Technique In Weight Training

April 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

Technique in weight training is very important for achieving the expected progress, but also for protecting the body of the sportsman. The first important thing is to learn correctly the basic movements.

In this type of training there is a kind of classic set of exercises, which the sportsman needs to master from the beginning. This set includes exercises with free weights (dumbbells and barbells). While training with these, the movement is not imposed by any machine. When executed without the supervision of a fitness instructor, it is possible that these movements are done in a wrong way, a situation which increases the risk of accidents a lot.

One of the most frequent mistakes is an incorrect position of the spine. Some exercises (bench press, barbell curls) could involve exaggerated arching, while others (sit up bend, dead lift, squats, etc.) involve unjustified flexing (hunching).

These wrong positions can lead to unfavourable stress exerted over the spine, knees or shoulders. Besides, they can direct the effort to other groups of muscles than the ones intended. The result is that none of these are properly trained, because no exercises specific to the muscles are performed correctly. In such situations, the sportsman will only feel exhaustion in all his body and will not be able to direct and localize the effort in the zone which a particular exercise should mobilize.

Another example of wrong technique is exaggerated swinging for exercises which do not need impetus. This happens most often while raising the weights laterally for working on the deltoid muscles, when the sportsman wrongly flexes the knees and uses the lumbar muscles, arching his back too much.

Other mistakes are made when catching the bars. In the case of pull up, for example, and of pushing from behind the neck (for the shoulders), a too narrow catch will place the scapular-humeral circulation into a non-physiological, stressing position. Exaggerated bending forward during squat will force the spine, while lowering the thighs below horizontal position will stress the menisci.

Rowing from bending position and stretching back must be done with the back in extension; otherwise the risk of slipped disc might appear. Not using a belt when lifting very heavy weights can determine slipped disc, but also inguinal hernia or rupture of abdominal muscles.

The technique of breathing must be understood correctly. Breathing in instead of breathing out, blocking the thorax or not can affect the sportsman a lot. Generally, the sportsman must breathe out during the most difficult part of the movement and must breathe in during controlled coming back in position. Apnoea (blocking of the thorax) must be used only in the case of lifting heavy and very heavy weights; otherwise it is not justified. While making aerobic effort, it is necessary to have a particular breathing rhythm, a pace which can vary according to the cardiac frequency and lung ventilation.

All these examples support the idea that the presence of the fitness instructor during training is absolutely necessary.

Safety Of Electronic Containment And Training Devices

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

In the 30 years since the first “shock collars” became widely available in the United States, these increasingly popular electronic containment and training collars have been refined by PetSafe to produce more effective results in ways that have proven not only to be humane, but also gentle. PetSafe’s LiteTouch training method for electric dog fences is a great case in point. While the technology behind modern electronic training collars has come a long way, some veterinarians and consumers harbor misconceptions about these products and their effect on dogs based upon their impressions of older, crudely designed systems of the 1970’s. To the contrary, studies in recent years offer conclusive evidence that the proper use of modern electronic dog fences and training collars does not lead to adverse effects on dogs. In fact, it offers dogs a new found freedom they never had before while remaining safe and secure in their yard. A wide range of credible experts believe that the average dog owner with basic training knowledge can effectively and humanely use electric dog fencing and electronic training collars for behavioral modification, obedience training and containment needs. The safety and effectiveness of modern electric dog fences and electronic training collars are supported by The Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the International Association of Canine Professionals, International Association of Canine Professionals, among others.

Responsible dog owners want to make sure their dogs are safe, that they do not create nuisance and more important do not cause accidents. Each year thousands of electric dog fences are installed by caring dog owners. These fences work by providing a static electrical stimulation to the collar of a dog to deter him from crossing established boundaries.

Home Gym Full Body Training Routines

April 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

We all know how difficult in might be to make it to the gym after 9 long hours at work. I bet it has happened to you as well.

But what do you do when you don’t feel you have the energy to stop by the local gym on your way home? Or may be you don’t have the time for a workout at the gym. You can only use 20 – 30 min.

What’s the solution then? It could be only one – a full body workout at your home gym.

But first take this from me. If you don’t have a home gym set up already, don’t even think of missing a workout. Go to the local gym where you are a member. Missing a single workout can set a path for a habit. Vice versa, not missing a workout won’t let you think of such an option.

So, let’s suppose that it’s one of these days when you can’t make it to the gym, and are planning on working out at home. That means you have a gym of some sort, already set up.

In this article I want to advise you on your choices for a full body routine. The workout you will pick however, will all depend on how your home gym is equipped.

For example you might have a home-gym machine. Or you might be a hardcore bodybuilder. Then you have free weights as your main equipment.

If you belong to the first group – you own a home gym machine – this is the part you should be reading.

The simplest home gym machines are equipped for at least several exercises such as: bench press, lat pull down, seated rows, biceps curls, triceps push-downs, leg extensions and standing hamstring curls.

That’s actually plenty. You can complete the whole body in a single session.

Your circuit workout:

/Warm up/
Crunches 2-3 x 15 – 30
Seated bench press 3 x 10 – 12
Lat pull-down 3 x 10 – 12
Front cable raises (machine behind you, lower pulley cable between your thighs) 3 x 10 – 12
Standing biceps cable curls (lower pulley cable, facing the machine) 3 x 10 – 12
Standing triceps push-downs (using the lat-pull down handle) 3 x 10 – 12
Leg extensions 3 x 12 – 15
Standing hamstring curls (facing the machine) 3 x 12 – 15
/Cool down/

You have more options for replacing some of the exercises:

Replace seated bench press wide grip with seated bench press close grip.

Replace lat pull down with seated rows (facing the machine).

Replace standing biceps cable curls with lying cable curls (lie down on the floor on your back and place your feet on the rolling pads for support).

In case that you belong to the second group – you are a hardcore enthusiast or bodybuilder, the least equipment you have (I would guess) is an adjustable bench, a power rack, an olympic barbell set and a pair of dumbbells with adjustable weights.

For you I’d suggest two circuit routines. You can do only one of them or you can do two circuits, using both if you feel you have energy (and desire) to do that:

Workout One/Circuit One

/Warm up/
Crunches 1-2 x 15 – 30
Flat bench press on the rack 2-3 x 12 – 15
Barbell rows 2-3 x 10 – 15
Seated dumbbell overhead presses 2-3 x 12 – 15
Barbell curls 2-3 x 8 – 12
Barbell lying triceps extensions 2-3 x 12 – 15
Squats 2-3 x 10 x 15
Stiff Leg Dead Lifts 2-3 x 10 – 12
/Cool down/

Workout Two/Circuit Two

/Warm up/
Reverse crunches 1-2 x 15 – 20
Dumbbell flys 2-3 x 10 – 12
One-arm dumbbell rows 2-3 x 10 – 12
Dumbbell lateral raises 2-3 x 10 – 12
Seated dumbbell curls 2-3 x 8 – 12
One-arm overhead triceps extensions 2-3 x 8 – 12
Lunges (holding a pair of dumbbells) 2-3 x 12 – 15
/Cool down/

Note that the number of reps is slightly higher than what you would normally do should you have worked out at the gym. I did it this way intentionally. My advice is that you use 50 – 70% of your One Rep Max due to the fact that you don’t have a spotter. If you think you can go heavier please do, but at your own risk.

That’s it. Now that you finished your workout you deserve a nice, chilled protein shake. After all you are at home and can make it any way you want, right. And, yes, you should feel good because you didn’t miss your workout.

For Maximum Benefit Phase In Physical Fitness Training

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

A physical fitness training program is divided into three phases: preparatory, conditioning, and maintenance. The starting phase for different individuals will vary depending on their age, fitness levels, and previous physical activity.

Young, healthy persons may be able to jump right into the conditioning phase, while those who have been exercising regularly may already be in the maintenance phase. Factors such as extended inactivity, injury or illness can drop you from a maintenance to a conditioning phase. Persons who have not been physically active, especially if you are age 40 or older, should start with the preparatory phase.

Preparatory Phase

The preparatory phase helps both the cardiorespiratory and muscular systems get used to exercise, preparing the body to handle the conditioning phase. The work load in the beginning must be moderate. Progression from a lower to a higher level of fitness should be achieved by gradual, planned increases in frequency, intensity, and time.

Initially, poorly conditioned persons should run or, walk if need be, three times a week at a comfortable pace that moderately elevates their heart rate for 10 to 15 minutes. Continue at this until you have no undue fatigue or muscle soreness the day following the exercise. After that you can lengthen this cardiorespiratory exercise session to 16 to 20 minutes and/or elevate your heart rate by increasing the pace. If you feel breathless slow down to a walk.

The preparatory phase for improving muscular endurance and strength through weight training should start easily and progress gradually. Beginning weight trainers should select about 8 to 12 exercises that work all the body’s major muscle groups. You should use only very light weights the first week (that is, the first two to three workouts). This is very important, as you must first learn the proper form for each exercise.

Light weights will also help minimize muscle soreness and decrease the likelihood of injury to the muscles, joints, and ligaments. During the second week, you should use progressively heavier weights on each resistance exercise. By the end of the second week (four to six workouts), you should know how much weight will let you do 8 to 12 repetitions to muscle failure for each exercise. At this point the conditioning phase begins.

Conditioning Phase

To reach the desired level of fitness, you must increase the amount of exercise and/or the workout intensity as your strength and/or endurance increases. To improve cardiorespiratory endurance, for example, you must increase the length of time you run. You should start with the preparatory phase and gradually increase the running time by one or two minutes each week until you can run continuously for 20 to 30 minutes.

At this point, you can increase the intensity until you reach the desired level of fitness. You should train at least three times a week and take no more than two days between workouts. For weight trainers, the conditioning phase normally begins during the third week. You should do one set of 8 to 12 repetitions for each of the selected resistance exercises. When you can do more than 12 repetitions of any exercise, you should increase the weight used on that exercise by about five percent so you can again do only 8 to 12 repetitions.

This intensity increasing process continues throughout the conditioning phase. As long as you continue to progress and get stronger while doing only one set of each exercise, it is not necessary for you to do more than one set per exercise. When you stop making progress with one set, you should add another set on those exercises in which progress has slowed. As training progresses, you may want to increase the sets to three to help promote further increases in strength and/ or muscle mass.

For maximum benefit, you should do strength training three times a week with 48 hours of rest between workouts for any given muscle group. It helps to periodically do a different type of exercise for a given muscle or muscle group. This adds variety and ensures better strength development. The conditioning phase ends when all personal, strength-related goals have been met.

Maintenance Phase

The maintenance phase sustains the high level of fitness achieved in the conditioning phase. The emphasis here is no longer on progression. A well designed, 45- to 60-minute workout (including warm-up and cool-down) at the right intensity three times a week is enough to maintain almost any appropriate level of physical fitness. These workouts give you time to stabilize your flexibility, cardiorespiratory endurance, and muscular endurance and strength. However, more frequent training may be needed to reach and maintain peak fitness levels.

Of course, once you get to this level, maintaining an optimal level of fitness should become part of your life-style and should be continued for life.

Martial Arts Philosophy And Proper Training

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness 101

Martial arts are systems of offensive and defensive combat movements which includes proper punching, kicking, blocking, and other combative skills. Many people often associate martial arts to violence and brutality. Even though this form of art was developed for self defense, this craft is just about throwing punches or performing high kicks. Martial arts are seen as expressions of valor, chivalry, and self-sacrifice. It is a philosophy which stresses that people should live in peace and harmony. Martial arts philosophy emphasizes on the essence of self-control, respect for others, and positive perspective to strive for the best in life. Martial arts are part of an Eastern tradition that gives emphasis on the fortification of the mind, body, and spirit. Its teachings emphasize that a true martial artist must become physically, mentally, and emotionally strong enough to avoid fighting. The many forms of martial arts include Karate, Kung-Fu, Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Yaw-Yan, and Jiu Jitsu.

Martial arts include high-energy training that can improve strength, speed, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. However, just like other sports or physical activities, there are injuries that can be encountered in martial arts training or competition. Quite surprisingly, the risk of injury from martial arts is lower compared to other contact sports. A research conducted at George Washington University in the United States concluded that the injury rate in martial arts training is lower than other contact sports like rugby, American football, basketball, and hockey. Most injuries associated with martial arts are aching limbs and lower back pain, which are usually mild to moderate injuries.

Common injuries in martial arts may include:

· Skin damage — such as cuts and bruises.
· Sprains — Many sprains occur in the ankles, elbows, and other joint areas. Many ankle sprains develop because of improper weight distribution while kicking.
· Strains — injury to the muscle or tendon. Some muscles may tear from rapid stops that occurs when forceful contact is made with an opponent or object.
· Knee pain injuries — caused by the bent-knee stance typical of most martial arts and the use of forceful kicks that can injure the joint if not done properly.
· Head injuries – head injuries can occur during training or competition because of heavy impacts of kicks and punches in the head area. Wearing high quality helmet and mouth guards is advised among martial artists
· Dislocations and fractures — particularly of the hand, finger, foot and toe.
· Overuse injuries — any part of the body can be injured by sheer repetition of movement.

Martial arts training involve strenuous movements that may put high stress on muscles and joints. To avoid injuries, it is very important to give special attention to stretching. Stretching regularly helps maintain or increase flexibility and lower the risk of injuries. In addition to stretching, martial arts training should also include exercises meant to improve overall conditioning and muscle training before undertaking any comprehensive martial arts training. By strengthening the muscles, joints, and coordination, athletes will be able to make martial arts training safer and more injury-free. Breathing techniques are also important as part of the practice of martial arts. Exhaling while contracting muscles and inhaling while resting the muscles may help prevent injuries.

By warming-up properly, breathing extensively, and wearing necessary equipment, martial artists and athletes can avoid injuries that may hamper the progress of their training and level of competitiveness.

Fitness Training The Importance Of Correct Warming Up

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

All types of physical practice, in fitness or any other sport, must begin with correct warming up. This activity, together with relaxation and the main stage, are the three essential parts of the training.

The types of warming up can vary a lot in length, intensity and structure of exercises, according to the sport or the training you want to start. Although there are many kinds of warming up, all of them have in common two distinct stages.

The first stage concerns general warming up, whose purpose is to gradually prepare the whole body for the effort which will follow. The body temperature also increases. At this stage, the inertia of the body is easily removed through aerobic exercises (running, cycling, etc.). This stage should not take more than 5-10 minutes; otherwise it will change into a real aerobic training. It is well known that during aerobic effort the body consumes a lot of glycogen, so, especially before force training (anaerobic), there is the risk of running out of energy.

The second stage of warming up is specific to each sport. This stage aims to warm up the main muscles and joints involved in the effort, but also to anticipate, by simulation, some movements from the main part of the training. This stage can be longer than the first one and includes different types of gymnastics for the joints, jumping, exercises at greater speed, stretching, etc. However, this stage shouldn’t be very long either, because the sportsman needs to save physical energy and to avoid mental stress. In many sports (target shooting, fencing, tennis, etc.), mental stress can be bigger than physical effort.

These two stages of warming up must come one after the other very strictly. It is forbidden to switch their order, and also to skip one of them. Unfortunately, it is common in sport to skip the first stage and do just specific warming up, which is considered more important.

This is a big mistake, because this type of exercises does not rise the body temperature as much as the ones involving minimum aerobic effort. The result is that the body will be much more rigid and a lot less prepared for the main part of the training. There are cases, especially in sport games, when both stages of warming up are abandoned. Kicking the ball or passing a few times are supposed to replace a thorough, but boring warming up.

Not doing the warming up correctly or, worse, not doing it at all increases the risk of having accidents during training or competing. Possible accidents range from simple ones, like pulling a muscle or cramps, to some really bad ones (ruptured muscles, hernia, sprains, dislocations, etc.). Even if, luckily, such accidents do not happen, the body will experience a dramatic decrease of efficiency in performing the exercises.

It is very important for beginners to do the warming up. If they do not ignore it when they take up sport, they will form a habit of warming up and will, hopefully, keep this habit as long as they do sport. They must not assume the false idea that, being beginners, they shouldn’t exercise so intensely.

All these problems are traps that correct warming up can definitely avoid.

Cross Training For Fitness And Fatloss

April 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Exercises

The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man’s fatty tissue is bigger than 14% up to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman’s is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overfat.

A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive.

The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the “ever reliable” result of the weighing scale.

It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure.

Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into “work metabolism,” the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.

Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat

When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily.

Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world.

Now, you might ask, “What should be done instead?” The answer: cross training.

After some intensive studies and experimentations, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.

Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person’s conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to an imminent boredom.

Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage into cross training are swimming, running, and cycling.

In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.

If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.

Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fatloss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your “losing weight” more bearable.

Cross training has three basic components:

1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a careful planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.

2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.

3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most of the people who wish to try to lose some fat.

Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage into cross training, you will be aware of it that you have already achieve your desired weight.

Boiled down, cross training is, certainly, one way of having fun.

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