of an elliptical trainer, manufacturers constructed it in such a way users need not worry about maintaining and keeping it in tip-top condition.

The most cleaning it requires is a little wiping and polishing, and you’re done.

8. Elliptical cross trainers are designed for a safe and comfortable workout.

No other fitness equipment considers your safety and comfort better than an elliptical cross trainer. A lot of models are ergonomically designed for comfort while still prioritizing the user’s safety and security.

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Elliptical Trainer Warm-ups for Free Weights and Martial Arts

Most people who use elliptical trainers depend on them to give them a full body workout.

Granted they do have the ability to work both the upper and lower body if used properly, one thing they do not do is build strength and bone mass that many people need to maintain good fitness.

Elliptical trainers are excellent in protecting joints while giving a great aerobic workout,

If you are a free weight lifter or a martial arts enthusiast you have probably developed a regular routine of stretching and warming up that protects your joints and muscle during your workout session.

As you get older you start to lose some of you flexibility and your warm ups and stretching take longer and in some cases can be painful.

Some of you have begun to use treadmills and steppers to help in the overall body warm ups. Even more recently you have begun to use the elliptical trainers in your gym as part of your pre-workout warm-ups.

Elliptical trainers are great for warming up the upper body before using heavy free weights. They are also great on days when the weather is cold and you need to do extra warm-ups.

The goal is to get warm without wasting energy in aerobic exercise, Normally, an elliptical trainer will give a good warm-up in less than 10 minutes.

You will still need to do your stretching exercises especially if you are doing heavy benching and squats.

In an effort to reduce injuries our Tai Kwon Do instructors recently added two Nautilus elliptical trainers to your dojang.

They gave a demo of how the elliptical trainer routines helped give a no impact warm-up. Your black belt class soon was using the elliptical trainers before every class.

Now, if you want to warm up prior to class you should get there at least an hour early to have access to one of the elliptical trainers.

Initially, it appears that using the elliptical trainers is helping reduce injuries. Again, you still have to complete your forms and stretching prior to conducting sparring, bag and pad work.

As a result of the demand for elliptical trainer time the dojang is acquiring 3 additional Reebok elliptical trainers.

If you are like most experienced martial artists you have several old injuries that require special attention during warm-ups.

It seems that the elliptical trainers really shine in keeping these areas warm and loose.

Elliptical trainers do give and excellent upper and lower body aerobic workouts. At least 3 days a week should be dedicated to aerobic cross training.

An additional benefit of using elliptical trainers is their ability to give a full body warm-up prior to intense free weight exercise routines.

Due to their low joint impact, they are also an excellent way to warm up joints that may have been damaged by previous injuries.

Preventing and reducing injuries is key to maintaining lifelong fitness. The use of elliptical trainers may help in this endeavor.

With all these features of an elliptical cross trainer, you should be able to conclude by now that this equipment is a wise buy. Elliptical cross trainer makes your body fit with the least time required.

And because of these good features, gone were the days that you dreaded to do a full body workout.

Instead, you will be looking forward to it everyday. Exercising has never been so fulfilling and enjoying at the same time.

Do not think twice. Get an elliptical cross trainer yourself today. You would not regret buying one.

In fact, you will be so pleased with your purchase you wished you have had it a lot sooner than now. Don’t be left behind. Get one and reward yourself.

Being in great shape can become your lifelong condition if you begin now, why wait?

 

 

Exercise and Movements Eases Arthritis

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First off, check first some simple tips to relieve  arthritis pain and preventing arthritis through exercise. Afterward, find out how water exercise and yoga relieve arthritis pains.

10 Easy Tips for Arthritis Pain Relief

Think you can’t stop that arthritis pain? Great news! You can act now. Get 10 super easy and effective arthritis pain relief tips from arthritis experts and make your life with arthritis a little easier now.

1. Protect your joints.

Don’t keep your joints in the same position for a prolonged period of time. Balance your rest and work throughout the day. Use the strongest joints available for the job.

2. Stretch it.

Stretching should be part of every arthritis patient’s daily routine.

A good stretch helps prevent injuries by warming up muscles and tendons which are more limber and less likely to tear.

Spend at least 10 minutes each day stretching, and work each major muscle group.

3. Cool it down.

Stop physical activity. Rest in a cool or shaded environment.

Spray with a mist of cool water or wrap an ice pack or cold compress in a towel and apply it to reduce arthritis pain and swelling.

4. Get moving.

Exercise can help reduce joint pain and stiffness and increases flexibility and muscle strength.

It can also help with weight control, stress management, and make you feel better overall. The Arthritis Foundation also offers water exercise and other classes.

5. Get a massage.

Massage therapy can relieve your pain, soothe stiff sore muscles, reduce inflammation and swelling.

Make sure you use oil or cream on your fingers to make it more gentle. Work the area for five to ten minutes a day if possible.

6. Keep your weight in balance.

Being overweight, even just moderately, impacts weight-bearing joints and can increase the pain of arthritis.

Studies have indicated that losing extra weight lowers the risk for developing osteoarthritis of the knee. Losing weight can help slow the progression of arthritis too.

7. Get a diagnosis.

If you are experiencing symptoms like pain, stiffness, swelling for more than 1 weeks, you should consider seeing your doctor and getting a diagnosis.

Remember that there are more than 100 types of arthritis. It is important to get the specific diagnosis for the type of arthritis you have.

8. Take your medication the right way.

Don’t stop taking your medication just because you feel it is not working. Check with your doctor first.

You need to understand that it may take several days to several months for a medication to become effective.

9. Look out for new options.

Recently FDA has approved some new drugs for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritis diseases.

If feel that the current medication doesn’t work well, check with your doctor about possible new options.

10. Keep educating yourself.

It is important to learn something new about arthritis. Find some good websites online and subscribe to their newsletter if they have it.

Join one of two active online arthritis communities like forums or bulletin board. Never hesitate to see your doctors and ask questions.

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Exercise and Arthritis

Your bones hang out in a lot of joints. Knee joints. Hip joints. The joints in your fingers and the joints in your toes.

Wherever bones meet, there is also cartilage, a rubbery, protective layer that ensures your joints bend smoothly and painlessly. But even cartilage cannot do this tremendous job alone.

A thin membrane called the “synovium” provides the fluid that lubricates the moving parts of the joint. When the cartilage wears out of the synovium becomes inflamed, the result is generally a case of “osteoarthritis” or “rheumatoid arthritis.”

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage can be eroded so much that bone does rub on bone. Thos type of arthritis develops gradually over a lifetime as a simple result of the wear and tear placed on your joints over the years. Very few people escape some degree of osteoarthritis, though the severity varies a great deal.

As a matter of fact, if you are over the age of 50, you are likely to have at least one joint affected by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects men and women equally and is by far the most common type of arthritis, with almost 16 million Americans in the list.

In rheumatoid arthritis, damage to the synovium is at the source of trouble. Doctors and researchers are not absolutely sure what causes it, but most think that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system actually attacks certain tissues in the body, including those that connect the joints and the synovium.

Rheumatoid arthritis begins with swollen, red, stiff, and painful joints, but it may progress until scar tissue forms in the joint or, in extreme cases, until the bones actually fuse together.

Almost 75% of the 2 million people with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States are women. The disease can hit as early as teen years.

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Exercise – Your Prevention Options

Investing a little time in developing a good weight-bearing low-impact exercise and stretching plan can add up to great results when it comes to staving off arthritis pain. Strong muscles help protect the joints from wear and tear, and the movement keeps joints flexible.

That is why the quest for fitness is at hand, even if you are 50 years and over. However, most Americans over 50 are still right where they always were sitting back and watching others jog by.

Most of them contend that that is just for people who have been athletic all their life, or some say exercise is for young people and engaging into exercise will do them more harm than good.

There are still some that insist on excusing their selves in exercise routines because they do not just have time or they have less energy than ever before. These are all lame excuses. Hence, it is time to start to get rid of those pains. Start exercising.

Consequently, preventing arthritis is not an exact science, but physicians have discovered a few ways to lower your risk. Here is how:

1. Do not weight around

The single most important measure anyone can take to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee is to lose weight if they are overweight. Extra weight puts extra stress on your knees.

If you are 10 pounds overweight, for example, you put 60 pounds per square inch of extra pressure on your knees every time you take a step. That extra pressure can slowly but surely erode the cartilage in your knees, leading to arthritis.

A study has clearly supported the theory that weight loss weighs in on the side of prevention. In the study, overweight women who lost 11 pounds or more over a 10-year period decreased their risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

2.Stretch those muscles

Any kind of stretching is good as long as you do not bounce, which can lead to a muscle pull. This is according to some of the professors of clinical medicine in New York City.

Try to hold a slow, steady stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, then relax and repeat. It is best to flex up by stretching before any exercise, especially running and walking. But it is also a good idea to stretch each day.

Ask your doctor to teach you stretches that focus on potential arthritis trouble spots, such as the knees or the lower back.

3. Walking is always the best exercise

Take a good long walk at least three times a week or participate in a step-aerobics or low-impact exercise routine maximum results.

There is no proof that running is bad for the joints, but remember, it may aggravate an injury if you already have one. Just remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

The bottom line is that of all the healthful habits, exercise is the most important. This is because people are designed to be active. Hence, it is really important for people to exercise in order to stay healthy and keep those joints free from wear and tear.

Just keep in mind that the unexercised body, even if free from the symptoms of illness or problems like arthritis, is not at its full potential. Hence, start exercising right now!

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Water Exercise for Arthritis Relief – Fun & Effective

Everybody knows exercise is a significant part of staying healthy. As anyone with arthritis can tell you, though, when your joints say no to play, exercise goes from pleasurable and stimulating activity into a trial of how much pain you can tolerate.

The tendency when suffering from arthritis is to keep your joints as motionless as possible.  The problem is that this leads to weakening of the muscles and tendons and a stiffening of joints, which makes the pain worse over time. It is a self-feeding cycle difficult to break out of.

One solution comes in the form of The Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program, a warm water exercise program designed by the Arthritis Foundation.

Why warm water exercise? The warmth offered by hot water allows muscles to relax and intensifies circulation of blood to the joints. In fact, ever since the discovery of the first hot springs, humans have used the miracle of warm water baths to fight aching joints.

Besides reducing the pain in your joints, exercising in water permits body weight to be supported.  This makes exercising in water easier, safer and more relaxing.  Not only that, but the resistance that water provides as your body moves in it helps strengthen muscles

These days, what with spas, health clubs, and backyard hot tubs, just about anyone has access to a pool of hot water to relax in.

Not only does this bring some immediate relief of arthritis symptoms, but it also provides us with a great environment in which we can exercise.

You should consult your doctor before beginning water exercise.  Water exercise is completely safe for most people, with a few exceptions.  If you’ve have suffered serious joint damage or replacement surgery you may be among them.

Your doctor will know what’s right for you.  Also be aware of temperature. Water between 83 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for exercise.  Anything over 100 degrees may be relaxing, but can lead to overheating. After you’ve gotten the doctor go ahead, it’s time to get started.

The Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program exercises can be found in the free brochure “Water Exercise: Pools, Spas and Arthritis” from the Arthritis Foundation.

Classes are also offered at local pools nationwide—contact your local Arthritis Foundation office for information.  The classes are lead by a trained instructor, usually last between 45 minutes to an hour and are scheduled 2 to 3 times a week.

With a doctor’s guidance, whether at a local pool or at home, a water exercise program is a fun and effective way to combat arthritis and keep joints and muscles healthy.

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Yoga: The Holistic Treatment for Arthritis Pain Relief

Living with arthritis pain is not something that anyone would like to happen to them. Many people suffer the aches and pains of damaged or inflamed joints.

Some are just uncomfortable, and some become crippled as a result of a disease that has been recognized since prehistoric times but understood only in the past few decades.

Arthritis affects the joints, specifically where the areas in the body where two or more bones meet. There are several different parts of the joint that may be affected by arthritis, such as cartilage, synovium, tendons, and muscles.

The neighboring ends of bones that form the joints are covered by a soft, protective material called cartilage that cushions the bones and keeps them from rubbing together. The joint is also enclosed in a capsule and lined with a tissue called synovium.

The term arthritis covers a group of more than 100 diseases that involve inflammation of joints and discomfort in connective tissues throughout the body. In many parts of the world, the disease is called rheumatism.

Arthritis is a frequent conversational topic because it affects so many people. It is estimated that about one out of every seven people in America have arthritis in some form and the need to find arthritis pain relief is on top of most sufferers’ minds.

It could mean taking a pill, performing gentle exercises, stretching or trying some other means to obtain relief such as yoga.

Yoga is an ancient practice using a system of postures and breath controls, which aim to achieve the perfect union of body, mind, and spirit.

Yoga can be customized to help with a wide range of specific conditions including chronic pain conditions such migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and arthritis.

Yoga for arthritis pain relief does not necessarily mean bending and contorting the body into weird and impossible positions just to get comfort from the pain.

It is enough that a person suffering from arthritis may practice breathing and self-awareness, the core of yoga practices.

While stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits.

The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose.

The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.

Yoga poses can be tailored for different joints. A common arthritic problem is swelling of the fingers and knuckle joints.

In this case, if the condition is not too severe and the person suffers mild to moderate pain, a series of poses can be worked on that lengthen and spread the fingers. Hand stretches also create energy flow to the area that eventually moves to the fingers.

Experts say that the heat is really good for the joints.  As a therapeutic practice, yoga helps a person create heat through deliberate breathing and movement.

 

How To Start Your Strength Training Program?

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Start a Lasting Strength Training routine. Find out the initial steps that you must do, some strength training strategies that work and some strength training tips for osteoporosis prevention.

This first part deals with the first stage of a successful strength training routine, goals and a plan for reaching them.

Step I: Setting Goals

All goals, from successful entrepreneur to earning a doctorate starts off as an idea in your head. Writing down your goals on paper is a good step towards making those dreams a reality.

Setting the goal of getting stronger and shaping your body is no different. So, the first step you must take is getting a notebook that you can dedicate to your new workout routine.

Once you have your notebook dedicate the first page to all of your goals, this can be anything from getting in shape for a healthier lifestyle or getting strong enough beat up your brother.

Next, break down your goals by the amount of time you expect it to take to reach them. It’s a really good idea to set short and long term goals.

Reaching short term goals gives you that extra boost you’ll need to sustain a long term fitness routine and reach some of your bigger, longer term goals. Here is a sample list of goals:

Short Term Goals:

1: Bench press 150 lbs.

2: Keep my routine going for at least a month

3: Be able to do 50 push-ups

Long Term Goals:

1: Bench press 200 lbs.

2: Keep my routine going for 3 months

3: Do 100 pushups

4: Look good for prom

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Step II: The Plan

Flip to the next blank page in your fitness journal and write a schedule for working out.

A 3 day a week commitment is great for beginners because excessive strength training can damage the body, particularly if you haven’t been active lately.

If possible, leave a day between every workout session. This allows your body to recuperate from the stress and rigors of strength training.

If you can’t spread out your workout sessions, focus on one muscle group during each session. This will increase the effectiveness of your workouts and also prevent damage being done to your body.

Next, plan your workout routine. A good routine will include stretches to warm up your body. Stretching before workout sessions is also a good way to prevent injuries and remain limber.

Starting off with a few push-ups and crunches is also a great way to gear your body up for a tough weight training routine.

Now, get out your journal and set dates and times for your fitness sessions, be very specific and make sure you have enough to time warm up and cool down.

Decide what muscle groups you’ll be working each day and design a workout routine specifically for yourself.

This will prevent you from competing against Joe Blow next to you who has been regularly working out for the past 5 years and keep you on track to reach your goals.

Step III: Your First Workout

Your first workout ever is not going to be your “normal routine”. Rather, you’re going to use your first session to gauge how in-shape you are.

Start with stretches of course and then perform some of these exercises to determine your physical condition: See how many crunches, sit, pull and chin ups you can do in a minute.

Next, check your max. Max means the maximum weight you can lift during an exercise. You can do this with bench press, leg press, curling, chest press, shoulder press, squats, and almost any other strength training exercise.

Next, you’re going to want to the amount of weight you can rep with every strength training exercise you plan to do.  “Rep” means to perform an exercise frequently without stopping.

Write down all your results in your fitness journal and date it. You’ll use this to track your progress which will also keep you motivated to continue your strength training routine.

Hopefully, this helps you understand the importance of keeping a log of your fitness routine because it can mean the difference between exercising for a week and exercising for life.

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Strength Training Strategies That Actually Work

Over the years there has been a surge of different strength training techniques that have come onto the market and just faded away.

Here we discuss the training strategies to gain the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest time possible that have stood up to the test of time.

Most of these strength-training strategies have been around for years but are not followed by many training systems these days. Let’s look at a few below that actually work.

1. Training Frequency

The two main components of strength training are the intensity of the exercise and the recovery after the exercise.

Infrequent, short, high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger is what is needed to increase functional muscle size in the shortest period of time.

The latest research has repeatedly shown that muscles over-compensate (become stronger) up to a week after the previous workout, provided that the muscles are trained to failure.

Remember it’s not the training volume but the intensity and recuperation that are important when it comes to gains in strength and muscle.

2. Exercises Per Session

Tests under strict gym conditions have revealed that you’ve only got a limited amount of (readily available) energy to use for a weight training session.

Blood tests on individuals have also revealed that blood sugar levels (available energy) drop dramatically after 20 to 30 minutes of high intensity training.

As you only have a short period of time to train before our blood sugar level drops, “Exercise Selection” is crucial.

You have to use Multi-Joint or Compound movements, as this offer the most training stimulus for the available amount of time.

In other words, we can train many muscles simultaneously and thus use our energy more efficiently.

Performing three to four exercises with high intensity during a session are what most people are capable of. All the main structures of the body are worked hard during this time.

Working on these big compound movements has a knock-on effect throughout the whole body; there is no need for specialization techniques or isolation movements.

The fact is, the whole body is worked hard, rest and recuperation is allowed to take place and at the next exercise session you push out a few more reps than before with the same weight, then you have gotten stronger muscle.

3. Number of Sets Per Exercise

After performing one complete set a compound exercise to total failure, it should be just about impossible to generate the same force and intensity for another complete set of the same exercise.

If you’re able to generate the same force and intensity for this second set then it’ll be pretty obvious that not enough effort has been put into the first set.

Thus, you’ll have to raise the intensity level you put out for the first set.

If you give the first set 100% effort and work the exercise hard to total failure. For example, you cannot move the bar after the last rep.

Then, there will be not more requirement for further muscle stimulation on that specific exercise.

If you think that volume training (multiple sets) is more effective then you’re wrong! The latest research shows that single set training is as beneficial as multiple set training.

Training one set will decrease the chances of over-training. It will also allow you to save more energy for other exercises required during the workout.

4. Number of Repetitions Per Set

The development of muscle and strength is interrelated, it always has been. Strength training Sessions produce increases in strength that is equal to increases in functional muscle. You’ll become stronger and you’ll grow muscle.

Cycling intensity through changes in repetitions and weight throughout a ten-week program is an effective way to maintain progression and avoid training plateaus (slumps in strength).

Repetitions can be cycled. The higher repetition range will stimulate the slow twitch muscle fibers and promote endurance.

Moving further down the scale, the lower repetition range will activate the fast twitch muscle fibers and increase strength and muscle size.

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Strength Training Tips for Osteoporosis Prevention

What’s one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis? According to many experts in the field of bone health, it’s exercise.

More specifically, strength training offers many benefits for men and women at risk of bone loss from osteoporosis.

Strength training, also called resistance training, uses resistance from free weights, resistance bands, and water exercise or weight machines to help build strength in muscles.

It also can help work on the bones to prevent the loss of minerals that weaken them.

In fact, according to sports doctors, strength training can increase your bone strength, reduce your risk of osteoporosis, improve the strength of your connective tissues, which increases joint stability and increase the functional strength of your muscles.

If you already have osteoporosis, say doctors, strength training can still benefit you in many ways, but you should work with your doctor or an experienced physical therapist to design a workout that will benefit your bones without increasing the risk of stress or compression fractures.

If your main intent is to prevent osteoporosis, you should work with heavier weights and more resistance.

A study conducted at the University of Arizona and published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise gives some answers to that.

In that study, scientists recruited 140 post-menopausal women with a history of sedentary lifestyle for a year-long regimen of three time’s weekly workouts.

The women performed eight exercises specifically chosen to work on particular muscle groups. Scientists took bone scans both before and after the study.

The results showed that the chosen exercises had a measurable effect on the bones of the hips, site of the most common fractures in post-menopausal women.

They also found that the greater the amount of total weight lifted over the course of the year, the greater the benefits to the bones.

If you’re just starting a resistance and strength training program, doctors and physical therapists offer the following tips:

Consult your doctor and follow a program designed by a physical therapist which takes your strengths and needs into account.
Work out at a gym or health club under the supervision of professionals who can help monitor and adjust your workout program.
Start slow and build gradually. Strength and resistance training is a slow process.
Never increase weights in resistance training more than 10% at a time because increasing more than that risks injury.
Lift and lower weights slowly. Avoid ‘jerking’ them up to avoid injury.
Perform your resistance workout every third day.
Avoid exercise that puts a lot of strain on your joints and bones, and stay away from the rowing machine. The bending required puts your spine at risk of compression fractures.
If any area is particularly tender or stiff immediately after a workout, apply ice to it for 10-15 minutes to reduce inflammation.

 

Proper exercise, weight control and a healthy diet all contribute to keeping your bones strong and preventing the loss of bone density due to osteoporosis. Do your bones a favor and give them a good workout a couple of times a week.

 

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How Busy Women Should Exercise To Stay Fit?

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Are you always busy? Fret no more. It’s not an excuse. There are still ways to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle even if you have a hectic schedule.

One time saver trick is to work your fitness opportunities into the course of your day.

Rather than performing one lengthy workout each day, try to find methods of bringing a little fitness activity into the most mundane portions of your day.

Go stair climbing at lunch, park on the top level of the parking garage and walk down-then-up when returning the stairs, park far away from the door of the supermarket and see if your mall has a walking path that is clearly marked.

You’ll be amazed at the hidden opportunities many of us have for exercising during our busy days. The trick is often in discovering the activities rather than the time.

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4 Quick Exercises to Stay Fit

These tried-and-tested exercises can give you quick results with just 10-minute focused workouts every other day. If you’re on a serious mission and feeling really motivated, feel free to go for it every day.

And don’t forget to mix up these moves with some cardio work, even if it’s a game of soccer with the kids or a brisk walk to the park.

Dolphin Kicks

For this exercise, you want to balance your weight on your forearms with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders.

Make sure to pull your shoulder blades down towards the hips (away from your ears) – this will keep the stress off your shoulders.

Extend your hips and spine, pull in your abs (this supports your torso) and bend your right knee slightly off the floor for more support.

First Inhale, and then as you exhale extend your left leg straight out to hip height, contracting the glutes and hamstrings. Your hips should be facing forward at all times.

With a slight bend, return the left leg to meet the opposite supporting leg.

Reps:

Repeat up to 20 repetitions, keeping the torso still, then switch to the other side.

Muscle Focus:

Glutes, hamstrings, abs, and lats

 

Super Butt Kicks

Lay down on your back, placing your arms down by your side. Lift your hips off the floor in a bridge position.

Your right knee should be bent with the heel in line with your sit bone, and your left leg should be extended straight up.

As you inhale, lower your left leg to the floor. Be sure to keep your hips still and maintain the bridge position.

Exhale and bring the leg back up to the start position

Reps:

Repeat up to 20 reps, and then lower your left leg to the floor in the same bent position as the right. Lower your butt to the floor, rest, and change over to the other leg.

Muscle Focus:

Glutes, hamstrings, abs

 

Dead Bug

Lay down on your back with knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Head, neck, and shoulders should be off the floor and hands resting on your knees.

On an exhale, draw in your abs and simultaneously extend your left leg out and your right hand over your head.

Repeat this move, alternating your arms and legs.

Keep your eyes focused on your belly button at all times, and if you start to feel the tension in your neck, lower your head down to the floor. This will get easier as you build more strength in the abs.

Reps:

Build up to 20 repetitions completed twice with a 30-second to 1-minute break. Make sure not to sacrifice form.

Muscle Focus: Abs

 

Side Plank Leg Lifts

Lay down on your side, balancing on your right hip and resting on your right forearm.

Your right elbow should be directly underneath your shoulder and your knees bent and stacked on top of each other.

While exhaling, contract your abs, and lift your hips off the floor.

At the same time, extend your left arm and leg out to the side of your body, making sure to keep the knee and toe facing forward.

Reps:

Try for 10-15 reps, and then turn over onto your other side and repeat.

Muscle Focus:

Glutes, abs

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No Time for Exercise?  Try This!

While it’s generally accepted that multiple 30-60 minute sessions per week are optimal for producing results, the truth is that it’s possible to do a great amount in far less time.

EVERYONE has five minutes a day. The only question is, can anything really useful be done in just 300 seconds?

The answer is a resounding “yes”, but you need to choose your exercises carefully.

If there is such a limited amount of time, the best choice is to pick the most important muscle group. Chest? Back? Shoulders? Legs? All wrong. The abdominals are the most important muscles in the body.

In no particular order, they:

  • protect the low back
  • are vital to sports performance, transferring power from the lower to upper body
  • aid digestion, and massage the internal organs
  • are important for proper, healthy sexual function
  • are “the window to health”

We judge fitness and health more rapidly with a glimpse at the waistline than any other single indication.

  • are vital for posture, which increases physical energy and mood
  • are the cornerstone of your entire fitness program

You’ve never seen someone with toned abdominal muscles and flabby arms and legs, have you? The reverse is not true.

  • are the most important muscle group for physical attractiveness in women

No matter the wonderful definition of arms or legs, if your belly is sagging, you have a problem!

There are other reasons, but one of the best is the fact that of all body parts, the abs tends to be the least favorite body part to work.

They’re hard! That reason alone should be enough to motivate you. Anything other people don’t like working is a golden opportunity for you.

But how can you do anything useful in just five minutes? One daily approach is to perform five minutes of the toughest ab exercises you can find.

And a fantastic tool for this is a “Roller Wheel” available for five dollars at any sporting goods store. Not the fancy ones, just the simple get-on-your-knees variety.

Try this, perform one rep, and take a breath. Then do two reps, and take two breaths.

Then three, and take three breaths…and so on until you can’t go any higher.

Then, drop back to one rep, and start climbing again. When that gets easy, take one breath for every two reps.

An even better method is to break up your exercise into multiple daily sessions.

The roller wheel is useful here as well, but you might want to investigate some of the powerful “Vacuum” exercises from yoga, or the dynamic tension style “stomach flattening” exercises.

In these, you exhale all air and flex the abdominal muscles for several seconds. If you do these properly, even without aerobic exercise your waistline will decrease!

While there is no serious disagreement that longer sessions produce better, and more balanced results, the busiest woman on earth can find five minutes a day and sometimes.

That grip is what it takes to get you started on a new, healthier lifestyle.

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Diet Tips for Busy Women

Staying on your diet can be a challenge for anyone, but for a busy working mom, the challenges can be especially tough.

A busy lifestyle can make it impossible to get to the gym for a daily workout, prepare your meals ahead of time, or even to remember to pack your lunch for work each day.

Being in a rush can make it difficult to stick to your diet when it’s so easy to grab something at the drive through.

Here’s a collection of hints and tips from other busy women that will help you stay on your diet despite all the temptations.

Don’t try to ‘save time’ by eating on the run, or snacking at your desk while you work. No matter how rushed you are, take the time to eat like a civilized human being.

Set the table, put your food on a plate and have a meal. You’ll eat less and feel fuller – and not feel the urge to snack because you ‘haven’t eaten anything all day’.

Cook just what will be eaten. Ignore all those homemaker articles that suggest that you ‘cook for tomorrow’ to save time. Cook one portion per person at each meal.

That way you’ll avoid the temptation to finish off the leftover – and teach your family healthy eating habits.

Unless, you have a systematic way of doing things that your cooked meals for the week are already segregated, packaged and labeled for every meal.

It’s great to bring it to work for lunch or snack or it can be your backup if you are really tight to prepare something fresh.

But doing this strategy takes a lot of planning and preparation beforehand along with discipline to eat only the right portion indicated for that meal.

Get up early enough to eat breakfast at home. The morning rush to get ready may make it tempting to grab something on the way to work or skip breakfast entirely. Don’t do it.

You’ll end up eating up all that saved time – and a lot more calories – with mid-morning trips to the snack machine or fight off the blahs all morning long.

Stock up on easy breakfast foods. A piece of fruit, a container of yogurt and a slice of toast are a healthy, balanced start to your day.

You should also make sure to have a nice supply and cleaned and cut fruits, vegetables, and salad ingredients in your refrigerator in order to make these dishes readily assessable for quick lunches or snacks.

Having these foods readily available will help you resist the temptation to snack on higher calorie prepackaged food while also helping to ensure that you have a ready supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to help you get your 5 servings a day.

You should also keep some conveniently packaged yogurt on hand as a good quick and easy dairy product.

Sugar-free pudding cups are another decent snack for those who need something quick and easy to have on hand.

Most diets suggest that you drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day. If the thought of drinking a half gallon of water makes you queasy, there are ways to make it more appealing.

Stock up on flavored bottled water in the fridge at work and keep one icy cold on your desk.

At home, float mint sprigs or lemon slices in a crystal pitcher. There are no added calories, but oh what a difference in presentation and flavor!

Preparation and planning are essential to successfully meeting your weight loss goals.

By preparing the right amount of nutritious food, you will never even miss the convenience of that high calorie prepackaged meals and snacks that so many of us survive on when not dieting.

 

 

20 Fitness Tips For Beginners To Get Started

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Are you planning to get fit today? Find out some few tips that can help you to take action to get into fitness.

Every New Year, you make it a point to make resolutions and the very first on your list is to go on a diet. But only after a few weeks, you realize that you again failed to do make good on your resolution, just like last year.

Once again, you failed to follow your diet.  You now realize that you have gained more weight and that you are now losing your battle to fight the bulge.

You were dying to wear that long black sexy dress that was displayed on a famous women’s boutique, even if you had the money to buy it. Deep down, you know that you’ll never get to wear it.

If you want to feel good, you must be sure to get proper nutrition. But if you want to achieve complete fitness, you must invest time in exercise.

Being fit gives you more energy, lessens your risk for heart disease and diabetes, while improving your self-esteem. Getting fit is really about you. It is something that you owe to yourself.

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Fitness is not just about looking good but also feeling good. Fitness makes you strong enough to meet your hectic schedule. It makes you wake up in the morning and feel rejuvenated.

Losing weight through fitness routines is good especially if one also takes weight loss pills prescribed by a doctor. If you had enough energy and you don’t feel sluggish then you will be ready for anything.

Fitness is not is not about being thin or trying to be skinny. A woman’s weight should also correspond to her height. Everything is about measurement and balance.

Being fit is not only about the size you wear rather, fitness is a lifetime investment and it is a way to cope with emergencies.

It means eating right, getting adequate sleep, relaxation, and exercise.  You don’t have to look like the next supermodel in the making. It’s just about being strong and beautiful at the same time.

Staying fit is a combination of diet and exercise. It shouldn’t be painful. It should be fun. Each fitness program is different.  What is good for you might not be good for others.

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When you decide to change your lifestyle for the sake of good health then start with a good diet.  Eating small meals a day throughout the day helps the body work more efficiently.

Along with diet, any simple exercise for an hour or so will help you lose pounds. Get up and be on the move. Don’t be a couch potato.

Aerobic exercise is an excellent way to have more energy. If you want to speed up the results the results, then go for a more extensive exercise program.

You are unique. Listen to your body. Know what fitness program give you enormous benefits. Fitness should give you more strength, flexibility, speed, and endurance.

Don’t copy someone else’s fitness program. Explore what’s best for you. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time.

Don’t make unrealistic goals and stop worrying how other people regard you.

So what if you don’t meet society’s standards. You’re doing this, first and foremost, for yourself and for your wellbeing.

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20 Fitness Tips for Beginners

Getting fit is on the minds of most people.  However, many people are not consistent and fail in the first three months of an exercise program.

But if it becomes a habit and they stick to it, something magical happens after four months.  You are finally getting the results you expect and chances are you will continue with the exercise program.

If you’re thinking of starting a new fitness regime, use these 10 tips for beginners to make sure that you reach your goals.

1. Make Your Workout Worth It

If you want to get the most out of your workout, you need to remember that around 80% of the results that you get from your workout actually come from just 20% of your workout.

That means that in an hour’s session, only 12 minutes of the workout will contribute to the bulk of your results. You need to make those minutes really count.

Use compound movements that work for more than one muscle group at a time to really make the most of your time

2. Remember To Eat Healthy

Anybody shaping goals can only be achieved by eating a healthy diet. If you’re going to the gym so that you can go home and eat a double triple cheeseburger with a 2-person serving of French fries, you won’t do your body any favors.

You should make sure that you eat in moderation, and remember that if you’re burning off more calories, you will need to eat that little bit more so that you have enough energy. Balance your nutrition and avoid faddy diets.

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3. Change Your Eating Habits

You need to make sure that you eat properly as well as eating healthily. Eating properly includes eating at the right times of the day.

Skipping breakfast is a really bad idea and you shouldn’t eat too late in the evening either. Speak to a personal trainer about what would work for you so that you can achieve your goals.

4. Plan Out Your Routine

To make sure that you know just when you’re going to be working out and when you can look forward to some downtime, you really should come up with a plan. Remember to include rest days and be realistic about how much time you can make free.

Remember to stick to your schedule as much as possible so that you don’t slide into the habit of skipping the gym and make your targets achievable.

5. Make A 100% Commitment

You need to remember that your body transformation needs complete dedication from you. You can’t skip a day or two here and there because you feel as though you deserve it.

Plan when your rest day will be and stick to that.

Even if you have a vacation planned, check out the local gym, and make sure to take an hour out of each day to continue to work out. Keep up with the healthy eating too.

6. Don’t Let Preconceptions Put You Off

It’s easy to look at a female bodybuilder and suddenly panic if you’re a woman who is trying to lose weight and develop a petite and slender figure.

The reality is that it is virtually impossible for women to bulk like that; it requires a particular plan and effort. If you stick to a plan that your personal trainer has given you, you won’t go wrong.

7. Keep It Simple

You should remember that you are only starting out with fitness. In order to avoid injury and to avoid putting yourself off continuing with your training, you should make sure that you familiarize yourself with the basics first.

Start off with some shorter sessions and then expand your workout as you become more confident and as your fitness, levels start to rise.

8. Prepare For Your New Routine

Make sure that you make yourself available to workout and have a rough plan of how you would like your workout to go.

You need to come up with some realistic goals too, so if you want to have 6-pack abs, aim to achieve some muscle definition within 6 months or if you would like to lose 2 stone, make sure that the timeframe that you set yourself is achievable.

If you don’t know what your targets are, no personal trainer will be able to help you.

9. Remember Cardio

So you want to get 6-pack abs, bulging biceps, and strong legs? You can’t get those things by just lifting weights. You must remember that while you’re working out, you should fit in a good amount of cardio.

If you’re already carrying excess weight, you need to make sure that you burn off the fat by doing frequent cardio and eventually the muscle will start to show through.

10. Use A Visual Inspiration

It is very helpful to have a visual inspiration to keep you motivated to lose weight. Try performing a Google image search to find photos of people who have a body shape and size similar to your own ideals.

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11. Get Moving

Resolve to be active in a variety of physical activities on a regular basis that will develop strength, cardiovascular capacity, and flexibility.

12. Prime the Pump

Resolve to participate in physical activities that involve the large muscle groups of the body.

13. Let Your Muscles do the Work

Resolve to lift weight or use resistant exercises to place demands and challenge your muscles.

14. Loosen Up

Resolve to stretch regularly – before and after or during exercise.  Remember to move your muscles through their full range of motion on a regular basis.

15. Win the Losing Game

Resolve to maintain your weight at an appropriate level.  If you need to lose weight, a general rule to follow is to eat less and exercise more, both in moderation.

16. Watch What You Eat

Resolve to eat a healthy diet.  Good nutrition equates to good health.  Good nutrition involves providing your body with the required nutrients in appropriate amounts.

17. Chill Out

Resolve to keep matters of your life in proper perspective.  Know what factors you can and cannot control in your life.

Don’t “stress out” over those things beyond your control.  See change as an opportunity, not a threat.

18. Get Plenty of Rest

Resolve to get enough sleep.  The basic guideline concerning how much sleep you need is whatever enables you to feel refreshed, alert and in relatively good spirits the next day.

Sleep helps to rest and restore your body – both physically and mentally.

19. Keep Your Focus on the Task at Hand

Resolve to make time to exercise on a regular basis.  Consistency gets results.  Focus on the muscle you are exercising.  Don’t just go through the motions.

20. Keep in Mind that “There is no Free Lunch”

Resolve to commit to sound lifestyle choices.  For example, don’t smoke.  Maintain an appropriate level of body fat.

Avoid the latest fitness and diet fads, magic potions and exercise gadgets that seem too good to be true (they always are).

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ABC’s Of Remaining Fit   

Remaining fit calls for a lot of considering and self-reflection to be successful.

With a longer life expectancy of human beings as compared to pre-modern age, people have been more vigilant to consider and Produce methods to extend the lives of everybody existing.

More mnemonics and acronyms have been developed by dieticians and scientists to aid folks in having a guide to staying healthy.

One of these would be the ABC’s of remaining fit, a very easy, yet effective way of adding to the long list of formulas to maintain being healthy.

A Is For Abstinence

“A” stands for abstinence.

Abstinence should be exercised by the individual in passing up the things that would not make him fit Abstinence on a great level is expected of the individual should he/she wish to start staying fit and keep up being fit.

Abstinence ought to be the basis of any person to serve as a disciplinary concept. Without the discipline to recognize when to say no, it would prove difficult to stay away from things that are bad for you.

B Is For Be Faithful

“B” represents “Be Faithful”. Being faithful is being able to resist and maintain focus on your objective of remaining fit.

It does not imply that you totally become a no-nonsense robot who only distinguishes black from white, but being indulgent is a risky thing to instill.

C Is For Calisthenics

Calisthenics or exercise is a part of any healthy program planned for health conscious and health seekers alike. Calisthenics doesn’t mean the strict training that one sees in ads and magazines.

Those will be for bodybuilders who would want to reshape their bodies.  Calisthenics are simple activities.  Calisthenics should be done day-after-day for at least thirty to forty-five minutes which includes mainly aerobics.

Not only does daily calisthenics improve the cardiovascular flow of the body, it also maintains the desired body weight and fitness level.

The ABC’s of remaining fit is a very elementary concept for anyone to grasp should they wish to seek a better health state or maintain an already good one. It is a personal choice.

The extent of its success lies in the amount of effort that the individual puts in each letter of this simple mnemonic.

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Why Running Is Best For Your Health And Fitness?

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Running for weight loss is known to be one of the best methods to lose weight fast and get in great shape.

It is considered by some as being one of the absolute best techniques to get more fit quick and get fit as a fiddle. Running is a quick approach to burn those calories.

In addition, running is one of the most ideal methods to condition your lower body because it decreases fat while building muscle.

The cardiovascular benefits alone of starting a running regime are huge.

The one downside of running for weight loss is that some people take it to the extreme.

They run too much and too often and instead of losing weight they also reduce their overall muscle mass which can give them a gaunt, unhealthy appearance.

In order to keep your muscle tone while you burn fat, some simple changes to your technique can help.

Avoid having the same running routine.

Vary the pace because your body will rapidly adjust to the loads you’re putting on them. It should slowly intensify as the time goes by. Try to do other form of cardio from time to time.

Some take it excessively, they run frequently. As a result, they lessen their muscle in general that can give them a withered, unhealthy appearance.

Remember, too much running leads to increase of cortisol that results to more inflammation and slower recovery.

With a goal to keep your muscle tone while you burn those fats some basic changes to your routine is already a big deal

The issue lies with ceaselessly doing likewise running workout. Your muscles will rapidly adjust to the requests you’re putting on them, which is a surefire approach to hitting a weight reduction level

Keeping in mind the end goal to lose a pound a week, you’ll have to cut 500 calories every day, through a blend of eating routine and activity.

In the event that getting in shape is your objective, run three to four times each week and join different types of calorie-blazing cardio and/or digestion system boosting quality preparing on alternate days.

Running is one of the most ideal approaches to condition your lower body because it decreases fat while building muscle.

Muscle tissue is more thick than fat tissue, so it consumes up less room.

This implies despite the fact that your weight won’t diminish and may even go up a bit.

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Stay away from long runs.

Any run that is over 45 minutes long can be detrimental to maintaining muscle mass.

The biggest reason is because on those long runs your body needs all the energy it can get and one of the easiest to access is burning muscle.

Think of marathon runners, many of whom supplement their workouts with some form of weight training, no matter what else they do for a workout they all tend to look malnourished and underfed.

That is because their muscle mass is being diminished faster than it is being replenished.

One great way to combat this is to incorporate interval training into your running regime.  This is simply a way of working out where your workout intensity goes up and down like a roller coaster.

You do very heavy cardio bursts for a short time, taking your body to its maximum limits, and then you alternate that with a lower intensity session.

How many times you alternate between the high and low sessions as well as how long each session will be, needs to be determined by your current fitness level and overall fitness goals.

When you first start out with interval training it is a very good idea to enlist the help of a trainer who can help you develop a good program specifically for you based on your current fitness level and your overall fitness goals.

For most people the best combination will be to do running on one day and weight training on the next. Keep alternating that way to maximize your results.

If you can avoid it, do not combine both exercises on the same day. If you absolutely cannot avoid it, at least do one exercise (like weight training) in the morning and allow yourself at least 8 hours before you do the running portion of your workout routine.

Doing it that way will allow your body the maximum amount of time to rejuvenate and replenish itself. You will get the benefits without having too much stress on your body.

Also it’s crucial that you provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to support your high energy workouts. Make sure you provide your body with a lot of lean high protein foods. This is essential to help maintain and build muscle mass.

And, of course, make sure to keep hydrated. If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Keep drinking throughout the day and your workouts to avoid feeling thirsty in the first place.

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Start Running

Running maybe fun and easy but the most expensive part of running is the shoes.

However, the shoes may be one of the most important parts of running. You don’t want to get a pair of shoes where after running your toes look like they have been hit by a hammer. (Hence the name hammer toes)

If you put in an extra few bucks when buying your jogging shoes, not only will you feel better after the run, your toes will love you for it and your feet will love you for it.

The biggest reason why you want good running shoes is that there are certain types of shoes that have support.  The types of support that will not give you back pain during running or after running.

You want to make sure you stay away from shin splints.  It all can be avoided with good running shoes.

Next, you want to pick a place where you can have enough freedom to run.  Also, this place needs to be a place where you can be safe and others that are around you can be safe as well.

Now that you have all that figured out,   you need to have a system put in place of how you are going to run.

You didn’t think you were just going to go out there and start flinging your arms and legs and running like a crazed chicken did you?

Get a plan where you know you are going to run and how long you are going to run it.  Now, if you are just starting out, then you may want to take it easy when taking your first few jogs.

You don’t want to get burnt out on it when you just started.

So, make sure you start at a pace that is good for you, also a big thing you need to do is stretch.  Stretch for at least 20 minutes before you start you jog.

Now along with running to lose weight, you will need to have the right kind of diet to go along with it.

Eating right has a big part of losing weight, and with the combination of the two, the pounds will come off in no time.

All these tips will help you get the maximum benefit out of running for weight loss.

Running is time-effective. Regardless of the fact that the myth that running a mile and strolling a mile smolder the same number of calories were genuine, running is an extensively quicker approach to blaze those calories.

A great many people can run a few times similarly as they can stroll in a given measure of time.

Two words: runner’s high. The main standard of practicing for weight reduction is that in the event that you abhor it, you won’t stay with it.

Luckily, studies support what numerous runners have encountered on a recounted level—running can really get you high.

Running works notwithstanding when you’re very still. High-force activity like running animates more “afterburn” than low-power exercise.

What’s more, if your objective is weight reduction, then you have to discover approaches to either lessen your caloric admission or build your calorie copy.

Fortunately, running can give you the calorie-blazing support that you require.

The disastrous thing about running – and all activity all in all – is that on the off chance that you keep on doing likewise practice each day.

Your body adjusts and really turns out to be more proficient at utilizing calories to take every necessary step.

Thus, for instance, when you run the same set at the same speed each day, in the end, you will surge less and less calories every time you keep running than you did before all else.

To keep your body from adjusting to your workout, you can switch it up by expanding the power, pace, and length of your workout.

The best weight reduction running arrangements begin step by step and increment long and force after some time.

Beginning moderate guides your body into the new schedule keeps you from tiring rapidly and offers you some assistance with staying persuaded

Another approach to switch up the routine is by running on a hill like a slope.

Be ready on your running arrangement

Running Tips for All Four Seasons

During the warm days of summer, the most important thing that you as a runner need to worry about is dehydration.

The combination of sweating from exertion and from the heat can take its toll.

Many runners who are not anticipating the effects of the weather on their hydration levels end up facing symptoms that range from temporary discomfort to very serious problems that can land even the fittest runner in the hospital.

To protect yourself from this summertime menace, be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

It is crucial to carry a bottle of water or a sports drink on your run with you.

But because the stomach can only absorb a limited amount of fluid at a time, it is equally important to keep feeding your body liquid throughout the day in order to gradually replenish the water that you will inevitably lose on your run.

When the weather outside is chilly, runners often have trouble keeping their muscles warm enough, which can lead to injury.

Cold increases stiffness, which makes muscles less flexible and responsive, and therefore more vulnerable to trauma.

If you are set on running outdoors during the winter, you should plan on investing in some new running gear that will help you protect yourself against the dangers of cold weather.

Shoes with enough traction to handle slippery patches of ice, and a good pair of athletic pants that will wick away your sweat while keeping your legs warm, are two crucial parts of safe winter running.

Many runners are firm believers that the great outdoors is the best place to run, and the benefits of sunshine and fresh air are certainly important.

However, when the climate is unfriendly for running because of snow, excessive heat, slippery wet ground, or any number of other factors, it is often a better idea to hit the gym rather than the streets.

Running on a treadmill can help you build up your strength and endurance without risking the kind of injuries that hazardous weather can bring.

Running on a treadmill is gentler on your knees than running on pavement. Because of this, many fitness experts recommend alternating between outdoor and treadmill running regardless of the weather.

By knowing when it is a smart idea to stay inside, you will be able to make sure you avoid weather-related injuries so that you can be in peak condition when you get your next chance to run outdoors.

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A Guide to the Mental Benefits of Running

Exercise, in general, can have many emotional benefits, but running has the most powerful impact on your mental state.

If you are a runner, you know the feeling before your run you may have felt tired or stressed about certain life events, then after your run, you feel fantastic!

Our minds are very powerful. Our minds control our thoughts and actions, which can often influence our physical health.

Of course, running is a great exercise for losing weight and building your cardiovascular health, but it also has benefits to the inner essence of our being.

Here’s how:

1) Decreases Stress

Stress is a mental state of mind. No matter how you may hate to admit it or believe it, you do cause your own stress.

When you allow the situations in life to affect you internally, you have given power to that particular situation by feeling stress.

Running allows you to focus more on your breathing and the scenery around you. The deep breathing soothes the feelings of fear and/or anxiety that are associated with stress.

Running is like a release button to the stress that accumulates in your body.

2) Increases Self-Esteem

When you are running on a regular basis, your self-esteem slowly starts to increase.

You start to feel good about yourself, whether it is the weight loss, weight maintenance, or the health benefits that you receive.

As you have the energy and endurance to run, it gives you a sense of needing to take care of your body, so you are less likely to eat foods that are not good for you or partake in any unhealthy behavior.

You see the benefits that running gives you, and you have a sense of pride and respect for your body.

3) Increases Feeling of Freedom

Running is a great way to feel free from all the challenges and obstacles that life sometimes delivers.

When you are running, there is a sense of freedom.

You can go where you want at the speed you want, and no one and no thoughts can hinder this freedom.

You automatically feel a sense of release from the demanding boss, nagging children, or pushy creditors.

Even if for only a moment, you are free and in your own place of silence and calmness that is soothing to both your body and mind.

Sometimes it takes physical activity to really quiet our minds and that is not easy to achieve in modern society.

4) Decreases Depression

When you are running, your brain automatically releases beta-endorphins. Beta-endorphins are neurotransmitters in the brain that are affected by the depression.

In depression, the neurotransmitters are not firing properly, and a feeling of overall wellness is decreased.

This is the reason why many feel a runner’s high after a run. It is a complete feeling of peacefulness and happiness as if all the problems of the day have actually disappeared.

Boost your Self-Esteem by Running

As previously mentioned, running is a great self-esteem booster, especially if you are a beginning runner.  It will allow you to test and expand your limits like never before.

With each milestone, you reach you will find yourself more confident and able to take on the world.

Starting out slow reaps big rewards

Even if you can’t run to the mailbox without huffing and puffing, you can run to boost self-esteem.

The first time you run to the mailbox, down the street, around the block or whatever distance it is, you will feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

The first time you go out, you will probably do a lot more walking than running.  However, if you keep at it, you will soon find yourself running more and more until one day you run the entire route without stopping.

The important thing to remember is to start out slow and not overdo it in the beginning.  Your body does need to adjust to your new activity levels, especially if you previously lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Overdoing it and causing overuse injuries can be a big discouragement, especially after seeing the progress that you made.  Most people won’t want to increase their weekly mileage by more than 10%.

However, do what works best for you, some people can handle a larger mileage increase and others need to increase the mileage much more slowly.

Running is 90% mental

Despite how your muscles may feel, 90% of running is purely the mental capacity to be able to do it.

Building up this side of your brain by telling yourself you can do it, you can finish the race, you can run for 30 minutes non-stop, or whatever your goal is will invariably be a surefire way to build up your self-esteem.

What happens is that while running, in order to finish, you will have to come up with some good things to say to yourself, often referred to as positive self-talk.

This self-talk not only gets you through your current run but will start seeping into the rest of your life and you’ll find yourself using it at work while doing dishes and burdensome tasks will no longer feel so bad.

Goal Setting

With running, you can set goals large and small.  For the beginning runner, a good goal might be to complete a local 5k.

You with undoubtedly enjoy the sense of accomplishment – not to mention the bragging rights at the office.

Remember to set realistic goals for running and you’ll build up your self-esteem – and miles – much faster.

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Bodyweight Training for Strength to Weight Ratio

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TRX and gymnastic rings mix things up a little because they involve bodyweight training instead of lifting weights.

Bodyweight training is actually ideal for general fitness and for functional strength in particular.

The reason is that bodyweight training means you have to lift your own body – something that you regularly have to do in real life.

If you can get stronger faster than you get heavier, then you can increase your strength-to-weight ratio and that in turn will make you far faster on your feet as well as more agile and flexible.

Another advantage of bodyweight training is that it forces you to utilize all the smaller supportive muscles in your body.

When you perform a press up, you are using muscle in your abs, obliques, legs, lower back and more to keep your body rigid and in position.

The same is true when you perform a pull up – and if you try and cheat through the pull-up, then your body will wobble around in the air and you’ll end up wasting energy and tiring out faster.

This gets far more impressive as you start to approach more advanced movements. Imagine the kind of total-body control that is used when you perform a handstand press up, or planche press ups.

Press ups where your feet don’t touch the ground!

If you want to see an example of someone who is truly in command of their own body and their own strength, then look up ‘Ido Portal’.

He moves like an inhuman and will blow your mind regarding the potential of the human body.

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How to Approach Bodyweight Training

The problem is that many people approach bodyweight training all wrong. If you’re just pumping out a set number of press ups and sit ups every day, then you can’t expect to progress much.

Instead, you should be challenging yourself with increasingly difficult moves in your 8-10 rep range and you should be using techniques to push past failure.

In bodyweight routines, you can’t change the weight itself but what you change instead is the way you’re lifting it – which can be just as challenging.

Find press ups easy? Then how about training with clapping press ups and trying to launch yourself in the air?

This move requires some acceleration in the muscles, which the body treats just the same as heavy weight.

The result is that you’ll recruit more of your fast-twitch muscle fibers in order to explode off the floor.

And now if you try and perform some ‘normal’ pushups, you’ll find it’s a lot more challenging.

Likewise, if you perform a push up with one hand, that will also make it harder, as well as this requires you to strengthen your core to avoid tipping.

You can build up to this by placing both hands on the floor but putting 80% of your weight on one hand.

As you get more tired, move more and more weight onto the other side. Now you’re controlling your distribution of weight in order to maximally challenge the muscle.

You can also just move your arms back closer to your waist, which puts you in a position called a ‘maltese pushup’.

This movement lengthens the lever arm – just like the Indian club. Now your weight is further away from your hands, which forces you to work harder.

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The Mechanical Drop Set and Progressions

A great tool at your disposal here is a technique called the ‘mechanical drop set’. Here, you perform as many reps as you can of an exercise and then make it slightly easier by changing the position.

For instance, you might do as many pushups as you can and then change immediately to press-ups on your knees. This enables you to go past the point of failure but still keep going, which makes it much harder.

And in terms of each workout, the goal is to keep challenging yourself to perform more and more difficult movements which are called ‘progressions’.

Once you can easily do 10 Maltese push-ups, you can then challenge yourself to do a single planche push up.

Ultimately, you should aim to get to the point where you’re performing feats of ‘hand balancing’ which will involve moving from one impressive bodyweight position on your hands to another, all in a slow, controlled manner.

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Some Technique in Weight Training

Technique in weight training is very important for achieving the expected progress, but also for protecting the body of the sportsman. The first important thing is to learn correctly the basic movements.

In this type of training, there is a kind of classic set of exercises, which the sportsman needs to master from the beginning. This set includes exercises with free weights like dumbbells and barbells.

While training with these, the movement is not imposed by any machine. When executed without the supervision of a fitness instructor, it is possible that these movements are done in a wrong way, a situation which increases the risk of accidents a lot.

One of the most frequent mistakes is an incorrect position of the spine. Some exercises (bench press, barbell curls) could involve exaggerated arching, while others (sit up bend, dead lift, squats, etc.) involve unjustified flexing (hunching).

These wrong positions can lead to unfavorable stress exerted over the spine, knees or shoulders. Besides, they can direct the effort to other groups of muscles than the ones intended.

The result is that none of these are properly trained because no exercises specific to the muscles are performed correctly.

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In such situations, the sportsman will only feel exhaustion in all his body and will not be able to direct and localize the effort in the zone which a particular exercise should mobilize.

Another example of the wrong technique is exaggerated swinging for exercises which do not need impetus.

This happens most often while raising the weights laterally for working on the deltoid muscles when the sportsman wrongly flexes the knees and uses the lumbar muscles, arching his back too much.

Other mistakes are made when catching the bars. In the case of pull up, for example, and of pushing from behind the neck for the shoulders, a too narrow catch will place the scapular-humeral circulation into a non-physiological, stressing position.

Exaggerated bending forward during squat will force the spine while lowering the thighs below horizontal position will stress the menisci.

Rowing from bending position and stretching back must be done with the back in extension. Otherwise, the risk of the slipped disc might appear.

Not using a belt when lifting very heavy weights can determine slipped disc, but also inguinal hernia or rupture of abdominal muscles.

The technique of breathing must be understood correctly. Breathing in instead of breathing out, blocking the thorax or not can affect the sportsman a lot.

Generally, the sportsman must breathe out during the most difficult part of the movement and must breathe in during controlled coming back in position.

Apnoea (blocking of the thorax) must be used only in the case of lifting heavy and very heavy weights. Or else, it is not justified.

While making an aerobic effort, it is necessary to have a particular breathing rhythm, a pace which can vary according to the cardiac frequency and lung ventilation.

All these examples support the idea that the presence of the fitness instructor during training is absolutely necessary.

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How Women Get The Best Out Of Their Exercise?

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How often do you exercise? That’s a common question we often heard but how effective do you exercise raises it to the level of quality and efficiency.

To all the women out there, be informed! Find out some fitness tips, exercise principles for beginners to remember and tips in getting toned muscles.

But first, let s start with what possible exercises you could do.

Best Fat Burning Exercises for Women

If you’re a busy woman who may be a mother, have a career and who still needs time left over for your partner, it’s not always easy to find time to exercise.

If you’re looking for fat burning exercises to fit that busy life, the best ones involve aerobic activity that gets the heart pumping.

Here are some great exercises to try:

Running

Even though not everyone can practice running safely (check with your doctor first), running is still one of the best ways to burn a lot of calories fast.

Try sprinting fast for twenty seconds, then jogging at a slower pace for a minute and repeat.

Wear a sports bra and supportive fitness clothing especially made for women for added safety.

Fast Walking

A safer method of burning calories fast is walking quickly. There is a lot less impact, but you won’t be able to cover as much ground.

However, the safety can’t be beat as you won’t cause any damage to your joints or internal organs with fast walking.

Swimming

If you need a super low impact form of exercise that can burn a lot of fat, try swimming. But, you can’t just do any kind of swimming.

Shoot for moves that cause you to use all of your body, your arms and your legs such as the butterfly stroke and the breast stroke, so that you can burn the most calories and fat in each movement.

Aerobics

You know the good old-fashioned dance aerobics that your momma used to do? It is popular for a reason: it works.

It’s also fun to do and you can burn an enormous amount of calories in a short period of time if you make large, exaggerated movements.

Dance 

Almost any sort of dancing is a great calorie burner. If you wonder why you were skinny “back in the day,” it is probably due to going out dancing on the weekend. Dancing is fun to do.

You want to do dances that cause you to breathe hard and sweat. Don’t be shy either. you don’t even need a partner. You just need good music and a little space in your living room.

Spinning

This is a type of bike riding where the bike doesn’t actually move, and you have a leader running you through the paces in super-fast intervals with fast intervals. This is for advanced exercise veterans and not for the weak.

Jumping Jacks

The exercise you did in Physical Education during elementary years is actually an excellent fat burner.

You need to make big movements and move quickly to get the full effect. Try doing three sets of 100 reps to get your day moving.

Jump Rope

This is an excellent way to burn fat for anyone. You can move very quickly and try different types of moves from jumping, to skipping, to one leg or two. Shoot for three sets of 100 reps.

Rebounding

Made popular by astronauts, this form of exercising which requires that the exerciser jump up and down on a small trampoline has great benefits outside of fat burning.

It works every muscle in the body and burns an enormous amount of calories – twice as much as running in some cases, without the stress on the body.

Besides these exercises, ensure that you drink enough water, eat less fat, and watch your caloric intake.

However, don’t cut your calories too much to avoid the starvation effect that causes your body to shut down on its fat burning efforts.

And to effectively do your exercise programs, here are some helpful fitness tips for you.

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7 Fitness Tips for Women

Would you like to be a fit woman? Or are you a fit woman but would like to be effective?

Here are 7 great tips on how to become an effective fit woman:

1. Get a program that will best suit you.

Every fitness woman is different. You may have surgical history where a program may not be suited for you.

Always consult a qualified trainer to make sure that the fitness program will not hurt you.

If the fitness program is not for you, it will only be a cause of frustration and injuries.

2. Set realistic targets.

Wouldn’t you be frustrated if you set your mind into reshaping your body in a month? Make sure that the body you prefer in a period of time is achievable and realistic.

The program should also be practical and will not give you false hopes.

It is important to be aware of the blocks you encounter in your daily living. This will help you know what program is satisfactory.

And once a program has been reached, and then you can set goals and timelines that are realistic.

3. Exercises should work on the parts of your body where muscles are.

The reason mainly is, when you develop muscles, you burn more calories and then you lessen the fats in your body.

Multi-joint exercises and weight lifting are recommended.

Learn what exercises work on certain parts of your body. Multi-joint exercises are also said to be effective but time-saving.

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4. Be systematic on working on your muscles.

Your muscles should be working harder over time. Repeating the same sets of exercises and same weight without getting your muscles to work harder will not give satisfactory results.

You can record your daily results and make the progression based on your previous data. A daily log will also motivate you since you are able to track how far you have gone.

It builds confidence since there is a written proof something that was successfully accomplished.

5. Perform a set of exercises in 10 repetitions.

Every number that was accomplished is called a repetition. Try to make every repetition with less momentum as much as possible.

The lesser the momentum, the harder your muscles work. And the harder they work, the bigger they become.

To check if there is much momentum when lifting, see if the arm is floating. If the arm does float, then there is much momentum.

6. Be flexible and perform a variety of exercises.

Every exercise program should have a variety. You can change your exercises, goals, and sets every month to keep you motivated and on the go.

Doing this will help you prevent being bored and losing energy physically and mentally.

7. Be Motivated!

The best way to keep the energy levels of trainees is to allow a healthy competition and allow them to have a sense of control.

Having control is having the sense ownership where everybody gets a part in implementing a program.

To do this you also need to be consistent in demonstrating your skills.

Not all programs work for all types of people. There is no workout that is best for everyone. But you learn from experienced people.

Learn to acknowledge blocks and demonstrate self-discipline, keep yourself motivated and work harder everyday and add variety.

Doing these things, you will discover that a lot of programs will work for you.

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Women’s Exercise: The 5 Rs Principle

What if there was a simple, straightforward way of taking a workout and figuring out exactly what should be in it?

There is it’s called the 5 Rs principle.

Instead of exercising mindlessly, beginners or not, take note of these 5 important principles when you are performing your exercise routines.

The 5 Rs Principle can help beginning exercisers figure out what exactly goes into an effective workout.

Each `R’ focuses on an important element of an exercise routine that forces you to look at your workouts in a holistic fashion.

RANGE of motion

The range of motion refers to how the capability of a joint to move through a prescribed set of movements.

In order for a beginner to see results, each exercise should be performed from a fully stretched position of the muscle to a fully contracted position.

An example:

A lot of beginners load up the EZ-curl bar for preacher curls and perform the exercise only lowering the bar halfway down on the eccentric portion of the exercise.

Not only can this cause injury to the bicep muscle, it also doesn’t work the muscle the best way possible and limits the results of the exercise.

You’ll hear the term `range of motion’ often in reference to joint health and mobility. This is no exception in the gym. Your joints are supported by large and small muscles.

In order to optimize your joint health, all the muscles surrounding the joints must be worked as well.

RESISTANCE

When you’re just starting to lift weights, how much weight to use is a huge issue. It’s unfortunate that many personal trainers will tell women to use a lighter weight so that they will “tone up” and not get bulky.

This is probably the biggest myth in all of the weight lifting? Women who lift heavy weights will not get bulky. Don’t believe anyone who tells you this!

Choose a weight that allows you to complete the exercise without sacrificing proper form but that is heavy enough that you cannot possibly perform another repetition at the end of your prescribed set of repetitions.

REPETITIONS

Another huge variable for beginning exercisers is how many repetitions to perform. Performing certain repetitions will indeed produce highly specific results.

In general, low repetitions (3-8) produce greater absolute strength, medium repetitions (10-20) produce anaerobic strength endurance, and high repetitions (20-40) produce aerobic strength endurance.

Now, an ideal beginner routine will probably include sets of medium repetitions, just to allow the person exercising to learn to perform the exercise correctly, with proper form and technique and to allow her to experiment with experiencing muscle fatigue at 12-15 repetitions.

As she progresses, she can experiment with different set/rep schemes customized to individual goals.

An important note is that in order to achieve the results desired from performing a certain number of repetitions are that muscular failure must be achieved within the repetition ranges above.

Muscular failure means that you can’t possibly push out one more repetition no matter how hard you’re trying to do it.

REST

In general, your body needs between two to four minutes of rest between sets to prepare itself to perform another set at maximum capacity.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and phosphocreatine (PC) are used by your muscle cells to contract during a weight lifting exercise.

Your body needs time to regenerate these two compounds before it is ready to go again.

Unless you’re trying to develop all-out absolute strength by performing low repetitions with very heavy weight, you’re probably not going to need to wait that long between sets.

Most beginners will be working within a medium repetition range and therefore do not need to wait that long between sets. One to two minutes is fine.

RECOVERY

You will not see faster or better results by working on the same muscle groups day after day. As important as hard work is, recovery between workouts is even more important.

Beginners should work the same muscle groups no more than two times per week, with at least forty- eight hours break between sessions.

As an exercise becomes more advanced, she will probably cut back to working on each muscle group once every seven days or so.

And to review, these principles are range of motion, resistance, repetition, rest, and recovery.

Hopefully, you get enough idea on how to get the most of your exercise, doing them efficiently and effectively for you to reap the results while living a healthy lifestyle.

Of course, do not forget to have fun and enjoy the process of exercising. Remember, you are doing this for you.

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How To Get Chiseled Abs Even At Home?

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If there is one standard that most of the world uses to determine whether a person’s body is in good shape it is a well-defined set of abdominal muscles.

The “ab” muscles are a visual symbol of a person that takes care of their muscles and, by association, their body as a whole.

Although the latter is not necessarily true, a good set of abs is a desired physical attribute for most to aspire to.

There are plenty of simple ab exercises that you can do on your own, in your house, with no special equipment required.

Which muscle groups to work?

Building your abs is an exercise in personal discipline. Building each of the main ab muscles takes a concentrated effort.

From a lay person’s point of view there are three main abdominal muscle groups: the upper, the lower and the obliques.

The upper ab muscles are often referred to as a “beer belly”, the lower abs as a “pooch” and the oblique’s as “love handles”.

As the exercises that help strengthen these muscle groups are discussed, it should be pointed out that none of the exercises reduces fat levels.

That is left to a proper diet and other exercises. For a total fitness plan, you may want to speak with your doctor.

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Start with a pain-free stretch

Personal discipline is one thing but stopping before you begin, because of a pulled muscle, is another. Begin your ab routine with a nice even stretching of your core body.

Relax and roll any muscle you have between your upper neck and your waist. This might best be described as keeping your feet planted shoulder width apart, bending your knees slightly and making a 360-degree circle with your upper body or waist up.

As you do this you will feel muscle groups pulling as you stretch them. DO THIS SLOWLY and you will quickly find the ab groups you will soon be working.

Proper Position and Isolation

In performing each of the following exercises, proper positioning is important for getting the maximum effect out of each movement.

The one position you will need in each exercise is bent knees. This angle, in reference to the floor, will generally be 90 degrees unless otherwise stated.

What this does is isolate the abs and prevent your legs from helping the abs in the exercise. The next important tip is to not overextend your range of motion.

The common perception for most of these exercises is to cover the full range of motion from the starting point of the exercise to the end.

You will only need to cover about 30 percent of that range for the best isolation of the abs. Strangely enough; you will find this lesser motion more difficult.

Cardio

Crunches and sit-ups are not going to get your abdominals showing through unless you get rid of the fat covering them.

To remove that fat, you’re going to have to do some cardio work. Don’t worry, you are not asked to go run a marathon, or climb a rock wall or anything.

To get adequate exercise for losing weight, go for a walk. Stroll around the block. Take the stairs. Ask a friend to walk with you to the store instead of taking the car.

Shoot for thirty minutes and then go for more time once you get more comfortable with it. Or you could run if you really want to maximize your results.

The higher you can get your heart pumping, the more fat you’ll lose. But walking is perfectly acceptable, as long as you walk long enough and often enough.

Remember to stand tall while you walk, as this holds your abs in and helps to tone them as you walk around.

You’ll also be giving your back far more support, which can also help strengthen the muscles there. 30-45 minutes each day, five days a week should be perfect for dropping the weight quickly so that your results can show through.

To make things easier, listen to your favorite music while you walk, run, cardio or kick box. Music makes the time fly and it can really energize you, resulting in a better workout.

Get Ripped Abs

Crunches vs Sit-ups

Some people advocate crunches to get really ripped abs and some say that sit-ups are better. The truth is that it doesn’t matter what abdominal exercises you do.

As long as you put some intensity into them, and you feel the burn, they will give you the rock hard abs you’re wanting.

It is how you do the sit-up that counts. Most people do them incorrectly.

Perform a “crunch” by:

– Laying on the floor and bending your knees to a 90-degree angle with the floor. Heels on the floor with feet at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Interlace your fingers behind your head.

– Relax your arms and neck.

– Smoothly raise your upper body to a 30-degree angle while bringing your knees to your chest. Return to the starting position slowly and smoothly, repeat.

– Keep your arms and legs relaxed and move in a smooth motion for best results.

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Crunches are exercises where you bring your body right forward, curling upwards to bend yourself into a tight ‘V’ shape. There are very many variations on crunches.

One of the most popular is the exercise ball crunch, which is where you lie back on an exercise ball, and then do a crunch slowly, without the ball moving.

This allows you to keep a good crunch speed, as well as supporting your back while you crunch.

Another good method is the full crunch, where you extend out your legs and then put your hands behind your head.

As you pull yourself up with your hands, push outwards with your legs. If it is done right, this will exercise both your upper and lower body.

You might also try the reverse crunch, sometimes known as a V-up, where you lie on the floor, put your legs in the air, and then instead of bending up towards your legs, you bend your legs back towards you. This has the same effect, but is less strenuous, as you are lifting less weight.

Working up to a Side Bridge

To be ready for the “side bridge” ab exercise you may need to work your biceps and your shoulders. For these exercises simply fill two or more 1-gallon jugs with water and begin curling them for 15 repetitions, this equals one set.

Repeat and add weight (more water or jugs.) For your shoulder use the same jugs and lift, with a slightly bent elbow, to the side.

To perform the bridge:

– Lay on your side with straight legs one on top of the other. Place your hand just under your body at the shoulder.

–  Press down on your hand and raise your body up until the arm is almost locked (don’t let it lock.)

– Raise your opposite arm to perpendicular with your body and hold the position for a count of 10. Lower and repeat.

Medicine Ball Plank

This ab exercise resembles a “push-up” except that you are putting your hands on a medicine ball. You are also not lowering and raising yourself but holding one position for 15 counts.

After you begin to feel stronger performing this exercise, work toward a 30 count for one set. Do three sets to start and make sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.

Standing or Seated Twists

This exercise is fairly straight forward. Stand with feet at shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your hips and twist smoothly from side to side.

As you become more stretched and comfortable with the movement begin holding a weighted object like a medicine ball or water filled jugs with two hands at your center.

Once you feel comfortable with this movement try the same movement while sitting on the floor with your feet off the ground and knees slightly bent.

When this feels easier try bouncing the ball on each side while your feet remain on the ground.

Get Ripped Abs

Ab Vacuum

One of the keys to that coveted six pack is building up the muscles of the midsection, and building up all other muscle groups.

The secret weapon for developing the musculature of the abdominal wall is a little-known exercise called the ab vacuum.

It targets you inner most abdominal muscle, the transverse abdominis or TVA for short. Most people don’t even know they have one let alone how to activate it.

The TVA is like a corset, it is your own internal weight belt, holding your internal organs in place.

It is the foundation for the rest of the abdominal muscles, the internal and external obliques, and the rectus abdominis.

If you have done crunches and leg-lifts until you are blue in the face and are still unhappy with your mid-section, this information could take your quest for that fit chiseled mid-section to the next level.

There are other benefits to strengthening your TVA.

– It is the only exercise that has the ability to actually make your waistline smaller.

– By working and strengthening the TVA you are actually giving your spine more support, so the risk of the vertebrae or a disc slipping out of place is less.

Did you notice that the old leather weight belts are not used anymore? That’s because we learned to tighten up our own internal weight belt on exercises versus using an external weight belt that shut off the need to activate the TVA which leads to injuries.

Better sex. When you strengthen your TVA with the ab vacuum exercise you will be using your diaphragm and you will also strengthen your lower pelvic floor muscles (ala a Kegel squeeze).

To perform a Kegel exercise, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine mid-stream. Stronger pelvic floor muscles help women achieve orgasms and help men achieve and maintain erections. It also makes the orgasms more pleasurable.

You can work the other abdominal muscles more effectively.

You can’t shoot a cannon out of a canoe. You can’t have strong walls on your building if your foundation is weak.

When you strengthen up the foundation of your mid-section you will be able to perform your other abdominal exercises with more focused intensity. You will be able to feel the difference in weeks.

Athleticism– the TVA is the deepest abdominal muscle group there is.

It is truly the core the core. An athlete can have an excellent cardiovascular condition and have strong leg and back muscles, but if his core muscles aren’t in optimal condition.

This creates a weak link in the bodies muscle chain that affects all his movements. All movements and reactions start at the core. If core muscles don’t do their jobs to stabilize and move the torso, then arm and leg muscles will overcompensate, trying to do a job for which they are ill-equipped.

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To get in tune with and activate your TVA simply place your hands around the sides of your body at your pelvis. Flatten your stomach by gently pulling in your gut, or pulling your belly away from your waistband.

You can feel the TVA at work as it reduces the diameter of your torso in that area. This simple exercise also demonstrates the involvement of the abs in respiration, particularly exhalation.

The combination of two little-known exercises takes the effectiveness of this core exercise to the next level.

Basically, it is a combination of an ab vacuum with a Kegel squeeze. Most women know what a Kegel squeeze is. In childbirth, it gets the lower pelvic floor muscles stronger which aid in the pushing for childbirth.

For men, when trying to perform a Kegel squeeze, think about stopping the flow of urine mid-stream while pulling your belly button back toward your spine as you exhale about ½ of your lung capacity.

Also, try to think about squeezing your sphincter muscles or like you have a quarter between your butt cheeks and you don’t want it to fall out.

Now, let’s perform the exercise:

1. To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90, feet flat on the floor and the small of your back pushed flat into the floor.

2. Take in a very slow long breath and start to slowly exhale ¾ of your air while you are pulling your belly button down toward your spine. Try to put your index finger on your belly-button and feel it rise as you take the long breath in and then feel it start downward as you exhale ¾ of your lung capacity.

3. While at the same time pushing your lower back into the floor and drive your chin down toward your chest slightly.

4. Once you have ¾ of your air out hold your breath and suck in through your throat with your breath being held for 5-10 seconds.

5. As you are holding your breath and sucking in, think about pulling your innards up and under your rib-cage.

It is called the ab vacuum for a reason, it is a little hard to come out of it and resume your normal breathing.

But you will, and once you do relax and take a couple breaths and repeats. Start out doing 1 set of 6-9 repetitions, 2-3 times per week.

You can do the ab vacuum anywhere, and need no equipment. It’s a great way to wake up, or to end your day.

It will take lots of practice and each week you will be able to feel the muscles working more and more.

Once you get good at the technique you will be able to feel a ½ circle burning sensation in the pubic area.

Don’t be alarmed, just feel good about mastering one of the most unique and effective abdominal exercises out there.

Please don’t give up on this exercise, once you master it you will be able to reverse gravity and start to put back in place what years of inactivity and bad posture has started to let hang over your belt line.

Thus, these are some effective exercises you can do right at your own place to get a six pack abs.

At first, getting a little exercise into your daily routine will seem like really hard work. That goes especially for those who aren’t used to moving around very much. But soon your body will begin to crave it.

You’ll notice your blood pressure dropping, your appetite evening out, your attitude improving, your energy levels increasing and of course, enjoy all the weight you’re losing.

Of course, don’t forget your diet or the right nutrition plan and optimistic mindset on your quest for that chiseled abs.

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