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4 Effective Ways to Make Your Body Weight Workouts Harder

bosu workout

Strength training is a progressive thing: as you progress and grow stronger, the intensity and resistance of your exercises will evolve to continue to challenge you and keep those results coming. There are very specific variables that effect how hard an exercise is that you can use to increase that intensity incrementally. You can’t always just add more weight, so here are four other ways to ramp up the results of your body weight workouts.

How to Strength Train Without Weights

Change the angle: The steeper the angle of your body toward your exercising muscles, the harder the exercise will be. Example: elevate your feet during push-ups to make them tougher, or place your hands on a stair to decrease the angle for an easier modification of a standard pushup.

Decrease the stability: Reducing your contact with the floor instantly works more muscles groups to keep you balanced. You can do this by lifting one foot or hand off the ground, or getting off the floor completely with an unstable surface like a bosu, a balance board, or a stability ball.
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4 Effective Stretches for Leg Day

leg-day-stretches

By Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD and Anne Talbot-Kleeman, RN, Certified Fitness Professional for TheDoctorsWorkout.com.

Leg stretches are an essential way to maintain flexibility and avoid common lower body injuries. If you enjoy biking or jogging, it is especially important to pay attention to protecting the commonly injured areas such as the hips, knees, and ankles, resulting in injuries like hamstring strain, calf strain, patellar tendinitis, and Achilles tendinitis. These injuries can best be prevented by a dynamic warm-up and saving stretching exercises to follow your exercise once the muscles are warmed up. Here are a few of the most effective leg stretches:

HAMSTRING STRETCH

hamstring-stretches

This important stretch can be done in several positions. One technique involves standing on one leg while putting your heel on an elevated surface like a bench or chair. Keep the elevated leg straight and lean into the knee, bending at the waist. You will feel the pull in your hamstring. Hold the position for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Another way to do the stretch is to lay on your back with one leg straight out on the floor and the other flexed 90 degrees at the hip, knee straight using a towel around the foot or ankle.
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Workout Splits are Key to Creating the Physique You Really Want

workout splits

If you’re new to the gym this spring you’re quickly figuring out that fitness has a language all its own. You have the bootcamp class going for AMRAP while the guy at the squat rack is bragging about his one rep max. As you rest before attempting the next set of dips, another woman asks to “work in” on the assisted dip machine. She asks you, “Is it chest and tri day for you, too?”.

You stare at her thinking, “Are my triceps supposed to have a special day?”.

Workout splits, or how often you work a particular muscle group, can be one of the most confusing parts of a new strength training regimen. With the emphasis on high intensity programs in gyms and online training programs most people are training every muscle, every workout. The idea of a workout dedicated to just upper body or a specific muscle group seems foreign, even outdated, but making sure a muscle has adequate rest and attention is key to creating the physique you really want. Whether you’re new to the weight room or thinking about your first figure competition, there is a split that is right for you!
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Beyonce’s Top 5 Killer Workout Moves Celebrate Let’s Move’s 5th Anniversary

beyonce workout

Celebs like Beyonce are sharing quick workout tips to help Michelle Obama celebrate the 5th anniversary of Let’s Move!

A-listers like Ryan Seacrest, Kerry Washington, Hugh Jackman, and John Legend have joined in on the fun by capturing a workout move on video. They’re all sharing videos of themselves doing five reps of a favorite exercise with the hashtag #gimmefive. A fitting tribute to a program that’s raised significant awareness for physical activity in the last five years!

Bey went the extra mile and shared five of her go-to moves that keep the Flawless singer in such great shape.

Try Beyonce’s killer workout moves yourself:
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Row, Row, Row to Get Fit Like Frank Underwood (It’s Better Than Spinning!)

frank underwood rowing

Oh, boy. House of Cards is back this week, and who isn’t excited? The extremely popular television show premiered on Netflix two years ago, and even though we got a brief flirtation with a third season, our long wait is finally over. Though we all appreciate the entertainment value in House of Cards (or any Netflix-binge-worthy show), we have to at least mention Frank Underwood’s stellar shape.

In the first season of House of Cards, Frank’s wife Claire buys him a rowing machine, to which he replies, “It looks positively medieval, doesn’t it?”. He isn’t as avid a runner as she is, and she wants him to stay fit so the two of them can continue their Napoleon-esque takeover of D.C.

Claire is certainly a healthy fitness inspiration, but her reign of influence has caused a boost in the popularity of rowing since a machine moved into her basement, and it is no wonder why. Rowing is a tremendously beneficial activity to add to your fitness routine.

“Rowing is awesome because it pulls double duty,” explained DietsInReview’s Kelly Turner, a personal trainer and fitness journalist. “It’s an amazing cardiovascular workout, but the motion and resistance of the rowing machine also counts as strength training.”
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