Get off the Bench for a Better Chest Workout

The classic bench press is a great exercise for building chest muscles, but always repeating the same exercises only targets the same area again and again. To get better results you need to mix it up.

While there are many great chest workouts that involve free weights or high-end machines, you really don’t need fancy or expensive equipment to get great results. Believe it or not, classic pushups are not only one the best exercises for building solid chest muscles they’re also one of the most versatile.

Pushups are easily adaptable for both beginners and advanced bodybuilding enthusiasts, and with only a few modifications you can work your entire chest. But best of all, you can do them just about anywhere.

Start with the classic

Classic pushups are a great way to build muscle, but maintaining proper form can have a big impact on your results. Before you incorporate any modified versions into your workout, be sure you’ve mastered the basic technique.

Proper form

Start with your hands on the ground just slightly further than shoulders’ width apart. Straighten your arms and stretch your legs out with your toes pointing downward. Your feet can be as far apart or close together as you like, but your weight should be balanced on the palms of your hands and your toes.

Keep your entire body in a straight line, with your chin toward the ground and your eyes forward. Beginners can slightly modify this technique by keeping their knees on the ground.

One rep at a time

From the starting position, brace your abs to keep your body in a straight line and steadily lower yourself by bending your elbows. Your elbows should remain close to your body and your legs should remain straight.

While there’s no exact measure for how low you should go, keep your distance the same for every rep so you can accurately assess your progress. For example, stop when your arm bends to a 90-degree angle or when your chest touches the ground.

Hold that position for a second or two then raise yourself back up to the starting position.

To get the best results, make sure you’re in control of your movements and not flopping to the ground on every rep. Even if you can only do one or two complete pushups at first, maintaining good form will help you get stronger faster.

Take it to the next level

After you’ve mastered the classic pushup technique, you can incorporate various modifications to work different areas of the chest.

For both the classic version as well as any of these variations, keeping your hands further apart than your shoulders will work the outer chest muscles, while keeping them at shoulders’ width will work the inner chest muscles. If your hands are closer than shoulders’ width, you’ll be working more on your triceps.

Staggered pushup – more challenging, as they target one side of the chest at a time

From the classic starting position, place one hand a few inches more forward than the other. Perform pushups using the classic form, but be sure to alternate hands between sets.

Single leg pushup – works your chest muscles and engages your core

From the classic starting position, lift one foot just a few inches off of the ground. Perform pushups using the classic form, but alternate legs between sets.

Plyometric pushup – activates the fast-twitch muscles in your chest

From the classic starting position, begin pushup by lowering yourself using the classic form. But instead of rising slowly, push up from the ground in one explosive movement, using enough force to lift your hands off of the ground.

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Getting More Out of Your Workout

When Going to the Gym Just Isn’t Enough
Everyone knows that regular exercise is beneficial to your overall health. If you’re faithfully hitting the gym and logging a full 30 minutes on your favorite cardio machine, that’s great, but you could be getting a lot more out of your workout.

While any exercise is more beneficial than just sitting on your couch, mixing up your routine could have added benefits. If you’re like most people, there’s probably an exercise or two that you absolutely hate, but did you ever wonder if maybe you dislike them so much because they’re working a weaker area of your body?

To fix those weak spots, create a variable routine that targets each of your major muscle groups. You should also alternate between focusing on increasing flexibility, building muscle and improving cardio.

A dynamic stretch to increase your flex

No matter how much you work out, daily commutes and long hours of sitting at a desk can really hamper your flexibility. A dynamic stretch, such as the forearm-to-instep lunge, can increase flexibility in your hips, hamstrings and lower back.

Give it a shot: Starting with your left foot, step into a lunge and bend forward at the waist. Your left forearm should be on the ground with your elbow touching the inside of your left foot. Your right hand should also be on the ground. Next, keep your right hand on the ground and twist your torso while reaching upward with your left hand. Return your hand to the ground before straightening your left knee and resuming a standing position. Repeat using the right leg, and try to complete about 3 to 5 reps on each side.

Building muscle doesn’t always mean bulk

Some people skip strength training altogether because they don’t want large, bulging arms and legs. But the truth is, it takes significant effort and specific exercises to gain that type of muscle mass. However, incorporating a simple strength-training move, such as the opposite arm/leg lift, can help you retain bone strength and raise your metabolism.

Give it a shot: Start from a kneeling position and place both hands on the ground in front of you. Your arms should be straight and your back should be parallel to the ground. Raise one arm off of the ground, holding it straight out in front of you, while extending the opposite leg behind you. Stretch your arm and leg in opposite directions and hold this position for 5 seconds. Return to your original position and repeat the move, alternating sides for 10 sets.

Kick up your cardio with sprints

Whether you’re on the treadmill or logging a few mile outdoors, adding a few sprints to your regular run will improve your cardio and has many other benefits, such as burning fat and building muscle.

Give it a shot: After you’ve warmed up, try sprinting for 10 to 30 seconds and then slow it down for about 30 seconds. The point is to go a bit faster than you would normally be able to for a longer period, but there’s no need to overdo it. Try to complete at least 3 to 5 sets during the first few workouts, but add more sets or increase your speed as you feel able.

If you’re already making it to the gym on a regular basis, adding a few moves like these will help you get the most out of your workout. If you want to focus more on a specific area, check in with one of the trainers at your gym for some additional targeted moves. Whichever workout you choose, just mix it up and keep hitting the gym.

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Fitness Habits To Feel More Like 20 When You’re 60

Whether you’re in your twenties yourself or you are raising kids, it’s important to instill good fitness habits at this age as they will greatly improve chances of being healthy and fit later on in life. This sounds logical, but it is also based on research, where early twenty somethings were studied, and the ones who practiced good fitness habits were healthier later on in life. It doesn’t require that you go to the gym seven days a week, it just requires that you create a lifestyle that incorporates a few habits suggested by accredited fitness experts.


Both before and after you lift, run, jog, swim or do aerobics, you should stretch for three to five minutes. Stretch slowly, and breathe through the stretches.

Incorporate Weights Into Your Workout

This will give you strength, relieve stress and protect you from getting diabetes.

Don’t Plateau

This often happens with runners. You have to switch it up. Run some days, walk, jog or power walk other days, and hike swim or go to the gym in between.

Drink More Water

Caffeinated beverages don’t count. A fun strategy is to try having a glass of water every time you visit one of your social sites except you might end up drinking too much water. The goal is eight tall glasses of water a day.

Learn Proper Form

If you don’t, then you won’t get the full benefit of your workout, and you could injure yourself.

Rotate Running Shoes

Here it goes. You have just been handed a ticket to shop for and own multiple pairs of shoes. Why? Because it’s actual beneficial to your feet, ankles, and legs to rotate between your running shoes as long as they are all high quality shoes created for running. This is based on studies, where those who rotated shoes experienced less injuries related to running. So go out and shop for shoes that go with your running outfits or track suits.

Eat Post Workout

This is important to insure you have energy to function and that your muscles can fully benefit from the workout you just gave them. Your snack should include healthy sources of carbs and protein, such as a banana and a glass of milk or a handful of raisins and peanuts in their skins or a glass of low-fat chocolate milk.

Try all of The Exercise and Dance Classes Your Gym Offers

This will do one or two things. For one, you won’t get bored. If you have ever gone to a certain fitness class for a while, and it got to a point where half way through the class you just weren’t looking forward to the next thirty minutes, then rotating classes will keep you engaged and on your toes. Also, after checking out all of the different classes, you may just find a couple that you get hooked on, and these can ensure you stay in shape for the rest of your life.

Make Fitness a Part of Your Life

Look at fitting your fitness routine in just like making sure you eat a balanced meal. In fact, if you go out once or twice a week for dinner or lunch, set it up so that you workout, shower and get dressed up for your dine out. On other days, you can set it up so that you meet with friends to do something physically exerting such as hiking, working out at the gym or going swimming. However, and this really should have its own paragraph, one of the most important fitness habits is that you don’t wait for others to exercise, always plan to exercise by yourself, and if your friends join you, then consider it as an added bonus.

Protect Your Posture

Maintain your posture through a few yoga poses while stretching or a pilates routine a few days a week.

Have Rest Days

On these days, you can do something totally different like walking when you spent the day before doing aerobics or weight training. Swimming is another thing you can do on a day when you don’t go to the gym or go hiking.

Listen to Your Body

Always pay attention to new exercises and activities you start and stop and what your daily diet consists of. This will make it easier to pinpoint changes in how you feel or why you have gained or lost weight.

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Re-start your Resolutions Today!

It is common for people to make New Year’s resolutions year in, year out. But the hard part is seeing those resolutions through. Hitting the gym or eating right is usually number two or three on the list right after quitting a bad habit or looking for a better career.

As the clock counts down to the New Year, each individual’s heart is filled with enthusiasm of starting a fresh and fulfilling the list that’s meant to impact their lives one way or another. But shortly after into the year, the days begin to turn into weeks, weeks into months and before you know it, another new year is fast approaching; the list is long forgotten.

You soon realize that nothing ever changes in your life. The great thing is that it is never too late to re-start those resolutions, no matter what time of year it is. So don’t thing about cancelling that gym membership or abandoning your diet plan just yet. They say that our worst enemy is ourselves. We agree to defeat even before the war has begun and become the first to beat on ourselves when something goes wrong.

Exercising and maintaining a diet plan has never been easy and the results don’t just occur overnight. Therefore, before you go so hard on yourself, first add ‘never give up no-matter what!’ to your list. Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet requires a lot of commitment, time and persistence from self.
Before you think of backing out, here are some pointers that will help you keep on track to achieving your resolutions.

1.Staying positive
Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial to obtaining the results you want. Telling yourself that ‘I am going to make it’ and believing exactly that is a great motivator to remaining focused on your regime. But don’t go rewarding yourself with a big slice of cake the moment you notice you’ve lost 2 pounds. Instead, keep at it to reap more fruit.

Designate a specified time for your gym sessions and also make a food timetable so that you ensure your diet is balanced or so that no food group is omitted in your diet.

3.Great company
Surround yourself with people who have the same aspirations as you. You’ll be able to motivate each other and also make sure you don’t miss any gym workout.

It is vital to remain fit and healthy for an extended healthy life. And once you start following through on your exercises and diet, the rest will fall in line. Picture this, when you’re healthy, you feel more confident and great about yourself, meaning that you are able to work more efficiently in your workplace hence more productivity, more income. It is like killing two birds with one stone.

No-one expects you to be an expert with the first try. Therefore, you need to start slow and start small. If it’s sit-ups and squats, start with 10-15 counts, then progress to 20-30 with time. The reason why most people give up the moment they’ve just begun is because they commence at a higher level than they should.

The more you exercise and diet, the easier it becomes with time and before you know it, it becomes a part of you. So if losing weight or becoming healthy is part of your resolution and has been for a while now, it is never too late to jump start on it. Start today!

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Exercise -The best remedy for strengthening your body and relationship altogether

We’ve all seen the smitten couples in the gym getting their sweat on together. Taking part in a 5km race, a yoga session, or working out in the gym may not seem as the ideal romantic outing, but couples who workout together not only avoid gaining the extra pound usually associated with marriage, but they also grow their relationship bond, improve their sex life, and perhaps have a bright happy future.

It is easy to ignore regular stretching sessions because you feel fit from the workouts. But the realization that you are not as perfectly fit as you thought sets in when you reach down for an object and are unable to get up again.

Once you start experiencing muscle twinges and knee aches, those are definite signs that something is clearly amiss. Flexibility exercises especially in preparation for the summer are a great way to prevent muscle constriction and pains. Summer is usually a fun time to explore various activities such as water-board skating, dancing, hiking and various other summer activities.

Regular flexibility exercises aids improve mobility and a variety of body movements. The more flexible the body is, the lesser the chances of acquiring an injury from summer activities as well as normal daily routines. Regardless of whether it’s dancing, mountain climbing or simply just swimming in the pool, these activities require great amount of force and flexibility for optimum body movement.
Here are a few common stretching exercises that are done to improve flexibility

1.Butterfly stretch
The butterfly stretch broadens muscles in the inner thigh and groin. One is required to sit on the floor with the feet flat to the ground. Let the knees drop to the ground and squeeze the soles of your feet together. Bring your heels close to your groin without causing pain. Your back should remain straight as you gently bounce your knees up and down repeatedly to loosen the muscles. The stretch should take about 8-10 seconds. Next, gently thrust your knees towards the ground using your elbows for another 8-10 seconds.

2.Kneeling quadriceps stretch
This enhances flexibility along the hamstrings and inner thigh as well as averts injury on the whole upper leg. It starts from a kneeling position. Bring the right foot forward and position it flat on the ground. The knee of your right leg should create 90 degrees angle. With your back still straight, slowly push your hips towards your right leg. You’ll be able to feel a stretch on your left quadriceps and right hamstring. Hold that position for about 10-15 seconds before doing a repeat with the left leg.

3.Arm and shoulder stretch
Flexibility doesn’t only apply to the back, waist and legs; arm and shoulder flexibility is also important for any activity. To start the shoulder stretch, connect your fingers and rotate your wrist in a manner that your palms are facing away from your body. Slowly lift your arms over your head and retain the stretch for approximately 10-15 seconds. Go back to the starting position and place your right hand behind your head. Grasp your right elbow with your right hand and carefully squeeze it down your back as far as you can without feeling a discomfort. Hold for 8-10 seconds then repeat the whole process with the left elbow.

There are various other flexibility stretches to aid one in preparation for the summer activities. It is important however to remember that in all exercises and stretches, safety comes first. Don’t over-do it to the point where you suffer an injury. Do smaller, simpler stretches, then with time progress to the more difficult ones after your body has gotten used to it.

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