Tag Archive | "technique"

1109-woman-plank

8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

The key to rocking shoulder-baring sweaters and blouses this season is pairing them with a strong, toned upper body.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to speed hours in the gym to achieve an eye-catching upper body.

What you need is a challenging workout—one that cranks up the intensity on your muscles and eliminates every last ounce of flab. Enter Tabata training, also known as the four-minute fat-burning workout.

There’s a reason this type of high-intensity interval training is the go-to when you want to shed pounds and tone up fast—it works.

 GETTING STARTED

A Tabata workout (not including warm up and cool down) involves performing 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active recovery. You repeat this cycle eight times, for a total of four minutes of very short, intense bursts of exercise.

In this particular workout, you’ll complete two Tabatas, for a total of eight minutes of high-intensity intervals.

Exercise 1

woman lifting weights

Dumbbell Row—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Stand with your feet slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart and bend forward at the hips, keeping your back parallel to the floor and head up. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders. Pull the weights up and back toward your hips, concentrating on pulling with your back muscles, until your elbows are slightly above the level of your back. Pause, then lower the weights. Repeat for reps.

Active rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Exercise 2

Overhead shoulder press—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart, head straight, and your eyes focused forward. Grasp a pair of dumbbells using an overhand (palms down) grip and raise them to just above shoulder height. This is your starting position. Keeping your shoulders back, press your arms up overhead. Pause for a moment at the top, then return to start. Repeat for reps.

Active rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Repeat sequence for a total of four minutes.

 *Warm up for five minutes on the treadmill beforehand.

ROUND 2

Works: Triceps, chest, core, shoulders*

Exercise 1

Reebok Introduces First-Ever World Burpee Day

Pike walk—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Stand with your feet together, arms at your side. Bend at the hips and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Walk your hands forward until you are in a plank position. Keeping your hands firmly planted in place, walk your feet up until they’re as close to your hands as possible. Repeat.

Active rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Exercise 2

Dip—As many as you can in 20 seconds.

Place your hands on the edge of a bench with your thumbs facing each other, and extend your legs in front of you, resting your feet on floor in front of you. Bend your elbows and lower your butt, stopping when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Extend your elbows to come up. Repeat for reps.

Tip: To increase the intensity, use a bench or chair to elevate your feet. You can also place a weight on top your thighs.

Active Rest: Jump on a treadmill or walk in place for 10 seconds.

Repeat sequence for a total of fout minutes.

*Cool down for five minutes on the treadmill afterward.

Although eight minutes may not seem like a lot, you’ll certainly feel the burn. This form of training can be used for virtually any and every exercise. Apply this training protocol to your regular workouts every once in a while to shake things up and break through dreaded plateaus.

View this article: 8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

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injury1

How to exercise smart and prevent injury

When you hit the gym, the field or the track, the last thing you want to take home is an injury. But the more time you spend exercising, the higher the risk. Here are several tips to help manage, treat and prevent injuries so you can keep doing what you love, for longer.

Research has shown that women are especially susceptible to debilitating ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which helps to stabilise the knee joint. A combination of anatomical, biomechanical and other factors is at play. When comparing a woman’s physiology to a male, women have smaller, weaker muscles supporting the knee, a wider pelvis, and thigh bones which angle inward more sharply from hip to knee. Women also have a greater imbalance between the quadricep and hamstring muscles, which can contribute to knee injuries. And there are biomechanical differences between the way men and women land on their feet, as in running or jumping. Researchers have also suggested that the female hormone oestrogen makes women more vulnerable to ACL injury by weakening this ligament.

The importance of warming up

A proper warm-up will heat and loosen the body. Different forms of sport and exercise require different warm-ups, but as a general rule, a dynamic warm-up will get all the joints moving one at a time, then all together, taking the body through progressive movements that loosen and stretch your muscles. Classic dynamic warm-up moves include walking lunges, toe touches, and high knees.

Your outfit counts

For some sports, protective equipment is important to prevent damage. This is particularly relevant for sports involving physical contact, think football and hockey (shin guards) and boxing (boxing gloves and protective head gear).

It’s also important to wear the correct footwear. The right shoes will support the foot and ankle, helping to prevent twisting and injury. In addition, many athletes wear supports, such as knee, ankle, or elbow supports, to offer additional support and protection to joints which may have been weakened by an earlier injury. Supports help stabilise the joint and prevent further damage.

Keep moving post-workout

More exercise is probably the last thing on your list after a big session, but according to a study recently published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, performing light exercise post-workout may help ease your soreness, and can be just as beneficial as having a massage.

Another useful tip is to use heat to increase blood flow, which will ease your sore muscles. Soak in a hot bath, or if the pain is isolated, apply heat directly to your trouble spot. Many peel-and-stick heating pads stay in place for hours and are thin enough to wear under clothing.

Finally, taking an Omega-3 pill once a day reduces soreness and eases inflammation 48 hours after a strength-training workout, according to research published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. Omega-3s — which are also found naturally in foods such as salmon, spinach, and nuts — may help boost circulation to sore muscles while also reducing inflammation.

Rehab your injury

If your injury is severe (i.e. you can’t put weight on the area, or have swelling, numbness or severe pain) you should see a doctor. If you can treat the injury yourself, the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method is tried and tested and very often effective.

Rest. Reduce your regular activities. If you’ve injured your foot, ankle, or knee, take weight off of it.

Ice. Place an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes, four-to-eight times a day. You can use a cold pack or ice bag. Take the ice off after 20 minutes to avoid cold injury.

Compression. Put even pressure (compression) on the injured area to help reduce swelling. You can use an elastic wrap, special boot, air cast, or splint. Ask your doctor which one is best for your injury.

Elevation. Place the injured area on a pillow, at a level above your heart, to help reduce swelling.

 

Be prepared with a first aid kit

The type of first aid that may be required varies for every sport. Because bruises, abrasions, and sprained ankles are more common in some field sports, their first aid kit, for instance, needs to be stocked with cold packs, elastic bandages, and Band-Aids. A track team’s kit, on the other hand, needs to have plenty of supplies to treat blisters, abrasions, pulled muscles, and sprains. Sunscreen and allergy kits may also be appropriate for outdoor sports.

If you are regularly involved in sport, it’s worth having some knowledge of first aid, especially if you are playing sports in areas where there is no immediate access to trained medical people. At Real First Aid, you can sign up for first aid courses, or they can visit your workplace or sports club to work with larger groups. Think of it as an essential investment into your health and wellness, and that of everyone around you.

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cardiohiit

4 HIIT workouts to try now

So you want to be one of those super-fit (and perky) people? Set a goal and time frame and train using these HIIT workouts.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with active recovery sessions. These short, intense workouts burn high levels of calories and improve athletic capacity.

How: Try the following routine over two to four weeks and complete two times per week. Make sure you record whether you reached the program goal or not. 

a.Workout 1: Incline sprints (lvl 35) 
30-second maximal output then drop incline and actively recover for 2 min x 5 sets

b. Workout 2: Incline sprints (lvl 35) 
45-second maximal output then drop incline and actively recover for 2 min x 5 sets

c.Workout 3: incline sprints (lvl 35) 
45-second maximal output, drop incline and actively recover for 1.5 min x 5 sets

d. Workout 4: Incline sprints (lvl 35) 
45-second maximal output, drop the incline and actively recover for 1 min x 5 sets

Insider’s tip: Try this instead of long steady-state cardio sessions and watch your fitness levels soar!

Discover more way to fast-track you fat loss here.

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chest-press-with-resistance-band

Chest press with resistance band

How to

1. Attach the centre of the band to a stationary object and hold one end in each hand

2. Stand with your back to the attachment, elbows bent and shoulders abducted to 90 degrees (upper arm level with shoulder) so that your hands are next to your chest.

3. Push forwards and straighten your arms out in front of you.

4. Slowly return to the starting position.


Why use resistance bands?

They are super affordable and the ideal fitness multi-tasker. Just choose the right band based on your weight – it’s all written on either the packaging, online or ask in store. As you get stronger you’ll need to lower the assistance to account for your new strength.

For example, a robust general tension band combined with a heavy band offers roughly the same amount of resistance as a power band, but the combination gives you three different levels of assistance (one with the heavy band, one with robust, and one with both bands). Colours denote the different band strengths and vary between brands.

Source

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Running tips for women

Ace your next race with these top tips

Going for a run is probably one of the most popular ways to get your workout on, whether it’s hitting the roads or jumping on a treadmill when the weather’s gross outside. If you sometimes find running a little tedious, why not challenge yourself to go faster or further?

Here are our top tips to smash your run.

To the gym

Weight training could make you a better runner. A Norwegian study found that resistance training three times a week for eight weeks significantly improved running efficiency and endurance in well-trained, long-distance runners.

Uphill battle

Want to conquer the hills? To race uphill, run with a short stride while pushing off the balls of your feet and pumping your arms. Then relax your arms and use a longer stride to go downhill.

Ready, set, splash!

Getting wet could make you a better runner. Swimming increases your upper body strength, making your runs more efficient, while aqua jogging mimics your usual movement sans impact – reducing the risk of injury.

Bright idea

‘Watch your stance when running,’ tips Fitness First trainer Andy Hall. ‘Leaping forward and striding too far will drain your energy fast. Instead, make sure you stand tall and lean slightly forward, so when you feel like you’re going to fall, you step forward just enough to catch yourself. This should be the length of your stride.’

Take five

Listen to your body! If you’re feeling under the weather or if your body is sore and ready for a rest, take a recovery day. Only you know if those aches and pains are from a good run or the sign you need to rest.

Sand storm

Here’s a good excuse to book a beach getaway – running on sand can improve your speed and muscle tone. A study from St Luke’s University Clinic in Belgium found that pounding the sand requires 1.6 times more energy than running on pavements as your body has to work harder to deal with the soft, unstable surface. That adds up to more defined muscles and a swifter run when you get back to solid ground. Neat!

Drink up

Hydration is key for runners, but plain old water is best if you’re only doing short runs. Upgrade to a sports drink if you’re running for longer than an hour to help shuttle glucose to your muscles and combat fatigue.

Play it safe Protect yourself – the great outdoors brings potential hazards:

Navigate new destinations Make use of online running forums and social media groups to discover popular routes. Clearly defined, well-lit roads are a must when running in the dark, and remember there’s safety in numbers. Recruit a running buddy or join a club to improve your technique with like-minded enthusiasts – it’s way more fun than going solo!

Ditch your headphones An uplifting playlist can send motivation soaring, but when you’re running outside you need to be aware of your surroundings so you can rely on your senses when you need them. Save the tunes for your indoor workout and shift your attention to your breathing and form – or if you feel you really can’t run without music just keep the volume low.

Check the forecast We all know the British weather is unpredictable. It’s worth checking the forecast before you lace up so you don’t get caught in heavy rain that could hamper your performance and increase your risk of injury.

Read the article –

Running tips for women

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Time Saver Workout: Fast Four

WORKOUT BY: Leandro Cavalho, Creator of the Beachbody Brazil Butt Lift

For quick and effective workouts, you’re better off focusing on the larger muscle groups like the chest, back, glutes, quads, hamstrings, abs, and shoulders. For this workout, there are a total of 4 moves: Beginners can start with 1 set of each move; intermediate, 2–3 sets; advanced, do 4 or more sets.

EXERCISE 1

Walking Pushup: Bend over at the waist, keeping a flat back, until your hands touch floor. Walk hands out to a pushup position and perform 1 pushup, then walk hands back and return to standing. Each time increase number of pushups done by 1. Beginners, go up to 3–4 reps, intermediate/ advanced, 5–6 reps. After your sixth rep, perform 10 pushups.

EXERCISE 2

Squat: Beginners, do this exercise 12 times holding 12 lb. dumbbells; intermediate, 15 times holding 15 lb. dumbbells; advanced, 20 times holding 20 lb. dumbbells.

EXERCISE 3

Bentover Row: Beginners, use one 8–12 lb. weight in each hand and do 12 reps; intermediate, 15 lb. doing 15 reps; advanced, 20 lb. doing 20 reps.

EXERCISE 4

Inverted Tabletop: Lie faceup with knees above hips, feet flexed and positioned slightly higher than knees, hands behind head. Start with double reps: In 1 count, lift head, neck, and shoulders, bringing knees in toward chest. Then lift shoulder blades and tailbone a little higher for 1 more count. Return to start in 2 counts, bringing your head back down to touch mat. Then do single reps: Perform the move for 1 count up, 1 count down. Then do short reps: “Pulse” at top of move rather than returning back to the start. Beginner: Do 8 double counts, 8 single counts, 8 shortsIntermediate: Do 12 double counts, 12 single counts, 12 shorts Advanced: Do 16 double counts, 16 single counts, 16 shorts.

 From –

Time Saver Workout: Fast Four

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HE1215_FEPLY_01

20-Minute Fat Blaster

No Time For A Full Workout Today?

Squat Jump

Squeeze in this fast and furious fat blaster, designed to work every major muscle while burning mega calories. “Every move here is explosive — you’re working different muscle groups in a variety of directions for optimum conditioning,” explains New York-based trainer Holly Rilinger.

Do each move for 30 seconds, resting as little as possible (up to 10 seconds) between each one. “Because you’re rotating between lower body, upper body, and core moves you’re already getting rest, so you can keep downtime to a minimum,” adds Rilinger.

Ball Slam

Explosive Crunch

Box Jump

Plyo Pushup

Lateral Box Jump

Speed Skater

 

 

Continued here:

20-Minute Fat Blaster

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Strike a balance with this Inner thigh exercise

Want to boost gym performance? It’s time to balance out your intense workouts with a good old dance-inspired stretch

Blocking out the time to really delve into a stretching session can seem hard to justify if your busy schedule already makes squeezing workouts in difficult.

But if you’ve found yourself hitting a wall when it comes to results, or you’re constantly plagued by niggling injuries, it might just be what the doctor ordered. US-based Lastics has taken inspo from the long, lean and limber bodies of dancers to come up with classes and online videos to help regular gym-goers get the most out of their workouts. ‘Dancers epitomise the balance between strength and flexibility to the extreme,’ says Lastics founder Donna Flagg. ‘Their bodies are graceful, sculpted and powerful.’

Rather than overhauling your entire workout routine to emulate that of a ballerina, Lastics instead allows you to simply take a leaf out of their book, providing stretching-focused classes to help you develop an improved range of motion. This is essential to anyone who’s looking to prevent injuries, boost conditioning and balance out strength training – as well as achieve a slender silhouette. ‘Lastics enhances all other activities, improves posture and circulation and gives you more freedom to move in your body,’ Donna adds. So if you’re intrigued by the slenderness and strength of a dancer but don’t necessarily have any goals to make it as one (bar the occasional tear-up on the dance floor on a Friday night), this is the perfect middle ground.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Lastics, trying out the DVD or even just having a taster of what it might be like, give this workout a go. Donna has devised it especially to supplement WF’s workouts, but it’s a wise and healthy addition to any active woman’s weekly routine. It can even be added to the end of a workout if you don’t want to dedicate an entire session to it.

How to do it

Breathe into the stretch and release when the body starts to resist. Then take a few breaths and release deeper into the stretch on each exhale. Repeat as desired.

Technique

Sit in a straddle and let your head hang between your legs, rounding your back. Release any tension you may be holding.

After you’ve been hanging there totally relaxed, reach your nose a little closer to the floor. Hold your upper body where it is and press the backs of your knees down into the floor.

Hold your body and knees in place and flex your feet, making sure your knees don’t pop back up.

Finally, hold all of that and lift your chin to flatten your back. Hold for a few seconds.

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Strike a balance with this Inner thigh exercise

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Romanian deadlift

One of the most effective workouts for strengthening your glutes and hamstrings is the romanian deadlift. When performed correctly, it involves a hip hinge movement and uses the muscles that are vital in performing other excerises in lifting, jumping and sprinting.

While your glutes and hamstrings are engaged- You’ll find that the muscles in the front (quadriceps) are also being used, as well as the upper back muscles, which is an effective way of strengthening your back muscles and posture (along side other back exercises). 

Technique

  • Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs).
  • Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead.
  • Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips lowering the bar towards the floor.
  • Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position. 
  • Perform 8-10 reps (3-4 sets) 
  • Safety tip: keep your shoulder blades engaged as you lower.

For information about strength and conditioning training, check out The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to train Like an Athlete by fitness expert and coach Nick Grantham

Originally posted here: 

Romanian deadlift

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<div id="DPG" webReader="195.019246353"><p>Among lifters, there aren't many people who will shy away from wanting to build a strong, chiseled chest. After all, they know beastly chest muscles scream strength and power, and look great on the beach.</p><p>Functionally, strong pecs also assist with performing everyday activities, lower the risk of shoulder injuries, and provide that extra edge in sports and in the gym. Simply put, a well-built chest is, well, pectacular. Sorry.</p><p>It's high time for you to get your chest training out of a rut. Use and share these tips to reassess your chest routine and pave your way to pec success.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">1 Stick With Basics</h3>
</p><p>When the chest game starts to falter, some people react by piling on ridiculous-sounding accessory work like a one-handed, reverse lay-up upper-cut. No need to reinvent the wheel here; there are no secret exercises.</p><img src="images/2014/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest-graphic-1.jpg" width="560" height="447"/><p>Perfect your technique and form and identify the best rep range for your objective. The basics will help your chest grow!</p><p>Tried-and-true foundational exercises like ye olde bench press, dumbbell press, incline press, and chest flye have helped top lifters such as <a href="http://contest.bodybuilding.com/bio/94862/">Steve Reeves</a>, Arnold, and countless other folks throughout the years. So why wouldn't they work for you?</p><p>Before trying to change things, make sure you master these movements. Perfect your technique and form and identify the best rep range for your objective. After all, any structurally solid building must rise from a strong foundation.</p><p>Exercises like the bench press are the cornerstones for a powerful chest. Still doubtful? Look to IFBB Physique Pro <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/craigcapurso/">Craig Capurso</a>, who uses these exercises to build his rock-solid chest.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">2 Everyone Should Train Chest</h3>
</p><p>Yep, that includes you, ladies. Unfortunately, some women need to banish these <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/a-girls-gotta-bench-chest-workout-and-training-tips.html">false preconceived notions</a> of how chest exercises could negatively impact their bust. No, they will not shrink your bust. No, they will not make you look like She-Hulk. So stop worrying over these unfounded concerns!</p><img src="images/2014/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest-graphic-2.jpg" width="264" height="282" border="0" class="right-image c12"/><p>Despite fears of lost bust size, both men and women should train their chests regularly.</p><p>If there's someone who has both a strong <em>and</em> good-looking chest, it's WBFF Pro <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/fitnessjewell/">Jen Jewell</a>. Jen knows the importance of chest day and likes to include as many different movements into her chest workout as possible, including presses, flyes, and push-up variations.</p><p>"Just because [women] may not be out to build the biggest pecs out there doesn't mean we should neglect chest training," she says. "Our chests are a major muscle group. We wouldn't neglect training our back, so why would we skip out on chest day?"</p><p>It's like those dudes who exclusively train upper body and end up with chopsticks for legs. The same concept of imbalance echoes here: Working out one group of muscles but ignoring another group could make you look (and function) disproportionate.</p><p>Jen continues: "If we neglect training our chests, it could lead to a muscular imbalance in our physique and impact our training all around—we can't have that, now can we?! When we are working our chests, our shoulders and triceps are involved, too. And ladies, there's another bonus! Even though you can't increase the size of your breasts themselves with training, you can tighten the muscles of the chest, which makes for an even perkier bust line."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">3 Squeeze</h3>
</p><p>Squeeze what, you ask? Well, there's your problem.</p><p>When benching, you want to squeeze two things: the bar handle and your pec muscles. When I say squeeze your pecs, I don't mean using your hands to actually squeeze them. On the concentric, or lifting, portion of your reps, think about contracting your pecs. Squeezing increases the pump and the work involved, as well as the density of the muscle. It won't be easy, but your hard efforts will be rewarded.</p><img src="images/2014/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest-graphic-3.jpg" width="560" height="376"/><p>Squeezing the bar with your grip increases the pump and the work involved, as well as the density of the muscle.</p><p>Also make sure you squeeze the bar or dumbbell handle as if you want to crush it in the palm of your hands. This clench will invite more fibers to the pump party, resulting in increased strength down the road.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">4 Focus On Form</h3>
</p><p>Proper lifting form trumps everything else. If your form collapses, it doesn't matter that you're slinging twice your body weight.</p><p>If the intended muscle fibers aren't recruited correctly, other muscle groups may dominate the exercise, which adds unnecessary stress to muscle groups that aren't designed to bear heavy loads. That's how you get hurt. No one builds a strong chest while sitting in physical therapy or dealing with an injured back or shoulder. Throwing up big bench numbers may impress the bros at your gym, but it's not a good long-term strategy if those numbers come at the expense of good form.</p><p>Executing proper form, performing reps at a slower tempo, and focusing on using your chest throughout the movement will maximize the intensity and effectiveness of the workout, while minimizing injury risk.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">5 Push Yourself</h3>
</p><p>Your body is an amazing, intelligent machine that will adapt to stress quickly. If you don't push it hard enough, it won't grow. It's as simple as that.</p><p>While proper form still rules the day, muscle growth requires progressively increased stimuli. This increase leads to breaking down the muscle fibers and rebuilding stronger and bigger ones, preparing you for the next time you go against the iron.</p><img src="images/2014/7-ways-to-pump-up-your-chest-graphic-4.jpg" width="560" height="409" border="0" class="c14"/><h6 class="altH6 c15">Dumbbell Flye</h6><p>As you grow more comfortable performing the movement perfectly within a certain weight range, push yourself to take on more weight—as long as your form stays tight.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">6 Rest, Pause, Drop</h3>
</p><p>When adding more weight is no longer a challenging option, there's another method for making your next chest workout a sufferfest. I call it the "rest, pause, drop" method—RPD, for short—and no, it isn't a new dance routine.</p><p>I combined two intensity-raising techniques: <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/reading_workout_logs.htm#9">rest-pause</a> and <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/reading_workout_logs.htm#8">dropsets</a>. The former breaks up one set into several subsets with brief rest worked into the whole set. The latter is a technique that allows you to continue an exercise with a lighter weight after your muscles have tapped out at a heavier weight. My rest, pause, drop methodology applied to a chest workout makes for absolute muscle-building brutality and is designed to train all your muscle fiber varieties at once.</p><div class="left-side-stripe" webReader="-14"><h5>Rest</h5><p>Start with a weight you can do for 6-8 reps and go to failure (use a spotter). Rest for 5 seconds and then try for a couple of more.</p><h5>Pause</h5><p>Reduce the weight by 20-25 percent. Repeat what you just did, including the rest-pause, for 5 seconds.</p><h5>Drop</h5><p>Reduce the weight again—by the same amount you did last time—and repeat the rest-pause set one more time.</p></div><p>The final result is a 25-30 rep set. Beginners can do one set of this at the end of their chest workout, but I don't recommend any more than that. Advanced lifters can include this RPD set with each exercise next Monday. (Everyone still does chest on Monday, right?)</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c10">7 Dust Off the Decline</h3>
</p><p>You know that decline bench? The sloped brute that gathered a thick layer of dust from underuse? Well, this underrated angle can be a huge boon to your chest routine. It is approved by strongman <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fitness-360-colton-leonard-stronger-than-stone.html">Colton Leonard</a>, who knows a thing or two about strong pecs.</p><p>Comparing exercises done on a flat bench versus a decline bench, some studies have shown that more muscle fibers in the pec are recruited while on the decline. Try this out with both a barbell and dumbbells.</p><p>Put these tips to the test and share your results with me and the rest of us in the comments below!</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/cellucor/cellucor.htm"><img src="images/2013/cellucor-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144"/></a><br class="c16"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="41.328125"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="8.2183908046"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/roger_lockridge.htm">Roger Lockridge</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/roger_lockridge.htm">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Bodybuilding is the reason I am who I am today. I am more confident in myself, actually looking for the next challenge, and inspiring others.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/roger_lockridge.htm"><img src="images/2013/writer-roger-lockridge-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/roger_lockridge.htm#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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7 Ways To Pump Up Your Chest

Among lifters, there aren’t many people who will shy away from wanting to build a strong, chiseled chest. After all, they know beastly chest muscles scream strength and power, and look great on the beach.

Functionally, strong pecs also assist with performing everyday activities, lower the risk of shoulder injuries, and provide that extra edge in sports and in the gym. Simply put, a well-built chest is, well, pectacular. Sorry.

It’s high time for you to get your chest training out of a rut. Use and share these tips to reassess your chest routine and pave your way to pec success.

1 Stick With Basics

When the chest game starts to falter, some people react by piling on ridiculous-sounding accessory work like a one-handed, reverse lay-up upper-cut. No need to reinvent the wheel here; there are no secret exercises.

Perfect your technique and form and identify the best rep range for your objective. The basics will help your chest grow!

Tried-and-true foundational exercises like ye olde bench press, dumbbell press, incline press, and chest flye have helped top lifters such as Steve Reeves, Arnold, and countless other folks throughout the years. So why wouldn’t they work for you?

Before trying to change things, make sure you master these movements. Perfect your technique and form and identify the best rep range for your objective. After all, any structurally solid building must rise from a strong foundation.

Exercises like the bench press are the cornerstones for a powerful chest. Still doubtful? Look to IFBB Physique Pro Craig Capurso, who uses these exercises to build his rock-solid chest.

2 Everyone Should Train Chest

Yep, that includes you, ladies. Unfortunately, some women need to banish these false preconceived notions of how chest exercises could negatively impact their bust. No, they will not shrink your bust. No, they will not make you look like She-Hulk. So stop worrying over these unfounded concerns!

Despite fears of lost bust size, both men and women should train their chests regularly.

If there’s someone who has both a strong and good-looking chest, it’s WBFF Pro Jen Jewell. Jen knows the importance of chest day and likes to include as many different movements into her chest workout as possible, including presses, flyes, and push-up variations.

“Just because [women] may not be out to build the biggest pecs out there doesn’t mean we should neglect chest training,” she says. “Our chests are a major muscle group. We wouldn’t neglect training our back, so why would we skip out on chest day?”

It’s like those dudes who exclusively train upper body and end up with chopsticks for legs. The same concept of imbalance echoes here: Working out one group of muscles but ignoring another group could make you look (and function) disproportionate.

Jen continues: “If we neglect training our chests, it could lead to a muscular imbalance in our physique and impact our training all around—we can’t have that, now can we?! When we are working our chests, our shoulders and triceps are involved, too. And ladies, there’s another bonus! Even though you can’t increase the size of your breasts themselves with training, you can tighten the muscles of the chest, which makes for an even perkier bust line.”

3 Squeeze

Squeeze what, you ask? Well, there’s your problem.

When benching, you want to squeeze two things: the bar handle and your pec muscles. When I say squeeze your pecs, I don’t mean using your hands to actually squeeze them. On the concentric, or lifting, portion of your reps, think about contracting your pecs. Squeezing increases the pump and the work involved, as well as the density of the muscle. It won’t be easy, but your hard efforts will be rewarded.

Squeezing the bar with your grip increases the pump and the work involved, as well as the density of the muscle.

Also make sure you squeeze the bar or dumbbell handle as if you want to crush it in the palm of your hands. This clench will invite more fibers to the pump party, resulting in increased strength down the road.

4 Focus On Form

Proper lifting form trumps everything else. If your form collapses, it doesn’t matter that you’re slinging twice your body weight.

If the intended muscle fibers aren’t recruited correctly, other muscle groups may dominate the exercise, which adds unnecessary stress to muscle groups that aren’t designed to bear heavy loads. That’s how you get hurt. No one builds a strong chest while sitting in physical therapy or dealing with an injured back or shoulder. Throwing up big bench numbers may impress the bros at your gym, but it’s not a good long-term strategy if those numbers come at the expense of good form.

Executing proper form, performing reps at a slower tempo, and focusing on using your chest throughout the movement will maximize the intensity and effectiveness of the workout, while minimizing injury risk.

5 Push Yourself

Your body is an amazing, intelligent machine that will adapt to stress quickly. If you don’t push it hard enough, it won’t grow. It’s as simple as that.

While proper form still rules the day, muscle growth requires progressively increased stimuli. This increase leads to breaking down the muscle fibers and rebuilding stronger and bigger ones, preparing you for the next time you go against the iron.

Dumbbell Flye

As you grow more comfortable performing the movement perfectly within a certain weight range, push yourself to take on more weight—as long as your form stays tight.

6 Rest, Pause, Drop

When adding more weight is no longer a challenging option, there’s another method for making your next chest workout a sufferfest. I call it the “rest, pause, drop” method—RPD, for short—and no, it isn’t a new dance routine.

I combined two intensity-raising techniques: rest-pause and dropsets. The former breaks up one set into several subsets with brief rest worked into the whole set. The latter is a technique that allows you to continue an exercise with a lighter weight after your muscles have tapped out at a heavier weight. My rest, pause, drop methodology applied to a chest workout makes for absolute muscle-building brutality and is designed to train all your muscle fiber varieties at once.

Rest

Start with a weight you can do for 6-8 reps and go to failure (use a spotter). Rest for 5 seconds and then try for a couple of more.

Pause

Reduce the weight by 20-25 percent. Repeat what you just did, including the rest-pause, for 5 seconds.

Drop

Reduce the weight again—by the same amount you did last time—and repeat the rest-pause set one more time.

The final result is a 25-30 rep set. Beginners can do one set of this at the end of their chest workout, but I don’t recommend any more than that. Advanced lifters can include this RPD set with each exercise next Monday. (Everyone still does chest on Monday, right?)

7 Dust Off the Decline

You know that decline bench? The sloped brute that gathered a thick layer of dust from underuse? Well, this underrated angle can be a huge boon to your chest routine. It is approved by strongman Colton Leonard, who knows a thing or two about strong pecs.

Comparing exercises done on a flat bench versus a decline bench, some studies have shown that more muscle fibers in the pec are recruited while on the decline. Try this out with both a barbell and dumbbells.

Put these tips to the test and share your results with me and the rest of us in the comments below!

About The Author

Bodybuilding is the reason I am who I am today. I am more confident in myself, actually looking for the next challenge, and inspiring others.

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7 Ways To Pump Up Your Chest

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Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

24 minutes 27 seconds ago

My motto: Don’t Fail and Give up.. FAIL AND GET UP!!! 😤🌪

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Paige Hathaway

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PART 2: Reporting live from F45 Training Flatiron - see what a session looks like LIVE!!!

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