During last week’s inauguration we got a glance at Michelle Obama‘s toned, fit arms in that gorgeous sleeveless gown she wore to the ball. The first lady has always had an admirable figure, but her arms truly speak to the dedication she has to her fitness regimen. They don’t come easy, but if you follow my guidance here, we can start working on a set of strong arms of your own.
We want to see the curves of the bicep and the nice little cap of the deltoids. We absolutely do not want to see the tricep waddle! A lot of curls and kickbacks may create some shape in your arms but they are not the most efficient way to build muscle and burn fat. So how does a girl build fabulous arms and shoulders?
First, I will tell you how it’s not accomplished.
Not with infomercial gadgets that promise you fantastic muscles in only 10 minutes a day.
Not with endless curls with soup cans or water bottles.
Not with starvation diets.
Here are my top five tips to get fantastic arms you want to show off in your tank tops and shoulder-baring dresses. (more…)
Eventually, no matter how many times you extend into upward dog and stretch back into downward dog, your body will start to adapt and you will hit a plateau in strength and endurance. While we know the goal of practicing yoga is not always about muscular development, when you do want to get stronger, adding Pilates to your yoga sequence is a great way to make that happen.
The following two Pilates-inspired exercises will help you wake up your core and take your yoga practice to an entirely new level. For best results, practice each exercise back-to-back, and in the middle of your yoga sequence, when your body is warm and limber.
Criss Cross Exercise
From a supine position, bring both hands behind your head. Bend both knees and stack them directly over your hips. Lift your head and chest and twist your upper body to the right while extending your left leg at a 45-degree angle. (more…)
After reading a recent interview from a rising Bollywood star, here’s to hoping our Western culture can start teaching our daughters to embrace the Indian culture of actress Bhavna Pani.
The Times of India headlined with Pani’s own words, “I never go on a diet.” The beautiful dancer and actress told the news source that she exercises faithfully, but she never diets, and stated that “shortcuts always prove to be disastrous.” These sage words are coming from a 22-year-old who has to be on screen in front of millions. It was really refreshing to hear that she’s embraced healthy living as a lifestyle and scoffed away quick, hard hitting diets that won’t last.
Pani said in her interview that all her exercise comes from dance and body weight training. She mentioned that she dances about 1-2 hours a day while adding in a toning activity like Pilates or yoga on alternating days. She says her routine is effective and does not demand too much time. (more…)
Jennifer Fite, 47, is a single mom and publicist living in Chicago, Illinois who kept good on her 2012 New Year’s resolution. This time last year Jen knew it was time for a change. At her heaviest weight of 283 pounds, she was unhealthy, unhappy and determined to take control of her health once and for all.
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jen about her amazing weight loss journey, which left her 95 pounds lighter in just under one year. It all started when she joined a local gym called Downsize Fitness.
Would it surprise you to learn I was once an unfit mess? Not that I am perfect today, but about 14 years ago I started a journey to fitness and a quest to reclaim my life and health.
I was a poor college student who didn’t even know what a personal trainer was, much less had the spare cash to afford one. I started with a very inexpensive gym membership and two books: Weight Training for Dummies and Body For Life. Both are great books and I still recommend them today. But they leave a lot of room for interpretation, especially for someone as headstrong as I am.
Needless to say, I made quiet a few mistakes in the beginning of my journey. Let me share a few examples of my early missteps in hopes of saving you the time I wasted and the frustration I experienced.
1. Lifting weights like a guy. I had no idea how to train for fat loss vs. muscle gain. There is nothing wrong with a body part or upper/lower split, like the workout plan in Body for Life, it just isn’t the most effective for ladies trying to lose fat. This is especially true in the beginning. It took me quite a while to learn the value of a well-designed full body workout full of multi-joint compound movements like push ups and squats. (more…)
For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re diving into something a bit different. We’re switching things up and confusing those muscles by incorporating a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are a handle-style weight typically made of cast-iron that ranges in weight between 5-105 pounds. They can be found at most major retailers for a reasonably low price, usually between $10-$15. In addition to being affordable and easy to store, they’re also the perfect tool for strength, flexibility and ballistic training, and can also incorporated into cardiovascular activity as well.
Among its many benefits, kettlebell training can aid with core stability, balance, coordination, blood circulation, muscle tone and fat loss, and can also help increase energy levels, improve sleep and boost self esteem. Sign us up!
It’s pretty common for females to be intimidated by weight training, but kettlebells are a great option for performing exercises comfortably in your very own home. They’re also great for switching things up and confusing your muscles. Your body can easily get used to a particular exercise if you perform it on a consistent basis. When this happens your workout isn’t as beneficial as it was the first few times you performed it, leaving you with less-than-desirable results.
NOTE: Please be sure to carefully follow the instructions for this routine. Performing a kettlebell exercise incorrectly can cause injury. If you’re unsure about how to perform an exercise correctly, do not attempt it before asking a personal trainer at your local gym in order to avoid risk of injury.
A study that’s been nearly two decades in the making is shining some new light on the benefits of weight training. Researchers from the Harvard University of Public Health have found that this popular form of exercise not only provides bigger biceps, but may also help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
It’s long been known that weight training is an extremely beneficial form of exercise, but more recently experts have been touting that it’s one of the best activities a person can do over a lifetime. Recent studies have even suggested it can improve memory and brain function, strengthen bones and connective tissue in children, help a person quit smoking, and even help breast cancer patients recover more quickly.
Author and health researcher Timothy Caulfield, whom we interviewed earlier this year for his book “The Cure for Everything,” even selected weight training as the one activity he would do to reap the most benefits if he had to choose just one. Knowing he tested every exercise theory out there, we place a fair amount of confidence in his opinion.
And Harvard researchers agree, saying weight training may be as effective at preventing diabetes as other aerobic exercise like walking, swimming and biking. (more…)
You’ve got a crazy hectic schedule and there’s no time to hit the gym after work because of your long to-do list. You want to get a quick/decent workout in over lunch, but there’s no time for that either because you’ll need a shower. So what do you do? Try some of these sweat-free workout tricks.
With this list of workout activities, you’ll be able to develop a lunch workout regimen that you’ll be able to complete in a quick and timely manner without causing you to perspire, and in turn, needing to make time to shower. You’ll be back to work just in time for those afternoon meetings! No, you won’t be burning the calories like you would during a hard cardio session, but it’s far better than no activity at all.
Not only does walking benefit you through burning calories, but it also helps control blood pressure and relaxes the body and mind. By choosing walking as your lunch time activity, you’ve got many choices both in and outside of the office. Meet a friend at a nearby park, or if it’s hot, go to the gym and grab a treadmill or walk the track for 30 minutes. A great option for those who can’t leave the office is to walk up and down the stairs or find long hallways. Like mentioned above, anything is better than nothing. (more…)
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.
How to Combine Strength Training and Pull Ups to Get Results
Sexy Summer Abs Circuit Workout
Post-Workout Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe
“We’ve seen research on every age group, from children to men and women in their 90s, and it’s clear that you can get stronger at any age,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of the new book The New Rules of Lifting for Life.
This intriguing new book draws out long known truths about muscle strength and longevity. Simply put, the book explains how the strongest people live longer. Additionally the book explains smart and healthy ways for anyone to get in the weight room and get an effective workout.
The authors call-out some common problems seen by many who frequent the gym. For instance, they dispel the myth that women don’t need to lift heavy weights.
“Middle-aged and older women think their bones will shatter if they pick up a weight that’s heavier than their purse. There’s nothing stranger than seeing a woman do a bench press or bent-over row with a dumbbell that’s smaller than her forearm,” Schuler says.
Schuler explains how another common error to be found in the weight room is that of overweight individuals. (more…)