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Fitness

6-Week Summer Shirts Off Shred (Full Program)

6-Week Summer Shirts Off Shred (Full Program)

6-Week Summer Shirts Off Shred (Full Program)

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The warmth in the air signals the start of many things: summer barbecues, trips to the water park, family vacations. But more than one season is starting; not just summer, but T-shirt, tank top, and, if you’re bold, shirts-off season. That means the race to the your choice physique is heating up.

Summer Shirts Off Shred

Gearing up for stripping down starts now with a six week program designed by personal trainer Barrington Bennett. The strength and conditioning regiment was devised to decimate body fat while increasing muscle endurance and overall strength. Plus, it’ll put you in prime form for beach season.

Barrington has a few guidelines to help you get off on the right foot:

  • A bit of trial and error goes in to finding an appropriate weight. If you can easily exceed the max reps at a given weight, go up; however, if you consistently struggle to finish the minimum, go down.
  • Prioritize form over weight. If your load is so much that it interferes with you completing an exercise with pristine posture and form, take a bit off.
  • Clock your rests. Don’t estimate, don’t count in your head, keep a clock or some other timer nearby. Be sure you’re getting a full rest period.
  • Keep a record of your progress. The only way you can be sure you’re making strides is if you keep track.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to jump in to Barrington’s routine. The six weeks is split up into three workouts a week; you can space them however works best for you, but try to space your days one-on one-off and give your muscles time to rest and repair.

WEEK 1: DAY 1

Barbell Back Squat
3-4 sets /12-15 reps /45-60 second rest

Barbell Bent Over Row
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Weighted Reverse Lunges
3-4 sets/ 10-12 per leg/ 45-60 second rest

Dumbbell Bench Press 
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Barbell Romanian Deadlift
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 60 second rest

Side Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 60 second rest

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Changes that Will Happen to Your Body if You Start Doing Planks Today!

WEEK 1: DAY 2

Barbell Deadlift
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Weighted Box Step-Ups
3-4 sets/ 10-12 per leg/ 45-60 second rest

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Barbell Front Squat
3-4 sets / 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Lat-Pull Down
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Plank
3-4 sets /60s work /30s rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 60 second rest

RELATED ARTICLE: 4 Exercises That Actually Harmful for Your Back (and What to Do Instead)

WEEK 1: DAY 3 – “SPP” CHALLENGE

Squat/Pull-Up/Push-up

Ascending repetitions for each movement: i.e., 1 squat, 1 pull-up, 1 push-up; 2 squats, 2 pull-ups, 2 push-ups.

WEEK 2: DAY 1

Barbell Back Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Weighted Reverse Lunges
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Dumbbell Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 15 per leg/30 second rest

Barbell Bent Over Row
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Barbell Romanian Deadlift
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Kettlebell Swings
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 30 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 30 second rest

RELATED ARTICLE: With These 9 Exercises Your Belly Fat Will Disappear in 2 Weeks

WEEK 2: DAY 2

Barbell Deadlift
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Weighted Box Step-Ups
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Barbell Front Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Kettlebell Swings
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Lat-Pull Down
3-4 sets /15 reps/ 30 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 30 second rest

RELATED ARTICLE: Show Your Lower Belly Who’s the BOSS!

WEEK 2: DAY 3 – “FRONT ROW” CHALLENGE

Rower
500m/ 300m/ 200m/ 100m

Take at least a 60 second rest between each interval.

WEEK 3: DAY 1

Barbell Back Squat
3 sets/ 10 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank Jacks
3-4 sets / 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Barbell Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Barbell Romanian Deadlift
3 sets/ 10 reps/ 60 second rest

Kettlebell Swings
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Barbell Bent Over Row
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank Up/Down
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 30 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 30 second rest

RELATED ARTICLE: Slim Down Your Love Handles With This Simple 12-Minute Workout

WEEK 3: DAY 2

Barbell Deadlift
3 sets/ 10 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank Taps
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Dumbbell Overhead Press
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Weighted Box Step-Ups
3 sets/ 10 reps/ 60 second rest

Ab Wheel
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Dumbbell Bent Over Row
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Side Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Lat-Pull Down
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 30 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ Max reps/ 30 second rest

RELATED ARTICLE: Wanna Get a Natural Breast Lift? – Follow THIS Workout

WEEK 3: DAY 3 – “RING MY BELL” CHALLENGE

Deadlift/Swing/Squat/Press
30 seconds at each station for a total of 15 minutes.
1 minute rest between rounds.

KB Deadlift/ KB Swing/ KB Goblet Squat/ KB Overhead Press

WEEK 4: DAY 1

Bulgarian Split Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Jacks
3-4 sets /60 seconds work /30 second rest

Incline Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Kettlebell Swings
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Up/Down
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Lateral Lunges
3-4 sets /15 reps /45 second rest

WEEK 4: DAY 2

Single Leg Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

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Mountain Climbers
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank to Pike
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Incline Pull Up
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Hold
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Lateral Lunge
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

WEEK 4: DAY 3 – “NO JOKERS” CHALLENGE

Complete a full deck of cards as fast as possible. The number on the card corresponds to number of reps. Face cards are 10 reps; aces, 11. Remove Jokers from the deck.

Hearts: TRX Jump Squat

Diamonds: TRX Push-Ups

Spades: TRX Row

Clubs: TRX Mountain Climbers

Scale: If TRX bands are unavailable, perform each exercise as a bodyweight movement.

WEEK 5: DAY 1

Weighted Bulgarian Split Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

Incline Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Jacks
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Kettlebell Swings
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Up/Down
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Ab Wheel
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Lateral Lunges
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

Dumbbell Overhead Press
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Mountain Climbers
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Side Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

WEEK 5: DAY 2

TRX Single Leg Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

TRX Pikes
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

TRX Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

TRX Atomic Crunch
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

TRX Jump Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

TRX Plank
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

TRX Row
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

TRX Plank
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

Scale: If TRX bands are unavailable complete the following bodyweight exercises

Single Leg Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank to Pike
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Hanging Knee Raises
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

Jump Squat
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Hold
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

Incline Pull Up
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45 second rest

Plank Hold
3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

WEEK 5: DAY 3 – “300” CHALLENGE

6 exercises, 50 reps each.

Plank Taps

Plank Up/Downs

Plank Jacks

Plank Leg Lifts

Plank Arm Raises

Plank – 50 seconds

WEEK 6 – DAY 1

Barbell Back Squat
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Barbell Bent Over Row
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Push-ups
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Weighted Reverse Lunges
3-4 sets/ 10-12 per leg/ 45-60 second rest

Dumbbell Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

TRX Row
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Barbell Romanian Deadlift
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Dumbbell Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Kettlebell Swing
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Dumbbell Overhead Press
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Ab Wheel
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank Taps
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Side Plank
3-4 sets/ 60 seconds work/ 30 second rest

Jumps with jump rope 500

WEEK 6 – DAY 2

Barbell Deadlift
3-4 sets/ 12-15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Pull-Ups
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Weighted Box Step-Ups
3-4 sets/ 10-12 per leg/ 45-60 second rest

Incline Push-Ups
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Lat-Pull Down
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Barbell Front Squat
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Dips
3-4 sets/ 10-12 reps/ 60 second rest

Dumbbell Bent Over Row
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 45-60 second rest

Ab Wheel
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Plank Jacks
3-4 sets/ 15 reps/ 60 second rest

Side Plank

3-4 sets/ 60s work/ 30s rest

500 Jumps with jump rope

WEEK 6: DAY 3 – “JUMPMAN” CHALLENGE

10 minutes of jump rope

5 burpees after every 100 jumps

Everyone’s ideal body is different, but at the end of this program, you can be sure you’ll have a physique you’ll be excited to reveal at any opportunity, plus the strength and endurance to keep up with all the summer fun.

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Fitness health

This is How Your Body Really Responds on Exercising

This is How Your Body Really Responds on Exercising

This is How Your Body Really Responds on Exercising

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Pharmaceutical miracles abound in the United States. Medicine holds diabetes 2 in check, manages heart problems, fights cancer and keeps the colon open. What if I told you there is a do-it-yourself medication available to all? You would probably refuse my offer. After all, non-prescription drugs may be illegal!

Exercise

This medication is pushed, literally pumped, every day by people who know the benefits.
It’s called exercise. Exercise doesn’t just address symptoms, it changes the entire body from top to bottom.

Let’s start with the brain on top. Brain cells begin functioning at warp speed and alertness as blood flow increases with exercise. That’s good news for older people at risk for dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, regular work-outs lower the risk of this terrible disease by 50 percent!
With a brisk walk, endorphins flood the brain, increasing seratonin and elevating the mood. Exercise is proven to assist with depression, a precursor of other unfortunate mental conditions. The hippocampus begins manufacturing new cells, which facilitate memory and learning. The pituitary gland releases growth hormones, so essential for resilience, youth and beauty.

Huffing and puffing is great! This stimulates oxygen use through the lungs called VO2 max. When you reach VO2 max, you crash. You can’t rev up any higher. The higher the VO2 max, the better condition the person is in.

Within the lungs lies the heart. Exercise increases the heart rate, forcing the body to circulate more blood oxygenated by the lungs. The heart gains efficiency through practice, through consistent workouts. Very fit people have such a muscular, efficient heart that their resting pulse rate is very low. New vessels are formed in the same way, lowering blood pressure in well-conditioned people.

No one thinks of the stomach’s functions being changed by exercise, because most of us just want it to look flatter. During exercise, stomach function is diminished. It takes plenty of blood flow to digest food, and blood flow is necessarily directed to muscles during exercise, which is why it may be better to wait to visit the gym after a meal. On the other hand, exercise tends to speed the colon right along. Exercise and fiber-laden whole foods generally eliminate the need for laxatives.

RELATED ARTICLE: NO EQUIPMENT EXERCISES: THE NATURAL WAY TO GET GREAT HAMSTRINGS

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Skin products are a multi-million dollar industry. All of us want to look younger, fresher, more beautiful. Exercise pumps blood to the face, widening capillaries and clearing pores. The body, just like an engine, produces more heat when revved up. This heat dissipates through the skin through blood flow.
People who exercise regularly tend to have smoother, fresher-looking complexions. According to The Daily Mail, even people who began exercising later in life were observed to have younger-looking skin.

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario took a look at mice, first. They noted that mice allowed exercise wheels had lush fur with youthful color. When the wheel exercise was eliminated, older mice quickly became bald and gray. People, when compared, exemplified the same principle. The ones who exercised showed significantly younger, firmer skin.

The liver probably got its name for good reasons. No one lives without one.
Aerobic exercise increases blood flow and allows the liver to filter and send blood with ease. Weight training prevents the excess body fat bringing on a fatty liver, eventually causing it to become dysfunctional. This is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Many Americans today are obese, exhibiting the large, fatty stomachs indicative of later liver dysfunction. The medication to prevent NASH is exercise.

RELATED ARTICLE:  Top 10 Exercises To Heat Your Regular Workout

Muscles are the first thing we think of in connection with exercise, and rightly so. Muscles make exercise possible, and they benefit greatly from consistent workouts. At first, muscle aches and pains cause discomfort with exercise when a person is not fit. But this is the result of tiny tears forming in the muscles that actually stimulate them to grow and get stronger. Muscle building is especially beneficial for older people. Exercise and the building of muscle prevents bone loss and lubricates joints and tendons. Muscle mass prevents the injuries so deadly in senior falls. It also gives an upright, coordinated and healthy appearance to older physiques.

Exercise changes the body from the inside out. It’s the best medicine, and it’s a lot less expensive than pharmaceuticals!
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Fitness health

THIS Will Help Your Lungs Stop Burning on Runs

THIS Will Help Your Lungs Stop Burning on Runs

THIS Will Help Your Lungs Stop Burning on Runs

With warm weather fast approaching, the decision to get in shape brings about many new fitness routines. So, with a new pair of running shoes bought, newbies to the world of running will head outdoors to put their plan into motion. After they’ve stretched, they start off in a light jog feeling like a champion who’s already crossed the finished line. Feeling exhilarated, new runners will break into a sprint wanting to run like the wind, only to be cut short because it feels like their lungs are on fire.

Stop Lungs Burning on Runs

For those who are new to running, it’s not uncommon to experience burning in their lungs when they start running. When a person breathes through their mouth, it tricks their brains into thinking that they are losing carbon dioxide, so their bodies goes into survival mode and produces goblet cells. It’s these cells that produce mucus, constricts the blood vessels and slows breathing. This unpleasant phenomenon disappears as runners become more experienced.

In addition, to proper breathing techniques, there are many factors that play a role in a runner’s performance during running. For example, the amount and quality of sleep someone has the night before, diet and stress levels all need to be in check in order to maximize their running ability. But many people don’t know that regulation of breathing when running has serious impact on their energy levels. Here’s a breakdown on how runners can power their muscles with fresh oxygen on each and every stride they take.

Learn Proper Breathing Techniques

To maximize their efforts, runners must learn to breathe deeply. The lungs are only a little smaller than one’s rib cage, but many people tend to only use the top third when breathing.

When runners breathe deeply, they expand their lungs, pressing the diaphragm down. This causes the abdomen to expand when their lungs fill with air. Learning to breathe properly when running not only helps runners take in more oxygen, but it will also prevent them from feeling dizzy and feeling nauseous. In addition, runners will be able to breathe to their fullest potential and ultimately increase their endurance. Combining Pilates and yoga can help novices perfect their breathing technique.

RELATED ARTICLE: Fitness Expert Reveals How To Build Muscle As A Beginner

Conquer Diaphragmatic Breathing

One way to master this skill is to match one’s breathing to their steps. When jogging causally, inhale for every three or four steps, then exhale slowly for the same amount. When running more intensely, it’s necessary to increase one’s breathing tempo to support the increase in energy output-take one breath in for every two steps and then out for every one to two steps. If new runners have difficulty matching their steps to their breathing, then they need to slow down and sync their breathing with their running.

As with any exercise program, it takes time to build up strength and endurance. Trying to do too much can result in a possible injury. It’s very common for new runners to start with a lot of gusto, but because of the inability to gain momentum, they often give up. Pacing oneself and slowly adding more time with each subsequent run is the best route to go.

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Fitness Pain

4 Exercises That Actually Harmful for Your Back (and What to Do Instead)

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4 Exercises That Actually Harmful for Your Back (and What to Do Instead)

Exercise is supposed to be a great way to stay healthy. Unfortunately, not all exercises are beneficial. Burpees, sit-ups, toe touches, and deadlifts can all wreck havoc on your back.

4 Exercises That Actually Harmful for Your Back (and What to Do Instead)

Burpees

Burpees were developed in the 1930s by a physiologist by the name of Royal H. Burpee. This exercise was created to be done four times in a row to test a patient’s overall fitness level.

To complete burpees, a person does a deep squat and then moves into a plank position. From there, the person brings his or her feet between the hands quickly, then stands again. This exercise makes the quadriceps tighten, then stretch again quickly. Jamie Atlas, a fitness expert and owner of a personal training studio in Denver, says that this exercise hyper extends the knees and irritates the membrane within the synovial joints. Chiropractor Dr. Christopher Notley states that doing 75 burpee reps forces you to flex your back rapidly 150 times. This type of prolonged strain on the lower back can cause pain.

The alternative exercise is: high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Sit Ups

Sit ups are one of the most recognizable calisthenic exercises. To perform a sit up, a person lies with his or her legs flat on the floor with his or her hands locked behind the head. Then, as the exercise suggests, he or she sits straight up, bending at the waist. This exercise causes both the rectus abdomens muscles and the external obliques to contract.

The alternative exercise is: half crunches.

RELATED ARTICLE: Yoga For Lower Back Pain

Sit ups are very taxing on your back. Sit-ups tend to work the hip flexors more than the abdominal muscles. When they are too tight, they shorten and pull on your lower spine. Dr. Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at Canada’s University of Waterloo, says that sit ups can squeeze spinal disks.

Toe Touches

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Toe Touches

Toe touches require you to stand up straight then bend forward at the waist. The goal is to touch your toes or place your hands onto the floor.

Toe touches stretch the four-muscle group in located in the back of each thigh. This grouping is known as the hamstrings. Because there is no support from the back muscles, toe touches strain the ligaments around the hamstrings. Your spinal disks are also put under intense strain when you perform toe touches. Dr Jolie Bookspan, Director of Neck and Back Pain Sports Medicine, says that toe touches can be detrimental to back health.

The alternative exercise is: supine hamstring stretch.

Deadlifts

A person performing a deadlift begisn by standing behind a weight on the floor. Then he or she bends down while bending slightly at the knees. The practitioner picks up the weight, stands straight up, and locks his or her hips and knees. This exercise works the muscles that run from the base of your skull to your lower spine. Additionally, your gluteous maximus moves the top of your pelvis back as you complete this exercise. A deadlift makes your quadriceps do a lot of work, too. these are the muscles that straighten your knee joints when you stand up.

Dr. Stuart M. McGill states that when deadlifts are done incorrectly, the consequences can be severe. Poor form can put all of the stress on your spine. The sciatic nerve can also be damaged, and ruptured disks are common to those who perform deadlifts.

The alternative exercise is leg presses on a machine.

These common exercises put your body into unnatural positions and can lead to strain and injury. Keep yourself healthy, and avoid them.

 

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4 Exercises That Actually Harmful for Your Back (and What to Do Instead)

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Fitness women's health

See What Happens to Your Body After 1 Month of Intense Kegel Workouts

See What Happens to Your Body After 1 Month of Intense Kegel Workouts

Kegel exercises are commonly discussed these days, but what are they?

Kegel exercises are often recommended for toning the pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor can have a myriad of positive effects on your health, comfort, and self-confidence.

See What Happens To Your Body After 1 Month of Intense Kegel Workouts

What are the benefits of doing Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises are helpful for men and women alike, and are especially valuable if you are experiencing the effects of aging, have an overactive bladder, have been treated for prostate cancer, are pregnant, or have given birth. Kegel exercises are helpful for people who experience stress incontinence, or the inability to fully control bowel movements or the flow of urine. If sneezing, coughing, or laughing leads to an unwanted release of urine, then Kegel exercises may be beneficial for you.

For women, Kegel exercises help support the bladder and uterus, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. Pelvic floor muscles may become strained during pregnancy, which can lead to uterine prolapse. Pregnancy can also put extra strain on the bladder sphincter, which controls the flow of urine. Kegel exercises can prevent, reduce, and reverse some of these symptoms.

For men who have had their prostate removed, performing Kegel exercises is essential. There are many muscles situated around the prostate, and those can become weakened after treatment for prostate cancer or a prostatectomy.

Besides preventing negative symptoms associated with some conditions, Kegel exercises can also improve your love life. Kegel exercises improve circulation to the sex organs, which can help to treat sexual dysfunction for men and women. Kegel exercises can also prevent premature ejaculation by giving men better control over when they ejaculate. For women, Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles in the vagina, and allow for stronger muscle contractions during orgasm.

How do you perform Kegel exercises?

There are many variations and postures that can be used to perform Kegel exercises. Below is the basic method:

1. Next time you use the restroom, practice stopping and starting your urine flow. Do this a few times so that you are sure that you can engage the target muscle group. Note that you do not have to do Kegel exercises in the restroom. Once you are proficient in isolating the muscle group, you may perform these exercises at any time and in any place.

RELATED ARTICLE: Wanna Keep Your Intimate Zone Look Young? Try This Homemade Rejuvenating Mask

2. Once you have established how to engage the pelvic floor muscles, tighten and hold the muscles for a span of five seconds.

3. Relax the muscles. One cycle of tightening and relaxing is one Kegel exercise. 10-20 of these exercises three to four times per day will yield good results.

Remember that this is just like any other type of exercise. When you begin, you may find it difficult, or you may not be able to do as many reps. Be patient and don’t give up! Eventually you will build the strength required to complete all the exercises, and you will start to reap the benefits.

Kegel exercises in practice, a case study

The following describes one woman’s week to week experience after beginning to practice Kegel exercises. The subject did not suffer from incontinence, but she did have an overactive bladder.

Week 1:

The first week of performing Kegel exercises required extra time and effort. She set aside time to do her Kegel exercises as part of her daily wellness routine because it was difficult at first. Just like working out any muscle group, she experienced soreness a few days into her routine.

Week 2:

In the second week, soreness disappeared, and she found that it was easier to contract the pelvic floor muscles.

Week 3:

The subject felt that her pelvic floor was stronger. The exercises became easier for her to perform.

Week 4:

After one month, the woman noticed a decrease in the frequency and urgency of her restroom breaks thanks to her Kegel exercises.

Should you start a Kegel workout routine?

Whether you are someone with a health concern such as stress incontinence due to aging, prostatectomy, or childbirth, you have an overactive bladder, or you are looking to improve your love life, Kegel exercises can be beneficial for you. Starting the routine will be the most difficult part, but once you establish muscle memory, these exercises will become second-nature to you. One may expect to experience some of the benefits of Kegel exercises in as little as one month. Kegel exercises cost you nothing, but can have huge positive effects on your quality of life.

Categories
Back pain Fitness

5 Easy Foot Exercises to Alleviate Your Back, Hip and Knee Pain

5 Easy Foot Exercises to Alleviate Your Back, Hip and Knee Pain

5 Easy Foot Motions to Alleviate Your Back, Hip and Knee Pain

Suffering from joint pain, especially in the back, hip and knee regions, can make life unbearable. Everyday activities take on a new challenge, from going to work, doing the grocery shopping or even just standing up from your chair at the office. Back pain can cause numbness and additional symptoms that further complicate basic activities, so it’s important to find a way to deal with your joint problems by finding the right exercises to alleviate nerve pinching and muscle tension.

 

Foot Exercises for Back, Hip and Knee Pain

The last place you may think of seeking to ease your pain is your foot, but did you know that your feet are actually ideal for treating your symptoms since they’re connected to every other area in your body? Your feet keep you moving and work more only second to your heart. Think about how many steps you’ve probably taken in a lifetime. Turning to such essential limbs can help relieve back, hip and knee pain by increasing your range of motion, stretching muscles and increasing flexibility.

Toe Presses

Before you begin any foot exercises, you’ll have to warm up. Your feet contain muscles just like the rest of your body, and just as you’d stretch your hamstrings before going for a run, you’ll want to prepare your feet before diving into any exercises. Toe presses are a great way to start since it’s low-intensity and can even be rather soothing.

To start, stand straight and bend your knees slightly. If you’re already suffering from knee pain, don’t push yourself into any position that’s uncomfortable for you. Next, grip the floor with your toes, curling them inwards. Hold this position for a count of three, release and repeat 10 times. You should aim to perform a single set of 10 three separate times a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner serve as perfect reminders.

RELATED ARTICLE: Feeling Joint Pain? This Is What It Probably Means

Toe Walking

This is simple and easy and will help not only strengthen the muscles in your feet but in your ankles as well. Stand on your tiptoes and walk without stop for a full 20 seconds. Stop, rest for 10 seconds and repeat. Perform five sets for a total of 120 seconds or two full minutes of toe walking.

Ankle Circles

Continuing the focus on ankle strength, ankle circles are a common flexibility exercises done by athletes and dancers. This simple rotating motion may not seem to do much at first, but as you continue to practice, you’ll noticed an increased range of motion and level of flexibility in your ankles like never before. Many people who have tight and restricted ankles can also suffer from back, hip and knee pain, so loosening them up is a great way to combat discomfort.

This exercise can be done one of two ways. For the first, lay on your back and raise one leg over your head or as far as you can manage. Rotate the raised leg’s ankle for 10 counts, then rotate it counterclockwise. Repeat with the other leg.

The second way to perform this exercise is to sit on the floor with both of your legs extended in front of you and perform the same rotations.

Resisted Flexion

This exercise calls for a resistance band which can be purchased for relatively cheap at many stores like Target and Walmart or ordered online. Resisted flexion is a great way to strengthen the muscles in your feet, and a resistance band can be used for plenty of other exercises as well, so you’ll really get your money’s worth.

To perform this exercise, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Place the band across a sturdy chair and the other end around the top of your feet. Slide back until you feel tension and hold for five seconds. Release and repeat as much as you are comfortable with. Up to five times should be enough for a good stretch.

Toe Pencil Pickups

This quick and easy exercise can be done almost anywhere, even under your desk at work! Simply slip out of your socks and shoes, place a pencil on the ground and use your toes to pick up the pencil. Hold it off the ground for 10 seconds, drop it and repeat. You should repeat this movement five times on each foot and perform it 2 to 3 times per day for the rest results.

These five exercises are fast, simple and easy means of treating your back, hip and knee pain naturally. Although in severe cases you may still require physical therapy or other forms of treatment, many people with mild to moderate symptoms can find significant relief by performing these exercises several times per day. You should allow at least one to start seeing results and once you do, be sure to stick to a schedule so you can stay pain free for good.

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Fitness

With These 9 Exercises Your Belly Fat Will Disappear in 2 Weeks

With These 9 Exercises Your Belly Fat Will Disappear in 2 Weeks

With These 9 Exercises Your Belly Fat Will Disappear in 2 Weeks

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Anyone with a BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight. If you’re like most people with our comfortable lifestyles, fighting fat is never ends. Here are nine exercises that put you ahead of the game.

Lying flat on your back:

1. Butterfly crunch


Pull the soles of your feet closer to your body. Relax the knees out to the sides. Put your hands behind your head. Curl your shoulders a few inches of the floor toward your feet, then lay back flat again. Repeat this 10 times. This targets the core abdominal muscles that also play a role in the posture and stability of the entire body.

2. Side-to-side bends


Raise your knees, arms at your sides. Let the soles of your feet rest on the floor. Reach for the right foot with the right hand, keeping the arm, head, and shoulder on the floor. Straighten out and repeat for the left side with the left arm. Do 15 repetitions. This enhances both flexibility and the lateral muscles of the sides that join hip and shoulder.

3. Fingers to toes

 

Lie flat on your back, with the legs up and extended straight to the ceiling, arms down at your sides. Bend up and reach for your toes with both hands. Keep the small of your back flat on the floor. Repeat 15 times. This is an excellent total-body exercise that particularly works the abs.

4. Scissor crunches

 

Lay flat with your fingers behind the head. Keep the abs tight as you raise the left knee and touch it to your right elbow. Go back to the starting position and do the same on the other side, raising your right knee to your left elbow. Do this 15 times alternating from one side to the other. This is another exercise that works several muscle groups while targeting the core.

5. Resistance crunch

 

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Lie flat with your back on the floor and knees bent. Take the ends of your resistance band(s) in each hand, and wrap the middle around your shins. Let your arms lie flat. Raise your knees to your chest until your hips are off the floor. Maintain the position for three seconds, then lower. Try for two sets of ten repetitions each. The resistance allows you to quickly build up strength in the muscles of the abdomen.

RELATED ARTICLE: Use These 15 Proven Tips To Get Rid Of Your Belly Fat

6. Leg swings


Lie flat on your back with your arms straight out to the sides from your shoulders. Keep the legs straight. Bring your knees up toward your chest, and turn to the left so your knees are about 5 inches off the floor. Return your legs to the original position. Now repeat to the right side. Try to do 3 sets of 15 repetitions, alternating between sides. This an exercise that works the muscles of the abdomen and pelvic regions all across the body.

From hands and knees:

7. Plank


Both the back and abdominal muscles should contract as you drop to your forearms and extend your legs back, so that you’re holding the weight of your legs on the balls of the feet. Keep the back straight and the hips up, but relax the neck. Keep this posture for at least three seconds, and go back to your hands and knees. Do this 10 times. This helps strengthen the anterior oblique muscles of the lower back.

8. Knees-up


Get two sturdy chairs and set them back-to-back. Stand between them, support yourself on the backs of the chairs, and raise your feet off the floor, bending your knees toward your chest. Try to keep from swinging back and forth. If this is too much, lift one leg at a time and carry only some of the weight on your hands. Do 3 sets of 15 reps. This a good exercise for building strength and definition in the pectoral (chest) muscles.

9. Leg lift


Keep hands flat on the floor for support. Your lower body rests on the balls of your feet. Keep the back relaxed as you raise the left leg toward the ceiling. Maintain the position for three seconds before lowering the leg. Do this ten times. Repeat with the right leg. Increases flexibility and muscle tone along the lower back, buttocks, and hamstrings.

The idea is to target the core muscles, which control most of our total-body movement. Stronger muscles burn fat faster. When this becomes a regular habit, burning off calories is that much easier.

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Fitness

Show Your Lower Belly Who’s the BOSS!

Show Your Lower Belly Who's the BOSS!

Show Your Lower Belly Who’s the BOSS!

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The lower belly can often be a difficult area to tone. Don’t be discouraged! There are several exercises that can target core muscle groups and tighten your lower abdomen.

Most good abdominal workouts include at least one plank exercise. Plank exercises develop abdominal muscles, and also strengthen the back and shoulders, affecting your posture. A straight posture pulls in your stomach, making it appear flatter. A rolling plank begins in a typical plank position, but you’ll then rotate to one side into a side plank and hold for ten seconds, then switch to the other in order to tone your obliques as well.

 

A Mountain climber exercise is great for your lower abdominal muscles because your core has to work hard to keep you stable. It also targets your hamstrings and quads, as well as your gluteus. You will be working each of these muscles as you bring your knee to the opposite elbow. Performing cross-body mountain climbers will certainly make you feel accomplished when you’ve completed a few!

 

Roll-Ups make your deep psoas muscle work hard. The psoas is found in your stomach and attaches to your spine. It is part of your body’s hip flexor muscle group. When you perform a roll-up, you’ll lie flat on your back with your legs together and roll gently yet powerfully upward until you are sitting up with your forehead close to your knees. Since you will be rolling up one vertebra at a time, you will work your deep core muscles through the entirety of this move. This sit up strengthens the psoas and improves posture as well.

 

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RELATED ARTICLE: Cross Kick Your Core Into Shape

It is well-known that jackknife exercises were designed to tone abs. These moves tone the rectus abdominal muscles that comprise the row of muscles running up the front of your core. A toned rectus abdominal improves posture and when there is little to no fat covering them, they give a “six-pack” appearance. The swiss ball jackknife uses a Swiss ball, also known as a stability ball. This training aid has been used for years to enhance core workouts. Rest your skins on the ball, then roll the ball toward the chest using your feet, then return to the starting position. This movement works the abdominal muscles and using the ball further enhances the core workout.

 

Most of us sit for a good portion of the day. Utilizing a pull-up bar is a great way to tone your core and relieve the pressure on your lower back. When you perform exercises such as the hanging leg raise you will work your ab muscles and hip flexors. This will improve posture and strengthen your core. While hanging from a chin-up bar, you’ll need to bend your knees and then bring them to your chest while bending at the hip. When you do this and then bring your legs back slowly to the starting position, you’ll be working those tricky lower abdominal muscles.

leg

Performing these exercises regularly, eating well, and completing cardiovascular exercise will help you obtain the toned look you desire. You’re sure to see improvement in both your body and your self-esteem!

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Fitness women's health

Over 90 % of Women Have These 5 Muscle Imbalances

Over 90 % of Women Have These 5 Muscle Imbalances

Over 90 % of Women Have These 5 Muscle Imbalances

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Muscle imbalances occur when one group of muscles, for example, hamstrings, is stronger than its opposing group, in this case, the quadriceps. Every woman has, at least, five of these imbalances, and they are becoming increasingly common as more and more of us are sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, and physical activity is on the decline. It is important that you learn to recognize these imbalances because they can lead to serious injuries and undo all of the hard work that you’ve put in at the gym.

Muscle Imbalances in women

Here are the five most common imbalances and how to treat and prevent them from
occurring.

Quadriceps and hamstrings

This imbalance is most often seen in runners and those who sit at a desk for hours every day, and typically involves a weak and tight hamstring combined with stronger quadriceps. Knee injuries are common when these two muscle groups are out of balance, as the knee gets pulled in the direction of the stronger muscle group.

The best lower-body exercises to prevent this imbalance are the stiff-legged deadlift and the squat. These are large movements that allow the lower body to function as a whole, as it was designed to, rather than focusing on a single muscle. Avoid exercises such as leg curls and quadriceps extensions that target only one muscle group, as they will only cause further imbalance. Also, stretch regularly, ideally after you work out because the muscle will be warm.

Biceps and triceps

The biceps and triceps are the muscles that form the upper arm and are responsible for flexing and extending the elbow. Any imbalance that occurs within this group is usually due to repetitive movements, such as a hairstylist who cuts hair all day, holding her arm in a partially flexed position for hours at a time.

This muscular imbalance is characterized by one muscle being extremely tight with pain ranging from moderate to more severe. Also, characteristic of this is a muscle knot that can actually be felt. One of the best ways to treat and prevent this is with yoga. Yoga emphasizes long, powerful movements that exercise the muscles by elongating them and for that reason is a wonderful addition to any routine.

Chest and back

This muscle imbalance is characterized by rounded shoulders and upper back. It is caused by tight pectoral muscles in the chest which pull the shoulders forward and the back out of position. Over time, this can harm your posture and cause the neck to become misaligned. It is almost exclusively caused by sitting hunched over a desk as well as placing too much emphasis on chest exercises and neglecting the back.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix: Rowing either with a machine or free weights. Combine this with deep stretching across the chest to help it expand. If the imbalance has affected your posture, practice walking as if you were suspended from a string attached to the top of your head. This will place your spine and neck in the proper alignment.

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RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Foods That Cause Hormonal Imbalance

Left side and right side

The single biggest cause of this type of imbalance is simply favoring one side over the other. People that play sports will perform one activity with their dominant side (think throwing a ball) and use the opposing limb to balance themselves. Watch a professional baseball pitcher for a perfect example of this.

To an extent, this is unavoidable because we all favor one side over the other. But it can definitely be minimized by practicing large, full body weight movements when at the gym. Again, avoid single-joint exercises such as biceps curls, and focus on the classic “power movements” such as deadlifts and squats, including pushups and pull ups. In addition to being far superior to small, tiny movements, every one of these requires that you use your body equally on both sides at the same time, helping you achieve balance and symmetry.

Outer muscles and the core

These are the muscles that we can see vs the ones that we can’t. Core muscles are essential for stability and suffer greatly from prolonged sitting.

There seems to be much more confusion over what the core actually is. Your core is made up of your trunk and your hips and includes as many as 35 different muscles groups that are underneath your bodies outer muscles. The core is responsible for your bodies stability and strength. It is both your center of gravity and stability. It is where all movement originates. If the core muscles are weak it will impact every physical activity that you do.

Imbalances occur because of our tendency to focus on the muscles that we see in the mirror. What happens with a core/outer muscle imbalance is that the outer muscles begin to try and compensate for the weakened core, causing further imbalance and increasing the likelihood of injury, as literally every movement we make depends in some way upon our core.

Since the core provides strength and stability, that is also the best way to work it. Stability exercise such as a plank are a good place to start, but if you want a routine that challenges and strengthens your core on every level, nothing is better than yoga or Pilates. These use your own bodyweight as resistance, working the body as an organic whole, rather than one body part at a time.

Identifying a muscle imbalance is the first step in sculpting a healthy and symmetrical body. This article should give you a good foundation of the most common imbalances that most women have. For a more in-depth analysis, it is a good idea to visit a physical therapist for a functional movement analysis. This will identify the precise areas of your body that may need attention.

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Fitness

Slim Down Your Love Handles With This Simple 12-Minute Workout

Slim Down Your Love Handles With This Simple 12-Minute Workout

Slim Down Your Love Handles With This Simple 12-Minute Workout

Occupational therapist, certified yoga instructor, cross-country runner and fitness instructor Melissa Bender walks viewers step-by-step through a 12-minute abs, love handles and lower back workout that requires absolutely no exercise equipment except for a basic yoga mat or plush carpet.

Slim Down Your Love Handles With This Simple 12-Minute Workout

Melissa translates her many years of fitness experience into a highly interactive workout that motivates viewers by showing them that they can achieve their toning, flexibility and strength-training goals in just 12 minutes a day with only a few simple exercises.

RELATED ARTICLE: Say Goodbye To Boring Crunches And Hello To Your Fab Abs!

The exercises in this video include “Plank,” “Superman,” “Dive Bombers,” “Side Plank Reach,” “Leg/Hip Lift,” “Bow Pose,” “Table Top Heel Press,” “Raise Leg Adduction” and “Walk the Plank.”

With each exercise, viewers should note that Melissa also provides instruction on proper breathing techniques to use during each exercise and offers details on other types of workouts that pair well with this one.

The written breakdown for this free workout and hundreds of other easy-to-follow workouts is available on BenderFitness.com.

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Fitness

Trim Your Waist With This Quick Slimming Abs Workout

Trim Your Waist With This Quick Slimming Abs Workout

Trim Your Waist With This Quick Slimming Abs Workout

In this video from thewomensworkoutchannel, bikini model and fitness guru Niki Justice will lead you through seven simple floor exercises in a workout intended to trim and tone your upper abdominal muscles, lower abdominal muscles, and obliques. The workout is comprised of traditional exercises, so no fancy equipment is needed.

Trim Your Waist With This Quick Slimming Abs Workout

You’ll begin with hip raises, and you’ll end your workout with one of Niki’s signature move designed to trim your waist rather than bulk it up with muscle. The workout lasts less than ten minutes, and Niki performs the exercises with you as if you were taking an exercise class with a friend! You’re sure to get a great workout, so try it out today!

RELATED ARTICLE: Say Goodbye To Boring Crunches And Hello To Your Fab Abs!

Let’s begin.

The first exercise is a set of 30 Hip Raises. Lay on your back lifting your legs up and place your hands under your bottom. Raise your hips as high as you can, squeezing your abs.

The second exercise is 15 Side Oblique Crunches per side. Stay laying on your back with your legs bent and feet on the floor. Roll knees to one side, keeping shoulder blades on the ground.

The third exercise is a set of 20 Leg Raises. Once again, lay on your back with your hands under your bottom. Raise your lets up and keep your knees straight. Lower your legs together as far as you can, squeezing your abs as you lower them. Then lift them back up. Make sure your back stays on the floor and stays straight.

The fourth exercise is a set of 20 Crunches. Left legs up with knees bent at right angles. Make sure your stomach is tight and flexing.

The fifth exercise is a set of 20 Full Sit Ups. Start laying on your back with arm up over your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor. Sit up squeezing your abs as you do so.

The sixth exercise is a set of 30 In-and-Out Hops in the plank position. Start by getting into the plank position with back straight. Hop your lets apart, then hop them back in.

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Fitness

Wanna Get a Natural Breast Lift? – Follow THIS Workout

Wanna Get a Natural Breast Lift? - Follow THIS Workout

Do you feel like your breasts need a little lift? Here’s 10-minute circuit workout that targets your pec muscles, which lie directly under the breast tissue and give you a natural breast lift. Spend some time toning your chest and give your breasts a natural lift! For Better result do this circuit two-three times with short breaks between sets. Don’t go crazy with heavy weights especially for the first time. Enjoy your workout and very soon you will get a perkier bust.

1. Lying Chest Fly

  • Lie down with your back flat on a mat. Use your lower abs to press your back into the mat to keep your back stable. Ensure that your hips and knees are both at 90-degree angles. This will be your starting position. You should commence this workout with five or ten-pound weights.
  • Take your arms and open them to the sides. Keep in mind that your arms should remain stationary throughout this exercise. The only movement should be from the shoulder joint.
  • Lift your arms to the ceiling as you bring the weights in tandem. Once that occurs, you have completed one rep.
  • This workout is also beneficial for your abs. But if you suffer from lower back injuries, place your feet on the mat to avoid aggravation.
  • This exercise develops the pectoralis major and minor muscles, which are crucial for a natural breast lift.

2.Basic Push-Up

    • Place your hands firmly on the mat, directly under your shoulders. Get into a high plank position.
  • Keep your eyes focused in front of you as you lower your body. As you begin the lowering process, keep your back flat, and do not allow your neck to budge until your chest brushes the canvas.
  • Using your upper body strength, raise your body back up.
  • The breasts are composed of glandular tissues, glandular ducts, connective tissue, and fat. This workout will not impact the size of the breasts, but the attractiveness, the tone, and the lift.

3.Bridge With Chest Press

  • Lie down with your back flat on the mat, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Hold either a 5-or 10-pound weight in each hand, ensuring the weights are directly above the chest. Do not let them come down.
  • Use your hips to form a straight line, and flex your abs out to keep your body stable.
  • Press the weights directly above your chest, lower them, and repeat for a 12 set.
  • This workout tightens your breast muscles, which enhances them with proper execution.

4.Lateral Plank Walk

  • Commence the workout in a high plank position with your hands parallel underneath the shoulder.
  • In a simultaneous motion, criss-cross your hands and feet in one swift motion, then follow suit by bringing them back to their original position.
  • Pull your abs towards the spine and the pelvis during this exercise.
  • Repeat this exercise, but in the opposite direction, but take three steps to the right.
  • This exercise assists the breast lift process by increasing the muscles in the pectorals, as well as the shoulders, and core.

5.Bent-Over Reverse Fly

RELATED ARTICLE: Find Out Your Ideal Style Of Bra According To The Shape Of Your Breasts

    • Grasp a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing one another and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly and push your torso forward by bending with your waist.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position and face forward. Your elbows should be bent slightly and the dumbbells should be directly underneath the chest. Do not allow the dumbbells to make contact. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your arms out t as far as you can to the sides and your arms parallel to the ground. Keep your elbows slightly bent throughout this process.
  • During the climax of the movement, compress your shoulder blades, and slowly allow the dumbbells to lower to their original position.
  • This workout supports the foundation of the breasts, further developing and toning the pectoralis musculature.

6.Kneeling Chest Scratch

  • Sit on a mat with your heels on the bottom. Lean your body backward and your palms should be flat directly behind you by approximately 8 to 10 inches with your fingertips pointed away from your body.
  • Be sure that your hands are pressed firmly into the ground to give your chest a lift as you arch your back. If you would like to increase the length of the exercise, keep your head at a lower level, stretch your throat and your chest even further.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • This is a great chest exercise which naturally helps your breasts as well.

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Fitness

Say Goodbye To Boring Crunches And Hello To Your Fab Abs!

Say Goodbye To Boring Crunches And Hello To Your Fab Abs!

Say Goodbye To Boring Crunches And Hello To Your Fab Abs!

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Up and down. Up and down. Up-stop. Crunches, one the most boring and monotone exercises in the world, and what is worse is that they have been proven detrimental to your lower back as the repeated motion places a great deal of stress on it, and what’s worse is that people tend to do them in great numbers,so stop doing the tedious, ineffective and potentially dangerous exercise, because today you will be presented with many refreshing and effective alternatives to the standard “crunch”. Perform any of these exercises listed below about 10-12 times for 3-4 sets for a safe, effective and fun workout!

RELATED ARTICLE: Give Your Abs Some Extra Love With This Easy Workout Routine

Understanding the Exercise

Before we begin, please note that there is a link at the bottom of this article containing an infographic outlining the various muscles that make up the core, so you can refer to it whenever you find yourself wondering exactly what part of the core I am talking about. Let’s begin!

1. Half Banana


To do: Lie on back, bring both hands up, bring one leg up,”crunch”, alternate.
This exercise places a focus on your lower and upper rectus abdominous(middle of abs) and allows you to emphasize the external oblique of whatever side your foot is up on.

2. Oblique V Crunch


To do: Lie on left/right side, hand behind head, bring up torso and legs at the same time, alternate and repeat.
This exercise mainly focuses on your transverse abdominous and external oblique but activates your rectus abdominous by using to stabilize your core.

3. Kick Crunch

Kick-Crunch

 

To do: Stand up, raise left leg and bring down right arm at the same time, alternate and repeat.
This exercise actively engages the obliques and the middle section of your abs, effectively targeting most of your abdominal muscles, while also providing the benefit of intensity scaling, allowing for an added cardio benefit if you so wish.

4. T-Cross Sit-Up

T-Cross-Sit-Up

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To do: Lie flat on your back, arms spread out, lift left leg and right arm simultaneously and touch them together, alternate and repeat.
This exercise is similar to the Half Banana but specifically targets your obliques more than your rectus abdominous due to the twisting contraction.

5. Pilates Scissors


To do: Lie on your back with your shoulders and feet on the ground, lift one leg up at a time and hold it with your arms, alternate and repeat.

This exercise targets the rectus abdominous mainly but has the added benefit of allowing concentric overload, meaning you can hold your legs up for a set period of time, say 10 seconds while your abs are under tension to work them harder.

6. Butterfly Crunch


To do: Lie on back, soles of feet touching, hands straight overhead on the ground, then bring hands together and raise them together while also raising your feet, bring them back down and repeat.
This exercise is a little harder but allows for the lower and upper rectus abdominous to be worked at the same time in an effective manner.

7. Straight-Leg Sit-Up


To do: Lie on back, hands up and stretched out, feet stretched out on the floor, then raise your torso along with your hands upwards, back down and repeat.
This exercise, again, is a little more difficult because your feet start out flat on the floor giving you no basis for support or traction, however, this allows for a fuller contraction of your abs due to not receiving any help from your legs.

8. Coordination Fly


To do: Lie on back, hands at your sides of the ground and holding a pair of dumbbells, feet off the ground in a 90-degree position, then simultaneously lift your torso while bringing your arms together and stretching your feet out into a straight line.
This exercise is more complicated, involving several different muscles and adding a set of dumbbells, however, it allows for a more effective core workout as weight is added all while giving your chest a decent workout.

RELATED ARTICLE: 8 Easy Ways To Tone Your Tummy

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9. Bicycle Crunches


To do: Lie on back, feet in a 90-degree position, hand behind on head, then attempt to touch your left leg with your right arm, alternate and repeat.
This exercise is similar and different to the Kick Crunch, different because it prioritizes your obliques rather than your rectus abdominous, but similar because it can be scaled in intensity to provide cardio benefits.

10. Double Crunch Pulse with Medicine Ball

Double-Crunch-Pulse-Medicine-Ball
To do: Lie on back, hand over chest holding a ball, legs straight up in the air, then contract your abs and release, repeat.
This exercise has a shorter range of motion but allows for a tighter contraction, also allowing you to control the time under tension of your muscles.

11. V-Sits


To do: Lie on back, arms off the ground touching your sides, feet off the ground, then bring knees up to your chest keeping your torso raised.
This exercise is one of the best you can perform for the middle section of your abs, more so than your upper or lower abs.

12. Reverse Crunch


To do: Lie on back, hands to your sides on ground, legs in a 90-degree position off the ground, then raise your legs until your butt comes off the ground.
This exercise is a great alternative to the regular crunch because it minimizes most of the stress your lower back is put under when performing regular crunches.

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13. Runner’s Crunch


To do: Lie on the ground, arms in a 90-degree position, feet stretched out on the floor, then go through the “running” motion.
This exercise doesn’t provide nearly as much contraction of your abdominal muscles as others on this list but can be used as a great cardio core workout.

14. Diamond Sit-Up


To do: Lie on ground in the butterfly crunch stance, then bring your arms up and down in between your legs, repeat.
This exercise is very similar to the butterfly crunch but allows for a deeper and longer range of motion,

15. V-Crunch


To do: Lie on you back, arms off the ground and behind you, legs outstretched and off the ground, then bring both legs and arms together, repeat.
This exercise is pretty much a combination of a regular crunch and reverse crunch, giving you on overall core workout.

Here is the infographic to help you identify the different parts of the muscles in your abdominal region.

 

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Fitness

8 Easy Ways To Tone Your Tummy

8 Easy Ways To Tone Your Tummy

8 Easy Ways To Tone Your Tummy

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Following are simple exercises that help tone the lower abdominal muscles.

8 Easy Ways To Tone Your Tummy

Managing to keep your stomach in shape gets harder and harder over time. Most ab workouts seem to target the middle of the stomach only, but the lower abs usually require the most work. Following are exercises meant to specifically target this area to help you eliminate that pooch and keep it away.

U-Boat

exercise

This exercise looks quite like it sounds. Sit with your knees bent and prop your upper body up with your elbows. Keep your knees together, and bring your legs toward you at a 90-degree angle while keeping your toes pointed. While keeping your hips on the ground, bring you legs to one side. Lower your legs, and then bring them to the other side as though making the letter “U” with your knees. Repeat this process for 20 reps.

Static Press

Static Press

Lie down with your knees and hips bent 90 degrees, and keep your feet flexed. Press your hands onto the tops of your thighs. Inhale deeply. Once you exhale, press your back against the floor while your push your thighs back against your hands. Make sure you do not bend your knees as you do this. Hold this stance for one count, and do three sets of 10 repetitions.

Full Plank Passé Twist

Full Plank Passé Twist

Start in a plank position with your feet close together, then bend your right knee and move it over to your left side. Slide your foot up to meet the back of your left knee by turning your hips to the left and rotating on the ball of your left foot.

Move your leg back to its starting position and repeat with your left leg. Pull your abs in as you lift each leg, and repeat 10 times for up to three sets.

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Changes that Will Happen to Your Body if You Start Doing Planks Today!

Resisted Leg Stretch

Resisted Leg Stretch

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Lie on your back with your feet flexed, and bend your knees toward your chest. Lock your fingers together on top of your thigh and extend the opposite leg until it is parallel to the floor. Lift your head and shoulders from the floor by curling above your ribs. Push your hands against your thigh while bringing your knee toward your chest. Switch the same stance with the opposite leg and do 10 reps at up to three sets.

Reverse Plank Hover

Reverse Plank Hover

Sit with your legs extended and your feet flexed, and keep your hands on each side of your body. Hold your abs in tightly while you press down to the ground to lift your hips a few inches off of the floor. Take a deep breath, and pull your stomach in to curve your back slightly. As you exhale, bring your hips behind your shoulders, and hold this position for one count. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.

Criss-Cross Lift

Criss-Cross Lift

Lie on your back with your arms at each side, and extend your legs up in the air. Cross your right leg over your left with your toes pointed. Take a deep breath, pull your abs in and bring your legs down to a 45-degree angle. Exhale, and bring your legs toward your body. Lift your legs past your head by lifting your hips and back off of the floor, and hold this position for one count. Repeat this for up to 30 reps.

Elbow Plank

Elbow

Begin in a plank position propping your body on your elbows with your hands together. Keep your feet just wider than the width of your hips. Begin to take small steps forward as you slowly lift your hips little by little. Your hips should end up in high pike position. Slowly move back in reverse until you reach your starting position. Complete up to three sets of five repetitions.

Frog Press

Frog Press

Lie on your back with your legs turned out and knees bent so that your legs look like those of a frog. Keep your feet flexed and the heels of your feet pressed against each other. Breathe in, and lift your head and shoulders up so that you curl over your ribs. Lift your arms up with your palms down, and exhale as you press your heels and extend your legs 45 degrees. Breathe in, and pull your heels toward your body. Complete up to 30 reps.

The best part about these routines is that no additional equipment is required aside from a towel or mat for personal comfort. What are some of your favorite exercises for this part of the body?

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Beauty Fitness

3 Things You Need For Healthy And Natural Muscle Growth

3 Things You Need For Healthy And Natural Muscle Growth

3 Things You Need For Healthy And Natural Muscle Growth

Many people give their muscles little thought, despite those very muscles being instrumental in both every day and monumental tasks. Without muscles, we can’t stretch in the morning, read the paper or climb a mountain.

 

RELATED ARTICLE: How Much Protein To Eat At Breakfast To Burn Fat and Build Muscle

Like the rest of our bodies, muscles need nutrients such as protein to stay healthy and grow, but you might be surprised to learn how muscles grow bigger. It’s actually through a process of damage and repair. This is exactly the reason that you need to keep active if you want your muscles to grow, and why muscles can shrink when people don’t use them – a process known as atrophying.

If you misunderstand how muscles work, they can atrophy or you can seriously damage them.

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Fitness

Tone From Head To Toe In 30 Minutes

Tone From Head To Toe In 30 Minutes

Tone From Head To Toe In 30 Minutes

It only takes 30 minutes of your day to work every major muscle group in your body and tone those muscles that will make you look great! This workout includes a series of easy to do but challenging exercises that test your abdominals, arms, legs glutes and all the muscles in between. The best part? It involves no extra equipment and can be done even in the smallest of areas. Now you have no excuse, grab some water, get out there, work it out, feel refreshed for the rest of the day and watch your body turn into a tone fat burning machine!

Tone From Head To Toe

RELATED ARTICLE: 3 Proper Exercises To Tone Your Back Muscles And Defeat Bra Bulge

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Fitness

Target Your Legs And Core In This Go-Anywhere Workout

Target Your Legs And Core In This Go-Anywhere Workout

Target Your Legs And Core In This Go-Anywhere Workout

If you’re anything like everyone else, your body could use a little toning up. It’s pretty common to have a little extra jiggle in your trouble areas, but you don’t want to spend your entire day carving out your abs, and you’re getting bored with squats. This workout below can be done almost anywhere, and the moves incorporate functional movements with exercises that require balance. This works more muscles at one time.

Printable Workout

Side Lunge to Curtsy Squat

Circuit-One-Side-Lunge-Curtsy-Squat

Stand with your feet apart. Lunge to the side with your left leg, bending it 90 degrees while keeping your right leg straight. Push off with your left leg, bringing it behind the right. Place your left foot down to the other side of your right foot, bending both knees in a curtsy squat.

Woodchop

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Maybe you’ve never wanted to be a lumberjack, but doing the woodchop move works the same abdominal muscles as a crunch. Stand with your feet apart, holding a weight in front of you. Squat as you bring the weight down beside your right knee. Straighten your legs and twist your body to the left, raising the weight above you and straightening your right leg.

Single-Leg Touch

3

Balance on your left leg, bending your right leg so that your right foot rests next to your left knee. Hold a weight in your right hand. Bend forward so that your back is parallel to the floor and your right hand dangles straight down, touching the weight to the floor. Slowly stand up straight again without setting down your right foot.

Sumo Squat Series

Circuit-Two-Sumo-Squat-Series

Stand with your feet very wide, toes pointing out. Squat until your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible. Slowly stand up straight, squeezing your glutes and inner thighs. Complete 10 repetitions of the basic sumo squat. Then, squat down again, lifting the heel of your right foot. Stay down and pulse slightly up and down 10 times. Shift your weight to the other side, and repeat the motion.

RELATED ARTICLE: Cross Kick Your Core Into Shape

Elbow Plank with Alternate Arm Reach

6

Get in a plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Keeping your body in a straight line and shifting your weight as little as possible, lift one arm, extending it in front of you. Set that arm down so that you’re resting on the elbow again, and repeat the motion with the other arm.

Crunchy Frog

7

Sit up with your knees bent and your feet a few inches from the ground, balancing on your tailbone. Extend your feet out in front of you, keeping them off the ground, and extend your arms straight out. Curl your body back into a tuck position, and repeat the exercise.

Half Banana

hb

Lie flat on your back with your arms pointing toward the sky. Crunch up with your torso. At the same time, lift one leg, keeping it straight. Reach for that leg with your arms extended. Return to the original position.

Donkey Kick Pulses Series

dk

Get on your hands and knees. For the first series, kick your foot up toward the ceiling, keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle. Pulse your foot 30 times, concentrating on contracting your glutes to create the subtle motion. For the second series, extend your bent leg to the side, and pulse it up 30 times.

Pilates Swimming

p

Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Lift your head and shoulders, and kick your legs while you alternate pulsing each arm up and down.

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Fitness

Cross Kick Your Core Into Shape

Cross Kick Your Core Into Shape

Cross Kick Your Core Into Shape

Everyone wants a strong, flat stomach. It helps you stand taller and hold a better posture. Fit, toned abs make any other exercise easier. And let’s be honest, nobody is going to complain about how they look! Whether you choose keep them covered or let them out to see the sun, having that strong core underneath your shirt gives you a boost of confidence that you carry in every step. Core work doesn’t have to be rocket science. Putting in one minute of Cross Kicks will set you on the way to your new stomach.

 

RELATED ARTICLE: Engage Your Core Muscles The Right Way With THIS 10 Minute Abs Circuit Workout

The Cross Kick is a great workout because you can do it anywhere. All you need is your body and sixty seconds. Join Autumn Fitness for a burn that’s going to get you moving in the right direction. Don’t put it off—your new stomach starts now, in just one minute.