Archive | September, 2017

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Hormone check: why you may not be losing stubborn fat in problem areas

Why we store fat where we do is a product of our hormones and their interaction with the environment – a combination of nature and nurture. Our hormones either work for us or against us, and when even one is out of balance, it has a domino effect on the rest.  Any kind of hormonal imbalance can make losing weight an uphill struggle.

Hormones are in constant fluctuality and are affected by all our training, nutrition and lifestyle choices: how long and how hard we train, what we put in or on our bodies, when we go to sleep, how much water we drink and how much we stress. Hormones can explain why some women have slender stomachs but thunder thighs, and why getting older often requires different tactics.

The three most common female ‘problem areas’ are the stomach, the hips and the thighs.

1. Belly: cortisol

This is correlated to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol over a prolonged period of time. Cortisol is essentially responsible for our fight or flight response, but is only designed to be secreted over a short period of time. Any excess cortisol circulating in the body is converted to fat. The majority of our cortisol receptors are in the abdomen, hence this becomes the primary storage area. Stressful situations are not just emotional but include food intolerances, digestive issues, malnourishment, poor sleep, dehydration, overtraining and under-recovery. For the stress puppy, a solid plan of attack would be a periodised strength and hypertrophy weights program, HIIT, minimal caffeine and sugar, and a huge emphasis on stress management practices (yoga, meditation and massage).

2. Thighs: oestrogen

Oestrogen balance is essential for achieving and maintaining fat loss, but too much causes toxic fat gain, water retention, bloating and a host of other health issues.  There are two ways to accumulate excess oestrogen in the body: we either produce too much of it on our own (endogenous) or acquire it from our environment (exogenous). We are constantly exposed to oestrogen-like compounds such as plastics, pesticides and parabens. These are toxins and toxins are stored in fat cells, with the majority of female fat cells in the thighs. Women with oestrogen dominance tend to have success with training protocols that involve high volume and low rest with a focus on weight training for the lower body; a nutrition plan high in fibre and green cruciferous vegetables and a heavy emphasis on detoxification strategies (infrared sauna, Epsom salt baths, lymphatic drainage massage and acupuncture).

3. Hips: insulin

An excess of body fat around the hips suggests issues with insulin resistance, carbohydrate tolerance and blood sugar management. When we eat, the sugar in our blood stimulates the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin binds to cell membranes and when there is too much insulin in the blood, the cell body becomes stressed and the insulin receptors are shut off. The excess sugar in the blood is stored as fat. Essentially this is your nutrition site and fixing the problem is all about eating the right foods at the right time in the right amounts.

Ultimately our bodies are very clever, and by learning to listen to what they have to say, we are able to develop personalised long-term strategies for successful fat loss.

Link to article:

Hormone check: why you may not be losing stubborn fat in problem areas

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Weight loss0 Comments

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Top fat loss tips

1. Complete a lifestyle diary

This includes what you eat, when you go to bed, how often you go to the bathroom and how much water you drink. This will make you accountable and aware of any bad habits outside of the gym that could be hindering your results.

2. Schedule at least two recovery sessions per week

I liken your body to a bank balance.  Every training session is a withdrawal; every recovery session is a deposit. If you are always training (withdrawing) and never recovering (depositing), you will eventually end up overdrawn and injured. Recovery practices include foam rolling, contrast showers, ice baths, massages and long walks.

3. Embrace hot yoga

The hot room allows for increased range of movement (which will translate into better range in your weight training), the heat enhances detoxification processes and the twisting movements improve digestion and lymphatic drainage in addition to massaging the internal organs.  Yoga is also great for stress management, and when you are stressed you will hold fat.

4. Test for food intolerances

Just because a food is ‘healthy’, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it. Some of the most common intolerances include eggs, gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and nuts. Intolerances can also be a result of eating too much of the same foods, so try and rotate your meal options regularly.

5. Support your liver and your detoxification channels using alternative body treatments

Think acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, Epsom salt baths, body brushing and infra-red saunas. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and try starting the day with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice.

For more fat loss tips, visit our weight loss section.

 

Link:

Top fat loss tips

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Home gym under $100

Suspension straps for toning and fat loss 

“Suspension straps are easily one of the most versatile and popular apparatuses on the market,” says elite trainer of over 15 years Matthew Strickland.

“They can be used to isolate particular muscle groups, or as a full-body compound or high-intensity workout.”

Plyometric box for cardio, toning and fat loss

Plyometric boxes and aerobic steps come in a range of heights and sizes to adhere to varying fitness levels and exercise goals.

Kettlebell for toning and fat loss

“With proper technique, kettlebells can be used to train your entire body for both toning and fat-burning goals,” says Strickland.

Compound movements such as the kettlebell swing, in which the centre of gravity shifts, work the entire body while moves native to dumbbell workouts often isolate one or two muscle groups.

Resistance bands for activation, recovery and toning

Also known as physio bands or Thera-Bands, resistance bands are often used to improve flexibility or for rehabilitative purposes.

“Resistance bands are great for rehabilitation from injury as they don’t load the spine or put pressure on the joints to the same extent as heavy weights,” says Strickland.

“When added to your stretching routine, they can allow you to reach a deeper stretch than you might otherwise be able to achieve, aiding recovery and improving flexibility.”

Foam roller for activation, recovery and toning

“While foam rollers are often thought as being exclusively a recovery tool for massaging sore muscles, I’ve often also used them as a rehabilitation tool with my clients,” says Strickland.

“By rolling out the outer thighs or glutes with your feet elevated off the floor, your core is forced to engage and you can actually get quite a solid, yet low-impact, abdominal workout.”

Swiss ball for toning

“Gym balls can be used for an endless number of exercises that work the entire body,” says Strickland. “They are actually popular among athletes as they can target the muscle groups specific to the athletes’ performance.

For specific exercises to promote toning, fat loss and card get your hands on Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.

Taken from:

Home gym under $100

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Sculpting lower body circuit

Carve your buns, quads, and hamstrings (plus a little bit of core) with this killer lower-body circuit courtesy of trainer Joni Ortiz. Power through the exercises quickly using your own bodyweight, or take it at a slower, harder pace by adding a set of dumbbells into the mix.

Model/Trainer: Joni Ortiz //  Photography: James Patrick

This lower-body circuit is great for strengthening and toning your lower body and, considering some of the largest muscles of the body can be found in your legs, you get the added bonus of serious calorie burn.

Complete 15 repetitions of each exercise with good form before moving on to the next exercise. Complete each exercise back-to-back with no rest in-between to ensure your heart rate is kept high. At the end of the circuit, rest for 30 seconds (advanced) to 1 minute (beginner), before starting the circuit again. Four rounds.

Forward lunges

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Stand holding your dumbbells by your side (if you have them) and step forward, lowering your back knee down to the ground and keeping your front knee in alignment with your ankle. Push through your heel back into standing position. Repeat for 15 reps, alternating legs

Good morning – squat Rotation

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Start in a standing position. Move into a good-morning with a slight bend in your knees, hinging at the hip and with your back straight. From here, sit back into a squat (hold this for a couple of seconds) and then move back into a good morning.  Return to a standing position. This is one rep. Repeat for 15 reps, moving at a moderate to quick pace.

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Start in a standing position, holding dumbbells at your sides. Shift weight onto one leg, lower dumbbells down, keeping a slight bend in the stationary leg, while kicking alternate leg back. Upon rising, push through the heel and squeeze your glute muscle for two seconds before lowering back down. Repeat.

Bench step-ups with kickback

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Stand facing a bench. Step up with your right foot and kick your left leg back at the highest point of the movement, squeezing your glute. Step back down to the ground and repeat with your opposite leg. Alternate legs until you have completed 15 reps.

Spiderman plank

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Begin in plank position, holding dumbbells. Bring your right knee towards your right elbow with a slight squeeze in your oblique, before returning back to plank position. Repeat on your left side and alternate sides until you have completed 15 reps.

Bench jumps

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Stand facing the bench. Squat down and jump up onto the bench into a squatted position. Think ‘light knees’ – you should not be banging into the bench with force, as this puts undue pressure on your joints. Step back down to the ground and repeat until you have completed 15 reps

Alien squats

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Get into a squat position with knees wide. Kick feet out without raising your upper body, before moving back down into the squat position. Repeat for 15 reps. This exercise should be completed quickly for best results.

Source article –

Sculpting lower body circuit

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Models, Weight loss0 Comments

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At-home full body shred workout

Heading to the gym during the cold and dark winter mornings is about as enticing as a dentist appointment.

To help keep the winter blues at bay and maintain your shape, try this sweat sesh courtesy of 360 Health personal trainer and physiotherapist Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson (@swedishalex) – all from the comfort of your own home.

This workout will not only result in a surge of endorphins with its high-intensity efforts, but will also save you some serious coin, requiring only a chair to complete.

The workout is organised into five supersets (performing two exercises back to back), followed by a short rest. This form of training is quick and efficient – maximising results while minimising the impact on your busy lifestyle. Target muscle groups including your booty, arms and core, while the supersets ensure your heart rate is kept high for maximum fat burn.

Get it done

Perform your warm-up before moving onto superset 1. Once both exercises of the supersets have been completed, rest for 30 seconds. Then move on to superset 2, and so forth until all five supersets are complete.

»Rest for as long as you need at the end of the circuit, before moving onto the next round.

»For beginners, I recommend performing 2 rounds in total, intermediate 3 to 4 rounds, and for advanced 5 rounds.

Good luck!

Warm-up

This warm-up will prepare your body for the workout ahead, making it more efficient and safe.

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Jog on the spot for 1 minute and then perform 10 bodyweight squats x 2 sets

Forward dynamic lunges x 20 and then perform 10 push-ups (knees or toes) x 2 set

SUPERSET 1

Jump squats x 15

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Stand with feet hip-width apart and brace your core. Sink your hips back and down into a squat position, swinging your arms back at the same time. Drive your body upwards through the legs, jumping high up in the air while extending your arms overhead. Keep squatting and jumping in a fast, smooth motion.

Push-up to Side Plank x 16

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This exercise can be performed on your knees (beginners) or toes (advanced). With your abs braced, perform a push-up, taking your chest to elbow level and pressing up again. Turn your body sideways into a side plank, lifting the hips and reaching up. Come back to centre, and repeat on the other side.

SUPERSET 2

Step-up onto chair / lunge back combination x 15 each leg

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Place your right foot in the middle of the chair seat. Thrust your body up, lifting your left knee. Step down and lunge back with your right leg. At the bottom of your lunge you should ideally have a 90 degree angle in both knees, and your front thigh parallel to the floor. Repeat 15 times, and then change legs.

Dips off chair

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To set up, place your hands shoulder-width apart behind you with fingers pointing forward. Lift your chest and take your hips off the chair. Bend and extend the elbows, keeping your hips close to the chair throughout. Try squeezing your elbows in towards each other to engage your triceps even more.

Bulgarian lunges with foot on chair x 15

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Place the top of your foot on the edge of the chair seat. Jump forward until you are about a metre away from the chair. Brace your abdominals and lift your chest proud. Bend your standing leg deeply, dropping the back knee straight down towards the floor, performing a Bulgarian lunge. Press up again through the heel of your standing leg.

Hover / plank combination x 16

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This exercise can be performed on your knees (beginners) or toes (advanced). Start in a hover position, resting on your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders and abs braced. Press up onto your hands into a high plank position. Return to your forearms again. The trick is to keep your hips as still and stable as possible as you move between the two positions.

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The foundation of this exercise is a push-up on knees (beginners) or toes (advanced). As you execute your push-up, bring your knee to your elbow at the bottom of your range. Return to the starting position. Keep your abs tight and your whole body straight and strong like a plank.

SUPERSET 5

Supine plank hold (modified table top pose) x 30 sec

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Come into a seated position with your legs extended in front of you on the floor. Place your hands by your hips, fingers pointing outwards. Press through your hands and shoulders, lifting your chest proud. Lift your hips and legs up as high as you can. Try pressing the soles of your feet towards the floor.

Double leg extension / crunch combination x 15

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Extend your legs out to 45 degrees and stretch your arms behind your head while pressing your lower back down towards the floor. Then, crunch up curling your knees towards your chest and reaching your arms towards your feet. Repeat. If the exercise is too demanding on your lower back, lift your legs higher than 45 degrees on the extension to take the pressure off.

 

Originally posted here:

At-home full body shred workout

Posted in Exercises, Fitness Models, Training Methods, Weight loss0 Comments



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