Tuesday, 30 June 2015

7 Squat Variations That Will Strengthen Your Lower Body

Squatting is a foundational movement that most of us perform every single day. All over the world, people are squatting while doing everything from household chores to sitting down in a chair. Even so, the squat can pose a challenge to many people. Starting with various squatting patterns and progressing to more challenging moves can be a great way for beginning exercisers to strengthen the muscles of the lower body and improve their ability to perform this foundational movement.
The best place to start is the body weight squat, and then progress to adding different loads and varying the movement patterns. The following seven exercises will help your clients regain the natural squatting ability they undoubtedly possessed as a child. After all, as strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle says, “Squatting isn’t an ability you gain, it’s an ability you lose.”

1. TRX Squat Bottom’s Up 

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid length. Stand facing the anchor point with the elbows bent below the shoulders. Keeping a solid plank, lean back until the arms are extended. Pull the tailbone toward your heels and hold for a beat or two. Extend the spine, trying to pull the chest through the arms. Curl your torso up, keeping the elbows in line with shoulders. Stomp around a bit and then hold for about 10 seconds. Press into the handles, maintaining a strong plank, to stand. Perform as many repetitions as possible while maintaining proper form.

2. TRX Overhead Squat 

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid length. Stand facing the anchor point, with the legs about shoulder-width apart. Extend the arms overhead while holding the straps. Press the hands into the foot cradles, creating tension in the straps; keep the shoulders down and back. Root into the ground while pressing back into the straps and pull the body toward the ground; be sure to maintain a stable torso. Lower only to where proper form can be maintained. Drive the feet into the ground to rise up to full extension.  Perform as many repetitions as possible while maintaining proper form.

3. TRX Overhead Squat: Single Leg (Advanced Progression) 

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid length and stand facing the anchor point. Stand on the left leg and center the right leg toward the anchor point. Press the hands into the foot cradles, creating tension in the straps; keep the shoulders down and back. Root into the ground while pressing back into the straps and pull the body toward the ground; be sure to maintain a stable torso. Lower only to where proper form can be maintained. Drive the feet into the ground to rise up to full extension. Repeat on the other side. Perform as many repetitions as possible while maintaining proper form.

4. DVRT Bear Hug Squat 

Place a Strength Ultimate Sandbag (USB) on the floor and stand halfway over the bag. Keep a flat back, the hips hinged and the knees flexed while grabbing under the bag. If the hips are too tight to reach the bag with proper form, put the USB on a higher surface. Keep the arms locked and the shoulders packed. Use enough force from the hips to adjust the grip on the USB, ending in a hugging position. Try to pull the USB apart to engage the postural muscles of the back. Maintain tension throughout the posterior chain by keeping the USB close to the body. Lower the tailbone toward the ground into a deep squat. Keep the torso tall and drive through the heels to stand. Repeat.

5. DVRT Shoulder Squat: Staggered Stance 

Place a Power USB on the floor, smooth side up, and stand halfway over the bag. Hinge the hips back and then slightly bend the knees. Keep the shoulders packed and reach under or grab the sides of the USB. Press the feet into the ground and explosively direct the USB to the right shoulder. Step the left foot back so that the left toe is in line with the right heel. Stay on the ball of the foot with about 40 percent of body weight distributed on the rear foot. The shoulders should be parallel to the floor; watch for lateral swaying. Keeping the feet rooted into the ground, pull the tailbone toward the ground. Only go as deep as possible without losing form. Drive the front heel into the ground to return to extension. Repeat on the other side.

6. TRX Single-arm, Single-leg Squat 

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid length. Grab the handles with the right hand, keeping the elbow under the shoulder. Position the right leg in line with the anchor. Keep the torso stable and tall and lower the tailbone toward the floor. Keep the knee in line with the mid foot, taking care not to let the knee collapse. Repeat on the other leg.

7. Deep Squat With Toe Balance 

Stand with the legs about shoulder-width apart. Root the feet into the ground and corkscrew the hips. Keep a stable torso and pull the tailbone toward the ground while keeping the weight in the heels. Squat between the knees. Hold the position at the bottom and lift the heels to balance on the toes. Keep the knees wide and the torso tall. Balance on the toes and then slowly rise up to the starting position. Repeat.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Fitness for Women- Stay Fit and Healthy!

Here are 10 tips for women to stay fit and healthy:

1.    Staying fit and healthy starts with a balanced diet. Know and monitor the right weight for your age. Consult your doctor to learn what food you should avoid and follow your eating discipline routines. If you are trying to lose some weight, foods with high calories should be omitted from your meals. Food with high fiber and low fat should be included a priority in your grocery list instead of red meat, sugars and fats.

2.    Drink plenty of water. Drinking at least eight glasses of water everyday. This cleanses the body from impurities. It is also advised for lactating women to increase water intake to keep the body hydrated.

3.    Take Vitamins and Supplements. Do not forget your Calcium supplement.  Sufficient Calcium intake is beneficial for women of all ages. This has been proven to prevent having cramps and Pre-Menstrual Period (PMS) Symptoms. It also prevents Osteoporosis especially for menopausal women. Vitamin E boosts strong immune system. Women who undergo menopausal period should take Vitamin E-400 as it stops night sweats and hot flashes. Also, Vitamin E is said to be best in avoiding wrinkles when aging.

4.    Quit smoking. If you are smoking, stop. It is also a big “NO” for pregnant women, as this will affect the health of the baby. Pregnant women who smoke may pass the harmful content of cigarettes to babies through the bloodstream. Recent studies have shown that women smokers are more prone to diseases than men smokers. Women who smoke have a high risk of getting breast cancer. Also limit your alcohol intake.

5.    Incorporate exercises in your daily routine. Take a walk after work, use stairs instead of elevator or play with your kids when you are at home. Home exercises are also effective especially when you do not have time to go to the gym and would like to lose some weight. Yoga and Pilates are only a few of the many effective exercises you can do at home. Exercises help in limiting the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

6.    Avoid stress. Many women are prone to too much stress. Stress has been known as cause to many sicknesses. As much as possible take time to relax. Read a good book, hang out with friends and engage into sports. Pamper yourself by going to parlors or you can do some shopping. And do not forget to get enough sleep to revive your energy.

7.    Use sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Wear hats when under the sun to protect your skin. Too much sun is bad for your skin. The skin is prone to cancer when exposed to too much sunlight. It also speeds up the aging of skin cells, which causes wrinkles to women.

8.    Make sure to visit your dentist to keep that beautiful smile. Always have it cleaned to prevent cavities and bad breath.

9.    Visit your Gynecologist. Women who are eighteen and above should have their Physical Examination annually especially for Pap Smear test. Women who are forty and up should have their mammograms and the Breast self-exam is encouraged once puberty has been reached and should be a habit as they mature

10.     Safe sex is strongly recommended. Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Brigi G | Fitness Inspired Formula

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Fit Way to a Woman’s Health

Fitness, muscle-building and gym workouts have gone beyond the traditional all-male club. With the hype over fitness and health and a healthy lifestyle, women have joined the club as well. However, men and women have different fitness needs.

Women’s fitness and exercise needs are focused on the muscles of the upper back. Most of their exercise work-outs are also designed for the stomach muscles, especially those who have just given birth. At the same time, exercises for women are usually designed for weight loss. And while men tend to focus on muscle building whereas women work on toning their muscles, strength training is important for both.

Here are a few things to make you women out there go out and start building up your muscle strength.

Make the performance of your usual tasks easier with a physically strong body. Chores will be easier, lifting your kids, the grocery or the laundry will be a piece of cake. Consequently, it will reduce possible strain on the muscles and injury. Training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent.

Lose fat at the same time. A strength training done 2 to 3 times a week for a span of two months can result to two pounds of muscles and would mean a reduction of 3.5 pounds of fat. The more muscles and less fat, the faster is the metabolism, which ultimately means your body burns calories faster than normal.

Fight osteoporosis. Weight training increases spinal bone mineral density which means lesser chances of the risk of osteoporosis.

Fight heart disease and diabetes. Weight improvement improves cardiovascular health by lowering the bad cholesterol and blood pressure. It also improves glucose use in the body by 23 percent which reduces the risk of diabetes.

The road to a healthier you. Not only does it promote a healthier body, but it also develops a healthier attitude and a healthier heart. Women who engage in regular strength training are more confident, with a more positive outlook in life.

So how do you get started?

For those who lead very busy lifestyles, hitting the gym and starting on a regular fitness plan may seem the perfect way to keep fit. But for most, starting out on a regular walking exercise is the way to go. Start at a manageable rate. A 10 to 15 minute walk is a good way to start. Prior to a workout, make sure to stretch your major muscles. Work your muscles on the front of your thighs. Stretch your shoulder muscles by standing straight and rolling the shoulders backward in a circular motion. And of course, don’t forget to observe proper nutrition. Load up on water to prevent dehydration. Consume carbohydrates before starting on your work-out.

For those with joint and bone diseases, swimming may prove to be a less stressful activity for your muscles.

But the most important is, make time for your exercise. If you can’t hit the gym or start on a regular workout plan, make sure that your day is filled with enough physical activity that keeps you going and always on the go. Women’s fitness is the key to your beauty!

Brigi G | Fitness Inspired Formula

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Cardio Circuit 5

Gillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Cardio Circuit 5 pushes your
fat-burning potential to the next level with kickboxing cardio
exercises that will sculpt muscle, tone your body, and melt away those
unwanted pounds.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Muscle soreness and recovery

We push ourselves, we do our best and we feel like the kings and queens of the world… until the next day that is when an 80 year old granny can beat us up, everything hurts and crawling out of bed classifies as “achievement unlocked”.
When you exercise small microscopic tears occur in the muscle. The damage and the inflammation along with the tears then causes the pain you feel a day or so afterwards. This effect is called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and it is a giant pain in the butt, sometimes quite literally.
Muscle soreness kicks in 24-48 hours post workout, how severe it is and how long it lasts depends on your fitness level and how often you work out. Working out for the first time in a long while will nearly cripple you the next day - it is part of the process but it can be helped. You don’t need to be in pain all the time nor do you need to throw yourself into an ice bath, as a matter of fact – really, don’t. The ice bath treatment in the movies because, along with the burning helicopter moments,  it looks good. What you really need is to fight fire with fire and… exercise more.
The fitter you get, the more regularly you exercise the less sore you’ll be the next day and you will eventually be sore no more. Or nearly. Our bodies are designed to work, they are the happiest when they work and throwing them into the fire (intensive exercise) and then ice will be of practically zero benefit. Every process that goes on in your body is a natural one and it will cope with it, provided you let it. Exercise strengthens it, helps it get more agile and robust – muscle soreness is part of this process.

Rest Days

We are used to recovery days and rest days to allow muscles to repair and for the pain to go away but it isn’t the most effective way to get where you want. More than that, the more you rest the higher the chances you are going to give up on the whole fitness thing. What you need to do is train for recovery, walk or jog or do light exercise at a slower pace and with fewer reps and that will aid your recovery.
While we experience muscle soreness it’s easy to start feeling lazy, slow down, take a break… have a doughnut. What happens then is what physicists call the “rolling stone effect”. A stone that’s in motion tends to stay that way and one that’s at rest wants to do nothing but rest.
The moment you slow down the body likes it. Muscle soreness and official “rest days” then become a valid excuse. The moment you give your body permission to rest it stops working and then it doesn’t want to start. In other words, thinking you’re doing the right thing you’re only making your own life more difficult.
Here’s how to change this: Accept that your body is geared up to deal with muscle soreness and fatigue. The the main battle on the issue happens in your head, every single time. Exercising with sore muscles, reasonable training without going all out, is extremely beneficial and will help you get stronger faster and, eventually, reduce the next day soreness.  You just need to power through in the beginning and do something, anything but do it all the same.

Rest, Ice, Elevation, Compression (RICE)

We were first introduced to the term RICE (Rest, Ice, Elevation, Compression) as a post-workout recovery back in the 70s but since then we have come to conclusion that pills, sprays and icing blocks, that have been used to bring down the inflammation in the affected region and help the body recover faster, are most probably having the exact opposite effect, delaying healing of the body and the return to full training by up to two days. Dr. Gabe Mirkin the very man who gave us the term RICE has debunked his own theory.
The post-workout muscle inflammation is important because it’s the first stage of healing and the muscle soreness you face is really part of the body’s natural process to help you get stronger. When you interfere with it (by taking a cold shower, applying a cooling spray or taking an ice bath) you are only slowing down the process and delaying the healing that needs to take place.

Aid Recovery

If you’re experiencing muscle soreness you should not be using anti-inflammatories, you should not be using ice and certainly should not be resting, or only resting for 24 hours. You’ll increase healing by movement without pressure. Doing less intensive exercise will help you get where you want faster and help you develop better quality muscle.
If you can’t go through an exercise routine just yet do something else: go for a walk, swim a little, throw a Frisbee, play catch-ball. The point is that your body is very much like the moving stone of the physicists’ example. You just can't let it come to a complete rest. You will only have to work that much harder to get started again.

Here's a Plan

If this is your 'rest day' you need to work for it. How hard you work depends on how much your muscles ache. below are some suggestions and the good news is you only need to pick one.
My muscles are in agony - Keep them warm and: Go for a walk. Do some stretching. Throw a ball. Take a long swim at the pool.
My muscles are really hurting - Wrap up well and: Go for a jog. Do five push-ups (every two hours). Do ten squats (every two hours).
My muscles are just sore - Business as usual but: use a lighter training routine. Go for a run.
My muscles are aching - Welcome to the club: Do what you always do but level down (if you've been doing them at a higher level) or take a longer break between sets. Add some stretching before and after your routine.
The body’s made to work. It adapts to stimuli which then causes change. You get stronger, faster and fitter only when that stimuli is present and the body is made to adapt to it. So next time you feel the urge to take a break because you’ve worked a little harder than usual think that what you’re really working for the “you” you want. Don’t stop, change pace and keep on working for your goals.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

10 Things to Know About Muscle Fibers

Toning up, or improving muscle definition, is one of the most common goals of individuals starting an exercise program. The term tone comes from “tonus,” which is the technical term for a state of contraction of a muscle fiber. If all of the fibers within a muscle contract, it creates the shape commonly associated with a well-defined muscle.
The primary purpose of muscle fibers is to control physical forces moving through the body. Muscle-shortening actions can generate a force to move a resistance; for example, when moving from a seated to a standing position, the quadriceps and gluteus maximus shorten to help the body stand up against gravity. Muscle-lengthening actions can be applied to control and decelerate a force; for example, the quadriceps and glutes lengthen to control the motion of the body as it returns to a seated position. If you are interested in designing exercise programs that produce results, it is important to have a good understanding of how muscle fibers work and respond to exercise.
To more effectively help your clients achieve their fitness goals, keep in mind these important facts about muscle fibers and how they are affected by exercise:
1. Muscle fibers adapt to the specific type of exercise stimulus imposed during training. Mechanical stress refers to the physical stresses applied during resistance training, which cause microtrauma to muscle fibers. As fibers are damaged from exercise, they signal the biochemical reaction to produce new satellite cells responsible for repairing the mechanical structure of the muscle cell and for building new muscle proteins.
2. Muscle fibers are activated by a motor neuron, which is the connection between the central nervous system and the specific muscle required to perform a particular activity. A muscle motor unit is the motor neuron and the attached muscle fibers. Think of a motor unit as a light switch for the muscle—as a muscle is required to generate a force, the motor units will “light up” to stimulate the fibers to shorten in order to produce that force. There are a number of different muscle unit types, which are typically organized into three general categories: type I, type IIA and type IIB
3. According to the all-or-none theory, a motor unit is either active or inactive. When it is signaled to contract, it activates all of its attached muscle fibers. Slow-twitch motor units have a low threshold for activation and low conduction velocities, and are attached to type I muscle fibers. Fast-twitch motor units have a higher activation threshold, are attached to type II muscle fibers and are capable of conducting signals at higher velocities, resulting in greater amounts of muscle force.
4. Type I fibers are known as aerobic fibers. These fibers have a higher density of mitochondria, which are efficient at aerobic metabolism (the process of creating energy to fuel muscle activity with oxygen). The mitochondria give the cell a darker color, which is why these are known as red muscle fibers. Type I fibers use oxygen to create energy for lower-intensity, long-term, endurance-oriented activities like walking, running, swimming, cycling or standing for extended periods of time.
5. Type IIB fibers are known as anaerobic muscle fibers. Type IIB fibers store energy that is released for short, explosive, extremely high-intensity activities. Type IIB fibers do not have mitochondria and have a colorless appearance, which is why they are known as white fibers. Because they have a limited supply of stored energy, and thus fatigue quickly, Type IIB fibers are used for strength and power activities requiring a high amount of force in a short period of time.
6. Type IIA fibers have mitochondria, so they can be involved in aerobic activities; however, they can also be used to produce force rapidly during activities requiring a high amount of strength or power. Fast-twitch muscle fibers also have a greater diameter than type I fibers and play a more significant role in hypertrophy (the technical term for muscle growth). Recruiting and innervating type II muscle fibers requires creating enough mechanical overload to fatigue the involved muscle by the end of the set
7. Muscle fibers work according to the size principle. As a muscle requires force, it will start by activating the smaller type I motor units. When these type I motor units can’t provide the necessary force (or fatigue), the larger type II motor units and muscle fibers are recruited to perform the work. A muscle has a finite number of motor units and the higher-threshold type II motor units are not “turned on” unless a high level of force is needed. The most common way to increase motor unit activation is to lift heavier weights, because an increased load placed on a muscle will cause a greater number of motor units to activate more fibers to generate the force necessary to overcome the resistance. This is why your muscles shake when you try to lift a heavy weight for the first time—muscle motor units not previously used are being “woken up” and called into action.
8. Muscle fibers experience two specific types of hypertrophy. Myofibrillar hypertrophy refers to the increase in size or thickness of individual actin and myosin protein filaments, which can improve the force-production capacity of individual fibers. Myofibrillar hypertrophy does not lead to larger muscles; rather, it results in thicker muscle fibers capable of generating more force. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in the volume of the semifluid interfibrillar substance surrounding an individual muscle fiber. This fluid contains the proteins used to promote tissue repair and growth. The muscle “pump” that bodybuilders work to achieve is actually sarcoplasmic hypertrophy—the cross-section of muscle fibers will increase, but most of the enhanced muscle size is due to an increased volume of the sarcoplasm and non-contractile proteins not directly involved with force production.
9. One of the long-term adaptations of muscle to resistance training is an increase in muscle fiber cross-width. As the cross-sectional area increases in size, the fibers have more surface tension and become capable of generating higher amounts of force. Muscles with a larger cross-sectional area of individual muscle fibers are capable of producing greater amounts of force. In addition to being responsible for producing the force necessary for dynamic movements, type II muscle fibers have a greater diameter (cross-width) than type I fibers and are responsible for the hypertrophy, or increased size, of a particular muscle.
10. Type IIA and IIB muscle fibers are responsible for generating movement as well as muscle size and definition. Both classifications of type II muscle fibers create higher levels of force to produce human movement and are known as phasic muscles. Type I fibers are responsible for maintaining postural and joint stability, and can be categorized as tonic muscles.
If your client has a fitness goal related to improving muscle definition or building strength, the only way to achieve this is by activating the type II motor units and muscle fibers. There is a common misconception that developing muscle tone (“toning up”) is best achieved by using lighter weights for higher repetitions. While it is possible to achieve definition with lighter weights, it requires doing a high volume of repetitions. Using light weights for high repetitions can improve the aerobic efficiency of type I fibers, but unless the exercise is performed to fatigue which occurs only after recruiting the type II fibers, it will not result in the desired goal of definition. However, if time is an issue (as it is for many people), using a heavier weight for fewer repetitions is an effective technique for stimulating growth and definition from the type II fibers. It is important to note that exercising with higher repetition ranges will result in muscle growth from sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, while using heavier loads for fewer reps induces myofibrillar hypertrophy, which increases strength without necessarily inducing significant gains in muscle growth.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cross Training for Fitness and Weight loss

The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man's fatty tissue is bigger than 14% up to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman's is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overweight.

A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive.

The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the "ever reliable" result of the weighing scale.

It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure.

Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into "work metabolism," the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.

Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat

When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily.

Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world.

Now, you might ask, "What should be done instead?" The answer: cross training.

After some intensive studies and experimentations, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.

Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person's conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to an imminent boredom.

Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage into cross training are swimming, running, and cycling.

In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.

If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.

Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fatloss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your "losing weight" more bearable.

Cross training has three basic components:

1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a careful planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.

2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.

3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most of the people who wish to try to lose some fat.

Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage into cross training, you will be aware of it that you have already achieve your desired weight.

Boiled down, cross training is, certainly, one way of having fun.

Brigi G | Fitness Inspired Formula

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Weight Training for Beginners: Lifting Basics

weight training for beginnersWeightlifting is not just for body-builders…regular people can also benefit from these muscle training exercises.  By adjusting the weight, repetition and techniques, weightlifting can be scaled to an appropriate level to suit anyone’s exercise goals.  Including the proper use of weight training in your exercise regime provides unparalleled ability to increase strength and target particular muscle groups, but it is important to know what you’re doing because it is also an easy way to injure yourself.
Excessive weight, poor technique, and inadequate warm-up are all serious risks, and far from improving fitness, they can contribute to the kinds of chronic injuries that prevent people from exercising at all.  But this is no reason not to take advantage of weightlifting, with a few basic guidelines and the appropriate equipment you can safely enjoy the benefits of lifting weights.

First things first, how does weight training fit into your life?  While belonging to a gym offers the most equipment options and resources, not having access to a gym membership does not mean that you can’t lift weights.  It is easy to find inexpensive used dumbbells on Craigslist, and there are a lot of exercises you can perform with just a set of dumbbells.  Even if you can’t get your hands on any equipment there are still plenty of exercise for home that take advantage of weight training principles.  If you are new to weightlifting and muscle training, it might be useful to have a trainer plan out a routine that meets your needs and helps you become familiar with the exercises involved.  Most gyms offer both classes and personal trainers to help you get going and stay motivated, but there are also exercise classes online and on DVDs.  All it takes is a bit of research to find the plan that fits your needs and experience. Whether you are working out at home or hitting the gym, you are going to use the same set of muscles, and the importance of the warm up cannot be overstated.
The keys to a good pre-workout are getting warm, and stretching out.  Aerobic exercises that get the blood pumping are the first step.  With increased blood flow your muscles perform better, recover faster and are less likely to be injured.  Along with aerobic exercises you should do some light pre-workout stretching to increase your range of motion and lengthen the muscle fibers so they are less likely to tear while lifting.  Dynamic stretching is preferable, that is stretches that involve movement, as opposed to static stretches where you hold a position.  Focus you stretching on the areas that are most likely to be injured, such as your rotator cuff, shoulder and back muscles, neck, and knees.  Warming up for ten to twenty minutes is perfect, with most of the time spent on aerobic work.

Once you are all warmed up and ready to lift there are a few considerations that will maximize your benefits and decrease your risk of injury.  Check them out:
  1. Start off with light weights.  No, even lighter.  Especially if you are just getting into lifting, it is important not to push yourself at first.  Pick a weight that allows you to do more than 10 repetitions, without too much strain or fatigue.  Even most serious weight lifters often begin their routine with a set of low weight reps and then progress to heavier weights in later sets.  Better to wish you’d lifted more than wish you’d lifted less.
  2. Concentrate on performing each exercise with correct technique.  This is important both for maximizing the benefit to the muscle you are working out and minimizing the risk of injury.  Avoid swinging weights around while using them.  You want to maintain good posture, take a firm stance and lift with only the essential muscles- don’t compensate with other muscles.  Be careful with shoulder and knee exercises.  If you are holding a weight at arm’s length don’t lift it above your shoulder, and if you are performing weighted squats don’t bend lower than where your thigh is parallel to the ground.
  3. Go for high reps, full range, and multiple sets.  It is most beneficial for strengthening muscles to perform exercises that engage them at every point along the range of motion.  Additionally there is more benefit in gradually fatiguing your muscle, by performing three sets of fifteen repetitions for each exercise, for example, than in trying to lift as much as you can all at once.
  4. Go slowly.  Take time between exercises to keep stretch and staying warm.  Your muscles will improve the most if you give them a chance to recover after each exercise and then do another set.  Also it is important to lift in a slow and controlled motion.  Jerking the weights around is a good way to injure yourself, but lifting them slowly will make every exercise more challenging.
  5. Stay hydrated so you can keep sweating but bring a towel to wipe down equipment.  Water is essential to muscle recovery and it is important to stay hydrated during and after working out, but it is also important not to drip sweat all over the place, especially if you are in a gym sharing equipment with everyone else.
  6. Be sure to cool down properly.  After lifting it is a good idea to get a bit more cardio work in and do some more stretching, making sure that as your muscles cool they are not contracting and cramping.  Find some time to get in a few more quick stretching or yoga sessions in the hours following your workout to keep loose.
As you become familiar with weight training and want to get even more out of your exercises, look into improving your diet, creating a schedule that includes sufficient rest and recovery periods between workouts, and if you are training for something specific, do some research or seek advice on how to tailor your workout to your needs.


Monday, 22 June 2015

Walk Your Way To A Fitter Body -- Do The Treadmill Workout Now!

Nowadays, there are a multitude of fitness equipment infomercials. Almost all promises are further than absurdity.

The idea is that if want to look great and feel healthy you have to work at it. That normally requires a vigorous exercise routine combined with a well balanced diet. You have to burn calories. And of all the fitness equipments which give you a perfect shape, only one stand out, that is the treadmill.

A treadmill is designed to enhance the most popular form of exercising, running and walking. They are built on the basic premise that the more effort you put in, the more you will get out. With a workout on a treadmill, you can work out in comfort without having to lift weights and it does not put any undue stress on your leg and hip joints.

A treadmill is also ideal for getting a good cardio workout by walking, especially when there is an inclement weather. You can also use several different treadmill walking workouts to give your heart the workout it needs by adjusting the speed and the incline level of the treadmill.

Below are several important factors that you can do to make treadmill exercising feasible.

- Either Run or Walk

The two most popular and easy forms of exercising are running and walking. Whether you are a casual walker or a serious runner, a treadmill can accommodate your exercise needs. You can just set the speed and incline to suite your desired cardiovascular goals. You can even do a power walk up an incline or a heart pumping run at high speed.

- Avoid Bad Weather

A treadmill can guarantee a consistent workout in all seasons. A cold climate and freezing and snow will not stop your workout. It’s because you can simply work on it at home.

- Low Impact

For walkers and runners alike, injuries are usual from the constant pounding of joints on asphalt and concrete. Good thing there are higher end treadmills that offer surfaces that absorb impact and reduce pressure. Injuries are less common and stress is reduced on those critical joints.

- Versatility

Since treadmills are getting sophisticated, so does the versatility of the workout. Speed and incline has always been a popular feature on motorized treadmills, but now your workout is enhanced by a variety of preprogrammed computerized exercises. You can simply simulate running up and down hills, focus on cardio exercise, focus on burning calories, or work on speed training. Since some treadmills have preset programs, you can easily manipulate your own work out.

Choosing a Treadmill

Whether you are a treadmill beginner or a pro, you must also be wise enough in choosing the ideal treadmill.

Treadmills come in all shapes and sizes, including folding and stationary models. It is essential that you find the perfect model that suits your present and future exercise goals.

You may want to talk with fitness professionals that can recommend a treadmill specific to your needs. Also, you can ask your friends who uses treadmill or simply get through articles and reviews online.

Don't be attracted by the blue light specials found in large retail and sporting goods stores. They may lack the components and functionality to provide an enduring and pleasurable exercise experience. If you are in it for the long run you'll want to buy a treadmill that is build to last and designed to be practically maintenance free.

A treadmill will work if you’ll spend more time on it. So make sure you’ll do the workout on a regular routine. Remember, the more calories you burn, the more weight you lose!

Brigi G | Fitness Inspired Formula

Sunday, 21 June 2015

You Get A Full Body Workout And A Toned Torso With A Rowing Machine

One of the most complete cardiovascular exercises around has to be rowing. A proper workout on a rowing machine will tone all of the major muscle groups such as your legs, back and arms.

The beauty of using a concept 2 rowing machine is first of all it doesn't involve water.
This rower doesn't get you wet and there are no early morning trips to get your machine
out of the boat shed. No cold changing rooms and gale force winds for your training session. And there is definitely no need to find the nearest river to row your machine on. All you have to do is set it up in an adequately spacious area and away you go.

There are lots of different machines available on the market. Although they generally fall into 2 categories:

-Water rowers

-Air rowers

The water rower, which contrary to their namesake, does not end up in you getting wet after a vigorous workout. The machines are very beautifully designed and use enclosed water and paddles for resistance as opposed to air. These rowers tend to be quieter than air rowers and are just as much works of art as they are exercise machines.

Then we have the concept 2 air rower. There are many other brands available but this piece of machinery is commonly accepted to be one of the best, if not the best. They
are engineering masterpieces and are all calibrated to the same standard. So, if you do a certain time on a concept 2 rower, you can rest assured that, that time will be
replicated exactly on another concept 2 machine. This is the reason why the world indoor rowing championships use the concept 2.

The information that the display monitors show on the concept 2 is extensive, with the new monitors even being able to be plugged into a PC, so you can race
with other rowers from all around the world.

Brigi G | Fitness Inspired Formula

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Cardio Circuit 4

Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Cardio Circuit 4 pushes
your fat-burning potential with cardio exercises that will shred your
muscles, tone your body, and melt away those unwanted pounds.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Low Calorie Diet - Does It Work?

Looking for a quick and uncomplicated solution to drop a few pounds so that you can fit into that little black dress of your desires or just to attain your pre-pregnancy figure? Many diets out there are boasting ultra quick weight loss results.
From a dietitian's perspective, that is total rubbish. In order to lose the fats in a controlled manner the low calorie diet plan would be recommended. There has been proof that this diet works and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to carry it out.
Before I elaborate in depth about the low calorie diet, lets get the basic terminology right. The term calorie(kcal) refers to a unit of measurement for energy, and more commonly applies to the measurement of energy in food. So what's the big deal about calories? We need food to give us the energy to carry out our daily tasks. And our body uses these calories to carry out its daily activities or to fuel our workouts.
The problem with most people is they are eating way more calories than they actually need.
Calorie in > Calorie out = Weight gain
Okay now that you understand what causes us to gain weight, follow me though a 3-step plan to help you embark on a low calorie diet plan effectively.

Step 1: Find out what your daily calorie requirement
The amount of calories your body needs is a combination of your basic metabolic rate (BMR) and activity level. So basically anyone can calculate their BMR following the equation below.

BMR = 655 + (9.6 X weight in kilos) + (1.8 X height in cm) - (4.7 X age in years)

BMR = 66 + (13.7 X weight in kilos) + (5 X height in cm) - (6.8 X age in years)

To estimate your daily calorie requirement, multiply your BMR using the following table:

Activity Level Total Daily Calorie Requirement
Sedentary (BMR x 20 percent) + BMR
Lightly active (You exercise 1-3 times a week) (BMR x 30 percent) + BMR
Moderately active (You exercise 3-5 times a week) (BMR x 40 percent) + BMR
very active (You exercise intensely on a daily basis) (BMR x 50 percent) + BMR
Extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training) (BMR x 60 percent) + BMR
I would assume many of us would be classified as 'lightly active'. Most of us will fall into the category of sedentary of lightly active. So let me give you an example on how it works. The estimated calorie requirment for a 47 year old sedentary woman who is 68kg and 163cm tall will be:
BMR = 655 + (9.6 X 68) + (1.8 X 163) - (4.7 X 47) = 1380 kcal
Total daily calorie requirement = (1380 x 0.2) + 1380 = 1656 kcal

Just to give you an idea, a typical western diet provides 3000-3500 kcal a day which is twice the amount that an average woman needs. This is not surprising given the number of overweight and obese people.

Step 2: Decide on how much you need to cut out from your diet, create a calorie deficit
To lose weight, you need to eat less than what you body needs. If you cut out about 500 calories from your daily diet, that would mean 3500 calories less in a week.
So to put it in simple terms, the lady who requires 1656 kcal will lose approximately 1 pound after a week if she consumes approximately 1150 kcal per day. This is in theory. I would not suggest anyone consuming less than 1200 kcals per day as this will cause your body to lose it's effectiveness in burning fats.
3500kcal deficit = 1 pound of weight loss
If you need to lose 10 pounds, you will need to create a deficit of 35000 kcal. One thing to rememeber is to slowly cut your calories. Don't start jumping on the wagon and starve yourself for the entire week to create a 35000kcal deficit.
A healthy weight loss diet is one that helps you lose 1-3 pounds per week
There is no STATIC DIET. What it means is that if same lady who consumes 3000 kcal per day makes a conscious effort to cut down her calorie intake to 2500kcal daily, She will shed those unwanted pounds. This is because even though she is still consuming more than her actual calorie requirement, her body is reacting favorably to her decreased food intake. Sounds easy in theory? Think again. The hardest part is in the execution.

Step 3: Take note of what you eat
By taking down what you consume you will have a better understanding of your eating habits. You may discover that you are taking in more calories than needed. Okay I admit it is a chore but I guarantee you won't regret it!
Write down all the food and drinks you consume and the estimated amount (in household measurements e.g. cups or tablespoons etc) over a period of 3 days. Try to be as detailed as possible. Do include condiments you may consume e.g. salad dressing, sugar). Remember, keep your diet as normal as possible.
There are many online tools that can assist in calculating your daily calorie intake.
By doing this, you can easily know where the unwanted calories are coming from. You can then decide what to remove from your diet to create the calorie deficit.
As with all dietitians, I love to write meal plans. Here is a sample nutritionally balanced low-calorie meal plan.

a wholegrain bagel with a thin spread of light cream cheese (300kcal)
1 glass of low fat milk (90kcal)

Mid-morning snack:
1 cup of Low-fat yoghurt (130kcal)

Wholegrain sandwich bread, with a spread of mustard, salad veggies and lean meat (chicken/beef) (350kcal)
1 serving Minestrone soup (150 kcal)

Afternoon snack:
1 serving of fresh fruit (70 kcal)

cup of pasta with tomato sauce + 1 palm size grilled meat/fish or chicken OR cup of lean mince (400kcal)

Side salad with fat-free dressing (70 kcal)
1 serving of fresh fruit (70 kcal)
Total Calories: 1630 kcal

This is just an example and not a definite eating plan. If you follow through with the food diary activity and get yourself familiarized with the general calorie content of foods, you would have already known by now what are the high calorie foods that you need to reduce your intake of.

Here are some easy ways by which you can reduce your calories
1) Go for a diet soda instead of a normal soda
2) Use fat-free salad dressing and low fat mayonnaise
3) Have 2 servings of fresh fruit instead of 2 cups of processed fruit juice
4) Use less oil in your cooking
5) Always choose lean cuts of meat
6) Reducing your portion sizes by a quarter
7) Sharing a dessert instead of having the whole thing by yourself
8) Cut down on the amount of fried stuff you consume
9) Switching to low fat dairy products
10) Drink less alcohol

The key to a successful low calorie diet plan is consistency. Treat yourself to a little something 'sinful' at every milestone. Just don't end up eating a whole chocolate cake and regret it later. Do not be hard on yourself in you exceed your daily calorie intake. It is a collective effort over a period of time that will help you get to the weight you want.


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Improve Your Strength and Performance With This 5 x 5 Workout

Figuring out how to safely and effectively challenge your clients while helping them to achieve the results they want can be tough. Here’s a technique from the former Soviet Union you might want to consider: lifting just five reps at a time.
The former Soviet Union had the best sports scientists in the world. In the 1950s and ‘60s, at a time when coaches in the U.S. did not want athletes to lift weights because it was feared it would make them slower, the Soviets conducted research that showed that a proper strength-training program could boost athletic performance. The Soviet system focused on developing maximal muscle tension to improve levels of strength. Lifts that involved large amounts of muscle mass to create the highest levels of tension helped athletes improve their strength, which, when combined with proper skills practice, can improve sport-specific performance.
The Soviets pioneered many technical training techniques that can be difficult to replicate during a limited amount of exercise time. However, one technique that can easily be applied in less than an hour is doing exercises for only five repetitions at a time. To achieve the greatest benefits, the exercises should be compound movements involving large amounts of muscle mass, which is reflected in the workout below. The goal of each lift is to achieve the greatest amount of muscle tension possible. The Soviets were the first to recognize that using heavy loads to develop high levels of muscle tension involved recruiting more motor units and their attached muscle fibers, which led to strength gains. And, as a bonus, this technique also applies the science of muscle physiology to increase strength without significantly increasing muscle size.
Make sure that you have your clients perform a complete dynamic warm-up before starting this workout. For the best results, use a weight that is heavy enough to make the final rep extremely challenging, but it should not cause failure. In addition, resting for a second or two between each repetition allows maximal tension to be generated with each rep. Complete at least five sets of each exercise, with approximately two to four minutes of rest between sets to allow for optimal recovery. To save time, perform this workout as a circuit, with approximately two minutes of rest between each exercise.

Romanian Deadlift

One-arm overhead press

Barbell bent-over row

Split squat (with back leg on bench)

Include dumbbell press (bench between 30-45 degrees)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Woman Fitness - Fit For Life

by Patricia Sowell

It's a well-known reality that women put the needs of their family in front of their own personal needs. Using our way too hectic lives it's tough to be a fitness woman but you should make it a priority and spend some time for yourself.
While we get older our metabolism decelerates and which means those unwanted pounds can show up much quicker but worse yet they have a tendency to stick close to. Being overweight isn't healthy so it's important that you become that fitness woman who makes certain your daily routine includes consuming a healthy diet, receiving sufficient exercise, and ensuring you get a good nights sleeping.
More and more fitness centers are recognizing that supplying onsite childcare is a smart business and it's great for you. No worrying about locating childcare or you'll really feel a lot less responsible when you know your young ones are having enjoyable while you acquire that time out.
As a fitness woman you need to consider training with your children. There's no better role model than yourself and also the younger you begin with the greater. With quite young children it is possible to push them in their baby stroller while you walk or move. The fresh air's great for them as well!
Chasing your children around the outdoor area with a bet on tag or even a game of football with the more mature kids, or simply plane trying to keep on top of the toddler is a superb way for the fitness women to have a little exercise with no costs attached. Let the creativity flow - the quantity of activity is dependent on age of the kids. The fresh air is good for all of us and what a relaxed way to burn up a few energy.
Fitness women realize how to prioritize their time to enable them to get that bit of time for themselves to get their exercising in. It may mean washing laundry waits every day or the dishes don't get washed immediately but these girls recognize that if they do not take care of themselves they will become manage down or maybe even sick. You deserve that little bit of time for yourself. Just 30 minutes will leave you rejuvenated. You'll do a lot to your mind and body, and heart and soul. When your family members sees just how much it helps you they will be willing to help out with those duties.
A fitness woman must stay motivated over time and continue to keep her workout time on top of her priority listing. In fact to hold to your commitment mark your exercise time right in every day timer so no matter who wants to schedule one thing during your time that prevent of time has disappeared - period - address it like you would any other appointment.
Almost all of us have a couple of friends that would love to become a fitness woman too so consider wondering them to sign up for you on a walk or manage. It's a great way to keep you motivated too. Collectively you type an excellent assistance team. It is possible to share your trials and tribulations.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Women Fitness: How to Tighten That Tummy and Unveil Those Abs

Everybody is aware of the possible dangers that can be caused by unwanted fat deposits in the body. The beauty conscious women, young and the old have the dream of a tight tummy and solid abs as a part of women fitness. The way to achieve the dream is to reduce the fat deposit in the mid section. There are many useful tips to reduce the fat deposits.
The usual and effective way is to get committed to exercises that give more workouts to the mid section. The selection of different modes of exercise depends upon the age and health condition of the women. Crunches are the most preferred kind of exercise. Torso twists are also getting increasingly popular. Some women are receiving astonishing results through torso twists. Undergoing these popular types of self motivated exercise schedule under proper guidance can make your tummy tighter and will make your abs into the perfect shape. For women to get the extra fat removed from your waistline means to become attractive. No medicines or external factors other than exercise can bring about the desired results with long lasting effects.
Your diet is another aspect to be carefully looked into in order to avoid unwanted fat deposit around your waistline, which can lead to loosing your shape and beauty. Your diet holds the pivotal point. You should avoid extra fat contained food substances and in its place you can substitute fruits, green leafy vegetables and other low calorie foods. Food supplements can be relied on, in order to avoid malnutrition. If you are a woman who wants to flatten your tummy to unleash solid abs then you have to bring some changes to your daily schedule as well as your diet. Proper nutrition and regular exercise is the key to loosing the fat deposits around your tummy and to create sexy smart abs. In order to be lean and healthy at the same time, your body needs special and different nutrients. The only way to control your diet and to keep away from malnutrition is to adopt a diet plan that you will be able to follow continuously. Not just the selection of the diet plan won't help the course; you have to follow that strictly.
There are many tips for women to reduce you tummy and to bring attractive shape to your abs. The main one among them is to make aerobic exercises a part of daily routine. Daily exercise can increase the metabolism rate and there by the unwanted calories can be burnt off. Do the exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Morning time will be preferable. An additional 30 minutes per day can help you lose the unwanted deposit of fat in your tummy faster and this will aid you closer to your dreams faster. Another most important point is that, you should not starve in the name of diet control. Building more muscles can increase the metabolism rate and thus a good way to burn extra calories. You have to drink lot of clean water and should reduce sugar intake.
These are some of the easier and sustainable ways for women to remain fit, tighten the tummy and to unveil those abs.


Monday, 15 June 2015

How To Stretch Hip Flexors: 5 Ways To Loosen Your Hips

how to stretch hip flexorsThe hip flexor is infamous for being difficult to stretch, easy to injure, and nearly impossible to heal.  Most people have tight hip flexors in their genetics, which cause them to have drastically less flexible legs, hips and torsos.  For the rest of the world, sitting is one of the worst things you can do for a tight hip flexor.  Sitting for long periods of time, on a day-to-day basis (desk jobs, I’m looking at you), causes your hip flexors to not only tighten, but to actually shorten.  So whether or not you’ve injured your hip flexor, stretching it is good and preventative practice, and you’ll notice the results immediately.  Hip flexors control the tension necessary for pivoting forwards and backwards and side to side.  Being flexible in the hips will improve your posture, make you a better athlete (and dancer) and help you get the most out of your workouts (especially those involving leg and abdominal exercises).  Stretch out your hip flexors, then take your elasticity to the next level with these yoga sequences for strength and flexibility.

Warming Up

Ok, the last thing you want to do is injure your hip flexor when you’re trying to strengthen it.  That would be painfully ironic.  So avoid tears by warming up with a few of these easy exercises:
  • Lunges (Overhead and Reverse)
  • Leg Swings
  • High Knees
  • Leg Lifts
  • Self-Massage

Pigeon Pose

A little yoga never hurt anyone (in fact, I think it only ever helped).  The pigeon pose is a yoga classic, and it’s great for stretching hip flexors.  Begin by bending with a straight back and placing your hands palm down on the floor; then lower yourself to your knees.  Step with one leg forward until it is between your hands.  Make a right angle with that leg, so that it rests on its side and your shin is parallel with your chest (which should be facing straight forward).  You want to keep your hips straight and your back straight and arched.  You can alleviate some of your weight by pushing down on the floor with your hands.  Drop the other leg slowly so that it stretches out straight behind you; this is when you will begin to feel your hip flexor stretch.  Move slowly and always maintain balance, and like I said, use your hands to alleviate some of your body weight.  Breathe slowly and ideally hold the pose for at least two minutes.

Variation on the Lunge

This is essentially a lunge with emphasis on the hip flexor.  Start with a straight back and lunge forward with one foot.  Bend until both legs are at right angles; the knee in front should be level with your hips, the knee in back should be anchored by a thigh that is in perfect line with your back and neck (the knee should be touching the floor).  Rotate your pelvis forward until you begin to feel tension in the hip of your forward foot.  Now, raise the opposite arm of the forward foot overhead, angling it at almost a right angle in the direction of the forward foot.  You should feel considerable tension now.  Hold for at least one minute, extending the arm further to add tension as desired.  Return to standing and repeat for the opposite side.
This will help strengthen your core, too.  But there’s a better and more fun way to build your core: hoop fitness with 5X world record athlete Betty Hoops.


This might take you back to grade school, but even the hip flexor aficionado can delight in this simple yet satisfying maneuver.  First, take a seat.  As usual, keep your back arrow-straight.  Bring your feet together and toward your pelvis.  Your legs will bend beyond forty-five degrees and, when your soles touch, form a diamond (your knees will not be touching the floor; they should be elevated so as to resemble butterfly wings).  Hold your ankles with your hands and allow your thighs to relax.  Try to match your elbows to your knees simply by relaxing; but if you can lower your knees further without pain or force, by all means, go for it.  Relieve your hip flexors by raising your knees so that they are in line with your shoulders.  Hold for several seconds before lowering back to elbow height.

Hip Swing

If you liked sitting down for the Butterfly, you’ll love the Hip Swing, which requires you to lie on your side.  To begin, lie on one side and prop yourself up with your corresponding elbow.  Your hips should form a line perpendicular to the floor.  Raise the top leg so that it angles gently upward from the hip.  You do not need to raise it as high as possible; level with the ground is just as ideal.  Point your toe, keep your abs tight, and sweep your leg forward as far as you can while keeping it (and your back) straight.  Slowly reverse the movement and sweep the leg behind you as far as possible (squeezing your buttocks will win you extra inches).  Always maintain balance and control.  Switch legs before the stretch begins to feel like an exercise.  You do not want to over-burden the hip flexor.

Standing Hip Flexor

This is more of an exercise than a stretch, but it’s both gentle and strengthening, and probably the best way to bolster the delicate muscle.  For this you will need resistance bands.  Begin by attaching one end of the band just above one foot and the other end to a secure bench.  Face straight away from where you have anchored the band.  Keeping your leg and back straight, lift/push it forward gently to a two count, then release it in the same manner.  You do not need to hold your leg forward, and you do not need to strain yourself; a little resistance goes a long way.


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Seven Exercises For A Hot Upper Body

Why Women Store Fat
If you've been grabbing the extra fat in your thighs and triceps and wondering where it came from, your hormones could hold the answer. Yup, that's right. Hormones. Estrogen could be responsible for packing the fat cells in the back of your arms and thighs.
Estrogen also plays an important role in building muscle mass, preventing heart disease, bone breakdown, and may even stimulate bone formation. We simply need the right level of estrogen to look and feel great.
If our estrogen levels get too high, we can suffer from a number of negative side effects including cyclical headaches, anxiety, breast tenderness, water retention, irregular bleeding, and weight gain. Unfortunately, a blood test is the only way to know what your hormone levels are but there are other ways to keep your estrogen under control. Increasing the amount of exercise you perform daily can significantly lower estrogen levels.

Total Body Fat Loss Is Key
Isolated movements such as tricep exercises can help build muscle, increase strength, and boost your metabolism. But, spot training isn't enough. If you want results, you need to do the right combination of exercises and lose fat from all over your body before worrying about those so called "problem areas".
To burn fat, your exercise program requires three basic elements:
Cardio Exercise -- Your fitness program should have the right combination of slow cardio and intense interval training.
Strength Training -- Your workout week should also include 3-5 days of strength training per week. It's impossible for a female to bulk up, unless she is intentionally doing so. This part of your fitness routine will tone your muscles, build up your strength, and increase your metabolism. You'll burn fat more efficiently and use the fat you take in through your diet more wisely.
Proper Nutrition -- Without proper nutrition you won't lose fat. Knowing what to eat and when to it it is crucial to achieving your goals.

Exercises To Get That Hot Upper Body
Tricep Dip -- This strength exercise targets your triceps, but it also works your anterior delts, pecs, and rhomboids. The triceps consist of three heads that run from your humerus and scapula to your forearm: the lateral, medial, and long head. The lateral head is found on the top of your arm. The medial head comes down your midline, and the long head runs along the bottom of your arm. These heads allow you to straighten your elbow, and they also work in conjunction with your latissimus dorsi to bring your arm toward your body.
To perform a tricep dip:
1. Position yourself in front of a bench, chair, dip bar, or a set of rings with your hands shoulder width apart.
2. With your legs bent and your feet hip-width apart, elevate yourself so your arms are straight and your elbows slightly bent. (This will keep the tension on your triceps, instead of the joints in your elbows.)
3. Keeping your back close to the support, lower your upper body to the floor by slowly bending your elbows into a 90-degree angle.
4. Continue the movement until you reach the bottom, before pushing yourself back into the starting position. Just be sure to avoid bending your neck or moving your ears close to your shoulders.

Strong, Sensuous Shoulders

If you want a hot upper body, you'll need to work your shoulders.

These usually aren't what women consider sexy, but they are vital! They're the start of the hourglass figure we fight so hard to achieve. But strong shoulders will give you more than just good looks.
When you're exercising your shoulders, you're helping fight the natural ageing process by keeping them strong and building bone density. You're also decreasing your chance of suffering a shoulder injury. Sadly, unlike males, women aren't born with naturally shapely shoulders, so we have to work at it.
Lateral Raises
To really give your delts a workout, try an exercise like the cable lateral raise. This movement focuses on your lateral delt, but it actually works all three.
To perform a lateral raise:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Slowly raise them level with your shoulders while keeping your hands in front of your hips and your wrists facing each other. Pause before returning your arms to the start position.
Lats and Traps
When you work your back, you're actually working the latissimus dorsi muscles, or "lats". They start at the top of the humerus and fan down your back to the vertebrae and pelvic girdle.
Your lats make it possible for you to lean back or sit straight. They give your body some stability, but they also allow you to pull your arm toward your pelvis and bring your body toward your arm (like during a chin-up, for example).
Your trapezius muscles, or "traps", run along your spinal column, from the base of the skull to your middle to lower back. Their function? To pull up, down, and towards the centre of your body. They also make it possible for you to shrug your shoulders, lower your shoulder blades,
and bring them together.
To get your traps and lats into shape, try pull-ups as a simple way to work a lot of muscles. In addition to working your lats and pectoralis major, pull-ups also work your posterior delts, traps, rhomboid, and your levator scapulae, as well as your teres major, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior muscles. The biceps, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, transverse abdominis, and obliques are also involved.
To get started, try a standard chin-up. To perform one of these, use an underhand grip to pull your chest toward the bar. Once you've reached the top, hold the position. Then, lower your body into a dead hang.
When you're ready to move beyond a chin-up, switch to a pull-up by using an overhand grip. Then, there are several other variations you can try, including pulsating at the top of the movement or hanging onto the bar for as long as you can.

Importance of Chest Exercises

If you want to have a sexy upper body, you need to focus on the balance between your joints, tendons, target muscles, and their opposing muscles. Referred to as the planes of motion, this balance is a vital component for any quality exercise program. And if you want a strong upper body and back, you'll need to work your pectoral muscles.
The planes of motion is based on the fact that, even though you're working the target muscle (the agonist), you need to be working the opposite muscle (the antagonist) the same amount. If you're doing squats to work your quads, you'll also want to do exercises that work your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and lower back to avoid an imbalance. Hence, the need for chest exercises.
Your pectoral major muscles, or pecs, run from the humerus to the sternum and rib cage. And they work with your back muscles to pull your arm toward your body. Alone, they allow you to pull your arm forward.
Cable Flys
1. Step forward with your chest out and stomach tight to put resistance on your pecs.
2. Bend your elbow slightly and pull the cables toward each other in front of you by straightening your arms. Think of it like there's a stability ball on your chest and you're pulling the cables around the ball.
3. Once you've reached the top of the movement, pause, and return to the starting position.

Sexy Six-Pack Abs
Everyone wants the gorgeous ¬‚at stomach and the famous six-pack. But these stunning 'bumps' aren't separate muscles. They're two muscles called your 'rectus abdominis', and they're found between your ribs and pubic bone, joined in the centre by the linea alba.
It's these muscles that move the trunk of your body, ¬‚ex your spine during movements such as a crunch, and bring your pelvis to your ribcage during leg-hip raises or posterior pelvic tilts. They do more than just help you move, however.
Your rectus abdominis helps


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Cardio Circuit 3

Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Cardio Circuit 3 fires up
your metabolism to help you lose weight fast! Jillian Michaels's fierce
formula adds strength and ab exercises to dynamic cardio for increased
fat loss. Boost your body's calorie-burning power and lose up to 5
pounds a week with Banish Fat Boost Metabolism.

Friday, 12 June 2015

The Best Yoga Mat: 5 Mats For Every Yogi

Choosing a yoga mat is kind of like choosing a dog.  You need to ask the same questions: How much do you travel?  How much space do you have?  How much are you willing to spend?  The perfect yoga mat is the one that is best suited to your needs.  There is no “one” yoga mat that is perfect for every person, in every way.  Fortunately for you, this isn’t 1970, when you had more or less one choice for material: PVC.  This is 2014, and you could spend the whole year researching the endless varieties of yoga mats that are now available.  The important thing is to choose a mat and use it.   The following guide will help you pick the perfect mat, whether you bike twenty miles to class or practice in the basement (if you’re in the latter category, feel right at home with this weekend at-home yoga retreat).

A Brief Overview

Let’s take a quick look at the factors that will ultimately help you make a decision.
  • Material:  Like I mentioned, the all-PVC mat, while still popular, is starting to become a thing of the past.  Newer materials exist, ranging from cotton to recycled materials, with a strong emphasis on eco-friendliness (note: avoid natural rubber if you’re allergic to latex).
  • Stickiness:  For the most part, material determines stickiness.  Obviously, a sticky mat helps you hold your pose.  The reason PVC still survives is because it’s arguably the stickiest.  But there are, of course, other options.
  • Thickness:  Thickness is all about comfort.  If it’s too thin, you’re really going to feel some of those positions.  But if it’s too thick, you could find yourself flailing for balance.  Yoga mats usually range from 1/16” to ¼” thick.  A 1/16” mat would probably fit in your briefcase, while a ¼” mat is best staying at home.
  • Texture:  i.e. traction.  From slick to sandpaper, you can find any texture you desire.  PVC, while sticky, is very smooth; conversely, rubber and cotton tend to be rougher, but as mentioned before, less smooth.  In other words, if you like getting your traction from stickiness, PVC is the way to go; if you prefer to grip a raised surface, do yourself (and the world) a favor and go eco-friendly.
Spice up your mat routine with what is hands-down the best thera ball workout ever.

Best Beginner’s Mat

Let’s just get this out of the way.  The best beginner’s mat, for the person who wants to dabble in everything, is the Hugger Mugger Original Tapas Mat.  It is, truly, an average mat, but sometimes that’s the perfect choice.  At only $30, you don’t have to make a serious investment to get into yoga.  It has an average thickness of 1/8”, weights about 2.5lbs (light enough to travel with), and is made of traditional, latex-free PVC.  The only negative is its lack of eco-friendliness, which can feel a bit hypocritical when you’re shooting for self-improvement.

Best Traveler’s Mat

Whether you have a long trek to class or like to do yoga in your hotel on business trips, the best traveler’s mat is the Lululemon Un Mat.  It’s perfect in just about every way.  To begin with, it’s made of natural rubber, so check eco-friendly off the list and let’s keep rolling.  It measures a mere 1.5mm thick and weighs in at one pound—one!  It’ll be like a pencil in your ear; you’ll forget it’s even there.  And at $48, this is hands-down the best value.  You can find cheaper mats, but they’ll likely weigh more and feature PVC construction.

Best For Sweat

Blame it on the Bikram, but anyone who sweats a lot or loves power yoga needs to check out the Barefoot Eco Mat.  Rated $1 by The New York Times, the Eco Mat is, of course, incredibly eco-friendly, featuring natural rubber and jute fiber construction with no chemicals added.  Add to that the fact that the Eco Mat is sleepy soft, with a unique texture that refuses to slip on skin or flooring.  At 4.5lbs and $85, it is on the heavy and expensive side, but it lasts forever and you get what you pay for (and it’s definitely cheaper than an injury).
If you love to sweat, you’ll love this total hot-body yoga fitness workout.

Best for Home Practice (And Heavy Duty Use)

I recently read an article on NFL players readily adopting yoga, to help avoid injury and encourage durability.  Needless to say, if you’re a big-boned professional or just like to practice in absolute home-comfort, 1/8” isn’t going to cut it, let alone 1/16”.  Meet the Manduka Mat Pro.  This thing is a beast.  The 71” version weighs in at 7 lbs, while the 85” breaks the scales at 9 lbs!  This thing would break you back if you try to go anywhere with it, but it will save your knees and elbows for years to come.  For $100, you get a full ¼” of protection with a lifetime guarantee.  That’s right, a lifetime guarantee.  I don’t know how something that lasts so long is also eco-friendly, but it’s true.  The Mandura Mat Pro is manufactured in a zero-waste, emission free process.  And it just happens to be latex-free, too.

Best All-Around (On The Elite Side of the Scale)

The Jade (Key Lime) Yoga Mat is one of the best all-around mats on the market.  At 3/16” thick, it’s the amalgamation of comfort, durability and lightness (4 lbs).  At $75, it sits squarely in the price range of an intermediate to pro-level mat.  And yes, the Jade Yoga Mat is made of natural rubber, with one of the best slip-resistant surfaces on the market.  Plus, they plant a tree for every mat you buy, and that never hurts your Karma.
Like I said before, the important thing is to decide on a mat and actually practice yoga.  Whatever your style or needs, there’s a mat out there for everyone.  And if you’re just getting started, you should feel the same way about yoga.  It’s not a competition.  There is yoga and meditation for everyone.