Author: Daniel Jacks

Developing a Well-rounded Fitness Program with 5 essential Elements

Published / by Daniel Jacks

fitness-goal-735x400Everyone, from the most die-hard fitness fanatics to the greenest rookies taking their first steps toward improved physical condition, can benefit from a well-rounded training program for physical fitness. To maximize the efficiency of your time and efforts be sure to include these following five elements to give you a well-balanced routine.   

–    Aerobic Fitness

Commonly called cardio or endurance activity, aerobic exercise is the single most important element of a training program. Aerobic training elevates your breathing rhythm, causing faster deeper breaths that fill your blood with oxygen increasing stamina.

The higher level of aerobic fitness the better jobs your heart and lungs can do distributing life and energy-giving oxygen to all parts of your body. This will make it easier to take up the challenge of unexpected physical demands like sprinting to your car in a downpour, or jogging up 3 flights of stairs if the elevator is out.

There are many ways to get good aerobic exercise, any activity that requires movement of the large muscle groups and accelerates heart rate and breathing is an aerobic activity. Walking, dancing, biking, swimming, jogging and of course water aerobicsóor cleaning the garage, vacuuming the house, snow shoveling, you name it.

For a healthy adult aerobic activity is vital, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests a minimum of 150 minutes of reasonable aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. A combination of the two is equally effective. It is also suggested to space your time out evenly throughout the course of the week rather than jam it all into a weekend.

–   Strength training

Another important element to a fitness program focuses on muscle strengthening. A twice a week program of strength training can greatly improve the conditions of your skeletal and muscular condition. While in the thick of a weight loss program, strength training can maintain strong muscle mass while the fatty tissue is burned away.

Going to the gym will provide you with a plethora of devices to target every muscle in the human physique from barbells and resistance machines to free weights and fitness balls. You donít have to pay up for a gym membership to begin a successful program of strength training, however.

Soda bottles filled with sand or water make excellent and inexpensive home-made weights. Resistance bands wonít cost you an arm and a leg for good results. And never forget the power of dynamic tension and the use of your own body weight in exercises like push-ups, crunches, and the leg squats.

–    Core Exercises

The muscle groups pertaining to the abdomen, pelvis, and lower back constitute your core muscle group. These core muscles are responsible for supporting your upper body and coordinating your upper and lower body movements. Core strength is an essential part of a well-rounded exercise program.

Core training gives you a solid center that allows you to balance your upper body better and use your lower body muscles more effectively. What are the core exercises? Anything that focuses on the trunk of the body without support, various abdominal crunches as well as many core exercises are done with a fitness ball.

–    Balance training

It is of vital importance to regularly practice balance training, especially for older adults. The reason this is so important is that balance will eventually begin to deteriorate with age this can result in accidents and injury as bones get more brittle.

But it is never too late to begin essential balance training to improve the condition of the core muscles. Standing still with your body weight balanced on one foot is an excellent balance exercise. Traditional Tai Qi exercise routines can also be very beneficial.

–   Flexibility and stretching

Flexibility is very important to maintaining physical condition but more important to the prevention of sprains, pulled muscles, and other injuries. Some activities like gymnastics and dancing require a more flexibility than others like jogging. Flexibility can be improved by regular stretching exercises, allowing for more strenuous activities and eliminating the tendency for muscles to cramp up or get strained.

Stretching exercises are also great for relieving stress; this makes them even more important to a well-rounded exercise program.

Warm up before you stretch with ten minutes of your favorite low-intensity activity or just a walk around the block in the clean morning air. Then stretch again after you work out when your body is warm and your muscles are more inclined to being stretched.

If you are not in the habit of regularly exercising yet, it may be best to stretch more than 3 times a week to maintain flexibility in the muscles.  Yoga activities are a tremendous way to improve flexibility.

–   Cover all the Bases

Whether you employ the services of a qualified trainer or would rather design a program for yourself it is best that your exercise routine incorporates a piece of all these elements to make you strong as well as flexible and energetic. It is not necessary to try and fit each element into your daily routine however including them regularly will guarantee you a long and happier life with reduced risk of injury and best of all the strength and vitality to enjoy it all.

Dumbbell Pullovers: Why So Many People Love Them

Published / by Daniel Jacks

xdumbbell_pullover_main-jpg-pagespeed-ic-vdt5sofi14They won’t ever be as glamorous as curl movements or as popular as bench presses.  However, they are among my favorite exercises, and I want to be sure they don’t become completely forgotten.  I am referring to the dumbbell pullover.  It’s a staple exercise from Arnold’s era, and it’s one of my favorite unique gym movements.  For some reason, this fabulous exercise appears to have fallen away from most people’s regimens.

Perhaps in these times of new-age workouts and fancy machines, it’s just too easy to forget.  However, I want to strongly encourage you to not follow that kind of thinking.  This exercise shouldn’t be forgotten because when you add the dumbbell pullover as part of your routine, you will give yourself the opportunity for some noticeable improvements that can’t be created by any other movement.  Think about it this way: if it was good for Arnold to do, then certainly it must be good enough for you as well.

The dumbbell pullover cross-bench version was made popular during the Gold Era of 1970s bodybuilding, and particularly by Arnold, who used it frequently as a brutal and effective finisher in his world-famous double-split routines.  The benefits of this movement were always raved about by Arnold.  He even used to state that his rib cage was expanded by the pullover.

I’m really not sure about the science available for that specific benefit in terms of pullovers.  However, I do know that there is a long list of items which make it an effective tool as part of your arsenal.  When performed properly, everything is hit, from your triceps, lats, abs and pecs.  All of these muscles are worked in a unique and beneficial way.  Given all of this, why is everybody not doing pullovers?

I came up with one theory- maybe it’s too effective for your whole upper body.  Since it hits so many areas, maybe people are unsure of where it fits into their workout routines, so they just leave out.  It usually is not the norm to train big muscle groups such as the back and chest together.  So there is a dilemma regarding pullovers.

Here’s an easy solution and what I recommend that you do- just pick a day to do pullovers.  The key is just to incorporate them into one day and then get the work done.  The thing that has worked the best for me when were aren’t doing pull/push workouts (back and chest together) is making sure to do it on my chest day.  Then I make sure my reps are kept high, frequently 12-20 reps.  For every set, I really focus on getting a deep stretch, and I usually perform 3 or 4 sets.

It really has made a significant difference to my physique.  It has improved areas that can be difficult to target and made them into strong points instead.  I have much deeper serratus muscles that really stand out.  I believe it comes from doing pullover work for many years.  It has conditioned my lats at the same time, creating some great muscle and lines.  When I started adding pullovers, I started to pop and those two areas became strengths for me.

In terms of this movement, there are a couple of major keys:

Many people rush through the exercise and don’t focus on achieving a proper stretch.  You must feel a deep stretch with this exercise.  Keeping your head and hips down is very important.  It ensures that you don’t just swing the weight.  When you keep your hips down, you will be able to really feel that your lats are working and you will see gains from it.

When you do it properly, you will feel the muscles in your triceps, lats and upper abs working hard and providing you with a pump that is hard to re-create with a different movement.

Any reason you might have not doing this exercise right now isn’t a good one.  Throw them into your routine.  Do the right thing and don’t allow the dumbbell pullover to go out of style.

How To Improve Your Muscle Fitness Using Weight Training

Published / by Daniel Jacks

86505171_xsNowadays, many people prefer attending weight training programs as their main method of gaining body fitness. Free weights and other common loss weight machines are used during these sessions. This program and other workout exercises leave one with the improved physique and toned muscles. If you are entrepreneurs, consider starting such a program. The program can be a great source of income.

Workout programs can be described as a form of strength training that entirely depends on weight manipulation. It provides the muscles with the required stress that makes them get stronger and adapt to heavy duties. Thus, we can say it works in the same way just as aerobic conditioning which strengthens your heart. It can be performed using weight machines or free weights like dumbbells and barbells.

How it works is not important. In fact, we donít necessarily consider how long one spends on the program. For best results, you really donít have to overdo it. A couple of sessions a week are recommended and should be able to give you the desired results.

Ensure that each weight training session last for twenty to thirty minutes. Thus, two of them are enough for a week. Attending the weight training sessions twice per week is suitable for all adults. This is because it keeps them healthy and gives them enough time (one hundred and fifty minutes a week) required for the moderate working of the aerobic process.

These programs are very efficient in helping one lose extra calories if they are done in a proper manner. However, it may be detrimental if done wrongly since it may result in injuries like strains, fractures, and sprains.

If you want to be successful, you need to consider the following tips for best results in weight training programs.

Use Proper Techniques.

If you are attending the program for the first time, it is advisable that you contract a specialist or a trainer so that he can teach you appropriate methods. Failure to do so, you may end up with unnecessary injuries.

Do Sets Of Repetition On A Single Step.

Research shows that a single set of twelve repetitions using the correct weights is sufficient for burning calorie. It gives better results compared to any other method you may choose to use.

Stick On Correct Weights

Choose on weights that are not too heavy but they should be heavy enough to tire your muscles in twelve to fifteen repetitions. Correct weights should not allow you to exceed fifteen repetitions. In normal cases, you should get it difficult to complete the final round.

Begin It At A Slow Rate

If you are new to such a session, you should first try a few pounds before gradually switching to heavier ones. This ensures that you donít hurt your ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Adjust to newer weight whenever you discover that you can complete 12 repetitions of a certain weight with little or no difficulties.

Take Enough Time To Rest

Ensure that you rest for a day between two consecutive days of exercising. This makes your muscles set for the next exercise. Prepare a schedule for working on major muscles groups. Schedule to work on each weight at least twice a week.

If you consider the above tips, be sure of burning those extra calories. However, make sure that you avoid injuries during the session. This program is very good for weight to lose and at the same time dangerous. At the end of the program, you will attain great joint flexibility, better weight management and increased bone weight.

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