Diversity is key
Vary Your Program
No one likes monotony, especially when it comes to their exercise routine. To keep your workouts fresh, try alternating swimming and walking, or weight training one day and an aerobic activity the next. Alter your route if you jog or cycle. Varying your exercises will not only add spice to your life but it will condition different muscle groups and help prevent injury.
The crunch is more safe and effective than its antiquated cousin the sit-up.
To do the perfect crunch…
Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms crossed in front of your chest (or place your hands behind your head so that your thumbs are tucked behind your ears.)
Position your feet as wide as your hips.
Pull your belly button in towards your spine then slowly contract your abs, lifting your shoulders 1-3 inches off the floor.
Focus on shortening the distance between the bottom of your rib cage and your pelvis.
Slowly lower your shoulders back towards starting position, but don’t relax all the way. Repeat exercise.
Keep your knees bent, your feet in the same position and your back straight throughout the entire exercise.
get gorgeous calves
Your calves energize everything you do with your
legs. They help power your moves when walking,
running, biking and climbing stairs for starters. But
when it comes to lower body workouts these
muscles are the most bypassed, especially by
women. So next time you are at the gym, don’t stop
at your thighs. Choose moves that are key to great
looking, shapelier legs.
Rising up onto your toes works part of the calves, but it won’t guarantee
you get the job done. Performing moves with bent knees only or on a flat
surface will shortchange your sculpting benefits. Opt for moves that work
the calves through their full range of motion and do them with bent and
straight knees to better target your calve muscles.
For great results try this :
- Stand on the edge of a step or on a foam roller and center your belly
button over the top to maintain your balance.
- Hold a 20 to 30 pound barbell in both hands, palms facing forward, and
stand with feet shoulder width apart. Your grip should be slightly wider
than your legs.
- Squat down until bar rest on thighs, just above the knees. Pull abs in and
keep chest high and shoulders back and down. Drop heels to toward the
- Keep upper body and hips still as you rise up onto your toes.
- Slowly lower heels toward floor and repeat. Do 8 to 12 reps.
Breathe your way to ﬁtness using proper breathing techniques.
Oxygen is essential to the muscle’s ability to function correctly. With adequate oxygen the muscles can extract all the energy they need from sugar in the blood. Using up these carbohydrates is what allows you to keep on exercising. By breathing correctly you will bring adequate oxygen to the muscles and your workout will be much more successful.
Key points on breathing.
- Breathing supplies oxygen to the muscles to aid in muscle contraction.
- Exhale as you begin the movement which is typically the lifting motion and then inhale on the return movement which is usually the lowering.
- Breathe naturally and never hold your breath.
Practice proper breathing BEFORE working out.
- Sit straight in a ﬁrm chair with your ﬁngertips gently resting on your stomach.
- Inhale deeply through your nostrils. Feel your abdomen expand. Your diaphragm and chest should rise as your lungs expand with air.
- Once your lungs are ﬁlled with air, exhale deeply by relaxing your chest and diaphragm, and pulling your stomach toward your spine.
- Repeat the pattern, noticing how the air moves in and out of your body.