Tag Archive | "movement"

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Are you addicted to exercise?

Exercise is great for the mind, body and soul, right? But what happens when it starts to take over your life?

PT Marisa Branscombe ponders the dangerous effects of too much exercise

Exercise is generally accepted as a positive behaviour associated with enhanced physical and psychological wellbeing. But is it possible to do too much exercise? So much that it takes over your life?

This may sound strange, but lately I’ve come across several women who seem to be controlled by eating and exercise. I have to admit, for a few years I was in that headspace too and every now and then I have to keep myself in check. There really is a fine line between exercising enough and becoming obsessed about it. Read on to find out how exercise addiction may be affecting you or someone you know.

Exercise addiction: positive vs. negative

“Addiction occurs when adaptive changes in the brain cause symptoms of tolerance, sensitisation, dependence and withdrawal,” (Leuenberger, 2006).

Positive Addiction, written by William Glaser (1976), first addressed positive and negative addiction to exercise. He refers to positive addiction as “involving a love of the activity that is characterised by controllability, an ability to integrate exercise into everyday activities, and an ability to miss exercisesessions when it is necessary”. People with a positive dependence schedule exercise carefully around other aspects of their life, so their exercise schedule is not detrimental to their wellbeing in these areas. They feel increased feelings of control, competence, physical and psychological wellbeing. Negative addiction to exercise, on the other hand, “involves a compulsive desire or need to exercise that overrides a person’s considerations about their health, relationships and career”. When these people have to miss an exercise session they experience feelings of loss, guilt, physical and psychological discomfort. Large amounts of time are dedicated to training, leading to many ‘negative addicts’ giving up other important aspects of their life.

Health risks of too much exercise

Exercise, like anything, can be carried too far. Overexercising stresses the body to the point of weakening the immune system, making people more prone to illness. Pushing yourself beyond your limits can lead to sore muscles, loss of appetite, headaches and trouble sleeping. More serious effects include joint pain and injuries, anaemia, weakening of the bones and the hormonal cycle shutting down (Cline, 2007).

Yes, exercise is good for you, but when it reaches the point of excess it can indeed make you sick. A study of Harvard Alumni by Stanford University’s Ralph Paffenbarger found death rates were lower for men who were involved in regular physical activity. But then death rates began to go up in those who burnt more than 3000 calories per week. His 10-year study also found that mood disturbances such as tension, depression, anger, confusion and anxiety were found to rise significantly as training loads increased.

Dr Kenneth Cooper, author of Aerobics, believes excessive exercise also produces unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals that cause harm to the body. These have been linked to health problems such as premature ageing, heart disease and cancer.

Why the addiction?

Psychological and physiological factors

There is still a great debate happening on the ‘why’ of exercise addiction. Some believe it’s associated with certain personality traits, including obsessive compulsive disorder, high-pain tolerance, high self-imposed expectations and narcissism.

Others propose it may be a result of low self-esteem, where exercise is used to improve this, or that endorphins released in the body during exercise, lead to a psychological state called ‘runners high’, which creates a relaxed state of being that people thrive to achieve over and over again. Some also say there are physiological causes, where the exerciser relies on exercise to increase their arousal to an optimal level.
Participants in sports that focus on body size and shape, such as dance, figure skating, ballet, gymnastics, distance running, body building, wrestling and boxing may be at higher risk.

Are you at risk?

Does all of this sound a little too familiar? Or perhaps alarm bells are ringing around one of your friends or family members? Well here are some of the typical symptoms of someone who is letting exercise take over their life:

  • Withdrawal

They will experience anxiety, fatigue and other similar symptoms if they don’t exercise. Or will have to exercise to relieve these.

  • Intention effects

The amount of exercise or length of exercise sessions is longer than originally intended.

  • Loss of control

A persistent desire to train or make unsuccessful attempts to reduce the amount of exercise they do.

  • Time

Large amounts of time are spent exercising and conflict with other areas of their life.

  • Continuance

Will continue to exercise even with persistent physical or psychological issues that are made worse from exercising, such as a recurring injury.

Other warnings signs are a fixation on weight loss, whereby they will talk about exercising to burn off a meal or treat. Compulsive exercisers will also try to lose weight in order to improve their exercise performance.  They often exercise alone and avoid interaction and exercise assessments, and will usually have a rigid routine.

However, as Amy Gleason, senior nutritionist from the McLean Hospital in the United States says, “unhealthy uses of exercise are not necessarily obvious. Exercisers won’t complain or bring their potential problems to anyone’s attention. Asking why a person is training or what their goals are is a great way to find out more.”

If you still feel like you can’t break the chains of obsessive exercise, consider talking to an expert, who can help you let go of it gradually.  A great book to check out is Appearance Obsession: Learning to Love the way you look, by Joni E. Johnston. This contains quizzes than can help you assess whether your exercise habit is becoming an unhealthy one. It also offers helpful suggestions, in addition to the ones I have given you.

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How to make the most of beach circuits and boot camps

The benefits of outdoor training

“Circuit training is an excellent way to frame your workouts regardless of whether you are working to time (i.e. 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off) or reps (i.e. 8–12 reps),” says personal trainer and owner of Flow Athletic Ben Lucas.

“You can tailor a circuit workout to suit your needs whether you want to work on your heart rate and endurance, or a slower strength-based workout.”

Sand also adds to the resistance, which Lucas says is great for your core, thighs and glutes – hello, booty. The unusual surface also helps with stability and is lower impact than running and sprinting on regular ground. Plus, with an array of exercise and timing options, you won’t get bored. Win, win, win.

Once a form of military entry training, outdoor boot camps typically involve a mix of bodyweight exercises, interval training and strength training in a group fitness environment – a good way to cover all fitness goals. Outdoor boot camps also help you to continuously progress and see results due to the variety of exercises and intensities involved.

For beginners, bodyweight exercises will likely produce some muscle gains, but for the more advanced you can add equipment such as kettlebells and resistance bands to allow for heavier loads and progression.

Max Gains

Limitations to keep in mind

The potential to improve all areas of your fitness and physique skyrocket given your ability to adjust the workout to your goal: want to lose fat? Keep the cardio exercises at high intensity with limited rest. Want to gain muscle? Add moderately weighted resistance exercise into the mix and increase your rest times between movements. Think time under tension – slow and steady movements to ensure the muscles are under load for longer periods of time, maximising ‘tone’.

That said, the high intensity and fast-paced nature of circuits can cause injury – particularly if overtraining and poor technique are a factor, warns Ferstera. Recovery sessions and a balanced training regimen, again, are important.

“Mixing up the type of activities you do in your boot camps means you’re likely to continue to see improvements. Most people who are stuck in a plateau and then have a rest from their training often find their plateau ends after their rest,” says exercise physiologist and exercise scientist Naomi Ferstera.

“Plus, when you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’re more likely to keep going and push yourself harder.”

Doing what you enjoy seems to be the best strategy for success when it comes to getting your recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that among two groups of people – one that did HIIT and the other longer moderate-intensity exercise – those who did moderate-intensity exercise compared to high-intensity reported greater pleasure and enjoyment, and felt more likely to keep it up.

If circuit training on the beach is your pick, Lucas recommends 3 to 4 workouts per week at 30 to 40 minutes in duration, supplemented with low-intensity steady-state cardio such as walking and yoga.

Try the following exercises, completing:

»10 reps

»Repeat for 3 rounds

»30 seconds’ rest between rounds

1. lateral lunges

2. squat jumps

3. push-ups

4. 20 metre shuttle sprints (use towels or cones as markers and set them out 20 metres apart)

“Training on the sand can cause lactic acid to build up in the legs, so you want to flush it out. Lighter exercise will ensure your muscles have a chance to recover, and will also keep your cortisol and inflammation levels in check,” he says.

Image: Elise Carver Surf Trainer.

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The Workout Plan to Lose 15 Pounds

Plenty of people are perpetually unhappy with their weight.

Even these folks wouldn’t be considered obese, per se, they might just have enough extra pounds to be considered overweight.

But we have good news. Whether your spare tire is a result of holiday overeating or some long-term unhealthy habits, you can beat those last 15lbs by following a killer workout plan. We consulted with Andrew Borsellino, C.S.C.S., co-founder of Precision Sports Performance, and Thomas King, C.S.C.S., strength and conditioning coach with JK Conditioning, to build the ultimate workout routine to get you confident and shredded in two months.

But if you’ve been fit in the past and know the ropes around the gym and want to go it alone, our simple plan will help you get off on the right foot.

 “When getting started, make sure you start the right type of program,” says Borsellino. “If you get going on a program that is way too intense right off the bat, it may keep you from continuing and reaching your goals.”

Furthermore, if you’re unprepared for a high-intensity workout program, you could potentially be walking the path to injury. At the same time, starting a workout program that’s too easy or not stimulating could just lead to boredom—and boredom makes you more likely to quit.

King adds: “In my experience, the easiest way to sneak fat loss work into your routine is through the use of circuits and complexes. Nobody really wants to spend an hour running on a treadmill when you could be doing more engaging exercises like kettlebell swings, thrusters, and squats. I also like to include at least one more traditional strength training day per week. It allows for recovery from the demanding circuits and the lower reps will help preserve muscle tissue during the fat-loss stage.”

THE WORKOUT

The following workout program, which comes courtesy of King, incorporates three workouts per week: two days of circuit training and one day of strength training. Perform these workouts on nonconsecutive days for eight weeks. Before each session, do a light warmup that includes aerobic exercise (like walking on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes) and dynamic mobility work (like banded shoulder dislocations and rotational hip dislocations).

INSTRUCTIONS

Day 1 circuit: Perform one set of each exercise before resting. After you have completed one full round, rest for two minutes and start again. The goal is to complete five rounds as quickly as possible. For an added challenge, time yourself and see how you progress as you move through the eight-week program.

Day 2 strength workout: The strength day will stick to the basic lifts and pair two complementary movements as a superset. Perform exercises in the same superset (marked A and B), then rest 1½-2 minutes. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets.

Day 3 circuit: The second circuit incorporates a dumbbell complex. Choose a dumbbell weight you can use for all the exercises, and be sure to do each exercise without putting the dumbbells down. If that’s not difficult enough, after each complex, row 100 meters as quickly as possible. Complete five rounds of this circuit in as little time as possible. Time yourself and see how you progress over the next eight weeks.

EXERCISE 1

KETTLEBELL SWING You’ll need: KettlebellsHow to

Kettlebell Swing thumbnail
4sets
20reps
rest

EXERCISE 2

PLYOMETRIC PUSHUP

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5sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

SEATED CABLE ROW You’ll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle AttachmentHow to

Seated Cable Row thumbnail
5sets
10 repsreps
rest

EXERCISE 4

OVERHEAD BARBELL PRESS You’ll need: BarbellHow to

Overhead Barbell Press thumbnail
5sets
10 repsreps
rest

EXERCISE 5

AIRDYNE BIKEHow to

5sets
2 caloriesreps
rest

DAY 2 WORKOUTStrength

EXERCISE 1A.

ROMANIAN DEADLIFT You’ll need: BarbellHow to

Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
4sets
3reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 1B

BARBELL OVERHEAD PRESS

Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
8reps
90-120rest

EXERCISE 2A.

BARBELL SQUAT You’ll need: BarbellHow to

Man Barbell Squat thumbnail
4sets
3reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 2B.

CHINUP You’ll need: Pullup BarHow to

Chinup thumbnail
3sets
8reps
90-120 secrest

EXERCISE 3A.

DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS You’ll need: Bench, DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3sets
6reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 3B

30-DEGREE INCLINE DUMBBELL ROW You’ll need: BenchHow to

30-Degree Incline Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3sets
15reps
90-120 rest
Perform on incline bench

DAY 3 WORKOUTCircuit

EXERCISE 1

DUMBBELL FRONT SQUAT You’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Front Squat thumbnail
5sets
10reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 2

DUMBBELL BENTOVER ROW You’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Bentover Row thumbnail
5sets
10 (each arm)reps
0 secrest

EXERCISE 3

DUMBBELL THRUSTER You’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Thruster thumbnail
5sets
10reps
0 secrest

EXERCISE 4

RENEGADE ROWYou’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Renegade Row thumbnail
5sets
10 each arm reps
0 secrest

EXERCISE 5

ROWING MACHINEHow to

Rowing Machine thumbnail
5sets
100 meter sprint for timereps
0 sec rest

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Why you should train your glutes?

Covet strong glutes? We asked the Base Body Babes to share their advice when it comes to training your glutes.

We love having and creating well balanced, beautifully proportioned and functional bodies. Our programs are specifically designed to ensure the body is structurally balanced and moving correctly, with a focus on posture and creating feminine proportions. Generally speaking, women are lower body dominant (whereas men are upper body dominant), so when we design our programs we place a greater focus on the lower body movements to create or maintain these feminine proportions. In our experience, women love having a shapely booty and toned, lean legs.

As the glutes are the biggest muscle in the body, it’s important to specifically work and build muscle in this area: not only because we like the look of a well developed, perky behind, but because the glutes are important to the overall function of the body.

From a functional strength standpoint, it’s quite common for people to have lazy or underactive glutes. This can lead to lower back pain and injuries, as the glutes are primarily responsible for day-to-day tasks such as bending over and picking things up. If the glutes aren’t strong, more stress is placed on the lower back unnecessarily. In most instances, if someone suffers from lower back pain, strengthening the glutes is a great place to start.

It’s no secret that squats are the first exercise that people turn to when they want to build a booty. Although squats are our favourite movement and our programs are based around them, there is certainly more to booty gains than just the squat rack. Too many times we see women squatting without knowing how to correctly activate their glute muscles; without proper technique and activation, results cannot be achieved.

Getting the most out of your booty

1. Technique is everything. Correct technique is vital to keeping you free from injury, to allow you to lift the correct weight and to ensure you are working the exact muscles that you are targeting. If your body starts to fatigue and your technique breaks down, it’s time to stop the set. Many people like to train until failure and take the body beyond what it is capable of, but this only increases the risk of injury. Always remember: safety first!

2. Progression is key. The body must continuously be challenged in order for it to change and develop; if you keep doing what the body can already do, the body doesn’t need to adapt! Every week, aim to increase the amount of weight you are lifting by about two to four per cent. Challenge your body for best results!

Source:

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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!

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!

About The Author

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

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High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout Incorporate high intensity interval training into your workouts to increase fat loss and maximise your results.

Exercise scientist Johann Ruys shares his favourite HIIT workout:

3 x 1km runs with 2-minute rest in between each (work-to-rest ratio = 2:1)

2-minute rest4 x 500m runs with 2-minute rest between each (work-to-rest ratio = 1:1)

2-minute rest4 x 150m runs with 1-minute rest in between each (work-to-rest ratio = 1:2)

6 x 30m sprints with 10-second rest between each (finisher)Join the movement on Instagram and hashtag #myWHF so we can see what you’re up to!

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High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout

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Triceps overhead extension with rope

The Move:
Triceps overhead Extension with Rope

Why: Keeping your body in proper standing alignment with core stabilisation and isolation of the overhead tricep extension is an excellent total body exercise with focus on the tricep muscles.

How: Attach a rope to a high pulley. After selecting an appropriate weight, grab rope with both hands and face away from the cable. With a slight bend in hips, lean forward slightly and engage core. Position your hands behind your head with elbows pointing straight up. Your elbows should start out flexed. This is your starting position.

To perform movement, extend through the elbow while keeping the upper arm in same position. Push your arms forward.

Squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement and slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

Nail it: Keeping elbows in close to head while performing the movement will help with the isolation of the tricep extension. Keep your core engaged with shoulders down and back away from neck.

 

Workout by: Brooke Stacey

Photography: James Patrick

Link to article:

Triceps overhead extension with rope

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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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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.

Posted in Exercises, Personal Fitness Training, Sports Injuries, Training MethodsComments (0)

Image Arms-tiffiny-JabCross.png

10-minute equipment free workout with Tiffiny Hall

Gear: nada

Go: 20 seconds’ work, 10 seconds’ rest, 4-6 rounds (push yourself!)

 Words/workout: Tiffiny Hall (pictured)

Photography: Future Pictures

1. Jab, cross punches

It’s the ol’ one-two! You can make this one a bit trickier with some hand weights if you’re up for the challenge. Don’t have any weights? Yeah, you do! Just use weighted balls, water bottles or soup cans.

» Stand side on with your guard up (elbows close to your body and fists protecting your chin).

» Perform a quick jab with your front arm and follow up with a cross punch with your back arm. Keep em coming!

» Remember to roll your shoulders through the movement too to get your abs involved.

2. Speed skipping – with or without a rope

Arms-tiffiny-skipping.png

No rope? No problems! With or without, skipping will get your heart rate up, your blood pumping and your body ready to go. This exercise doubles as your active recovery – no rest for the wicked!

» Play make-believe or use a real rope to continually skip on the spot.

» The key is to keep those arms moving around for added burn.

3. Tiff boxing combo: double jab, cross, hook, uppercut, uppercut

You can do this into a pillow at home, with a boxing bag at a gym or shadow box in a mirror (show yourself who’s boss!). Really put some oomph into it, lead with your front two knuckles and make sure you keep that thumb on the outside of the fist so it doesn’t get hurt (a little boxing 101).

» Stand side on, guard up, light on your feet, and jab twice with your front arm (quick like a dart!).

Arms-a-Tiff-BoxingCombo.png

» Throw a single forward punch with your back arm (the ‘cross’) followed by a hook punch with your front arm (lead with your elbow across your body on this one).

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» Finish with 2 uppercuts – elbows tight against your body, first starting at your chin and leading through to head height (or your pillow opponent’s) chin. 

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4. Speed bag both arms

Arms-tiff-Speedbag.png

Get ready to burn out your arms and roll with the punches! The challenge is to keep your elbows nice and high. 

» Stand facing the corner, light on your feet, fists above your head – whatever you do, don’t let those elbows sink.

» Start rolling your hands over each other, pushing through your imaginary speedball with the top hand – pow, pow, POW!

» Now for the other side (gotta keep it even!).

10-minute equipment free workout with Tiffiny Hall

Posted in Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Fitness Models, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight lossComments (0)


Paige Hathaway

Paige Hathaway

10 hours 25 minutes ago

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Paige Hathaway

21 hours 14 minutes ago

Pick yourself up and keep going!!!!

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