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How To Get A Better Butt: 5 Rules For Stronger Glutes

 

Strong, round glutes are the foundation of a great physique and a healthy body. Unfortunately, many of us have weak glutes that just get weaker because we sit all day. Aside from not looking so great, feeble butt muscles can cause a litany of postural problems and pain issues. Even worse, having a weak bum means your primary lifts like the squat and the deadlift aren’t as strong as they could be. If that doesn’t motivate you to put some muscle on your backside, I don’t know what will!

To restore your ailing glutes, you need to make training them a priority. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with constantly tight hips and probably contract flat-ass disease.

Save your butt from these depressing side effects by following these five rules. They’ll help you feel stronger and more mobile. They’ll also help you add some great-looking curves to your rear end.

Hit Them Baby One (Okay, Three) More Times

If your training routine only calls for one glute-specific workout per week, it’s time to ramp things up. Glutes adapt well to frequency— the more often you train them, the quicker they grow in size and strength. Rather than performing a single glute workout once per week, add booty-busting exercises to each workout you do during the week.

Try this: Add loaded hip thrusts, glute bridges, hip abduction exercises, back extensions, or hip extension exercises to your daily workouts.

Single-leg bodyweight glute bridge

Mix Up Your Hip Extension

Hip extension is important for pelvic stability and daily movement. Walking, running, standing, and sitting in with proper posture begins and ends with your butt.

In this age of computers and cubicles, people spend most of their time in hip flexion (seated position). More often than not, long bouts of sitting cause tight quads, a tight psoas muscle, and weak hip extensors—namely the gluteus maximus.

To alleviate these symptoms and put yourself on a path to a perkier posterior, it’s wise to activate your hip extensors regularly. Hip extension occurs when the thighs or pelvis move rearward. The most common—and best—exercises for hip extension are the squat and deadlift. These two lifts belong in your lifting regimen along with assistance exercises to pack on glute mass.

Try this: Use squats and deadlifts as a primary hip extension exercises and add in one or two assistance exercises to each routine. Assistance lifts include, but aren’t limited to: Romanian deadlifts, single-leg Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, glute bridges, back extension, reverse hyperextension, glute kickback, and donkey kick.

“The most common—and best—exercises for hip extension are the squat and deadlift. These two lifts belong in your lifting regimen along with assistance exercises to pack on glute mass.”

Add a Little Abduction, Too

Your hips articulate in several ways other than the all-important extension. Your hips can also move in flexion, medial and lateral rotation, adduction, and abduction. If you move your hips in circles, you’ll get the idea. Along with hip extension, another important element of strong glutes is hip abduction, or moving the thighs outward from your midline.

Your glute medius is a major abductor of the thigh. Its anterior fibers rotate the hip internally while the posterior fibers rotate the hip externally. A strong glute medius will control any unwanted sideways movement in your pelvis. For example, if your left hip drops when you stand on your right leg, your right glute medius is probably weak. An unlevel pelvis can lead to other issues like IT band syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome, neither of which is pleasant.

Try this: To strengthen the glute medius, add 2 sets of 10 reps of standing cable hip abduction and 2 sets of 12 reps of seated band hip abduction twice per week.

Keep Your Booty Active

If you sit on them all day, your glutes will just become weaker and weaker. This weakness can be compounded when other muscles have to take over a lift in order to compensate for them. Avoid a weak booty by doing a series of activation and mobility drills ten minutes a day. Practicing glute activation will help them fire during every exercise.

Try this: Perform 10 reps of each exercise once per day.

  • Single-leg bodyweight glute bridge
  • Fire hydrant
  • Bird dog
  • Standing glute squeeze

Get Tense

“Passive tension is how your hamstring muscles feel at the bottom of a Romanian deadlift.”

Mechanical tension is the bee’s knees when it comes to muscle hypertrophy (growth). Mechanical tension occurs when you passively stretch or actively contract the muscle. Passive tension is how your hamstring muscles feel at the bottom of a Romanian deadlift and active tension is how your biceps feel as you contact in a barbell curl. Both are key players in muscle growth, and both can make a big difference in gluteal development.

When using a full range of motion (ROM), your muscles are placed under a combination of both passive and active tension. For example: At the bottom of a squat, your glutes are in a stretched (passive tension) position; at the top, they’re in a squeezed (active tension) position.

Maintaining this tension through a full range of motion is optimal for gains. To do it, control your reps, keep a steady tempo, and don’t rely on momentum to get through the exercise—oh, and don’t skimp on the ROM.

Try this: To increase mechanical tension, use a tempo for your exercises. Tempo is expressed as a series of 3 or 4 numbers, such as 2-2-2. The first number is the number of seconds in the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement, the second number is the pause, and the third number is the number of seconds in the concentric (lifting) portion of the movement.

You can incorporate an exercise tempo as simple as 2-2 or 3-3. You can also incorporate a pause in the middle, like 3-3-3, or even have a longer eccentric portion like a 4-3 tempo. Remember, though, that adding a tempo doesn’t mean you get to forgo a full range of motion.

 

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Round Butt, Rockin’ Body: Glute Training For Women

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About The Author

Kellie Davis is a freelance writer and blogger turned fitness coach living in Northern California.

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How To Get A Better Butt: 5 Rules For Stronger Glutes

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Skinny To Strong: Karina Baymiller’s Complete Fitness Journey

Vital Stats

In the fitness community, I’m most often recognized because of my big weight-loss transformation. I went from 185 pounds to a little less than 130 pounds. It took me a few years to get to my lowest weight, but I followed the motto that slow and steady wins the race and I never gave up. I know it was this attitude that helped me place second the 2013 Bodybuilding.com BodySpace Spokesmodel Competition.

Sometimes, I look back and can’t believe how far I’ve come. I don’t even remember the girl who had never stepped foot in a gym and gorged on pizza, chips, and ramen all day.

But I’ve decided my transformation work is not yet done—in fact, it’s only just begun! I’m on a second transformation journey, and this time I’m putting my happiness and my health first. I’m transforming my body from skinny to strong, and my mind from unhealthy to happy.

Before

After

Why I Decided to Change … Again

Believe it or not, when I weighed 185 pounds, I was one confident girl. I loved my body and never thought of myself as fat. I was who I was and that was that. I wasn’t defined by my body’s appearance. But that self-confidence changed the moment I decided I should lose weight. It seemed as though the more weight I lost, the more self-conscious about my appearance I became. I reached every weight-related goal I had set for myself, and yet I was never good enough.

At 125 pounds and with barely enough body fat to function, I competed for the first (and last) time with anxiety that I was “too fat” to be on stage. I had become so progressively wrapped up in numbers and body fat percentages over the few short years of dieting, that I was mentally destroyed.

I also noticed that my training started to suffer. I first began working out to be healthy and because I loved the way it made me feel, but I had lost sight of those reasons. I trained to burn calories and stay as thin as possible. If I didn’t burn enough calories according to my heart rate monitor—which was never accurate anyway—my mood was ruined. More often than not, I would make myself go back to the gym later to do HIIT or run. I started to hate outdoor runs because I was forcing myself to do them. I allowed my training to control me. I stopped doing the things I enjoyed in exchange for doing whatever it took to stay thin.

Along with a severely distorted body image and training that was running me into the ground, my relationship with food started to become extremely disordered. Gone were the days of using food for fuel. If my food wasn’t weighed out to the gram and if I didn’t prepare it myself, I refused to eat it. There were days that I had full-blown anxiety attacks because I couldn’t log something in MyFitnessPal.

“If I didn’t burn enough calories according to my heart rate monitor—which was never accurate anyway—my mood was ruined. More often than not, I would make myself go back to the gym later to do HIIT or run.”

I began taking hours of my day to try to configure my food so I would hit my macros just perfectly. If I didn’t, another anxiety attack would ensue. To say I was obsessed is an understatement. I restricted myself with calories, types of foods, and situations. God forbid I would eat a cookie!

I felt like I was drowning, like I was just barely holding my head above water. Everything I had loved so much in the beginning—the healthy eating, the workouts, my body—now had complete control of my life. They were no longer positives. They had become negatives, weighing me down with each passing day. I knew I had to change. It was only a matter of time before I broke down completely.

That’s when I decided I wanted to find strength.

Letting Go

The first thing I had to change was my mindset. I had to let go of the unhealthy habits that were slowly suffocating me. My negative body image was, and still is to this day, the hardest thing to let go of. I found it much easier to allow for self-hate than to find self-love. Sadly, I think this is true for many people. But I had to let go.

I had to let go of having visible abs 24/7. I had to let go of desperately trying to maintain 12 percent body fat. I had to let go of the number on the scale. Most importantly, I had to let go of the idea that I would only be happy if I was lean. I wanted to be happy when I looked in the mirror, and I knew it wouldn’t come from a certain size. It had to come from letting go and loving myself no matter what.

“I’m proud of the person I’ve become and the changes I’ve made.”

I still remind myself of where I started. That girl sitting on her ass eating ramen all day is 180 degrees from where I am today, and she always will be. I’m proud of the person I’ve become and the changes I’ve made. Whether I stay the size that I am now or gain or lose a few pounds, I love who I am. My worth is no longer based on what the scale says in the morning.

I don’t have “fat days” or “fluffy days” anymore, because quite frankly, I don’t care. I refuse to let something like three pounds of water destroy my day. I know now that I’m healthier than I ever was at 130 pounds. My hormones aren’t out of whack, I’m not moody or depressed, I don’t have random headaches, I’m not constantly fatigued, and I don’t feel weak.

Unfortunately, there’s a widespread belief that equates health to six-pack abs. This might be true for some people, but for the majority it’s not. I can lift more, sprint faster, and am healthier now than I ever was. There is beauty in strength. I don’t just say it, I know it.

Letting Go

I wanted my fire for exercise to burn like it did when I first started lifting, so I let go of the forced daily runs and extra HIIT sessions to “make up” for calories. I began to utilize conditioning work 1-2 times per week instead. I added back my short outdoor runs, but much more infrequently, and never because I felt pressure to burn a certain number of calories. I threw my heart monitor away.

I also discovered powerlifting. When I finally dropped the light-weight, high-rep stuff I was doing to stay thin, I started following Wendler’s 5-3-1 program and quickly fell in love. My strength skyrocketed, and when I decided I wanted to take my training to the next level, I signed with The Strength Guys. Now, the spark is back when I’m in the gym. I feel the fire again.

Squat

Strength Training Program

I follow an intense, block-periodization powerlifting program created by my coach, Jon Stewart. It’s high volume, tailored to correct my weaknesses, and uses movements and load intensities built for progression. I’m on six-week cycles of five-day splits. I have one day of light conditioning and one day of complete rest. Mobility is a vital component of my current program because my training pushes my body to its limits.

Each day and week I use different sets, reps, and weight with a specific rest time, exercise tempo, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to follow. Days one and three look on week three of my program.

  • Mobility TrainingMobility Training Mobility Training
    30-40 minutes

Mobility Training includes foam rolling the area to be trained, plus two or three dynamic stretches/movements the prepare the area for training.

Pause Squats have the lifter descending to the bottom position of the squat and freezing. The bottom position is held for three seconds, maintaining tightness in the muscles and correct technique, before returning to the starting position.

Compensatory Acceleration Training (C.A.T.)

is lifting sub-maximal loads with maximum force. For more details check

elitefts.com

.

  • Mobility TrainingMobility Training Mobility Training
    30-40 minutes

Mobility Training includes foam rolling the area to be trained, plus two or three dynamic stretches/movements the prepare the area for training.

Reset Deadlifts are performed the same as a standard deadlift, but the lifter will put the weight completely on the floor and reset their hip position between each rep.

Letting Go

The hardest physical aspect to change for me was my diet. I had developed such rigid views and habits around food that it was almost more of a struggle to let them go than it was to keep them. I packed away my food scale and deleted MyFitnessPal. I started incorporating foods that I hadn’t allowed myself to eat in years. I stopped restricting. I re-learned how to eat, not from a clock or scale, but from what my body was feeling.

At first I thought I would feel free without the calorie counting, stress, obsession, and anxiety, but I didn’t. I would take two steps forward and three steps back, wondering if I would ever be able to change. It took years to develop my disordered relationship with food, and I knew it wasn’t going to take a week to fix it. So, I trusted the process just as I always had, kept working at it, and didn’t give up.

Today, around 70-80 percent of the food I consume is healthy, nutrient-dense food that allows my body to perform at its optimal level. This includes things like lean proteins, organic dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts (and butters!), and seeds.

70-80 percent of the food I consume is healthy, nutrient-dense food like lean proteins, organic dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts (and butters!), and seeds.

The other 20-30 percent of food I consume is made up of things that I crave, or that I just plain want—no explanation or condition necessary. There is no special time, day, or place for these foods. I allow myself the freedom to eat them when I want them. Some days I’m at a 50/50 split, some days it’s 100/0, but on most days I stay right around 80/20. It all balances out.

I don’t restrict, I listen to my body’s needs and wants, and most important, I consume everything mindfully and in moderation. Through all of the extremes, I’ve found balance to be the key component in my physical and mental health. It’s also been the key to my happiness.

Sample Day

I don’t have a meal plan to follow because the foods and amounts I eat change on a daily basis. I don’t weigh or measure anything, so all quantities below are estimated. I don’t know my caloric intake or macro breakdown, but I would guess I’m somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,200-2,700 calories per day. Here is what I ate yesterday:

Greek Chicken Wrap

Final Thoughts

Throughout my second transformation, I’ve found myself spending more time with friends and family. They couldn’t care less what I look like—my abs make no difference to them. As long as I’m healthy and happy, they’re happy too.

It’s funny because these are the people I pulled away from when I started my downhill slide into disordered eating and thinking. I sheltered myself from everything that wasn’t fitness related, even friends and family. But when I finally let go of the obsession and the stress, I felt free.

During this second transformation, I found that the middle is where I want to be.

The fitness community is full of extremes. We work out until we can’t move. We eat diets of tilapia and broccoli. It takes a strong individual to endure what we put ourselves through. But during this second transformation, I found that the middle is where I want to be.

I want to be somewhere between the overweight college girl and the underweight girl on stage, somewhere between the girl who ate pop-tarts for every meal and the girl who ate lettuce for every meal, somewhere between the girl who never stepped foot into the gym and the girl who wouldn’t leave it until she’d burned enough calories. This middle spot is where I’m happy and strong. It’s where I found my balance.

Recommended For You

Fitness 360: Karina Baymiller, Petite Powerhouse

Karina Baymiller may have had 6-pack abs, but she wasn’t happy. Learn how she let go of her obsession with image and built a healthier, happier, stronger body and mind!

Perfect Legs: Karina Baymiller’s High-Rep Plyometric Leg Workout

Leg day is so nice, you better do it twice! I go heavy on legs early in the week and then finish them off with this powerful plyometric workout.

Body Transformation: Fitness Formula

Karina found out through relentless experimentation that good things come to those who are patient. She tried every plan in the book and perfected her own formula!

Originally posted here –

Skinny To Strong: Karina Baymiller’s Complete Fitness Journey

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4 HIIT workouts to try now

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!

 

 

 

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Glute Workout: 6 Ways To Build Your Perfect Booty

Pop onto FitBoard or the fitness board on Pinterest and you’ll soon learn that it’s all about the butt! Who doesn’t want a backside that turns heads? You can do cardio until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t build a great bum unless you do some weight training. Not sure which moves or techniques are best for building the perfect booty? We’ve got you covered.

India Paulino, Tabitha Klausen, Amanda Latona, and Sara Solomon: The lovely ladies of BSN want to help you build your best booty!

Here are five of the best glute training techniques and exercises you can do, including a complete workout from IFBB Bikini competitor India Paulino. Incorporate these techniques in your lower-body training regimen and you’ll be blown away by the results. A full set of glutes is in your future!

1 Squat!

“Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout.”

Of all the bum-friendly exercises to add to your workout routine, the squat should be numero uno. True, it’s the queen exercise of butt-building, but it’s also a great movement for athleticism, flexibility, and can even tax your cardiovascular system.

Tabitha Klausen, an IFBB Bikini competitor and proud owner of a great booty has some tips for squatting. “Old-fashioned bodyweight squats that go below parallel are a great way to start your leg workout,” she says. “They’re the perfect way to make sure you concentrate on using the right muscles throughout the workout.”

Before each leg workout, Tabitha does 4 sets of 25 reps of bodyweight squats. She focuses on squeezing the glute muscles to get them firing and ready for her heavier lifts ahead.

Tabitha recommends concentrating on form rather than weight. “Focus on feeling the form through all of your exercises rather than using the heaviest weight possible,” she says. “It’s important to feel that mind-muscle connection.”

2 Go “Wide And High”

Puzzled about how to grow your glutes without also building massive quads? Amanda Latona delivers the “wide and high” answer. “When doing any glute-focused exercise, like squats, take a wide step forward to take the weight away from your quads. Or, if you’re doing step-ups, add more elevation. Both adjustments will add more focus on the glutes specifically.”

If you’re really looking for a challenge, Amanda also recommends lunging by stepping down from an elevated platform. This increases your range of motion, which will result in greater glute muscle fiber activation and growth.

3 Build a Glute Bridge

One problem Dr. Sara Solomon sees regularly is women who are using a regimen that neglects to correct muscular imbalances. “It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on correcting your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries,” she explains. “Most of us spend the majority of our day sitting, which further causes the glute muscles to weaken and makes us rely more heavily on our quads and hamstrings to power through our exercises.”

One of Sara’s favorite exercises to correct this imbalance is the glute bridge. To perform this one, sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your pelvis high enough off the floor to create a straight line between your knees, hips, and shoulders.

“It’s critical to follow a workout that focuses on your muscle imbalances so you can avoid running into injuries.”

Focus on using only your glute muscles to do the work. If you need a bigger challenge, put a weight plate or loaded barbell on your hips for extra resistance.

4 Try Single-Leg Squats

Because this exercise puts your body in an unbalanced position, you’ll have to recruit often-untapped muscle fibers in order to maintain balance. This added challenge will get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.

Single-leg squats are often overlooked, but they’re one of the most challenging and most effective lower-body movements around. Many people won’t be able to do one right off the bat. Hold a weight in front of you for counterbalance, grab a wall for help, or put a thin plate under your heel.

Whatever you do, squat down as low as you can.

5 Do Split Squats

The split squat is an excellent butt-building move. When you do it, think about pushing up from the bent-knee position through the heel instead of through the ball or toes of your foot. By shifting your weight to your heel, your center of balance will instantly move slightly backward and will better activate your glutes.

To make split squats even more difficult and thus put more stress on your booty muscles, put a barbell across your back. A barbell works better than dumbbells because your body position is optimized for glute muscle recruitment.

6 Follow India Paulino’s Glute Workout!

The 2013 Bikini International winner knows exactly what it takes to earn the top spot on stage. For India Paulino, that means working her glutes three times per week! “I was always very skinny,” India says, “so I had to work hard to build my glutes.” India’s glute workouts are fast-paced, intense, and effective!

Here’s an example glute-building session:

Glute Training
Watch The Video – 06:18

Recommended For You

About The Author

I’ve been working in the field of exercise science for the last 8 years. I’ve written a number of online and print articles.

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Glute Workout: 6 Ways To Build Your Perfect Booty

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How to lose fat

Want to up your fat-burn potential? Try these top tips…


If you’re ready to get serious about fat loss, do yourself a favour and steer clear of fad diets and calorie restricting. Instead, try these super-easy tips and tricks to help you become the best version of you!

Refuelling hazard

Ever felt ravenous after a workout? Make sure you come prepared – bring a protein shake or healthy snack to consume post-workout. I’ll save you from making decisions that will hamper your results.

Ditch the boyfriend

Don’t panic – it’s only for the workout. Men usually burn more calories than women in the same workout due to being heavier, in addition to which Mother Nature acts to protect women’s role as child bearer, which means we maintain adequate body fat for nourishing healthy babies. Doing your partner’s workout, then, might end up with him shedding pounds but you only shedding tears. Go solo, girl!

Turn on the afterburners

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is the term given to the body’s attempts to recharge and restore itself immediately after a workout, a process that results in additional calorie burn. Research has shown that high-intensity interval training leads to greater EPOC than steady cardio workouts, so turn up the dial with alternate bouts of maximum effort and rest for serious results. Try the Tabata format – eight periods of 20 secs full-out work followed by 10 secs recovery.

Muscle up to slim down

Building lean muscle mass will speed up your metabolic rate and promote fat burn – so get strength training. Compound exercises that use bigger muscle groups will be most effective – like squats, deadlifts and kettlebell swings.

Running on empty

Exercising in the morning before your first meal is a great way to shed fat. Research shows that fasting (which is essentially what happens overnight as we sleep) leads to increased adrenaline and reduced insulin levels, creating an environment that is more conductive to the breakdown of fat for energy. If you’re not used to this, though, ease yourself in and remember to stay hydrated.

Team tactics

When it comes to fitness, it’s easy to fall into a rut by doing the same workouts over and over – especially if you’re partial to studio classes. So give your fat-loss hopes a sporting chance by joining a football, hockey or tennis club. Not only will variation keep you motivated, these sports incorporate the need for repeated bursts of effort (interval training) that we know burns fat.

Up and down

Alternating your exercises between upper and lower body in a circuit format results in an extra calorie burn because your cardiovascular system has to work harder. Peripheral Heart Action training, as this is known, challenges the heart to keep pushing blood from one part of the body to another, in order to deliver oxygen to fuel the muscles. A routine like this also allows you to move straight from one exercise to the next, as muscle groups get a chance to rest, so you can get your workout done quicker.

Explode the fat

Also known as jump training, plyometric exercises involve stretching the muscles prior to explosively contracting them. Think burpees, box jumps and jumping lunges; all of which result in high calorie expenditure, making them a valuable weapon in your fat-loss armoury.

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8 exercises for a Brazilian butt!

Want a gorgeous, toned bum? Here are the best exercises for your glutes and thighs.Donkey kicksStarting on your hands and knees, keeping your core tight and back flat, raise 1 leg and keeping knee at 90 degrees.

Push that leg as high as you can in the air and lower back down, repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs.Aim for 4 sets of 12 reps.

Adductor squats

WH&F Head Trainer Nikki Fogden-Moore demonstrates adductor squats with single dumbbell.

Start: Feet stance is wider than hip width; keep your back straight and arms locked with the dumbbell in the middle.

Lower your body weight into a squat then hold before your rise back to the start position.

Aim for 10 to 12 reps.

Glute bridges

Reps: 12 reps each exercise


A two-part exercise, starting with glute bridges.Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place the weight on your pelvic area.

Keeping your core tight, rise your hips up off the floor and thrust them as high into the air as you can, squeezing your butt at the top. Keep shoulders on the ground.

Lower hips back down, but do not touch butt to the floor. That is one rep.Perform one set of 12 reps, then immediately switch positions for Donkey Kicks.

Kettlebell mountain climbers

How to: Get in push-up position with each hand on a kettlebell, feet hip-distance apart.

Bracing your core and keeping hips down in line with the rest of your body, drive one knee as high as you can in towards your chest.

Return, switch legs and repeat for number of reps.

 

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How to get single-digit body fat, safely

While it’s unlikely most gym-goers will be wrapping themselves in bin bags and heading to the sauna, obtaining the coveted single-digit percent body fat has become a badge of honour. Previously reserved for bodybuilders, male models and the truly dedicated, men off the street are now using pre-competition fat loss logic for jaw-dropping abs. So what’s the answer? Can this extreme body be maintained in a safe, sustainable way?

(Related: The 5 workout mistakes you are probably making)

Well, yes it can. Providin it’s done safely. It’s also important to note that ‘living’ with such a low percentage of body fat isn’t always practical nor is it entirely safe. For example, some body fat is necessary for your body to function efficiently. The International Journal of Sports Psychology and Performance found male bodybuilders dropping fat for competitions also saw their testosterone levels tank. More worryingly, the subjects’ heart rates dropped to a meagre 27 BPM – a recipe for dizziness and cardiac arrest.

(Related: Is cardio necessary for single-digit body fat?)

man with muscle in gym

Easy hacks to lower your body fat

It’s inadvisable to become obsessed and allow your body fat to drop too far, but if you’re aiming for around 8%, it’s achievable with hard work, diet and exercise. Our expert PT Jason Patmore, gives his tips on dipping below double figures, with no dehydration needed.

Reduce your carb intake and eat more protein (oh, and fat doesn’t make you fat)

The latest nutritional guidelines have shown that fat is in and carbs are out for a while now, but many are stuck on the old staple that carbs are necessary before a gym sesh. Dead wrong if you’re gunning for single digits.

“People need to get it out of their heads that fat makes you fat,” says Patmore. “Carbohydrates release insulin, and when insulin levels are raised the body is actually prevented from using fat as fuel. The goal is to reduce your body to that state.”

(Related: 4 health benefits of a low carb diet)

Cutting body fat means training your body to use fat stores as fuel, something it won’t be doing while you’re burning through pre-workout pasta. Patmore recommends a high-protein breakfast without carbs before hitting to the gym, only using carbs after training to improve the protein synthesis process – this is the reason most protein shakes have a mix of both protein and carbohydrates.

(Related: Your most common protein shake mistakes)

Your session is going to suck because of the low energy reserves before your body adapts, but, if you’re set on that lonely number it’ll all be worth it to watch the fat melt away. Eating your carbs later in the day is more beneficial in a low-calorie diet, as the journal Obesity (Silver Spring) has shown that carbs in the evening reduce hunger pangs and improve weight loss.

(Related: Here are 5 easy ways to get more protein into your diet)

man with single digit body fat

You can’t target fat loss

One of the biggest body-fat myths around is that you can “spot reduce” fat by targeting certain body areas. For example, if you want six-pack abs, you’ll be able to target subcutaneous fat (belly fat) specifically for faster results. But Patmore knows better.

(Related: The best workout to lose weight)

“Can you spot reduce?” he asks incredulously. “Your body will pile on or lose fat, but spot reducing is a myth. Certain areas of your body are more likely to store fat, so general fat loss will equate to losing flab in certain areas more than others.” No targeting your double-chin, we’re afraid: push through the pain and watch it melt away with the rest of your body.

(Related: These are the best cereals for fat loss)

The best exercises that will burn fat

(Related: How to cut out 600 calories from your diet, safely)

Operating at a calorie deficit, carefully managing your carbs and harvesting fat-stores during workouts will begin to drag your body fat down below the decade. All that remains is to roll up your sleeves and get on with the workouts – and for this, Patmore recommends upper and lower-body supersets followed by a steady-state run.

(Related: The HIIT dumbbell workout)

3 sets of each of the following supersets, 15 reps of each with 2 mins rest between supersets, should kick your fat-loss journey into overdrive. We’ll see you on the cover of the mag next year.

Upper-body superset

 

Goblet squat

Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, clasping a kettlebell in each hand in front of your chest with palms facing each other.

(Related: How to perform the back squat effectively)

Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, keeping the kettlebells in the same position and ensuring you don’t round your back by tensing your glutes throughout. Drive back up and repeat.

Dumbbell shoulder press

Sit on the bench holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with an overhand grip.

(Related: These are the 10 best dumbbell exercises for men)

Press the weights up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Return slowly to the start position.

Lower-body superset

Dumbbell bench press

Lie on a flat bench holding two dumbbells over your chest with an overhand grip.

(Related: 3 reasons you’re not benching bigger numbers)

Push up until your arms are straight, then lower under control.

Dumbbell split squat

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand facing away from the bench with one leg resting on it, laces down.

Squat down with your standing leg until the knee of your trailing leg almost touches the floor. Push up through your front foot to return to the start position.

(Related: How to get bigger legs without lifting weights)

Finisher

 

Steady state run

Run at 65% intensity for 5km.

Increase the effort by adjusting the treadmill to an incline

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How to get single-digit body fat, safely

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Training Methods, Weight loss0 Comments

5 Steps To Looking 10 Years Younger

By Steve & Becky Holman

Did you know that once you hit 40 years of age, whether you’re a man or a woman, your body starts aging FASTER than normal? Studies have shown that without the proper nutrients and exercise, your body will age about 6 months EXTRA for every year that passes. Think about that! If you are 40, that means by the time you hit 44 you will LOOK and FEEL 48. And by the time you reach 60, you will LOOK and FEEL 70 YEARS OLD! We see this every day… just look around you.

Did you know that 90% of people over the age of 35 lose enough muscle every year to burn off an additional 4 pounds of body fat? That means you not only lose the only thing on your body that creates shape, tone, and strength—you also gain more fat every year, even if your calories stay the same.

Did you know that all of this is reversible at any age? That there are specific ways to move, eat, and think that tell your brain to STOP this rapid aging process… and even SLOW IT DOWN to the point where you’re aging less than a year for every year? That means you can look younger at 40 than you do at 35… or if you’re like Becky and I, younger at 50+ than we did at 40!

This is not fantasy talk. This does not require a boatload of anti-aging drugs, supplements, or gimmicks. And, this works for anyone, male or female, and works at any age. 35, 45, 55, 65, 75… you name it. The biology is exactly the same.

My years as editor-in-chief at Iron Man Magazine have allowed me to peer into the secret routines of the anti-aging experts. Over the years, both Becky and I have picked up SO many tips, tricks, and strategies that have allowed us to literally reverse the aging process, at least from a cellular level. That means our body’s look, feel, and MOVE younger than our chronological age.

We’ve taught this System to countless men and women over the years, and it always begins with these 5 key principles you must apply in order to STOP the rapid onset of aging that’s going on right now, reverse it, and begin “aging backwards” by restoring your body’s natural youth hormones.

That said, we have to warn you: What you are about to hear may go against all the conventional diet and exercise advice you’ve been hearing. That’s because the world has, to be utterly frank, gone soft! “Core training”, hot yoga, spin classes, tai chí all of these are just fine, but they won’t slow your aging, and they certainly will never shape your muscles or burn off stubborn body fat. No way!

These 5 steps reveal the things you absolutely MUST AVOID if you want to slow the aging process, reclaim your health, and achieve your ideal body.

What you need is a splash of cold water, a touch of Old School, and the honest truth.
Sound good? Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Forget Low-Fat Diets

Forget Low Fat!Low fat everything has been the craze now for decades and look around. What has that wonderful bit of advice done for the bodies you see? We’re fatter, sicker, and more addicted to sugar and carbs than any other time in history. And, we’re passing these habits to our kids.

Fats are not to be feared – they’re to be embraced. They do not make you fat; rather, they help your body regenerate your power hormones. Testosterone, the ‘strength’ hormone, for example, is the direct result of cholesterol and dietary fat intake. That’s right: “Cholesterol” isn’t a dirty word! Your body needs dietary fat and cholesterol in order to produce ANY AND ALL vital hormones.

People on low fat diets look drawn, gaunt, and weak. They are often sick, sometimes to the point of literally breaking down. And, they can never just enjoy eating out. Every meal and every gram must be accounted for. Do you really think this will make you younger? Of course not… it will worry you to death if it doesn’t kill you first!

Step 2: Stop Running in Circles

Stop Spinning Your Wheels!

Gym classes can be fun, if you like sitting in one place and torturing yourself. But have you noticed how little people change their bodies in these classes? Sure, it’s good “cardio”, but cardiovascular conditioning can be gained with far less time and effort.

Treadmills, and any form of endurance training (especially running) does very little to help the age reversal process. Many times, these long-duration exercise bouts accelerate the aging process by increasing free radicals. These free radicals are scavengers that prey on your body’s essential nutrients and tissues.

There’s a smart way to exercise… we’ll cover that in a minute. And, what’s wonderful is that it takes you about ¼ the time of traditional workouts.

Click here to read more

 

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition0 Comments

kettle-bells

Grind To Grow: Try Your Squats And Presses With Kettlebells!


I’ll never forget the first time I squatted with a pair of 32-kg kettle bells on my chest.

It felt like an elephant was sitting on me. The pressure in my gut was immense, and I could barely breathe. Afterwards, my abs were almost immediately sore. I was shocked, because as a competitive weightlifter I could front squat, butt-to-ankles, more than 400 pounds. But these two 70-pound balls of iron made me feel like I was fighting for my life!

Click Here! For 5 Steps to looking 10 Years younger

I quickly learned that kettlebells are unjustly overlooked as strength equipment; they are often only favored as endurance tools for high-rep ballistic movements like swings and snatches. They’re equally adept and providing muscular overload on slow, heavy lifts like squats and presses.

Why? It’s simple: Your body knows that to get stronger, as well as to continue burning fat, it must adapt. Heavy kettlebells give it a challenge that is uniquely difficult to overcome. Because of their odd shape, kettlebells actually make the body do more work than traditional implements such as barbells and dumbbells. Sub them out even just for a couple of movements you already do, and you may be surprised at the benefits you receive.

The Toughest Squat You’ve Never Done

The reason the double-kettlebell front squat is so much more challenging than its barbell cousin is due to leverage. Consider the rack position: With a barbell, the load rests near the top of the spine, across the collarbone and the front of the deltoids, just below the head. In this arrangement, the barbell becomes virtually one with the lifter, making it easier to move the external resistance. This allows you to move much more weight.

With a kettlebell, it’s almost the opposite. In the rack, the weight rests low, against the outside of the forearms, with the elbows pointed down rather than out. The bells try to pull your body forward and off-balance, which forces your entire midsection to reflexively contract in order to keep you from folding in half.

If you’ve been lifting—or just reading about lifting—for a few years, you’ve probably heard this same argument used as a reason to do barbell front squats rather than barbell back squats. But the truth is that the simple substitution of two kettlebells—or even just one—for a barbell means your midsection will take even more of a beating. And this has benefits beyond building core strength.

To start with, you’ll become a better squatter. Because the spine is protected due to the increased reflexive core activation from the rack, lifters can usually squat deeper with kettlebells than they would with a barbell. The difference here is one you’ll likely feel on your backside for days after the first time you try it, so consider yourself warned.

Kettlebell Exercises
Watch The Video – 0:44

Grind To Grow

The increased stability demands upon your core musculature during the front squat are also present in other slow kettlebell lifts—or “grinds,” as they’re often called. Look at the double kettlebell military press, for example: The increased demands placed upon your core mean your body has to work harder to stabilize your joints so your prime movers—the lats and delts, in the case of the press—can do their work.

The upshot, as with the front squat, is that you’ll need less weight to make all types of muscles work more efficiently—particularly the crucial stabilizer muscles around the shoulder and other joints. Efficiency, in this case, means they’ll do what they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to do it. To pick one painful example for many lifters, a strong rotator cuff stabilizes your shoulder joint so you can safely bench press. A weak or injured one, on the other hand, keeps you from benching heavy, or from doing it at all.

Double Kettlebell Military Press

I’m also of the opinion that one of the causes of what are commonly called workout “plateaus” are actually stabilizer muscles that are weak or don’t work properly. Faced with a heavy load that might damage the joint, your body intuitively protects itself by shutting down the nerve force to the bigger muscles—the prime movers—that traditionally do the work.

You may have heard similar logic used to tell you why you should train with free weights rather than with machines. Yes, it’s true: Core and joint stabilizer activation happen to a certain extent with any training tool, but both are more intense with a kettlebell, due to the increased muscular activation from the offset handle. Consider them the freest of free weights.

You Only Need One

“Resist the urge to let your stronger side set the pace. Train both sides to be relatively even with each other.”

Want to know what’s even tougher than a double-kettlebell grind? The same movement loaded unilaterally. Working one side of your body at a time, as with a single-kettlebell military press, requires your body to make all the muscles on the side opposite of the load—and especially the core musculature—contract to keep you from being pulled over sideways.

Another interesting result from training with a single-kettlebell is that you can even-out strength imbalances from side-to-side. Often, side-to-side imbalances are responsible for holding back your progress on traditional bilateral exercises like the barbell squat, deadlift, and military press. Many people find a single-kettlebell front squat to be much more challenging on the core than a double front squat. The same thing holds true for the military press.

If you find you have a strength imbalance, resist the urge to let your stronger side set the pace. Train both sides to be relatively even with each other, both in the number of reps and the amount of weight you put over your head. You may feel like you’re holding back at first, but don’t be surprised if your big barbell lifts get stronger as a result.

Grind to Burn

Strength is a worthy goal on its own, and it’s more than enough reason to try kettlebell squats and presses. But getting stronger is also essential for burning fat and getting leaner over the long term.

Think of it as a cycle. The increased muscle activation and range of motion you experience from doing deep, difficult squats and overhead presses demand that more muscles work harder than they would otherwise. When you work harder, you burn more calories. And since training the core, especially in an integrated manner while standing, makes the body stronger, you’ll be able to lift heavier and work even harder in the future—which burns even more calories. And so on …

The downside, if there is one, is that kettlebell grinds are known to leave bruises—on your ego. I think you’ll be just as surprised as I was at just how hard they make you work. But stick with them, and you’ll also be surprised by the fruits of your labor: A stronger midsection, a more powerful and defined body, and more strength you can put to good use.

Swing For The Fences: Kettlebell Training – Burn Fat And Build Muscles!

Make the kettlebell swing your 1-stop shop for increased muscle size, definition, fat loss, and the heart of a racehorse!

Kettlebell Explosion: Harness The Power Of The Kettlebell Swing

Don’t try to learn the kettlebell swing by watching it get butchered in your local gym. Use these drills to nail this powerful movement once and for all!

Meet The Squats: 7 Squat Variations You Should Be Doing

In the old days, there were two kinds of squats: ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ Today, you can shop around between multiple versions of the movement. No more excuses. Get off the machines and give the squat a shot!

Contributing Writer

Click Here! for 5 Steps to looking 10 years younger

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Training Methods, Weight loss0 Comments

sculpt-arm-workout

Workout tips for toned arms

Try: Supersetting Antagonising

Supersetting antagonising is the pairing of two opposite muscle groups such as chest and back, triceps and biceps and quads and hamstrings. The science behind this technique is to loosen one muscle while its antagonist contracts. This allows more weight to be used, or additional reps performed.

How: Give this little workout a go:

a. Dumbbell external rotation 10 reps – 4 sets, tempo 3; 0; 2; rest 30 seconds
b. Incline dumbbell preacher curl 10–12reps – 4 sets, tempo 3; 0; 1
c. Tricep rope pushdowns 15 reps – 4 sets, tempo 2; 0; 2; rest 45 seconds
d. Scott curl reverse biceps curls 8–10 reps – 4 sets, tempo 2; 0; 2
e. Overhead dumbbell triceps extension 12–15 reps – 4 sets, tempo 2; 2; 1; rest 45 seconds

Why: Supersetting agonist and antagonist muscle groups is not only time efficient and great for building lean, toned arms, but it also increases the afterburn effect of your workout by up to 24 hours.

Insider’s tip: Try and finish off your arms day with 3 x 500m sprints on the rower to really get your arms burning.

 

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Training Methods0 Comments


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