Jan 282013

After coaching people in my fitness center for over 15 years I have designed a set of leg workouts that provide final results rapidly. When I say results I’m talking about gains in size but also concomitant gains in power.

Having educated semi -professional athletes and also doing work in the realm of injury rehabilitation I’ve been exposed to a broad range of various physical exercise types and practices.

The one physical exercise I use all of the time in its many forms is the good old squat. I specifically like the heel raised fulll squat due to the fact of the range of motion it produces but also because it loads the Vastus Medialis Obliqus (VMO) portion of the quadriceps muscle which is very essential for knee stability and strength and power improvement.

I set this squat technique up so that the traineee stands on a four inch step block with their heels on the block and their toes on the ground. Their feet are placed at hip width apart and the movement is initiated from the knees. Any load is placed in front of the body, no matter whether it be a medicine ball or barbell. I instruct the trainee to keep their torso upright as they squat down to the floor right up until their hamstrings are in make contact with with their calves ahead of returning to the start place. Usually eight-twelve reps of this movement produces a quite good overload and the trainee performs three sets.

I have utilized standing Good Morning lifts for a number of years and like how it effectively conditions the whole of the posterior chain of muscle tissue such as the low back, glutes and hamstrings. Most individuals are quite weak in these muscle groups as they seldom train them but as I discovered in the course of my time working with athletes sound conditioning of these muscle groups is required for efficient force generation and speed improvement. I set this exercise up with the barbell across the shoulder blades. I then instruct the lifter to bend forward from the hips maintaining a flat back and braced abdominals. I get them to bend forward until finally they feel a good stretch on their hamstrings and then return to the original position by making use of their hamstring and gluteals to drive the hips forward.

The third exercise I like to use to develop strength and power in the legs is the step up. This functional exercise works the quadriceps at the front of the leg along with the strong hip extensors at the back of the leg namely the glutes and hamstrings. The important set up point with this exercise is to make sure the step block is high enough. Ideally when you place your foot on the block your thigh should be parallel to the ground. One more great tip is to encourage the client to press through their heel as they step up onto the block. This will encourage good glute recruitment during the exercise.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about three of my favourite leg conditioning workouts and I hope you get the chance to go and use them in your local health club.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have about these or any other exercises I have written about in my articles.

Dec 262012

The reason for doing an exercise program is to be fit and healthy, but picking the right program is not necessarily straightforward. The perfect fitness program needs to help you achieve your goals, and also one that doesn’t take up way too much of your limited time.

You’ll find those who consider an exercise program a top priority, and they work everything around it. For the majority, however, exercise is one out of numerous activities that they try to find the time for whenever they can. You have to decide why you want an exercise program, and whether it’ll be a big enough priority for you.

There are numerous forms of exercise, from jogging and other cardio type exercises to resistance training, where your muscles are worked. There is no one perfect exercise routine for everyone, but you need to still try to get a comprehensive and varied workout.
The advantages of resistance training are now better understood than before, which explains why so many experts endorse this. Conditioning your muscles is best achieved by resistance training, and this is something you can’t really get from aerobic workouts alone. Besides making your muscles stronger, resistance training also provides a few unique benefits to your bones. Though bodybuilding and weight lifting may be used to build large and powerful muscles, you can also engage in resistance training for other objectives.

Weights are not needed to do resistance training, since you can also use resistance bands, pull-up bars and even just your own body weight. Individuals who are misinformed might tell you if you do resistance training you’re putting your bones and muscles at risk. Other kinds of exercise, such as jogging, are a lot more likely to lead to injuries since they’re higher impact exercises. Water aerobics is considerably safer than standard aerobics, and resistance training is on a similar level when it comes to safety issues. The best way to start resistance training is by working out at a level you’re comfortable with and making certain your form is correct. When starting any kind of fitness program, it’s always best if you consult with your physician first; this is especially the case for folks in their forties and older. Any person with a known health issue, or who has been sedentary for a time has to be especially careful.

One kind of resistance training that’s extremely convenient and effective is making use of resistance bands. A fairly easy exercise consists of standing on the resistance band while holding the other end and doing curl up exercises. This develops the biceps, just as weight lifting does. Strength training doesn’t merely build your muscles, it also improves your metabolism and allows you to slim down. It also helps support your heart health by helping to lower your blood pressure level and boost your heart. With regards to resistance training, you have to exercise consistently, but you don’t want to over train. There are many resistance training routines, ranging anywhere from once to a number of times per week.

You shouldn’t merely exercise the same few muscles when you do resistance training, but do many different exercises. As with any type of exercise routine, to prevent cramps, stiffness and injury, you should do a lot of stretching exercises.

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Apr 202012

A mammoth man lifts a hulking barbell. A tiny woman does catches and overhead throws that work her “lats”. A child pulls on a green rubber tube. A teen lifts her legs repetitively. A senior squeezes his knees together so hard his face is turning red. What is strength training? All of these.

Making your muscles move against outside resistance will definitely build them up as well as bones, tendons, and ligaments. A regular, prolonged period of such resisting motion is a strength training exercise routine–needed 3 times weekly along with stretching and aerobic activities to be a full physical fitness program.

Any sort of good health program incorporates strength training as an essential part. Strength training fights the tendency of lean muscle mass to turn to fat around age 30. Muscle requires 7 to 10 times as many calories daily than fat, and as strength training replaces fat with muscle, it helps avoid even more fat increase. It increases metabolism–aiding your mind and keeping a number of chronic conditions at bay. Strength training helps you keep your balance and builds your bones–both of which safeguard you from falls.

Strength training has numerous forms; all except a red-faced senior doing isometric workouts are good. Isometrics keep the angles of joints and hence muscle lengths fixed throughout the workout. Isometrics nearly exclusively enhance muscles at the particular joint angle of the action rather than throughout a span of motion. Furthermore, it raises blood pressure–unsafe for those with cardiac or stroke possibilities.

The resistance required by strength training is most commonly provided by gravity with the use of progressively massive free weights working all parts of the body. Barbells are bulky and can be hazardous–it’s easy to lose control–yet are good for the heavier range. The bench and storage racks take up a lot of space. A health and fitness center with a spotter is optimal spot to utilize these.

More individuals use dumbbells, particularly at home or the office. They are a great deal safer and take a great deal less space. Regrettably, to continue a strength training program, you will need to graduate to ever heavier weights, requiring many more dumbbells and much more space.

You are able to, nevertheless, have the collection of weights you have to have in only about the same amount of space as a single dumbbell by using the Bowflex SelectTech 552 and Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbells. Both of these have the “dial a weight” feature: place the handle in the weight stack, dial the weight, a clip moves to pick up the plate(s) you require. The SelectTech 1090 includes weights from 10 to 90 pounds–thus the number–and the SelectTech 552 gives you weights from 5 to 52 pounds. One or the other will certainly be sufficient for all your years of weight training–unless you are a professional athlete or body builder. “Weight training” is strength training making use of gravity to supply the resistance.

Also convenient are the resistance bands or tubes. Each color has a different resistance, with lighter colors having less resistance and darker, more. As you progress, you are going to acquire a rainbow of colors. Resistance training can be pretty light–good for post-injury training. And heavier resistance training is good for advanced strength trainers. You will have to vary your program at least every 3 weeks to prevent “accommodation”–where your body stops using as much energy or building muscles for the same activity.

Whether you use your very own body’s weight, exercise equipment, resistance bands, barbells, or the Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells, to develop your body, you will experience the benefits of of strength training, and learn for yourself what strength training is.