Category Archives: Daily Workout

6 Gym Machines to Skip

gym machinesGym machines have special role for any workout. If you are a beginner, they help groove your movements as you learn new routines. During the progression of a typical gym exercise, machines are also recommended when you begin to tire, since they are much safer in case you do reps to failure. They likewise are extremely safe when you do not have the advantage of working out at the gym with a spotter. Workout machines at the gym like cable machines in particular are also very versatile, providing constant tension throughout the motion of an exercise, unlike dumbbells, where the peak of the movement usually does not provide maximum resistance. In other words, gym machines have their specific purposes and advantages, and should be part of any well equipped training room.

Through the years, these different types of gym machines have been improving, and the designs are always constantly being evaluated, in case there are flaws. Some of these gym machines get as little as slight tweaks in the way certain parts are angled, or how the resistance and weight is applied to the movement. There are however some gym machines that have proven themselves useless, and which you should altogether skip. Here are some of those gym machines that either waste your time, make you prone to injury, or have much better alternatives using free weights.

1. The Leg Curl Machine

You are perhaps one of those that line-up to cue yourself for some reps on the leg curl machine to build those hamstrings and tighten your butt. Skip it as Lani Muelrath, MA, fitness expert and author of Fit Quickies explains from thepostgame.com.

“Why it’s useless: Your hamstrings perform two movements: knee flexion and hip extension. The leg curl machine works only knee flexion, which limits the benefits, says Muelrath.

What workout to do instead: Choose an exercise or movement that works both hamstring functions at once, such as the fitness ball hip raise and curl. To do: Lie on your back with legs straight, heels on the ball. Raise your hips by pressing your heels into the ball until your legs are straight. Keep your hips raised as you roll the ball in toward you by bending your knees. Continue rolling out and back towards you for 10 to 12 reps.”

2. The Butt Blaster

Blast this contraption away from your workout. In case you own one, sign it up on eBay immediately in case there still are some ignorant people that will pay decent money for it. Yahoo.com offers an explanation as well as an alternative to the butt blaster.

“Why it’s useless: This donkey kick exercise is an unnatural movement, says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, a Connecticut based personal trainer and author of Beat the Gym. “The idea is to spot reduce the glutes, which isn’t going to happen.”

What workout to do instead: A better choice are squats, which use your own body weight. “Squats get the glutes as well as the hamstrings and are a much more productive exercise,” says Holland.

To do: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms straight in front of you, parallel to the ground, or clasped behind your head. Keep head up as you bend at the knees and hips and lower into a squat position until thighs are parallel to the ground (or as low as you can without lifting your heels). Pause and slowly raise back up to starting position. Repeat for two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps.”

3. Side Bends on Pulley Machines

In the quest to lose those love handles, we will try practically anything. Believe us, please skip this exercise and try the alternative as explained again by thepostgame.com.

“Why it’s useless: Endless side crunches on this pulley do nothing for reducing “love handles,” as many people believe. “It’s not only ineffective, but can put undue stress on the lower back,” says Muelrath.

What workout to do instead: Reducing excess fat around the midsection requires a good sound nutrition plan (try this tasty 28-day meal plan) along with effective moves such as side planks. To do: Lie on your side with your forearm on the mat under your shoulder, and stack your upper leg directly on top of the lower leg. Rise upward by straightening your body. Hold 20 to 60 seconds, then switch sides. Do three reps on each side.”

4. Rotary Torso Machine

Here is another gym instrument that boasts of whittling down your mid-section. Skip it for a much simpler and effective alternative as explained on yahoo.com.

“Why it’s useless: The twisting motion of this instrument is touted as a way to banish a “muffin top.” “This machine doesn’t activate the muscles in the correct way, and the potential for injury risk is high,” says Holland.

What workout to do instead: Try a standing cable rotation using rubber exercise tubing.

To do: Stand in a slightly wider than shoulder-width stance and grasp the handles of the pulley or tubing with both hands, your side toward the tubing attachment point, arms straight in front of you. Tighten your abdominal muscles and rotate your upper torso as you pull the tubing away from its origin. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.”

5. Overhead Shoulder Pres Machine

Building cannonball like shoulders is certainly not easy, but you don’t have to get in line behind this instrument if you desire bigger delts, as explained in thepostgame.com.

“Why it’s useless: The shoulder joint is easily prone to injury, especially in this unstable overhead move, says Muelrath.

What workout to do instead: Challenge shoulder muscles with less injury risk by doing lateral dumbbell raises. To do: Grasp dumbbells and stand with palms together in front of thighs, elbows slightly bent. Raise arms up and out to the sides until elbows are at shoulder height; pause and return to starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times.”

6. Inner Outer Thigh Machine

Countless women that want shapely legs have fallen prey to this overrated machine. Thankfully, you can skip it in favor of much simpler exercises but with better results as explained on yahoo.com.

“Why it’s useless: This apparatus appears to work the inner and outer thigh muscles, but you won’t get out of it what you want, says Holland. “It only works the small, stabilizer muscles, which is great for performance or rehab, but it won’t reduce fat deposits in that area.”

What workout to do instead: Aside from losing weight to reduce body fat, Holland recommends focusing on exercises that target larger leg muscles such as squats and lunges.”


Finally to wrap-up, visit this link to see not jus useless contraptions, but absolutely ridiculous gadgets that actually had some people rushing to the nearest sports stores to buy one. This one’s a guaranteed side splitter.

How To Start Your Daily Workout Without If You Hate To Sweating

If this is the moment in your life when you cannot start your daily workout because you really hate sweating, I have a good news for you. In this short article you are going to learn how to start your daily workout program and experience real progress without it.

Now to help you get it started with this, let me share with you a simple video…

As you can see in the video, it is actually very simple to get it started with your workout.

To help you even more, let me give you a very powerful information you need to know about…

Andrea Orbeck 30-Minute Interval Cardio Workout – FitSugar.com
The workout is simple — after a four-minute warm up, repeat the interval portion for what Andrea calls amazing “booty-lifting and metabolism-revving benefits.” End with a cooldown and 10 minutes of stretching to soothe your muscles”

Check this out as well…

“8 Fitness Myths Debunked – Healthy Living
and trainers call for a formal period of cooling down after a workout or competition to prevent muscle soreness…Hydration is the most important part of “recovery” after a workout, followed by carbohydrates and then protein…”

As you can see, it is really not so hard to get started with your workout.

 

 

Jillian Michaels Secret to Having a Ripped and Sexy Body

jillian michaelsIf you are wondering about who the new darling of the fitness world and are curious about what the buzz about her is all about, then just read on and get to know Jillian Michaels.

Jillian Michaels has conquered the world of fitness without vengeance. She is the newest guru for that perfect shape everybody is pining for.

Who is Jillian Michaels?

American personal trainer Jillian Michaels was born February 18, 1974 at Los Angeles California. She studied at California State University, Northridge and at same time worked herself to school as a bartender and personal trainer. She has been a personal trainer for twenty years and counting and is still continuously inspiring people from all over the world.

She got her certification with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, The National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association and Kettlebell Concepts. She is also well versed in kickboxing, yoga, pilates, plyometrics and weight training and she utilizes these techniques among her clients.

Her first shot to fame came in October 2004 where she became a trainer at a reality television series The Biggest Loser until May 2011. She then joined “Losing it” with Jillian a spin-off of The Biggest Loser on June 1, 2010 till July, 2010.

Aside from her growing popularity on TV, she also extends her love for health and fitness in her charitable works with NFL’s Play 60, the Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation , Stand Up to Cancer, Working Wardrobes, Hope for Haiti, Sow a Seed and Dress for Success. She’s also an adviser to the National Day of Dance for Heart Health that encourages people to laugh, have fun learn and dance for a healthy heart. She also authors fitness books. She has her own website and phone applications in order to reach wider population to whom she can impart her passion. She is now into speaking engagements all over the place to touch more people as possible.

She also owns and operates a sports medicine facility to which she is very personally involved.

What sets her apart from all other fitness trainers in the world?

She is very popular and inspiring among the health buffs but she has this appeal among virtually everyone because of the hard work she devotes for her love for fitness. She is also a perfect epitome of how rewarding hard work and perseverance can be since attaining her present physique was a very testing journey for her too. It took her a lot of pain and effort to attain and maintain her present weight.
So what exactly does weight loss with Jillian Michaels entail?
Very much like your every other weight loss programs, she also recommends healthy combination of workouts and diet! But of course, she would not get all these glitz and glamour if she’s not made of sterner stuff.

Her mantra is eat less and move more. It is all about finding the right amount of food for the needs of the body and to match it with just enough physical activity to offset whatever is in excess of that. She is vehemently against fad diets and pills or medication, which according to her, only negatively affects the body rather than helps you achieve your goal. You might just think that it is helping you in the short term but its long term effects may not be as desirable as what it promises to cause. She also believes in good 8 hour sleep for full recuperation.

So let’s go close and personal to what she has to offer and what the fuss about her is all about.

What does Jillian Michaels eat?

Diet for her is not about controlling your hunger but eating just the right kind of food just when the body needs it. There’s no need to skip meals or starve yourself of filling and tasteful food. In fact, a typical Jillian Michaels breakfast is worth 500 calories!

Apart from the usual three major meals of the day, she also recommends in between snacks. She eats just about everything from organic vegetables to chips what is important is that the nutrient requirement for each day is satisfied.

Of course, nothing beats healthy eating so it is still recommended to always opt for the healthy food. It is also best to avoid such occasions when you will have no choice but to just eat whatever is offered. Choose to dine in healthy restaurants, bring along healthy snack, and serve these kinds of the food in your party.

It is the deprivation and frequent hunger that often drives people to either abandon their diets or to munch on practically everything and anything edible that come their way. By eating healthy snacks at the right time and in moderation, you should get by just fine and offsetting will not be twice as hard.

Workout with Jillian Michaels

As previously mentioned, she is almost a jack of all trades. Instead of just specializing in one field, she chose to learn and master a lot of training techniques because she firmly believes in diversifying and combining a lot of routines rather than just sticking to one kind of exercise.

She is an avid believer that the whole body should be worked out and not just one’s problem areas. So even if you just want to get rid of the flabs or achieve those killer abs, don’t just focus on the stomach with abs exercises. Strengthening the whole body muscles because it will burn more calories preventing the accumulation of fats in places where you don’t want them to be.

Instead of just plunging head on to working out, she is talking about understanding the problem areas for better understanding and appreciation of what you are working out for and how to really fight your battle.

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Perhaps Jillian Michaels is a prophet for fitness. More than just achieving the dream body, she is a proponent of learning and habit forming lifestyle that will make being sexy a way of life instead of a life mission. Live the life as if we are all born with tantalizingly curvaceous body seemingly unaffected by anything.

Know More on Isometric vs Isotonic Exercise

isotonic exerciseMuscle contractions happen when our brain tells the body one of two things: to move a muscle, or keep it stationary in a specific position. Two main types of contractions are isometric and isotonic contractions. Both of these contractions can help you build muscle over time, but isometric and isotonic movements involve quite dissimilar routines. So what are the main differences of isometric vs isotonic exercise? Here is a very simple explanation.

Isotonic Exercise Definition

Isotonic exercise is movement where you are working your muscles through a range of motion. Isotonic exercise is in fact the most widespread type of strength training. Examples of isotonic exercises are, weightlifting, calisthenics, cycling swimming, rock climbing, and most sports: These are all isotonic movements. Isotonic muscle contractions involve a change in your muscle’s length and as well as an increase in muscle tension. Muscle contractions that are isotonic involve either a muscle lengthening or shortening that is accompanied with an increase in muscle tension. An example of isotonic exercise is a biceps curl. A biceps muscle shortens to lift the dumbbell and there is tension on the muscle to be able to support the resistance.

Isometric Exercise Definition

The simplest way to explain what isometric exercises are that they are static, exercises, and don’t involve movement. When you do an isometric exercise, you do not move your muscles through any kind of range of motion. What you do is hold a pose which involves a muscle contraction as long as you can. Isometric exercise examples would be a plank, or exerting force against an immovable object like a wall. An isometric contraction does not change the length of your muscle. Our previous example of an isotonic exercise, which is the biceps curl is isotonic while you are lifting the dumbbell, but becomes isometric at the top of the movement when you squeeze or hold the muscle contraction. Older people will remember Charles Atlas and his “dynamic tension” principle where he demonstrated the benefits of isometric exercise for body building. He illustrated this with his proverbial skinny guy on the beach who gets sand kicked in his face by a beach bully. The skinny guy gets his revenge after he does Atlas’ “dynamic tension,” routine. Returning as a buff hunk, he scares away the beach bully. See more on Charles Atlas’ “Dynamic Tension” here.

Examples of Isotonic Exercise

According to healthyliving.azcentral.com, most sporting activities are considered isotonic. Here is the explanation offered by their website.

Sports

“Most sports can be characterized as forms of isotonic exercise. Cycling, swimming, basketball and racket sports all put your joints through various ranges of motion using gentle to moderate stress. Likewise, activities of daily living, such as walking, climbing stairs and gardening, involve isotonic movements including stretching, reaching or bending. This type of movement is less prevalent in modern life, since time and effort-saving machines have replaced many manual labor tasks. Isotonic exercise has a cumulative effect, so it’s possible to fulfill your daily exercise needs with small bursts of activity sprinkled throughout the day, according to Harvard Health Publications.”

Offered also from the same website is a specific example and explanation of an isotonic exercise via the leg extension. This is a particularly explicit because the example sites arthritis as a limiting condition against using other exercises. The leg extension can be seen as an alternative isotonic movement for leg development if one is constrained from all weight bearing leg exercise.

Leg Extension

“If knee arthritis limits your ability to participate in sports or other isotonic activities, try a leg extension. The Arthritis Foundation recommends this safe and effective isotonic exercise for the quadriceps. This exercise strengthens the muscles around your knee without causing impact to the knee joint. Perform this exercise in a seated position in a straight-backed chair. Starting with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees and your feet hip-width apart, raise one foot slightly above the floor and slowly straighten your leg. Hold your leg in the straightened position for six to 10 seconds. Slowly bend your knee and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.”

Examples of Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercises can be particularly helpful, especially in the field of rehabilitative medicine for sports injuries. This is because muscles are able to contract, but do not have t move thru a range of motion. Examples of these conditions are lifted from healthyliving.azcentral.com.

Shoulder Rehabilitation

“You can strengthen and rehabilitate an injured shoulder without putting the joint through excessive movement using isometric exercises. Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center recommends a series of isometric exercises that you can do using just your body or with a wall. To strengthen the front of your shoulder, make a fist with one hand and place it in the palm of the other hand. Holding your arms in front of your chest, press your fist into your palm while resisting with your palm. Hold for a few seconds then relax and repeat. For the back of your shoulder, stand with your back towards a wall. Place a pillow between the wall and your elbow. Press your arm backwards into the wall. Hold for a few seconds then relax and repeat.”

Isometrics can also be very useful in situations where you have to be inconspicuous of doing exercises such as in the office. Here is a knee and hip workout example again from healthyliving.azcentral.com.

Knee and Hip

“To strengthen you knee with isometrics, sit on the floor or a table with your leg stretched in front of you. Squeeze your thigh to fully straighten your leg while flexing your ankle and lifting your toes up. Hold the contraction for five seconds, then rest for three seconds. Repeat up to 50 times. Perform an isometric exercise for the hips in a seated position with a pillow, towel or small ball between your knees. Squeeze your knees together and hold for 10 seconds.”

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Isotonic and isometric exercises both have their advantages. One should not see these two forms as opposing or competing types of movements, but rather as complementary exorcises that we have to incorporate into our routines. They are exercise principles that develop strength, flexibility and build muscle when we know how to use them in conjunction with each other.

Your Basic Lowdown of the Brazilian Butt Lift Wokrout

brazilian butt liftIt is every woman’s dream to have that beach worthy and head turning body. With trim calves and shapely butts, women can lounge around the beach all day long and feel secure with their bodies. As the old saying goes, if you have it, flaunt it! Surely, this will keep the attention of a lot of people glued to you.

For certain people, getting that flawless body is very easy. For example, they can just purchase padded pants and butt enhancers made from silicone from malls. For the more desperate folks, they could opt for surgical (invasive or non-invasive) cosmetic surgery to augment or trim the butt to perfection (of course always according to preference). Now, for the more patient and determined lot, they could opt for butt lift or other butt enhancing exercises.

Admittedly, it is still extremely hard to really work for a well-sculpted behind since there are very few exercises for this. Most of the time, butt enhancement is just among the positive side effects of other exercises. But due to the innovation of new training programs, there are now ways to get that butt you’ve always desired. You can get it through the Brazilian butt lift work out.

The Brazilian Butt Lift Workout

What is this Brazilian butt lift workout and how does it differ from what we have right now?

Brazilians are known for their to-die-for glutes (gluteal maximum or more popularly known as butt cheeks). Basically, these are the groups of muscles that comprise your butt. There are about three muscle groups in this area of the body and this is considered as the largest. More than just its aesthetic purpose, the glutes are the muscles primary responsible to keep the body straight. So besides making you look well-toned, developed glutes will keep the body beautifully erect. The Brazilian Butt lift workout is a program that can be done by anyone and not just your physical buff.
What sets this exercise apart from other existing butt lift workouts is that it does not just enhance or make the butt look fuller. It also expands and moves the butt upward so it looks more youthful and not sagging.

Another thing that sets this exercise apart is that it is not just concentrated on the glutes, it has full effect to all the curves and hollows of the body from upper to lower limbs. Moreover, it is also considered as a good calorie burning training.

Does it work?

The million dollar question is: DOES IT WORK? What are the Brazilian butt lift workout reviews?

The good thing about this physical training is that you don’t have to be an experienced trainer or health buff for this to work. While it may be an advantage in the sense that working out is not that alien to you, the greater advantage is that you have better grasp of your body and can keep your balance better than your next door woman friend who possibly consider the usual walks and errands as their daily dose of exercise.

The program has received a lot of good reviews and a lot of success stories from newbies. Just like any other workouts or physical activity, it just boils down to the determination and proper execution of the exercise. It is the thing that spells the difference between success and failure.

Many who have tried the Brazilian butt lift program can attest to the fact that as early as a month after the workout, you can shed a lot of weight and can trim a couple of inches from your pre workout status.

So for those who are more than ready to realize their dream of getting that dream butt that will probably rival that of Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian.

Signature Brazilian Butt Lift Workout Exercises

Try these simple signature Brazilian butt lift workout exercises.

1. Explosive Lunges (From fitnessmagazine.com)

Lunge forward with left leg until knee is bent 90 degrees, directly over ankle, right knee pointing toward floor.
Jump up, pushing off the floor with both feet. Switch legs in midair, landing with right foot forward in a lunge. Continue, alternating sides.

2. Side Lunges (From livestrong.com)

Performing side lunges works the outer thighs, glutes and inner thighs. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands on your hips. Take a wide step out to the side with your right foot. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Squeeze your glutes and press up through your right heel and bring your left leg in, returning your feet to the starting position. Repeat side lunges across the room for three sets of 15 repetitions on each side.

3. Squat and Tone (From webmd.com)

Keep feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the hips as if sitting in a chair; then return to standing. Make sure your knees do not push out in front of your toes. Keep your torso tight and back straight.

4. Donkey Kickbacks (From livestrong.com)

Donkey kickbacks build the muscles in your hamstrings and glutes. Start on all fours. Lower your upper body onto your elbows. Extend your right leg straight back and bend your knee at 90 degrees. Flex your right heel and squeeze your hamstrings and glutes. Press your right heel up towards the ceiling for 15 repetitions. Repeat for three sets of 15 repetitions on each side.

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Brazilian butt lift exercises are definitely hard work but at the end of the day, it will be worth all that effort. Even if it requires working out your butt 4 to 5 times a week, the relatively quick result that comes out as early as the first week should be reason enough for people to get motivated and keep on doing it.
So get your gears and mirror ready (or for more inspiration perhaps the image of your favorite sexy actress with a well sculpted butt) and go try this Brazilian butt lift workout.

Various Ways to Burn 500 Calories

burn 500 caloriesThe quest to burn more calories is always one that the health conscious individual is constantly pursuing. Experts say that the easiest way to shed calories is to not ingest it in the first place. Easier said than done. Regrettably, we all know that we are all guilty of indulging in some gastronomic pleasures every once in a while. So how do you burn 500 calories anyway? To burn 500 calories is the magic number because if you burn 500 consistently a day, you lose a pound of bodyweight a week. Take that a step further by reducing your caloric intake by 500 a day and you get the potential of losing 2 pounds per week. The average intake to maintain the status quo of a healthy body weight is 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men.

Exercise to burn 500 calories involves some pretty simple activities. You could easily burn 500 calories at home if you wanted to just by doing some house chores with a little bit more enthusiasm. Workouts that burn 500 calories are plentiful, just make sure you know how long to do an activity to achieve this goal.

Let us examine the many ways how to burn 500 calories a day.

1. Give your house a vigorous cleaning for 2 hours and you will feel the burn.

2. Do some gardening for an hour and a half.

3. Go jogging for 60 minutes at 5mph. This is a gentle, way to burn 500 calories. If you are pressed for time, try the next number. Choose outdoors preferably, but the treadmill is fine if you would rather stay indoors.

4. Go running 30 minutes at 8mph. This is still one of the best and most efficient ways to burn. Indoor on a treadmill or outdoor on a track or running path is all a matter of choice.

5. Go swimming for 60 minutes. This does not mean a leisurely swim but rather some vigorous lapping in a full sized pool in order for you to burn.

6. Go mow the lawn for 2 hours, provided you have a lawn big enough to consume that much time. This also presumes the grass is overgrown.

7. Do some form of high impact aerobics for 50 minutes. Step aerobics would be a good choice.

8. Do some Zumba dancing for an hour to burn 500 calories. Caramba!

9. 45 minutes of intense weight lifting burns 500 calories. Intense means little rest in between sets.

10. Do some jump rope for 45 minutes. You’ll look cool while you burn (provided you don’t hop like a school girl, in which case opt for something else).

11. Play a full court basketball game. Playing for 50 minutes will have you burn 500 calories.

12. Get an old school hula hoop and keep at it for 50 minutes which should torch 500 calories even if you look ridiculous.

13. Play 2 hours of vigorous Frisbee and you will also be able to burn 500 calories. Bring the Labrador for extra fun.

14. During winter months, don’t let the cold weather get you down. Ice skating for 50 minutes will burn 500 calories.

15.  Go grab a racquet. A game of tennis for 60 minutes will burn 500 calories, improve your hand-eye coordination, and give you a great cardio workout while having fun and feeling the burn.

16. If you are hoof inclined, go for some horseback riding. A nice trail would be a visual bonus to the 2 hour riding required to burn 500 calories. Hold the reigns tight.

17. Learn self-defense. Go boxing or learn karate and keep at it for 50 minutes. We don’t know if you will vanquish your opponent, but you will surly burn 500 nasty calories.

18. Scale that wall, (or that mountain). 60 minutes of rock climbing will do the trick at burning 500 calories while getting a great full body challenge. Skip this if you have vertigo.

19. A two hour Pilates session will burn 500 calories while giving you a nice svelte body.

20. Two hours of Yoga will do the same burn for you. Ohmmmmm. (and keep “centered”)

21. Go to a gym and get a Jlo-like butt on the stair stepper doing a one hour session. You will also burn those 500 calories.

22. Provided you are a woman, do some belly dancing for two hours. Close the door if you think you don’t look right.

23. Be a handyman under the car. Work on that basket case of a vehicle for an hour and a half and you will burn 500 calories. Whether it starts or not is another matter.

24. Put your Tiger Woods face on and hit the fairways. Just skip the golf cart and the caddie. An hour and a half at the country club will burn 500 calories handicap.

25. Try rugby. 45 minutes of this rough sport will burn you 500 calories plus a likely concussion.

26. Play volleyball for 50 minutes in the sand. Skimpy bikini not required for you to burn 500 calories.

27. Unless you are involved in some kind of Guinness type of world record, kissing for 6 hours will burn 500 calories. Get a partner with nice breath, please.

28. Get on a bike indoors or outdoors and cycle for 65 minutes at a 12-13mph pace. When outdoors, bike safely, and the more the merrier. This activity is not only fun but you will also contribute to greener planet.

29. Go shopping for two and a half hours at the mall. Make sure you don’t break your wallet.

30. Finally, do something wholesome like play with the kids. An hour-and-a-half of medium level activity will burn the 500 calories, while you earn valuable points with the children. Sweet.

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Try one of these activities, and you’ll surely be on your way to achieving that lean and sexy body!

3 Effective Compound Exercises for the Skinny Guy

compound exercisesCompound exercises bring about the most stimulation of as many muscle fibers as possible in the least possible time. They are also one of the best ways to gain mass as they trigger a series of metabolic reactions in the body to encourage weight gain. The best compound exercises are not any new routines or movements, in fact some of them perhaps trace their origins to the beginnings of modern body building. We probably are guilty of ignoring these compound exercises because of their difficulty, as they involve multiple joint movements and several muscle groups.

For the serious skinny guy that wants to put on weight, the best compound exercises are the way to go for guaranteed gains. These compound exercises are all about simple, but effective exercises that create the most possible muscle stimulation, while also creating stronger joints.

Here is a very short list of  the best compound exercises that you can adopt into your fitness routine. Time now to give those isolation exercises a rest and give these routines a try for change.

1. Chest – Bench Press

Time and again the barbell bench press is the best chest exercise that sets the standard for building mass on your upper body. It is unrivaled also since it is a compound movement involving the pectorals, triceps and shoulders. Here is how to execute the flat bench press from 2buildmusclefast.com.

1. Lie on a flat bench. Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.

2. From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.

3. After a brief pause, return to the starting position as you breathe out. Focus on pushing using your chest muscles. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.

4. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

5. When you are done, return the equipment in the rack.

2. Back – Pull Up

The pull up is the one of the best exercises they say you should do if you are really serious about back development. As long as we can remember and way before machines and cables became all the rage, the chinning bar has always been one of the simplest things to attach or incorporate into an exercise area. Even if you have been spending much time on a lat pull down machine, the pull up will still be a challenge and test your strength. You will stimulate the entire back as well as the biceps and forearms when doing this compound exercise. 2buildmusclefast.com illustrates the details to this classic compound exercise.

“Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing your torso and a grip closer than the shoulder width.

As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, keep your torso as straight as possible while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting point. Tip: Keeping the torso as straight as possible maximizes biceps stimulation while minimizing back involvement.

As you breathe out, pull your torso up until your head is around the level of the pull-up bar. Concentrate on using the biceps muscles in order to perform the movement. Keep the elbows close to your body. Tip: The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than to hold on.

After a second of squeezing the biceps in the contracted position, slowly lower your torso to the starting position; when your arms are fully extended. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.

Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.”

3. Legs – Squats

The squat is one of the cornerstones of anyone wanting to put on weight. They say that if you want bigger biceps, the squat is one of the best routine. It is a total lower body workout that not only exercises your entire leg muscles but also develops a strong core. The squat involves over 256 muscles in just one movement. Here is a guide to the squat from muscleandstrength.com.

“Stand under the equipment with your feet at about shoulder width apart.
Position the equipment so that it is resting on the muscles on the top of your back, not behind your neck. It should feel comfortable. If it doesn’t, try adding some padding to your grip.

Now take your hands over the back and grip the bar with a wide grip for stability.

You should now bend at the knees and straighten your body in preparation to take the weight off the rack.

Keeping your back straight and eyes up, push up through the legs and take the weight off the rack.

Take a small step backward and stabilize yourself.

Keeping your eyes facing forward slowly lower your body down. Don’t lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.

Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then slowly raise your body up by pushing through your heels.

Do not lock the knees out when you stand up, and then repeat the movement.”

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Stick to these three routines for now as compound exercise are not all about the volume and details you would do in many isolation routines. The whole point of compound exercises is hitting as many muscle fibers as possible with movements incorporating many muscle groups and multiple joints. The best compound exercises for the skinny guy are really simple, but will really challenge your strength. Lots of people avoid compound lifts due to many reasons like having to learn the right technique, having to do the exercise with precise form and proper range of motion. Bust through the best obstacles you will be able to realize the benefits of these “he-man” movements in no time at all.

Benefits and Variations of the Squat Exercise

squat exerciseThe squat exercise has long been touted as the best, of not just all leg exercises, but the king of all exercises, bar none. This total body-weight bearing exercise has perhaps the most number of muscles coming into play to accomplish the entire move. It is a most revered of compound movements. Hard gainers would be well advised to adopt a strict squat regimen if they wish to pack on some weight. Strong legs have also been known to predetermine longetivity, which all the more should encourage all fitness conscious individuals to take up this exercise. There are many variations to the squat, ranging from plate loaded barbell versions to body weight and even really challenging single leg squat exercise variants, which we will get into later. First, mensfitness.com offers some words of wisdom on why you should be doing the squat and enumerates several benefits.

1. Increased hormone release

“Total body exercises are potent stimulators for muscle-building hormones like testosterone and growth hormone. Because they involve almost every muscle in the body, the cause a great stimulus for growth. Load up a challenging weight to reap the anabolic hormonal benefits that will help you build muscle everywhere – not just your lower half.”

2. Enhanced core strength

“Since squats are typically loaded from top to bottom, either in the form of a barbell or a dumbbell, your core has to work double-time to prevent injury and maintain an upright posture.“

3. Improved flexibility

“By moving your body through a full range of motion, you’ll not only build strength; you’ll boost flexibility as well. Deep squatting helps to increase range of motion in the entire hip complex.”

4. Reduced chance of injury

“Boosting the muscles surrounding your knees and hips is a quick method to reduce your chance of injury when jumping, running, and doing almost any activity. Squats build your glutes, hamstrings, and quad muscles – primary stabilizers when you’re cutting and moving on the playing field. Include both single and double leg varieties to help bullet-proof your lower body.”

5. Stronger lower body

“This may seem like common sense, but squatting varieties are key for developing lower body strength. Although machine exercises like leg curl and leg extension may target the quads and hamstrings, squats use almost every lower body muscle in unison building real-world strength.”

6. Increased vertical jump

“Having hops on the court isn’t only correlated with genetics. The ability to extend your hips powerfully is a key factor in increasing your vertical. Luckily, squats build hip extension strength.”

7. Improved workout efficiency

“Forget spending a few hours in the gym hopping from machine to machine in search of a good workout. Introduce a few sets of heavy squats into your routine, and you’ll see what you’ve been missing. This total-body move will jack your heart rate and leave your legs burning in no time.”

Now let’s have a look at some variations of the squat beginning ofcourse with its most basic form. This squat does not involve any barbells or dumbbells, but rather uses your own bodyweight for resistance. This tutorial is provided to us by exercise.about.com.

Basic Squat

1. Stand with feet hip distance apart with your toes, knees and hips in a straight line.

2. Pull your belly button towards your spine and contract your abdominal muscles.

3. Slowly lower your body, as though you are sitting in a chair.

4. If you can, go down until your butt is in line with your knees (knees at 90 degree angles). If you can’t go down that low, go as low as you can.

5. Take a moment and look down make sure your knees are BEHIND your toes.

6. Keeping the weight in your heels, slowly push your body back to starting position.

7. At the top of the movement, do NOT lock your knees. Keep a slight bend in them.

8. Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times, performing 1 to 3 sets. For each repetion, count to 3 on the way up and on the way down to ensure you’re not going too fast.

As you groove your muscles and gain strength and stability doing this, you can start performing the exercise with a barbell from a squat rack, or by holding two dumbbells on each hand.

Back Squat Exercise

Now let us try to do the back squat where more than just your bodyweight will be involved. You can start with just a bar to learn the movement first, or perhaps maybe some really light weights. Follow the pictures as well as a thorough checklist to get the perfect movement right for the back squat over at the BrianMAC website.

Jump Squat Exercise

Most exercises that are highly effective are surprisingly simple to do and require little or no equipment at all. The jump squat exercise builds on the basic squat movement. Fitsugar.com guides us thru this squat variation.

“Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides.

Start by doing a regular squat and then jump up as explosively as you can when you rise up reaching for the ceiling.

When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep.

Do two sets of 10 reps.”

Squat Thrust Exercise

You will remember this as one of those calisthenics moves we used to perform for physical education class during elementary school. It works the entire body and is also great at elevating your heart rate. Here is a video detailing the flow of the movement.

One Leg Squat Exercise

No matter how conditioned you may be, the one legged squat is always a test. It is physically challenging in the strength it requires while it is also very difficult just stabilizing your body as you go up and down. Try not going to deep at first. Here is a video of the one leg squat.

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There are still even more variations of the squat that can be explored to vary the extent of your leg and lower body development. Keep the squat as one of your basic, but one the most important exercises in your routine. There are many versions to choose from that can match both your health and fitness levels and goals.

6 Known Ways to Stretch Your Hip Flexors

hip flexorsThe hip flexors are a group of muscles that includes the hips and upper thighs. The hip flexors move your knees into your chest and also move your legs from the front to back as well as side to side. Since many people spend most of their work days seated, the hip flexors have a tendency to be tight and prone to injury. Runners in particular should pay attention to stretching this muscle group. Tight hip flexors are a widespread complaint with runners, because of the repetitive movement when running if the muscles are tight. Women tend to have tight hip flexors more than men, which often results in poor flexibility and injury. To have limber hips, hip flexors exercises are highly recommended.

Stretching the hip flexor well can be difficult because it is located in an awkward area. Not stretching your hip flexor properly before you do any kind of exercise can result in painful injuries in the groin and hip region. Hence, it is highly recommended that you strengthen hip flexors for a variety of reasons. The hip flexors are not a single muscle, but are a group of muscles that consist of the iliopsoas, the thigh muscles including the rectus femoris and sartorius, the tensor fasciae latae, the inner thigh muscles including the adductor longus and brevis and pectineus and gracilis. Tight hip flexors ignored may lead not only to hip pain, but lower back pain too. Stretches for hip flexors and exercises to aid in releasing the tension of the muscles may be a good strategy at preventing an injury from developing.

Here are known ways to keep hip injuries and pain at bay:

1. Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch (From shape.com)

This is similar to the hip flexor lunge but is different since you begin in a kneeling position. Make sure you do it on a soft but firm surface.

“Kneel on right knee, with toes down, and place left foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent and aligned with ankle. Place hands on left thigh [shown].

Press hips forward until you feel tension in the front of your right thigh. Extend arms overhead, with elbows close to head and palms facing each other, and slightly arch your back while keeping your chin parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.”

2. Increase Your Flexibility (From fitnessmagazine.com)

A lot of women have stiff hip flexors, which can lead to poor flexibility and even injury. To keep your hips loose, perform this stretch from Robert Reames, the instructor of the Extreme Makeover Fitness DVD, twice a day.

“Lunge forward with left foot, bending left knee 90 degrees and lowering right knee to floor.

Tilt pelvis forward until you feel mild tension in the front of the right hip.
Raise right arm overhead, reaching to the left side.

Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.

Return to start and repeat on opposite side.”

3. Front-to-Back Hip Swing (From prevention.com)

This front-to-back swing of your leg is a first-rate exercise for your hip flexors. Be sure the rest of your body doesn’t roll with this movement. Place one hand in front of your belly and the other as support to your head to help stabilize your upper torso.

“Lie on your left side, hips stacked one on top of the other. Prop yourself on your left elbow and raise your right leg, toe pointed, to hip height.
Keeping your abs tight, sweep your right leg forward as far as you can without moving your hips or upper body. Then sweep your leg behind you as far as you can, squeezing your buttocks. Keep the movement controlled.”

4. Butterfly Stretch (From familycircle.com)

This movement stretches the hips, groin, inner thighs, as well as lower back. If you are predisposed to lower-back pain, take extra care when leaning forward from your hips instead of rounding your lower back. This stretch may also cause some discomfort in the knees. Proceed with care.

“Sit down on the floor, keeping your back straight. Bring the bottoms of your feet together in front of you so your legs form a diamond. Hold on to your ankles or feet. 1) Feel your inner thighs open up, so knees are about level with elbows, and hold the stretch for 10 to15 seconds. 2) Bring your knees off the ground so they’re almost 90-degrees from the floor and hold for two seconds. Then lower knees back down so they’re about level with elbows again and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat sequence three more times.”

5. Pigeon Pose (From womenshealthmag.com)

“Step your right leg forward between your hands.

Drop your back leg to the ground. Keep the back leg turned under.

Keeping your front leg bent, place it shin down on floor behind your right wrist.

Tip: Align your right knee straight in front of your right hip and your right shin parallel to the front of your mat.

Lower your hips, bringing your left knee to the floor and walk your left foot back a few inches to straighten your left leg directly behind your left hip. Then rest the top of your left foot on the floor.

Walk your fingertips out to 18 inches in front of your right shin and bring your elbows to the floor, forearms parallel to each other.

Draw your right hip back, and your left hip forward.

Take quite a few breaths in Pigeon (as much time as you can allow). Make sure your front foot is well flexed. You may feel this pose in your hips as they open up.”

6. Do the Perfect Pose in Yoga (From wikihow.com)

The Lotus position, or Padmasana, is easy and a relaxing stretch that many people link with yoga. The pose opens up your hips while stretching the ankles and your back. This is a pose often used for meditation purposes.

“Sit on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Imagine a string pulling your spine up towards the ceiling.

Performing the Pose

Using your hands to make it easier, draw your heel towards your abdomen, and place your right foot on the top of your left thigh.

Pull your other heel up towards your navel and rest your left foot on the top of your right thigh.

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Hold the pose for several seconds. Breathe deeply and place your hands gently on your knees, with your palms towards the ceiling.”

In our contemporary, sedentary world, many men and women spend a lot of time behind a desk, staring a t a computer. This prolonged position can lead to tight hips, and if left unchecked, possible pain or even injury. Counter this sedentary situation with hip flexor stretches such as those outlined above and you will be able to hold on to the flexibility of your hip flexors.

Safe and Easy Exercises for Moms

exercise for momsMotherhood really turns the life of a woman around. From a world focused on building a career, finding the “right one” through dates, and indulging in pleasurable things, you are suddenly plunged to a world of managing the household and looking over your baby.

It is certainly one of the toughest things you have to endure and do in this world. Imagine having to wake up early in the morning to clean and cook food for the family, sending the kids to school, and then going to the office to work or simply to accomplish the never ending household chores. After all that, you have to take care of the family again when nightfall comes.

Sounds like an impossible feat right?

Probably more than anybody else in the world, it is the moms who need to be fit as fiddle and have the constitution of an ox to juggle everything. Having poor physical health will really get in the way of doing all these things. This gets even more difficult when moms have just given birth and need to shed some weight that they have put on during pregnancy.

Thankfully, there are exercises for moms. It sure sounds out of this world, squeezing in another activity. Aren’t you getting enough workouts from all the chores that you are doing?

The answer may be yes, but then if you’re going to be a new mom, it’s important to get started by really preparing your body to this lifelong commitment. It is hard enough to adjust to all these responsibilities. Your body and fitness should not get in the way as well.

If you are a new mom and you are seriously considering exercise for new moms, it is best to first consult your doctor if you can start engaging in these exercises that could be physically demanding. You do not want any complications involving your post birthing operations.

Workout for moms can take various forms but it can also be as quick as five or ten minute exercises if you are ultra busy. Here are some mommy workouts that moms out there may want to try. They are so easy to follow and so quick to do that there’s no need to worry about reshuffling your daily routines just to accommodate it.

You can try combining very easy routines that can be done for one minute like jogging in place, straight leg kick while reaching for your toes using the opposite hand, jumping jacks, and arm punching. You can also squeeze in these short exercises for moms while doing your chores. For example, you can go up and down a flight of stairs or balance your weight in one foot (alternating between two feet) while waiting in line.

Aside from these, you can also try doing some of these more serious and physically taxing routines.

Debi Silber from momtastic.com recommends chair dips as they can be done either at the office or at home.

“Sit on a chair or bench. With legs straight, lower yourself off the chair or bench until your elbows are at the same level as your shoulders. Squeeze the triceps in the back of the arm as you lower for 4 counts then lift for 4 counts. Work up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.”

You can also try butterfly abs. by lying on your back with hands under your head and the soles of the feet together, lift the chest and shoulders then lie back down.
Modified push-ups can also be done. Instead of supporting yourself on your hands and feet, lift your feet up and stabilize yourself on your knees instead then start doing your traditional push- ups.

You can also engage in step ups. Using dumbbells and a platform (could be a stair step or a box) with the right foot on the platform followed by the left foot, stand full on the platform then step back down starting with the left foot. Do these exercises alternately. It has many benefits as highlighted by Susi May of fitsugar.com:

“Cardio: There’s a reason step aerobics were so popular in the ’90s; stepping up and onto something gets your heart rate climbing. Step-ups will help you burn more calories during strength training sessions, so add step-ups between sets of ab and arm work to keep your heart rate high.

Booty lift: Step-ups work your backside. In fact, celeb trainer Valerie Waters believes high step-ups are the perfect cure for a “droopy butt.” You can grab a chair and do a set of high step-ups at home. I think they will lift your mood as they are lifting your derriere.

Hill climbing: If you run or bike, you know hills can be tough, but strength training helps. Step-ups mimic the action of running and biking preparing your muscles to climb. Consider step-ups part of your cross training.”

Meanwhile, for the new moms, you may want to turn workouts as additional bonding time with your new bundle of joy by choosing to perform mommy and baby workouts.

For example, doing leg extensions with your kid sitting on your leg while you lift is an option. The baby can double as an additional weight for the exercise. It has a two-fold purpose: you get to exercise while your kid gets to play.

You can make it more fun by raising her up using both legs while doing leg lifts. But instead of sitting up, you should lie down, have the baby sprawled on both legs, and then lift your legs. Drop the heels (but make sure to have a good grip of the kid) then lift again.

exercise for momsAnother similar routine is shoulder press. By lifting the baby up in the air using your shoulder muscles then bringing her down will surely excite the two of you!
Innovate your usual “horseback riding” play by doing glute lifts in its stead. Instead of carrying around the kids on your back while crawling around, have your child sit on your stomach. After this, carry him or her up by driving through your heels and then lifting your hips and squeezing your glutes.

Make those nasty push-ups livelier and more fun by keeping your child in front of you and kiss him or her whenever you push down.

See, mommy workouts can be so much fun- in fact it can be something to look forward to everyday because it can also mean playtime for baby. Basically, you’re hitting two birds with one stone (i.e. engaging in physical training and play time with your baby). This will not only keep you healthy, it will also nurture your relationship with your kids and make all your tasks possible. Suddenly, motherhood will not be as hard a job as you initially perceived it to be. And finally, you will not just be rewarded with accomplishments and good relationships, but you may also be saying hello to your two piece swim suit again next summer.

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So for the moms out there, time to put your training shoes and sweat shirts on again and stretch those muscles again!