Archive | Workout

Treadmill Benefits for a Healthier Life

It is very evident that exercising has its own benefits when it comes to human health. Be it, increasing the strength of the body and heart; use it as a weapon for weight loss, or controlling that unwanted insulin and sugar. Clearly, one suitable option in today’s modern life is joining a fitness center and using the state of the art tools like treadmills and others, for an adequate cardio workout.

Exercising on treadmills puts less stress on the body than running on the roads. It also offers vigilance on certain factors like heart rate monitoring, calories burnt, blood pressure etc. This guide will help users to understand benefits of exercising and especially using treadmills.

Heart Benefits

Cardio is the most preferred work out when it comes to heart-related exercises. Users often ignore the regular exercising that allows staying away from common problems like coronary artery blockages, other cardiac issues etc and often the body may not show symptoms of heart-related issues until it is under severe stress. In fact, treadmill tests are also performed on heart-related patients to observe the symptoms of their conditions, and understanding the risks associated with the patient from the analysis.

Regular treadmill workouts improve blood circulation in the body and also helps in lowering the blood pressure. If you are considering the treadmill workout regimen and you also have a heart-related issue, then talk to your local physician and get a firm advice on how to go about it before starting on it.

Benefits for Diabetics

Treadmills work great for diabetic patients too. Research shows exercising regularly for prescribed durations (if you are not diabetic then even 20 minutes is enough) as this helps to control the insulin levels in diabetic patients. A well-defined lifestyle which includes a right kind of diet and exercising on regular basis is the best form of tackling diabetes. However, it is advisable to consult your local physician before trying the workouts as this routine may vary from individual to individual.

Overall, exercising for around or less than 20 minutes also suffices for starters. This causes the muscles to utilize the excess glucose as fuel and helping in lowering the glucose levels in the body. Using a treadmill can do these wonders for all kinds of diabetic patients and thus having one even at your home is handy if you are not fond of visiting fitness centers or a gymnasium.

Own a Treadmill

We understand that stepping out of your homes on a daily basis especially if you are heart patient or diabetic is not easy at all, and thus to come around this issue, it is even ideal to own a treadmill. They are more affordable than 10 years ago, and nowadays you also get manual treadmills, which help in burning more calories than the electric treadmills, as you power the belt and not the electricity. They also come a little-curved meaning the treadmills will ensure the incline is a little higher than just the flat surface.

And even better, they are foldable for use at home. So complete the exercises and keep them safely in store, under the bed etc.

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What Does an Upper Body Workout for Women Consist Of?

If you are like most women, then you don’t spend nearly enough time working on your upper body. This is because most women are so focused on losing weight that they spend all of their time in the gym working on cardio. While there are obvious benefits to being aerobically fit, you cannot ignore the fact that an upper body workout for women is also an important part of being fit and strong well into your later years.

What Is It?

The most obvious aspect of any upper body workout for women would be the arms. By the time women reach their 30s or 40s, any muscle mass that they had in their upper arms is gone. It is remarkable that most adult women cannot do a single push-up or a pull-up, no matter how strong they were earlier in their life.

Well, whatever your age is now, it is not too late to start working on this. An upper body workout for women will help you to become more confident in how your upper arms look, which will result in you feeling more comfortable wearing T-shirts, tank tops, and sleeveless dresses. When you have toned arms, you will feel better looking at yourself in the mirror, too.

What Should You Do?

There are several different muscle groups that you should hit during any upper body workout for women, and you should not do them on consecutive days. If you are doing your upper body one day and your lower body the next, then you can still add in aerobic exercise on all days, but be careful not to lift weights on the same body part two days in a row.

You will want to work your biceps and your triceps, which complement each other. Then, you will also want to work your back, your chest, and your shoulders. Some people also consider an abdominal workout (sit-ups and crunches) to be part of an upper body workout, but that is one part of the body that you can work every day.

How Many Reps?

One question that a lot of women have is how many reps or repetitions they should do in order to get the greatest benefit. Contrary to popular belief, more reps do not equal bigger muscles, nor do they equal greater strength. It is far more important that you spend your time lifting more weight fewer times. This will help you to build stronger (though not necessarily bigger) muscles in your upper body.

Depending on the particular part of your upper body, you might find that any upper body workout for women would consist of 8 to 12 reps done several times, with plenty of rest in between.

Where Can You Learn More?

Before you head to the gym to start lifting weights or you go out and buy a weight set, it is important that you learn more about this subject. Starting too quickly or with too much weight can lead to injury, so take your time and get the right kind of information first.

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Back Workout Routines: Get Wide Lats and Thick Traps With This Killer Workout!

Whether you’re trying to gain gobs of muscle mass or to just look lean and strong, nothing says “I train hard” like broad, thick back! Just like with legs, getting a stand-out back takes some serious blood, sweat, and tears – you’ve really got to leave all you’ve got on the gym floor if you want serious results. Here are a few key tips and exercises for constructing great back workout routines!

Deadlifts for Mass

There’s no doubt that squats are the king of all exercises when it comes to putting on muscle mass as fast as humanly possible. However, the deadlift is a close second to the squat and is definitely the best mass-builder for the upper AND lower back. Simply put, if you don’t have deadlifts in your back workout routines, you’re not getting anywhere near the most you could be out of your training.

The deadlift obviously works your lower back hard, since that is a primary pivot point for the movement. If you execute the deadlift properly, you will be both straightening your legs and extending your back. However, the deadlift also places HUGE stress on the lats and traps. The lats are used the keep the bar in close to your body as you pull upwards. You may not feel them contracting in the same was as you would on a pull-up or a row, but they are working! The same goes for the traps. You’re not performing a shrug at the top of the movement, but your traps will be on fire just from being stretched to hold the weight in place! You will never see a strong deadlifter with small traps.

If you’re going to put full-range deadlifts in your back workout routines, it’s best to do them at the beginning. They are a hard, heavy movement with a relatively large range of motion, and doing them after any other pulling movements is going to seriously limit the weight you can use. You can’t get the benefit of deadlifts if you’re moving serious weight! This is the exercise on which you can probably lift more than any other.

However, there are other variations of the deadlift that you can use if you want to start your back training with pull-ups or rows. Rack-pulls are a kind of shortened deadlift done with the bar resting on the safety pins in a squat rack. You start with the bar around knee height and pull the bar to lockout. Since the range of motion is much shorter, you can still sling some serious weight around even when your back is fatigued from other movements!

Row to Grow!

Most people focus on pull-ups and pull-down movements when they train their upper back. While these are certainly essential for getting that width everyone wants, you’re never going to build a truly massive, thick back without putting some serious work in on heavy, free weight rows. Getting stronger at rows also tends to help your bench press strength. A row is essentially the opposite of a flat press, and getting strong at the movement gives you great stability on the bench.

People differ on what their favorite type of row is, but I’ve always preferred the basic barbell version. Bend about 45 degrees at the waist, put a slight swing into the motion, and pull the bar towards your stomach. Wear a belt and wrist straps if necessary, and work up to some seriously heavy weight! Rows are unique among exercises in that you can typically use a very heavy weight AND high reps, so don’t wimp out and stop the set early!

Another great row variation is the one-armed dumbbell row. It’s also one that, in my opinion, most people do the wrong way. I usually see trainees using super-strict, slow form with a small weight that they can probably curl! Strict form is all well and good sometimes, but seriously, you don’t build a huge back with light weights! Think about the deadlift – it’s the best back movement there is, but you use tons of other muscles. Do you really think you need to “isolate” your lats to make them grow? If you’re going to row with dumbbells, take a strong stance, bracing yourself with your off-hand on the dumbbell rack, and tug a huge weight for high reps! If you’re willing to get a little loose with your form, you’ll surprise yourself with how much weight you can use.

Get Wide

Finally, we come to a movement that every bodybuilder, weight lifter, and athlete is familiar with. While deadlifts and rows are going to put most of the mass on your back, you’ll never get wide, flaring lats if you don’t get strong on vertical pulling movements. Which movement should you pick? If you’re anything but an advanced bodybuilder, the answer is the pull-up. You may eventually find pull-downs of various sorts to be better for back development, but until you’re seriously big and strong, you need to bust ass pulling your entire body to that chin bar. This part is crucial in order to see success with your back workout routines.

There are tons of ways to perform pull-ups, but until you’re experienced at them, go ahead and do what is hardest (and most effective)! The basic, wide-grip pull-up done from a dead hang on every rep will build your back and grip strength faster than any variation and will lay a great foundation for a developed, muscular back. Use some chalk to get your grip right, get up to that bar, and tug like your life depends on it. Once you’re able to handle your bodyweight for 10-12 reps with FULL range of motion, start adding weight to yourself. Get to the point where you’re doing pull-ups with 100 pounds attached for 10 reps and see if you don’t have the widest back in town.

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4 Rules for Bench Press Safety

The bench press is the “holy grail” of all weight training exercises. When you hear weight lifters or gym rats discussing their workout routine with one another, one of the first things you always hear is them talking about how much they can bench press. How much you can bench press is something that we “gym rats” take great pride in. While it is important to push yourself in order to maximize your abilities – it is more important to take the proper precautions so you don’t end up on the wrong side of a horrific injury.

The bench press injury that USC star running back Stefan Johnson suffered in 2009 was a real eye opener in the fitness community, and made us realize how important proper safety is. Johnson was injured during a routine workout in which he was bench pressing 275 lbs. The bar fell on his throat and caused some very life threatening injuries. Johnson had to have emergency surgery to repair a crushed vocal cord, Adam’s apple and torn muscles. Doctors credited his incredible survival with strong muscles in his upper body and neck which helped to keep open breathing passages.

I imagine I have your attention now! This story is not meant to scare you – it’s meant to show that you need to take the proper precautions because if this can happen to a star college running back at one of the nation’s most touted programs, it can happen to anyone.

1. NEVER lift without a spotter.

Even if you are lifting relatively light weight, it is important to get in the habit of having a spotter present with you bench press. The spotter should place both hands firmly on the bar when you life the weight off, and not release until it is 100% clear that you have control of the bench press bar. Even if you are lifting light weight for your strength level, it is easy to have a hand slip or even a shoulder/elbow give out. The bench press is a very physically daunting exercise, and a lot of things can get injured during the movement. The bench press puts a lot of stress on upper body joints so having a spotter around at all times is absolutely necessary!

Another good rule of thumb is to know your spotter, and try to lift with the same person every time. If you ask a stranger to spot you, you are taking a chance because you don’t know their experience level and they don’t know how much weight you’re accustomed to lifting.

If for one reason or another you are bench pressing by yourself, make sure to do so on a “power rack.” Most gyms have power racks and they contain safety pins that catch the bar if it happens to drop. Make sure to set the safety pin on the power rack so it does not interfere with your repetitions on the way down.

2. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS!

I can’t stress this enough. We all feel like Superman once in a while in the gym and think we can push it farther than we ever have. The majority of all injuries have happened when people are attempting to life more weight than they ever have before. If the most weight you have ever attempted to bench press in 250 lbs., don’t be the fool who attempts to lift 285 lbs. and ends up with a torn pectoral muscle or has the bar violently dropped on your chest. Attempting to lift even 25 lbs. more on the bench press than you have ever done is very physically demanding, and most people underestimate this. If you want to attempt a one rep bench press max, don’t go more than 5 lbs. over your current maximum lift at a time. If you complete the lift going up 5 lbs., then you can try to lift 5 lbs. more – but NEVER without a spotter.

If you are attempting a career high bench press, make sure to let your spotter know. A good spotter should keep his hands on the bar and guide you down to make sure that you are able to stabilize the weight. On the way up, the spotter should keep his hands on the bar without helping – unless you need the help. This can prevent a lot of injuries, and if the bar comes crashing down on your chest because its too heavy, the spotter will already be in perfect position and can help prevent a bad injury.

3. Always wear workout gloves.

Some of the bars become very slick when they are worn, and if your hands start to sweat they can become very slippery. A good pair of workout gloves will give you an iron grip on the bar, plus a nice psychological boost to to lift more weight as well. When you are attempting to lift heavy weight on the bench press, a good pair of workout gloves is key. Wearing gloves is a great preventative measure to take, and should eliminate any kind of hand slippage on the bar.

4. Make sure you’ve stretched.

Take the time to get your entire upper body loose before jumping on the bench. You should stretch out your shoulders, back, chest and legs, as all of these muscle groups are involved in the movement. Many injuries can be avoided by understanding and practicing this often overlooked step.

Before your next session, remember to review all 4 of these rules to help prevent any accidents or injuries. The bench press is meant to be a fun fitness challenge, just make sure to do it safely!

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A Mr Universe Workout

Here is a workout from 1959 Mr. Universe champion, Bruce Randall.

Randall liked to work mostly upper body with squats or deadlift being his only lower body exercise. He would change his routines frequently and went through different stages as a powerlifter, Olympic lifter and bodybuilder.

As a matter of fact, Randall went from 415 pounds (as a powerlifter and Olympic lifter) all the way down to 223 pounds as a bodybuilder!

Bruce finished second in the 1958 Mr. Universe and was bound and determined to come back stronger the next year. Of course he did and the rest is history.

Some of Randall’s best lifts were 770 pounds in the deadlift, 680 in the squat, 375 in the overhead press and 482 in the bench press.

Below is a typical workout that Randall followed on his way to the 1959 Mr. Universe crown.

Mr. Universe Workout

Overhead Press 3 x 4-6

Bench Press 3 x 4-6

Incline Bench Press 3 x 4-6

Curls 3 x 4-6

Chins 3 x 4-6

Leg Raises 1 x 20-50

Squats or Deadlifts 3 x 6-8

Notes: Randall trained 3-4 days per week and would alternate squats and deadlifts. He eat three meals a day with one or two homemade protein drinks. As always, train hard and with maximum effort. If 3-4 days is too much, lower it to 2 days. Train hard and heavy.

Understand that to be successful in any weight training program – hard work is a must! Half-hearted effort does nothing for you. If you’re new to weight training or grossly out of shape, consult a physician first. End of disclaimer.

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Ban the Treadmill! The Role of Cardio Exercise in Losing Weight and Burning Fat

I’m an observant person that pays attention to details. So when I first started working at a gym I noticed that some people progressed while others didn’t, later realizing that most people aren’t doing the right kind of aerobic exercise.

I learned this lesson the hard way though. Shortly after learning how to structure a program, I got addicted to the weight room, watching years of neglect disappear as my arms, legs and abs tightened up and my strength increased. My progress continued until I started training as an aerobics instructor, doing hours and hours of classes a week as part of my training. I started feeling flabby again after a few weeks, and I wasn’t alone. Others in my class were gaining weight as well.

You might be wondering how that is possible when we’ve been told in the past that cardio is the key to fat loss. My answer to that is “no-way!” – and for a lot of you this is fantastic news, because there are very few of us who actually enjoy running on a treadmill to ‘destination nowhere’ for hours at a time.

I’ve seen it many, many times. After signing up at the gym, the thing most people do is hop on the treadmill, crank it up to 4.5 – 5.5 km/hour, and walk for an hour while watching the TV screens. After an initial improvement, months would pass with very little visible change to their appearance. Has this ever happened to you?

Don’t feel bad if you’ve fallen into this trap. We’re taught in our initial training as fitness professionals that in order for cardio to be effective, we have to exercise at a pace of 55-65% of our maximum heart rate for 45-60 minutes, ensuring that we remain in the ‘fat burning zone’. This is very boring, which is why many clients must distract themselves by watching TV, reading books, or listening to their mp3 player. I think this is a waste of time, because I now understand that moving ‘unconsciously’ and without focus leads to decreased motivation and zero results.

That’s looking at the issue from an emotional point of view. The hard science behind breaking the LISS cardio ‘myth’ is that this detested type of exercise increases stress hormones, decreases growth hormones, and leads to overeating. The stress hormone I refer to here is ‘cortisol’ – the one responsible for increased fat in the abdominal region (belly fat), and the growth hormones are the ones responsible for building muscle and burning fat. By continuously engaging in LISS, you may initially lose some weight, but the end result will be a flabby “skinny-fat” physique without tone and definition.

At this point you might be thinking, “Great, I’ll never have to do aerobic exercise again”…not so fast! The heart is a muscle, and when we don’t use our muscles they waste away. Increasing your aerobic capacity is very important in your overall health…it’s the type of aerobic exercise that’s about to change from this point forward.

I’d like to introduce you to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), the key to getting all the benefits of cardio in an exercise program that will blast away fat, increase growth hormones and change the way you look in minimum time. HIIT is ‘interval’ training -short periods of intense exercise followed by rest/recovery periods. There are many ways to do HIIT, an easy example you can try today would be to run (fast!) for one block and walk for two blocks, repeating the cycle seven times over a 15-20 minute period. Another way to do it is to crank up the intensity on an elliptical machine for one minute then turning it down for two minutes, repeating the cycle 6-7 times.

For fans that like riding their bike, a natural HIIT circuit would be an area with lots of hills and valleys. Those who like swimming can swim a couple laps, tread water for a minute, and then repeat this cycle over a 15-20 minute time period. There are so many possibilities, and when combined with an activity you love, you are sure to get results because this is a program you will definitely stick to.

HIIT has so many benefits…the most important one for me is the ‘high’ feeling I get when I’ve completed my workout because I’m a firm believer that a positive emotional state on the inside is the key to looking good on the outside. Other benefits include more effective fat burning, decreased muscle loss, an increased resting metabolic rate (RMR), an improvement in oxygen consumption (VO2 max), improved insulin action and better athletic performance (see references below).

In summary, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain from stopping those never-ending cardio sessions…the dragging of your feet to the machine, the endless watching of the timer, the stupid TV show on the screens you didn’t choose, and all the wasted time and energy. I encourage you to check out the references below and to take a minute to reflect on this knowledge.

Best of luck, and I hope you try a HIIT cardio session today…you’ll be glad you did!

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Use Dumbbell Cardio Instead of an Aerobic Workout

Most exercisers wouldn’t even consider using dumbbells for cardio. As a matter of fact, most exercisers don’t even use dumbbells to a fraction of their full potential. Well, that is about to change… if you decided to follow my advice.

Workout programs traditionally are split into resistance training (like weight lifting) and cardio (like jogging, rowing or biking). Or these two types of workouts are done on separate days. And hands down, most exercisers choose aerobic exercises like jogging, biking and rowing for the cardio portion. I don’t see people picking up dumbbells when it comes time to do their cardio workout.

Over the past year or so, most trainers (myself included), have moved away from aerobic exercise in favor of anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is high intensity exercise for short periods of time, repeated. Think of sprint intervals.

Evidence shows that anaerobic activity is better than aerobic activity for improving endurance, strengthening the heart and lungs and even burning fat. Not to mention it helps you become more athletic and preserves hard earned muscle. Unfortunately, not a lot of exercisers have made the switch because they have been programmed to do an aerobic workout in their “target heart rate zone”.

So, it comes as no surprise that the jump to dumbbell cardio workouts have not caught on. A dumbbell cardio workout is when you do a series of dumbbell exercises in a circuit with as little rest as possible between exercises. I also call these “dumbbell intervals” because you do an interval of exercise, followed by rest and then more intervals.

Dumbbell cardio is a better choice for a great cardio (and full body) workout for a lot of reasons. First, and the most simple reason, is you don’t need an expensive equipment like exercise bikes, row machines or treadmills. All you need is a set of dumbbells and you’re ready to go. This also is great if you work out in a crowded gym (yuk!), where the cardio machines are in constant use.

Second, dumbbell cardio gets your heart and breathing going using the ENTIRE body, not just part of the body like the legs. Your heart has to pump blood to the muscles of the legs, the core and the upper body. This prepares the heart for more real world activities than say just jogging.

Third, aerobic exercise goes against your physique building. Yes, it does burn fat while you are doing it… but it also tells the body to do what it takes to get lighter. This means you body also sacrifices muscle to reduce the weight. On the other hand, using dumbbell cardio sends the signal to get rid of fat, but in a way that preserves the muscles of your entire body because they are needed for the completion of the workouts.

So, the next time you are looking for a great cardio workout that actually helps you build a high-performance, lean, athletic body walk past the cardio machines and pick up a pair of dumbbells instead. Plus, you might just realize how effective dumbbells are as a complete workout tool. Give dumbbell cardio workouts a try instead of boring aerobic exercise.

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How To Build Triceps Fast

Many body-builders are trying to figure out how they can build triceps fast. There are two approaches that you can use as the best workout for triceps. First you will need to train hard where more volume and intensity will seem to be the answer to the lagging body parts. This method will work but only to a certain extent.

The other approach requires you to work out the small triceps from different perspectives to gain continued growth and maximum size. The triceps muscles can be divided into three: The medial, lateral and long. Even though it can be quite challenging to understand where each of them is located in the arms, you will need to understand the targets and emphasize the specific heads. Here are a few measures that you can use to build triceps fast and ensure the overall growth of muscles.

Train triceps twice in a week

This is a nice starting point particularly when dealing with the smaller muscles such as the triceps. When you train the triceps, twice in a week, this will provide a great stimulus for that greater growth as long as the training frequency isn’t increased for over 6 to 8 weeks. This is a group of muscles that will recover fast and therefore, you will only need 2 to 3 days between the workouts. With this already said, you can choose to train the chest on Monday, the triceps on Tuesday and the shoulders on Wednesday but this won’t qualify as 2 or 3 rest days as multi-joint presses for the shoulders and chest will involve the extension of the elbow. These involve elbow extensions and this means that the tris are being worked on the back-to-back days. It is important to remember this as you set up the split.

When you train tris around 2 times in a week, it means that you should not workout the chest and shoulders the day prior to or after you have trained the arms. You will not need to have extra knowledge to understand split but you will have to understand the limitations. It is also worth noting that in case you are doing triceps around twice in a week, you should ensure that these are quite different so that the muscle fibers can be stimulated in various ways. You should be able to make the routines a basic one for mass building.

Don tack on triceps after chest and delts

You will definitely understand how fatigued your triceps will feel when you engage in chest and shoulder workout. Therefore, if you would like to enjoy those meatier triceps, you should focus on training the smaller group of muscles immediately after engaging in the larger workout days. Since the triceps don’t get pre-fatigued, it will be possible to provide them with more weight and more energy and this is a good combination for getting that maximum stimulus. For other ideas on how to build triceps, get in touch with Muscle Prodigy.

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How to Jumpstart Your Weight Loss With 6 Simple Exercises

Before you think about losing weight, the first thing you have to ask yourself is – do you need to? There are many basic ways to evaluate for yourself whether you are fat, heavily obese or if you simply healthy. Most of them are based on simple height weight ratios, of which the most commonly used method is Body Mass Index (BMI). While none of them are 100% accurate, they do provide a good gauge for measure. Usually BMI overrates the weight category of the user, putting normal people into the obese category rather than under.

If you do think you belong to the obese category, the next question to ask yourself is whether you are losing weight because of health or aesthetic reasons. If it’s simple for aesthetic reasons, then chances are that you’re not overweight and you do not need to lose weight. Note that exercising to lose weight is very different from exercising for good health.

If you serious about losing weight for health reasons, you are probably facing a major problem. You lack the muscle to support your own weight and as a result you tire too easily to keep a sustained exercise regime.

To help you get started, the following exercises are designed with low intensity and impact; firstly, to reduce the risk of injures, especially for beginners and secondly, to make it possible for you to actually achieve them.

Here are 6 exercises that are simple to perform and can be done in the comfort of your own home.

1) Overhead Clap

This exercise is also known as the Buddha Clap. You can do this exercise while sitting on the ground. Start with both your arms fully outstretched to the sides and with your palms facing the sky. While keeping your arms straight, bring both hands at a comfortable speed overhead and clap them together. Return to the original position with arms straight and palms facing upwards.

This exercise appears simple enough, but that’s exactly how it is meant to be. But once you have repeated the action for 10 to 20 times, you will realise it is not exactly effortless. It stretches your back and arm muscles and works your cardiovascular system. Do 20 to 40 sets of this exercise daily.

You can also do this exercise while standing to increase the intensity of the exercise.

2) Twinkle Twinkle Star

If you remember how you danced while singing the nursery rhyme, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, then you should remember the action of twinkling stars. This exercise is exactly that action. Hold out your hands straight in front of you with your fingers open. Next, simply clench and open your fists (it doesn’t have to be tight) repeatedly.

Each time you clench and open your fist counts as one. Do this for about 20 to 40 times daily. This strengthens your shoulders and forearms. Like the Overhead Clap, this exercise can be performed while sitting or standing for better results.

3) Crunches

Most of us should be very familiar with Crunches, however, few of us actually know how to utilise this exercise properly. There is no right or wrong way of doing Crunches, but different ways of doing them have a different result. Since we are looking at weight loss and muscle strengthening, we should be doing our crunches in a slow and steady manner.

Firstly lie flat on the ground and with your knees bent, raise your legs such that your thighs and stomach are approximately at 90o. This is the starting position for Crunches. Next, cover your ears with your hands and bring your upper body up so that your elbows touch your knees or thighs. Hold in the position for 2 seconds before returning to the starting position. All this while, keep your legs as they were in the starting position. If you find difficulty in keeping your legs raised, you can place a cushion or chair to support your legs. Eventually, you should progress to a stage where you don’t need the support.

This exercise trains your upper abdominal muscles. Do this for 10 to 20 times daily. You can alternate this exercise with the alternate crunches where the right elbow touches the left knee and vice versa. The alternate crunches train your side abdominals.

4) Leg Raisers

To start with Leg Raisers, first look for heavy furniture that you can hold on to. Lie down flat on the ground and extend your hands to hold onto the furniture (preferably the furniture legs). Keep your arms half bent. Raise both legs up (keeping them straight, do not bend your knees if possible) so that your thigh and your stomach are approximately at 90o. This exercise can pose difficulty for a large number of us. If you find raising both legs difficult, you can try starting one leg at a time.

This exercise works the lower abdominals, and is especially good for reducing the abdominal fat or belly, as we term it. Do this for 10 to 20 times daily.

5) Knee Raisers

Again, look for heavy furniture that can support your weight at home. This time you will need to hold onto it for support, so make sure the height is comfortable for yourself. Place both hands on the furniture with your body upright and legs shoulder width apart. Start by bending one of your knees and lifting that leg up to your chest slowly. Put down your leg slowly and proceed to repeat the action with the other leg.

Each time you lift your leg and put it down, it should count as one. Do this for 20 to 40 times daily. This exercise builds up thigh muscles.

6) Tip Toe-ing

This exercise is similar to the Knee Raiser. Again, place both hands on the furniture for support with your body upright but keep both legs together. Start by tipping your toes up and down. Do this for 20 to 40 times daily. This exercise builds up your calf muscles.

Each of the above exercises will take you less than 5 minutes, doing all 6 should take you at most half an hour a day. No matter if you’re looking to lose weight or simply to stay active, these exercises are very useful in keeping yourself reasonably active.

These exercises work the major muscles on your body and strengthening them for higher intensity workouts. This is very important especially if you are obese. Since this routine is only for beginners, you should move on to higher intensity workouts after a few months for better weight loss results. However, do not skip ahead to start with more difficult workouts immediately! By skipping the basic training, you risk injuring yourself with exercises that your body is unable to withstand.

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Proform 1280 Elliptical at Glance

The Proform 1280 elliptical trainer is one of the elliptical machines that is used by some gym and families across the globe. Before now, athletes and bodybuilders world over engaged in strenuous exercise to improve their muscles and blood flow. Though these athletes are improving their muscles and blood flow, there were still concerns if these exercises were actually doing more harm than good to the anatomy of the athlete. Consequently, designers and engineers collaborated with sport experts and produced fitness machines that will help people work on their cardiovascular system and improve it without inflicting injury on their knees and joints.

Proform 1280 is a great product from Proform Company which is the trusted company that manufactures Proform ellipticals trainer, weight benches, treadmills and a whole lot of gym facilities that will help bodybuilders achieve their aim without inflicting injury on their knees and joints.

Features Proform 1280

If you are a fitness buff like I am especially in the past 6 years you might have tried your hand on Proform 1280 elliptical. The Proform 1280 elliptical trainer is one of the older models in the Proform fleet of elliptical. Though it is an old machine it still has some great features that will help you to achieve your fitness goal.

Incline Power control

One of the interesting features that I discovered in the machine is the incline feature. The incline feature also known as Ramp allows you to adjust your slope either up or down. But the beauty of this feature is that you require no effort in order to change your slope. With the touch of a button you can change your slope. With this feature with this feature you can work on different muscles. When you cannot work on different set of muscles, you will be overstraining them. The incline features checkmates injury to your muscles by allowing you to work on different sets of muscles.

SMR Feature

SMR is an acronym for Silent Magnetic Resistance. With this feature you can challenge your body and this will result in the burning of more fats and calories. This feature employs magnetic pull in order to create resistance as you are working out. It enables train with awe-inspiring calmness.

Reflex Step Technology

One thing that comsumers like in this machine is the ease with which the pedal contracted with each move they make. The pedal of Proform 1280 elliptical trainer is constructed with reflex step technology which explains why the pedal moves smoothly and returns to its original position with each move you make. With a soft touch you can get the pedal to flex. Consequently, your joints and muscles will not be overstrained during the exercise. Your workout will be very smooth and require little effort from you but you will still achieve great result.

5 Pedal Positions

One important feature I discovered in the Proform 1280 which differentiates it from some of the elliptical fitness machines is its 5 pedal positions. With this feature you don’t need to worry about overstraining during training. You can choose from any of these five pedal positions depending on the one that best suits your need.

CD Player and Speakers

The music is one of the best features on the Proform 1280 elliptical trainer. The sound quality might be heavenly but it keeps stepping to the rhythm on your favourite tune whether you are working out or resting for a while. It comes with speakers that have an auto adjust function.

Other features of Proform 1280 are:

• Built in adjustable fan

• Two windows LCD

• Interactive CD player

• iFit(R) compatible

• EKG(TM) grip pulse sensors

• 250-lb user capacity

• 9 positions between ten and thirty degrees

The Pros of Proform 1280

The following are some of the benefits you will derive by training with Proform 1280.

Multiple options

You are not limited to one workout program if you are using Proform 1280. It has about 12 workout programs. It is left for you to choose the one that suits your need.

Excellent incline power control

Proform 1280 elliptical is unique and superior to Proform 880 and 1080 models thanks to the incline power control. You can electronically adjust the slope to any comfortable position that you deem fit.

Easy to operation and assemble

This fitness machine is very easy to assemble. All you need in order to assemble the parts is to follow the instructions stipulated in the manual. You will be surprised at the ease with which you will operate the machine after assembling it. According to consumer reviews the Proform 1280 is quite easy to operate. The Instructions are easy to follow.

Health Benefits

~ You will be able to work on different sets of muscles using Proform 1280. With this you can avoid overstraining of a set of muscles.

~ You will also burn more fats and calories when you are working out with the machine.

~ Your heart rate and blood pressure will improve greatly.

~ Using Proform 1280 is the best option for those who will like to improve the metabolic process of their body.

Cons of Proform 1280

~ According to consumer reviews, the Proform 1280 has low durability due to the fact that the internet parts of the machine are of low quality. Consequently, this machine is not recommended for commercial purposes but is perfect for private use. This is machine is a beauty but is not really a beast within.

~ Research also shows that consumers are disturbed by the noise emanating from the power incline feature as it changed the slope when they are using it. The incline power feature of this machine helps you electronically change the slope as well as the shape of the stride. However, besides being noisy, the change takes a lot of time.

~ The workout programs are controlled by the iFit technology of this machine but unfortunately this feature has poor quality components.

~ The Proform 1280 has features that will satisfy your need but you should also know that many elliptical trainers with higher qualities are available in the market to at affordable price.

Consumer Reviews

Positive consumer review

The majority of consumers give a thumps up to the power incline feature of the machine despite the fact that it changes the slope very slowly.

• Most Proform elliptical reviews praise the Interactive CD player and also the 18 stride length of Proform 1280. What many like most is the adjustable nature of the stride.

• Many consumers also appreciate the external look of the machine.

Negative Consumer review

o There are also some consumers who observe that the machine have been overtaken by newer elliptical trainer with more improved features.

o Consumers are not happy with short warranty that comes with this elliptical trainer. The machine has only 90 days warranty that covers material and workmanship and defects. They machine would have appreciated the machine more if the warranty covers more days.

o The price of the machine is another thing that consumers have complained against. The Proform 1280 costs $699 (excluding the shipping price) and this is expensive in the eye of many consumers.

Summary

Despite the fact that Proform 1280 is an old elliptical trainer, it has some great features that attract consumers to it. You will surely derive some benefits by training with this machine, but owing to its lower quality parts, I recommend it only for family use. You can buy directly from the manufacturer at the cost of $699 or you can buy from the dealers’ shops. The Proform 1280 is sold in many offline shops. You can also shop for it through the internet. Proform 1280 remains the best elliptical sold at $700. You will get value for your money when you buy this machine. But, you have to ensure that you read the user’s guide. This will help you maintain the machine properly in order for it to last longer for you.

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