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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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Adult Ballet Classes

Ballet is one of the most commonly known forms of dance. It evolved from seventeenth century court dances in France. The world's first ballet school, Paris Opera Ballet was established in 1700 and French is still the language of ballet today. Many people dream of being able to dance this beautiful and graceful dance. Even those who did not take ballet lessons as a child can enroll in adult beginner ballet classes at a later stage. It combines physical exercise with artistic expression, making it one of the most gratifying and challenging forms of exercise around.

Benefits of Learning Ballet as an Adult

adult ballet

Ballet gives a good cardiovascular work out and will burn off excess fat. It provides a great all round body toning. Ballet strengthens the core muscles, builds support for the spine and can help alleviate back pain. The stomach and leg muscles in particular will tone up quickly.

Ballet is fantastic for posture. Basic ballet positions teach students to stand straight and lengthen from the pelvis, with both hip bones parallel. Poise will be much improved as ballet instruction seeps into everyday life.

Rather than bulking out the body, ballet training lengthen the muscles, giving them a long, graceful appearance. People who practice regularly will see a "ballet line" develop in their physique.

What Gear is Needed for Adult Ballet Lessons

It is a good idea to buy a pair of leather or canvas ballet slippers before attending a ballet class. These will provide proper support and grip for the feet. Ballet clothes are very alluring - pink tights, leg warmers, tutus, wrap around tops - but there is no need to get extensively kitted out as a beginner (unless Fame fantasies are itching to be fulfilled).

Classic ballet wear (pink tights and black leotard) is designed to let the teacher see whether or not the muscles are working properly. Beginners can wear any form fitting work out clothes that show the line of the body (for example, leggings and a close fitting top).

Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated during class.

General Tips for Adult Beginners Ballet

  • Try and stretch before ballet class begins. Ballet is more difficult for those with stiff muscles. Arrive early and stretch out on the barre for 10 - 15 minutes. The good news is that flexibility greatly improves with continued ballet practice.
  • Don't be intimidated by more advanced students. There is inevitably one sickeningly flexible person at class who can elevate her legs four times higher than everyone else. Luckily, adult ballet classes are fun and non-competitive. Learn to laugh off mistakes and overcome self consciousness of dancing in front of others - both of which are totally natural challenges faced by any ballet beginner.
  • Invest in a ballet workout DVD which can be used for practicing at home. Any extra practice at home will greatly improve progress in the dance studio.
Adult ballet classes are a fun, sociable way to exercise. Any form of dance is a great stress buster and a challenging way to get fit.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weight Lifting for Women

Today more and more women are going to their local gym, YMCA, or fitness studio, with the goal of losing weight and getting into shape. They take aerobics classes, spinning classes, tae-bo, cardio kickboxing, and may even be found on some resistance machines, but one area of the gym that most women still avoid is the free weight area. This area of the gym, where dumbbells line the wall, and men are usually busy grunting and yelling as they push up barbells, can be a bit intimidating for women, and comes with a host of misconceptions. The free weight area, however, can be a girl's best friend.

women weight training

Prevent Osteoporosis with Weight Lifting
A concern of many women, especially those who are middle age or older, is being diagnosed with osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation in their article "Osteoporosis: a debilitating disease that can be prevented and treated," osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.

Osteoporosis is a painful disease which carries great risk with it as people age. A broken hip from a fall can be fatal to a senior with osteoporosis. The key is prevention in the younger years to ward off the disease occurring in the later years. Along with a proper diet that includes plenty of vitamin D and calcium, regular exercise using weight bearing and muscle building exercise is key to preventing the effects of osteoporosis.

Building Bone Density

Weight bearing exercises such as running, jumping rope, climbing stairs, or calisthenics cause the bones to support the weight of the body while moving against gravity. For older people or those who cannot perform high impact movements, exercises such as walking or use of cardio machines like the elliptical machine, stair climber, or treadmill will work as well.

Muscle building exercises are movements such as weight lifting, using weight machines, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises which place stress on the bones while strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments which surround them.

Bone is living tissue, and when these exercises are performed on a regular basis, the bone will become stronger and more dense to respond to the impact it receives during exercise. The increased density of the bone wards off the development of osteoporosis and helps treat it as well.

Benefits of Weight Training

Those women who include weight training or resistance training in their fitness program will notice many positive changes in the way they look and feel. Weight training increases metabolism, causing the body to burn calories more efficiently. Lean body mass is increased, which is the amount of muscle tissue that makes up your body.

A gain of one pound in lean muscle will burn 35 to 40 more calories per day, even while at rest. The strengthening of the muscles in the body will increase the body's balance, athletic performance, and make daily activities easier. Stronger bones ward off osteoporosis and stronger tendons and ligaments help to avoid arthritis. The benefits of weight training are many, and far outweigh any negatives or myths that can be found.

Weight Training Tips

When beginning a weight training program, there are guidelines that one should follow to ensure the exercises are done safely and without injury. These guidelines are as follows:
  • Always consult a physician prior to beginning a program.
  • When selecting a weight to begin with, choose a weight that will allow eight to 10 repetitions with proper form. The 10th repetition should be difficult but not impossible. If 10 repetitions cannot be performed, lighten the weight. If it is too easy, use a heavier weight.
  • Those who suffer from osteoporosis or are frail should use a lighter weight and perform repetitions in the 12 to 15 range.
  • Start by performing exercises which work each of the major muscle groups (legs, chest, back, shoulders). The smaller muscle groups such as arms, calves, forearms, and abdominals are worked while exercising the larger groups.
  • Perform two sets of eight to 10 repetitions for each exercise.
  • Breathe in when the weight is being lowered, and exhale when pushing the weight or moving it through the range of the exercise.
  • Rest 30 seconds to one minute between sets, longer if necessary.
  • Always use proper form and never sacrifice form to lift heavier weight.
Following these guidelines will reduce the risk of injury and ensure that the benefits of weight training are achieved.

While the fountain of youth has never been found and most likely does not exist, the closest thing there is to living a long, independent, youthful life, while maintaining a fit, toned body, is weight training. Women should include weight training in their fitness program and start visiting the free weight areas in their gym. It's not just for men anymore.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Best Chest Pumping Exercises

The chest is probably the one area, for most men, that rarely gets neglected, receiving more than its fair share of the workload during most workouts. This is okay if, your major goal is to have a huge chest, weak core muscles and skinny legs! On the other hand, if your goal is to create a healthy, well-proportioned body, you’ll want to incorporate some of the best exercises for each body part (muscle groups) into your workouts.

chest exercises

I’m not suggesting that you neglect your pecs, (after all this is an article about the best pec exercises); I’m merely reminding you to maintain balanced while selecting which body parts you work to ensure symmetry.

Lets take a look at my recommendations for best chest exercises:

The Push-up:

  1. With body straight from head to toes, arms straight and hands flat on the floor
  2. Slowly lower body (keep perfectly straight from head to toes) until your chest is one inch from the floor.
  3. Push body away from the floor until arms are straight again. You have just completed one full push-up.
  4. Repeat for desired number of repetions.
There are many variations of the push-up that allow you to vary the intensity of this dynamic move.
Push-ups also work the core, shoulders and triceps.

The Bench Press:

  1. Position yourself face up on a bench.
  2. Grab bar from rack with at least a shoulder width grip.
  3. Lower bar to middle of chest, pause then press bar up until arms are straight.
  4. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Bench press can also be done from an incline or decline position.


  1. Dips are done from a set of parallel bars. Place one hand on each bar; arms should be straight.
  2. Lower body by bending arms until elbows are at 90° angle.
  3. Push body back up until arms are straight again.
  4. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Legs can be straight or bent at knees depending on how much clearance you have.


Flys can be executed from a standing, seated or lying position using dumb-bells or a cable-cross.
  1. Whether standing, seated or lying down; position hand at shoulder height, palms facing each other and touching.
  2. Keeping elbows slightly bent, slowly separate hands until hands are at sides.
  3. Bring hands back together until touching together.
  4. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Let me reiterate the significance of incorporating movements for all major muscle groups, not just your favorite body parts, to formulate a balanced workout. In addition to symmetry a balanced workout is also a precursor for injury prevention.

There are of course a number of chest exercises that can be performed. These are some the most effective exercise for targeting all muscles of the chest. I do recommend adding other chest exercises to your routine from time to time to keep your routine fresh and interesting.

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”La Rochefoucauld

Friday, December 4, 2015

Weight Training for Beginners

Weight training can be a demanding activity and if done incorrectly could cause injury or pain, so it’s best to first consult a GP before undertaking any form of training program. If given the all-clear going about devising a weight training program is the next step. There are a number of things to be mindful of long before getting near to a gym, let alone a set of dumbbells, and key pieces of jargon to be aware of.

Talking the Weight Training Talk

It’s always good to know what certain words or phrases mean in order to avoid looking like a complete novice. Training lingo or jargon is pretty easy to pick up.

Weight training equipment works by using resistance, an opposing force, upon the muscles at work. Resistance training is a just another way of saying weight training. By the same token we can refer to dumbbells as free weights. These are pieces of equipment that aren’t nailed to walls or flooring and can be manipulated by the user in a number of different ways with additional pieces of equipment.
What is a super-set? A super-set is when two or more muscle groups are worked on without any breaks in between. There is a specific number of repetitions and sets dictated by the individual or personal trainer, if that luxury is available at the gym, and working out in this way can speed up a strength training routine considerably.

Isolation training is quite common for beginners and especially good for working on individual muscles to achieve optimal muscle growth. Isolation is good for getting cut. To cut or cutting up, as it’s sometimes referred to, is when a person trains to lose excess fat and achieve maximum muscle definition, usually undertaken by competing bodybuilders.

Weight Training Keywords

There are a multitude of keywords and keyword phrases to digest when thinking about weight training. Here are some useful ones worth remembering, along with a brief explanation of what they are:
  • Exercise – physical exertion, or a set of movements, tasks
  • Routine – encompasses a set of exercises that make up a training program
  • Circuit Training – when an individual moves from one exercise to another, with as minimal rest as possible, often achieving "the burn" (see below)
  • The Burn – a sensation in the muscles caused by lactic acid build up due to working muscles to the point of failure
  • Reps/Repetition – a singular movement within an exercise. For example, squatting with a barbell on the shoulders, and then standing up straight
  • Set – simply a set number of repetitions of one exercise, often between 10 and 12 repetitions

How is Weight Training Beneficial?

Having a good workout routine can help control weight. Weight training on its own will not keep the weight off for long. Mixing a weight training schedule with aerobic exercise, like walking, jogging or cycling will help aid weight loss. There is an upside and a downside to most things and that too applies here.

Losing weight through aerobic exercise and dieting alone results in losing fat along with muscle. Muscles help regulate a body’s metabolism, so when muscle is lost it slows down. Adding weight training maintains muscles or increases it, in turn, maintain or boosting ones metabolism.
Energy and strength are also increased when a good fitness training regime, including weight training, is undertaken.

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.

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.

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.