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Leg raises

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

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

Lying down leg raises:

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

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

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

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

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

Leg raises with a ball 

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

-Start similar to the lying down leg raises 

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

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

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

Hanging leg raises 

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

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

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

– Lower your legs down and repeat the exercise

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

Side leg raises 

This exercise can be performed lying or standing

For standing

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

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

For lying 

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

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

-Repeat 

 

Kettlebell workouts – 11 of the best!

Standing pull-up with kettlebellStand with feet apart and imagine pulling your kneecaps up to engage your quads; tighten your abs and your gluteus.Start with the weight at the bottom with straight arms, then pull up with elbows coming out, keeping tension with arms and chest and feel the squeeze in your shoulders.Hold at the top then lower the weight back to start position in a controlled movement. Repeat 10 to 15 times.Workout from WHF Head Trainer Nikki Fogden-Moore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday

1 Dumbbell Front Raise

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

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

Dumbbell Front Raises

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

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

2 Dumbbell Overhead Press

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

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

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

3 Barbell Upright Row

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

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

Barbell Upright Row

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

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

Friday

1 Dumbbell Shoulder Shrug

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

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

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

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

2 Dumbbell Lateral Raise

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

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

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

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

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

3 Military Press

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

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

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

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

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About The Author

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

How to beat a weight loss plateau

  You’re doing everything right but your weight loss has come to a grinding halt? We asked nutritionist, trainer and founder of Balance Fitness & Nutrition to share her insights on how to get results again.  Signs: Weight loss plateaus can be frustrating, particularly if you are closely following your nutrition and training plan. Despite eating and moving well, signs of a dieting plateau include: » Weight loss stalled or an increase in weight » Feeling hungrier » Low energy levels » Poor recovery and/or sleep quality Causes: Essentially, dieting plateaus are caused by our body’s ability to adapt to the way they are fuelled and moved. Usually plateaus occur due to: » Undereating and/or inappropriate macronutrient profile to meet your training and daily energy requirements. » Overtraining and/or consistently moving your body in the same way, regularly. » Inadequate rest, recovery and stress: when we don’t get enough sleep our bodies produce cortisol, which leads to fat retention and storage, lethargy and irritability. During weight loss you impose a caloric deficit, either by increasing exercise or decreasing food intake. Through this deficit you begin to lose body mass – and when muscle mass declines, so too does your metabolism. These are indicators that energy supply is low and your body adapts to energy restrictions accordingly: there is a decrease in hormones that promotes anabolism, energy expenditure and satiety (fullness) and a rise in hormones that promotes catabolism and hunger. How to get results again: Keeping your body guessing is key, as our bodies crave efficiency. Mix up your meals. Do you have the same meal at the same time every day? Try carbohydrate and/or calorie cycling of higher, moderate and lower days. Opt for a higher carb day when you train legs or perform HIIT and lower carbs, higher fats on LISS/rest days. Rotating food choices helps ensure your metabolism doesn’t adjust to a specific diet regimen; because there is no sustained calorie restriction, your body doesn’t adjust its metabolism or start catabolising lean muscle tissue as it would on a sustained low-calorie diet. Increase your calories: A calorie deficit is generally needed to lose weight, but not in all cases. You may actually need to increase your overall calories to continue burning them in order to preserve muscle mass and your metabolism. Your body will learn that food is abundant and won’t try to hoard it for starvation mode. Prioritise protein:  Up your protein intake or incorporate a source of protein into each meal. This macronutrient has a higher thermic effect than fats and carbs, so your body has to work harder to digest it. Protein assists in the retention of lean muscle mass (metabolism), protein synthesis, satiety between meals and muscle recovery. Training – shake & strengthen it up: Studies have found that strength training helps people shed more fat than cardio while boosting their metabolism by increasing muscle mass. Aim for a minimum of two to three strength sessions each week. If you already strength train, mix it up by using a combination of supersets, tri-sets and circuits to keep the intensity of the sessions high. Overall duration should be short to moderate and serve as a HIIT-style resistance workout. If you run 5km every day, try adding in a day of sprints. Keeping your sessions short but intense helps to utilise your anaerobic training zones and leads to greater excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Rest and recovery: If overtraining is the cause of your plateau, it may be time to add in a taper week or two. Prioritising sleep will help balance insulin resistance, regulate cortisol, and decrease leptin. Check your portions: Are you really consuming the serving sizes you thought? Try and be more mindful of how much you are putting on your plate.   Plateau or happy place? Lastly, consider whether you have REALLY plateaued and whether your training and nutrition has been as good as you say it has. If you feel you’ve reached one, take time to reflect, but also consider whether it is a plateau or, rather, your ideal weight. The numbers on the scales may have stalled, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t improving on areas of your strength, fitness and mindset. Try using a combination of how your clothes fit, measurements and fitness checks (60 second max tests or a simple 3 minute AMRAP) to track and re-check your progress. After all, the scales are just a number.   {nomultithumb}    

Walking lunge with twist

Walking lunge with twist PT Nerissa Peach demonstrates the walking lunge with twist, a great exercise for your legs and core.How to:Holding a medicine ball in your hands, elbows by your sides, take one large step forward into a lunge position.Watch that your knee is at a 90 degree angle and the weight of your body is toward your front knee.Hold the lunge position, contract your abs and rotate your torso to the same side as your front leg.Your arms and medicine ball should turn with your torso until they are in line with your side.Rotate back to the centre as you stand up and bring your arms back in front of you.Browse more medicine ball workouts>>

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