Archive for October, 2011

Cardio Exercises for Beginners

Three Easy Cardio Exercises for Beginners

People who want to live a healthier and fitter life need to start somewhere. And as a beginner, there is no better way to do this than doing some cardiovascular workouts. Walking, cycling and jumping jacks are three of the best cardiovascular exercises for beginners.

Walking for Weight Loss

Image by o5com via Flickr


Almost everyone knows how to walk. It does not take too much effort because it is a movement that is done daily. If you are a beginner, walking is the best way to start. This exercise can help you begin slowly and without so much pressure and stress. Consider this as your “warm-up” cardio routine for more intense exercises later on. Start with 15 minutes daily. Eventually, you can increase this to 20 or 30. Aside from improving your time, also change your pace. At the start, it is ok to strut slowly. But, if you want your exercise to have a better fat burning effect, adjust your pace accordingly by doing brisk walking.

Jumping Jacks

Just like walking and cycling, jumping jack is a form of movement that is almost natural to all. You simply have to stand, jump while raising your hands over your head and clap them together. When your feet come down the floor, put your hands back on your sides. It is a very simple exercise that can be done even by children. If you are doing it for a workout start at your comfort level and eventually adjust your repetitions.


If you know how to ride a bike, then you can cycle. In case you don’t, you can always use a stationary bike and still cycle effortlessly. Start cycling for 10 minutes then increase this to 20 later on. Listen to your body and adjust your pace accordingly. Do not push yourself too hard at the start because it might get you injured. The point of cycling is simply to get you moving while enjoying the ride.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Strength Training Without Hitting the Gym

If you want to strength train without having to hit the gym or carry heavy weights, you can still do so. You only need to use your body weight and some simple exercise equipment.

suspension exercise

Image via Wikipedia

The secret is to choose the right exercises for each group of your muscles and do them correctly according to Brian Biagioli, the Director of the University of Miami Strength and Conditioning Graduate Program.

To have the right form, he suggests that you look at yourself in the mirror. Naturally, your body will incline to incorrect biomechanics but you will not be able to identify this unless you see it. Then, look at your spine if it stays in the neutral position instead of hunching forward or arching. If you are already in the right position, learn how to perform the exercise correctly. Each type will have different requirements but all of them entail aligned joints.

Take note that exercises must be difficult and your body will normally incline to poor form to compensate for the strain. Once you feel tired, take a 30 second to one minute rest.

If you are trying to exercise within a short time, it is best to focus on the largest groups of muscles instead of the smaller ones. This means that you start with your legs and work your way up, said Derek Grabert, National Strength and Conditioning Association’s certified strength and conditioning specialist. You can also move from the bottom going upwards to keep your balance.

No matter what gym trainers and coaches say, you can still have a good and effective workout with the use of your body weight. But, using affordable equipment like resistance bands and medicine balls are also helpful to boost your exercise while allowing you to stay in proper form.

If you want a full body workout, Biagoli suggests that you use your bands to perform certain exercises including forward reach, lunges with band curls, seated standing row, band squats, forward press, tricep kickback and overhead press or side raise.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Overview of Exercises for Building the Trapezius Muscles

The trapezius muscle is a big muscle group located in the middle area of the upper back. It serves as arm support and a scapula rotator and mover. The most obvious part of the trapezius is the region that serves as arm support. This is the area that extends from the neck and makes a hump on the top part of the shoulders.

User:Extremepullup performing a standard dead-...

Image via Wikipedia

It is called trapezius because it resembles the shape of a trapezoid. Strengthening the trapezius muscles help improve posture, enhances lifting ability and stabilizes the shoulder and arm. Because of its important role, many people work out to have larger traps. Here are some of the perfect exercises for large and strong trapezius muscles.

There are three forms of trapezius exercises. These are the superior work out, the inferior exercises and the power lift. Each of these workouts has specific sub categories of recommended exercises. Shrugs and upright rows are the best superior trapezius workouts.

The shrugs are the primary workout for the traps as they put a huge amount of strain to the muscles and are very effective in making them stronger. Similarly, upright rows are also as good as shrugs for the trapezius muscles but the stress they put on them are not as direct.

Pull ups and cable rows are great intermediate and inferior exercises for the trapezius muscles. The cable row directly works on the lats but if done correctly, they can also exercise the traps. Although underappreciated, the pull ups are very helpful in working out the traps because of the tremendous stress it exerts on the muscles. It also works out the shoulders and lats at the same time.

Finally, power lifts for the traps are majorly composed of cleans and power straight. A full power clean from the ground is very effective for the traps. As for the power straight, it works similarly as the pull ups but is more difficult and rewarding.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to Build Inner Chest Muscles


Dexter Jackson 2008 IFBB Australian Pro Grand ...

Image via Wikipedia

In body building, there are many groups of muscles to work on. Some of these are the chest, arms, waist, abdominals and legs. But, every specific area can be further sub-divided into smaller parts and you also have to work on them. The chest for example consists of the inner and outer muscles. This article in particular will talk about how to perform the three exercises that work on the inner chest muscles which are the dumbbell flies, parallel bar dips and cable crossovers exercises.

Dumbbell Flies

When you perform the dumbbell flies, you need to lay flat on a bench and make sure that your feet are firmly placed on the floor. Then, you hold the dumbbells above you, extending your arms fully and ensuring that the palms of your hand are facing each other. Start your exercises by lowering the dumbbells on your sides while pushing out your chest. Bend your arms slightly on the elbow area as you do this. Bring your arms back to its starting position while squeezing in your chest. Perform 2-3 repetitions of 8-10 sets.

Parallel Bar Dips

You will need two parallel bars when performing this exercise. Position yourself in between the bars and hold them. Try to raise your body at arms’ length then lower your body back as far as you can with the use of your arms. Make sure to feel your chest muscles stretch as you do this. After you lower your body, press back your arms and feel your chest and triceps contract. If you want more pressure on your chest, lean your body slightly forward. Do 2 to 3 repetitions of 8 to 10 sets each.

Cable Crossovers Exercise

Stand straight and hold the handles of the overhead pulleys on the two sides. Slightly bend forward and extend your arms while feeling the stretch in the muscles of your chest. With your elbows a little bent, flex your arms and feel a contraction in your chest. For a full pectoral contraction, you can also do a centre crossover. Perform two to three repetitions of 8 to 10 sets each.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Muscle Building Tips for Skinny Men

A lot of men, both skinny and big want to build muscles. But, most recommendations for muscle building are very general that it confuses men with different sizes on what to follow. Here are some basic tips on muscle development specifically designed for men with lean body structures.


Tip # 1: Work Out Less
If you are skinny, you may have the urge to spend so much time in the gym thinking that this will give you the muscle mass that you want. However, this is not advisable for you. In fact, you are recommended to only work out a major group of muscles once every week. Work hard every time you workout and let the muscles regenerate until your session in the coming week. You can spend one time for your chest muscles and another day for your quadriceps. Just remember to work on one main muscle group weekly.

Tip # 2: Compound instead of Isolated Workouts
This is essential in developing bigger muscles. Compound exercises work on more than one group of muscles. A good example is bench press which exercises both your triceps and pectoral muscles. Pull ups is another exercise that work on your latissimus and biceps.

Tip # 3: Increase Calories
If you are skinny, this may mean that you have a fast metabolism. Because of this, you burn calories at an increased rate so you have to eat more in order for you to have extra nutrients for your muscles to use for growth. This does not mean however that you eat anything you want. You still have to choose the nutritious ones so that you can have a well balanced meal. Make sure to include carbohydrates, healthy fats and most of all protein in your diet.

Tip # 4: Sleep More
Muscles can only grow when you rest. Thus, it is important for you to sleep at least 8 hours every day if you want your muscles to fully recover. Being a skinny guy specifically makes you more prone to training so much which makes rest even more essential. If you do not get plenty of sleep, you can get easily injured and your muscle building efforts will be of no use. Bigger and stronger muscles are only possible with plenty amounts of rest.