Transform Your Flabs Into Abs

Transform Your Flabs Into Abs

The abs or abdominal muscles would have to be one of the top exercise targets for both men and women. The male species dream of baring their six-packs, the females aim to look great and feel great in skin-baring outfits. There are a number of other reasons, and they go beyond the aesthetics. Stronger ab muscles can help you go through other exercises more easily and improve your core strength as well.

There are a lot of exercises that you can do to sculpt and tone your abdominal muscles, here are the top five that you might want to include in your workout.

  1. The Bicycle

Who would’ve thought that such a basic workout can give you the washboard abs you’ve been longing for? Based on a study done by the American Council on Exercise, the bicycle maneuver tops the list of the most effective ab exercises. The research was implemented by the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University.


In order to achieve best results with this exercise, make sure to do it properly.  Lie flat on a clean surface, and ensure that your lower back is pressed to the floor.  When bringing up your knees, it is best if you can get them to a 45-degree angle. Even and relaxed breathing throughout the exercise would also help you do more reps. 

  1. The Captain’s Chair

This exercise closely follows the bicycle maneuver in the list of effective ab workouts. It makes use of a rack that has padded arms. This exercise machine can be found in most gyms as well as health clubs, and it allows your legs to hang free.

When you’re using this for a workout, make sure that you don’t arch your back or swing the legs up. To maximize its effect on your abs, don’t forget to keep your knees bent as well. Doing about 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps should be enough for one workout session.Ab Diets that Turn Abs into Flab

  1. The Exercise Ball

Exercise balls are also a great tool in improving your rectus abdominis. This innovative tool is made of elastic soft PVC, with a diameter of about 18–36 inches and is used mostly in fitness exercises. The exercise ball allows more of the focus to be placed on your ab muscles rather than your legs.

A few tips in using this during your workouts:

Make sure that when you lie on the ball, it is placed under your lower back.

When doing your crunch, ensure that the ball is stable and that it will not roll as you contract your ab muscles.

To make the exercise ball workout more effective, try doing 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.

Sources:

http://exercise.about.com/od/abs/s/abexercises_2.htm

http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/studies/BestWorstAbExercises.pdf

http://www.busywomensfitness.com/ab-exercises.html

http://abexercisesformen.org/most-effective-ab-exercises/

http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding/22_fitness_tip.html

http://www.askmen.com/sports/foodcourt_200/212_eating_well.html

 

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Finding the Gym That Works For You

Finding the Gym That Works For You

When you think of fitness or losing pounds, you immediately think of a gym. Gyms nowadays are no longer just a venue for ‘muscle-men’ or athletes. It’s now frequented by all sorts of men, women, and even kids who are looking for a place where people aim for one thing: fitness.

Choosing the right gym or fitness club for you is important in achieving your weight loss goals. And no, it’s no longer just about the location. There are a number of other factors to consider such as:

Going to the gym can be a little intimidating at first, what with all the fitness ‘machinery’ available for you to use. You would later understand the importance of having the right gym equipment, when you start using them for your workouts.

Make sure that your gym of choice has at least the basic equipment you might need, like treadmills, free weights, barbells and dumbbells, bikes, and benches. Do not forget to also find out if all of them are in good, working condition.

 

Gone are the days when gyms are just a place to work out in. Many fitness clubs now offer other features to attract new members such as saunas, health food carts, and even internet lounges. Some of these features may have some significance for you, like if you’re a businessman, internet lounges may be instrumental in ensuring the convenience of getting some paperwork done immediately after or before the workout.

 

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But of course, don’t forget to also check the facilities you are most likely to use, like the locker room and the bath or shower room. You wouldn’t want to have to deal with leaky faucets or non-functioning showers when you start working out at the gym.

Find out as well if the gym is properly maintained and that cleanliness is strictly observed.  Health and hygiene are also paramount in ensuring you shed pounds efficiently.

  1. Staff, customer service, and other members.

Knowing what kind of people you’ll be working out with can help you decide whether a gym fits your requirements. Remember that you’d be spending time with that group of individuals for about 5-8 hours of your week.  If you’re the type who prefers quiet surroundings during workouts, you might want to go for a gym in less frequented locations.

Scope out the number of staff and the kind of customer service the facility offers.  These may seem like trivial details, but when you start spending more time at the gym, you’ll see just how significant they are.  Efficient and sufficient number of staff in a gym would determine whether you’ll have the help when you need it. And of course, good customer service will ensure you settle concerns or issues before they become a problem.

  1. Location and Hours of Operation

A gym may have all the perks, the great facilities, and accommodating staff, but if its too inconvenient for you to get there, then you probably won’t be able to maximize its use for your weight loss plan.

Choose a gym that’s either located near your workplace or your place of residence. This would depend on your preferred workout time too. If you’re more of a morning person who wants to get pumped up before going to work, then choose one near your house.  Gyms that are open for longer hours are best, so just in case you go through some schedule changes, you can still go in and workout anytime.

It should also be located in a safe place and it’s best if it’s near places you frequent on a daily basis. If your daily routine includes a visit to the grocery store, then find a gym near one, so you can take care of your daily to-do list and your weight loss goals without the hassle.

Sources:

http://www.gain-weight-muscle-fast.com/gym-memberships.html

http://www.questformuscle.com/articles/misc01.asp

http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2010/jan/260110-Leena-Mogre-Mugdha-Godse-gym-celebs.htm

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hickman23.htm

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Get Warmed Up!

Get Warmed Up!

Have you had your muscle pulled or your ankle strained after a not-so-intense workout? You’re probably wondering why it happened, when you only spent less than 30 minutes exercising. If you don’t remember warming up before you started with your workout, then that would have been the culprit.

Warming up is usually done before exercising or participating in sports. This stage before any intense activity allows your body to be physically and mentally prepared before it goes through strenuous activity.

Why It’s Important

There may be a number of reasons why people miss out on warming up, some are in a hurry, while some might be too excited to start with the workout, others think it’s something they can do without.

Well, whatever reason there may be, not getting warmed-up before a workout can be potentially dangerous.

The process of warming up before a workout, allows the pulse rate to increase, stretch the muscles, raise the body temperature, and mentally psych you up for more intense physical activity. Doing these exercises before a workout helps your circulatory system to get oxygen-rich blood to the parts of your body that will be needed for the routine.

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Doing so helps prevent injury that may ensue, like overstretching or strained muscles. It would also help improve blood circulation through your tissues, promoting more pliable movement throughout your workout. It also prepares your respiratory system, so that you don’t run out of breath easily.

Warming up is also one way of burning those extra calories you may have consumed throughout the day, as this stage initially makes use of the sugar stored in your body.

The Proper Warm-up

Going through the correct warm-up process is as important as your entire workout routine. Warm-ups are ideally done at a leisurely pace, and should involve low-level or low-intensity activities. This should also be done before stretching.

You can either do brisk walking, slow jogging, light weight-lifting or five-minute cardio exercises. Warm-ups usually last for 15 to 20 minutes, and should never be rushed or done too slowly. Remember that you’re getting your body ready for more intense exercise, so make sure that you gradually intensify your warm-up routine too.

Calisthenics as well as flexibility exercise routines are a good way of warming up. If your workout involves sports, you can also incorporate some of the skills related to your sport as part of your warm-up. Runners for example, do some light jogging.

Whatever routine you plan to do as warm-up exercise, make sure that you properly stretch and flex your muscles. Doing so will ensure that you avoid injuries, get the most of your weight loss plan, and enjoy your fitness experience to the fullest.

http://stronglifts.com/how-to-do-a-proper-warm-up/

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/injuryprevention/a/aa071001a.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warming_up

http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Warm_Up_Exercise?p=l&as=goog&ac=404

http://www.sparkpeople.com/community/ask_the_experts.asp?q=10

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Importance-of-Warming-Up-and-Cooling-Down&id=933514

http://www.suite101.com/content/the-importance-of-warmup-exercises-a67885

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