Social Icons

twitter follow facebook followgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Featured Posts

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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Negative Impacts of Overtraining

There is no question that working out has so many benefits. When it comes to working out properly, there are many things you are going to need to know. For example, what you should be consuming, how to move as you do exercises, how many sets you should be doing, how much weight you should be lifting, and the list goes on. One thing that many do not consider is how often we should be working out. When we workout too much this is known as overtraining. We want so bad to drop those pounds, or build those muscles that we overwork ourselves. It is important to understand that this is not healthy! Just as not working out is bad for us, so is overtraining.

Why Overtraining is Bad

Overtraining is bad for several reasons. First off, when you do too much cardio the levels of cortisol will greatly increase. Cortisol is a hormone that can create both stress and make you gain weight. Obviously, this gives you the complete opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish.

cardio training

When you over train other hormones will not work properly as well. Both norepinephrine and epinephrine will increase in levels as well which will decrease your desire to eat. This is not good because you need to eat, even more so when you are training. Now, instead of optimal recovery, your recovery time will take even longer. You are not taking in enough calories, and you may even begin showing signs that you are over working and over training yourself.

Symptoms of Overtraining

There are many symptoms that come along with overtraining and you may be experiencing them and not even know it. You may notice that injuries are occurring frequently and can’t explain why. This happens to be a symptom of over training along with soreness in your muscles that do not seem to want to go away. For women, your menstruation may be off. Both men and women may feel as though their heart is racing even when they are at rest. You can have depressed feelings, be even more susceptible to getting an infection, lose motivation, or have trouble sleeping. You also may experience loss in appetite as well as overall, feeling irritated. If you have been working hard at the gym and find yourself not taking proper rest, it is just a matter of time before you begin to experience these symptoms.

Other Damage Done by Overtraining

When you over train there are many other negative things occurring. It will begin to suppress your immune system, making fighting off infections a big challenge. Your body gets “suppressed” by trying its best to constantly recover, that all the energy goes toward fixing the damage instead of where the energy should be going.

As we previously mentioned, your heart rate will be quite fast even during rest. You body is in overdrive which is why this occurs. Even your bones can be negatively impacted as well. Just because you can’t see damage, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Both your bones and muscles hurt when you over train. They receive damage that is microscopic and because you are not allowing enough time to heal, the damage stays that way and proceeds to worsen. Your body then weakens and what was a little damage are now major sprains or tears.

How to Resolve Overtraining

If you think you may be overtraining your body, there are ways to resolve and reverse the issue. First off you can start by not working out so much. Next, eat a diet that is made up of high carbohydrates, proteins that are lean, and fats that are healthy. Your body has lacked these things from over working yourself so you will need to compensate for that loss. It is also recommended you take both hot and cold baths or showers, use a sauna, or get massages. These will help to get your blood properly circulating once again, which will also enhance your immune system to where it should be. Be sure that you also reduce the amount of weight you are training with as well as the number of repetitions. Be sure you are taking breaks, meaning only working out 4 -5 days a week, and relaxing in between.


Now that you have a better idea of if you are overtraining, you can fix it, and prevent it in the future. The last thing you would like to do is literally work against yourself. If you are trying to lose weight and you do too much cardio, you may gain weight. If you are trying to gain muscle and over train in doing so, you will cause far more harm than good.

If you can shed some light on this topic we would love to hear about it! Whether you find that you over train, or know someone who does, please share your opinions and experience with us.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Best Exercises for Back Problems

At some point in your life, you will probably experience some level of back pain. This pain could be caused by an illness, by overuse of the back muscles, from sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, or from any number of other causes. Regardless of the cause, you need to know the best exercises for back problems.

Walk Tall

Walking is by far the best exercise for back pain and back problems. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, your buttocks tucked under, and your abs tight, and simply walk. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you walk, as long as you walk. This exercise, done properly, helps to strengthen your core muscles in the back, and then, regardless of anything else you do, those muscles are able to withstand a great deal more. Try to walk at least thirty minutes each day, without stopping, keeping your posture in check while you do so.

Simple Stretching

Stretching exercises do more than stretch muscles to prepare them for exercise – they can also strengthen and lengthen the muscles, leading to less back pain. Remember that stretching should feel good. It should not hurt. Don’t just stretch the back muscles either. Make sure that you start at the top and work your way down – from the neck down to your feet. Do the stretches slowly. A full body stretch should take about ten to fifteen minutes, and the movements should be very gentle.

If you aren’t sure what to do, concentrate on how you feel. Do you feel the muscles stretching? If so, you are doing fine. If you are still unsure, there are numerous stretching videos that you can obtain that will show you exactly what to do.

Remember the Main Cause of Back Pain

Most people believe that the main cause of back pain is overstraining the back muscles. While that is definitely a cause, it isn’t the main cause. People who spend the majority of their time sitting experience the most instances of back pain. This is because most of us do not sit correctly – with our feet flat on the floor, sitting up straight with the abdominal muscles pulled tight and the shoulders back.

If you spend a lot of time sitting, you will also need to spend more time focusing exercise designed to prevent back pain as well.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.