Category Archives: Strength Training

Building a healthy body.

Push Ups: Progression For Greater Strength And Endurance

Author: Eddie LomaxOne-Hand-Pushup

Push ups are one of the classic bodyweight exercises.  Every bodyweight training program I know of uses push ups in one form or another.  As a result, the ability to perform a proper push up, for high repetitions is a fitness milestone in bodyweight training.

But there is more to this classic bodyweight exercise than high repetitions and bragging rights.  As a matter of fact, some people get so caught up in high repetitions that they forgo [forget] proper form, reducing the strength and endurance gains, and increasing the risk of injury.  In this article I’ll reveal an alternative to high repetition push ups.

But first, what is a proper push up?

A proper push up is an incredibly demanding full body exercise, requiring both upper body strength and a strong, stable core for proper completion.  This is important.  It is not just an upper body exercise.  It is a full body exercise.

Start by lying on the ground with you feet together and your hands on the ground by your shoulders.  Your elbows are flexed and should remain close to your body throughout the entire movement.  Don’t flair your elbows!

Perform a push up by pressing with your arms until your entire body leaves the ground.  In the up position, only your hands and toes remain on the ground.  The body has to remain stiff and straight throughout the entire lowering and raising.  The only thing that should move during the movement is the arms.

This is very important.  The body should be straight at the top, during and at the bottom of the movement.  This is accomplished by using your core stabilizer muscles, butt and legs to make your body as ridged as possible.

As you can see, your whole body is involved in completing a proper push up, not just your upper body.  Upper body strength and core strength must be coordinated to do a proper push up.  If either your upper body or core is weaker than the other, errors will occur and performance will be lowered.

Ok, once you know how to perform push ups, most people try to go for high numbers.  Yes, being able to do 100 push ups is a sign of great strength and endurance.  But striving for high numbers is not the only way you improve!

You can also improve push ups by going from easy to difficult.  Increasing the difficulty of the push up variation is an excellent way to build incredible strength.  This method allows you to keep the repetition number relatively low, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.  Plus, it reduces the possibility you will sacrifice quality for quantity, furthering your chance of injury!

Here is an example:

-    Start with incline push ups
-    The [Then] increase difficulty by doing the classic push up
-    Increase the difficulty again by doing decline push ups
-    And finally make it harder by doing handstand push ups

You could also throw in one armed push ups to increase difficulty.  But the point is this, there are more ways to improve your strength and endurance with push ups than just increasing the number or repetitions you can do in one set.

Let this push up progression example serve as an example of other bodyweight exercise progressions.  A lot of people say they get bored with bodyweight exercise because they only try to improve by doing more and more reps.  Now you know, increasing repetition is not the only progression method in town.  And in many cases, more strength and endurance improvements can be made by going from easy versions of an exercise to more difficult versions.

Rebounding To Better Health

Author: Tk Healeyrebounding

Ever heard of rebounding? Rebounding is a fun way to get great exercise using small controlled movements on a mini trampoline. By using a small trampoline and following a rebounding video, people of all ages can exercise on a rebounder. Rebounding is safe because your feet barely leave the surface and a stabilizing bar can be added which will help if you feel unsteady.

There are different types of rebounders on the market and some even fold for easy storage. Because of the size of these mini trampolines they can be used in your home or even easily transported to your office. Rebounding has been taking up in some of your most popular commercial gyms.

There are a vast selection of videos to keep your rebounding workout exciting and new. There are special routines for people of all ages to make it more enjoyable. Some examples of rebounding workouts include first timers, basic, seniors, sports specific, dance, ballet, hip hop, Latin, core, yoga, abdominal, stretch and many other routines.  You will never get bored with so many videos to choose from.

What makes REBOUNDING effective?

Rebounding provides many benefits to your body. It has been known to improve your circulation reduces stress, increase muscle tone, improve co-ordination and balance, increases energy. There is no strain on your joints. It simultaneously works all the major muscle groups, provides a calorie burning, cardiovascular, strength conditioning workout, incorporates simple, martial arts based movements in a coordinated way and builds stamina, strength and balance. If you do the techniques of rebounding regularly you will get results and have fun doing it.

REBOUNDING has been on national television shows such as The View with Barbara Walters, The Today Show and  has been featured in such magazines as Fitness, Ace Fitness Magazine, and  Fit. JB Berns has been on infomercials As Seen On TV promoting his urban rebounder.

Kids love it, adults and seniors love it too! Rebounding has become one of the most beneficial forms of exercise ever developed.

Bounce your way to feeling healthy. A fun workout that builds strength, cardiovascular capacity, and balance without jarring the body like other exercises.

FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Fitness For 50 And Beyond

Author: Varun Pratapchair exercise

At fifty, many of us take stock of our lives.

We can look back on careers, friends, and family that we are proud of, but what do we want to do with our middle years?

How can we make the most of our lives? Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of our later years, as well as the one that may have the greatest impact on our overall well-being, is our health and fitness.

How, then, can we best ensure our health and fitness into our mid and later years?

Exercise can help slow down the onset of the symptoms of aging.

The health benefits of a good exercise program are numerous.

Exercise helps maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility.

In addition, the stress put on our bones through exercise help maintain their strength and integrity.

Even our mood can be improved by staying healthy-–researchers have discovered a link between exercise and a decrease in depression and anxiety.

This may be due to the increase in energy and the improved sleeping patterns among fit fifty year olds.

Of course, nothing beats exercise for battling weight gain and getting our body into the kind of shape that can still turn heads as we walk down the street.

Besides that, our blood pressure tends to drop, lowering the chance of heart disease.

Even our immune system gets a boost from regular exercise.

Believe it or not, physical activity has even been linked to improved mental function!

Think of the advantages of living a longer and a more active life.

From walking, running or cycling, to push-ups and sit-ups to actual weight lifting, at home or at the gym, each form of exercise has its own benefits to keeping you fit and strong.

This will reduce the discomfort to the joints and muscles after the exercises are done.

Similarly, after a workout, make sure and take the time to stretch and cool down.

How you decide to stay fit and healthy is up to you.

If the thought of bouncing around a gym or workout center in spandex makes you cringe, take heart.

Chair aerobics are designed to give those with mobility problems a good cardio workout without putting strain on the joints and bones.

A chair aerobics session may include kicks, punches and stretches, and often includes the use of workout bands and weights to increase strength and resistance training as the workouts get more intense.

Better heart function, lower blood pressure, increased circulation and heightened alertness, say the experts.

It’s the perfect solution if you can’t leave your desk or if you work at home and can’t get to the gym.

It’s also an excellent solution for older Americans who may not be as mobile as they once were, but who can benefit from regular exercise.

According to many recent studies, engaging in moderate exercise three to five times a week can help reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and arthritis.

Among the exercise that the American Physical Therapy Association recommends for seniors are golf, gardening, walking, swimming and jogging.

Water fitness classes are among the best aerobics exercises you can do, especially if you suffer from joint stiffness or arthritic pain.

Because you’re in the water, there’s no impact shock, making water exercises the ideal form of low-impact aerobic exercise.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advice-articles/fitness-for-50-and-beyond-45531.html

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FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Fibromyalgia and Exercise

Author: Eidorianresistance bands

The most effective treatment for fibromyalgia is exercise. Which seems totally weird, because most people with fibromyalgia hurt worse and are more fatigued after exercise, and they may feel that way for days. The key is the right amount of the right kinds of exercise.

If you are new to exercising within the constraints of fibromyalgia, it may be helpful to enlist the help of a trainer, physical therapist or exercise physiologist to design a program specifically for you. Every person with fibromyalgia has a different exercise capacity, so you need an individualized program.

Another important concept related to exercise is your “baseline.” Each person has a different baseline. It is the level of exercise that you can maintain over time. It does not mean that you are pain-free, but that the pain doesn’t interfere with your lifestyle. You also need to remember that you’ll always have good days and bad days. You don’t stop or reduce your exercise because of a bad day. (Although you may reduce it for a while if you have a bad flare-up that lasts days or weeks.)

Exercise training for someone with fibromyalgia begins with stretching. Stretching reduces the stiffness and keeps ligaments and tendons from shortening over time. Stretching should be gentle and it should feel good. It is usually a good idea to warm your muscles with mild aerobic activity, such as walking, for a few minutes before stretching.

Daily low-impact, gentle aerobic exercise is the next step. Aerobic exercise has tons of health benefits. It specifically helps reduce fibromyalgia symptoms because it improves flexibility, causes your body to release endorphins and other happy chemicals and reduces stress. Walking and bicycling are excellent low-impact exercises. It is important to start at a level suitable to where you are and increase your level of exercise slowly. If you get fatigued after five minutes of walking, start there and increase your time by a minute or two every week or two.

Some activities are especially good for fibromyalgia. Water aerobics and swimming are wonderful. The buoyancy of the water supports your sore muscles and allows you to exercise with less pain. Swimming has a double benefit of gentle stretching along with aerobic exercise.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong and Yoga emphasize slow, gentle movements that are ideal for people with fibromyalgia. All three exercises include breathing and focusing, which decrease stress. You also learn to be aware of your body and learn to recognize signs of stress.

Pilates is another exercise system where you work with your body, stretching and toning it. Pilates is a non-weight bearing exercise, like chair aerobics. It is a gentle way to tone your body, and gentle is the word for exercising with fibromyalgia.

People with fibromyalgia can add some strength training slowly as they build up exercise tolerance. Resistance bands provide plenty of strength training for a while. Strength training must be undertaken carefully and gently, and it might be wise to get help from an exercise professional before adding it. There are many benefits to strength training, and it could be a very beneficial addition to your exercise, especially when you are feeling well.

Whether we are talking about exercise or sleep, pacing and routine are important if you have fibromyalgia. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day helps with sleep. Exercising at the same time every day helps with exercise. Your body begins to respond to routine.

Exercise must be paced, too. That means starting at a low level, increasing gradually, and incorporating rest into your routine. You exercise, then rest, then exercise some more. Over time, you can shorten the rest periods and/or lengthen the exercise periods. Rhythm and pacing make a big difference in how much exercise you can tolerate.

It is recommended that you consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.  To find out more on why exercise can be so beneficial please visit  http://www.FibromyalgiaNaturalRemedies.com .

FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

An Overview Of Kickboxing Workouts

Author: MIKE SELVONkickboxing-aerobics

Are you looking for an immensely popular way to get yourself into great shape and have some fun along the way? If so, kickboxing is an activity that is very fun and that is sometimes overlooked.

As in boxing, it boasts many health benefits such as greater stamina, improved flexibility and enhancing core strength — all while working out to your favorite music.

The real roots of kickboxing actually go all the way back about 2,000 years to Asian cultures. But, the modern version of this competitive sport was introduced in the 1970s in the United States when karate authorities made arrangements for exhibition demonstrations that allowed for full-contact punches and kicks which were previously banned from karate competitions.

Due to safety concerns, protective clothing and padding was introduced and strict safety rules were instituted for the new sport and eventually various forms of competitive kickboxing evolved into the forms that are now practiced in the United States.

In the competitive area there are a few different styles of kickboxing that can be observed. The main differences in these styles are simply the variations in some of the techniques and also the amount of body contact that is allowed under different rules.

But, the form of this sport that is bringing fun and excellent results to the fitness world is called cardiovascular (cardio) or aerobic kickboxing.

This form of the sport brings in elements of traditional boxing and aerobics in a major way. This, teamed with martial arts, creates a workout that provides great toning and overall conditioning.

However, unlike the competitive version of this sport, the cardio one does not include physical contact between participants and is not at all competitive. It has simply been designed to be an aerobic activity that is done to gain the many physical benefits of the actions.

A common way to enjoy the cardio one is to participate in a class. Classes usually start out with a warm-up period of 10 to 15 minutes and often includes gentle stretching as well as incorporating some standard exercises, such as push-ups and jumping jacks.

The warm-up is then followed by a 30 to 40 minute workout session that integrates kicks, punches, knee-strikes and other beneficial moves.

Some classes even include the use of traditional boxing equipment such as jump ropes and punching bags. After the workout, the class wraps up with five to ten minutes of cool down activities which is often followed by 10 minutes of stretching and muscle toning.

The stretching is an important component of the overall workout and should not be skipped, even if you are tempted to do so, especially if you are a beginner.

A common problem for beginners is pulling or straining their muscles. However, by doing proper stretching that is slow and gentle, this can help prevent injury and help the muscles to relax. This will assure that beginners don’t give up before they start to enjoy the benefits.

Even though kickboxing is a very fun activity, it needs to be recognized that it is also quite a high-impact sport. If you are not used to such high-intensity workouts, then you should begin with a more moderate aerobic activity to prepare.

Water Aerobics Routines for All-Around Fitness

Author: Marjorie SaladawaterWater Aerobics

Water aerobics routines are something that can offer a complete physical workout. A complete workout consists of aerobic, resistance and stretching exercises and all these can be incorporated into a water aerobics routine. The best part about water aerobics is that water exercises will work for groups of people that cannot do other types of exercises, such as; individuals that are morbidly obese and persons that have problems with arthritis.

The water aerobics class I attend from time to time is at a new health club and the nice thing about it is you do not have to be a member of this club to take the class. This class has a huge range of people that attend this workout session. It has almost as many men as women and most of the people are 40 or over. The younger crowd tends to opt more for high-impact aerobics and kickboxing.

We usually warm-up by walking against the current in the lazy river and then changing directions abruptly, causing us to feel like we are walking against a brick wall. If you have ever tried walking against the current when it has momentum, you will find that you do not get very far very quickly. Usually the whole class ends up laughing hysterically, but it is a great warm-up.

Next the instructor introduces that aerobic portion of the workout. This is where you increase your heart rate to target workout rate. This usually includes water walking and other exercises that will elevate your heart rate, such as; jumping jacks and kicking exercises.

Then comes resistance exercises and this is where you work specific muscle groups to build muscle strength. My instructor likes to use swimmers noodles tied in a knot to create resistance as they are dragged through the water. We also use water belts that cause resistance and added weight for strength training.

The class ends with a cool down period that involves stretching the muscles and it feels great. These classes usually have music that makes you feel motivated to move. If you have a good instructor, this can be one of the most enjoyable hours of the week. This class offers a complete workout for anyone.

These are the types of exercise classes that are being offered at many health clubs. They offer complete workouts, making it easy for the busy person on the go to get everything they need out of one class.

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FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsbushrod@exercise-and-nutrition.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Choosing a Weight Lifting Program for Women

Author: Emile A. Jarreauwoman weightlifter

One of the most effective activities for getting your body into shape and losing weight is something that many women are scared to try. Weightlifting can be a daunting activity for a beginner especially in a crowded gym environment. Seeing the scores of overly muscled men as they throw about ridiculously heavy amounts of weight can scare many from the weight room and keep them happy and comfortable hovering over their exercise bikes or treadmills. This is not always the best place for someone who is trying to lose weight and get in shape however and building true muscle should be part of anyone’s exercise and fat loss regimen. Muscle helps to burn fat and muscle also helps shape the body… so choosing a weightlifting program for women can be extremely helpful for them in achieving their goals.

But how does one go about choosing such a program if they are a beginner? Well, as is the case with beginning any new activities the wisest advice is to simply take it slow. You don’t have to rush in and pick up the heaviest weight or advanced program you find out about to start making progress. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to impede your progress. Your goal is to get in shape, not hurt yourself. In addition, you don’t even have to lift free weights to build significant amounts of muscle.

In any gym environment there are usually a number of machines that you can use in your weightlifting program. One of the trainers on-site or members of the gym can surely help you get acclimated if this is your first time. Your goal as a beginner should be to incorporate as many muscles as possible into each movement you make. For instance, first-time weightlifters are probably wasting their time by doing sets of bicep curls. Instead, choose a compound movement like dips or pull ups using a machine that recruits many muscle groups at the same time. Performing these exercises will allow you to work your biceps, triceps, delts (shoulders), upper back, trapezius, and the muscles of your entire forearm. In the same amount of time it would take you to do a few sets of curls to just hit your biceps or push downs you’ve worked a good portion of your entire upper body.

The same is true for your lower body. Many women assume that a weightlifting program must include such singular exercises as leg extensions or leg curls. Instead, a few sets of high rep body weight squats will provide you with much bigger bang for the buck. Body weight squats are simply performed by standing straight up and squatting down until your thighs are about parallel with the ground making sure to keep your knees behind your toes. This one exercise can work your glutes (butt), leg biceps (hamstrings), quadriceps, calves and believe it or not, even your abdominals. Add a couple of sets of push ups to these exercises already mentioned and you have worked your entire body.

As you can see, developing a weightlifting program for women to help them build muscle and burn fat is not as difficult as once perceived. Taking it slow and simple can be your key to a healthy and effective weight-loss program.

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FINE PRINT

This policy is valid from 12 November 2009. I am C. Small, the administrator for this blog. For questions about this blog, please contact cvsmall.small@gmail.com. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, since I am an Affiliate of the advertisers in this blog, if you buy something I will get paid, not much but I’m retired and need whatever I can get. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or post made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. Even though I receive compensation for the advertisements, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog may not be my own, but I agree with them. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.

Top 10 Gym Mistakes

Author: Nitin Chhodaspotter

For someone who just started exercising, the right guidance is critical. If you are a newcomer, the first thing you want to do is exercise in a safe and effective fashion. Many individuals avoid the gym due to the fear of making a mistake in public. For the weight room rookie, there is nothing more demoralizing than the disheartening smirks of veteran trainees. Mistakes start to happen, and these prevent you from getting optimal results. In fact, it increases the chances of injury!

If you are considering joining a gym / are a gym rookie, then you must avoid the most common mistakes. Try these tips – before you know it, you could be teaching a thing or two to uncompromising ‘experts’ in your local gym or fitness center.

Presenting the most common mistakes made by rookie trainees.

1. Incorrect technique.(dumbbell or barbell).
Always speak to a gym instructor / experienced weight trainee to guide you and demonstrate the correct manner to perform exercises. If you have difficulty in lifting a particular weight, then don’t. Just practice with a light weight for the first 1-2 weeks.

2. Exercising on an empty stomach.
When exercising to shape muscles, it is a bad idea to enter the gym in a fasting state. The body needs energy to lift weights and this energy comes from food, specifically the food you eat prior to the training session. Some light carbohydrates (rice, bread, fruits) is a good idea prior to the training session.

3. Insufficient gear.
Always carry a bag containing a spare set of clothes, a towel, bathroom accessories and a water bottle for an effective workout.

4. Lifting weights too quickly.
When in the gym, the best way to lift weights is in a slow and controlled fashion. Avoid fast, jerky movements since they can cause injuries.

5. Holding your breath.
The breathing pattern for lifting is to exhale on the positive phase (pushing or pulling the weight) and inhale on the negative (lowering the weight). Holding your breath can raise your blood pressure and, if you hold it long enough, cause fainting.

6. Being too proud to ask for assistance.
Work with a friend / ask for assistance when using heavy weights. In gym parlance, this individual is called a ‘spotter’. Gym trainees are always more than willing, and it’s much better to ask quietly for a spot than to scream loudly for help once you’re in trouble.

7. Trying to ‘spot reduce’ certain muscles, such as the abdominals.
The best gadgets and hundreds of crunches won’t transform your legendary flab into equally fabulous abs. For best results, incorporate aerobics exercises and sensible nutrition into your daily plan.

8. Overdoing it.

Resist the temptation to lift as much as you can or overdo the treadmill the first few times in the gym. Gradually work your way up.

9. Not drinking enough water.
Drink at least 20 ounces of water for every hour of working out, and sip water continuously, before you’re thirsty. By the time you’re conscious of thirst; the body is already partially dehydrated. This can adversely affect stamina and concentration.

10. Relying on the ‘best looking’ people for advice.
Just because someone is fit does not mean that they have used the best methods, but it does mean that have been exercising the longest. Consult a professional personal trainer for best results.

Lower Body Exercises With No Equipment

Author: Joey Atlasleg_exercise5

The best lower body exercises are the ones that can be done anywhere with little or no equipment. Being single with no kids may allow for wasted time in the gym doing twelve sets per lower body part, but once in the real world of spouse, kids and job, those two hour gym visits are history. The good news is this should be a welcome change because the old-school bodybuilder, weights and machine type workout routines can do more damage in the long run as compared to a smart, properly structured lower body exercise routine.

Exercise machines and weights will always have their place in fitness – but they are not the only way to achieve a strong, well toned lower body. The right selection of lower body exercises can produce a sufficient training stimulus to bring about desired changes, continuous progress and visible results. As health clubs and fitness centers are filled with an endless amount of exercise machines and weight training gear, it is in their best interest to promote weight and machine type workout programs. Naturally, members develop a dependency on these types of workouts because they don’t learn any alternative exercise methods. Some fitness experts argue that workouts with machines and weights are the only path to true lower body improvements. The reality is, nothing can be further from the truth.

The problems with this mind-set range from the ‘more is better’ syndrome to the ‘I got out of my routine’ excuse. To develop a strong, fit and defined lower body your choice of exercises must be realistic for long term adherence and they must consist of exercises that can be done at home or while on the road if you are traveling. As a career personal trainer and fitness consultant I’ve had the opportunity to work with many people at various stages of life. The people who maintain long term fitness success are the ones who structure their lower body exercise routines so that they are ‘portable’ – meaning if they don’t have a gym available to them – it’s not going to prevent them from getting their lower body exercise session in. This ties into one of the essential elements of fitness success – consistency. Staying on a regular exercise schedule will yield the best long term results. Starting and stopping a routine that is unrealistic will yield harmful results – this is a fact.

Lower body workouts consisting of body weight leg exercises produce an incredible amount of natural strength while providing gender specific improvements in muscular development and appearance. While women seek more of a toning and firming effect, men seek more of a lean muscle building effect with muscle group definition. An old fitness myth exists that has people believing that a woman will develop muscles like a man if she follows the same type of lower body exercise program. The exercise program does not dictate this result. It’s the gender/genetic differences of the male and female DNA that dictate the specific results that men and women derive from well rounded, and properly structured lower body exercises. Not the type or intensity of the workout routine itself.

Yes, we sometimes see women who look like male bodybuilders or power-lifters – but these abnormal looks can almost always be traced back to some method of pharmaceutical enhancement. For example, taking anabolic steroids or growth hormone to develop as much muscle mass as possible is one way for a woman to lose the fit, sexy and feminine look. Nothing against them – but they do not represent the definition of fitness – especially for women.

No matter if you are male or female, the benefits of properly structured lower body exercises that do not rely on the confines of a gym or fitness center can give you all the results you could ever want, in a program that can easily be followed for life. After all, isn’t that what true fitness is about?

Don’t get rid of your health club membership – especially if you enjoy doing some of your lower body workouts there. But it would be wise for you to develop a body-weight leg exercise routine for you to follow at home or while you are ‘on the road’ – so you don’t develop over-training injuries or find yourself missing several weeks of exercise sessions because you were traveling or just ‘didn’t have time to get to the gym’.

Build Complete Upper Body Strength

Author: Sandra Priorpushup1

Classic Push Ups are the Perfect Exercise for anyone wanting a Rock Hard Upper body

Sometimes it’s just not worth re-inventing the wheel. True classics are often underestimated, in fashion and music, as well as in workouts. Starting with the push up, we’ll give you the perfect form for each exercise, training tips, as well as variations to spice up your workout.

No other exercise targets the chest, shoulder, arm and back muscles better within one single movement. Plus, you can do push ups anywhere. All you need is your own body weight and gravity, and nature provides that for you. By the way, the world record for the classic push up is 6006 repetitions. Think you can beat that?

To Gain Optimal Training Results, follow these Tips

Try to hold body tension. The head, torso and legs should always form a straight line.

The closer the arms are together, the harder the triceps have to work.

Lower the upper body until you almost touch the floor with your chest.

To increase the strain on the chest muscles, position the arms further apart than shoulder width.

When pushing up do not fully extend the arms (greater intensity).

Easy Push up

Position yourself with knees on the floor, legs bent at the knee and ankles crossed. The hands should be at chest height and positioned just wider than shoulder width. Now push yourself up with your arms from this position. Important: Hold the upper body and torso in a straight line, avoiding a hollow back.

Basic Push Up

Place hands below the shoulders. Now come down slowly until the chest almost touches the floor. Do not straighten the arms on the upward movement. Important: Keep your back and bottom straight and don’t let them sink down lower than the shoulders.

Bent Push Up

Place hands shoulder width apart, with the tips of the toes elevated on a step or hard box. Maintain full body tension. Lower the upper body until contact is almost made with the floor. An excellent exercise for the upper chest muscles.

Step Push Up

For this combination shoulder exercise, put yourself in the initial push up position. Next, put your left hand on the step or hard box. Now place your right hand on the step. Hold this position for 3 seconds, and do a push up. Now go back to the initial position and repeat, this time beginning with the right hand.

Advanced Push Up

Place one hand on a basket ball. This will improve co-ordination as well as train the arm, upper body and torso muscles. Now slowly, and in a controlled fashion, do a push up. Change sides.

Physio Ball Push Up

Place hands on top, slightly at the side of the ball. Maintain body tension. Hold the position, then slowly push upwards maintaining control.

Explosive Push Up

Start this exercise with both arms on the steps or hard box. Push yourself up powerfully. Move your arms inwards, so that you can land in the lowest push up position. Repeat the explosive push up so that you once again land on the steps or box with both hands.

One Armed Push Up

Place your feet wide apart for better balance. Shift your weight onto one arm. The free hand should be placed on your hip. Start with a small radius and slowly improve range. It becomes easier if you start with the initial easy push up position and then lift one arm away.

Power Variations

Once you are able to control the classic varieties, change the position of your hands to increase the level of difficulty. Try to master the same number of reps on your finger tips.