Friday, February 16, 2007

Breakthrough Chest Exercises to Break Your Mold- By John Christian Sebastian

What kind of body are you looking for? Are you the one that has almost no chest at all? Do you watch people that are using weights that you couldn’t get off of your chest, even if the gym were on fire, and envy them? Perhaps you’re someone with a large chest, but are looking for the chest exercises to give you the cuts and lines in your chest to give you that chiseled look? Whether you’re one of the two people mentioned above, or if you’re at an intermediate level, I am going to give you the chest exercises to get the chest that you want as well as increase your overall chest strength levels.
Here are the chest exercises for warming yourself up for chest exercises in the gym, or simply for days that you can’t get into the gym. I was a 153 pound weakling when I graduated from high school. I was tall, about 6’1”, with long arms which made matters even worse when it came to weight lifting. The only thing that gave me the “arm up”, when it finally came to the time for me to take on weights in the gym, was boot camp. No, I’m not saying that you have to enlist in the military to succeed. I’m saying that you need to do the below chest exercises, the same that I did for 12 weeks straight, before you tackle weight training in the gym. When you are performing these chest exercises with ease, then you are ready to move into weight training. Or, for more advanced enthusiasts, these chest exercises should be used to supplement your weekly workouts.
The preliminary chest exercises that you need to do, you can do anywhere. For the first chest exercise, you start with the standard push-up. Hands must be shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight and rigid at all times, and start with as many as you can do. For the next chest exercise, set your feet up on a chair, bed, or on the stairs and place your hands at the push-up position. Push your body up as you would a regular push-up. This incline push up simulates the incline bench press, will work your upper chest cut and strength. The final preparatory chest exercise is the decline push-up. For this, I usually use a stairwell. Place your hands at the push-up position on the second or third step, depending on your height, and do a set of push-ups. This will simulate the decline bench press, and will work your lower chest. Ensure that you flex your chest appropriately during each exercise to ensure proper muscle development.
Now lets move you up with some advanced preliminary chest exercises. These chest exercises will be a little more difficult, and some people may only be able to do two or three repetitions on their first attempt. Over time, however, your strength level will build and you will be able to do more of each of the listed chest exercises per set. You will perform the exact same chest exercises listed above, but with a small difference. Instead of having your hands at shoulder width, you will use the “little diamond” hand placement. This is accomplished by placing your hands on the floor adjoining your left and right index finger with one another, and your left and right thumbs to one another, so that the space in the middle of your hands form a small diamond. Next, get down into a push-up position, so that your hands are resting underneath your pectoral muscles, and do as many as you can for the set.
Utilization of these chest exercises will give you significant improvement of your overall chest shape and strength levels. I have utilized them for years, on and off. First, they were used to build my strength levels so that I could effectively perform my military duties. Later, they were used as a weight training supplement to give my chest the extra strength and shape that I wanted. I have utilized many other body training exercises, and you will be able to find out more about my fitness tuning techniques at the link listed below. Through my free membership program, I will give you the fitness tuning information to help you to build and develop your chest and to finally break your mold!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Choosing an Exercise Program - By B. Steele

The toughest and most important step in your exercise program is getting started. Choosing an exercise program is an important decision but choosing an exercise program is just the first step. An exercise program is designed to meet your specific needs and goals. If you have chosen well, getting started will be much easier.
A very important aspect of your exercise program is the intensity. Safety during your exercise program is also very important. The safest way to start an exercise program is to perform the chosen exercise or sport at a low intensity until the legs or arms ache or feel heavy. A good aerobic exercise program is one where a repetitive motion stimulates heart and lung activity for at least 30 minutes without stopping. The first thing to do though before starting any kind of exercise program is to consult with your doctor.
A personalized exercise program is developed based on one's individual medical condition and current state of physical fitness. If you want to look good, feel good and live longer an exercise program is an excellent start. The first step in a fitness and exercise program is in deciding what type of exercise you enjoy. The final key in beginning an exercise program is to start slowly, and progress gradually allowing your body to adapt to the new exercises. Educating yourself about what comprises an exercise program is the easy part of making fitness a part of your life.
Beginning an exercise program is scary stuff. However, before an exercise program is designed for you, your doctor or health care provider will perform an exercise assessment and screening. One of the reasons many individuals do not attempt an exercise program is because they feel they are not very athletic or coordinated. Anyone can exercise but each much exercise according to their own physical health and limitations.
When a new exercise program is started, it is the break down of muscle tissue that causes muscle fatigue and soreness. The key to starting and maintaining an exercise program is persistence. Sore muscles will disappear in no time. It is up to you to make sure that your family and friends understand how important your exercise program is to you. Having their support will help you persevere.
The goal of any sport or exercise program is to increase the heart rate, improve muscle tone, and build strength. Making a full commitment to your exercise program is the first step. One of the most important factors in beginning an exercise program is to select the most convenient time for you to exercise. Starting an exercise program is hard for everyone. Researchers have found that an exercise program is more successful if it includes variety and continually challenges the body to work hard. An exercise program is the only way to lead a long and healthy life.
Starting an exercise program is easy. After safety, the most important element in your exercise program is enjoyment. If your exercise program is a negative experience for you, it is not an appropriate program. A regular exercise program is beneficial for women as well as for men. For most people, a balanced exercise program is best. It’s important to remember that any bone density gains are largely lost after the exercise program is stopped. So stick with it!
The right exercise program is one that starts slowly and gradually increases in time and intensity. When an exercise program is specifically designed for you, your overall health can dramatically improve. The most important decision before beginning an exercise program is the choice of activity. Remember that the basis for any exercise program is muscle strength. Starting an exercise program is hard, but staying committed to it is even harder.
The purpose of a good exercise program is to find an enjoyable activity and do it regularly. An aerobics exercise program is the cornerstone to healthy living, and an absolute necessity for someone who is trying to lose weight. Establishing and maintaining a balanced exercise program can be made easier by working with fitness professional. Developing and implementing a comprehensive exercise program is a continually evolving process.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Power of Stretching - By Karla Ruzycki

Stretching is no new phenomenon. There are many forms of it being pursued that have long since been around such as Yoga and Pilates. However, it gives our body new life, energy and a better sense of wellness. Our body naturally craves stretching. What is the first thing we do after sitting on a plane for hours? Likewise we all stretch in the morning and it feels good. Do you know the best times to stretch? Listed are the three best times to Stretch.
1. First thing in the morning - This sounds obvious but many of us don't take it past the brief yawn and arm stretch we make first thing when we wake. One of the best reasons is to start your day off right. When you stretch you feel a slight pull in the muscle, not to the point of utter pain but a gentle pull that you hold for about 30 seconds. Doing this daily helps to stretch out our muscles as to not be stiff and tight. Everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, working out in the gym, carrying around and playing with children as well as lifting need your flexibility as well as your strength.
2. During your workout - Yes you heard me correctly. Stretching before you do some exercise certainly won't hurt you but it hasn't been proven to be necessary. It is not the stretching you need before a workout but rather a warm up session of about 5-7 minutes using about 50-60% of your heart rate instead of the usual 85% for cardio workouts. What you want to do is stretch between sets of weights. When we lift weights the muscle get tighter. To help create a nice fluid motion it is important to do a stretch in between different exercises and their sets. Most people just sit and catch their breath with a sip of water, why not add some stretching to your waiting time.
3. After your exercise session is complete - This is one of the most crucial times to stretch. This is the time that your muscles need the release from their tension. I personally find most tension in the hips, buttocks, chest and biceps but it will be different from person to person. Remember to stretch your abdominal muscles by lying on your tummy face down and lifting your arms to make them perpendicular with the floor and your back arch. Most people forget this one.
Please note how to stretch properly. For optimum results you will want to stretch twice per day or at the very least once per day. Not doing so for weeks and months results in those tight muscles that make us feel unmotivated to stretch again for fear of discomfort. Also, for health reasons I tell you it is not wise to bounce back and forth. I see this one a lot with hamstring stretches. If you cannot touch your toes, that is okay. Daily if you are diligent you will get there. Simply hold each stretch you do for 30 seconds, at first it may feel like an eternity, however after the first few times it will become more comfortable. For each stretch that you do, biceps for example do 2 sets of stretches for each arm so that each body part gets 1 full minute total. Stretching for a count of 3 seconds and releasing will not do much for you, I assure you of that.
**Remember the three key areas of fitness are cardiovascular, resistance training and flexibility, which comes through the form of stretching. I guarantee you will find not only your workouts more effective, but your daily life and tasks too when you decide to stretch!

Fitness Boxing - The Ultimate Training Routine - By Rick Goodman

Fitness Boxing is one of the hottest fitness trends today thanks to Million Dollar Baby, The Contender, Cinderella Man and most recently, the 6th installment of the Rocky saga Rocky Balboa. Interest in boxing is at its highest level since the days of Muhammad Ali and “Smokin” Joe Frazier.
What is Fitness Boxing? Fitness Boxing is a total body workout that helps people achieve their fitness goals. It provides: - Variety - is different, challenging and fun - Strength gain - improves overall body strength and speed - Intensity - challenges both the aerobic and anaerobic systems - Burns calories - fat is burned to help increase and maintain lean muscle - Low risk of injury - provides intensity without injuring muscles and joints - Outstanding x-training for sports relying on “core strength” and mental toughness
Why Fitness Boxing? Participants rave about Fitness Boxing because workouts are always fun, challenging and produce results. The focus is on fitness first and boxing second using sound boxing techniques to get people into their best physical and mental shape learning to “fight without the fight”. The boxing workout improves every type of physical capacity: strength and power, coordination, aerobic and anaerobic fitness and endurance.
What are the Benefits of Fitness Boxing? The best aspects of workouts used by the world’s most finely conditioned athletes, boxers, are combined into a fitness program that’s safe for the recreational exerciser.
Fitness Boxing: Improves total body fitness - Challenges most of the body’s physiological systems: Central nervous system - Is trained to respond faster and more efficiently through punching combination drills Musculoskeletal system - Becomes stronger through specialized resistance exercises and boxing specific drills Cardiovascular and respiratory systems - Become more efficient via workouts that are more than 60% anaerobic - The training load is distributed across body parts providing a lower risk of injury. - Used as a training alternative, it provides a break in routine and adds variety to the fitness regimen.
What is a typical workout like? A session lasts about 60 minues and is divided into components to ensure a complete body workout.
Warm-up - The workout usually begins with 5 to 10 minutes of jump rope to warm up the muscles and tendons for the rest of the session.
Conditioning - The workout transitions from the warm-up into a few boxing specific strength and conditioning resistance exercises. The exercises emphasize muscular strength and endurance, speed, tone and anaerobic conditioning. About 10 minutes.
Technique - One or two new techniques are introduced in each session. The objective is to build from the basics, such as footwork or fundamental punches, to more complex combinations and defensive maneuvers. About 5 minutes.
Punching Drills - This is the heart of the workout and, usually, the most enjoyable part. A series of offensive and defensive routines are worked through utilizing a circuit training format employing focus mitts, heavy bags and more. This part is highly anaerobic, involving three minute rounds (work units) punctuated by one minute active recovery periods (rest units). Each round, one or two new things are added to the routine to be worked on. The first round might be using the jab, the second round, the right hand and some combinations of these. The variety of Punch Drill training is almost limitless. After 5 to 7 rounds, the participant should be de-stressed, refreshingly exhausted and invigorated. About 30 minutes.
Cool Down - This time is used to bring the heart rate down and stretch to improve flexibility. It can also be used as question / answer time with the trainer. About 10 minutes.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Push It!- By Geoff Kalmbach

You’ll probably think I am crazy when I tell you this, but my absolute favorite movement for chest is the push up. Push ups have been around hundreds of years but unfortunately the only venue where they are still common is the military. Push ups performed at different speeds and reps without weight, add specific conditioning to the entire pectoral region. In addition, if you place weight on your back they can also become a terrific mass builder. I personally replace bench press with weighted push ups in my own workouts every other month. Don’t be mislead to think push ups only work the chest. Push ups are one of the best exercises for overall upper body development available.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when performing push ups:Always keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your fingers together and pointing straight ahead.Start in the ‘up’ position with your arms straight.Inhale as you lower yourself toward the floor.Stop when your elbows form a 90-degree bend. There is no need to touch your chest or chin to the floor.Exhale as you push yourself up from the floorDon't lock your elbows at the top of the move.Your back should be straight. Don't let it sag and don't stick your bottom in the air.
Don’t think for one minute push ups are just for men. There aren’t too many things more impressive in the gym then women who can perform perfect push ups. For all of you new to body weight movements be sure to start slow and work your way up.
You can work up from modified (knees down) push-ups to military. If you find modified a bit tough to begin with you can start off a wall and work your way down. After you can do 25-30 push-ups without stopping, or if you can do three sets of 15 with minimal rest between sets, it's time to make the exercise more challenging. Do this by placing your feet on top of a step. By raising your feet you force your body to work harder against gravity while shifting more intensity to the chest muscles specifically. One last advantage about the push up is that its free to all of you.
Can’t make it to the gym, so what, drop and give me twenty.
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