If you’re the least bit interested in health and fitness, there’s a good chance you’ve done a few squats in your life. But have you ever really thought about how beneficial they are for your body?
First and foremost, squats aid in adding muscle to your frame. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns. For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body burns another 50-70 calories per day. Squats also help maintain mobility and balance, boost your sports performance so you can do things like jump higher and run faster, and even help prevent injuries. They’re also the exercise that works the most muscles at the same time, targeting your legs, entire core and of course, your backside.
This morning as you get up and around to do your weekend chores, take a few minutes to get a quick leg workout in. All you need is about 20 minutes to go through this entire squatting routine. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
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In order for the body to build muscle, it needs to be stressed. When done with the proper form, the body has no choice but to break down muscle tissue which will then result in muscle hypertrophy. If you’re looking to build muscle (or tone what you do have) but can’t afford the expenses that come along with it, we’ve put together a list of body weight exercises you can do at home with little or no cost at all.
Whether it’s the gym membership costs, the at-home gym equipment you can’t afford, or just the lack of time keeping you from the gym, these strength exercises will be sure help you get the job done right in your own home.
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By Pamela Hernandez
When we say weight loss what we really mean is fat loss. We want to workout and eat, in most cases, to get lean and carve lovely muscular curves. Many try to slog it out on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for hours on end to burn fat. I believe there are much more efficient, and entertaining, ways to burn calories and create a lean physique.
Ready to break out of your cardio machine routine? Try one of my favorite (and highly effective) fat burning workouts.
Squats: Weight training will always top my list of fat burners. Your resting metabolism can stay elevated for up to 48 hours after strength training, meaning more calories burned while you sleep or sit at your desk. Squats are at the top of my list because they use all of the big muscles of the legs and there are endless variations to keep you from getting bored. My favorite is the overhead squat, engaging muscles from top to bottom.
Boxing: I have no desire to hit someone but when I want to work up a sweat I love hitting the bag or putting on my Tae-Bo video. Your core and legs (remember big muscles burn more calories) provide power to your punches while increasing your heart rate more quickly than the treadmill. If you really want to sculpt tank top ready shoulders and arms, trying shadow boxing with weighted gloves or light dumbbells in hand.
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Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
If your main excuse for not exercising is lack of money for a gym membership or at home equipment, get ready to put it behind you. You don’t need a gym to get an effective and challenging workout. You don’t need weights or infomercial gadgets. You already have the only equipment you need – your own body.
Body weight exercises are some of the most effective (if you can’t move your own body weight how do expect to lift heavy dumbbells?) and they can be done anywhere (fitting well into a busy schedule at home or on the road.)
I have 5 essential body weight exercises for you. If you do these exercises you will hit all your major muscle groups; doing them circuit style will get your heart rate up at the same time for an extra cardio boost.
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It’s our second to last week in Courtney’s Summer Challenge and she is not taking it easy on us. In fact, she’s turning up the heat a bit. Fair enough, we’ve been at this for almost three months, surely we’re ready to take on a total body workout.
Your challenge this week is SQUATS! You can do them just about anywhere, they don’t cost anything, and they require very little of your time. All of that and you get some serious return on investment… working your thighs, glutes, and even abs (if you’re doing it right).
Join Courtney this week for the squat challenge.
One participant wins a DIR T-Shirt and some Wholly Guacamole.