Workout Accessories

Punching Bag

Punching bags are some of the most commonly found accessories in a gym. A session of around fifteen to twenty minutes on a punching bag can burn up to 150 calories. A good workout on this equipment relieves the stress and works as a good cardiovascular training session. You can start your exercises on the punching bag with a session of 60 seconds workout and a 30 seconds rest period. Later on, you can gradually increase the exercise period to two minutes with the rest time of a minute.

Using Kettle Bells

These heavy balls of mass can burn a lot of calories leading to super toned muscles. Also, an exercising session with these Kettle Bells can improve the core strength of the body. You can find this equipment in several weight measurements. You should select the ones that you can lift with little difficulties. Choosing a more substantial set of Kettle Bells, during a workout can lead to sore muscles. In extreme cases, the problem of muscle tear might come up.

Pull up stand

Using a pull-up stand while exercising, can help you in building strong muscles. While applying on this tool, you can strengthen a different set of muscles. It gives you full body training and stronger core muscles. For example, if you are regularly performing widespread grip chin-ups, the latissimus dorsi muscles on your body have a full workout. Also, the rear deltoids muscle gets in better shape.

Get Nice Abs

Everybody wants nice tight abs. The reason why is because everybody recognizes, that the abs are the most visually appealing part of the body. There is a technical reason for this. It has to do with the science of Aesthetics. It is actually an optical illusion.

But what do we do when we decide to get a real nice strong set of abs? What can we do? We do what all the trainers suggest and that is to work them. To do abs crunches and sit ups. Makes sense? Of course it does…or does it? When you work your abdominals, you GROW them. I hope you just read that, it is the most important point on this page!

Getting a nice set of abs is not so hard. The abdominals are a large muscle group that respond very effectively to stimulation in most people. Care must be taken with the abs and approaching it intelligently is vital. If you build this muscle group without paying close attention to presentation, you can actually end up with a large over sized mid rift for all your work. Proportion and presentation is the key.

It’s a strange contradiction that most people fail to recognize. The logic goes, if I am working my abs, I must make them grow bigger. But the truth is you are not. You are putting in effort to make the mid section as SMALL as possible compared to you upper body. In this way you get the attractive V shape.

Lose a few pounds a week over the next month and watch how nice and good your abs begin to look!

Fitness For Teens

    1. Don’t be embarrassed. So what if you can’t run a mile? Who cares if you can only do “girly push-ups”? Don’t worry if your fat jiggles when you walk! Everybody has to start somewhere and nobody starts out as an elite athlete. So many people don’t start exercising because they are too embarrassed. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard, “Oh, I’ll join a gym after I lose 20 lbs.” This is ridiculous! Get over yourself and just get moving.
    2. Start small. Nobody expects you to run 10 miles or bench-press 200lbs on your first day. You need to work up to these things. In fact, if you do too much too quickly you’re likely to either burn out or seriously injure yourself. Walking is good.
    3. Do both cardio and weights. Many teens do one or the other, but for faster results, you should do both cardio and weight training. Don’t worry girls…you won’t bulk up like a body builder. You will simply be healthy and strong.
    4. Muscles need time to repair. You should not exercise the same group of muscles two days in a row…this includes abs! Your muscles need time to repair and grow stronger. Give them a break.
    5. Find a buddy. Things are easier when you’ve got someone to help you along the way. Team up with a friend and exercise together. Even if you can’t exercise together, you can still motivate each other. Can’t find anyone to work out with you? How about the family dog? I’m sure he’d love to go for a walk with you.

Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch

Features

The Fitbit Surge has capabilities such as GPS tracking, continuous wrist heart rate monitoring, workout tracking, and sleep monitoring, all packed into the functional and sleek watch design.

How it Stands Out

The Surge stands out for multiple reasons. The heart rate monitor is one of the first of its kind to offer constant, and very accurate heart rate monitoring without the use of any separate chest strap. The surge also boasts a very accurate and useful daily step, calorie, elevation, and distance calculator.

A stand out feature for the Surge is its multi sport capability to track the users exercise metrics during numerous types of activity, such as hiking, biking, running, rowing, weightlifting, yoga, and many more. The battery lasts multiple days to a week depending on how often the users tracks their workouts and the overall design itself is sleek and fashionable for fitness enthusiasts.

What Needs Improvement

The main issue that arises with long term use of the Fitbit Surge is skin irritation from repeated wear. The Surge band requires washing at least every other day in order to ensure that bacteria does not build up on the band. This is a general issue across many other types of fitness bands and watches, and is easily mitigated by washing the band each time you take it off.

Why You Should Get One of Your Own

The Surge is a magnificent piece of wearable technology that really will inspire its wearer to exercise and track their progress. It makes tracking your workout and daily lifestyle easy enough, so any person can make the right kind of changes with their life in order to live healthier. As an added bonus, with the Fitbit app integration, users can add other friends who wear Fitbit technologies and enter weekly and daily fitness challenges which boosts morale through friendly competition. You can challenge friends during individual workouts, daily challenges, or even week long challenges. Ultimately the Fitbit is a great way to encourage yourself to workout and live a fit life, while enjoying it and being much more educated than you would be otherwise.

Abdominal Training Principles

Breathe out the air in your lungs

You can’t contract your abs fully if you still have air in your lungs. If you are on of those persons that hold your breath during abs exercises, then you are not taking advantage of full muscle contraction. Instead of holding your breath, exhale on every contraction. If you let go the air when you start the movement and stop when you have no air left in the lungs, you are using the abdominal contractions, instead of using the hip flexors and gravity.

Lower abdominal training first

Do lower abdominal training first. You can use the stomach exercise of your choice. Why? Because when you tighten the lower abs, the rest of the abs muscles also contract and stabilize to prepare the movement. So you are working the whole abs section at the same time!
Start with lower abs until you can’t do the abdominal training correctly, then work the obliques and finish with the exercises for the rectus abdominus, the center part of your abs.

Let Your Muscles Recover

Abdominals recover within seconds, unlike other muscles that need a few minutes. Because of this small recovery time, the abs are responsive to continuous movement. So this means that you have to to do exercise after exercise with few seconds of rest until you feel exhausted.

Ubiquitous Lifting Belt

However he did add a caveat and that was for those participating in extreme athletic lifting. In other words, those who are at the top of the international charts with their weights. In these cases Dr. McGill said “where belts appear to increase torso stability to reduce the risk of buckling and provide some elastic extensor recoil to assist with the lift. But the possible liabilities underscore the counterpoint to this proposition.”

McGill states that belts also increase intra-abdominal pressure which in turn increases the Central Nervous System fluid pressure in the spine and, in turn, the brain. This decreases the transmural gradient (the pressure difference between the arterial blood pressure in the brain vessels and the brain itself) which in turn may reduce the risk of aneurysm, or stroke. Whereas others have argued this effect is detrimental the return of venous blood flow back to the heart.

Since so many people are wearing these belts from the lifter to the warehouse employee it is not unreasonable to be confused about when to wear one. McGill reported in 1993 that wearing a belt in an occupational setting supported the following documented effects.

The loads on those who have never had a previous back injury seem to offer no additional protection by wearing a belt.

Wearing a belt appears to increase the degree of injury making it more severe.

People seem to have the perception that wearing a belt means they can lift more and in some cases this is true; the placebo effect personified. However in many cases this fosters a false sense of security. Given this attitude each person should receive a lifting course on the correct way to lift. This course would of necessity include topics that provide information on how the tissues become damaged, back sparing techniques, and finally what to do with the feelings of discomfort that generally precede injury.

Increased intra abdominal pressure, elevated blood pressure and higher heart rates result from using the belt. Individuals considering the use of a belt ‘on the job’ must be screened by medical personnel due to these heightened cardiovascular concerns.

The lifting style of those using the belt appears to either increase or decrease pressure on the spine.

So why are so many using the belt? Perhaps it is due to the anecdotal gym talk that their use reminds them to lift correctly. Other reasons that don’t stand up to rigorous scientific inquiry include:

The belt helps support the shear loading on the lumbar spine resulting from gravity acting on the weight in a handheld position while the upper torso is in a semi flexed position under the load.

The belt reduces the compressive loading of the lumbar spine through the hydraulic actions of increased intra abdominal pressures.

Wearing a belt provides a splint effect between the upper and lower torso by reducing the range of motion (ROM), and provides a stiffening effect, thereby lowering the risk of injury.

The belt increases warmth to the region and helps reduce muscular fatigue.

Finally those who use the belt claim that there is an enhanced proprioceptive ability to feel the pressure associated with the perception of increased stability.

Belts are not meant to substitute for poor lifting technique. There is a natural belt formed by the abdominal wall and the lumbodorsal fascia. The active training of this area, known as the core, increases the stabilizing effects via strength and motor control synergy thus encouraging and making them work as a team to enhance the backs ability to remain stable.

The use of the belt by the serious strength training athlete

No one in their right mind would dispute the fact that a few more pounds of torque may be generated by the body with the assistance of the belt. This is due to the elastic recoil of the flexed torso augmented by the stiffness of the belt. But, and this is a big but…IF the neutral spine is kept constant throughout the entire lift the belt effect is minimized.

To put it another way if the lifter is using poor technique then the belt will help preserve the back, up to a certain point! However there are other methods that can be employed to increase and maintain torso stiffness, one of which is maximizing air intake and then holding the breath, i.e. the Valsalva maneuver. This is not advised for other than highly elite athletes who are under constant medical attention due to the drastic rise in blood pressure resulting from this technique. Sipping the air keeps the lungs filled and the torso tight.

Counter considerations of belt use include the fact that people change their motor patterns when using a belt. Theses changes elevate the risk of injury in an athlete who is used to wearing one when NOT using a belt in training. The injury is generally more severe in these situations if a belt is worn.

Evidence suggests belts are adopted for use for one of the following three reasons:

  • Peer pressure. They have seen others using them and assume that is the thing to do.
  • Their backs are getting sore and they believe a belt will alleviate the pain.
  • They desire to lift more weight and think the belt will add these additional pounds to their total.

Not one of these reasons is valid or consistent with the objective of better health. If a person wants to groove better lifting motor patterns that require a stable torso then it is better not to wear a belt. The answer in this case is to train the core musculature.

Curl ups, birddogs, arm and leg extensions, bridges in the supine, prone and side positions and back extensions provide sufficient muscle and motor pattern stress to accomplish this strengthening process in a safe and effective manner.

Freestyle Exercise

How would you like to put the odds in your favor and have more time and more energy to exercise every single day in the comfort and privacy of your own home. How is this possible? Simply put – exercise at your own home, on your own time, and with your own body. What do you do? How about some squats and pushups.

I’m serious – if you did nothing else just those two exercises alone and started a sound nutritional program you could get all the results you want.

You don’t need any fancy exercise equipment!

How does that sound? You can make all the excuses you want, about how you don’t have $3000 worth of equipment or you don’t have a full room dedicated to working out.That’s all great and dandy – but in the end it’s just an excuse.

Use your own body to exercise, it’s the best equipment you will ever have!

Unless you can do one-arm pushups and one-leg squats then you have plenty of room to grow in your at-home exercise and fitness routines. As an exercise coach and weight loss expert here is what I recommend….

Next time you have 10 minutes try this:

  • Body weight squats (30 seconds)
  • Rest (10 seconds)
  • Pushups (30 seconds)
  • Rest (10 seconds)
  • Burpees / Up-Downs (30 seconds)
  • Rest (10 seconds)

Go through the whole circuit 5 times – 2 minutes each time through. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this workout – try it out and see for yourself.

While there will surely be a bit of transition time or overdone resting periods – you will usually get it done with the 10-11 minute range.

Now don’t tell me you can’t wake up just 10 minutes earlier and go through this mini workout. You could even do this while you watch TV.

Now I’m not promising a miracle with these mini-circuits. Just like with anything else you have to put effort forth. Supplement this with a proper nutrition plan and you will be well on your way to a better body and a better life.

Toning Exercises for Women

What’s great about many toning exercises for women is that they don’t require any equipment or any initial monetary investment. All you’ll need for the following toning exercises for women is a sturdy chair or wall. You can perform these exercises in order or you can do these toning moves whenever you have a free moment – it all adds up to a fitter you.

  • Wall pushups – On a sturdy wall, place your hands in front of you and slowly lean into the wall. Push back off with your arms and chest. Repeat.
  • Squats – Standing with your feet a little more than shoulder’s width apart, slowly bend your knees to come into a sitting position, but don’t let your knees extend past your toes as you do so. Your upper body should be as straight as possible (imagine a string attached to the top of your head as you move). Lower until almost at a ninety degree angle and then lift back up. * Suck it in – While this seems a little too easy, try holding your stomach in as tightly as you can for as long as you can. You will work out all of the muscles in your abdomen. Do this whenever you can. You can perform the same tightening motion for your buttocks too to increase their tone.
  • Calf raises – In a standing position, try to lift your heels from the floor and hold in that position. Slowly lower yourself down.

These toning exercises for women are simply to do when you’re standing around at work or when you’re in line at the post office. And while they don’t require any weights or resistance bands, they can be modified to include these forms of resistance as you improve your fitness levels. You will also want to remember that the more toning exercises for women you do, the more benefits you will receive in return. So, if you only have a few minutes to spare, try to fit in as many exercises you can. You may even begin to enjoy standing in line once you see the way your body changes.

Become Healthier And Save Money

Take care of yourself particularly if you have a younger generation that is totally reliant on you. Look after your health. No need to become paranoid – just healthy will do!

Fortunately, as well as looking after your health you will also be looking after your bank balance because all the advice that is given here will also save you money.

If you are a smoker, you will probably have thought several times about giving up the weed. It is no secret – not only will this save you money but also it will extend the length of your life and that of the others in your household.

Ask yourself, do you really want to put a rolled up piece of paper in your mouth that contains over 4,000 different chemicals and then set light to it?

Being the intelligent person you are, no, I don’t think so.

Do you really want to stink like a dirty old ashtray?

Do you really want your skin to become wrinkled before its due date? That comes quickly enough without voluntarily speeding up the process.

If you worry about the possibility of increased weight as a result of stopping smoking this is not always the case. If it does become a problem, take up gardening – grow your own food – or walking. You never know whom you might meet on your daily walks! In addition, the extra exercise will also be of benefit to your health. Also, once you stop smoking you will smell much sweeter and your skin will improve. A double bonus on top of the money saved!

It seems incredible, but if you are smoking just one packet of 20 cigarettes per day, over a year this will cost you £1,528. If you multiply this figure by 10, i.e., ten years smoking, this could cost you £15,280. Just think of what you could do with all that money, and just think of the price that you are paying to destroy your health. Where is the sense?

On the economy side of this healthy venture, why not cancel your gym membership, and take a walk with your partner or the children and/or the dog instead? Not only will you feel much better mentally after a walk, but your figure will improve as well as your well-being.

An added bonus is that your dog will love you even more.

Ask yourself how many times you have used the gym since you made your last New Year’s resolution? Make your walk a regular feature of your routine and you will be surprised at the benefits. 20/30 minutes per day is ideal, alternate days will also be a benefit. Not really a money saving secret after all – just obvious!

There are several other little tricks you can call upon:

Walk up the stairs at work – don’t take a ride in the lift. Walk up the escalator. Think of your figure!

Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way. The same applies to the escalator at stations and in shopping centres – walk instead of remaining static. Think slim!

A really great slimming trick that works is to pull your belly button in until it reaches your spine – well almost!

This little exercise can be done anywhere and is fantastic for aligning your body and is highly recommended. When your belly button is drawn in, your shoulders automatically go back into correct alignment, your belly pulls in and your butt, with a little help from you, does likewise. An improved figure, all for this one little tip – great value. Again – think slim.

Ladies, this one little trick is of extra value to you. When you pull your butt in tight this will also help tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Use it before you lose it!

This exercise gets more important as the years roll on! This is definitely a money saving secret because you are likely to stop problems with your health occurring in later years.

Are you a five-a-day man? No, not five cans of lager, but five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

Many men seem to have a problem with vegetables, but you will find that if you can get into the habit of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, your long-term health will improve.
Men are now realising that they do not lose their masculinity by taking care of themselves. In fact it improves their stature amongst their mates because they are starting to look good.

There is no need to tell anyone what you are doing – just do it and improve yourself.

A healthy life style and a spot of grooming works wonders. Your wife, partner or future girl friends will reap the benefits and so will you and your health.

Lose Lower Abdominal Fat

You actually can have washboard abs, but it takes a lot of patience, time, hard work and dieting. However, if you’re willing to settle for a flat, lean tummy, it still takes a lot of patience, time, hard work and dieting…just not as much!

There are actually three sets of abdominal muscles, upper, lower and obliqes. It’s obvious what the upper and lower muscles are and where they are located, but the oblique muscles, are located on the sides of your abdomen. Called “nature’s girdle,” the oblique muscles are used when you bend sideways or forward from the waist.

There are four important things you should remember when exercising your abdominal muscles. The first is that all three sets of abdominal muscles work in conjunction with each other, so the best results for losing fat in your lower abdomen is to exercise all three sets of muscles. Vary your abdominal exercises and switch them around every week or so. After a while of doing the same abdominal exercises in the same order the body becomes accustomed to the routine, and starts to cut back on burning away abdominal fat. When doing your whole body exercise regimen, save doing abdominal exercises for last. Almost every exercise you do involves the abs in some way. When you work your abdominal exercises, you really work those abs hard and doing them first tires them out, making your other exercises less effective. The last thing to remember is that to have flat abs, you also need to get rid of visceral fat-fat stored around your internal organs.

To lose fat in any area, you must lose weight, and that starts with a low fat and low calorie diet. You can’t expect to lose body fat if you’re feeding it a lot of fatty foods. Avoid fried foods, and when you do eat them, be sure they are cooked in a light vegetable oil with no saturated fats. Drink at least 6 – 8 large glasses of water a day to flush toxins from your body keep you hydrated and keep you feeling full between meals. Avoid sugar; it packs on the pounds and has no nutritional value. If you have a sweet tooth, there are excellent sugar substitutes that can be used in baking, and sugar-free puddings and gelatins that are really quite tasty! Of course the best option for a sweet tooth is fresh fruit, but when you have to have chocolate or kill, sugar-free is the way to go!

Regular cardiovascular aerobics speed up your metabolism, which is an important factor in losing fat. Again, vary your regimen frequently, so your body doesn’t become accustomed to a set routine. There are enough different aerobic exercises that you don’t have to use the same ones every time. The same is true of anaerobic exercise for strengthening muscles. In fact, it’s the anaerobic exercises, such as swimming, walking, crunches, leg raises and resistance weight training that really firm up your abs. Sit and stand tall, and don’t slump! When your spine is straight and your shoulders are back, your abs automatically contract and if you’re a slumper, you’ll begin to feel the difference in just a couple of minutes!