Fact or Fable?
Many people who want to lose weight often perform long cardiovascular workouts at a low intensity. Many cardio machines also provide guidelines wherein exercise on lower intensities is often named weight loss or fat burning zone. (Usually around 60-70% of Maximum Heart Rate). But is it the most effective training intensity for weight loss?
It has been often said that strength training decreases flexibility because the muscle get stiffer from the high loads placed upon them. Static stretching can help increase flexibility but performed before strength training it reduces strength and stability. Dynamic stretching, in contrast to static stretching, has been shown to be an effective and safe method to warm up prior to strength training, and is also an effective method to increase flexibility in beginners. However, what effect does dynamic stretching have on strength training effects and does strength training really decrease flexibility? To find out the effects of stretching on strength training, scientists from the University of Rio de Janeiro started the following study.
Although the Push Up is one of the most popular bodyweight exercises, not everybody is able to do a proper Push Up. If you are having problems performing a proper push up and want to be able to do it properly, you can read here how to do a push up. And if you don’t have the strength yet, you will learn what you can do to strengthen the muscles you need to do a push up.
Running is a very popular and effective method to increase endurance and improve health. An increasing number of people participate in large running events such as a Marathon, Half-Marathon or other distances. Aside from oxygen uptake (VO2max) running economy is one of the most important variables that influences how well you perform at running events. This article will tell you why and how you should be improving your running economy.
The barbell back squat is a very popular and effective exercise to increase the strength and size of leg muscles. However there are two different variants of the barbell back squat. The high bar back squat and the low bar back squat. The high bar back squat or “Olympic Style” squat is mostly used by weightlifters and strength and power athletes and is characterized by a narrower stance and upright torso. The barbell is placed on top of the trapezius muscle around the 7th cervical vertebrae. The low barb back squat is often used by powerlifters, because it is believed that it allows increased weights. Stance width is more variable but the trunk is more inclined than during a high bar back squat. Bar placement varies from on top of the posterior deltoids, below the scapular spine, on the scapular spine or two inches below the shoulders. To determine the differences between the effects of the high bar and low bar back squat, researchers performed the following study.
The training for today: A barbell circuit with super effective but surprisingly simple exercises. The exercises in this barbell circuit are excellent to lose weight, burn fat, improve endurance and the ability to deliver force quickly. This does not mean that technique is not important. If you are unfamiliar with one or more of these exercises, practice them with an unloaded bar or even a stick. Otherwise use a barbell with weights with which you can do all exercises for the given amount of repetitions. So do not change the weights between exercises because continueing with the training is the key to succes. If you have access to more than one barbell you can use different weights so for example the leg exercises can be done at a higher weight and therefore intensity.
The training for today: A kettlebell circuit for the more advanced kettlebell trainee. The exercises in this circuit are excellent to lose weight, burn fat, improve endurance and the ability to deliver force quickly. Some of the exercises are a little more difficult than in previous kettlebell circuit, so you might have to practice a little with lighter kettlebells before switching to heavier ones. Be careful with the last kettlebell rotation exercise. Don’t go to far and it is recommended to keep the kettlebell light (4kg or less) like in the movie.
Have you seen some sandbags in the gym but you do not know what you can use it for? The sandbag is an excellent training tool and here is an example of a good short workout that helps you burn fat. This workout boost metabolism and strength and you only need a sandbag with proper handles for you to hold on to.
One round of exercises of this sandbag circuit workout consists of:
10x Sandbag Squat
10x Sandbag Row
2x 10x Sandbag Lunge (10 lunges for each leg)
When you get fitter you can do multiple rounds or use a heavier sandbag.
Exercise intensity is one of the most important factors that determines if your workout is effective or not. Whether your goal is to lose weight or improve your endurance, you should keep track of your exercise intensity when you want results. For cardio training the most accurate way to measure exercise intensity is the oxygen uptake. However this requires expensive and often cumbersome equipment to be practical in everyday training. Fortunately there are three other ways that can be used effectively during your workout.
Almost everyone performs strength training for a certain goal. Whether that goal is to get stronger, get larger muscles or lose fat, strength training can help. Achieving those goal does not just depend on the perfect training program but on how often you train as well. Training frequency is an important factor in achieving results. When you train more often with the right (on training frequency adjusted) training program, you will likely get better results. However we all lead busy lives and not everyone is able to hit the gym every day. So the important question is: How much strength training is enough to see results?
This is a bodyweight workout which improves strength and endurance and that can be done anywhere. Because of the high intensity, it is very effective in promoting weight loss and fat loss as well. You don’t need any training material or exercise equipment for workout.
This Bosu Core training is a more advanced and intensive workout for the core muscles. Because the Bosu Ball provides an instable surface, these exercises activate more muscles than the same exercise performed without a Bosu Ball and can therefore be more effective than their counterparts without the Bosu Ball. The muscles primarily targeted by these exercises are the m. rectus abdominis, m. obliquus externus abdominis, m. obliquus internus abdominis, m. transversus abdominis, m. erector spinae and the mm. multifidi. Because many muscles are active during these exercises, the muscles of the lower back might be felt during abdominal exercises. As long as this does not hurt, it poses no problem and is an indication that the muscles are trained. As soon as the exercise hurts the lower back, it should be stopped.
The squat is one of the five classic fitness exercises. It is an excellent exercise to increase strength and power in the legs. In addition it targets the core muscles of the lower back and even the abdominal muscles for stabilization. Below is a list of the most important muscles that are trained by the squat. The squat exercise is a great way to increase total body strength and just like the deadlift, has a good transfer to daily activities. In fact, the squat is very effective to help older people function in daily life. It increases the ability to stand up from a seated position and walk stairs. Both of which are imperative to live independantly. The squat is also a very effective exercise to help increase strength and muscle mass. However, since this is quite a difficult exercise to perform properly and because usually there are quite heavy weights involved, it is important that the exercise is done correctly. If you know how to squat properly, you will not only increase strength more quickly, but also run less risk of injury. To help you on your way, here is an article on how to squat properly.
Strength training is an excellent way for both men and women to improve their figure and lose fat in unwanted places. However strength training is unfortunately not the first thing that comes to mind when someone wants to lose fat and improve their figure. Although men aren’t shy of strength training and lifting weights to look better, women are often scared of it, because they fear the body builder look. So sometimes they start special training programmes in which they perform strength training for toning rather than muscle growth. Does this work and if so, what do you need to do?
Low back pain affects most people at least once in their lives. Although most cases of low back pain go away without any therapy or other intervention, some become chronic and require a form of therapy. Several forms of exercise therapy have been proven effective. Among these is exercise therapy using a Swiss ball. However, there is some debate as to whether exercises using the Swiss Ball are more effective in treating chronic low back pain than the same kind of exercises performed on the floor. The following study performed by researchers from Daegu University in South Korea aimed to find an answer to the question which form of low back pain exercise is most effective.
The lat pulldown and pull-ups are very effective and well know fitness exercises, which offer many possibilities and variations. A complete overview on how these variations affected muscle activity during these exercises was lacking until now. To find out, scientists from the University of Salford United Kingdom combined the results of many different studies investigating the effects hand position in lat pulldown and pull ups on muscle activation. Find out their findings in this article.
How to Deadlift
The deadlift is one of the three primary lifts used in powerlifting and extremely effective in developing total body strength. It is a lifting exercise and has great transfer to daily activities. It is therefore one of the most functional exercises you can do. The deadlift targets many muscles among which are: the quadiceps femoris (thighs), hamstrings, gluteus maximus (buttocks), erector spinae (lower back) and gastrocnemius (calves). Since it is an exercise which requires (and allows) a lot of weight to be lifted off the floor, it is essential to do it properly. Otherwise back injury and lower back pain are bound to arise. To help you perform the deadlift effectively and safely this article will tell you how to deadlift.
Static stretching is the most performed form of stretching. For most people it is the only form of stretching they know and its simply synonymous with stretching. Static stretching is performed by all sorts of athletes, from those just starting to run after years of inactivity to the most elite athletes in almost all sports. It is often recommended by (personal) trainers and coaches for several reasons, all of which have been disproven by scientific research. Or in other words are plain nonsense. This article will tell you which supposed effects are static stretching fables.
How to military press