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Category Archives: Workout Fitness Freak Chronicles

Butt Rewards

“For the best butt toning on two feet,” says walking pro Tina Vindum, walk for 5 minutes, do one of the supereffective shapers shown here, then repeat until you’ve done all four exercises. (If your route has hills, tackle these moves every time the path hits an incline — or a set of stairs — for maximum butt-blasting benefits.)

 

Skater Stride

Targets: Quads, butt, hips, obliques, back, and triceps

While walking, take a large step diagonally forward to the right with right foot, toes pointing forward (not to right). Sink into a lunge, bending both knees 90 degrees, as you bring left elbow toward right knee and swing right arm straight back. (Beginners, do a dip rather than a lunge.)

Press off left big toe to bring left leg forward, brushing it past right leg, then swinging it forward out to the left diagonal (like a speed skater) to plant left foot, toes forward.

Do 25 steps to each side, alternating legs.

 

Sumo Squat and Lift

Targets: Quads, inner and outer thighs, butt, hips, back, shoulders, and biceps

While walking, turn so that your right side is facing “forward” (or uphill), fists near hips.

Lift right foot, flexed, to take a large side step to right.

Lower into a wide squat as you lift both hands up in a wide V.

Rising up on right leg, lower arms as you lift left leg to side, foot flexed.

Step left foot next to right.

Do 12 reps; repeat with left side facing front.

 

Power Lunge with Leg Lift

Targets: Quads, hamstrings, butt, hips, arms, and abs

Walking, lunge forward with left leg, both knees bent 90 degrees (beginners, 45 degrees).

With hands in fists and elbows bent at 90 degrees, bring right fist toward nose, left behind you.

Shift weight onto left leg, straightening it; lower arms and lift right leg out and back on a diagonal as high as you can.

Bring right leg forward into a lunge; repeat on that side.

Do 25 reps per leg, alternating sides.

 

High-Knee Cross

Targets: Quads, calves, hips, butt, and abs

While walking, tighten abs and lift bent left knee as high as you can directly in front of you, coming up on right toes. Simultaneously bend right elbow 90 degrees, bringing it across body toward left knee. (Swing left elbow back to counterbalance.)

Hold for 1 count, then lower left foot to step forward. Repeat with right leg.

Do 25 reps per leg, alternating sides.

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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Workout Fitness Freak Chronicles

 

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26 Not-So-Healthy Habits

 

From magazine headlines to wise words from our mother, we’re constantly bombarded with “tips” to keep our health in check. But before drowning in diet soda and daily showers, reassess some of these behaviors that may be doing more harm than help.

 

Foods and Eating Habits:

1. Enhanced water. A little faux fruity flavor might seem like a great way to up H2O intake, but flavored water, like Vitamin Water or even Smart Water, can be filled with sugar. Skip the artificially sweetened water and infuse water with actual fruit.

 

2. Granola and granola bars. Granola is made from whole grains, so it can’t be bad, right? Not so fast. Granola and granola bars are both calorically dense and often contain a ton of sugar. You may as well eat a candy bar…

 

3. Protein bars. Protein bars don’t fall far from the granola-bar-tree. They are often ultra-high in calories and sugar — not exactly what the body needs after a hard workout. Choose a healthier high-protein snack instead.

 

4. Vitamins and supplements. Multiple studies have shown that taking vitamins (in pill form) may not have any positive effect on long-term health. Researchers have surveyed the nonexistent (or even potentially harmful) ties of vitamin E and C supplements with heart disease, cancer, and cancer treatment[1][2][3]. Plus, most people get all the vitamins they need from their food, and substituting pills for whole foods may mean missing out on the benefits from other compounds found in the natural sources.

 

5. Light beer. News flash: Light-beer doesn’t necessarily mean less calories. Instead, many simply have a lower alcohol content. And for those interested in getting a buzz on, the calorie difference may be negated by the need to drink more. Sip a healthier beer instead, and split up the six-pack between friends.

 

6. “Low-fat” foods. Think twice before skipping the fat-filled salmon. While cutting some fat could help weight loss, we may miss out on some big benefits from healthy omega-3 fats, such as boosting brainpower and lowering the risk of heart disease[4][5][6].

 

7. Skipping meals. Skipping meals probably won’t save us any calories in the long haul. Forgoing a meal may result in overeating later on, so choose a healthier lunchtime treat instead[7][8][9].

 

8. Bottled water. Some bottled water may be filled with bacteria or chemicals when bottled in plastic containers[10][11] So grab a water filter and purify tap water instead.

 

9. Passing on dessert. Don’t deny your favorite dessert. If really craving that double chocolate brownie, enjoy a few generous bites instead of going for seconds at the dinner buffet line — which could rack up even more calories.

 

10. Diet soda. Diet Dr. Pepper may not be our friend. Scientists suggest too much of these zero-cal beverages could do as much damage as the sugary stuff, potentially leading to weight gain and an uncontrollable sweet tooth[12][13] The solution? Skip the soda completely and opt for a healthier choice.

 

11. Juice diets. Many of us could use a few more fruits and veggies, but we don’t need to have spinach-apple juice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Juice diets may leave out important nutrients and enough calories to stay strong throughout the day.

 

12. Microwave diet meals. Try making your own meals, without the box and frozen plastic tray. Many frozen meals are packed with sodium, while lacking veggies and enough calories. Short on time? Make a large batch of your favorite meal over the weekend and freeze individual portions to eat throughout the week.

 

Hygiene and Health

13. Hot tubs. They may be super relaxing, but hot tubs are a one-stop shop for bacteria and germs, and may even cause a rash. Gross.

 

14. Antibacterial soap. It may not be worth scrubbing down with the fancy stuff: Regular soap and water is just as beneficial when it comes to staying squeaky clean[14].

 

15. Brushing right after every meal. Just ‘cause dessert was devoured doesn’t mean we should grab the toothbrush and paste. Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal so saliva can neutralize the acid in the mouth and strengthen the enamel on those chompers.

 

16. Avoiding the sun. While too much sun could cause a nasty burn (or worse!) sidestepping the sun at all costs may lead to a lack of Vitamin D which is essential for proper muscle and bone development[15].

 

17. Daily showers. Stop the scrubbing! Hopping in the shower too often may irritate and dry out skin. If you really need to freshen up, spray on some perfume or cologne and save the shower ‘till tomorrow.

 

18. Catching up on sleep. We’re sorry to break it to you, but it’s pretty tricky to catch up on sleep. So rather than skimping on sleep in order to cash them in later, aim for a solid seven to nine hours a night.

 

19. Sitting up straight. Yeah, we’re surprised too. Sitting up straight may be bad for the back, so skip the seat and try a standing desk at the office[16][17].

 

20. Cleaning with disinfecting products. There’s some evidence that certain chemicals in disinfecting products could lead to asthma[18][19]. Simply use a regular cleaning product  or detergent without the chemicals instead.

 

Working Out

21. Only doing cardio. Hitting the roads is great and all, but don’t retire the weights for the running shoes. Make sure to strength train to burn fat, lean out, and look badass in the process.

 

22. Doing a million crunches. The secret to six-pack abs probably isn’t crunch after crunch. To flatten out and tone up the core, try running some intervals, lifting a few weights, and cleaning up that diet instead.

 

23. Breathing deeply through the chest. Whether running the final lap or heading down the basketball court, avoid deep breathing with the chest. For a most effective breath to help any athlete’s performance, remember to use the diaphragm!

 

24. Static stretching pre workout. When warming up, static stretching (aka holding positions for a certain length of time) won’t do much in way of preventing soreness[20]. Skip the still motions and do dynamic stretches, like lunges and high knees, instead[21].

 

25. Lifting machines. Most lifting machines focus on single joint exercises, which fail to improve muscle imbalance and does not burn as many calories as hitting the squat rack or swinging a kettlebell.

 

26. Hitting the gym daily. Don’t get us wrong, exercise is important! But spending too much time at the gym leaves little time for muscles — and the mind — to recover. Make sure to get at least one or two days of rest, and dominate those dumbbells the rest of the week.

 

Source:  http://www.greatist.com

 

 

 

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Listen Up!: Toning Requires Weight Training

All of us want to “tone” our muscles to achieve a cut, fit look. But what exactly is “toning”? Let me clarify a little: The word “toning” has nothing to do with the size of a particular muscle; it refers rather to making a muscle lean by burning intramuscular fat, and conditioning the muscle for better performance.

You can’t actually build muscle mass unless you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, but you can tone a muscle to make it leaner. To tone your muscles, you should weight-train four days a week, working each muscle group twice a week. After you work a particular muscle group, you should give it two days of rest before you focus on it again.

Here’s a sample toning program that works each muscle group without overdoing it:

Monday: Work the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques.

Tuesday: Work the back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs.

Wednesday: Rest.

Thursday: Work the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, upper abs, obliques.

Friday: Work the back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower abs.

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: Do a cardio-only workout.

Remember: Exercise is the architect, but recovery is the builder. You have to give your body adequate recovery time to heal itself and grow stronger. If you work out too often without resting, you’ll just break your muscles down.

 

JILLIAN’S TIP OF THE DAY

Afraid of Bulk?

Women always tell me that they feel hesitant about toning exercises that require weights because they’re afraid of building bulky muscles. Hear me out, ladies: It’s extremely difficult for women to gain muscle mass simply by doing toning exercises — we don’t have the testosterone that guys do that lets them build mass. Using weights to tone your muscles will make you look trim and terrific, not big and bulky.

 
 

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30 Minute Workout

This total body circuit workout includes circuits for each muscle group: Chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core and lower body. Many of the exercises combine movements for both upper and lower body to save time and add intensity. This workout may take more than 30 minutes, depending on your rest periods.

Equipment Needed:

Various weighted dumbbells, bench, a step or staircase, a medicine ball and kettlebell (optional)

How To:

  • Begin with a 5 minute warm-up of moderate cardio
  • Perform the exercises in each circuit for the suggested time , completing 2 circuits
  • Move quickly between exercises, but rest when needed
  • Modify exercises to fit your fitness level. Skip any exercises that cause pain or discomfort

Chest Circuit

Chest Squeeze with Wide Squats and Squat Jumps
Stand with feet wide and hold a medicine ball or weight in both hands close to the chest, squeezing the ball. Keeping steady pressure on the ball, lower into a wide squat and come up, completing 4 slow squats, following that with 4 slow squat jumps while continuing to squeeze the medicine ball. Repeat, alternating 4 squats with 4 squat jumps for 30-60 seconds.
Walking Pushups

Begin in a pushup position with the left hand on a piece of paper, band or other marker. Perform a pushup and, as you press up, walk the hands to the left until the right hand is on the paper plate. Continue pushups, alternating walking the hands to either side for 30-60 seconds.
Low and High Flies
Chest Fly Chest Fly
Lie on a bench and hold weights over the chest. A) Lower the arms out to shoulder level, elbows slightly bent. B) Bring the weights back up, but at a lower angle so that the weights are over the hips. C) Lower the weights back down in a fly. D) Then lift them back over the chest. Continue alternating a regular fly with a low-angle fly for 30-60 seconds.
Repeat the circuit, performing the moves on the other side, for unilateral movements

Back Circuit

Side Lunge Row to Low Lunge Row

Stand with feet together, weights in each hand. Step out to the right into a side lunge and pull the arms up into a double arm row. Lower the weight, step back to start and take a small step forward with the right leg, lower into a low lunge and pull the arms up into a double arm row. Step back and repeat the side lunge row/front lunge row for 30-60 seconds on one side. Do the exercise on the other side in circuit 2.
Reverse Flies on One Leg
Stand 2 or so feet in front of a step or platform and prop one foot on it, bending forward (back straight, abs in) with weights hanging down. Squeeze the shoulder blades to lift the arms up to the shoulder level, elbows slightly bent. Lower and repeat for 30-60 seconds, switching legs on the 2nd circuit.
Circle Rows

Hold a weight in the right hand, palm facing the back of the room. Squeeze upper back to pull the arm up to shoulder level. Hold briefly and rotate the elbow next to the body, as in a regular row. Lower the arm on a slow count. Repeat for 30 seconds on each arm.
Repeat the circuit, performing the moves on the other side, for unilateral movements

Shoulder Circuit

Step Knee With Overhead Press

Hold weights at the shoulders and step onto a tall step or platform with the right foot. Lift the left knee as you press the weights overhead. Step down and take the right leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering the weights. As you step forward with the right foot, curl the weights back to the shoulders and repeat for 30-60 seconds on the right side. Do this exercise on the left during circuit 2.
Goblet Squat with Rotation

Hold a heavy weight or kettlebell (optional) in both hands at the chest. Lower into a deep squat, bringing the elbows to the inside of the thighs. As you stand up, take the weight overhead and rotate to the right, pivoting on both feet. Lower and repeat for 30-60 seconds on the same side. Do this exercise on the left during circuit 2.
Lateral Raise with Rotation

Stand with arms bent in front of you, palms facing up. Rotate the forearms out to the side and then lift arms into a bent arm lateral raise, tilting the weights down slightly as though you’re pouring from a pitcher of water. Lower and repeat for 30-60 seconds.
Repeat the circuit, performing the moves on the other side, for unilateral movements

Biceps Circuit

Wide Squat with Hammer Curls

Take the legs wide, toes out at a slight angle, weights in each hand with palms facing each other. Lower into a squat, as low as you can go, keeping knees in line with toes. Press through the heels to stand up while curling the weights into a hammer curl. Lower and repeat for 30-60 seconds.
Walking Lunges with Biceps Curls

With feet together, step forward with the right foot into a lunge and curl the weights up into a bicep curl. Step the left foot forward, lowering the weights, then step that foot forward into a lunge, again curling the weights. Continue alternating legs and curling the weights for 30-60 seconds.
Concentration Curls

Sit on a step or bench and hold a heavy weight in the left arm, elbow propped on the inside of the left thigh. Contract the bicep to pull weight towards the shoulder. Lower and repeat for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Repeat the circuit, performing the moves on the other side, for unilateral movements

Triceps Circuit

Bear Crawls to Triceps Pushups
Squat to the floor and walk your hands out until you’re in a plank position, placing your hands so that the forefingers and thumbs touch in a triangle shape. Bend the elbows into a triceps pushup (knees down for a modification). Walk the hands back to a squat and stand up. Add a jump at the end for more intensity. Repeat for 30-60 seconds.
Core Kickbacks

In a plank position, feet wide, hold a weight in one hand. Bring the elbow up next to the torso and extend the arm out into a kickback. Repeat the kickbacks while holding the plank position on the same side 30-60 seconds. Drop one knee down to the floor for a modification if needed. Do the move on the other side during the next circuit.
Dips with Leg Extensions

Sit on a step or chair, hands next to thighs, knees bent. Push off the step and bend the elbows into a dip. As you press up, extend the right leg, reaching for the toe with your left hand. Lower and repeat on the other side, alternating sides for 30-60 seconds
Repeat the circuit, performing the moves on the other side, for unilateral movements
 
 

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The No-Caffeine Yoga Routine Pick Me Up

Studies show that some yoga poses reduce fatigue and adjust the hormone cortisol—too little of which can zap your energy. “This sequence engages your core and energizes your system from the inside out,” says Women’s Health yoga expert Tara Stiles. The poses also require balance, which sharpens your focus, as well as lots of deep breaths, which increase your oxygen intake to help you feel more alert.

Do each of these moves in order, holding the poses for 10 deep breaths. Repeat the sequence on the other side, and continue alternating until you’ve done the routine three times on each side.

Modified Downward Dog Split  –  Start in a pushup position, lift your hips, and move into downwardfacing dog. Take five breaths. Raise your right heel toward the ceiling as high as you can, then slowly lower your left forearm to the floor. Keep both palms flat on the floor.

Warrior 3  –  Straighten your left arm and put your right foot between your hands. Shift your weight onto your right foot as you raise your left leg. At the same time, raise your torso until it is parallel to the floor and reach your arms forward.

Modified Half-Moon Arch  –  Place hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. Rotate your hips to the left and raise your left arm toward the ceiling. Bend your left knee back, and reach your left hand behind you to hold your foot.

Tree  –  From half-moon arch, turn your hips and shoulders back toward the floor, then use your core muscles to roll your body up to standing. Place the sole of your left foot on your right inner thigh. Lift your arms straight up above your shoulders.

 

Source:  http://www.womenshealthmag.com

 

 

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Cardio vs Weight Training = Do Both

 

Switching up your weekly workouts doesn’t just lead to a better physique—it also protects against disease. Lifting weights and engaging in aerobic activity for a total of 300 minutes a week total (that’s an hour of exercise five days per week) can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by 59 percent, according to a new study from Harvard University.

 

Researchers observed more than 32,000 men from 1990 to 2008. Every two years, participants reported their physical activity, which ranged from running and biking to tennis, swimming, and stair climbing. At the end of the study period, those who had engaged in both weight training and aerobic exercise had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to men who did only one type of exercise.

 

Why? The combination of cardio and strength training delivers a long-lasting one-two punch that keeps blood sugar low and reduces insulin dependency. “Weight training improves muscle strength and lean body mass, which leads to improved insulin sensitivity, and aerobic exercises improves cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity,” says study author Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

 

Source: http://www.menshealth.com

 

 

 

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5 Fixes For Flabby Problem Areas

 

We’ve all got a soft spot that bugs us. One of these moves will firm it up.

Here’s a fact about flab: It results not only from lack of muscle tone but also from excess body fat. “You could do 1,005 crunches, but if you don’t do enough cardio, you’ll just have very toned muscles under a blanket of fat,” says Johanna Subotovsky, learning manager at Equinox Fitness. You need at least 30 minutes of cardio, three times a week. Then try this spot-specific advice.

HELP FOR:
Bra bulge

To get rid of the little roll that spills over your bra strap in the back, try bent-over rows.

  • Stand next to a chair with a dumbbell in right hand. Place left knee and hand on seat and extend right arm toward floor. Bending elbow out to side, slowly bring weight up to chest.
  • Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.

HELP FOR:
Inner- and outer- thigh mushiness

The hips and thighs are the first place most women tend to store fat and the last place they lose it. In addition to lots of cardio, try the four-way lunge.

  • With hands on hips, step forward with right foot and lunge (don’t let knee go past toes); return to start. Lunge backward; return to start. Lunge right (keeping left leg straight); go back to start. Then with left foot, lunge to left side. Repeat, leading with opposite foot.
  • Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.

HELP FOR:
Underarm flab

Triceps respond fast to exercise and fat loss, which means that you could see a change here in just a few weeks with chair dips.

  • Place your hands on the edge of the seat of a chair and walk your feet out. Slowly lower butt toward floor, bending elbows to about a 90-degree angle; press back up.
  • Do two sets of 15 reps.

HELP FOR:
Armpit overhang

The flesh that peeks out over the top of a strapless gown can be tightened with push-ups. But the issue may be the dress, not you.

  • “It’s all about the cut,” says stylist Cristina Ehrlich, who’s worked with Penélope Cruz. “Look for a dress where the top is high enough that it doesn’t dig into your armpit skin. It should come up and over the area.”

HELP FOR:
Belly pooch

Along with plenty of cardio, you can flatten your lower abs with planks.

  • Get in a raised push-up position, except with forearms on the floor; hold the pose with back flat and belly in for 30 to 90 seconds. For more definition, try the bicycle.
  • Lie on floor, knees bent, hands behind head. Lift shoulder blades and twist right elbow to left knee; then twist left elbow toward right knee. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Source: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2007/03/flab-fix#ixzz21hPfwmyZ

 

 

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