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Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Supported Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand on a bench in front of you, and assume a staggered stance, left foot forward. Hold your elbow in as you row the wight to the side of your torso. Do 10 reps, switch arms and leg positions, and repeat the movement.

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Tuck your upper arms next to your sides, bend your elbows, and hold your forearms about parallel to the floor, palms facing up. Simultaneously extend your arms straight back and rotate the weight so your palms end up facing each other. Return to the starting position. Do 15 reps.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Press

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length by your sides, palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights to your shoulders, and then press them overhead until your arms are straight. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Improve Flexibility

Some people are just naturally flexible. If you are not one of those people there are ways to improve your flexibility.

How to Improve Flexibility

What Improved Flexibility Can Do For You

Flexibility can help protect you from injury.  When you are flexible you decrease the chances of injury to your muscles and you are able to increase your range of motion.


Exercise Caution as you Improve Flexibility

Before you do any type of physical workout it is important to warm up your muscles.  You can do this with 10 minutes of cardio workout.  Do not stretch cold muscles as you may cause injury.

Never perform a stretch past the point where you feel pain.  This can cause serious injury.  Improving flexibility takes time and pushing yourself past the point of pain will not make it go faster, it can actually slow you down. Know your limits and your boundaries and do not push yourself past them.

Steps to Improve Flexibility

A great way to improve flexibility is to join a yoga class or take up yoga on your own. Yoga provides full body routines that can help with flexibility over time. If you do not have time to take a class, learn some poses and do them at home.  There are other stretching routines to help with flexibility as well.

After you have warmed up your muscles you can begin to improve flexibility with a stretching routine.  Do a full body stretching routine for maximum results.  Work systematically from the top of your body and move down. Areas of the body you should work to improve flexibility include the neck, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest and back in the upper body.  After you have stretched these muscles move to the lower body.  Stretch the core, gluteus, hips, hamstrings, quad, calf, ankles and feet to improve flexibility. You should hold each stretch for a minimum of one minute when you are just beginning.  As your flexibility improves you can increase the amount of time you hold each stretch. When performing a stretch do not bounce the muscle, hold it steady.

As you improve your flexibility you are able to deepen your stretches.  Push a little farther until you feel the burn of the stretch, only where it is comfortable and hold the stretch there. Breathing is important as it carries oxygen to your muscles.  Many people tend to hold their breath while holding a stretch.  Be aware of your breathing as you stretch and breathe evenly and deep.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Water vs. Sport Drinks

Since the inception of sport drinks, there has been a debate as to whether water or sport drinks are better for hydration purposes and health purposes in general. The truth of the matter is that water is better in some instances, while sport drinks are more beneficial in others.

Water vs. Sport Drinks

When Water is Better

Water seems to be the best thing for you when you are just trying to stay hydrated, and not exercising, or when you are doing moderate exercise. The reason for this is that water has no calories, and in moderate exercise, if you consume higher calorie sport drinks, you may be defeating the purpose of the exercise overall. Water is recommended by experts when the exercise that you are doing will last for less than one hour.

When Sport Drinks are Better

If you will be exercising for more than one hour, or sixty minutes, good sport drinks are recommended. With that said, however, it is a proven fact that if you are just looking for hydration, water is always the best choice. However, you need four to six ounces of water for every twenty minutes of exercise, which is why a sport drink is the better choice for longer durations of exercise.

The reason that sport drinks are better than water during longer periods of exercise is due to the taste, we are more likely to drink greater amounts of it. The fact that it does nothing to quench your thirst will also contribute to drinking greater amounts, which in turn results in better hydration than water, simply because we are putting so much into our bodies at one time.

Hydration Needs

Even if you are doing more intense exercise, ideally water will be alternated with a sport drink so that you get all of the pure benefits of water as well as the benefits of the sport drink. This is the only way that you will truly quench your thirst, but in the end, it’s all about hydration and your personal tastes. If you like the taste of a sport drink better than water, you will drink more of the sport drink, which will be the best hydration choice for you, personally.

You must also consider the electrolytes that are found in sport drinks, as water doesn’t have nearly the same amount. If you are losing a great number of electrolytes during your exercise, the sport drink is the better choice.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

5 Benefits of Isometric Exercise

The practice of Isometric Exercise is over thousand years old. The word is derived from two Greek phrases “Iso” (meaning same) and metric (meaning distance). Thus, the length of the muscle does not change in Isometric Exercise, nor does the contraction strength does not change, but the joint angles do.

Isometric exercise involves muscular contraction against resistance without movement. Isometric exercise is essentially a type of exercise that should be done in static positions, i.e. the contractions of muscles should be done without any movement in the angle of joint instead of being dynamic through a range of motions. It is an exercise which is radically different from weight training.

Although isometric exercises have a plethora of advantages, certain precautions are to be noted. Especially, people having high blood pressure, must avoid in this type of exercise because it may increase blood pressure. There are many things you can gain from isometric exercises. Some of the gains are discussed below:

1. Increases Strength

Isometric exercise helps in increasing strength. It comes with a strength or power. It provides the ability to target a specific muscle or a specific muscle group in each workout. In these exercises, a lot of pressure is exerted on the muscle being worked out. Thus, a lot of protein deposits in the respective muscle and the muscle become very strong.


2. Improves Physique

One of the chief purpose, people engage in isometric exercises is to improve their physique. Such exercises give unique eloquent looking shape to muscles. By working on right muscles or muscle groups, you can give a distinct shape to your body. Commercial models, cine actors, sports personalities and others give special importance to isometric exercises for improving their looks. Thus, isometric exercises can be utilized as a good method for body or muscle building.

3. Improves Fitness

Isometric exercise helps keep the body fit and fine by burning extra calories and excreting the unwanted substances and toxins deposited in the body. Engaging in isometric exercises regularly will make you healthy.

4. Increases Efficiency

As these exercises put a lot of stress on muscles over a short time, Isometric Exercises increases the stamina and efficiency of the body. Increased efficiency helps improve the quality of life as it reduces both pressure and shortens time of any activity done.

5. Improves Health

Good health is essential for smooth functioning of day to day activities. A balance of physical and mental activities is a key to good health. In today’s world, where most jobs do not require much physical activity, people can easily become obese and develop obesity related complications due to lack of physical activities. Thus, engaging in isometric exercises briefly every day helps the body to maintain balance.  Particularly, people who do not engage in physical activity are prone to cardiovascular ailments.

Isometric exercises can reduce such risks, preventing problems like cardiac arrest.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How to Prevent Leg Cramps

Leg cramps can occur in many different situations. Some people wake up with severe leg cramps; others get them while trying to go to sleep. Athletes sometimes experience leg cramps while working out or simply walking.

prevent leg cramps

What is a Leg Cramp?

A leg cramp is basically an involuntary contraction of a muscle. It can be an agonizing pain.  When a muscle contracts or spasms and a knot forms in the hamstring, quadriceps, foot or calf this is a leg cramp also known as a Charlie horse. This can last for only a few seconds or up to an agonizing 15 to 20 minutes.

What Causes Leg Cramps?

The most common cause of leg cramps is dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. You are missing important elements that allow your body to function properly. Basic elements that can cause leg cramps when they are deficient in the body are potassium, magnesium, sodium and chloride.  These are the elements we lose through sweat.

How to Prevent Leg Cramps

To prevent leg cramps you should stretch routinely to help relax the fibers in your muscles.  Always warm up your muscles prior to beginning a workout or jogging. Even if you simply plan a walk around the block, do a few stretches and warm your muscles first, cold muscles cramp easily.

To prevent leg cramps you need to stay hydrated. This means drinking plenty of fluids before, during and even after exercise.  There are sports drinks on the market that can replenish electrolytes that may be lost during workouts, but do not overuse these as too much of these elements can be harmful.  Believe it or not but drinking pickle juice is equivalent to those expensive sports drinks for electrolyte replacement.

To prevent leg cramps eat a healthy nutritious diet. If you have frequent leg cramps you may want to talk to your doctor or a nutritionist to help plan a diet that will benefit you. You need to have the correct amounts of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals in your daily diet.  When you plan to have more physical activity than normal you will need to increase your electrolytes and fluid intake prior to working out.  Also remember to replace those you use during your workout.

If a leg cramp does occur even after you have done all you can to prevent leg cramps you need to gently massage it out. Once the cramp has relaxed, soak in a hot bath and stretch the muscle gently.

Leg cramps can be very painful and severe.  If you have made the lifestyle changes recommended to stop them without success you will need to talk to your doctor so he can determine if there is an underlying medical condition responsible for your leg cramps.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Why Do Muscles Get Sore After Workouts

Consider the causes of sore muscles as you think about the discomfort you feel after an intense workout.

Causes of Sore Muscles

Muscles can become very sore after exercise, especially when the person is not used to working out on a regular basis. When the muscles are stretched to their very limits, they can become sore because they have to heal. Since the muscle has to heal, it is important to avoid using it until the pain goes away.


Injury is not the only cause of sore muscles. The condition can occur if the muscles do not get enough oxygen to feed the cells. Cells need oxygen in order to release energy, and when there is insufficient amounts of the gas, cells use another process in its place.

Fermentation is an energy-releasing process that cells in muscles may rely on when there is an insufficient amount of oxygen available. This process involves the production of lactic acid in the muscles. The excess of this substance can cause muscles to become sore. Once this element is gone, the pain disappears.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a natural occurrence for people who do not exercise on a regular basis. Some seasoned exercisers may experience this problem when they are engaging in new activities. Sometimes muscles that are not commonly used become sore when they are engaged after long periods of inactivity.

Identifying this type of muscle soreness as opposed to injury or fermentation can be challenging. Those who are beginners can assume that the pain is caused by activity following inactivity, but the pain can be due to injury. This is especially important to consider if the pain does not go away in a reasonable time or if it continues after you are practicing the same routine regularly.

Preventing Muscle Soreness

Since is it always advisable to rest sore muscles until the pain goes away, it is important to prevent becoming sore in the first place. This is critical if you want to develop a regular exercise routine. Waiting a few days between workouts can lead to abandoning the exercise habit.

It is better to have a mild workout that you practice on a regular basis than it is to have one intense workout every few weeks. Taking some precautions can help:
  • Always warm up before working out
  • Make sure to engaging in cool down exercises
  • Stretch before and after workouts
  • Make changes in routine regularly
  • Use appropriate weight for resistance training
  • Avoid straining
  • Get an even workout that addresses all muscle groups

Common sense comes into play as well. Beginners who want to engage in aerobic activity can benefit from taking brisk walks instead of running. Exercise is important and it is helpful to take small steps in building up stamina for certain programs. This is one of the best ways to ensure that muscle soreness after exercise is minimal.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

How to Get a Six Pack for Girls

Every woman would love to have a lean flat abdomen. Every man loves to admire that six pack abdomen. A flat stomach is nice but a defined stomach is just sexy.

Six Pack for Girls

Proper Diet to Get a Six Pack for Girls

To get a slim, trim, flat and defined abdomen you must eat the proper nutrients to first lose fat, and then build muscle.  You lose the fat first because believe it or not, there is muscle under that fat.  So you need to eat a diet designed for fat loss, not muscle building. Then once you see a glimmer of that muscle as the fat melts away change to a diet designed to build muscle.

Foods to help burn fat include oatmeal, nuts, protein powder, olive oil, berries, eggs, beans and legumes, lean meats and fish, whole grains, peanut butter, green vegetables, low fat dairy products, avocados and iced tea.  Once you have burned the fat off your belly, eat foods that are high in protein to help build healthy muscle.

Proper Exercises to Get a Six Pack for Girls

The focus of defining your abdomen should be losing the fat that covers your muscles. You will make no progress in defining your stomach until the fat is gone.  Therefore do exercises to burn fat first.  Avoid abdominal exercises meant to build muscle.  It is after all, already there.  You just can’t find it under the fat.  After you find the muscle then work to build it and tone it.

Do fat burning exercises to work off the fat such as cardio, stretching and walking. After you have burned the fat begin to work your abdominal muscles with sit ups and crunches, weight lifting and continue your cardio and walking because those will also help to build muscle on your abdomen after the fat is gone.

What Not to Do to Get a Six Pack for Girls

Do not stress about building your abs.  Stress actually can cause you to add fat to your stomach due to the effects of stress.  Make a plan and follow it.

Do not begin to do abdominal muscle building exercises until you have lost the fat where you can see the muscle you have. If you simply work to build muscle, you will add the weight of the muscle and the bulk of the muscle increasing the size of your abdomen but still have that layer of fat over it.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Can Tai Chi Improve Your Health?

Can tai chi improve your health? Proponents for this ancient practice suggest that it can, and a recent Mayo Clinic article Tai Chi: Improved Stress Reduction, Balance, Agility for All seems to support this claim. The martial art offers many benefits for a person’s mind and body.

tai chi

What is Tai Chi?

What is tai chi? The program is a form of martial art that incorporates mind-body exercises in its techniques. The individual has an opportunity to improve health, mental functioning and overall wellbeing using the “moving meditation”. This approach is excellent because it helps you become balanced with heightened awareness of your body.

Tai chi was originally developed as a way for a person to defend him or her self. However, the process has been associated to healthful benefits. The program enlists opposing forces in the body known as the “yin” and the “yang” along with “qi”, which is the body’s energy force.

The process calls to the environment as well. The posturing in tai chi is named after animals and elements of nature. This helps the individual to develop deeper self-awareness through awareness of his or her surroundings.

Meditation is part of the process as well. It is necessary to remove stressful thoughts as you follow the movements. The idea is to used relaxed focus in order to build awareness of nature, including body awareness.

Body Awareness

Body awareness is an important facet of heath and well being that is commonly overlooked. Body awareness involves harmony and balance that exists on a conscious as well as a subconscious level. In many instances, a person can lose touch with the body, often ignoring signs that attention is required.

Overeating is a prime example of lack of body awareness. People may overeat out of sheer boredom, emotional reasons or poor habit rather than according to their bodies’ signals of hunger. Over time, the individual no longer notices feelings of hunger unless they are extreme. In addition, the problem can involve eating when full. The signals for fullness have been ignored so long that the person is out of touch with them.

Tai Chi for Body Awareness

Several approaches offer increased body awareness. Biofeedback is an example that works for many people but tai chi may be an approach that is more convenient for many. The process is excellent because it helps develop strength, relaxation, and improved body awareness.

Many people have adopted this ancient approach to improving health over time with great success, and scientific studies are exploring the effects of tai chi on the body. The research is focused on how the martial arts practice effects health and how it can help alleviate certain medical conditions. In addition, researchers are exploring chronic diseases that the approach can treat.

Before adopting tai chi into your treatment plan, discuss the option with your physician. As for now, the martial arts practice is not designed to treat any specific medical condition. However, with approval from your healthcare provider, you may find that the process offers excellent benefits.

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Ultimate 30's Workout

Increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone your body produces by working multiple muscle groups and keeping rest periods short. For cardio, your lactate threshold can still be increased throughout your thirties, so intervals are king to counter any loss of lung power.


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Ultimate 40's Workout

Short, sharp shocks are the way to fire up your body in your middle years - which means you can forget long-winded weights workouts. Vary exercises, intensity and timings to keep your muscles guessing.



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Ultimate 50's Workout

You may not be able to lift the heaviest weight, but that's okay. Instead, stretching and yoga should be part of your training, and body-weight moves can replace heavy workouts. Do three sets of 10 reps of the following exercises to protect your joints and maintain muscle mass and testosterone.

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