September 30, 2012
At any given moment, if you walk into a busy health club, the chances are high that you will see someone committing some type of workout sin that is either going to stand in their way of making good progress or worse yet, potentially leave them very injured.
Going about your workout program in the correct manner is hugely important if you want to see optimal success and make sure that you can maintain the active lifestyle for a long time to come.
Make a few wrong moves and you could be paying for it in the long run.
So what workout sins are most commonly made? What do you need to be aware of so that you can be sure to avoid them in your own program plan?
Let’s walk you through the major workout sins that so many people are committing so you can get it straight for yourself what you must not do.
The very first thing that you need to make sure you’re doing is monitoring your rest times. Do you often start off watching the clock carefully and then find as time passes on that you just ‘wing’ it, estimating as you go?
If so, this is a huge mistake. How much rest you’re taking between each set that you perform is one of the main factors that is going to go into determining the rate of progress you see.
Using short rest periods will stroke your metabolism and help you see accelerated rates of fat loss, so you must be sure to keep tabs on how long you’re letting yourself go before the next set.
If it helps, wear a stop watch during your workout.
Another mistake that you don’t want to be making is neglecting proper form. Some people get so wrapped up with trying to either rush through their sessions because they’re short on time or lifting too heavy of a weight for what they can handle and then let their form slip.
Remember, if you aren’t using good form, you won’t be targeting the muscles properly and this then means you won’t get the results that the movement has to offer.
Always make maintaining good form your top priority.
Breathing is another common piece of the workout puzzle that’s overlooked. If you aren’t breathing correctly, you might notice a high build-up of pressure occurring and this is going to decrease the amount of force that you’re able to generate through the movement.
Make sure that you breathe in and out using a steady rhythm that’s coordinated with the lifting and lowering phase of the movement.
Finally, the last error that some people make is neglecting to warm-up. Remember that the warm-up you do is going to help get you prepared for the workout to come by warming up the muscles, increasing your circulation, and getting you mentally focused for the workout to come.
It only takes five to ten minutes at the start but will have a significant difference on the results you see. Do not skip over it.
So there you have the main things that you should be thinking about as you go about your workout plan. If you’re making any of these major mistakes, make sure that you get them fixed before you carry on.
September 23, 2012
As you go about your cardio program, one thing that you might start to think about is which mode of cardio is going to work best for you. Is one type of cardio more effective or does it really matter?
Is the most important thing that you simply get it in?
When setting up any workout program, there are always some important things that do need to be considered. By taking the following factors into account with regards to which cardio method will be best for you to use, you can ensure that you’re on the way to seeing the best results possible from your plan.
It’s vital that you do give your program design some thought before you rush into it, as most people do make the mistake of diving in without thinking things through.
Let’s look at what you need to consider when comparing the treadmill to the elliptical trainer.
The very first consideration is the resistance consideration. While you can walk on an incline to get some resistance occurring while on the treadmill, other than that there’s no real way to make your muscles work harder against tension.
With the elliptical trainer however, you can easily adjust the tension level so that you are more challenged and this can lead to a higher development of strength gains.
While you’ll never gain strength using the elliptical like you would from a good weight lifting workout session, you can still see some benefits coming through.
Moving along, the next thing that you will want to think about is your injury risk. This is where the elliptical really shines. Since this is a non-impact activity, you aren’t going to be at risk for suffering from knee, back, or angle pain like you would if you were continually running on a treadmill.
For those who do have bad choices, the high impact nature of the treadmill can get to be a little much to bare.
The elliptical trainer will be a heaven-sent for these individuals, who will finally be able to workout pain-free after using it.
The next factor to consider is the calorie burn. While running is definitely a calorie intensive activity to be performing, the elliptical trainer will come very close to it.
You can burn just as many calories with an intense elliptical session as you can jogging, so it will be just as effective as far as total fat loss is concerned.
Finally, the last thing to note is the muscles stimulated. The elliptical trainer wins out here again because this machine is going to work both your upper and lower body at the same time, while the treadmill will only target the lower body.
For those who aren’t doing a strength training workout routine, this is a big benefit that you won’t want to overlook.
So there you have the main things to consider when selecting your mode of cardio training. Always remember that what will matter the absolute most is which piece of equipment you enjoy using, so use that to guide your decision as well.
September 16, 2012
If you’re looking to get flat abs but yet don’t want to spend all your time doing crunch after crunch after crunch, considering some exercise alternatives is definitely the thing that you’ll want to do.
Far too many people come to believe that they must spend hours on the abdominal mats if they want to get that sleek, firm midsection that they desire. Fortunately this isn’t the case at all.
As long as you take into account some other activities that will challenge the abs and then make sure that you’re also eating a good diet that will have you rapidly burning up body fat, you can quickly get the look you’re after while remaining crunch-free.
Let’s take a look at three great methods that you can challenge the abs without having to perform a single crunch.
The very first method that you can use to help work the abs to a larger extent is to incorporate in some lunges with a twist into your workout program.
With this technique you’re going to begin by performing a straight lunge but rather than holding a set of dumbbells, you’ll hold a medicine ball in front of the body.
From there, you’ll lower yourself down to the ground, pausing at the bottom to twist the upper body to one side. Hold it there and then twist back as you rise up to complete the rep.
You should be twisting in the opposite direction that you’re lunging while doing this movement.
Complete your reps, switching sides as you go.
The second non-crunch way to work the abs is to add some running knee raises into your weight lifting program as cardio intervals.
With these, you’re simply going to run in place, bringing the knees up to the chest as you go. The really great thing about this is that not only is it going to help to work your abs due to the fact they’ll contract to bring the knee in the upwards direction, but in addition to that, it’s also going to help to enhance your total calorie burn for the workout as well.
Perform these in between your sets for added cardio training and you can do away with your traditional cardio workouts altogether.
Finally, the last quick non-crunch way to work the abs is to perform a shoulder press on an exercise ball. Due to the fact that you’ll be sitting on that unstable surface and be hoisting a weight above the head, this is going to cause the muscles to contract harder than ever to keep you balanced.
Make sure when doing this that you do think of keeping the abs tight at all times in order to prevent the development of lower back pain.
So next time you’re tired of your ab routine, consider these alternatives. All will fully challenge the abs and get you seeing the results you desire.
September 9, 2012
If you’re going about your fitness routine and looking for new things to try out, you might want to take one further look at the exercise ball.
Many people unfortunately view the exercise ball as simply a tool that they can use to work their abdominal muscles. While the exercise ball is definitely great for challenging your abs and getting them in top form, that’s not all it’s good for.
There are many different things that you can use an exercise for so thinking outside of the box is key.
Let’s have a look at three things that you can use an exercise ball for to help you take your fitness up a level.
The very first thing that you can use an exercise ball for is transferring your standard dumbbell movements over onto it. Simply transferring a shoulder press, chest press, lateral raise, bicep curl, and so on onto the exercise ball will make the exercise itself more challenging and make those muscles work harder than they have before.
The more instable you are going about any exercise you’re performing, the more muscle fibers you’ll recruit in order to complete the activity.
The second way that you can challenge the body with an exercise ball is by performing bodyweight exercises on it.
For example, rather than performing push-ups flat on the ground, try and perform them with the hands up on an exercise ball instead.
Or, when doing your plank exercise for core strengthening, place the hands or feet up on the ball for a real challenge.
If you really feel like you need to kick things up a notch, then consider standing on the exercise ball itself and performing bodyweight squats.
Note that this is for the highly advanced however, so don’t try this unless you are fairly confident on the ball and have a spotter nearby to help you.
The last thing you want to do is fall off as you would wind up seriously injured.
Finally, the last way to incorporate the exercise ball into your day to offer clear fitness benefits is by sitting on it while you’re at work.
Sitting on an exercise ball is going to get those abs contracting hard, supporting you the entire time. When you’re sitting sedentary in a regular office chair, you require very little core muscle activation at all.
Put yourself on an exercise ball however and it’s a whole other story.
So there you have the main things outside of the crunch that you can use an exercise ball for. Include these in your workout program and you’ll be seeing great results shortly.