bookmark_borderStretch for Health

Olympians have been employing Active-Isolated Stretching (AI) now for about 10 years, but it has only recently been brought to the public’s attention.

I have used this technique on my clients for quite a while now with great success, while adding renewed life and spring to tired out muscles. AI stretching prevents injury, as conventional stretching can cause real harm such as muscle pulls and tears.

AI stretching does what stretching is supposed to do; it transports oxygen to sore muscles and quickly removes toxins so recovery is faster. It also works as a deep massage technique because it activates muscle fibres during the actual stretch.

Before stretching, dress in loose clothing and try and acquire a five-foot length of rope and tie a loop in the end. The purpose of this is to loop the end of rope around the exercising appendage to squeeze the last couple of inches of stretch from the exercise.

Find a comfortable place to stretch either on your bed, a carpeted floor or on a mat.
Isolate the muscle or group you want to stretch then contract the muscle opposite. This causes the isolated muscle or group to relax straight away and when it does it is ready to stretch.

Gently and quickly stretch the isolated muscle until it can’t be stretched any further; now give yourself a gentle pull with your hands or rope. Go as far as you can and then hold the stretch for no more than 2 seconds then release, do this for a total of 5 repetitions on the isolated muscle or group.

The reason for just a 2-second stretch is because when a muscle realizes that it is being forced into a stretch it contracts to protect itself from being overstretched.
If you can beat this contraction you’ll be well on the way to a greater Range of Motion.

Remember to hold for no more than 2 seconds, release, return to the normal position and repeat for the five repetitions. Try not to have any hesitations between stretches and make it as fluid as possible. Try to stretch every day if possible, remember to:

  • Work one target muscle at a time.
  • Contract the muscle that is opposite the targeted muscle, which will relax in preparation of its stretch.
  • Stretch it gently and quickly.
  • Release it before it realizes that it has been stretched and goes into its protective contraction.
  • Below are two exercises that can be done straight away even while you are at work to stretch that tension and stress from of your body.
  • Lie down on the floor with your buttocks against a wall and your legs straight up the wall. Slowly flex your toes towards your knees, hold for two seconds and repeat five times. This will loosen up your lower back and stretch your hamstrings and hips giving instant relief for tired backs.

bookmark_borderAbout Anaerobic Exercise

Well, how’s this for answer: any kind. That’s right, anything that is high intensity over a short period of time will do. You could do some weight training or maybe sprinting while you take your daily jog or swim laps. Don’t let the idea of weight training scare you. You don’t need to go to the gym or buy expensive equipment if you want to try weight training. You can do a complete weight training circuit with only a couple of dumbbells right in your own home.

Circuits are especially effective to burning fat because they combine aspects of both strength and endurance training into one, highly targeted, set of exercises. This type of training is highly effective in making your muscles stronger and more fit, meaning you’ll be less susceptible to injury over the long run. Circuit training is generally not used when trying to build muscle mass, but remember you’re not necessarily trying to build a ton of muscle, just lose fat.

Always remember to give yourself a day of rest in between whatever anaerobic exercises you decide to do. It’s very important that you give your muscles time to rest, not doing so can result in injury. Also be sure that you sufficiently stretch before any kind of exercise. For some reason this is something that many people neglect, even though anyone who’s ever been in a PE class knows how important this is for avoiding injuries.

bookmark_borderGet Booty In Shape Before Summer

  • Squats – The king of all leg exercises, this exercise will really firm up that back region, if done properly. Standing tall, with your feet shoulder width apart, bend at the knees and thrust your hips backwards like you’re going to sit in a chair. Make sure your knees don’t go out past your toes when you squat, keep your weight on your heels and stay flat footed, and go deep enough on your squats so the top of your thigh is parallel to the ground. Supposedly, this is a Jennifer Lopez favorite.
  • Lunges – Another great exercise for the butt. If you were to just do lunges, you would make all your friends jealous of how firm your “butt” has become. Remember to step a good length, keep the foot flat, don’t let the knees go past the toes, keep your back tight, and explode back to the standing position.
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts – You will feel this all through the posterior region, but it will be well worth it. This exercise will require you to hold weights in front of you. Keeping your back tight, push your hips backward, like you are trying to shut a car door, and bend at the waist. Go until your hamstrings won’t allow you to and then return to the starting position by bringing your hips in.

With these exercises, you want to do 12 to 15 repetitions, for 3 sets. Find a weight that is challenging, not easy.

Now, to really get the butt looking great, you need to make sure there isn’t a lot of body-fat around the area. To do this, you have to watch your diet. Don’t eat a lot of processed foods. Find carbohydrate sources that are from whole fruits and vegetables, whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat breads. Make sure you eat plenty of protein from sources like lean meat, chicken, turkey, and fish. Finally, reduce the fat intake by avoiding saturated and trans fats.

You will also need to do cardiovascular exercise so that you can burn away excess body-fat. Find a piece of equipment that will get your heartrate going for 25-35 minutes. You want to be able to speak sentences and not gasp for breath as you are training. Riding the bike, walking, elliptical machines are a great way to get your cardio work in and we’ll help burn away that body-fat.

bookmark_borderAdvantage Of Cheap Exercise Ideas

It’s funny when I think about it, but I’m not really gung-ho about the “almighty gym pass membership” spiel. I don’t want to attend a fitness center four or five days a week. I would much rather find some cheap exercise equipment and go from there. Believe it or not this is an option. The thing I dislike about the local gym is all the sharing. I don’t have time to drive to a location, find a parking space, go workout, and then drive back home. Not to mention someone may be using the equipment you had planned to. Instead of doing all that work, I can simply step down into my basement or out into my garage for a cheap exercise routine.

When I say cheap, I mean I purchased the used equipment just once and now I have it for life. This route is incomparable to the gym membership deal. I don’t end up signing a lame contract or forking out monthly payments []. Get this; I own a used weight bench, a jump rope, two 35 pound dumbbells, two 40 pound dumbbells, and 300 pounds of plate weights with a bench press barbell. This is it. I accomplish so much with this cheap exercise equipment. I got it all for under 300 bucks. Plus it’s all good quality. Furthermore, I use the stair wells in my home for leg and cardio routines. If you have a staircase, then you’ve got a cheap exercise routine waiting to happen.

So much hard-earned money is wasted on over-priced equipment and gym memberships. You can avoid so much of this if you just think about it. Jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, dips, running and more can all be accomplished for free. No one ever said you have to be rich to get in shape. Just resourceful. Take advantage of your cheap exercise ideas.

bookmark_borderInterval Training

Interval training is simply a matter of alternating high intensity exercise and low intensity exercise. It allows one to get the benefits of the high intensity work while giving the body some rest time. It allows one to extend a workout time period and build endurance gradually.

Running on a flat surface burns calories and gives your heart and lungs a great cardiovascular workout. Running up hill challenges your muscles, heart, and lungs, burning more calories and providing additional toning. But taking a 30 minute run up hill or on a steeply inclined treadmill would quickly exhaust most of us, or likely force us to stop early. However, running up hill then back down, or up hill then on flat ground would allow for high intensity work counter balanced by intervals of slower periods of active recovery. Interval training burns more calories and pumps more blood than continuous lower intensity exercise because it includes intervals of energy and oxygen-hungry work.

Because interval training burns a lot of calories and provides good muscle work, it may help you save time. A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks. Likewise, running one mile burns the same number of calories as walking one mile. But walking one mile takes a lot more time. If your goal is calorie burning and toning, and you are short on time, then interval training does more, faster. Just remember that improving cardiovascular health requires aerobic exercise of 30 – 60 minutes, so don’t make all of your workouts quickies, save those for when you’re in a rush.
Interval training can also be helpful if your goal is to move yourself up to the next level of endurance and fitness. Maybe you have been trying to start a running program, but can’t seem to maintain such a demanding exercise. Interval training is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to train the body. Marathoners commonly use this method to train for an up-coming race. A good program is to run for 4 minutes then walk at a good clip for 1 minute, or do a 3/2 interval. Your body will work hard then rest (while remaining active), work hard then rest. Your heart, lungs and muscles will make the transition to running, running farther, or running faster in a safe and productive manner.

There are a lot of ways to add intervals to your workout. If you are already a runner add hills or speed segments. If aerobics classes are your genre, add explosive moves like jumps or sprints. Include segments of speed walking in your normal walking routine or take the incline of your treadmill up a little higher at timed intervals.

Interval training is productive and can add excitement to your ho-hum exercise routine. Doing interval work in place of your normal routine, once a month, once a week, or once a day, is a good and effective plan. E-mail me if you need suggestions on how to intensify, endure and enjoy. You’ll be glad you did.

bookmark_borderInfo of Shoulder Workouts

The Arnold dumbbell press – sit and hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you at shoulder level, elbows bent and with your palms towards you. Raise the dumbbells above your head, twisting them as you lift so that your palms face outward at the straight arm position. Lower the dumbbells again to the original position. Repeat.

The front raise – you stand with a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms toward you. Lift one hand straight forward in an arc until it is above shoulder height. Lower the dumbbell, and at the same time raise the other hand (both hands are moving at once). The key point here is smooth movement with no swinging of the arms.

The lateral raise, or shoulder fly – you stand with dumbbells in each hand, arms at your sides. Palms are inwards. Raise the dumbbells upwards and outwards to head height, hold, then lower your arms back to the original position. Again, avoid swinging your arms. The bent-over raise, or inverted fly is a seated variation in which you sit facing downwards (torso bent) and raise the dumbbells so that your arms are parallel to the ground, then move them down again.

The shoulder shrug – you stand with barbells in each hand. With your arms straight and at your sides, raise the shoulders as high as you can go, then lower them again. This exercises the trapezius muscle.

The upright row – this can be done with dumbbells or a barbell, and also develops the trapezius. (Don’t do this if you have shoulder problems or pain.) Hold a barbell overhand with a shoulder-wide grip or narrower. Pull the bar up to the neck, leading with your elbows, then lower again. Repeat. For the dumbbell version, hold the dumbbells with your hands facing inwards, then pull the dumbbells up simultaneously to shoulder height. Repeat. At the gym, you can also use a cable machine.

bookmark_borderYoga for Men

A man’s greater level of physical strength is accepted by most committed yoga practices. This is why several of the poses recommended for men require additional muscle strength and endurance. Numerous male yoga practitioners have discovered that a mixture of yoga and weight training can equip them with the required levels of energy and positive thinking. In many cases, the balance between mind and body is broken by various harmful exterior factors such as stress, pressure, social problems and so on. The tight link between body and soul can be regularly seen in such cases: if the spirit is defeated, the body will often get ill and debilitated.

This is why the more physical aspects of yoga are greatly recommended for men. Society imposes certain standards – and keeping fit and looking good are just two of them. In order to possess self-confidence and respect for your own self you need to take care of your body correctly. Some of the yoga poses you will read about further on in this article are fabulous for keeping the body in perfect physical condition, particularly when a balanced and healthy diet is adhered to. Needless to say physical yoga training greatly reduces the likelihood of several illnesses such as lowered blood pressure, heart attacks and osteoporosis.

Yoga also favors meditation and relaxation as some of its most effective shields against stress. Half an hour of stretching your muscles and deep breathing can take any yoga practitioner into a condition of serenity and relaxation that gives both mind and body the opportunity to renew their vitality. Particular yoga poses such as the head stand are superb for assisting circulation and allowing the heart rate to drop. This type of position also “forces” you to breathe deeply, thereby improving brain oxygenation. Another comparable pose would be the shoulder stand, which enhances the positive effects of breathing by improving the lung’s capacity to process oxygen. Both these poses are beneficial to the spine as well, as they allow it to stretch and relax at the exact same time. The plough pose may also be tried in order to strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles. Savasana, also known as the corpse pose, is excellent for relaxing the body between asanas.

The above-mentioned poses have to be accompanied by some specific breathing techniques. The Anuloma Viloma technique balances the prana levels in the organism and is recommended for use while doing physical exercises. The Ujjayi breathing method clears the nasal passages and throat of phlegm and allows for a superior air circulation. This technique also works well for improving the responses of the nervous system.

bookmark_borderBenefits of Stability Ball Training

  • The stability ball develops the deep segmental muscles that stabilize the spine. Many trainers and coaches use exercises like deadlifts and good mornings to strengthen the back. While these exercises are effective for strengthening the hips and spinal erectors (low back muscles), they don’t develop the deep spinal stabilizers: the multifidus, rotatores, interspinales, etc. By exercising on the ball, you engage these segmental muscles. And developing them not only helps prevent injury, it also improves your posture and efficiency in movement.
  • The stability balls ability to roll in all directions makes it a great training stimulus for working in all three planes of motion (front-to-back, side-to-side, and rotational).
  • The unstable quality of the ball develops the neutralizers (muscles which counteract the actions of other muscles) and stabilizers (muscles that surround the joint and hold it relatively still) involved in the movement. For example, when you do a push up with your hands on the ball and your feet on the ground (as illustrated in the photo), the stabilization required recruits and develops the neutralizers and stabilizers of the shoulder girdle/joint. As a result, you become stronger in exercises that work the same muscles but don’t require stabilization. In this example, you’d be stronger in chest exercises performed on a bench, such as the bench press.

bookmark_borderTime To Warm Up

No one is immune from the body breaking down if it is not well tuned and in order to perform we need to stretch and warm up properly. Watch our athletes before they take the court or field. What do you see? These are highly managed individuals who spend countless hours working out and honing their skills yet every day before they go to work (so-to-speak) we see them exercising via routines designed for their individual needs. Great examples for all of us and it doesn’t require joining a team. We can stretch and warm up anywhere and at anytime. We just have to agree to do it and execute the warm up program. The first step we should all take into consideration is to begin slowly by stretching our calves, hamstrings and overall joints. Take your time and provide individual movements to each muscle area and warm them up with repeated repetitions. Switch back and forth between each muscle group as you stretch and within 20 minutes you will be ready to take on your exercise fitness program. If you haven’t exercised in months or even years its important to set your goals conservatively and to warm up an extra 10 minutes or 30 minutes each day. By warming up properly you will benefit from a more efficient exercise program and your flexibility will improve gradually over time. Often we do not consider flexibility but it’s a vital indicator to your doctor as to whether or not you are exercising properly so take the time and stretch out.

Warming up your muscle groups will provide a more relaxed and less stressful exercise fitness routine. Your body will be capable of responding better to muscle requests to walk, step up, run or turn as an example. It may sound simple and it may sound unnecessary but improper warm up even with highly toned athletes leads to muscle tears and possible career ending injuries. No different for the weekend warriors either. So take note of your body, drink plenty of fluids. Investigate and research a good nutritional supplement such as Mona Vie International’s acai berry juice. MonaVie has developed an excellent product that allows our bodies to repair internally by delivering a solid and balanced all natural fruit juice drink. So take this away from this article. Write down your warm up plan and commit to execute it every day. We can no longer exercise 20 minutes a day 3 times per week. It isn’t working for the population. We must exercise and thus use warm up techniques every day. Strive to spend 30 minutes in the morning and then a healthy long walk after dinner. Warm up to a 10,000 step walk broken down into two 30 minute events and you will achieve your ultimate body the right way!

bookmark_borderComponents of Physical Fitness

The components of physical fitness are:

  • Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance – the efficiency with which the body delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity and transports waste products from the cells.
  • Muscular strength – the greatest amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert in a single effort.
  • Muscular endurance – the ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended periods of times.
  • Flexibility – the ability to move the joints or any group of joints through an entire, normal range of motion.
  • Body composition – the percentage of body fat a person has in comparison to his or her total body mass.

Improving the first three components of fitness listed above will have a positive impact on body composition and will result in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness components, reduces performance, detracts from appearance, and negatively affects your health.

Factors such as speed, agility, muscle power, eye-hand coordination, and eye-foot coordination are classified as components of “motor” fitness. These factors most affect your athletic ability. Appropriate training can improve these factors within the limits of your potential. A sensible weight loss and fitness program seeks to improve or maintain all the components of physical and motor fitness through sound, progressive, mission specific physical training.