Shape your legs, tone your butt and build functional strength, with the Reverse Lunge. Lunges are an exceptional exercise for conditioning your lower body. They stress the muscles from a perfect angle to develop incredible shape and symmetry in your legs, thighs and butt.Because they require balance, lunges also build neuromuscular and functional capacity - helping your body go through its daily motions and letting you pick up your children with ease.Whether you're trying to lose weight, want to look sleeker in shorts, or improve your athletic performance, lunges should be part of your training program.In my opinion, the Ultimate Lunge is the Reverse Lunge. There are many types of lunges, and many ways to perform them all, but since we only have time to cover one - my choice is the reverse lunge. Here's why: - Because you have more balance and support, it's easy to learn and perform. Plus, you have less momentum to contend with during the exercise which provides more effective stress to the muscles and yields better results.- It's safer and softer on your knees because your back foot absorbs the ballistic shock of the lunge step. (Contrasted to the front lunge where impact shock can transfer to the knee even if you land heel to toe.)- It creates muscular balance by initiating the movement backward as opposed to most other exercise movement patterns that take you forward and bias your musculature toward forward motion.How To Do A Reverse Lunge Correctly- Start facing forward, with your feet shoulder width apart, and your arms at your side.- Step back with one leg far enough to allow your knees to bend at 90 degree angles. You can simultaneously bring your arms up to act as a slight counter balance. If you want a greater challenge, hold light weights in your hands.- You're in correct position at the bottom of your lunge when your front knee is directly over the ankle.IMPORTANT - To go back to the start position, start dropping your arms and lift from the heel of your front leg. DO NOT PUSH OFF YOUR BACK LEG. This simple advice will dramatically improve the effectiveness of your reverse lunge, give you a far tighter, leaner butt and get you much better results in half the time.Try doing reverse lunges 3 times a week on non-consecutive days. Work up to 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg. After a month, I think you'll be amazed at the impact the reverse lunge will have on your physique.
Everyone has wondered at some point in time which cardio exercise is better. To put it in simple terms, both low and high intensity exercises will help you to burn off body fat. The question here is which is the most effective to burn off more body fat. When scientists first discovered that during intensive exercises, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles for energy. During low intensity exercises, your body will burn a lot of fat. If your wondering whether or not it works, the answer is no because there are so many obese people still around. Even though they are working out with low intensity routines, it still makes you wonder how it can be. The scientists were right when they said the human body burns more body fat during low intensity exercises like walking or swimming. During a high intensity exercise such as running, the body will burn a lot more calories. Even if some of the calories burnt are from glycogen, there are still many fat calories burned as well. To put the icing on the cake, when your store of glycogen gets low, the carbohydrates from your food you eat will later get converted into glycogen to fill up the store and won't be converted to body fat when they are left unused for energy. High intensity cardio exercise will juice up your metabolism even after you have completed your workout. What this means, is that your body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have left the gym. This effect is nearly non existent in low intensity cardio or aerobic workout. Accumulatively, your body will burn up more and more calories during and after you have finished a high intensity cardio exercise that it will with low intensity. You can inject high intensity exercises into your cardio workout by introducing some interval training. You can walk for 5 minutes or so, then break into some jogging for another 5 minutes or so. Then, walk briskly again until you have caught your breath and then sprint for a minute before you walk again. From this point, simply alternate your running and walking for the next 15 minutes until you are finished. One of the best things about cardio is the more you do it, the more energy you'll have. Cardio will help you to burn calories, although its more useful for keeping your energy levels high. If you've never tried cardio before, you should give it a shot. If you like to exercise, you'll find cardio the best way to boost your energy and keep in top shape. If you are just starting out, you'll want to go slow and keep your cardio exercise in track - as it is very easy to over exert yourself.
The Front Squat:As you may have already discovered, the squat is at the top of the heap (along with deadlifts) as one of the most effective overall exercises for stimulating body composition changes (muscle gain and fat loss). This is because exercises like squats and deadlifts use more muscle groups under a heavy load than almost any other weight bearing exercises known to man. Hence, these exercises stimulate the greatest hormonal responses (growth hormone, testosterone, etc.) of all exercises. In fact, university research studies have even proven that inclusion of squats into a training program increases upper body development, in addition to lower body development, even though upper body specific joint movements are not performed during the squat. Whether your goal is gaining muscle mass, losing body fat, building a strong and functional body, or improving athletic performance, the basic squat and deadlift (and their variations) are the ultimate solution. If you dont believe me that squats and deadlifts are THE basis for a lean and powerful body, then go ahead and join all of the other overweight people pumping away mindlessly for hours on boring cardio equipment. You wont find long boring cardio in any of my programs!Squats can be done with any free weighted objects such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, or even just body weight. Squats should only be done with free weights NEVER with a Smith machine or any other squat machines! Machines do not allow your body to follow natural, biomechanically-correct movement paths. You also perform less work because the machine stabilizes the weight for you. Therefore, you get weaker results!The type of squat that people are most familiar with is the barbell back squat where the bar is resting on the trapezius muscles of the upper back. Many professional strength coaches believe that front squats (where the bar rests on the shoulders in front of the head) and overhead squats (where the bar is locked out in a snatch grip overhead throughout the squat) are more functional to athletic performance than back squats with less risk of lower back injury. I feel that a combination of all three (not necessarily during the same phase of your workouts) will yield the best results for overall muscular development, body "fat loss" , and athletic performance. Front squats are moderately more difficult than back squats, while overhead squats are considerably more difficult than either back squats or front squats. Ill cover overhead squats in a future article. If you are only accustomed to performing back squats, it will take you a few sessions to become comfortable with front squats, so start out light. After a couple sessions of practice, you will start to feel the groove and be able to increase the poundage.To perform front squats:The front squat recruits the abdominals to a much higher degree for stability due to the more upright position compared with back squats. It is mostly a lower body exercise, but is great for functionally incorporating core strength and stability into the squatting movement. It can also be slightly difficult to learn how to properly rest the bar on your shoulders. There are two ways to rest the bar on the front of the shoulders. In the first method, you step under the bar and cross your forearms into an X position while resting the bar on the dimple that is created by the shoulder muscle near the bone, keeping your elbows up high so that your upper arms are parallel to the ground. You then hold the bar in place by pressing the thumb side of your fists against the bar for support.Alternatively, you can hold the bar by placing your palms face up and the bar resting on your fingers against your shoulders. For both methods, your elbows must stay up high to prevent the weight from falling. Your upper arms should stay parallel to the ground throughout the squat. Find out which bar support method is more comfortable for you. Then, initiate the squat from your hips by sitting back and down, keeping the weight on your heels as opposed to the balls of your feet. Squat down to a position where your thighs are approximately parallel to the ground, then press back up to the starting position. Keeping your weight more towards your heels is the key factor in squatting to protect your knees from injury and develop strong injury-resistant knee joints. Keep in mind squats done correctly actually strengthen the knees; squats done incorrectly can damage the knees.Practice first with an un-weighted bar or a relatively light weight to learn the movement. Most people are surprised how hard this exercise works your abs once you learn the correct form. This is due to the more upright posture compared with back squats. To see photos of proper form on the front squat, visit the link below.
I know how skeptical people typically are about motivational pictures. Everyone has seen and got fed up with that tripe posted on the partition walls of their cubicles some stranger conquering an impossible mountain against the canvas of a magnificent sunrise with some stupid caption about persistence, or excellence under it, or some poor little kitten cutie struggling to hang on to the edge of a table with her babyish claws, beneath which is inscribed, invariably in corresponding bubbly cutesy letters, hang on. Hey, you might not believe me when I tell you this. If I were a listener like you, I would probably not believe in it either. Nonetheless, I have an urge to tell you this simple yet rarely acknowledged fact that nothing inspires people quite as much as aerobic pictures to get fit and back in shape. It is considered a sign of very low refinement even to put such thing up, let alone to confess to be motivated by them unless you are a middle manager, in which case low refinement is considered more of a virtue than a vice. However, at least in the case of "aerobic pictures" , it is true. The right picture can really give people that extra push and get them moving.Well, you think I am exaggerating. No not really. Seeing people sweating every day enables me to tell the gleam of sweat from the gleam of confidence. What I see here is definitely the gleam of confidence. They look at those aerobic pictures and stand up straighter, work that much harder, and I believe, go home feeling a whole lot better about themselves. Even the aerobic exercise classes seem to go better once the pictures are present.I should know. I am a manager at the Skinny Booty Gym downtown, and I oversee various tasks including decorating the walls. It has given me plenty of time to observe people in their workouts, and the differences that those aerobic pictures make are surprising. Before I stick them up, many people seemed to be just painfully dragging on with their workouts, without hope of ever attaining any fitness goals. Since I put up the aerobic pictures, however, things have taken a dramatic turn. It is like the aerobic pictures lift everyone's morale that makes them practically shine with confidence. After seeing this effect on people, I have even taken down my other motivational posters and put up the aerobic pictures around my cubicle in the gym. Even when I am not doing any exercise, the pictures of fit, trim people doing their aerobics workouts seems to tell me I should put in a little bit more effort into whatever tasks I am attending to at the moment. There are many types of decorations which are more beautiful, more exciting, and flashier than aerobic pictures, but I have yet to find one that exerts a bigger positive influence on the work ethics. And isn't that the most crucial thing of all?
Around the House1. When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute walk up the street in one direction and back in the other.2. If you're housebound caring for a sick child or grandchild, hop on an exercise bike or treadmill while your ailing loved one naps.3. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. (A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.)4. Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm's length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to work your arms and shoulders.5. After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids and their friends.6. Just before bed or while you're giving yourself a facial at night, do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises, suggests exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms, in Palm Springs, CA, who keeps a set of free weights on a shelf in front of her bathroom sink.While Waiting7. Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks.8. Walk around medical buildings if you have a long wait for a doctor's appointment. "I always ask the receptionist to give me an idea of how long I have left to wait," Cluff says. "Most are usually very willing to tell you."9. While your son or daughter plays a soccer game, walk around the field.10. Turn a trip to a park with your child into a mini-workout for you. Throw a ball back and forth and run for fly balls.