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Core blast with Tiffiny Hall

What a move! This exercise works your whole body, focusing on your core and adding a cardio twist. We all know we can’t spot-reduce fat, so it makes sense to combine a core-strengthening exercise with full-body function movements to burn calories, right?

» First up, the V-snap. Lie on your back, pushing your belly button down into your spine so there is no space between your lower back and the floor.

» Lift your arms over your head and perform a sit-up. At the same time, lift your legs (keep them straight) to make a V with your bod and reach for your toes. This is the snap! 

» Lower your arms and legs slowly.

» Now for the sexy roll. Roll over so you end up in a push-up position. The trick is to roll on your elbow and forearm, and to roll fast! The faster we move, the more calories we burn.

» Perform one push-up (knees or toes), lower your body to the ground and sexy-roll back to starting position, ready to throw your arms over your head and snap again!

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Core blast with Tiffiny Hall

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Full-body succession workout

Designed to faciliate optimal body composition to burn maximum calories, this workout will help you build strength and tone.

The circuit training component targets muscular endurance and improves cardiovascular fitness by working the heart and lungs at a higher rate. It involves performing one set of each exercise with little or no rest in between until all the exercises have been completed.

 “Traditional-style (succession) strength programs are when all sets of the first exercise are performed before progressing to the next exercise,” says trainer Nichelle Laus.

“By adding a succession routine to your current full-body circuit, it will help in maximising your strength and adding lean muscle mass.”

 When choosing your dumbbell weight, err on the heavy side. “Succession programs generally use higher weights than circuit training,” Laus says. “This is key to building metabolically active lean tissue.”

 What you’ll need:

» Workout bench

» 1 set of medium to heavy dumbbells

What you’ll do:

For Day 1 

Start with the Upper Body exercises. Perform one set of each exercise, then move on to the next exercise without rest. At the end of the Lower Body exercises, rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three circuits.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise.

For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise.

For Day 2 

Start with the Lower Body exercises. Perform one set of each exercise, then move on to the next exercise without rest. At the end of the Upper Body exercises, rest one minute, then repeat for a total of three circuits.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise.

For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise.

For Day 3 

Start with the Upper or Lower Body exercises. Complete three sets of the first exercise before moving on to the next. Repeat until all the exercises of the Upper and Lower Body exercises have been completed.

For toning, aim at 12 to 15 reps for each exercise, resting 60 seconds in between sets. For increasing strength and maximising muscular power, aim for 10 to 12 reps for each exercise, resting 90 seconds in between sets.

Exercises:

Upper Body

•Shoulder Press

•One-Arm Dumbbell Row

•Alternate Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

•Bench Dips

•Decline Push-ups

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Full-body succession workout

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Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

Get your best body ever with these Pilate moves tailored to your natural shape

While there no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have a apple, pear, hourglass or atheltic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective.

Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape, says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com) ‘All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you’. Certain moves can add definition to your body and everyone can benefit from postural power of pilates. ‘Pilates is great for sculpting the body and stabilising muscles deep in the body’.

The workout is suitable for all body types, but if your short of time, just pick the exercises for your body type.

1) Toe taps (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat.
  • Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides.
  • Alternate legs repeat 10-12 reps pm each sides, bring feet to the floor to rest.
  • Repeat for 2 sets

2) Criss- cross (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic) 

Technique:

  • Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward.
  • Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side.
  • Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total.

3) Glute bridge (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  •  Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, with your arms at your side.
  • Exhale as you lift your hips off the floor until your ribcage is in line with yur hips and knees. Press down evenly through both feet.
  • Inhale as you squeeze your glutes for three seconds and then exhale as you lower your hips slowly back down to the mat.
  • Do 15-20 reps, the rest pulling your knees to your chest, then repeat once more.

4) Side plank twists (Best for: apple, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Starting in a side plank poisition, with one hand directly under your shoulder, place your top hand behind your head, with yur elbow pointing straight up.
  • Inhale and twist your chest upward.
  • Exhale and rotate your chest toward the floor.
  • Do 5-8 reps per side and rest before repeating on the other side.

5) Side reach (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • Sit with your knees bent and legs tucked behind you to the right,  supporting your weight with your left hand and keeping your arm straight,
  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale you lift your hip away from the mat, extending your top legs as your top arm reaches overhead. You’re aiming to lift your side up toward the ceiling.
  • Inhale to return to the start position.
  • Do 6-8 reps on each side and rest, before repeating the whole thing once more.

6) Swimming (Best for: apple, pear)

Technique:

  • Lie on your stomach with your forehead down and arms extended out in front. Extend your legs with your toes pointed out.
  • Focus on pressing your pelvis into the mat  while drawing your belly button away from the mat. Squeeze your inner thighs and lift your arms, legs, chest and head from the mat.
  • Inhale and exhale as normally as possible as you alternate lifting opposite arm and leg without touching the mat.
  • Count down from 10 to one then relax onto the mat to rest

7) Side-lying leg tap (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • In a side plank, place your top hand on your top hip to help stabilise you. Pull in your abs and lift your waist off the mat.
  • Dip your top big toe down in front of your body to tap the floor then move the foot backward over your bottom leg and tap the floor behind you.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps each side then rest. Repeat again.

 

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Pilates exercises

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The benefits of plyometric exercises

The benefits of plyometric exercises Plyometrics are great for cardio, toning and fat loss here, we take a look at how the humble plyometric box can be a killer workout session.“The plyo box has been popular among athletes and hard-core fitness enthusiasts for a while now, but has become more mainstream since the introduction of CrossFit,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.“They are great for cardio-based and high-intensity training, but can also be used for rehabilitative purposes and for evening out physique imbalances.”Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals. While fixed-height boxes are available and usually come in sets of three to four, try opting for a sturdy, adjustable step if you are tight on space. And if you aren’t confident in the jumps, we say go for foam rather than metal or wood versions: a lot less chance of skinned shins.For cardio/fat loss: Plyometric training involves using explosive bodyweight movements to exert maximum force in the shortest amount of time – making them the perfect fat-burning tool. Explosive movements also mean power and strength, especially in the lower body, can be achieved. Again, keep rest periods short and repetitions as high as possible – although given their taxing nature, sessions shouldn’t go much longer then 30 to 45 minutes.

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The benefits of plyometric exercises

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Leg raises

Leg raises are a great way to target the stomach, strengthening lower abdominals and hip reflexors, plus it doesn’t require any gym kit. Add these moves to one of your home workouts for a simple, effective way to tone your tummy. Try 10 reps to start with, and progress to more once you’ve perfected your form.

Try out these different variations of leg raises to challenge yourself, make sure you’re also hitting your fat-burning workouts hard, as you need to torch that fat to reveal your new toned tum!

Lying down leg raises:

-Lie on your back with your hands on the floor or under your bottom.

-Keeping a slight bend in the knees and feet together, start with both feet up towards the ceiling.

-Without allowing your lower back to overarch, slowly lower your legs towards the floor without bending the knees any more than they already are.

-When legs are almost on the floor, squeeze the abs and lift them back up to the start and repeat.

Hot tip: if these aren’t challenging enough for you, why not add some ankle weights?

Leg raises with a ball 

Add a bit of weight to make your leg raises more challenging

-Start similar to the lying down leg raises 

-With your feet on the floor, place an exercise or medicine ball between your feet, griping it firmly 

-Begin to raise your legs up, then slowly lowering your legs down, the weight will cause you to use more control 

-The weight will cause this exercise to me more challenging than the regular leg raises but effective works the abdominals.

Hanging leg raises 

You can perform this exercise at the gym, in the park or at home if you have a door pull up bar

-Hanging from a bar with your arms- grip firmly wide or medium 

-Begin to raise your knees/legs so that your body makes a 90 degrees angle 

– Lower your legs down and repeat the exercise

This exercise can be difficult, some gyms provide a padded bench that can support your back and padded arm rests for your elbows.

Side leg raises 

This exercise can be performed lying or standing

For standing

– Standing on one leg, raise the opposite leg to the side as far as you can

– Bring it back to the standing position and repeat this exercise for both legs 

For lying 

-Lie down on one side- with legs extended and stacked on top of one another

-Raise the top leg up as high as you can, lowering it back down to the first poistion. 

-Repeat 

 

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Leg raises

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Pedal power

Jumping on a shiny new steed and pedalling off into the sunset is a glorious feeling – you just can’t beat it! But if you haven’t saddled up for a few years, you may be wondering where to start or why to bother. Don’t worry! We caught up with Gareth Turner from Cyclebeat (cyclebeat.co.uk) to chat about the benefits of life on two wheels and how you can get back in the race. 

Slim cycle

Jumping on your bike is a fantastic way to blitz calories and trim down. ‘Cycling is a great way to lose weight and a brilliant way to burn calories – you can burn around 500 calories an hour cycling and sometimes much more,’ says Gareth. ‘Cycling can also have the added benefit of increasing your metabolism – even after the ride is over.

And it’s a great option for working out on your commute. Think about it – you can get your workouts in on the way to and from work and cancel that gym membership altogether if you want! ‘And, because it is a non-weight bearing exercise, it’s a lot easier on the joints than something like running, so you can do it more often,’ says Gareth. Sounds good to us!

It’s also a great toner, working your lower body hard, which – thanks to this focus on the bigger muscles in your body (bum and legs!) also burns fat. ‘Cycling helps to tone your muscles and works your calves, thighs and bottom, while also giving your shoulders and arms a workout, too,’ says Gareth.

Healthy heart

Cycling is not only bags of fun, and a great way to stay in shape, it’s good for your heart, too. ‘Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness,’ explains Gareth. ‘And the British Heart Foundation says that cycling regularly can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes by up to 50 per cent.’ 

Mind matters

And getting on your bike could have benefits for the mind, too. ‘It’s not just the body that sees the benefits, as cycling is believed to reduce stress, anxiety and provide a sense of wellbeing,’ says Gareth. A cycle home after a long day is a great way to shake off your worries.

Wheely wheely fun

Whizzing around on a bike gives you a great sense of freedom and there are so many types of cycling, and types of bikes, you can try. ‘Cycling can be very varied and fun – try mountain bike trails, exhilarating downhills, BMX and road biking with amazing views,’ says Gareth. Plus it’s one of the few workouts in which you can have a good gas with your mates, too! Have you every tried catching up over a quick swim or disco rave class?! ‘Cycling can be very social by riding in a group and also with the family – everyone can get involved,’ adds Gareth. 

Back to it!

Check out Gareth’s top tips for beginners or those getting back into cycling:

The first thing that you will need is a bike; it’s best to visit a good bike shop where they can give advice and find you a bike that fits properly.

Start by riding comfortably for up to 45 minutes three times a week, then look to slowly build on the number of sessions, duration and speed of sessions gradually.

There are cycling proficiency courses that can build skills and get you ready for the road if you’re nervous.

Practise riding in a traffic-free area, such as a local park, to build confidence.

Why not get used to pedalling, standing and clipping in and out of pedals at a studio such as Cyclebeat (cyclebeat.co.uk) before heading out.

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Pedal power

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Creative exercises to do at your desk

Creative exercises to do at your desk Get moving with these creative desk moves by WH&F trainer Nichelle Laus before the sedentary fallouts kick in.BICEPS CURL – grab a paperweight, a small, filled water bottle, a stapler, or your handbag handle in your hand. While seated or standing, take the object in one hand with your palm facing upwards. Starting with your arms straight at your side, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards your chest, hold, then lower back down. Repeat.CHEST CHAIR PUSH-UP
 – get into a push-up position and place hands on edge of sturdy chair, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Originally posted here – 

Creative exercises to do at your desk

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Train like an Olympian!

London 2012 – remember that? Of course you do! As a nation we were swept up in two weeks of sporting triumphs and patriotism like never before and, two-and-a-half years on, it is those triumphs and star performances that still keep so many of us motivated to hit the gym or head out for a run. And now, thanks to Fitness First and its discovery that the desire to train like an Olympian was so prominent during the Games, its legacy looks likely to live on long into 2015 and beyond, too. The nationwide gym and health club chain has recently opened its doors to a brand new branch in London’s Bishopsgate with an athletic slant firmly in mind.

This amazing, state-of-the-art club boasts three new fitness programmes devised by Team GB athletes and coaches, and its new track, interactive Move studio and ceiling-mounted coaching camera are ideal for gym-goers who continue to be inspired by the athletes of 2012. The club even had its opening ribbons cut by three of Britain’s best young sports stars: Nicola Adams, the world’s first female boxing Olympic gold medallist; Ed Clancy, Olympic track cycling gold and bronze medallist; and Max Whitlock, Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist. 

But, of course, you don’t have to work out in the gym to train like an athlete (though if you live in London we definitely recommend a visit to the Bishopsgate club), so Fitness First has devised this fantastic workout that’ll boost your speed, power, agility and athleticism. You’ll be running faster than Usain Bolt in no time! (OK, we can’t quite promise that, but a girl can dream…)

How to do it

Perform the first move continuously for the time period allotted for your level. Rest for 15-30 seconds depending on your fitness level before moving on to the next. Once a full set of each move is complete, go back to the start to begin the next set, following the same structure.

Beginner: 5 x 30 seconds
Intermediate: 5 x 45 seconds
Advanced: 5 x 1 minute

Treadmills

Areas trained: hips, legs, core

Technique
-From plank position, bring your right foot up to the outside of your right hand, letting the hips drop. Keep your left leg straight and right leg bent.
-Jump to switch sides so that your right leg is straight and your left leg is bent with your left foot outside of your left hand.
-Continue to alternate for the allotted time for your level. 

Safety tip
Keep your head in a neutral position

Fast arms

Area trained: shoulders

Technique
-Stand in a stable position with legs slightly bent and back neutral.
-Position your arms as if you were to begin a sprint, with one slightly in front of the body and one behind, both bent.
-Switch positions so that the opposite arm is now in front instead.
-Repeat this as fast as you can continuously.

Safety tip
Keep your shoulders back and gaze forwards 

Lateral move + T press-up

Areas trained: Core, sides, chest, rear upper arms 

Technique
-Lie face down on the floor with arms extended out to the sides.
-Bring your hands to your sides under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.
-Keeping your core tight and body in a straight line, push your body off the floor to complete a press-up.
-Rotate your torso to the side to bring one arm up to the ceiling, taking your gaze with it.
-Bring it back to the floor and bend your arms to lower yourself back to the ground to repeat, switching sides for the next rep. 

Safety tip
Don’t let your hips drop lower than the rest of your body 

Plyometric lunge

Areas trained: legs, bottom

Technique
-Take a large step forwards and bend both knees to about 90 degrees with your back knee just above the floor.
-Generate as much momentum as possible to jump as high as you can, switching the position of your legs mid-air to land with the opposite leg in front.
-Repeat fluidly. 

Safety tip
Keep your torso upright throughout

Isometric squat hold

Areas trained: thighs, bottom

Technique
-With your back resting against a wall, lower yourself until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, keeping feet flat on the floor.
-Hold. 

Safety tip
Keep your knees in line with your toes 

Press-up holds

Areas trained: core, chest, rear upper arms

Technique
-Start in plank position on your hands.
-Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.
-Push back up to the start.
-Without tilting your body, tap your left shoulder with your right hand.
-Lower, your hand back to the floor, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand.
-Return to the start and repeat.

Safety tip Keep your hips square throughout 

Sprinters

Areas trained: hips, legs

Technique
-Run on the spot as fast as you can, driving your knees high, for the allotted time for your level.

Safety tip Keep your back straight and shoulders back

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Train like an Olympian!

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7 Exercises That You Need To Fix Right Now

We are creatures of habit. We each default to our favorite exercises, those bread and butter lifts from programs we love for as long as they keep bringing results. Familiarity just feels right. It wraps you in a secure blanket of warmth, growth, and gains. Unfortunately, that familiarity begets false confidence in your exercise technique, which could cost you even further gains.

“But, Rock Lock, I’ve improved 10 pounds over the last year!” you cry. That’s sweet. But imagine the results you could net with precise exercise form and practice. Unless you or a training buddy have an acute awareness of form, it’s possible that you may have been missing key form points. Remember that poor form calls out compensatory mechanisms while still building strength, albeit inefficiently.

Don’t fret, young Padawan. Here’s how to fix these seven key movements that you previously thought you owned.

Exercise 1

Squats have helped Mr. Olympias, World’s Strongest Men, and other athletes launch from so-so athletes to epic gladiators. There’s no reason not to reap the benefits of the almighty squat, right? But after weeks of nearly crushing yourself under the bar, your results can still end up lackluster.

Team Cellucor‘s Jen Jewell explains why.

“I see a lot of ‘newbies’ just lower their butt down really quick with their knees wobbling all over the place—over the toes or collapsing inward. I’ve even seen this with bodyweight squats! So, when I instruct new clients or am giving pointers, I tell a client to push her butt back as though she’s going to sit down in a chair. This usually helps her get into better position and keep from hobbling forward so much.

“Additionally, I encourage clients to ‘push the booty way back—as if you’re trying to knock someone out with that thing—lower, go back up, and repeat.’ Even though that might be an exaggeration of breaking at the hip, it helps clients picture it and will typically do the trick!

“I typically see people barely start to lower, call it a rep, and bounce back up. That’s not low enough! That’s not even a proper squat! To benefit from squats, you have go to at least parallel, which is the position at which your hip joint and knee joint are aligned parallel to the ground. This ensures quad burn, but also fires up the hamstrings and glutes as well.”

Squat

Exercise 2

I cringe every time I see someone fling heavy dumbbells as high as they can using their back, and then allow momentum to not only carry the weight up but send it back down with zero control. This makes back and rotator cuff injuries almost inevitable if someone continues on this self-destructive path. Thankfully, that won’t be you!

First of all, when you hold the dumbbells, they should rest at your sides instead of in front of you. This way you will be less inclined to harness a back-initiated swing to begin the exercise. Visualize generating force from only your delts as you lift the weights out to your sides with a slight bend in the elbow. Locking out the elbows places strain on the tendons in that area and can make them susceptible to injury.

To avoid unnecessary shoulder strain, stop the movement when your arms become parallel to the floor. At that point, turn the weights so your pinkies point toward the ceiling and pause for one second before slowly lowering the weight to the starting position in a controlled manner. Use a challenging weight you can control throughout the exercise to ensure you don’t cheat.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Exercise 3

The triceps rope pushdown should primarily activate your triceps and core, but this exercise is blundered and haunted by our old enemy, the lower back-generated swing monster. Time and time again, I watch people use momentum to press down heavy weights. This only hurts your elbows and yields no benefit for those muscles in the back of your arms. Again, slow, controlled movement reigns supreme here.

Take the rope and step away from the cable stack. The extra distance increases tension on the triceps more than standing next to the pulley. Keep your shoulders squared and back, chest out, and glue your elbows to your sides. By keeping your elbows tucked in, you emphasize triceps contraction rather than elbow destruction.

As you press the weight down, focusing on working the triceps muscles, spread the ends of the rope apart, and squeeze the hell out of your triceps. That squeeze and tension stimulates growth in the target area.

Afterward, let the weight slowly come back up. Right before you feel as if your elbows are about to be yanked out of place, stop, and then do another rep. This constant tension will make your triceps scream bloody murder by the end of your set.

Exercise 4

A king of the exercise world, deadlifts could well be the most basic movement—in theory. You pick up the weight, hold it, and put it down. What could go wrong? Everything. There are oh-so many instances where a deadlift can go wrong and make lifters vulnerable to injury.

“Deadlifts are often a mess all the way through,” Jewell says. “I often see people with their shoulders rolled forward and hunched over as they lower the weight. Then they lose control over their body as a whole. Having your shoulders back, lats tight, core activated, and chest up will help eliminate this hunchback stature that I see all too often in the gym!

“I see another problem with neck alignment. At the beginning of the pull, you might be tempted to look down at the weight. This puts your neck out of neutral spinal alignment, which makes you more prone to hunching your shoulders and keeps you from engaging your core. Keep your neck aligned with the rest of your spine at the start and finish of your pull.”

Exercise 5

“Although dumbbell curls are a great exercise, problems rear their ugly heads when they are performed improperly.”

You want perfectly rounded biceps like IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Craig Capurso? He’s going to let you in on the “secret” to winning the arms race.

“Although dumbbell curls are a great exercise, problems rear their ugly heads when they are performed improperly,” Capurso says. “Many people will either pick up a light weight that can be lifted a million times or a weight that’s simply too heavy. Either of these prevents people from ever performing a worthy rep. Many people start the exercise with a shoulder swing followed by a fading elbow. This movement pattern doesn’t actually involve the biceps. It basically makes the exercise one big cheat.

“The goal is to achieve a well-controlled movement that isn’t aided by the aforementioned body swing. You should feel a deep burning sensation in your biceps and a noticeable pump or swell. You should also be able to perform the recommended reps in your program. After four sets of this type of training, you’ll feel fatigued, making it difficult to even bend your arms. That’s good because you are doing it correctly and have picked proper weights.”

To mix things up and really focus on your mind-muscle connection, try hammer curls. “This is when you stand in a neutral position, with your hands at your sides and the palms facing in toward your body,” Craig says. “Notice where your elbow rests in reference to your body and actively think about maintaining this position throughout the exercise. Really think about contracting the muscle groups involved as you bring up the weight. If you feel the heat in your shoulder, elbow, or any other muscle group that shouldn’t be firing, restart the process or perhaps lower the weight.”

Exercise 6

The bench press is an excellent indicator of upper body strength. When performed correctly, it is a money exercise that builds strength, muscle size, and athletic function. Haphazard execution of the bench press can increase the risk of shoulder or pec injuries, but that can usually be rectified by going with lower weight or just doing the damn exercise the right way!

In preparing to pump out your first rep, make sure your shoulder blades are squeezed together. This will protect your shoulders and bring your chest higher so the bar doesn’t travel as far. Next, plant your feet firmly on the floor and get yourself in a stable position. Otherwise you increase the chance of getting hurt. Keep everything tight, including your shoulders and butt.

As you perform the lift, lower the bar to your nipple line and keep it there for a one-second pause. Think about pushing your chest away from the bar rather than pushing the bar away from your chest. Remember to drive your feet into the floor for force production, keeping your butt on the bench, and arching your back to transfer force to the bar. Once you press the weight up, focus on squeezing your pecs as if you were trying to crush a walnut sitting between them.

Bench Press

Exercise 7

Crunches are a perennial favorite and also one of the most poorly performed exercises in the gym. Even if you think you’re a crunch king, you might be doing them wrong and actually jeopardizing your neck health.

The first step to being a crunch master: Don’t cross your arms on your chest or clasp your hands together behind your head. Instead, lightly place your hands on the temples of your noggin and focus on keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders. Don’t bend your neck; the idea isn’t to bang your head against your crotch, but to dig your lower back into the floor and lift your shoulders about 3-4 inches off the floor.

Squeeze your abdominals and forcefully let out a big breath. Slowly drop yourself back to the floor and repeat. Now do 10 reps and let me know the difference this makes. Don’t worry, you can catch your breath—I can wait.

Do you see other poorly performed exercises at your own gym? Sound off in the comments below! Let us know if you have any favorite tips or techniques. Share with the community to help improve everyone’s form—and results!

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7 Exercises That You Need To Fix Right Now

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<div id="DPG" webReader="113.826086957"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-12.1764705882"><div class="c9"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/obi-vital-stat-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c10">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/obadike1/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c11"/></a><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/OBI-OBADIKE/102272353153559" title="Facebook" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="https://twitter.com/Obi_Obadike" title="Twitter" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><p><strong>Name:</strong> Obi Obadike<br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="http://www.obiobadike.com/">www.obiobadike.com</a><br /><strong>Email:</strong> <span class="c13"><a href="obifitness@verizon.net">obifitness@verizon.net</a></span></p></div><p>
<h3 class="article-title">QObi, my arms look great, but I have ski-slope shoulders. What do you recommend?</h3>
</p><p>To build a complete physique, the sculpted sort that looks good on a magazine cover, every body part needs to hold its own—without exception.</p><p>That means giving every body part its due in the gym, even if it's not a "glamour" body part like chest, biceps, or abs.</p><p>When I train, my objective is to work each body part a minimum of once each week and a maximum of twice each week. That same rule applies to shoulders. I always pair shoulders with a back-smashing session.</p><p>To grow big, strong shoulders, hit them with a minimum of three exercises each training session. Note the word "minimum." If you're strong enough, feel free to increase this to 4-5 exercises on shoulder day.</p><p>I make sure I warm up my shoulders by stretching my arms out. It's essential to prevent injury. I start with small circles going forward for at least 30 seconds and then I reverse and go backward for 30 seconds. Then I do the same thing, only making the circles bigger.</p><p>Here's a breakdown of two shoulder routines. I chose these exercises because collectively they work each head of the deltoid. When I mention Monday and Friday—well, that's up to you. Just don't train shoulders on consecutive days.</p><p>Follow this shoulder routine and they'll grow. Trust me.</p><h3 class="article-title">Monday</h3><p>
<h4 class="article-title c14">1 Dumbbell Front Raise</h4>
</p><p>This isolation exercise primarily works your anterior (front) deltoid.</p><p>Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest your arms at your sides. Using an overhand grip, slowly raise your arms in front of you and bring the dumbbell to eye level.</p><img src="images/2014/ask-the-ripped-dude-shoulders-graphic-1d.jpg" width="560" height="375" border="0" class="c15"/><h6 class="altH6 c16">Dumbbell Front Raises</h6><p>Then, slowly lower the weight back down to your sides. Find yourself swinging? It's likely that the weight you're using is too heavy. <strong>Remember:</strong> Speed isn't the key here. It's all about slow, isolated exercises.</p><ul><li>1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight</li>
<li>3 sets of 12-15 reps</li>
</ul><p>
<h4 class="article-title c14">2 Dumbbell Overhead Press</h4>
</p><p>This shoulder exercise works your anterior deltoid while indirectly targeting your triceps and upper back.</p><p>Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and flat on the ground. Bring your arms to shoulder level and bend at the elbows. From there, simultaneously push the dumbbells overhead and extend until they touch for a complete repetition. Lower the dumbbells back down to chest level and repeat.</p><ul><li>1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight</li>
<li>3 sets of 12-15 reps</li>
</ul><p>
<h4 class="article-title c14">3 Barbell Upright Row</h4>
</p><p>This compound exercise works the deltoids and trapezius muscles while indirectly targeting the triceps.</p><p>Stand with your feet shoulder with apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell in front of you, resting it against your thighs. Pull the barbell up until it reaches the level of your clavicle.</p><img src="images/2014/ask-the-ripped-dude-shoulders-graphic-2.jpg" width="560" height="380" border="0" class="c15"/><h6 class="altH6 c16">Barbell Upright Row</h6><p>At this point, your elbows should be fully pointed outward. Be sure not to swing or bounce the bar or rise to your tippy toes. Keep a steady breath, inhaling on the downward position and exhaling as you pull the bar upward.</p><ul><li>1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight</li>
<li>3 sets of 12-15 reps</li>
</ul><h3 class="article-title">Friday</h3><p>
<h4 class="article-title c14">1 Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug</h4>
</p><p>This exercise works the upper trapezius muscle, helping you built titan-style traps.</p><p>Hold a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart. From the starting position, squeeze together your shoulder blades while simultaneously rotating your scapula. Try to bring your shoulders to your ears (or as close as possible) while elevating your scapula.</p><p>Hold that contraction for at least two seconds before lowering your shoulders back down.</p><ul><li>1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight</li>
<li>3 sets of 12-15 reps</li>
</ul><p>
<h4 class="article-title c14">2 Dumbbell Lateral Raise</h4>
</p><p>These raises primarily work the middle head of the deltoid as well as the anterior deltoid and posterior (back) deltoid.</p><img src="images/2014/ask-the-ripped-dude-shoulders-graphic-3.jpg" width="560" height="356" border="0" class="c15"/><h6 class="altH6 c16">Dumbbell Lateral Raises</h6><p>Stand with your feet shoulder with apart, feet firmly planted. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, and keeping a slight bend in each arm, raise your arms to shoulder height.</p><p>Slowly bring your arms down and back to your sides. Repeat.</p><ul><li>1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight</li>
<li>3 sets of 12-15 reps</li>
</ul><p>
<h4 class="article-title c14">3 Military Press</h4>
</p><p>This exercise works the entire shoulders complex, but especially the front deltoids.</p><p>Sit on a bench. With your feet firmly planted and roughly shoulder width apart, grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Extend your arms straight while lifting overhead. Try not to arch your back.</p><p>Lower the bar back down to your clavicle and repeat. Be careful not to hold your breath. Inhale while pulling down and exhale while pushing up.</p><ul><li>1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight</li>
<li>3 sets of 12-15 reps</li>
</ul><p><a href="http://www.obiobadike.com/store/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/obi-ripped-dude-page-banner.jpg" alt="Transform Your Body" width="560" height="144"/></a></p><br /><br class="c17"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c20" webReader="4.53488372093"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-ripped-dude-best-way-to-stay-ripped-year-round.html"><img src="images/2014/ask-the-ripped-dude_sm.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="6.04651162791"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-ripped-dude-best-way-to-stay-ripped-year-round.html">ASK THE RIPPED DUDE: "WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO QUIT THE WEIGHT-LOSS/WEIGHT-GAIN CYCLE?"</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
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Does your vertical jump fall short? Learn how to reach higher and propel forward with these workout tips!</p></div></div><div class="c20" webReader="4.63742690058"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-ripped-dude-how-can-i-chisel-my-chest.html"><img src="images/2013/ask-the-ripped-dude_sm.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c19" webReader="5.70760233918"><h4 class="c18"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-ripped-dude-how-can-i-chisel-my-chest.html">ASK THE RIPPED DUDE: "HOW CAN I CHISEL MY CHEST?"</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Is your chest sunken rather soaring? No worries! Learn the key to building primo pecs with this chest-contouring workout.</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="41.5023041475"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="7.54491017964"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/obi-obadike.html">Obi Obadike</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/obi-obadike.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Known as ''The World Most Ripped Fitness Model,'' he's very passionate about educating people all over the world about health and fitness.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/obi-obadike.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-obi-obadike-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/obi-obadike.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

Ask The Ripped Dude: How Can I Improve My Shoulders?

QObi, my arms look great, but I have ski-slope shoulders. What do you recommend?

To build a complete physique, the sculpted sort that looks good on a magazine cover, every body part needs to hold its own—without exception.

That means giving every body part its due in the gym, even if it’s not a “glamour” body part like chest, biceps, or abs.

When I train, my objective is to work each body part a minimum of once each week and a maximum of twice each week. That same rule applies to shoulders. I always pair shoulders with a back-smashing session.

To grow big, strong shoulders, hit them with a minimum of three exercises each training session. Note the word “minimum.” If you’re strong enough, feel free to increase this to 4-5 exercises on shoulder day.

I make sure I warm up my shoulders by stretching my arms out. It’s essential to prevent injury. I start with small circles going forward for at least 30 seconds and then I reverse and go backward for 30 seconds. Then I do the same thing, only making the circles bigger.

Here’s a breakdown of two shoulder routines. I chose these exercises because collectively they work each head of the deltoid. When I mention Monday and Friday—well, that’s up to you. Just don’t train shoulders on consecutive days.

Follow this shoulder routine and they’ll grow. Trust me.

Monday

1 Dumbbell Front Raise

This isolation exercise primarily works your anterior (front) deltoid.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest your arms at your sides. Using an overhand grip, slowly raise your arms in front of you and bring the dumbbell to eye level.

Dumbbell Front Raises

Then, slowly lower the weight back down to your sides. Find yourself swinging? It’s likely that the weight you’re using is too heavy. Remember: Speed isn’t the key here. It’s all about slow, isolated exercises.

  • 1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight
  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

2 Dumbbell Overhead Press

This shoulder exercise works your anterior deltoid while indirectly targeting your triceps and upper back.

Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and flat on the ground. Bring your arms to shoulder level and bend at the elbows. From there, simultaneously push the dumbbells overhead and extend until they touch for a complete repetition. Lower the dumbbells back down to chest level and repeat.

  • 1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight
  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

3 Barbell Upright Row

This compound exercise works the deltoids and trapezius muscles while indirectly targeting the triceps.

Stand with your feet shoulder with apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell in front of you, resting it against your thighs. Pull the barbell up until it reaches the level of your clavicle.

Barbell Upright Row

At this point, your elbows should be fully pointed outward. Be sure not to swing or bounce the bar or rise to your tippy toes. Keep a steady breath, inhaling on the downward position and exhaling as you pull the bar upward.

  • 1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight
  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Friday

1 Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug

This exercise works the upper trapezius muscle, helping you built titan-style traps.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart. From the starting position, squeeze together your shoulder blades while simultaneously rotating your scapula. Try to bring your shoulders to your ears (or as close as possible) while elevating your scapula.

Hold that contraction for at least two seconds before lowering your shoulders back down.

  • 1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight
  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

2 Dumbbell Lateral Raise

These raises primarily work the middle head of the deltoid as well as the anterior deltoid and posterior (back) deltoid.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Stand with your feet shoulder with apart, feet firmly planted. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, and keeping a slight bend in each arm, raise your arms to shoulder height.

Slowly bring your arms down and back to your sides. Repeat.

  • 1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight
  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

3 Military Press

This exercise works the entire shoulders complex, but especially the front deltoids.

Sit on a bench. With your feet firmly planted and roughly shoulder width apart, grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Extend your arms straight while lifting overhead. Try not to arch your back.

Lower the bar back down to your clavicle and repeat. Be careful not to hold your breath. Inhale while pulling down and exhale while pushing up.

  • 1 set warm-up of 20 reps using very light weight
  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Transform Your Body


Recommended For You

ASK THE RIPPED DUDE: “WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO QUIT THE WEIGHT-LOSS/WEIGHT-GAIN CYCLE?”

Staying in shape 365 days per year can be a challenge, but if you can break out of the gain/loss cycle, it’s one you can conquer.

ASK THE RIPPED DUDE: “HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY VERTICAL JUMP?”

Does your vertical jump fall short? Learn how to reach higher and propel forward with these workout tips!

ASK THE RIPPED DUDE: “HOW CAN I CHISEL MY CHEST?”

Is your chest sunken rather soaring? No worries! Learn the key to building primo pecs with this chest-contouring workout.

About The Author

Known as ”The World Most Ripped Fitness Model,” he’s very passionate about educating people all over the world about health and fitness.

Original article – 

Ask The Ripped Dude: How Can I Improve My Shoulders?

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Warm up, Weight lossComments Off on Ask The Ripped Dude: How Can I Improve My Shoulders?

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