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How To Vary Your Workout Volume

How To Vary Your Workout Volume
 
 One Size Does Not Fit All
 By Dwayne Hines
 
 Are you locked into one approach to volume output when it comes to training? Many guys get into a groove and just go with it for extended periods of time. However, recent research published in the
 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (January 2012) comes to the conclusion that one size does not fit all. And not only that, individuals may find a need to vary the volume at different
 times in the year.
 
 The researchers come to the conclusion that volume is variable that requires constant consideration. In other words, you have to think about the volume output for each exercise. Doing the same thing
 again and again isn't necessarily the best way to go.
 
 The study pointed out the very real possibility of overtraining that can occur from high volume training schemes employed at the high volume level for extended periods of time.
 
 However, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Another interesting result of the study was the finding that 4 set and 8 set protocols (using the squat as the weight load) produced strength
 increases in 3 weeks but the 1 set approach did not. This "suggests that volume does play a role" according to the researchers. They also suggested that volume can be critical for short term gains,
 with higher volume more likely to produce those gains. But don't forget that if you leave the volume on high too long, you may undo those gains.
 
 You want to use volume as a training variable but you also need to be aware that too much volume can push your body too far into overdrive. And there is even a time for single set exercises. They can be employed when you are feeling a bit under the weather - a little too down to get in the big workout. At this point a single set exercise enables you to maintain what you have and not lose ground.
 
 Training volume should not be taken for granted, and it should not be the same all of the time. Vary your volume according to your weekly workout needs.
 
 Dwayne Hines is the author of "The Growth Zone" – a new approach to building mass muscle fast.
 see http://list.netatlantic.com/t/58280579/39727547/145688/0/
 
 And "Conditioning for Fighting" – a mixed training approach for those who want to improve their fight conditioning.
 see http://list.netatlantic.com/t/58280579/39727547/145689/0/

Best 30 Minute Fat Burning Circuit Training Workout

Best 30 Minute Fat Burning Circuit Training Workout
 by Shannon Entin
 
 When you need a break from your traditional workout, or when you need to get a total body workout in a short period of time, try this 30-Minute Fat-Burning Circuit Workout. Perform the workout with
 light weights (about 50% of your maximum lift weight) and move continuously. You should be able to get 25 to 30 repetitions in for each weight training segment. Don't rest between exercises. The
 exercises below add up to 27 minutes, but you'll need about 10 to 15 seconds in between exercises to grab your weights and get into proper position.
 
(2 minutes) Start with an aerobic segment to warm up. March in place, walk slowly on a treadmill, or cycle slowly on a stationary cycle.
 (1 minute) Tricep kickback/squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and pull your elbows back so you're holding the weights near your waist. As you squat, straighten your arms behind you, pressing the weight back and moving only your forearms. Your upper arm (from shoulder to elbow) should not move. Lower the weight as you press up from the squat. Repeat steadily.  (3 minutes) Aerobic segment: Your choice of aerobic work - might be jump rope, treadmill, cycle, stairmaster, jumping jacks, etc.  (1 minute) Deadlift: Start in a standing position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Hands should rest on the thighs. Keeping your shoulders low and back (don't hunch over) and your knees slightly bent, bend from the hips until your back is flat. Your arms should stay straight, allowing the weight to
 move straight down toward your feet. Keep your head up. Return to a standing position and repeat steadily.
 (3 minutes) Aerobic segment.  (1 minute) Hammer curl/squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and pull your elbows in tight to your waist. Your palms should be facing one another, as if you are holding a hammer in each hand. As you squat, lift the weights toward your shoulders, keeping the elbows in tight to the waist.
 Lower the weight as you press up from the squat. Repeat steadily.
 (3 minutes) Aerobic segment.  (1 minute) Upright row/squat: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let the weights rest against your thighs. As you squat, lift the weights straight up to your chest (your elbows come out to your sides) in a rowing motion. Lower the weights as you press up from the squat. Repeat steadily.  (3 minutes) Aerobic cooldown. March in place, walk, or
 cycle slowly.
 (1 minute) Push-ups.  (1 minute) Abdominal crunches.

 (3 minutes) Stretch all the major muscle groups.

LOOK AT THIS AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU GUYS THINK.

OKAY, LOOK AT THE ACTIVITIES ON THIS WEBSITE.  WONDER IF WE SHOULD ADD THEM TO OUR DAILY CALORIE BURN.  THERE'S THINGS LIKE SHOWERING, RESTING/SITTING, CARRYING CHILD, ETC.  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU GUYS THINK.

http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc 

 

Protein

Protein should represent the majority of the calories increased in the diet as long as the value stays below the 1.6-2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight upper limit.  If additional calories are required, they should come from nutrient dense carbohydrates. 

For individuals who find it difficult to eat frequently, meal supplements may aid in fulfilling the calorie requirements.  If protein supplements are used, whey protein is ideal for post-exercise consumption and casein protein can be used at night due to its slower absorption rate.  Personal preferences will ultimately define the ideal dietary strategy. 

 

Basic Nutrients to Evaluate

Percentage of Calories

Carbohydrates

Sugar

Fats

Proteins

Saturated Fat

Additional Nutrients

Cholesterol

Fiber

Sodium

Calcium

Iron

Water

Best and Worst Fast-Food Breakfast

Best and Worst Fast-Food Breakfast Breakfast on the Go?While high-fat, high-calorie breakfasts abound at the nation's fast-food restaurants, most chains offer at least one or two healthier items -- if you must fill up at a drive-through. Cruise our photo gallery of the worst offenders and better choices to fuel your day. WebMD doesn’t endorse these "better bets" for everyone, since some still may be too high in sodium or calories for your diet.McDonald's: Worst ChoiceTake a pass on McDonald's Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes. It'll weigh you down with 1,090 calories, 56 g fat, and 19 g saturated fat -- close to the daily limit for this unhealthy fat. Even the biscuit is loaded with saturated fat, topping even the sausage patty or eggs. The sodium hits 2,150 mg, nearly the daily limit.McDonald's: Better BetThe Egg McMuffin is a better choice under the golden arches at 300 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, and 2 g fiber. Lean Canadian bacon offers protein and a meaty taste with very little fat. In any restaurant, ask for the nutrition information. Items with some fiber and protein will keep you satisfied for hours.  Sodium watchers take note: the Egg McMuffin has 820 mg.Burger King: Worst ChoiceSkip the Double Croissan’wich with Double Sausage, which comes in at 700 calories, 49 g fat, 18 g saturated fat, and 1,510 mg sodium. Burger King stacks two sausage patties, double cheese, and fried eggs on a giant buttery croissant bun. This high-calorie, high-fat sandwich contains almost a day’s worth of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.Burger King: Better BetThe Egg and Cheese Croissan’wich offers fast-food taste at a nutritional cost that many people can afford: 320 calories, 16 g fat, and 7 g of saturated fat. The sodium content may be a tough fit for restricted diets at 690 mg. Eleven grams of protein will help keep you feeling full until lunch.Jack in the Box: Worst ChoiceSteer clear of the Sirloin Steak & Egg Burrito with Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa. Jack in the Box loads a flour tortilla with scrambled eggs, steak, greasy hash browns, and cheese. It contains a whopping 821 calories, 50 g fat, and 15 g saturated fat, along with 1,616 mg of sodium. The burrito does provide 38 grams of protein, if you don't mind eating 50 grams of fat along with it.Jack in the Box: Better BetThe Breakfast Jack has better nutrition numbers than many breakfast choices with 283 calories, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, and 16 g of protein to fuel your day. As with most fast-food items, the sodium could be a problem for some at 789 mg. The Breakfast Jack is simply a hamburger bun with fried egg, ham, and American cheese.Skip Carl’s Jr. for BreakfastThe Breakfast Burger leads an unhealthy parade at Carl's Jr. It's a tall stack of beef, egg, bacon, cheese, and hash brown nuggets -- adding up to 800 calories, 42 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, and 1,440 mg of sodium. The Loaded Breakfast Burrito adds sausage to the same fatty list of ingredients for equally bad nutrition numbers. French Toast Dips have less saturated fat but too much total fat and calories to be recommended.Dunkin’ Donuts: Worst ChoicesStay away from the high fat Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissant (690 calories, 48 g fat, 19 g saturated fat, 1,340 mg sodium), as well as the Sausage Egg and Cheese Bagel (690 calories, 35 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, and 1,650 mg sodium). Dunkin' Donuts: Better BetsThe Egg and Cheese on an English Muffin  sandwich comes in at 320 calories, 15 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 14 g protein, 1 g fiber, and 820 mg of sodium. The protein will help will keep you going strong through the morning. Choose a wheat bagel to bump up the fiber to 5 grams.Starbucks: Worst ChoiceThe Cranberry Orange Scone is one of several high-fat, sugary treats at Starbucks that probably won't keep you full until lunch, despite a hefty calorie count. Indulgences like this icing-topped scone vary in flavorings by restaurant, but any scone is a buttery affair. This one contains 490 calories, 18 g fat, 2 g fiber, and 8 g protein. Note that the saturated fat -- 9 grams -- is 45% of the daily limit.Starbucks: Better BetsThe Egg White, Spinach, and Feta Wrap caters nicely to health-conscious commuters in a hurry. It's easy to eat out of hand and contains just 280 calories, 10 g fat, and 3.5 g of saturated fat. Ample protein (18 g) and fiber (6 g) help keep you full. Oatmeal with a Nut Medley Topping is another good choice at 240 calories. Or try the Greek Yogurt Honey Parfait with 290 calories.Subway: Worst ChoiceThe 6"Sunrise Subway Breakfast Melt can be problematic on some low-calorie diets. Turkey, bacon, ham, cheese, and eggs do provide 32 grams of hunger-quenching protein. And the egg white option (seen here) trims some fat. But the total calories and fat run high. The regular version has 470 calories, 17 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, and a whopping 1600 mg of sodium. The egg white version shaves off 40 calories, 4 g total fat, and 2 g of saturated fat.Subway: Better BetsThe Egg White and Cheese Omelet Muffin Melt Sandwich is a better choice at Subway with 140 calories, 3.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 12 g protein, 490 mg sodium, and 5 g fiber. It comes on a light wheat English muffin for a healthy high-protein, high-fiber, portable meal.  Add tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, or other low-cal choices from Subway's famous spread of toppings to boost the flavor.Benefits of a Healthy Morning MealBreakfast really is the most important meal of the day -- it gives you energy to start the day and is linked to many health benefits. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast can help give you a nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; better weight control; improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom; more strength and energy to engage in physical activity; and lower cholesterol levels.Bottom Line on BreakfastIf you find yourself at a fast-food chain in the morning, always opt for the healthiest breakfast options, or eat a smaller portion and save the other half. You can eat out healthfully, but nothing compares to the numerous breakfast options at home, from an egg and whole-wheat toast to a whole-grain breakfast parfait with fruit and yogurt. Short on time? Pack it the night before and take it along with you. 

$100,000 Transformation Contest

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/100K-challenge-landing.html

 

Bodybuilding.com and Optimum Nutrition want 2012 to be the best year of your life. We're teaming up to help you get ripped and rewarded for transforming your physique. Give yourself the gift of an incredible body, better health, and the chance to win $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Enter the $100,000 Transformation Challenge. Registration is absolutely free. Commit for 12 weeks; build your best body. Thousands will enter. Thousands will transform. Two will win.

Why not you?


<!-- ----------- Video ----------- -->2012 $100,000 Transformation Contest Commercial

Watch The Video - 00:30

 


<!-- ----------- Video ----------- -->Grand Prize Winners Receive:

Our top female and top male winner will each receive...

Grand Prizes Winners Will Receive:


10 Runner Up Winners Receive:

  • $2500 cash
  • Free 1 year gym membership with Bodybuilding.com StayFit Package
  • $350 Bodybuilding.com Gift Certificate

Weekly Winners

Each week, one person will be chosen as the "Contestant of the Week" and will receive supplements and prizes (total retail value of $250).


<!-- <div align="center"> <ax href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/100K-challenge-registration.html"> <img width="345" height="47" border="0" alt="Register Now - FREE!" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2011/reg-now-btn.gif"><br><br> </ax> </div><br><br> -->

Simi Denson's Bodyspace
Scott Proscia's Bodyspace



 

 


Questions about the Contest? Learn more now!

 

For the ladies: shoulder workout

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/shoulder-workout-amanda-latonas-pro-bikini-delt-workout.html

 

Shoulder Workout: Amanda Latona's Pro Bikini Video Workout For Delts

She's sexy. She's fun. She's fit. She's Amanda Latona and she's here to train shoulders with you. Need we say more? We do? Okay, well, this is exclusive video content! <!-- <span> In part 2 of this 2 part series you will learn about which foods you can eat to lose fat and gain muscle! Read more! </span> -->
<!-- <div wicket:id="descriptionPanel"></div> --><!-- end article-description --><!-- end article-author-by-line --><!-- Content from database -->

Among the neon and hairspray of the 1980s, professional women clung to their doomed fashion faux pas, sneaking shoulder pads underneath their blouses to make their shoulders look bigger under dress jackets and suits. It was thought that this false musculature could empower women in the workplace, elevating their standing in the business world.

The unfortunate shoulder pad fad died along with MC Hammer pants, hair bands and Jelly shoes (thank you, fashion assassins).

Amanda Latona (recent winner of the Sacramento Pro) is way too young to rock the shoulder-pad look, but she still needs quality shoulders as an IFBB Bikini Pro. So she built shoulders of muscle and sinew, not cotton and Velcro.

We highlighted Amanda's outgoing personality and glamorous glutes in her "Round & Round" feature. It turns out that her attention-grabbing curves don't stop at her tush, but climb her spine and rest upon shoulders so sexy we've ordered a worldwide recall of shoulder pads from all thrift stores and mothball closets.

The size and shape of Amanda's finely sculpted shoulders deliver the desired hourglass figure that lands her on the cover of major fitness magazines. Her unique workout will carve shoulders built to dominate the gym and stand tall at work. Don't waste time and money procuring artificial confidence. Build your body and earn the real thing.

Amanda Latona's
Shoulder Workout

Watch The Video - 10:32



Warm-Up: 2-3 minutes with light weight (standing dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raise and front raise)

  • This is not a warm-up set per se, but more of a freestyle warm-up of 3-4 shoulder movements done in series to loosen up all three deltoids of the shoulder (anterior, lateral and posterior).
  • This warm-up will activate your muscles and help prevent injury. Remember, safety first!

Rest Period: 30 seconds rest between working sets

Exercise 1//
(4 sets of 10-18 reps)
  • The wide rep range is in place to keep the body guessing. If you do 10 reps then the weight should be heavier, but if you do 18 reps then the weight should be lighter.
  • It's important to go to failure on every set, so adjust the weight and reps accordingly. If you feel you can do more, increase the weight!

Exercise 2//
(4 sets of 15-18 reps)
  • One lateral raise and one front raise equal one rep for this combo.
  • Don't be afraid to go light on this lift. It's more important to maintain constant tension on the muscles. Rather than lifting heavy and letting your arms rest at the lowered position, make your transition seamless by not allowing your arms to drop all the way down to your side.

Exercise 3//
(4 sets of 10-12 reps)
  • Using dumbbells for upright rows activates the stabilizer muscles.
  • This exercise can also be done using the barbell or Smith Machine for extra support if needed.

Exercise 4//
(4 supersets of 12-15 reps)
  • The reverse position of this exercise is unconventional, but effective. By sitting backward on the seat, you'll get an angle on the pressing movement which will hit your muscles differently. To keep your body guessing, you should always think outside of the box!
  • The reverse portion consists of two single-arm mini-sets that are considered one working set.
  • The forward portion consists of alternating single-arm presses. Pressing both left and right arms is considered one rep.

Exercise 5//
(4 supersets of 12-18 reps)
  • The rear (posterior) deltoids often get overlooked, but are a critical part of a shoulder. They give that nice round appearance that caps out your delts.
  • Supersetting two rear-delt exercises helps you to not only reach failure on your first set, but to push past failure on your second set.
  • With the Reverse Pec Dec, adjust the seat to where your arms are in a straight plane from your shoulders to your wrists. Also, keep your shoulders relaxed so you're not engaging your traps - you want to keep all the tension on shoulders.
  • Don't let the tension come off your shoulders when you reset to the starting position, and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end movement for a full contraction.
  • For a quick transition superset, use the pec dec for your rear lateral raises as well. Simply turn around to the forward position and sit on the edge of the bench that you're already seated on. Reach down to grab your free weight and BAM! You're in position.

Bikini Ready Delt Workout

Superset:

Superset:

print Printable Page PDF PDF Document<!--<img src='http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2009/print3_white.jpg' alt='EXCEL' align="absmiddle"> <a href='http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/printlog2.php?Exercise%5B%5D=Dumbbell+Shoulder+Press:+4+sets+of+10-18+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&Exercise%5B%5D=Lateral/Front+Raise+Combo:+4+sets+of+15-18+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&Exercise%5B%5D=1+lateral+raises+followed+by+1+front+raise+equals+1+rep.&Sets%5B%5D=1&Exercise%5B%5D=Dumbbell+Upright+Row:+4+sets+of+10-12+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&Exercise%5B%5D=Superset:&Sets%5B%5D=0&Exercise%5B%5D=Reverse+Hammer+Strength+Shoulder+Press:+4+sets+of+12-15+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&Exercise%5B%5D=Hammer+Strength+Shoulder+Press:+4+sets+of+12-15+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&Exercise%5B%5D=Superset:&Sets%5B%5D=0&Exercise%5B%5D=Reverse+Pec+Dec:+4+sets+of+12-18+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&Exercise%5B%5D=Rear+Lateral+Raise:+4+sets+of+12-18+reps&Sets%5B%5D=4&TotalExercises=10&mood=yes&weight=yes&cardio=yes&location=yes&length=yes&comments=yes&instruct=yes&firstname=Amanda+Latona&name=Bikini+Ready+Delt+Workout&xls=yes'>Excel Document</a>-->

The No Gym Workout

The No-Gym WorkoutWorkoutGet Fit at HomeThink you need sweaty machines at the gym to get fit? Save your money. Your own body weight and gravity can do the job, says Pete McCall, MS, of the American Council on Exercise: "Standing core exercises like wood chops are particularly effective."  So, chop, chop! This exercise leads off WebMD's No-Gym Workout -- 15 challenging moves to help both men and women get in great shape.Wood ChopThe whole upper body gets a muscle-ripping workout here, including the abs. Start with feet hip-width apart, hips and knees slightly bent. Attach a band overhead and grab it over the shoulder, trunk angled toward the band. Pull down to the opposite hip, rotating slightly. Slowly return. If you have a medical condition, be sure to check with your doctor before this or any new fitness program.Standing Tubing RowThis deceptively simple move hits all the muscles used in a pull-up, as well as all your core muscles. Grasp the handles with straight arms and tubing taut. Pull the handles towards you and lean back a little. Focus on bringing your shoulder blades back and together. Pause and slowly straighten arms back to the starting position without bending forward.Circuit Train to Burn FatWant to burn fat quickly? Rapid-fire circuits turn strength moves into calorie-torching, cardio work. "If your goal is weight loss, use light weights and low reps," says McCall. A circuit may include push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches followed by a two-minute run around the room. Repeat or alternate with a different circuit of biceps curls, dips, and shoulder presses to target smaller muscles.Pull-upPull-ups work arm and back muscles, giving you great bang for your buck. Turn palms away to work more back muscles; or have the palms face you to target the biceps. Grasp the chin-up bar and cross your legs to keep the lower body stable. Slowly pull your body up, bending your elbows, until your chin is level with the bar.  Pause, then slowly return to your starting position. Repeat. Wide Grip Push-upA wide grip makes the chest muscles work a little harder. Place your hands outside the shoulders. McCall says it's important to engage your core, thigh, and gluteal muscles to get the most out of this or any push-up.  As you lift he says: "Think about gripping the ground with your hands to engage the large muscles of the pectoralis major."Decline Push-upThis challenging push-up can kick your shoulder strength up a couple notches. Get into a standard push-up: hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward, elbows slightly bent, and eyes on the floor. Then place feet behind you on a sturdy chair or bench. Keep your body in a straight line, engage the abs, bend your elbows, and lower your chest towards the floor. Push back to starting position.Jump Train for PowerPro athletes train with jumping jacks and other explosive moves to increase muscle power. It helps basketball players jump higher and tennis players get to the ball faster. Jump training is also called plyometrics, and it's not for beginners or for those with orthopedic issues. But if you have good strength and balance, it can ramp up your game. Try adding plyometric moves to your workout once or twice a week.Jump SquatShift your hips back and down until your heels start to lift off the floor. Pause briefly and explode up, swinging the arms overhead as you straighten your legs. Create a straight line from toes to fingers, with your back flat. Land softly on the mid-foot and sink back into a squat to help absorb the impact. Before adding jump moves, people who are sedentary or injured should check with a doctor.Jump LungeTry this advanced move on grass or another soft surface.  Sink into a lunge position with left leg forward, right leg back, and both knees bent to 90 degrees. Swing your arms behind you for greater power as you explosively jump up, using arms to assist as needed. Keep your back straight, eyes facing forward, and engage the abs. Switch legs in the air and land softly, returning to the lunge position. Rest after each set.  How to Lose the GutDozens of crunches, on their own, are not likely to help you lose the gut. What does work is a full-body exercise routine that builds lean muscle all over. Since muscle burns calories even at rest, having more muscle helps to melt fat all over, including the belly. The best plan is regular cardio (aerobic) exercise, resistance training, and a healthy, calorie-controlled diet.Split Squat With Biceps CurlRest your right foot on a chair well behind you, with your weight on your bent left leg. It's heads up, eyes forward, weights at your side -- and very important -- keep the front knee directly over the ankle. Now, slowly lower your hips by bending the front knee. Push back up and pull the weights up towards shoulders, but don't twist the arms as you lift. Perform all reps and switch legs.One-legged Hamstring BlasterStrong hamstrings help you blow past fellow runners on hills. To challenge these muscles, lie with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and both heels on a chair or stair. Cross one ankle over the opposite thigh just above the knee. Now raise your hips as high as you can and keep your back straight -- do not arch. Pause at the top and slowly lower hips back to the ground and repeat. Switch legs.Chair DipThis simple move tones the backs of the arms, a problem zone for many women. Sit on the edge of a step or chair, palms on each side, and knees bent to 90-degrees. Now, scoot your hips forward, off the step, until your hands are supporting your weight. Slowly lower your body, keeping your back very close to the step.  Bend the elbows until you upper arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly push back up and repeat.Double Chair DipTo really challenge triceps, position two chairs facing each other. Sit on the edge of one, palms on each side of your hips. Straighten your legs and prop up your heels on the opposite chair. Scoot down until you're supporting your weight on your hands. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until upper arms are parallel to the floor -- and keep your back close to the chair behind you. Slowly push back up and repeat.Lose the Love HandlesFatty areas that circle the waistline are a common concern. Unfortunately, twisting side-to-side does very little to whittle your waist, according to Mark Nutting, CSCS. Slimming down all over helps melt overlying fat, then working the obliques can add tone.  "You need to work against resistance in order to create a change," says Nutting. Your best bets: planks and wood chops along with a healthy diet.Basic PlankThis isometric move strengthens all the core muscles, helping to tone the mid-section. Lie on your stomach, elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down. Engage the abs and slowly lift your torso off the floor, maintaining a stiff torso and legs. Avoid sagging at the low back or hiking up your hips. Continue to breathe while holding this position for 15 seconds or more.Dynamic PlankTry this advanced move only after mastering the traditional plank. Support your weight with chest and forearms on top of a fitness ball. Keep legs straight and toes on the floor and contract the abdominals to help stay balanced. Shift your weight to your left leg as you bend your right knee and bring it up to meet the ball; slowly return it to starting position and repeat. Switch legs.Two-Legged Hamstring CurlA slightly easier hamstring challenge uses two legs. Lie on the floor with heels and ankles on a fitness ball. Dig your heels into the ball and raise your hips as high as you can, while keeping your back straight -- do not arch. Now bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and roll the ball toward you. Pause at the top and slowly lower hips back to the ground and repeat.Ball Plank With Shoulder ExtensionReady to work every muscle in your body? This move comes close, with a special challenge for the core. Put your chest, stomach, and hands (with weights) on a fitness ball, legs straight to the floor. Slowly raise one arm behind you, toward the ceiling. Contract your abs to keep from rolling off the ball, but don't forget to breathe. Pause, slowly return your hand to the ball, and repeat with the other arm.   Protection for the Low BackIf you have low back pain, warm up by gently stretching your hips before working out, says McCall: "Tight hip flexors pull on the lower spine." Kneel down on one knee with the foot trailing behind you. Keep your legs parallel to each other, hands on the bent knee, and let your hips sink forward to the floor, keeping upper body straight. Don't lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs. Advice for Desk JockeysSitting with poor posture for hours a day increases your risk of low back pain. And shoulder pain is rampant among people who keep their heads and torsos jutted forward all day long, peering into a computer.  At your desk, set a timer to go off every hour to remind you to check that your ear, shoulder, and hip are aligned. When working out, hip stretches and tubing rows can help counteract the aches and pains of desk work.How Many Reps Are Right for You?For strength and power, aim for three sets of six reps. For general muscle growth and toning, try three sets of 6-12 reps.  If you're a runner striving for muscle endurance, plan on 2-3 sets of 12 or more reps with 30-second rest periods. Always exercise caution, and if something doesn't feel right, check with a fitness expert. Depending on your health and physical condition, some exercises may not be recommended. 

3 Exercises for Strong, Sexy Arms

Everyday Fitness

with Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

Living life to the fullest is all about striving for a mind-body balance every day. Achieve a mental, nutritional, and physical transformation for life with tips from wellness expert Pamela Peeke, MD.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
<!-- Begin .post -->

Bye Bye to Batwings

By Pamela M. Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

Part II of a six-part series. Check back next week for Part III: Chest






You can’t keep them out of sight forever. Buried deep inside your long-sleeved sweaters and tops are your upper limbs. You know, the ones you don’t want to share with the world because they’re jiggly and flap in the breeze. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop hiding and instead put your foot down and declare your right to bare arms? Well, that time is now and yes, you can realize your goal.

First, where does this annoying flappy flesh come from anyway? Well, it’s often a combination of many factors including:

Genetics: Look at your family members. If there’s a genetic tendency to deposit fat on the arms, then that increases your odds of doing the same. Along those same genetic lines, poor elasticity tends to share the same genes.

Disuse: If you don’t train your bountiful biceps and terrific triceps, then you not only have floppy muscles, but saggy fat and connective tissue surrounding the muscles.

Weight Loss: With weight reduction, fat recedes all over the body, including the arms. This fat mass collapse results in baggy skin hang. The more times you go through the weight gain and re-gain cycle, the worse this becomes, challenging even the best elasticity. Shedding over 50 pounds magnifies this problem.

Whip out your arms from their hidden havens and study them carefully. Flex your biceps and have someone measure your arm at mid-biceps. Keep this in your “My Body 101” notebook. Keep track of your progress as you practice the following exercises on a consistent basis. Do the work and reap the rewards.

And, remember that the only way to optimize any body part you’re exercising is to match it with healthy eating. Click onto the WebMD Food and Fitness Planner right now and input your data. The Planner will help lay down a simple blueprint for healthy eating customized to fit your unique physical abilities and medical condition(s).

Now, it’s time to sweat off the jiggle. In addition to these strengthening training exercises, remember to do your cardio (burning about 400 cals) at least 5 days per week. If you’re a beginner, work up to this as your goal. The payoff is amazing.

Batwings Be Gone Exercises

All you need are a floor mat, 3-5 pound hand weights and/or elastic tubing with handles. It really helps to have a full-length mirror available so that you can carefully monitor your form. And it helps to wear a T shirt or sleeveless tank top so that you can see your upper arm and correct your form as you exercise. Finally, always clear any new exercise routine with your medical team, especially if you have medical conditions or disabilities.

Traditional Biceps Curl

Pick up a single-arm dumbbell in each hand. I like to exercise the arms independently so that you can work on any weakness in the non-dominant arm.

Stand up (preferably facing a mirror) with your feet about hip-width apart. Knees are slightly bent to increase your stability as you move your arms. Really engage your core by contracting your ab muscles. You want a great upright posture for all of your workouts.

Hold your dumbbells on the side of each thigh, palms facing forward.

Squeeze your biceps and begin to bend the arms, curling the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Keep the elbows by your sides keeping the arm stable.

Slowly lower the weights and when you reach the bottom, maintain a slight bend in the elbow keeping tension in your biceps muscle. You never want to lock your joints.

The goal is to do 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Hammer Biceps Curl

This is a nifty twist on the traditional curl. Everything is the same except your hands are rotated in, and the forearms, along with the biceps, get exercised as well.

So, you’ll now hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing each other. Squeeze the biceps, keeping the elbows stationary, and bring the weight as high as you can without moving the elbow. Gently return to start position, keeping a slight flex in the elbow.

The goal is to do from 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. I mix it up and do one set with the traditional curl and the next with the hammer and then the third as traditional once again. Keeps things interesting!

You can also perform the biceps exercises with your elastic tubing. Grab both handles and step on the tubing so that you now have resistance in each arm. Follow the same instructions for the dumbbell weights.

Single Arm Triceps Curl

This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to tone up your triceps. Grab just one dumbbell in your right hand. Maintain the same posture as you did in the biceps exercises.

Extend the dumbbell straight over your head. Flex at the elbow and lower the weight behind your neck.

Take your left hand and hold your right arm steady with fingers around the right triceps area.

Squeezing your triceps, slowly straighten your right arm straight over your head.

The goal is to do from 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions to each side.

You can also perform this triceps exercise with your elastic tubing. Grab one handle of your tubing and let the rest of the tubing fall to the floor. Step on the tubing so that you have resistance on the side where you’re holding the handle. Then follow the instructions for the triceps curl.

Push-Ups

Hey, don’t run away! Push-ups are terrific because you can multitask with your own anatomy. They’re compound movements and if you’re doing them correctly, you’ll work six different muscles groups: chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, abs. You get bonus points if you contract your glutes and maintain great back posture as well.

In case you just conjured up a nightmare vision of full legged Marine platoon rapid push-ups, forget about that. We’re going to keep it simple.

Get on the floor mat and balance yourself with your hands positioned by your sides, keeping them wider than your shoulders, and you’re on bent knees. You can cross your ankles behind your or keep them straight up. For folks who are more trained and want to do a full-out straight legged push-up, you’re balancing on your hands and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe. For the bent knee folks, your body is straight from head to knee. Watch out for belly sagging. Really engage your core. As well, make sure your butt isn’t pointing toward the ceiling. Get that behind down and in proper alignment.

Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor. You can keep your face looking toward the floor or hold it up staring ahead of you. This is a matter of neck comfort. There is no need to touch the floor. Lower only as far as you are comfortable doing and then exhale and push yourself back up to the start position.

If you’re a beginner, perform only as many as you can while keeping excellent form. The key is not to break form. If you do, then you’ll be at risk for injury. If you can perform one right now, that’s excellent. Repeat this exercise twice a week if you’re a beginner, and for the more trained, 2-3 x week. Ideally, you’re working up to three sets of 10 repetitions.

You’ll be working your arms no more than twice per week. Remember, you’ve got other parts of your body you need to work into your weekly exercise sessions. Stay consistent and I guarantee you stronger, leaner and toned arms. And a supremely sleeveless spring and summer!

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