Lower Body Exercises For Men

Many guys focus on training their upper bodies, attacking the mirror muscles – chest, arms, shoulders. But there is a catch:

if you want all that ‘Greek god torso’ training to be worthwhile, you’ve got to spend some serious time building your lower body, too.

Here are some of the best lower body exercises for men. Training your legs challenges your entire body, for a variety of reasons. Your upper body, after all, has to hold all that weight. And, plus you can go heavier on leg days than you can when training, let’s say, your arms, and hitting your body with all that weight will drive a strong hormone response throughout the entire body and burn calories, too. Ready? Mix and match the moves below and get started!

Dumbbell Squatdumbbell-squat

  • Stand with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides.
  • Keeping your back flat, chest up, and core braced, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Lateral Lunge

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides, palms in.
  • Keeping your right leg straight and right foot on the floor, step to the left side with your left leg, then push your hips back as you bend your left knee. Lower the weights on either side of your left knee until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

Goblet Squat

  • Hold a weight at your chest using both of your hands and stand with your feet about hip-widthgoblet-squat apart.
  • Brace your core, then drop your butt back and down to lower into a squat while keeping your chest up.
  • As you squat, sit back into your heels without shifting your weight forward onto the balls of your feet. Try to get as deep into the squat as possible to maximize glute activation.
  • Then, driving through your heels, come back up to standing and give your glutes a squeeze at the top.

If you want to make it harder either increase the weight or slow down your descent. Try a tempo of four seconds on the way down and one second on the way back up, followed by a one to two-second pauses at the top before your next rep.

 

Bulgarian split squat

The Bulgarian split squat is a version of a single-leg squat where the back leg is elevated on a bench or a sturdy chair. As a single-leg, unilateral squat, the exercise places a greater focus on the quadriceps than bulgarian-split-squat

other, similar lower-body compound movements. It also requires a lot of balance and coordination, which increases the level of core and upper body engagement required to maintain proper form.
  • Stand facing away from a bench, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides. Place the toes of your left foot on the bench behind you.
  • Keeping your torso upright and your core engaged, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. Do equal reps on both legs.

 

Forward Lunge

There are several ways to do lunges: you can do it with just bodyweight or you can load it with weights. There are several ways to hold weights: you can hold them at your sides (arms fully extended); with your elbows bent, upper arms straight in front of you, weights at shoulder level (front rack position) or you can hold one dumbbell, hold it at your chest (goblet position).forward-lunge

  • Stand tall holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides (palms in) with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, core braced and back flat, take a large step forward with your right foot.
  • Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your rear knee is bent 90 degrees (not touching the ground).
  • Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat stepping forward with your left foot
  • Continue alternating legs with each rep.

Kettlebell Swing

With kettlebell swing you’re hammering your core, driving your heart rate through the roof and adding size, strength, and power into your hamstrings and glutes. Hinging at your hips (helps ‘hip extension’) is another reason why this one is a must-have in your leg day.kettlebell-swing

  • Start with the kettlebell on the floor slightly in front of you and between your feet, which should be shoulder-width apart,
  • Bending slightly at the knees but hinging mainly at the hips, grasp the kettlebell (with both hands) and pull it back between your legs to create momentum.
  • Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to send the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Let the bell return between your legs and repeat the move.

Barbell Hip Thrust

This is a great way to bear plenty of load to challenge the glutes and hamstrings, without having to fear excessive low back or spinal stress. The hip thrust uses the gluteus maximus (the upper glute muscle), gluteus medius (the lower glute muscle), the quadriceps, and the hamstrings. This one is a glute developing go-to. And plus, this exercise involves the entire core, including the muscles referred to as “stabilizer” muscles that help us keep our balance and keep our spine stable.

  • Begin by putting padding around your barbell to prevent it from digging into your hips when you thrust.
  • Place your upper back on your bench with your barbell across your hips.
  • Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, close to your glutes.
  • Drive your hips skyward, engaging your core and abs.
  • Keep the movement in the lower body as much as possible (don’t “rock” your upper body to complete the move).
  • Hold for a count then lower to your starting position.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 reps.

Don’t feel as if a barbell is your only option when it comes to hip thrusts. You can also hold a dumbbell placed across your lap, a weight plate, or even use straps.

Just make sure these weights are in the centre of your hips to avoid imbalances. Once you start to need heavier weight, progress to a barbell as it distributes weight better and can be padded to protect your hip flexors.

Perfect Leg Day

Now you got perfect tools to have a great leg day. Mix and match these exercises. Be consistent and patient and even sooner than you think, results will show.

Exercises That Tone Your Arms That You Can Do At Home

Each of us has that trouble zone we’re self-conscious about and want to tone up. For many it’s upper arms and they fear hot weather, sleeveless blouses or dresses. The good news is that by adding the right exercises to your workout routine you can start strengthening the muscles in your arms rather quickly.

In this article, you’ll find out what are the exercises that tone your arms. Practice them regularly and you’ll love your sculpted arms.

Achieve Strong, Fit And Sculpted Arms

If tightening and sculpting your arms is your goal, add these exercises to your fitness regimen three times a week. Perform one set of 10 repetitions of each, and then repeat the whole circuit two times.

1. Plank Shoulder Tap

  • Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the ground, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged. Your body should form a straight line
  • Lift your right hand off the ground and tap your left shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible.
  • Do the same thing with your left hand to right shoulder. That’s 1 rep.
  • Continue, alternating sides.

Tip: To make this easier, try separating your legs a little more.

2. Bicep curls to push press

Although you can use weights for this exercise, it can be just as effective with household items like a can of food or bottle of water.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your back straight.bicep-curl-to-shoulder-press
  • Hold your dumbbells (or household or office item) in each hand with your palms facing forward and your arms extended down to your sides.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body as you curl your biceps — lifting the dumbbells to your shoulders in a controlled motion.
  • Then, turn your hands outward so your palms and wrists are pointed toward the ceiling as you press the objects upward above your head. Extend your arms all the way to the top.
  • Slowly bring your items back down the same way you came until your hands are at your sides in the starting position.
  • Complete 10 reps

 

The triceps are what people are referring to when they say that their arms are flabby. In order to tighten this area and reduce “jiggle” it’s necessary to strengthen the backs of the arms. Next two exercises will help you achieve that.

3. Triceps Kickback

  • Holding weights in both hands, lean forward with a flat back. Hug your elbows in towards yourtriceps-kickback sides and pull them up towards the ceiling.
  • Keeping your elbows still, kick the weight towards the back of the room by moving the lower half of your arm back and up towards the ceiling.
  • Hold for a second, feeling the back of your arm tighten, and then release back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times, and complete 3 sets total throughout your workout.

4. Triceps Dips

Well known exercise. Classic for a good reason. Build your triceps by using only your body weight. Use a chair, couch or sturdy coffee table as a base.triceps-dips

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the furniture you’re propping yourself upon.
  • Shift your pelvis and bottom forward so there’s an 8 – 15 cm (3 to 6 inch) gap between your back and the object — giving you clearance as you dip down.
  • Bend your legs in a 90-degree angle with your feet planted firmly on the ground, or extend them out in front of you (but don’t lock your knees).
  • Slowly lower your body down and back up, focusing on engaging your triceps.
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

5. Downward Dog to Push-Up

This is one of those exercises that train multiple muscle groups. Downward dog to push-up targets your core, pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start in a downward dog position. To get into a downward dog, start from an all-fours position with wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Engage your core, lift your knees, and straighten both legs as your head drops naturally between your biceps and you come into an inverted V-shape. In downward dog, your arms and back should be straight and your hips piked up to the ceiling. Your heels do not need to touch the floor, but you should feel a nice stretch in the back of your legs.
  • From this position, lift your right hand and reach back to tap your left toes. Allow your torso to naturally rotate open so you can tap your toes. If you can’t reach your toes, tap your shin or knee.
  • Return to downward dog and roll forward into a high plank or modified plank (by gently lowering your knees to the floor).
  • From your high plank or modified plank, do a push-up by bending both arms at the elbows and lowering your chest toward the floor in a smooth movement.
  • Push back up to return to your plank, then pike your hips to return to your downward dog. Now lift your left hand and tap your right toes.
  • After you’ve completed the toe tap, roll forward into a plank and do another push-up.
  • Continue your downward dog, to toe tap, to push-up progression.

 

6. Plank sidewalk

With this exercise, you’ll tone your abdominal muscles as you strengthen your arms.

  • Set a timer for 1 minute before starting this exercise.
  • Begin in a high plank position with your arms extended beneath your shoulders and your palms planted firmly on the ground.
  • Extend your legs behind you with your toes pressing into the floor. Your core should be engaged and in-line with the rest of your body.
  • Rather than remaining stationary, walk your hands and feet to one side. Take 2 or 3 steps in one direction (or as much as your space allows).
  • Then, return to your starting spot and take the same amount of steps in the other direction. Continue walking side to side until your time runs out.
  • Extend the exercise by 30 seconds or more if you need more of a challenge.

Keep practising these exercises and very soon, in a few weeks, you’ll notice that your arms are stronger and look much better. You’ll love your arms, be more self-confident and you’ll proudly show them off 🙂

 

Upper Chest Workout at Home – Get Fuller Pecs

You do the same routine to pump up your chest, but do you pay attention to your upper chest? It has muscle fibers that are at different angles so it requires exercises that target it correctly.

If you want to get fuller pecs and you’re looking for a way to build more thickness, muscle, and strength in your upper chest, here are seven exercises for you to get a great upper chest workout at home.

What Is the “Upper Chest”

“Upper chest” is a part of the “chest muscle”. It’s known as the clavicular pectoralis and  is a part of the big chest muscle (the pectoralis major), but its muscle fibers are at a different angle.

This is why research shows that certain exercises, like the flat and decline bench press, emphasize the main (large) portion of the chest muscle, whereas others, like the incline and reverse-grip bench press, emphasize the smaller upper portion.

Warm-up first

Before getting down to any workout, first you need to warm up, to prevent possible injuries. A 10-minute light cardio will increase your blood flow and help you in the following exercises. Another vital part of any warm up is stretching. To stretch your pecs: stand in a doorway, raise your arms and grab the top of the doorway with both hands. Then tilt your torso forward, leaving the muscles to stretch. Another way is to grab sides of the doorway, bending the elbows and leaning forward, while straining the muscles.

Let’s get started.

1. Decline Push-Up

This push-up variation should be one of your go-to upper chest exercises because it makes the push-updecline-push-up-exercise

much more intense.
  • Get on your hands and knees in front of your platform, whether it’s a bench, wall, or step. Your hands should be on the ground shoulder-width apart. Place your feet on the platform.
  • Keep your body in a straight line. Avoid sagging or curving your back.
  • Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground.
  • As you near the ground, lift your head without arching your back.
  • Push yourself until your elbows are straight but without locking them, then move back into the starting position.

2. Press-Up press-up-exercise

  • Start with your weight supported on your toes and hands beneath your shoulders, body straight.
  • Take care to keep your core locked so a straight line forms between your head, glutes and heels.
  • Lower your body until your chest is 2 -3 cm (an inch) from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms.

3. Dumbbell press

Here’s how to do it:

  • Take a dumbbell in each hand, and lie on your back, with your elbows bent on your shoulder level.
  • Slowly push the dumbbells up, straightening your arms.
  • Repeat the trajectory of the previous movement, slowly bending your elbows and lowering your hands to return to the initial position.

4. Incline dumbbell flyeincline-dumbbell-fly-exercise

  • Set the bench to a 30- to 45-degree angle and lie on it with your feet flat on the ground on either side of you.
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand. You want a neutral grip, which is when your palms are facing each other.
  • Stretch your arms above your chest, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  • Lower the dumbbells in a wide arc, all the way down to your sides.
  • When your elbows reach your shoulders, you should stop and then reverse the motion.

5. Medicine ball press-up

  • Get into a press-up position resting both hands on the medicine ball.
  • Slowly lower yourself until your chest is 2 -3 cm (an inch) above the medicine ball.
  • Push up explosively to the start position.

6. Chest Dips

Chest dips are one of the best exercises for the upper chest. They activate a lot of different muscle groups. This is because your upper body isn’t supported by a bench. In addition, your feet have to be off the floor.

  • Hold onto the parallel bars while keeping your body at arm’s length above them.
  • Inhale and lower yourself down, keeping your elbows extended a bit.
  • Tighten your chest muscles as you pause at the top of the movement for a second.
  • Use your chest muscles to pull you back up into the starting position. Remember to breathe out as you do this.

7. Dumbbell Pullover

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie down so that you’re perpendicular to a flat blench. Keep your legs bent and your hips low.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your palms by one of its ends so that it is held vertically instead of horizontally. Keep your arms extended but slightly bent.
  • Move the dumbbell so that it’s above your chest – this is the starting position.
  • Now, move the dumbbell all the way over your head so that it travels behind your head. Move it all the way behind your head until it brushes the floor.
  • You should feel your chest stretch.
  • Contract your upper pecs and move the dumbbell back into the starting position.
  • With the weight above your chest, contract your upper chest again before doing another rep of the exercise.

Bottom line

Having the right upper chest exercises is crucial to building the smaller pec muscles that are often neglected during your workouts. The above exercises will help you to strengthen and build your upper chest.

Remember that if you want to build muscle, you need to avoid getting stuck in routines as this can seriously hamper your ability to bulk up. This not only refers to doing the same exercises, in the same order, but it means changing the angle when you’re doing incline work. So, make some changes from time to time. Among above exercises, pick four or five to start with. In like thee weeks, or a month, add or change on. Change the angle when doing incline dumbbell fly or decline push-up.

Now, play some music and get into it.

 

Simple Exercises That Slim Your Waist

Do you want to have a slim, trim waist? We all want to be healthy, happy and look attractive, to be self-confident. Are there simple exercises that slim your waist? There are, and if you do not have problems with excess weigh, go straight to exercising.

But if you are overweight, only exercising won’t do the job. As usual, healthy diet and regular workouts are the most effective in this case. In order to get a smaller waist you need to lower your OVERALL body FAT percentage. So, exercising and nutrition will get the job done. You should avoid fatty and sugary foods. Your diet should include healthy foods rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and many other beneficial elements. It is also highly important to drink necessary amounts of water. In this way you’ll flush the toxins out of your body, improve your overall health, skin and hair condition, and melt excess body fat. However, it is important to combine your proper diet with effective physical exercises in order to get the best result.

Whatever the case, be aware that it does’t happen overnight.

It Takes Work To Get There

Yes, results won’t magically appear the next day. It takes dedication and time. Most beginners fall into the trap of going all out and lose motivation along the way, but you could start with low-intensity workouts with balanced meals and see a change over a few weeks.

Aim for up to four days of low-intensity exercises over a week. Start out with one set of each of these exercises, one after the other and slowly increase the number of times you repeat the routine with 45 to 60 seconds rest in bet

Exercises That Slim Your Waist

Strong core is very important for your overall health. And it should be strengthened working from all angles. But in order to tighten and trim the waist you should do core exercises which focus on the lateral and oblique muscle groups.

  • Flutter Kicks

Lie down on your back on a mat with palms underneath your glutes. Raise your legs in a straight line so that they lightly hover over the floor. Tighten your core and kick up and down while alternating both legs. Don’t let your feet touch the floor and don’t lift your lower back off it either.

Do this for 20 seconds and then repeat twice.

  • Side Plank With Rich Through

Start in a side-plank position with your right forearm planted firmly on the ground and your left hand holding a dumbbell on the ground in front of you. For extra stability, you can stagger your legs, placing your top foot just in front of the bottom. Engaging your core and keeping the dumbbell as close to your body as possible, raise your left arm straight overhead. With control, lower the dumbbell back down and twist directly under your torso. Return back to starting position.

Do 15 reps on each side.

  • Russian Twist

General tips for this exercise:

 

  1. press your feet into the floor
  2. Breathe steadily and deeply. Exhale with each twist, and inhale to return to the center
  3. As you twist, keep your arms parallel to the floor or reach down to tap the floor beside you
  4. Engage your abdominal and back muscles throughout the exercise
  5. For more stability, cross your lower legs
  6. Maintain a straight spine, and avoid slouching or rounding your spine
  7. Allow your gaze to follow the movement of your hands.

Here’s how to do a Russian twist:

  1. Sit on your sit bones as you lift your feet from the floor, keeping your knees bent.
  2. Elongate and straighten your spine at a 45-degree angle from the floor, creating a V shape with your torso and thighs.
  3. Rich your arms straight out in front, interlacing your fingers or clasping your hands together.
  4. Use your abdominals to twist to the right, then back to center, and then to the left.
  5. This is 1 repetition. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 repetitions.

* Variation of this exercise is weighed twist:

Choose a weight that allows you to maintain proper form.

Hold a dumbbell, weight plate, or medicine ball between both hands.

Twist the same way as the original variation, keeping the weight at chest level or tapping it to the floor each time.

  • Toe Touches

Start by lying on your back with your legs extended perpendicular to the ground and your feet flexed. Holding a dumbbell in both hands, reach your arms toward your feet as you lift your shoulders off the ground. Return to the starting position.

Do 15 reps.

  • Squat To Rotating Press

Stand with feet shoulder-length apart and raise your hands with dumbbells in hand. Lower yourself to a squat position then curl weights towards your chest and press upwards with your body rotating to the right. Pivot with left heel and then return to start position. Repeat on the other side. Do 12 reps on both sides.

  • Reverse Crunch

Lie down on the floor on your back with knees bent. Keep your arms by the side. Lift your feet off and bring knees towards your abs. Your toes should be pointed upwards. Don’t lift your head and neck off the floor. Come back to starting position and repeat 12 times.

  • Plank Kick-Through

Start in a plank position, body in a straight line from head to toe, shoulders stacked directly over your wrists. In one sweeping motion, rotate your body to the right as you kick your left foot through. Open into a side-plank position, extending your right arm straight overhead. Return to plank position and repeat on the opposite side.

Do 15 reps, alternating sides.

Quick Tips to get a slim waist

  • Improve your posture and walk with confidence
  • Wear push-up bras, pencil skirts and sweetheart neck dresses
  • Drink a lot of water (to improve digestion)
  • Eat six small meals a day (this avoids overeating and bloating)

I do hope you like this article and find it to be helpful. I’d just like to add that you don’t have to do all of these exercises. Start with simpler and less demanding ones, increase number of reps as you progress and then try more demanding ones (e.g. adding dumbbell or weighted plate). Adjust number, kind of exercise and number of reps to your current possibilies and slowly (over time) increase it.

Thank you for reading this article. You can leave any questions or comments below.

How To Slim Inner Thighs – Exercises

One of the most problematic and stubborn zones of your body to slim down is the inner thigh area. It is quite hard to tone it and reduce excess fat. In this article, you’ll learn why it is so, and how to slim inner thighs.

Excess Fat

Some body fat is essential for sustaining life and protecting your organs.  Where your body stores this fat is determined in large part by genetics. Women tend to store extra fat in their hips, lower belly, and inner thighs. Men can also have inner thigh fat, although they tend to store fat in their abdomen area.

It is impossible to spot reduce your body fat. For example, if you want to get rid of your belly fat, you should lose your overall body fat as well. It is the only tried and tested approach to whittling your waist effectively.  That’s why if you want to reduce your inner thigh fat, you should stick to a traditional weight loss plan – establish healthy eating habits and work out on a regular basis, full-body workouts plus exercises that target your inner thighs.

Exercises That Target Inner Thigh

Inner-Thigh Circles

To do it:inner-thigh-circles-exercise

  • Lie on right side, supporting head with bottom arm bent. Bend top leg and place foot firmly on the mat in front of the bottom leg, holding on to ankle for support. Point bottom foot and lift leg up high.
  • In a swooping motion, trace a circle with the lifted leg (lift up each time to initiate the circle and target the inner thigh more). It might be helpful to imagine you are drawing circles on the back wall, lengthening the inner thigh, and keeping abs pulled in tight,  and your whole core stable.
  • Do 10 to 20 circles in each direction, and then switch sides and repeat.

 

 Curtsy Lunge

How to:

  • Begin standing with your feet in a wide stance.curtsy-lunge-exercise
  • Keeping your chest upright and shoulders down, cross your left leg behind the right and squat down into a curtsy position.
  • From the lowered position, push your body back upright, bringing your left leg back to the starting position.
  • Next, repeat with the right leg.
  • Alternate legs for 15–30 seconds, or perform 10–15 repetitions on each leg.

Optional: you can hold dumbbells in each hand as you do this exercise. Dumbbells can increase the resistance.

 

Sumo goblet squatsumo-goblet-squat-exercise

This exercise helps not only reduce inner thigh fat, but also tones your butt and helps to get rid of belly fat. Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand upright. Then spread your feet wider than your shoulders and place them at a 45-degree angle.
  • Keep your hands together under your chin or grab a dumbbell.
  • Next, do a deep squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and your knees out. Don’t round out your lower back and don’t lift your feet off the ground, while performing this move.
  • Get back to the starting position.
  • Do 15 reps.

 

Lying Frogger Crunchlying-frogged-crunch-exercise

How to:

  • Lie on the floor with your knees bent and open to the side, in a butterfly position, with your arms resting on either side of your body.
  • Raise your head, shoulders, and legs at the same time, crunching your rib cage toward your pelvis.
  • Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  • Complete 20 reps.

 

Plie squatsplie-squat-exercise

  • Stand with feet in a wide stance, with your toes and knees pointed outward.
  • Slowly lower into a squat position. You can keep your hands on your hips to help with balance. Keep your spine and torso upright.
  • Slowly rise back up, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  • Continue for 30 seconds total.

 

 

 

Alternating Spiderman Lungealternating-spiderman-lunge-exercise

How to:

  • Get into a plank position with your hands placed directly under your shoulders.
  • Bend your left leg and bring your knee to meet your left upper arm. Then repeat on the right side.
  • Return your left leg to start, then your right. That’s one rep.
  • Complete 20 reps.

 

Single-Leg Lateral Lungesingle-leg-lateral-lunge-exercise

How to:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips.
  • Take a big step to the side with your right leg, then push your hips back, bend your right knee, and lower your body until your right knee is bent nearly 90 degrees.
  • Push back to start. That’s one rep. 
  • Complete 20 reps on each side.

 

Make Changes In Your Nutrition

As I’ve said at the beginning of this article – excess fat can form on the body if you take in more calories than your body can use or burn off. Only exercising won’t be effective without changes in your nutrition. Your diet has to be healthy and well-balanced to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients. It should include many fruits and veggies, lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy, whole grains and good fats. It’s self-explanatory that you should avoid alcohol, bakery, sugar in any form, processed, fried and sweetened foods. Besides, remember to control your portion size, calorie intake and drink necessary amounts of water.

Notes

Just one more thing before I leave you. In this article, I gave you many exercises that target your inner thighs. These are all great exercises but it doesn’t mean that you should include all of them in your workout. Choose a few that suits you, include them in your workout routine and from time to time try some new one, add it or replace one, and so on. As you progress you’ll find it challenging to include harder ones, increase the number of reps or include dumbbells.

Be persistent and ‘listen to your body’ – don’t push yourself too much. It takes time. Don’t worry, all will be well. Love yourself:)

Health Benefits Of Cardio Exercises

You probably hear the word ‘cardio’ from the moment you decide to exercise whether at home, gym or join some exercising program. Then you hear the term ‘aerobic’ exercise, ‘anaerobic’ exercise. Are those different types of exercises? What are they for? And things get even more complicated adding special purpose like weight loss, getting fit or just to be healthier.

In this article, we’ll talk about the definitions, meanings of those and related terms, and then establish what are the health benefits of cardio exercise.

Cardio exercise

“Cardio” is fitness slang for cardiovascular activity

Aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning. It can include activities like brisk walking, swimming, running, or cycling, and you know it as “cardio.”

By definition, aerobic exercise means “with oxygen.” Your breathing and heart rate will increase during aerobic activities. Aerobic exercise helps keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy.

So, cardio refers to any activity that increases heart rate and respiration while using large muscle groups repetitively and rhythmically. The root word “card,” or “heart,” provides a clue as to why this type of exercise is so important – by providing training that progressively challenges your most vital internal life support network, cardio can improve both the function and the performance of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.

On the other side “anaerobic exercises”, such as weightlifting or sprinting, involve quick bursts of energy. They’re performed at maximum effort for a short time. This is unlike aerobic exercises. You perform aerobic exercises for a sustained period of time. I won’t expand this subject in this article. I just wanted to clear things up, to briefly inform you what “anaerobic exercise” is and how it differs from aerobic exercise.cardio-exercise

Benefits of Cardio Exercise

  • Stronger Heart  – Teaches the heart to work more efficiently.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – As your heart beats faster it increases blood flow.  Blood vessels become more elastic when they are worked and small blood vessels widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles.
  • Weight Loss – All exercise burns calories. With a deficit caloric intake, your body will burn fat and you will lose weight.
  • Strengthens Lungs – When we move our large muscles we breathe faster and more deeply this improves lung function.
  • Increased Bone Density – Weight-bearing aerobic exercise like walking helps to decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Reduces Stress & Depression – When you exercise your body releases endorphins which are natural pain killers.
  • Better Sleep – We sleep better when our body is tired.
  • More Energy – You will increase your stamina and reduce your fatigue.  You may feel more exhausted when you first start an exercise program, but stick with it and your energy levels will increase.  You will be on your way to a more active lifestyle.
  • Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease – Being physically active is important in preventing heart disease
  • Strengthens Lungs – When we move our large muscles we breathe faster and more deeply this improves lung function.
  • Live Longer – Studies show that those who regularly exercise live longer than those who don’t.
  • Less Likely to Get Sick – Exercise activates your immune system.

Some of the Best Cardio Workouts

Walking – This is the easiest and safest way to start getting in your cardio.

Elliptical – Minimal impact on the knees and hips but calorie burning is still high.  When you increase the incline you will activate more muscles.

Running – Whether outdoors or on a treadmill

High-Intensity Interval Training – Short intervals at maximum intensity followed by short periods of rest.

Bike Riding or Cycling – Cycling uses large muscle groups in the legs and helps elevate your heart rate.  This one is great you can do it inside or outside.

Stair Climber – Uses more muscles than walking.

Jumping Rope –  Cheap, easy and burns tons of calories.

Swimming – This is a total body workout as long as you are not just floating. Swimming laps would be best and change up the strokes you use so that you work all different kinds of muscles and the continuous pace works your heart and lungs.

Rowing  – Works both the upper and lower body and is low stress on joints and ligaments.

Circuit Training – When you work out at a high intensity the blood starts to pump a lot harder and that challenges the elasticity of the arterial wall.

If you want to not only work your heart but want to build muscle continue with your exercise routine and add in some weights.

Choosing a Cardio Exercise

When choosing a cardio exercise think about what’s accessible to you, what fits your personality, and what you’d feel comfortable fitting into your life.

If you like to go outdoors, running, cycling, or walking are all good choices. Just about any activity will work, as long as it involves a movement that gets your heart rate into your heart rate zone. Walking is always an excellent choice. I’d like to recommend combining speed walking with shorter periods of walking at slower pace, then speed up again.

If you prefer going to the gym, you have access to many more options in the form of different machines.

For the home exercising, you can, of course, buy your own treadmill, elliptical trainer or indoor bike but

there are other great options like:
  • Exercise videos
  • Fitness apps
  • Home cardio exercises like jumping rope, jumping jacks, jogging in place, burpees, and more
  • Online workouts

You have so many choices but, the trouble is, you may not even know what you like yet. You may have to try several different activities before you find one that works for you. This is the experiment we all have to take part in and it can be hit or miss so don’t be afraid to try something and, if it doesn’t work, move on to something else.

I hope this article was informative but not boring. Hopefully it helped you clear few things, and that you’ve learned something new.

If you are in interested in-home workout for weight loss click on the following link  https://thediamondhealth.com/the-top-at-home-workouts-for-weight-loss/

 

Quick Morning Workout At Home – Wake Up Your Body

Finding the time for a workout throughout the day can be really challenging, oftentimes impossible. Try to workout early in the morning. A quick morning workout at home will wake up your body, boost your energy and mentally prepare you for the day ahead.

Benefits Of Morning Workout

An early morning workout offers numerous benefits, both to your health and to your daily schedule. Here are some of them:

  • More overall energy

Exercising is excellent for boosting energy and reducing fatigue. When you work out, your circulation improves, bringing oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body. By exercising early, you may feel more energized throughout the day.

  • Better focus

Physical activity also improves focus and concentration, regardless of when you do it. But if you have trouble focusing during the day, a morning workout might be just what you need.

A 2019 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that morning exercise improves attention, visual learning, and decision-making.

  • Better Mood

Physical activity is a natural remedy for stress.  During exercise, your brain makes more endorphins, the “feel-good” hormone. It also doubles as a distraction from anxious thoughts. Morning exercise is a great way to start the day on a positive note. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment, giving you an optimistic outlook for the day.

 

15 Minute Morning Workout

In just 15 minutes you’ll get your heart pumping, blood flowing and you’ll be energized for the day ahead.

Throughout each exercise focus on breathing. Make 15-20 sec break between exercises.

Lunges – 20 reps

  • Split your stance with your right leg in front. Your right foot should be flat on the ground, stationary-lunge-exerciseand your left foot up on its toes;
  • Bend your knees and lunge until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Your knee should be aligned with your ankle;
  • Push up through your right foot to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the left foot
  • Alternate your legs for 20 repetitions.

 

Squats – 25 repssquat-exercise

  • Stand with your feet about hips-width distance apart. and bend at the knees to slowly squat down into a seated position.
  • Send your hips back and lower your upper body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Straighten your legs to return to standing.
  • Repeat 25 times.

 

Push-Ups – 15 repsstandard-push-up-exercise

  • Begin by lying face down on the floor, placing your palms flat on the floor directly under your chest.
  • With your hands shoulder-width distance apart, curl your toes under and press your body directly upwards using your shoulders and arms. Continue to lift your body until your arms are fully straightened, maintaining a flat back throughout the movement.
  • Lower back to hover a few cm above the floor.
  • Repeat 15 times.

 

Bicycle crunches – 20 repsbicycle-crunches-exercise

Lie on your back and bring your legs to a tabletop position. Bend your elbows and put your hands behind your head. Be sure that your lower back is flat on the ground. Crunch up and bring your right elbow to your left knee, straightening your right leg; Release the crunch slightly. Bend your right leg and straighten your left leg, then bring your left elbow to your right knee. Repeat.

 

Bird Dog – 20 repsbird-dog-crunches

  • Get on all fours ensuring your hands are directly underneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips.
  • Simultaneously extend your left leg and right arm keeping your hips square to the ground. Hold that position for 2-5 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.

That’s it!

Now jump into the shower and get ready. Water, breakfast and you’re good to go! Have a great day 🙂

 

The Best Dumbbell Exercises For Biceps – Work Your Biceps At Home

There’s no reason to think you can’t work your biceps anywhere else than in a gym. Actually you can have a perfect workout at home, using only dumbbells and in this article I’ll present to you the best dumbbells exercises for biceps.

If you’re focused on your appearance as building strength and mass, there’s no better place to start than your biceps. The muscles are composed of a long and short head, which team up to handle movements like flexing, and curling, that make your arms pop. Biceps are probably the easiest part of your body to show off. Let’s start!biceps-muscles

Concentration Curl

This is a biceps isolating standard that you’ve undoubtedly seen performed in any gym. You can ripconcentration-curl

through reps for volume, or take a cue from the name and focus on the eccentric portion of the move for even better results.

How to do it: You’ll need a dumbbell and a bench to start. Sit on the bench, spreading your legs. Rest your arm holding the dumbbell on the same side leg, just below the knee, so that the weight hangs down between your legs. Keep your torso upright by stabilizing your off-hand on your thigh. Curl the weight up, focusing on squeezing the bicep, pause at the top, then lower back into the original position.

 

Standing Dumbbells Curl

How to do it: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your side, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows close to your body. Arms straight, palms facing forward. This is your starting position. Keeping your chest up, core braced and elbows tucked in to your sides, curl the weights up, squeezing your biceps than you go. Then lower them back to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Two Arm Dumbbell Rowtwo-arm-dumbbell-row

How to do it: Take a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by hinging from the hips and keeping your shoulder blades back. Your arms should be extended with the dumbbells close to your knees. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Keeping your upper body still, engage the muscles in your back, bend your arms, and pull the dumbbells up to your side. Pause and squeeze at the top. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position. 10-12 reps, 2 sets.

 

Bent-over lateral raisebent-over-lateral-raise-exercise

How to do it: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back until your torso is about parallel to the floor. Allow your arms to hang. Now, squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out 90 degrees, with thumbs pointing up, until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. 10 reps, 2-3 sets.

 

Decline Dumbbell Curl

Lying chest-down on a bench really isolates the biceps since you don’t have to maintain as much tension in your legs and core muscles than you do when you stand.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie with your chest against a bench that’s set to a 45-degree incline. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders than you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

 

Kneeling Single Arm Curl

How to do it: Hold one dumbbell by your side in your left hand, palm facing your thigh. In your right hand, hold the dumbbell with your palm facing outward. Without moving your upper arm, bend your elbow and curl the dumbbell as close to your shoulder then you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arm. Perform all reps on your right arm before switching to your left.racked-farmers-carry

 

Racked Farmer’s Carry

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them in the racked position so one head of each dumbbell rests by your shoulders. Walk forward for 10 yards, turn around and walk back.

 

 

Zottman Curl

This exercise targets the three major muscles that make up the biceps—the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis—by rotating from an underhand to an overhand grip halfway through the move.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Turn your arms so your palms face forward. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders than you can. Pause, then rotate the dumbbells so your palms face forward again. Slowly lower the weights down in that position. Rotate the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat.

 

Incline Dumbbell Curl

The opposite of the decline variation, you’ll lie on your back, allowing your arms to drop down behind your body. This puts an extra challenge on the long head of your biceps brachii because you’re working from a deficit – meaning, you’re starting the movement at a point where you have less leverage than normal.

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie with your back against a bench that’s set to a 45-degree incline. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders than you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

 

Hammer Curlhammer-curls

The hammer curl using dumbbells places the wrists in the neutral position, therefore isolating the brachialis and brachioradialis (outer biceps and forearm).

 

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides with your palms facing your thighs. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders than you can. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Each time you return to the starting position, completely straighten your arms.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Ease Neck And Shoulder Pain – Tips And Simple Exercises

Did you ever wake up feeling your neck and shoulders stiff and painful? Or felt aches in that area at the end of a day. A pain-free neck, shoulders, and back is something most of us take for granted until something happens.

Without going into serious medical conditions, chronic pains, severe injuries and so on, many things can cause neck and shoulder pain. In this article, you’ll find out what are the main causes and how to ease neck and shoulder pain.

Neck And Shoulder Pain Causes

Holding your neck in an awkward position for a prolonged time can lead to strains in the muscles and tendons of your neck and shoulders.

Some postures and activities that commonly contribute to neck and shoulder pain are:

      • sleeping on too high pillow or a stack of pillows
      • sitting at a computer or over a phone with your neck strained forward or tilted up
      • suddenly jerking your neck during exercise

We basically spend most of our time hunched over instead of sitting upright, and that puts more of a load on your back and your neck’s muscles.

    • Soft tissue injuries

Neck and shoulder pain is often due to an injury of the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) including:

      • stiffness
      • headache
      • muscle spasms
    • Doing housework

Working overhead, you’re constantly leaning your head backwards for a long period.

It’s recommended to take a break to change positions and stretch or rotate your neck and shoulders instead of staying in the same position the whole time.

    • Playing with kids

If you have kids, it’s likely that you haven’t always been kind to your back and neck. Lifting kids, playing with them on the ground, catching a kid jumping from some higher stance….well, perfect set up for an injury.

The better way to play: Bend your knees and lift them as close as you can to your body.

    • Carrying a shoulder bag

Big bag you carry to work – loaded with stuff, day by day, may cause you neck and shoulder pain. While we carry a heavy shoulder bag, we compensate to keep our head level with the horizon, so we have our balance. As the shoulder bag is pulling you down on one side, we’re constantly using the muscles in our backs and necks to keep our head and shoulders upright. And day by day you’re constantly straining those muscles.

So switch the shoulder you carry your bag on, or, even better, use a backpack.

Tips To Prevent Neck And Shoulder Pain

  • Change the way you sleep

Your neck needs to be supported during the night. Try not to sleep on your stomach as this causes excessive strain on the neck muscles and joints, making symptoms worse. Sleep on your back or side. When sleeping on your back you might need to use two pillows, layered in a way that the bottom pillow supports your shoulders, while the upper pillow is overlapped and supporting your neck.

For sleeping on your side, have a thick enough pillow or use two, so that the pillow is tucked all the way to the shoulders supporting the neck.

Working at a computer, or spending prolonged time on a phone with a forward head posture, can put a lot of stress on your neck over hours!

When looking at your smartphone or tablet, try to bring the screen closer up in front of your face, rather than look down. In addition, when working at a computer, make sure the monitor is high enough so that the top 1/3rd of the screen is eye level.

When sitting, avoid slouching on couches or in a chair.

  • Improve your shoulder and neck motion

Most pain to the neck is caused by stiffness in the upper neck and upper back, causing abnormal strain to the mid-neck. The goal is to increase the mobility of these areas, to alleviate strain and restore natural movement to the whole neck and shoulder area.

Stretches To Relieve Shoulder And Neck Pain

1. Across-the-chest stretchacross-the-chest-stretch

This exercise helps increase flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder joint and the surrounding muscles. When doing this exercise, lower your arm if you feel any pain in your shoulder.

      1. Bring your right arm across your chest.
      2. Place it in the crease of your left elbow or use your left hand to support your arm.
      3. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
      4. Repeat on the opposite side.
      5. Do each side 3 – 5 times

2. Neck release

This exercise is a gentle way to loosen tension in your neck and shoulders.

      1. Lower your chin toward your chest. You’ll feel a stretch along the back of your neck.
      2. Gently tilt your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder.
      3. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
      4. Repeat on the opposite side.

Do each side 3–5 times.

 

4. Eagle arms spinal rolls

This exercise stretches your shoulder muscles. If the arm position is uncomfortable, do this exercise by holding opposite shoulders.

      1. While seated, extend your arms out to the sides.eagle-arms-spinal-rolls
      2. Cross your elbows in front of your body with your right arm on top.
      3. Bend your elbows, placing the backs of your forearms and hands together.
      4. Reach your right hand around to bring your palms together.
      5. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
      6. On an exhale, roll your spine as your draw your elbows in toward your chest.
      7. On an inhale, open your chest and lift your arms.
      8. Continue this movement for 1 minute.
      9. Repeat on the opposite side.

5. Seated twist

This exercise stretches your shoulders and neck. Keep your hips facing forward during this exercise. Allow the twist to start in your lower back.

    1. Sit in a chair with your ankles directly under your knees.
    2. Twist your upper body to the right, bringing the back of your left hand to your thigh.
    3. Place your right hand down wherever it’s comfortable.
    4. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
    5. Repeat on the left side.
    6. Do each side 3–5 times.

How To Stretch After a Workout

You’ve just finished your workout and feel exhausted. Yes, it’s so tempting to just hit the couch and relax. But your workout, however, isn’t quite finished. You know you should stretch. Your body needs to cool down after a workout to gradually relax, improve flexibility and slow your heart rate.

So, why is it so important, what are the benefits and how to stretch after a workout?

Do Not Skip Post-Workout Stretching

Doing post-workout stretches while your muscles are still warm enhance blood flow, which delivers more oxygen to speed up the recovery of muscles and other soft tissues, which increases our natural level of pain relievers, the beta-endorphins. It also helps extend your range of movement, and helps your body de-stress, too.

There are three specific reasons why you shouldn’t skip stretching after exercising.

  1. Stretching Improves Heart Function – Exercising speeds up your blood flowing which provides several important health benefits. It’s just as important, however, to get your heart rate back to a normal level after the workout is over. Stretching correctly will help your heart return to a normal rate in a healthy manner.
  2. Stretching Reduces Lactic Acid – The body produces lactic acid whenever you exercise, which contributes to sore, achy muscles. Stretching can help reduce the accumulation of lactic acid throughout the body. It also relaxes tense muscles.
  3. Stretching Limits Muscle and Joint Strain – Stretching in the correct way can limit the strain on your muscles and joints. It will help your muscles stay flexible and toned. This will ultimately reduce the chance of injury after exercising

How To Stretch After a Workout

Here is a stretching routine to cool down after a workout to gradually relax, improve flexibility and slow your heart rate.

1. Buttock stretch – here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest.buttock-stretch
  • Cross your right leg over your left thigh.
  • Grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands.
  • Pull your left leg towards your chest.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds each leg.

2. Hamstring stretch

  • Lie on your back and raise your right leg.
  • Hold your right leg with both hands, below your knee.
  • Keeping your left leg bent with your foot on the floor, pull your right leg towards you keeping it straight.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg.

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds each leg.

 

3. Thigh stretch

  • Lie on your right side.thigh-stretch
  • Grab the top of your left foot and gently pull your heel towards your left buttock to stretch the front of the thigh.
  • Keep your knees touching.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds each leg.

4. 90-90

  • Sit on the floor with the right leg bent at a 90-degree angle, the outside of the right leg on the floor and thigh extending straight forward from right hip. Position the left thigh at a 90-degree angle from the right thigh, pointing straight to the left, with the knee bent at a 90-degree angle and inside of the leg on the floor.
  • Placing hands lightly on the floor on either side of the right leg, gently lean forward over the right leg. Hold for 2 seconds.
  • Sit up straight then lean back, placing hands lightly on the floor behind hips. Lean back on glutes to flip legs over to the other side, so the left leg is in a 90-degree angle in front of the body and the right leg is in a 90-degree angle extending out to the side.
  • Placing hands lightly on the floor on either side of the left leg, and gently lean forward over. Hold for 2 seconds.

Repeat for 2 minutes.

5. Inner thigh stretchinner-thigh-stretch

  • Sit down with your back straight and your legs bent.
  • Put the soles of your feet together.
  • Holding on to your feet, try to lower your knees towards the floor.

Hold for 10 to 15 seconds

6. Shoulder CARS

  • Start standing with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides.
  • Slowly lift the left arm (straight with fingers engaged) forward in front of the body, thumb facing up. Once it’s extended straight overhead, rotate palm to face away from the body and keep rotating arm back and down.
  • Keep rotating the arm and palm until the palm faces the ceiling, trying to rotate until the thumb points up and palm up faces away from the body.
  • Pause, then reverse the direction to slowly return to start.

Repeat for 1 minutes per arm.

7. Standing Straddle

  • Stand with feet wide and hands-on-hips, legs are straight but not locked.
  • Hinge at the hips with a flat back, lowering until torso is about parallel to the ground.
  • Breathe slowly, trying to lower torso on each exhale.

Hold for 15 sec per side. Repeat 3 times

8. Cat-cow

  • Start on hands and knees with shoulders over wrists and hips over knees.
  • Inhale and drop your belly and lift the tailbone to lower into cow pose, pulling shoulder blades together and gazing up.
  • Exhale to drop your head and tailbone and round the spine toward the ceiling for cat pose.

Repeat for 2 minutes.

Note

Depending on workout you have, adjust post-workout stretches. Not all muscles need to be stretched after the workout. Focus on hitting only those areas that are exceptionally tight from the workout.

Static stretching is only part of a good cool-down routine. Along with stretching, put some light walking and foam-rolling at the end of your workout.