Tag Archives: exercises

Is Your Workout Program Working Out?

Author:  C. Small

Effective cardiovascular and strength training are crucial factors in many fitness related goals including athletic goals, weigh/fat loss and overall good health.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, overall fitness requires you to combine cardio and strengthening exercises with a well-balanced diet.  (To see why, click here.)

But even a well thought out fitness plan requires periodic adjustments.

How many times have you heard people say (or maybe you’ve even said it yourself) that they were reaching their fitness goals but all of a sudden it was as though they had hit a wall.  They couldn’t lose any more weight.  The inches were no longer melting away.  They couldn’t understand why.  They started to get frustrated.

So what did they do?

Some may have fallen off the healthy food diet because some people overeat or eat junk food out of frustration.

Some may have designed a new fitness plan…not bad.

Some may go out and buy new DVD workout programs…good but a bit expensive to buy new DVDs every time you hit a plateau.

Worst of all, some may have quit their diet and exercise plan altogether.

As you can see this problem can be approached in many different ways.

However, most of the time all that’s required is a simple adjustment or “tweak” to your current plan.

Our bodies tend to adapt to the same routine day in and day out.  That’s why it’s important to have a large variety of healthy foods on our diet plan…so we won’t good bored and our bodies don’t adjust to a set caloric intake.

As with your diet plan, you also need to periodically adjust your workout routine.  If you already have a good workout plan, considering making the following changes.

  • Duration: Length of time spent for each individual cardio/strengthening session – increase the number of repetitions or sets in each session.
  • Intensity: Level of difficulty achieved during each cardio/strengthening session – take it to the next level.  For example if it’s easy lifting 10-pound weights, switch to 15-pound weights.
  • Variance: Varying the type of cardio/strength exercises performed each session – include a variety of exercises performed on different days.

If you don’t already have a good workout program and you’re ready AND capable of doing a high-impact program, you may want to consider purchasing either p90x or Shaun T’s Insanity program.  Both programs are designed to enable you to blast right through that wall, in other words avoid that plateau and reach your desired targets. 

Remember, you hold the key to your weight/fat loss – healthier you success.  Don’t get frustrated.  Keep your eyes on your target and keep moving forward.

Until next time,

Carolyn

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. ~Plato

 

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 <a href=”mailto:cvsbushrod@exercise-and-nutrition.com”>cvsbushrod@exercise-and-nutrition.com</a>. 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.

Lower-Back Pain? Exercise Can Help!

Author:  C. Smalllower_back_pain

At some point in our lives, 60-80% of all individuals experience lower-back pain (LBP).  The condition is disabling to 1-5% of the population.  Most cases of LBP occur between the ages of 25 and 60 years, but 12-16 % of children and adolescents are LBP suffers.  Males and females are affected equally.

Back in the late nineties, I started having problems with my lower back, and over time the problems increased significantly.  Through my research (I don’t know about you, but I research everything the doctors tell me), I learned from the National Institutes for Health that lower-back pain (LBP) can be acute or short-term low and that it generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks.  Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis.  Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues.  Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.  Chronic back pain, which is what I have, is pain that persists for more than 3 months.  It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine.  Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis.  Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or in the garden, or a sudden jolt such as a car accident or other stress on spinal bones and tissues.  Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight.

According to Sharon A. Plowman and Denise L Smith in Exercise Physiology, for Health Fitness, and Performance, there has been and still is great interest in the link between muscular fitness and the absence or occurrence of LBP.  The interest is high enough that some tests of health-related physical fitness have included sit-and-reach, sit-ups, or curl-ups, and trunk extension tests as a means of testing lower-back function.

ball5 for lower backOne of the things that I learned while going through physical therapy is that in order to have a healthy, well-functioning back, one must have flexible lower-back muscles, hamstrings, and hip flexors, and strong, fatigue-resistance abdominal and back extensor muscles.  The goal is to keep the vertebrae aligned properly without excessive disk pressure, allowing a full range of motion is all directions.  In addition the pelvis must freely rotate both towards the front and back of the body.

Per the therapists I’ve had over the years, individuals suffering from LBP show signs of lower levels of strength in both abdominal and back extensors.  EMG (electromyogram) activity is also increased in the back muscles of individuals with LBP.  These differences, however, are believed to be the result of LBP rather than the cause.  Also, studies measuring strength and muscular endurance have identified back extension endurance as the critical variable.  So, how did all of this new found knowledge help me?  Well, it helped me to understand why my physical therapists developed my exercise plan on a total body workout for strength and muscular endurance, with a focus on exercises for the back and abdominals.  Did the plan help?  Initially, yes it did.  I believe the strengthened back and abdominals muscles, along with other treatment measures have kept my pain level at a minimum.

So don’t wait.  Start protecting your back now. Order Life Without Back Pain in 24 Hours today. If you’re already experiencing back pain consider trying Yoga Therapy for Back Pain.

About the author: C. Small is the Owner/Manager of CVS Unlimited, LLC and a health and fitness enthusiast with more than 31 years of military training. The Company’s desire is to educate you on the dangers of obesity and help you achieve a healthy lifestyle by combining good nutrition with the right exercises, and using the right equipment for lasting results.

CVS Unlimited, LLC is a paid affiliate of Botanic Choice.

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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.

Aerobics, Anaerobics, or Vacuuming; It’s all Good

Author: C. Smallphysical_activity_diabetes_prev01

Are you a couch potato?  Do you prefer sitting on the sidelines watching others have fun?  Well, it’s time to get up and get active.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Surgeon General have all issued statements that recommend placing an emphasis on adopting physical activity into one’s lifestyle.  Their purpose is to make us aware of the health benefits associated with increased physical activity, as well as to highlight the amount and intensity of activity necessary to achieve optimal results.

Now before you look at increasing your physical activities, you should consult your physician to ensure a safe and healthy experience.  Next, you must  understand the term. Physical activity cannot be defined in just one or two words; it is a broad term that encompasses all forms of muscle movements.  These movements can range from sports to lifestyle activities (such as house cleaning, gardening, etc).  Also, exercise can be defined as physical activity that is a planned, structured movement of the body designed to enhance physical fitness. Regimented or purposeful exercise consists of a program that includes twenty to sixty minutes of activity at least three to five days a week.

resistance bandsLet’s take a look at the word exercise.  Are there different categories of exercises?  Actually there are.  Exercise may be classified in one of two categories or energy systems, anaerobic and aerobic, depending on where the energy is derived from.  There is a distinct difference between the two, and specific training techniques are used to enhance both.  Anaerobic exercise does not require oxygen for energy.  This is due to the intensity and duration of anaerobic events, which typically are high intensity and last only a few seconds to a minute or two.  Also, in anaerobic exercises the body creates the energy without oxygen.  This basically is due to the fact that the body’s demand for energy is greater so that it will find natural body chemicals such as creatine phosphate to create it.  These activities include weight lifting, machines that offer resistance, dumbbells, and short sprints.

Aerobic exercise on the other hand, does require oxygen for energy.  When performing a set of aerobic exercises you swimming (female)are causing the body to utilize oxygen in order to create energy.  The oxygen is needed to breakdown glucose.  Glucose is the fuel needed to create energy.  This energy system is primarily used during events lasting longer than several minutes, such as cycling/biking, running, swimming, cross-country skiing, playing basketball, jumping rope, roller skating, walking briskly and dancing.  In addition to these fun activities, you can get a great aerobic workout through stationary exercise machines such as cycles, treadmills, stair-steppers and rowing machines.  These can be found at a local gym or health club, where you can not only increase your fitness-level but social contacts as well.  Most of these machines can also be used in the privacy of your home.

(Note:  The potential does exist however, where one can use both the aerobic and anaerobic systems, as in soccer, where a match requires ninety minutes of continual activity with short intense bursts of effort.)

Participation in physical activity can be beneficial for anyone and can be started during any stage of life.  One goal of Healthy People 2010 is to increase the number of people who participate in daily physical activity.*  So whether you decide to do a regimented exercise program, house or yard work, walk a pet, or walk around town to complete errands, get up off the couch and get active!

(*Healthy People 2010 is a categorized listing of national health objectives established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

About the author:  C. Small is the Founder/President/CEO of CVS Unlimited, LLC and a health and fitness enthusiast with more than 31 years of military training.  The Company’s desire is to help people achieve healthy lifestyles by combining good nutrition with the right exercises, and using the right equipment for lasting results.

P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program – 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner
Insanity: The Ultimate Cardio Workout and Fitness DVD Program

Low-impact Exercises are Fun and Healthy

Author: Raymond Leepilates

Not everyone is made for high-level exercising. But you can become fit without bouncing around in a leotard, battering your joints. Forget all the huffing, puffing, lugging, lifting, and straining. Movement therapy is a gentle – yet effective – group of sports that include yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. Just don’t be fooled by their mild manner. These activities can whip you into shape without breaking a sweat.

All three have ancient Eastern roots and are merely different interpretations of the same principle: keeping your body and mind in harmony naturally leads to better health.

It wasn’t until recently that modern science confirmed the many physical benefits of yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. With them, you can improve your balance, flexibility, and strength – no matter what your age, weight, or fitness level.

No Pain – but great gain

Yoga, tai chi, and Pilates are gentle enough for anyone to try. If you consider yourself in bad health or disabled in some way, you’re a perfect candidate for these movement therapies. You can ease into the programs slowly and set your own pace. It’s easy to stick with them and you’ll see improvement quickly.

Here are just some of the benefits you will get from these soothing approaches to fitness.

• When you were a child, tripping and falling meant just another minor scrape. But as you get older, taking a tumble can have serious and crippling effects. If your sense of balance is as bad as Humpty Dumpty’s,these are the safest forms of exercise for you.

Just like the trick to growing tomatoes is to keep the main stalk strong, the trick to great balance is to keep your core muscles strong. The bands of muscle in your abdomen, lower back, and buttocks are the center of strength and control for the rest of your body.

All three examples of movement therapy are relatively stationary,but because they strengthen your core muscles, your balance will improve quickly – preventing falls – and you’ll develop greater flexibility and strength. Soon you will be moving with confidence again.

• Tai chi and yoga are especially recommended for people with arthritis.Gentle yoga can improve arthritis in your hands, for example, and tai chi’s precise, flowing movements help keep your joints limber, relieve your pain, and keep you active.

• The dance-like stretches, poses, and maneuvers within each of these movement therapies will gently strengthen and tone your body. Pilates is especially good as a strength-training workout.

• Add yoga or Pilates to your exercise regimen if you need to improve your heart health.

• In today’s hectic world, it may be hard to squeeze an extra 30 minutes of exercise into your schedule – at least without feeling even more stress. The beautiful thing about movement therapy is that it combines stress relief with exercise, so you kill two birds with one stone.

All the activities – tai chi, yoga, and Pilates – are done slowly, with intense focus on proper breathing and posture. They all relax your body and calm your mind.

As you can see, you can boost your overall health with these joyful, health-giving movements.

Things to know before you give it a go

Just to be safe, make sure that you take these precautions before starting any new exercise program.

• Get your doctor’s approval on your fitness plan, especially if you’ve badly injured your back, neck, knees,or shoulders in the past.

• The stretches, poses, and movements of these therapies should not hurt. If you feel pain, stop and check your technique before continuing.

• Pilates is the most intense of the three exercise forms. You may want to try one of the less strenuous programs first if you are out of shape.

• Be forewarned, you might get addicted to these calming sports.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/fitness-articles/lowimpact-exercises-are-fun-and-healthy-206348.html

Insanity: The Ultimate Cardio Workout and Fitness DVD Program
P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program – 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner

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.

Flexibility and Stretching

Author: Clinton Walkerflexibility stretches

Flexibility is the ability of the muscles and tendons to relax and stretch easily. It determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Stretching improves your posture and helps to prevent low back pain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and low back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back. Today, 80% of adults will suffered from lower back pains. Warm-up stretching exercises loosen tendons, increase blood circulation, and help prevent injuries during your workouts or any activity. Cool-down stretching helps relieve muscle soreness and tightness.

THREE TYPES OF FLEXIBILITY

1. Dynamic flexibility — this is your ability to perform dynamic movements within the full range of motion in the joint. An example is twisting side to side, swinging your arms around in circles, or kicking an imaginary football. You may perform dynamic stretches in sets of 8-12 repetitions. Perform as many sets as is required to gain your full range of motion. You should stop when you muscles become tired. Your muscles produce diminished returns during dynamic stretching exercises.

2. Static Active flexibility — this refers to your ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the tension in the agonist muscle. An example is holding one leg out in front of you as high as possible. The hamstring (antagonist) is being stretched while the quadriceps and hip flexors (agonists) are holding your leg up. You can also stand on one leg; hold your other leg out in front of you as high as possible. Each static active stretch should be held for 10-15 seconds and 1-2 stretches per muscle group is sufficient.

3. Static Passive flexibility — this is your ability to hold a stretch using your body weight or some other external force. Imagine holding your leg out in front of you and resting it on a chair. Whereas static active stretching requires the tension of opposing muscles to hold the stretch, static passive stretching uses some other object for support. Static passive stretching helps relax your muscle groups. It should be part of your cool down. Static passive stretches should be held for about 10 seconds and 2-3 stretches per muscle group is enough.

TEN BASIC STRETCHING EXERCISES

For stretching exercises to be effective, raise your body temperature first. A pre-exercise warm up should consist of 5-10 minutes of light aerobic exercise followed by stretching exercises for all major muscle groups.

1. Shoulder Stretch

Interlock your fingers and reach above your head. Your lower back should be flat or slightly arched inwards. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

2. Triceps Stretch

Place your left hand behind your head and reach as far down your back as possible. With your right hand, grasp your left elbow and gently pull it behind the back of your head. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

Switch arms and repeat.

3. Chest stretch

Clasp your hands behind your back. Gently straighten your elbows and raise your arms as high as comfortably possible. This exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position.

4. Lower back Stretch

While lying flat on your back, place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently roll it to the left. Try to position your knee as close to the floor as possible without your right shoulder leaving the floor.

5. Groin Stretch

Stand with your feet about 2 meters apart with your toes pointing forward. Gradually shift all your weight to your right leg by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. Place both your hands on your right knee for support. To achieve a greater stretch, increase the starting distance between your feet.

6. Groin Stretch 2

Sit down and place the soles of your feet together. Clasp your ankles with your hands so that your elbows rest on your knees. Gently push your knees down with your elbows until your feel a stretch.

7. Quadriceps Stretch

While standing upright, hold onto a support with one hand (i.e. a chair) for balance. With your other hand clasp take your ankle and pull your heel into your butt. Repeat the same steps for the other leg.

8. Hamstring Stretch

Sitting down; stretch your legs out in front of you while keeping your back flat and upright. Bend your left leg, keeping your left foot flat on the floor. Slowly reach forward and try to touch your right toe with both hands. Bend from your waist keeping your lower back flat and your head up. Repeat these steps for the other leg.

9. Calf Stretch

Stand arms length away from a wall and with feet shoulder width apart. Place your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left. While keeping both heels flat on the ground, lean towards the wall by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. You may push gently against the wall for a deeper stretch. Repeat these steps for the left leg.

10. Achilles Stretch

This exercise is exactly the same procedure as above except as you lean towards the wall let both knees bend. Rather than leaning forward you should feel like you are lowering yourself straight down. Remember to keep both heels flat on the floor. Repeat these steps for the other leg.

Classical Pilates Technique with consideration of the NECK & BACK


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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.

A Quick 2 Step Guide To Losing Belly Fat And Getting Six Pack Abs

Author: Avy Barnesyoga1

Listen, I understand that getting six pack abs isn’t a simple task….well, at least for majority of us. However, if you follow a simple plan and stay 100% consistent, results will come. Take a couple of minutes out of your busy day and read this article here to learn how to lose belly fat fast…

Step #1 : Proper Nutrition -  This, my friend, is the granddaddy of them all! Nutrition is the backbone of any diet. If done improperly, results will be minimal to none. You have to eat the proper foods, and eat the right amount of meals daily in order to lose stubborn belly fat. You could have the perfect set of abdominal muscles waiting to be revealed, but if they are covered with a layer of belly fat, they’re going to stay hidden! Eat 5-6 small healthy meals daily containing protein, complex carbs (whole grains), healthy fats (monounsaturated), fiber, and foods rich in vitamins and minerals.

Step #2 : Fitness – A good fitness plan would consist of cardio, weight training, and core exercises (ab exercises). Make sure you place your primary emphasis on weight training since having lean muscle will burn off more calories…even while you rest. I recommend for you to workout 3-4 times a week. Another tip is to make sure you get complex carbs (banana) before your workout, and plenty of protein (protein shake) after your workout. This will assure your muscle tissue grows and grow properly.

Yes, you’re going to have to stay 100% consistent, but imagine the feeling you’ll get when you look in the mirror and so those ripped abs!

Preventing Hamstring Injuries

Author: Gerry Van Dykehamstring stretches

Chances are if you play sports or are a sports fan; you’ve seen it happen. An athlete sprints to first base, or down the sideline, and pulls up short limping in pain and grabbing at the back of their thigh. Hamstring injuries are a very common sports injury seen in professional athletes as well as the weekend warrior. Unfortunately, if this injury is not properly cared for, it can turn into a chronic problem.

The best way to treat an injury is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Two significant contributing factors to a hamstring injury are:

1. Hamstring to quad (quadricep) strength ratio

2. Flexibility

Athletes and coaches tend to emphasize quad strengthening (which is very important to protect the knee and optimize performance), but may overlook the hamstrings. The hamstrings should fall between 60-70% of the quad strength. To insure sufficient hamstring strength, it is recommended that athletes perform a series of exercises that isolate the hamstrings and are specific to their sport. For example, a football player might incorporate lunges into their workout routine.

Another contributing factor to hamstring injury is a lack of flexibility. This can easily be prevented with a good stretching program. Remember that a muscle stretches best (and most safely) when it is warmed up. Try a low intensity exercise for 10-15 minutes just before stretching to get the most effective results. Also, try “slowing down” your stretches. Spend three minutes stretching your hamstring, ON EACH LEG. Stretches should also be slow and gentle, never forcing and never bouncing. Stretches should also be comfortable and never painful. Don’t forget to also stretch again after the game, as part of your cool down. One great way to stretch the hamstrings is called the “Doorway Stretch”. Lie down on the floor in a doorway and put one leg up on the doorjamb. Your heel should be resting on the wall and your knee should be straight. If you can’t get your knee all the way straight or it is too much of a pull (uncomfortable), scoot your buttocks farther away from the wall until the stretch is comfortable. If you don’t feel enough of a stretch, try scooting closer to the wall, or putting a belt up over your toes an gently pull your toes towards your nose. Hold for 3 minutes, then scoot over to the other side of the doorway and stretch the other leg.

If you have had a hamstring injury in the past or are trying to get over one, it is important to realize that the main problem with recovering from this injury is, returning too soon to play. The potential for reinjury is high if the muscle is not yet healed. The second injury to the hamstring is often more severe than the initial injury.

You may want to consider seeing a physical therapist if you have, or have had, a hamstring injury and are uncertain how to treat it, when to return to your sport or how to prevent it from happening again. If you have never had an injury and would like to keep it that way, you might choose to work with a certified personal trainer who can teach you specific exercises for strengthening and flexibility.

The Ultimate Secrets to a Flat Stomach and Six Pack Abs

Author: THOMPSON STEPHENStartanAbWorkout-main_Full

With this article, I want to show you why you might be struggling to lose that stubborn stomach fat that is covering up your abs. These are the main reasons most people just can not seem to get those six pack abs that everyone desires. If you haven’t already seen me around online somewhere, I’m the creator of one of the most popular abdominals and fat loss programs on the internet.

So in this article I want to highlight for you the main points and strategies that I use to make this program one of the most effective programs in existance for fully developing your abdominals as well as getting rid of that stubborn stomach fat that is covering them up.

Pay attention, because once you get this stuff right and start using these techniques regularly, you’ll be showing off your ripped abs in no time flat, whether it’s at the beach, at the pool, in the bedroom, wherever… Just think how great it’s going to feel when people are complimenting you on your washboard stomach!

Alright, here’s what make’s The Truth about Six Pack Abs different:

1. The main focus of this program is NOT abs exercises… And, better yet, this program consistently get’s better results by NOT focusing on abs exercises!

I know that sounds counterintuitive, but the fact of the matter is that abs exercises are ok, and you do need to do a certain amount of them to develop the abdominals as best as possible. But to be honest, most people that are trying to get better looking abdominals waste WAY too much time training the abs directly. What you really need to focus on is burning off the extra fat that is covering them up.

Let’s get this straight right now… Abs exercises do NOT burn fat away from your abs! This can only be accomplished through a much more effective full body training routine that maximizes both your metabolic response and your hormonal response to your workouts. This is the main focus of my Truth about Six Pack Abs Program.

Now don’t get me wrong. It wouldn’t be an abs program if I didn’t show you the most effective exercises for developing your abdominals. I also give you detailed instructions and photos on how to do them right. But like I said, the main focus of this program is the secret method that I use to compile the full body training routines and maximize your fat burning effect.

This is the main reason that this program will be much more effective for you than any other abs programs you’ve ever tried before. You’ve got my word on that.

2. This program uses none of your typical boring monotonous cardio routines.

In fact, you don’t have to do any typical cardio if you don’t want to! I actually recommend against it.

Seriously, almost every program out there tells you that you must do endless cardio exercise regularly to lose the body fat that is covering your abs. Most of them tell you to do 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise 3-4 days/week in addition to your strength training routines.

The truth is that this is not only unnecessary, but it can actually be counterproductive if you’re really trying to get as lean as possible, as quick as possible. I go into this in much more detail in the book, but basically this all comes back to the aspects of your metabolic rate, how much lean muscle you have, the hormonal response in your body from the exercise, and the residual calorie burn in the hours and days following your workouts. And normal boring cardio routines are all wrong when it comes to maximizing these effects!

Now you’re probably thinking that since I’m against typical boring cardio routines, then that must simply mean I’m a proponent of interval training. Yes, as a matter of fact, I believe interval training is MUCH better than typical cardio.

However, I also use a special exercise combination and sequencing in my Truth about Six Pack Abs Program that gets even more powerful fat loss and muscle defining results than interval training. And that’s saying something, because interval training kicks butt! You’ll find out how this system works inside the program.

Want proof that you don’t need typical long-duration steady-pace cardio?

Well, first of all, I actually took a course recently that was devoted to scientific research into why steady-pace cardio exercise is actually not that effective at strengthening the heart. The focus of the research basically boiled down to the fact that the heart needs to be trained in a wide variety of ranges to actually be truly strengthened and ready for all the various stresses that life throws at it. Not only that, but steady-pace cardio was also proven in the research studies to be far less effective in the long term at reducing body fat stores.

To give you a real life example… Personally, I haven’t done what most people would label “cardio” in probably well over 5 years, and I’m actually leaner now and have a lower bodyfat % now than years ago when I did cardio regularly. Not only that, but my heart is in the best condition ever, as I now consistently have the resting heart rate of an elite athlete at about 50 bpm (remember that lower is better). My resting heart rate used to be in the mid to upper 60’s years ago when I used to do typical cardio and strength training routines like most people do.

This improvement in both body fat % and reduced resting heart rate is the direct result of the unique training methods I used in developing the programs in The Truth about Six Pack Abs.

3. This program does NOT revolve around having to use supplements or “fat-loss” pills.

Trust me when I say that for the most part, about 95% of supplements are a complete waste of your hard earned money. I’ve been approached by supplement companies in the past looking for me to promote their products for them, and offering me a lot of money to do so. Well, you know what I do? I tell them to shove it! Seriously, I won’t promote something to my readers that I don’t honestly believe in.

The fact is, I’ve learned over the years through my own experience, as well as hundreds of my clients and friends experiences with supplements, that they are really just selling you the dream that their pill or powder will be some “magical” solution to your struggle with getting that lean ripped body that you’ve been wanting for years. In reality, most supplements do nothing at all to help you improve your body.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not totally bashing supplement companies, but like I said, about 95% of the products they promote are worthless, and won’t create any noticeable changes in your body. I will admit that there can be a place for meal replacements for people that can’t find the time to prepare or pack all of their real food meals. I also admit that I do think a high quality, fast digesting protein like whey protein can be useful to mix into your post-workout smoothies.

But the fact is that real food is always better for you than processed supplements (as long as you pick the right “real foods”). Anybody that tells you otherwise has either been brainwashed by all of the propaganda and super-hyped up ads that the supplement companies have spread throughout every magazine on the planet, or they have financial ties to selling supplements in some way themselves.

I have dedicated myself to not being lured into the lucrative world of selling supplements. Even though I could make a lot more money selling supplements than by selling my abs program, it’s just plain against my morals to rip people off like that.

Frankly, it amazes me that most people are more willing to spend $30, $40, even $50 or more on a bottle of pills or powder than to spend $30 on a comprehensive training and nutrition guide like this Truth about Six Pack Abs program, which will set them up for life on training programs and dietary secrets that will keep them lean and ripped for life. The only thing that bottle of pills or powder is going to do is give you expensive urine! You make the choice.

4. This program does not revolve around using any fancy “ab machines” or “ab gadgets”.

In case you were suckered into buying any of these worthless ab belts, loungers, rockers, or any other worthless ab gadget or machine, I have bad news… You were ripped off!

The truth is that most of these machines and gadgets are not the best way to develop the abdominal muscles. Sure, some of them may help a tiny bit with strengthening the abdominals, but they are far less effective than some of the best floor, hanging, and standing abs exercises.

Also, more importantly, virtually all of these abs machines, belts, and gadgets do absolutely nothing to burn fat off of the abdominal area!

Again, losing the fat that’s covering up your abs can only be accomplished with a smart nutritional program, and a well designed progressional training program that increases your metabolism and stimulates your fat-burning hormones in your body. Achieving this is simple once you understand the secrets I reveal in the Truth about Six Pack Abs program.

5. This program does not include some sort of fad diet or gimmicky diet trend.

None of that here. I promise you won’t be given any more crap about needing to eat “low-carb” or “low-fat”, or low or high anything, for that matter. The nutritional secrets I reveal in this program go against all of the authors and companies out there that are trying to lure you in with another one of their gimmicks.

The fact is that they need to come up with some sort of different “angle”, so that their diet program appears unique and gives the media something to talk about. That’s why there’s always some gimmick, like low-fat, or low-carb, or high protein, or the “colors diet”, the “low glycemic index diet”, the fasting diet, the cabbage diet, and so on.

Instead, I wanted to give you the truth about what it really takes to eat a nutritious diet that not only will have you burning off that stubborn belly fat, but will also have you feeling full of energy every single day. If you don’t already feel energetic and alive every single day, then you are missing out, because it is an awesome feeling!

The great thing is that once you start eating balanced and healthy all the time, you virtually eliminate cravings altogether. Personally, I used to crave sweets constantly before I adopted the nutritious diet that I currently eat. Now, I can honestly say I can’t remember the last craving I had. It had to be more than 5 years ago… no joke!

Not only that, but I actually enjoy everything I eat way more than I used to years ago when I ate a lot of junk. Does that mean that I never eat burgers, or pizza, or beer? Of course not… We all have a social life. In fact, there are actually very healthy ways and variations to preparing healthier burgers and healthier pizza that I occasionally use.

I hope this article has given you some insight as to where you may be going wrong with your exercise and nutrition plans in striving for those elusive abs. See below for more info on losing stubborn stomach fat and developing ripped six pack abs.  Check out the  Truth about Six Pack Abs Program  for more tips on six pack abs program.