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Recent Bodybuilding Articles

Injuries Prevention: Shin Splints

Shin splints is a catch-all term for shin pain, usually caused by a slight separation between the shin muscle and the bone. You can develop shin splints from doing more exercise than your body is ready to handle or simply from introducing a new aspect to your training, such as wearing a new pair of shoes, running downhill, or running on the beach when you normally run on asphalt.

To cure shin splints, back off for a few days. When you’re free of pain, start back up gradually. Don’t increase your exercise time or distance by more than 10 percent a week . Ice helps by reducing inflammation and by dulling the pain. Also, gently but deeply massaging the area several times a day can help.

To prevent shin splints, strengthen your shin muscles so that they work more in harmony with your calves, the muscles that operate in opposition to them.

shin splints

Here’s one simple exercise: Stand on the floor or with your heels on the edge of a stair, with your weight distributed evenly over the entire length of your foot, and lift and lower your toes and the balls of your feet 20 to 30 times. Ask a trainer to show you some other shin exercises. Stretching the calf muscles  also helps prevent injury to the shin and ankle.

Also, be sure to replace your athletic shoes often so your shins don’t take a pounding from lack of cushioning. We know one guy who solved his chronic shin splint problem overnight by buying a pair of shoes with a slightly wider heel. This seemed to suit his running style; a podiatrist or sports-medicine specialist (or even a well-informed running store associate) can help you find the solution that suits your style. If all else fails, your podiatrist may make a special pair of inserts, called orthotics, to properly position your feet in your shoes.

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Health Tips: Avoid Processed Carbs

Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, are single or double sugar molecules. They’re found in table sugar and processed foods like Pepsi and Twinkies, but they also occur naturally, like in fruit. Simple carbs, whether they’re found in a papaya or a Pop Tart, are absorbed quickly, causing the amount of sugar in your blood to skyrocket and then plunge soon after, leaving you feeling tired and hungry. But there’s a difference between the natural simple sugars found in fruit and the refined simple sugars found in candy.

When you eat that papaya, the sugar comes packaged with vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber. Also, the sweetness in fruit comes from fructose (as opposed to sucrose or glucose in other simple sugars), and fructose doesn’t cause the sort of sharp insulin spike that other simple sugars do.

processed carbs

In general, eat foods that are processed as little as possible. Choose an apple over apple juice, and whole-wheat bread over white bread. Be sure to buy bread that is actually labeled “whole wheat.” Many wheat and grain breads are mostly refined white bread colored with molasses, despite the brown wrapping that depicts wheat fields waving in the wind and names like “12- grain health nut bread.”

Read food labels carefully and find out where you’re getting most of your refined sugar. Breakfast cereals such as Kellogg’s Raisin Bran and Frosted.

Flakes are more than 42 percent sugar. Flavored yogurts are loaded with sugar, too. Be aware that sugar goes by other aliases, including corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, maltodextrin, sucrose, and other words that end in -ose.

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Main Strength Notions

strength

Limit strength: Limit strength is the maximum amount of musculoskeletal force that you can generate for one all-out effort. Commonly referred to as your maximum lift, limit strength is enhanced by training with weight that is 80-90% of your maximum, for low repetitions. Some individuals make the mistake of focusing too much effort towards improving limit strength, without consideration of explosive strength and starting strength.

Starting strength: Starting strength refers to your ability to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. You will activate fast twitch muscle fibers for explosive movements such as punching. Starting strength is best trained with ballistic lifting, using approximately 50-70% of your 1-rep maximum. Plyometrics are also excellent when training starting strength.

Explosive strength: Explosive strength is an extension of starting strength. Once the muscle fibers are activated (starting strength), your ability to keep the muscle fibers “turned on” is dependent on explosive strength. Consider the sprinter who begins a race with tremendous speed. This sprinter exhibits starting strength with his fast takeoff. If the sprinter can maintain his speed, he exhibits explosive strength. This form of strength is best trained with weights approximately 70-80% of your 1-rep maximum, along with plyometrics (complex training) and sprint drills.

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The Good Trans Fats

Man made trans fats are considered very toxic and damaging for out body health.  However, natural trans fats are created in the stomachs of ruminant animals like cattle, sheep, goats, etc. and make their way into the fat stores of the animals. Therefore, the milk fat and the fat within the meat of these animals can provide natural healthy trans fats. Natural trans fats in your diet have been thought to have some potential benefit to aid in both muscle building and fat loss efforts. However, keep in mind that the quantity of healthy trans fats in the meat and dairy of ruminant animals is greatly reduced by mass-production methods of farming and their grain and soy heavy diets. Meat and dairy from grass-fed, free-range animals always have much higher quantities of these beneficial fats.

beef

One such natural trans fat that you may have heard of is called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and has been marketed by many weight loss companies. Keep in mind that these man-made CLA pills you see in the stores may not be the best way to get CLA in your diet. They are artificially made from plant oils, instead of the natural process that happens in ruminant animals. Once again, man-made just doesnt compare to the benefits of natural sources.

Now that all of your labels should be listing grams of trans fat, keep in mind that if a quantity of trans fat is listed on a meat or dairy product, it is most likely the natural good trans fats that weve discussed here. Otherwise, if the quantity of trans is listed on any processed foods, it is most likely the dangerous unhealthy crap from artificially hydrogenated oils, so stay away!

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Customize Your Nutrition

bodybuilding nutrition
Your nutrition is the most important part of this bodybuilding program. It is more important than training and supplements. The reason this is so is because your nutrition drives the results of the other two. If you dont have a good supply of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats your body cant recover from training or use the materials in needs to build muscle with your supplements.

There are several principles that will help you choose the correct nutrition. If you follow them you will see how easy it is to switch from being a hardgainer to an easygainer instantly. Here are the basic guidelines of the nutrition program for gaining weight fast:

  1. Find out how much body fat and lean muscle mass you have on your body right now
  2. Determine how many calories you need to take in order to grow from week to week
  3. What percentage of calories should come from protein
  4. What are the best sources of protein
  5. What percentage of calories should come from carbohydrates
  6. What are the best sources of carbohydrates
  7. What percentage of calories should come from fats
  8. What are the best sources of fats
  9. How should you divide your meals up
  10. What’s the easiest way to consume a lot of calories
  11. What to do if you dont have a strong appetite

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The 24-Hour Cleanse

It’s a good idea to begin each cleanse during the morning hours, with your first meal. The process itself couldn’t be easier: simply mix the juice of one lemon into a glass of plain, fresh (preferably distilled) water, and then drink this mixture, being sure to wait at least ten to thirty minutes before you consume anything else. Think of the solution of lemon juice and water as a liquid Brillo pad, cleaning everything it touches on its way down. Though the overall cleansing process is to be done only once a week, taking this morning drink of lemon water is something you can do every day of your life for a mild daily cleanse of your digestive system.

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Once you have drunk the lemon water and waited the requisite ten to thirty minutes, you may consume any fruit or vegetable you like, just as long as you juice it—but be sure to juice it yourself. (Bottled or canned juices are not allowed, since the processing removes many of the valuable vitamins and minerals.)

You may also prepare a vegetable soup by boiling pure water (no salt!) and adding fresh, raw vegetables. Speaking of which, you should strive to buy the freshest, organic fruits and vegetables you can find. Organic fruits and vegetables have notably more vitamins and minerals, plus you get the added benefit of consuming food that has not been chemically treated in any way.

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Female Fitness: Bosu Ball

This weird-shaped balance board-type contraption is an acronym for both sides up. One side is flat, the other looks like an exercise ball.

bosu ball

Don't be afraid of its wobbly nature. Start with the easy option of standing on the ball side, so the flat surface is on the floor, until you feel comfortable. How do you use it?

Stand on the dome side to do squats or step-ups, or turn it over, so the domes resting on the floor, to perform press-ups or mountain climbers. 

We should use the BOSU, because it will will help improve your balance, core stability and co-ordination, plus tone your body by activating the small stabilizing muscles.

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Neck Pain Prevention

neck pain
You may not realize how useful your neck is until you can’t move it, like when the guy standing next to you asks a question, and answering him requires a three-quarter turn of your body.

Just about anything can cause neck pain — you may sleep on your neck in a funny way or spend too much time cradling the phone on your shoulder.

But neck pain is often caused by fitness activities. We’re talking about poor weight-lifting technique, such as turning your head to the side while doing a shoulder press, and poor upper-body exercise posture, such as letting your head droop forward when you walk. If you experience neck pain after a traumatic incident, such as getting beaned on the head with a soccer ball, check with your doctor immediately. Also consult a physician if you have constant or recurring neck pain.

Neck pain of the non-traumatic kind usually signals tightness in the muscles of your neck, upper back, and/or shoulders. When you press a finger into the area between your shoulder and your neck and there’s very little give or springiness, you have tight neck muscles.

One remedy: Gently stretch your neck muscles; if you feel tightness on the right side of your neck, tip your head toward your left shoulder and stretch your right arm downward. Gentle massage is also useful for freeing up knotty neck muscles. You can give yourself a massage, but somehow that isn’t as satisfying as enlisting a friend, significant other, or professional therapist.

Ice, usually an injury-friendly treatment, isn’t always the best choice for neck pain. If you’re stiff to begin with, applying ice may cause you to tense up even more. If your trouble is a stiff neck, moist heat in the form of a warm washcloth, shower massage, or whirlpool may be the way to go.

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Natural Prolactin Control

prolactin
In opposition to what we normally see with all of the other pituitary hormones, the hypothalamus predominantly suppresses prolactin release from the pituitary gland. In other words, there is usually a hypothalamic Stop that order set against the lactotroph, and prolactin is released only when the order is released.

A note of interest is that If the pituitary stalk is severed, prolactin release increases, while secretion of all the other pituitary hormones decreases dramatically due to loss of hypothalamic releasing hormones. But this is an unlikely scenario for most athletes and should obviously be avoided nonetheless.

Prolactin Molecule

The neurotransmitter Dopamine appears to act as the top dog prolactininhibiting factor. Dopamine is secreted into portal blood by the hypothalamic neurons. Next it binds to receptors on lactotrophs, and inhibits both the synthesis and release of prolactin. So chemicals and drugs that interfere with dopamine release or receptor binding also increase the release of prolactin. These are called antagonists. Drugs and chemicals that either increase, act as, or potentate dopamine are agonists.

Of course there are other chemicals in the bodys Action/Reaction Factor closet that positively regulate prolactin. The major ones are GnRH, TRH (thyroid Releasing Hormone) and VIP (Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide). By the way, hyper-stimulation of the nipples may have a stimulatory effect upon prolactin release as well. But that is one we will leave alone.

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Core Stabilization and Strength

core stabilization
Our core musculature contributes to vital functions within our bodies and enables us to perform simple to complex tasks. Without good control or stabilization and a thorough understanding of what contributes to core stabilization and strength, we can fall prey to many of modern society’s ailments.

Lower back pain is the number one patient complaint in America. Many problems and orthopedic injuries result from poor core stabilization and strength. Females appear to be at a higher risk of suffering such injuries. Jame Zachazewki shows evidence of this in a study he conducted in 1996. He discovered that women have a lack of strength in the lower abdominals and pelvic floor muscles. He explained that 47% of females age 38 and above suffer from incontinence. However, women who participated in a regular weight-training program reduced the incidence of incontinence to only 4%.

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Caffeine Increases Weightlifting Capacity

Caffeine increases endurance capacity by sparing muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrate). It also increases high intensity, short-term performance by increasing adrenaline levels and activating the central nervous system.

caffeine

Some scientists think that caffeine improves performance by reducing pain and speculate that aspirin might be an effective supplement for athletes. A Baylor University study, led by Geoffrey Hudson, showed that caffeine was more effective than aspirin in promoting muscle endurance during a high rep bench press test. Aspirin had no effect on weightlifting performance or the perception of effort or pain during exercise. Caffeine is an excellent pre-training supplement for bodybuilders. It helps provide motivation to train and provides a small boost in performance.

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Athletes Recipies: Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

cheesy scrambled eggs
Ingredients

4 spoons 4% (borden) cottage cheese, 150 grams cucumber w/peel raw, 4 large egg whites, 2 whole eggs, 1/8 cup of 2% natural reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded, 30 grams raw mushroom, 15 grams black oilves, 10 grams onion, scallions, 1/2 table spoons pepper , red or cayenne, 1 cup raw spinach

Preparation

Blend or beat 4 egg whites with 2 whole eggs. Add cottage cheese, salt, red papper. (I like to blend the two together, Thunderstick is good for this) I use Pam in a non stick pan (butter if you prefer). Preheat the pan, pour in the eggs, when the eggs start to cook, add chopped olives, onions, and mushrooms. Cook the eggs how you like scrambled eggs.Just before you remove the eggs, melt in the mozzarella cheese.I eat the eggs on a bed of baby spinach and sliced cucumbers.

Nutritional Structure


Calories : 356

Protein (g) : 38

Carbohydrates (g) : 12

Fat (g) : 16.5

Carb Protein Fat % Ratio: 14-44-43

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The Essence of Lunges

Lunges are wonderful for toning the whole leg, but they are not recommended if you have knee problems. In each of the versions described, you lunge by stepping with one leg and sinking down, which causes the knee of the stationary leg to bend. Switch sides to work both legs. (Some people prefer to alternate legs, while others prefer to do one set per leg and then change.) All lunges start from a standing position, and when you have done each one, return to a standing position:

♦ For the standing lunge, move your right leg straight back behind your body, flexing the right foot, and sink down. This causes your left knee to bend.

standing lunges

♦ For the diagonal lunge, move your right leg out at a 45-degree angle and sink down. This again causes the left knee to bend.

diagonal lunges

♦ For the lateral lunge, step the right knee out to the side and sink down, once again causing the left knee to bend. The important thing is to keep the left knee over the ankle.

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Another Two Importnat Roles of Sleep

Inadequate Sleep Increases Blood Pressure Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night can ruin your health and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and dia­betes. Poor sleep patterns impair meta­bolic health, which promotes abdominal obesity, increased insulin levels, poor blood sugar metabolism, and abnormal blood fats. The combination of these health problems is called the Metabolic Syndrome. The Cardia Sleep Study, conducted by sci­entists from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, found that inadequate sleep increased the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure; greater than 140/90) by 37 percent. Warning signs included snoring and daytime sleepiness. Americans are getting less sleep because they are working more to make ends meet and worry­ing about economic problems. Getting enough sleep has a positive effect on your health and the risk of disease. High blood pressure is easily treated. See your doctor if you are hav­ing sleep problems.

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Sleep Promotes Athletic Performance
Athletes get more colds and flu fol­lowing intense athletic competitions or periods of heavy training. This is partly due to psychological stress and inade­quate sleep, which increases the risk of upper respiratory illnesses. Athletes can improve performance and reduce the risk of illness by getting more sleep. A Stanford University study showed that tennis players who increased nightly sleep and made up for accumulated sleep deprivation showed improvement in sprint drill times, service accuracy, and hitting depth. Athletes improved by as much as 30 percent in some of the tests. The athletes attempted to sleep 10 hours per night. Sleep is a critical element for maxi­mizing athletic perform­ance.

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Turkey Super Meat

Give thanks to those pilgrims for starting the wonderful tradition of Thanksgiving turkey. It just so happens that this health food disguised as meat is good year-round for weight control.

A four-ounce serving of roasted white meat turkey has 177 calories and dark meat has 211.

turkey meat

Sadly, many folks are still unaware of the versatility and flavor of ground turkey. Anything hamburger can do, ground turkey can do at least as well, from conventional burgers to spaghetti sauce to meat loaf.

Some ground turkey contains skin which slightly increases the fat content. If you want to keep it really lean, opt for ground breast meat. But since this has no added fat, you’ll need to add filler to make burgers or meat loaf hold together.

Four ounces of ground turkey has approximately 170 calories and nine grams of fat – about what you’d find in 2.5 teaspoons of butter or margarine. Incredibly, the same amount of regular ground beef (21% fat) has 298 calories and 23 grams of fat.

Buying turkey has become easy. It’s no longer necessary to buy a whole bird unless you want to. Ground turkey is available fresh or frozen, as are individual parts of the bird, including drumsticks, thighs, breasts and cutlets.

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Muscle Tension Promotes Protein Synthesis

Muscle tension and time under tension are critical for muscle pro­tein synthesis and increases in mus­cle mass and strength. Skeletal mus­cle is a highly-reactive tissue that increases in size in response to over­load, such as strength training, and atrophies in response to inactivity.

muscle tension

Researchers from the University of Maryland, in a review of literature, summarized the effects of muscle tension and training load on muscle protein synthesis. Mechanical loading (weight training) turns on muscle protein synthesis by activating the mTOR-signaling path­way. Muscle tension also increases the movement of amino acids into muscle cells, which form the build­ing blocks for making new muscle tissue. Muscle tension also activates muscle growth factors, such as IGF-1 to stimulate protein synthesis. Sensors in the muscle cell mem­branes detect muscle loading, which trigger chemical pathways that make new muscle protein.

Muscle tension, along with the availability of key amino acids and other nutrients and hormones, are key ingredients for promoting mus­cle growth.

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Anabolic Cycle Example 1

Anabolic steroids cycles are one of the most controversial and disputed themes among athletes and bodybuilders. The use of anabolic steroids has its positive and negative features and professional bodybuilders know how to use them to prevent the unnecessary side effects.

Nowadays there are thousands of anabolic cycle’s examples all over the world, established by professional athletes and experienced bodybuilders. As a result there are no standards and each of the multitudes of cycles we may find online or in specialized magazines have a positive effect on muscle building. One of the most efficient cycles we want to present is based on the intake of Sustanon, Testoviron Depot, Dianabol, Deca and several anti-estrogens:

Weeks 1 4
Sustanon 250 1,000mg per week
Testoviron depot 1,000mg per week
Anadrol 50 / Anapolon 50 100mg per day

Weeks 5 8
Sustanon 250 500mg per week
Testoviron depot 1,500mg per week
Dianabol / Dianoxyl 50mg per day
Deca durabolin 400mg per week

Weeks 9 12
Sustanon 250 500mg per week
Testoviron depot 250mg per week
Deca durabolan 400mg per week

Nolvadex 10mg per day all through

Proviron 50mg per day weeks 2 to 6.

Commence Clomid week 10 50mgs per day for 14 days

HCG 2 shots per week of 2500iu with the Clomid

This is one of the most big and efficient cycles and it is  and it is very androgenic. Side effects may be high, hence the use of Nolvadex throughout, and the use of Clomid commencing 14 days afterwards, and HCG before the end of the cycle. The intake of HCG gets your own testosterone levels up before any fall in androgens.

Get Your Chains

An effective training method to use is the addition of chain links to a bar. The chains hang from the bar, and as the bar is lowered, the chains gradually pile up on the ground effectively unloading the bar of the additional weight. For example, if you use 50lbs of chains per side on the bench press and that half the chains are on the floor in the bottom position and none of it are on the floor at the top you have an overload of 50lbs at the top of the range of motion. This allows you to increase resistance at the strongest portion of a lift, making you work hard through all the range of motion to complete the lift.

Chains are often associated with jumpstretch bands because they are used to increase the load during the concentric portion of the movement, as you reach stronger joint angles.

However the chains and bands differ in one very important way: the bands are actually trying to throw down the bar toward you (bench press) or throw you down (squat). So basically the bands provide an eccentric acceleration component that must be countered via muscle action.

The bands on the other hand are only added weight. The more chains are resting on the floor, the less weight is added to the bar and vice versa. However, contrary to the bands, chains don’t have that eccentric acceleration component. They simply allow you to increase the resistance during the movement.

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A Negative Side of Low Carbs Diet

low carbs diet

The huge media focus on low carb diets may have led you to believe that “the low carb lifestyle” is the proper way to get a lean, muscular physique. The truth is, carbohydrates are too important a nutrient for you to completely restrict from your diet. You will never make the gains in size and strength that you’re looking for on a low carb diet.

True, low carb diets can be effective in reducing body fat. If you have ever followed a low carb diet, odds are that you probably did lose some body fat, but you’ve probably also lost valuable muscle, or at the very least, hindered your ability to gain muscle by restricting carbohydrates. Your energy levels probably suffered as well. Here’s why:

The fundamental theory behind low carb diets is that by restricting carbohydrates, the body’s preferred source of energy, it resorts to stored body fat as an energy source. This is achieved through a process known as ketosis, in which the body breaks down triglycerides to be used as a source of energy. Ketosis is not nearly as efficient as carbohydrates are for energy or glycogen replenishment. It can also result in the body using protein (amino acids) from both food and muscle tissue (gluconeogenesis) for energy. This catabolic process is not desirable because it uses the same precious amino acids you need to build muscle and actually breaks them down instead.

Later, when protein is discussed, you will learn more about these amino acids and protein’s importance. For now, please realize that athletes need adequate protein to support training, muscle growth and recovery. So, having your body cannibalize protein for energy from the foods you eat, or even worse, your “hard earned muscle”, is a catastrophic disaster for anyone looking to improve their physique or muscular performance!

Another reason why low carb diets are not conducive to your goals of increasing lean muscle mass is because they virtually shut down insulin production. As you will soon discover, although you should avoid high insulin levels, you do want keep keep insulin stable, because it’s anabolic and helps promote muscle growth.

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Wine For Your Health

red wine

In this article we shall  make no distinction between red and white wine, except to say that red wine generally contains more tannin. Tannin possesses particular therapeutic properties; in particular, the procyanidin it contains helps prevent atherosclerosis, with the polyphenols also present in it having a protective effect on the artery walls.

It is only a short step from this statement to the assertions of many scientists, including Professor Masquelier, that wines rich in tannin contribute to some extent to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. A highly reputable medical survey, carried out in Britain in 1979 and bringing together evidence from eighteen countries, concluded that the death rate from heart attacks was lowest in populations which habitually drank wine (three to five times lower in France and Italy than in Northern European countries).

Wine can form a part of a normal diet, as long as reasonable limits are observed (about half a liter a day for a man, but only two thirds of this for a woman), and as long as it is consumed as late in the meal as possible, once the stomach is full of food.

In Phase I it is as well to stay away from wine if possible. In Phase II it can be drunk on a daily basis without affecting your weight. However, wine consumption will need to be juggled carefully with other carbohydrate intake. I am thinking in particular of chocolate and desserts in general.

While you are in Phase I, the stage where you need to be very strict with yourself, it may prove difficult to enjoy a family occasion or a meal with friends without touching a single drop of wine. If you suddenly announce you are not drinking, others may feel awkward about it.

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Keep Records of Your Workouts

workouts
This muscle-building technique should form the underlying basis for your entire workout plan. When it comes to structuring a proper approach in the gym, this is the most important overall factor, bar none.

Everyone is so obsessed with all of the specific principles in the gym (such as exercise selection, rep ranges, which days to spend in the gym, how many sets to perform etc.) that they fail to see the big picture.

Regardless of what type of approach you are taking in the gym, the underlying factor for success is progression.

Our bodies build muscle because of an adaptive response to the environment. When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by training with weights. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its survival and will react accordingly by rebuilding the damaged fibers larger and stronger in order to protect against any possible future threat.

Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must focus on progressing in the gym from week to week in order to consistently increase the stress level.

Progression can take 2 main forms:

a) Increasing the amount of weight lifted on a specific exercise. b) Increasing the number of reps performed with a given weight on a given exercise.

If you’re able to improve on at least one of the above factors each week in the gym, your body will be given continual incentive to grow larger and stronger.

If you neglect these factors and enter the gym without a concrete plan in mind, you’ll be ignoring the very foundation of the entire muscle growth process, and your gains will surely stagnate.

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Athletes Recipies: Strawberry & Banana Oatmeal

strawberry & banana oatmeal

Ingredients

1/2 cup steel-cut oats, 1/3 cup oat bran, 3/4 cup frozen or fresh strawberries , 1 medium banana, sliced, 1.5 scoops strawberry or vanilla whey protein powder, Water, as directed, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt , Dash of cinnamon (big dash)

Preparation


In the evening, prepare the oats in the same manner as the Blueberry Oatmeal recipe. Again in the morning, bring the oats to a simmer and add the banana, salt, cinnamon, and oat bran. Keep stirring and simmer until you have the desired consistency (10 minutes or so), remove from heat, and stir-in the strawberries and protein powder.

Nutritional Structures
Calories :696
Protein (g) 50
Carbohydrates (g) 115
Fat (g) : 11

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Athletes Recipes: Tuna & Cheese Melts

tuna & cheese melts
Ingredients
6 ounce can of tuna, 1 egg white (stirred beaten), 2 tablespoons of oatmeal (USA tablespoons, UK you need 4 TS), 2 tablespoons of diced onion, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of mozzarella, some salt and pepper.

Preparation
Throw all the ingredients (except the mozzarella) into a bowl. Heat the pan, spray with non stick spray (you can use olive oil if you want). Make 2 patties by just dumping half the mixture into each pile and sort of shape it much as you want to.Cook one side until brown (not long) then turn , when the second side is nearly done, sprinkle cheese over it. (I have used plain old cheddar cheese instead of Mozzarella and it still works fine, but Mozzarella seems better. Place under grill for about 1 minute tops to melt the cheese. You can then serve with your choice of carbs, potatoes, oven-chips/fries etc or a just a good salad.

Nutritional Structure
Calories :145
Protein (g) 25.5
Carbohydrates (g) :4.5
Fat (g) : 2

The Role Taurine In Our Health

taurine
Amino acids such as glutamine, arginine and perhaps tyrosine seem to get most of the attention in sports nutrition circles. One amino acid that may be being overlooked is taurine.

Taurine is a ubiquitous non-essential amino acid found throughout the human body, similar to glutamine. It’s considered non-essential because the body can make taurine from the amino acids methionine and cysteine with the help of vitamin B6.

Taurine may be non-essential and ubiquitous in the human body, but that does mean taurine does not have some potentially interesting effects that athletes may benefit from. Although taurine is listed as being non-essential, it should probably be listed as conditionally essential, which means under certain circumstances, it becomes essential to the human body.

Much of taurine’s exact role in human biology is still being elucidated, but what has been looked at is compelling. Taurine is intimately connected with cell volume, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, the ability of muscles to contract correctly and hundreds of other functions known and yet unknown.

For example, there is a steady decline in taurine levels as we age, which may lead to a host of problems. One study that rats fed taurine at 1.5% of calories found taurine supplementation blunted age-related declines in serum IGF-1, an important anabolic hormone essential to muscle growth and protein synthesis.

Another study found that supplemental taurine in aging rats corrected the agerelated decline in the ability of the rats muscle to contract. The study suggested that an age related decline of taurine content could play a role in the alteration of electrical and contractile properties of muscles observed during aging and that supplemental taurine corrected the decline.

Another exciting area of research for taurine is its possible role in managing diabetes and improving insulin sensitivity. Several studies in both rats and humans suggest taurine can play a role in improving several indices of diabetes, such as insulin metabolism, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, as well as others and diabetics appear to be chronically low in taurine.

For example, one study found Taurine attenuated hypertension and improved insulin sensitivity in rats made insulin resistant by a high fructose diet. Treatment with 2% taurine put in the rats drinking water prevented the blood pressure elevation and attenuated the hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) in fructose fed rats and prevented the large spike in glucose levels in response to an oral glucose load. The study concluded, “thus, taurine supplementation could be beneficial in circumventing metabolic alterations in insulin resistance.” Several studies have found this effect in rats fed taurine and made diabetic.

One human study looked at the ability of taurine to prevent blood platelet aggregation or “sticky” blood cells in diabetics. This is important because “sticky” blood platelets are related to the development of heart attacks and is a particular issue to diabetics. The study found that supplemental taurine made the diabetic’s blood aggregation or “stickiness” equal to that of healthy controls.

So what use does taurine have to athletes and healthy people? Well again, as is so often the case, human studies in healthy athletes are lacking, so it’s difficult or near impossible to make solid recommendations at this time. Taurine might be a great supplement to healthy athletes or it may only work in those populations who chronically lack taurine in their tissues, such as the aging, diabetics and others.

One thing is for sure, as with pretty much all amino acids, multi gram doses will probably be needed for any effect and any product that sprinkles in a few milligrams will be of little use to the buyer. It would be great if we had solid data showing some positive effects in athletes.

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Prunus Mume

It seem like a difficult name to pronounce. This name sounds an awful lot like prunes. But this stuff is interesting. Prunus mume is also known as Chinese plum or Japanese apricot. In this study, scientists looked at the effects of Prunus mume extract on exercise-induced fatigue recovery in a trained rat model.

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Male rats were raised either on a control diet (EC) or on diets supplemented with 0.15 percent (0.15EP), 0.3 percent (0.3EP), or 0.9 percent (0.9EP) Prunus mume extract for four weeks.They then did some exercise testing of these little rodents. Compared to that in EC (control) rats, serum lactate levels were significantly lower in rats fed 0.15 percent or higher levels of Prunus mume extract.

Dietary supplementation with the Prunus mume extract significantly elevated hepatic and muscle glycogen concentrations of the rats after the exercise. Prunus mume extract significantly reduced lactate dehydrogenase activity and increased citrate synthase activity in the skeletal muscles of the rats immediately after the exercise loading. What does all this metabolic effects mean? Well, taken together, these results indicate that the Prunus mume extract administered during endurance exercise training may enhance the oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle and may help promote the use of fat as a fuel during exercise.4 So, there you have it: Chinese plum helps you burn fat., as well as its extract.

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Female Fitness: Face Training

face training
This is a four‐step process.

Pull hair up in a ponytail before you start so you don't miss any parts.

1. First, prep skin by gently cleansing and exfoliating. Skip moisturizer, which may interfere with the tanner. Again, apply no creams on the face.

2. Step two: Apply under eye cream. According to major make up artists, you want the color of your skin to be lighter under the eyes; it makes you look younger.

3. Step three: blend a few drops of self‐tanner and equal parts moisturizer in the palm of your hand then apply over face and neck. You only want to go one shade darker than your natural color.

4. Step four: Let color develop for three hours then follow up with a sweep of bronzer on forehead, cheeks and nose ‐ areas where the sun naturally shines.

Don't forget: Smooth remaining tanner over earlobes and upper ears. You don’t want white ears and a darker face! Wash hands thoroughly and most importantly, don't skip the sunscreen!

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Testosterone Supplements Decrease Abdominal Fat In Aging Men

Andropause— a gradual decrease in blood testosterone and biological­ly available free testosterone— is a significant health issue in aging men. It is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, loss of muscle and bone mass and decreased sexual performance. It is not as obvious as menopause (per­manent cessation of menstruation in women), so many physicians don’t consider it a significant health issue.

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Landmark studies found that aging men increased muscle mass, decreased fat and improved quality of life from testosterone supplements. Australian scientists showed that aging men (55 and older) decreased abdominal fat and increased muscle mass without side effects following 12 months of low-dose testosterone therapy (nighttime testosterone patch). Abdominal fat deposition is part of the Metabolic Syndrome— a group of symptoms linked to heart disease that include insulin resist­ance, high blood pressure, abnormal blood fats, type 2 diabetes, inflam­mation and blood-clotting abnormali­ties. This was another study show­ing the benefits and low risk of testosterone therapy in aging men.

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Build Your Muscles Quickly

build muscles
Anyone who feels healthy and wants to build muscles can do it easily, if they exercise regularly and eat rich diet that contains excessive quality proteins. Always allow your muscles to relax and commence your exercise with light weights. The things you will need to build muscle quickly are Barbells, Dumbbells and protein supplements.

Have protein rich healthy breakfast every day morning. The food you eat must be rich in proteins. You can also whole-grain breads rich in carbohydrates that give energy to your body. Why we go for protein rich food is that it keeps a stable blood glucose level. It helps in building muscle quickly. Having proteins alone will not be sufficient. Your diet should be a balanced one which covers fruits, vegetables, meat and grains.

Initially start working with free weights like barbells and dumbbells. Lifting weights exerts pressure on the existing muscle tissues which in turn helps you to build muscle quickly. You will definitely find a change if you keep practicing the right kind of exercises. Exercise machines also help you strengthen and enlarge your muscles but if you want to build muscle quickly you have to go for free weights only.

Squats, pushups and pull ups can help you in achieving your target body shape quicker. These exercises will also help you build your muscles but not as effective as free weights. But they will provide very good shape to your muscles. But if you use the same weight and do same number of repetitions in all your workouts, your body cant grow. So to build muscle quickly you must increase the weight or number of repetitions you are lifting at regular intervals.

Do not go for supplements that have not been in the market for more than a year. Dont get impressed by the advertisements without testing the supplements. Make sure you include few items in your diet such as fish oil capsules ad multivitamins.

Drink plenty of water. Getting enough water is important for maintaining energy levels. You should drink 8 to 12 glasses of water every day. Take rest after you complete your exercise. Especially when you are a beginner you will require complete rest without giving too much strain to your muscles. Muscles will grow only when you take rest. Here rest means having a good sleep. If you work with more heavy weights everyday it may lead to injury to the muscles.

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Be Prepared for Eccentric Exercises

eccentric exercises

Muscle soreness is most often associated with eccentric exercise— muscle contractions that occur as the fibers lengthen. Examples include walking or running downhill and low­ering the weight to the chest during a bench press. Muscles can exert more force eccentrically (lengthening contractions) than con­centrically (shortening contractions), so muscle soreness and injury is more common in exercises involving eccen­tric contractions. Muscles increase in strength and size largely by repairing small injuries to the muscle fibers, and adapting by adding muscle pro­tein so that similar loads are less stressful in the future.

Researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit found that creatine kinase (a marker of muscle injury and inflammation) and resting energy expenditure were higher in untrained people than in trained people in the days following an intense weight-training workout. The program, designed to induce muscle soreness, involved 8 sets of 6 repetitions for eight exercises. The training cadence was 1 second for each concentric con­traction and 3 seconds for each eccentric contraction. The study showed the weight-trained people adapted to intense muscle contrac­tions and developed protection against potentially damaging exer­cise. Conversely, muscle damage and the resulting repair process were greater in untrained people.

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Training for Beginners

training for beginners
Beginners should use low intensify and slow repetition training

Experienced bodybuilders know that increasing muscle size and strength requires PTA— pain, torture and agony. As Governor Arnold said in “Stay Hungry,” his first mainstream movie, “You must burn to grow.” Japanese researchers showed that beginners benefited from low-intensity, slow-movement weight training.

Two groups of untrained young men lifted weights for 12 weeks, training either at a normal cadence using higher resistance (80 percent max effort) or a slow cadence (3 seconds up, 3 seconds down) and low intensity (50 percent max effort).

The men in both groups gained equal amounts of strength and muscle mass compared to control subjects who didn’t exercise. This study showed that beginners respond to low-tension, slow movement weight-training programs, but the results do not apply to trained bodybuilders.

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Female Fitness: Skin Care

fitness skin care

Here are 5 Steps for an efficient skin care:

1. Cleanse: Cleansing of the skin is the foundation of healthy, glowing skin. Make sure you find an alcohol free gentle cleanser that cleanses your skin with out stripping it of its natural oils, and that is not too harsh.

2. Exfoliate: This is necessary, but not every day! Aim to use a gentle Gommage, rather than an abrasive cloth, sandy cream, or anything that has those little grains of sand in them. They do more irritating then exfoliating.

3. Tone: Toning is essential! Stay away from strong astringents, but rather select a mild “skin bracer” or “freshener”. These are the mildest form of toners; they contain virtually no alcohol, water, and a humectant such as glycerin. Humectants help tokeep the moisture in the upper layers of the epidermis by preventing it from evaporating.

4. Moisturize: This is the most important part of skin care! Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Your aim is to have a healthy and gentle skin, that is kissable and irresistible! Forget the days of matte, non‐humid looking skin. Your skin needs to look moist and luscious!

5. Facials: This is necessary pampering! The wonder a facial can do for you. Every woman deserves a facial whether it’s once every 6 months or once every 2 weeks. Put yourself back on your to do list, and your skin will thank you. And don’t feel pressured to purchase all the product line your aesthetician will present to you. If you invest in a great cleanser, toner, and moisturizer with a sun block in it, you are just fine! Read more related articles: Fmale Health: Detox Your Skin.

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Importance of Blood Supply to the Muscles

As a practical matter, many different forms of exercise, including those that are designed primarily for aerobic conditioning, will generate some degree of strength and muscle development. But since strength-building exercises exert such formidable stresses, your muscles will need a greater supply of blood in order to carry on their restorative and strengthening processes.

blood supply muscles
Many of the strength-training principles I’ll be teaching you are specifically designed to enhance the flow of blood to your muscles. When you are training properly, you’ll notice a dramatic step-up in the amount of blood that rushes to your muscles. This is precisely what is supposed to happen—and will if you train correctly.

When blood is forced into your muscles during your weightlifting program, it helps speed up the process of repair which your muscle tissue needs to undergo. If you follow the program laid out in this book, your muscles will rebuild themselves, becoming denser and stronger than they were originally. That’s why you must be careful and follow this program to the letter. Never perform your strength exercises out of order or train the same muscle group two days in a row. If you do, your muscles won’t have sufficient time to repair themselves.

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How To Fix Your Posture (The Complete Guide To Good Posture)

how to fix your posture

On this article I will explain to you in simple terms, the importance of good posture and how you can fix yours without overcomplicating yourself with boring lessons.

The Power of Posture – Aesthetics & Performance

Things like walking, breathing and standing are so automatic that we take them for granted.

But our sedentary lifestyles are creating many dysfunctions in our natural patterns. One of the most affected aspects is posture.

Improving posture is the fastest way to look more aesthetic, immediately.

Not only your muscles will stand out, but you will also stand out as an individual.

Is scientifically proven that correcting your posture has an immediate effect on confidence. Your mind feels good and your body follows. Studies show that postural improvements lead to increased testosterone levels in men. People who slouch express low energy levels and signs of depression while people who stand tall express higher status and well being.

If you aren’t tall, it’s even more important to maintain proper posture to give off the illusion of being taller.

(Not only we want to appear taller, but wider too.)

One of the most common examples of bad posture is rounded shoulders. This makes men who aren’t naturally wide look even narrower.

On the female side, while looking wide isn’t the goal of the average woman, the effect of correct posture is the same. A woman with good posture has more presence, looks more attractive and more interesting.

But posture is not only important and underrated for looks and social life but also for health and performance; poor postural habits will break your body sooner or later. Many people are always in pain and in most cases, bad posture is the root of that pain. Don’t let it take control of your life.

This article is not only about looking good in the short term, it will also help you feel good and perform better in the long term.

It’s also a guide to improving functional movement.

Bad Posture – Common Issues, Causes & Consequences

Another common example of bad posture we see is excessive kyphosis (hyperkyphotic).

(Hyper)Kyphosis is an excessive rounding of the upper back. Besides looking ugly from the side, the shoulders will round and your chest will not stand out. This can lead to shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries.

Elevated shoulders are another common issue caused, among other things, by weak abs and poor breathing patterns.

Excessive anterior pelvic tilt is also commonly seen and it will ruin your core control and hip extension patterns.

Lack of core engagement and hip extension, combined with heavy compound lifts is a gradual but sure way to send your back to RIP in peace, double dead.

Explosive hip extension is the basis of most athletic movements. Tight hip flexors will make you run slower, jump lower and lift less.

If the hips are tight, the glutes won’t fire. And if the abs (obliques) don’t set the hips, well, nothing around there will be firing at all.

That means your lower back and knees will pay for it. And not even the hamstrings can save them because all that sitting for hours a day leaves them too tight and unable to fire properly.

Oh, but they will let you know they are there, nothing gets as tight as the hamstrings when you have excessive APT.

If you continue to go all no-pain-no-gain on this, you will eventually blow your hips and discs. Tendonitis, tendinosis, tears and herniations can and will happen.

Another common issue: forward head posture. I used to look at guys who had it and ask myself how they could allow their heads to go that way until I started suffering it too. It is a real pain to fix and it will give you some headaches and neck pain that will make your life suck.
“Every inch of forward head posture can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds”. Not good.
On the lower side of your body, poor feet positioning like ‘pigeon toes’ and ‘duck feet’ are common also caused by hip tightness and weak obliques. The list goes on.

We really f&cked up at some point, didn’t we.

Ironically, people go to the gym to improve but what they do there may be causing even further damage to their bodies.

These muscle imbalances we’ve been talking about that make you look, feel and perform bad can be accentuated by your workouts.

For example, there is a push / pull ratio you have to maintain in order to stay healthy and injury free. Too much bench pressing and not enough rowing is taking your body even more out of balance.

But let’s get positive, let’s get proactive now that you are #aware. There are many ways you can start correcting your posture.

The human body is an interdependent system; a chain only as strong as its weakest link. It’s better to step back and fix those issues that could keep you out of the gym for days, weeks, months or even the rest of your life.

Fix Your Posture – What Is Good Posture Anyway?

Before attacking the symptoms, we need to treat the cause.

We’ve been talking about bad posture but, what is good posture?

“Stand straight” is a vague cue. The spine isn’t supposed to be ‘straight’. It has natural S shaped curves.

Instead of straight, think neutral.

You need to put your spine in a neutral position and remember how it looks and how it feels to then carry it over to every exercise.

A broomstick can help, try doing different tasks while holding one against your (neutral) back.

We know rounded shoulders is bad posture. But good posture is not what many people think it is.

In a general sense, this is the cue that has confused so many people:chest up, shoulders back“.

The first thing people do is lift their chests up but what they’re actually lifting is the rib cage and this distorts the curve of the thoracic (mid) spine and kills upper body stability (core and shoulders).

I was a ‘victim’ of this advice. Always forcing my shoulders back and pushing my chest out. My teenager self knew there was something wrong with that but didn’t knew what it was.

Chest up and shoulders back posture alters rib cage positioning which creates too much hyperextension in the thoracic spine, causes more strain on the lower back (lumbar spine) and puts the shoulders and other upper body muscles in a poor position to function.

As you see, most people’s fix for good posture is actually causing more harm to their bodies.

Now that we have established that rounding the shoulders a.k.a. internal rotation is bad posture, and forcing the shoulders back combined with rib cage tilting is also bad posture, let’s see what good posture looks like.

  • The shoulders are still back but he’s not actively squeezing his upper back together.
  • He isn’t tilting his chest and rib cage toward the ceiling, it stays neutral. This is key.

Everything clicked to me when I started thinking ribs down. No more “inflated” chest.

Is very important to note that you should not be straining to maintain that position. Good posture should be effortless. That’s why I always felt that straining to keep my shoulders back wasn’t right.

Old habits die hard. Like with any movement pattern, you get to the point where it happens naturally by practicing good posture over and over.

Coach Yourself – Learning To Hold Proper Posture

  • Stand up and flex your glutes. This alone should get rid of a lot of posture flaws like the anterior pelvis tilt we talked about (and buttwink while squatting).
  • Now flex your abs slightly, enough to maintain proper pelvic position so you can relax your glutes and support your lower back as well. Keep your abs flexed when you’re moving, its easier that it sounds. With a few months practice, this will become more natural. Keeping the abs flexed ensures maintaining a neutral rib cage.
  • Tall, aligned, neutral head and neck, as if you were pushing the top of your head toward the ceiling.
  • Open your hands and twist your thumbs all the way out so they almost point behind you while allowing your shoulder blades to go back a bit.
  • Now you need relax the arms without losing that shoulder position. You’re going to do this using the muscles in your upper back. It’s like having a barbell racked across your chest / shoulder shelf like in a front squat and your upper back keeps you from rounding so the bar doesn’t fall off.
  • And remember, rib cage neutral (ribs down).
This sequence will get most people at least close to what their postural alignment should be. Keep in mind that being able to hold proper posture all day is a progression that can take weeks / months.

Is important that you keep teaching the body what proper posture feels like. Practice in the mirror, hold good posture for a minute, relax and repeat, etc. Do this several times a day until you can hit good posture instantly.

Next practice hitting proper posture without the mirror. You still use the mirror but you close your eyes, align yourself and then look to see if you did it right. Make corrections, hold and repeat.

Eventually, good posture will go from being a “pose” you hit to become your natural stance.
Next step will be incorporating good posture into your everyday activities. Start walking, sitting, etc. with good posture and be aware of it when you’re working out.

There are many muscle imbalances (partially as a result of bad posture) that prevent us from achieving and maintaining good posture.

Head-to-Toe Deep Tissue Massage & Myofascial Release

Foam Rolling:
Foam rolling will loosen up your muscles, allowing you to move better and hit the right positions. It’s meant to mimic a deep tissue massage. It should take you between 30 seconds and 1-2 minutes per body part.
The more it hurts, the more you need it.

IMPORTANT: To avoid injuries, foam rolling should be applied on areas with dense muscle. Not on bony parts like the knees and lumbar spine.

Neck
Be careful when rolling out your neck. Dig in lightly to find any tight spots. Look side to side, up and down to release any trigger points.

The neck tends to be very stiff in the morning after waking up so it’s better to treat it later in the day to avoid tweaking something.

Thoracic Spine / Upper Back / Shoulder Blades / Traps

Put your hands behind your head, roll out your mid-upper back going from the ribs to the shoulders. You can lean a bit to either side and put more pressure on it.

When you sit for hours in front of your laptop, like me, your thoracic spine is in constant flexion. The roller allows you to stay there and work on thoracic extension to get a nice stretch that balances things out.


Lats
You may not feel it, but if you have bad posture the lats will get very tight.

Lie on your side with the roller under your armpit and roll down the lats.

Chest
This one is a natural transition coming from the lats.

Move around pushing the pecs against the roller to find any trigger points.

Obliques
On your side, look for tender spots, stay on them and breathe.

This one is huge.

The obliques play a very important role in functional movement and if you have bad posture they will get very tight.

From there transition to the lower back.

Lower Back
However, we will NOT use the foam roller directly on the lumbar spine, it’s too much pressure.

Instead, we will use a ball on the lower back muscles next to spine. We will get to that.


Shoulders
This one is a bit tricky but I prefer to do it on the floor than against a wall because I can apply more pressure.

You need to find a position that really hits your delts.

Triceps
I only roll the triceps when I feel tension there, a.k.a. most of the time.

Lie on the floor with the roller in front of you and use your body weight to put pressure on the muscles.

Biceps
Bicep tightness will affect your front rack position and overhead work and I feel it also contributes to rounding the shoulders.

Lie on the floor next to the roller and use your body weight to put pressure on the muscle.

Wrists / Forearms
It works well for the wrists. But if you have constant forearm pain when crushing and gripping hard, you may need something that hits them more directly.

I use a 10 lb oldschool iron plate on my forearms, it hurts but it works.

Hip Flexors
Find those tender spots around the hips and work them.

Piriformis / Glutes
Sit on the center of the foam roller, cross one foot over the opposite knee and roll over the glute of your bent leg then switch.

Use your hands for support.

IT Band (Iliotibial Tract)
On your side, put the foam roller beneath your lower leg and support yourself with your elbow / forearm and bent upper leg.

Roll the outside of your thigh from the hip joint down to above the knee. Go slow and steady, stay on any tender spots for a few seconds and add movement at the knee to hit deeper areas.

Adductors (Groin)
Position yourself face down with legs partially spread. Rest one knee on the floor and roll back and forth the area between the knee and the groin of the other leg using your forearms and hands to support yourself. Roll very slowly or you can tweak something down there.

QuadricepsHamstrings
Sit on top of the foam roller (butt in the air) with both hands on the floor behind you.

Initiate the roll with your heels and work the hamstrings.

You can shift your weight between legs to increase intensity.

Calf / Shin
Transition from the hamstrings to the calves as the image shows.

Roll back and forth from the top of the ankles to just below your knees, keeping the legs straight. Shift weight accordingly and cross your legs at the ankles to increase intensity.

For a deeper massage, cross the legs and move the lower leg side to side.

You can also apply a little bit of pressure on the achilles tendon.

Then turn around a roll the shins back and forth kneeling on top of the roller.

Feet
So much lifting, standing and walking can leave your feet very sore.

Hold on to something for balance, stand on the roller and push with the feet.

Foam rolling the feet is very underrated but it can actually help you lift heavier and jump higher.

A ball may do a better job with the feet than the roller, though.

**Special thanks to my girlfriend, the real mvp here for making the pics even though we forgot the mat.

The Peanut
This homemade device is basically two lacrosse balls duct taped together.

A “peanut” is a great mobility tool to get into small, deeper areas that the roller can’t hit effectively.

Use it accordingly. You can buy it or find a tutorial online on how to make one.

Lastly, don’t be this guy:

Head-to-Toe Stretching

We’re not going to get into specific stretches here as there are hundreds of variations and I think you should find those that work for you.

Just make sure to use a full body approach that includes both dynamic and static stretching for the following:
  • Neck
  • Thoracic area
  • Lats
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Wrists
  • Hip Flexors (High priority.)
  • Glutes
  • Adductors (Groin)
  • Quadriceps  (DO NOT STRETCH your quadriceps if you have Posterior Pelvic Tilt (butt tucked in, “sway back”). Instead do activation and strength exercises for the quads and focus on stretching the opposite muscle, in this case the hamstrings.)
  • Hamstrings (DO NOT STRETCH your hamstrings if you have excessive Anterior Pelvic Tilt (butt sticking out). Do activation and strength exercises for the glutes instead and focus on stretching the opposite muscle, in this case the quadriceps.)
  • Calves
  • Ankles & Feet (Dorsiflexion, Plantarflexion, Eversion, Inversion)
Notes:
- Too much flexibility in the lumbar spine can be a bad thing. In a general sense, it’s best to avoid stretching the abdominal and lower back muscles and train them for stability and endurance instead.
- Don’t do static stretching before training, dynamic stretches work better.

Head-to-Toe Exercises & Drills

The following is a list of exercises and drills you can use in your warm up / cool down routines or use as assistance / auxiliary work and also as individual exercises throughout the day for mobility, rehab and/or prehab purposes.

Rollovers to V Sits

Sit down and touch the ground behind with your feet then roll forward and spread your legs apart forming a “V” and touching your toes to increase the stretch.

Fire Hydrant Circles

On all fours, lift one knee and make 10 big circles. Then do 10 more in the other direction and switch legs.

Try to increase the range of motion each time bringing your knee all the way up to your chest, to the side and behind you.

Mountain Climbers

Start in a push up position then jump and bring one foot next to the hand of that same side of your body. Spiderman style.

Then switch, bring that foot back and the jump the other forward to the other hand in one movement.

Aim for 20 reps at least.

(I’m referring to the one @ 00:17 on the video below.)

Groiners

Same as the mountain climbers but jump both feet at the same time and land them outside of your hands.

Do 10 reps.

Deadbugs

Ab exercise that’s also good for lower back and hip health.

Important tips:
– Don’t flare up the ribs.
– Lower back should touch the floor (no arch).
– Breathing is essential. Take a massive breath inhaling through your nose and then forcefully exhale through your mouth until all your air is out.
– Do 10 on each side.

Deadbug progressions (remember to focus on breathing).

Prone Cobras

The prone cobra is an endurance exercise that helps increasing the strength and endurance of the scapula muscles (shoulder retractors), the external rotators of the shoulders and the lower back muscles.

Do multiple holds and increase the duration as you progress.

Superman Holds

Similar to the prone cobra, you start by lying face down on the floor with arms and legs extended. Full body extension.

Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat, progressively increasing the duration every time you do the exercise.

Keep your neck in neutral position.

Wall Slides

Harder than it looks if you focus on keeping the rib cage down.

Stand against a wall with your head, upper back and glutes touching it. Place your arms overhead with elbows, wrists and hands against the wall in the high-five position.

From there slide your elbows down toward your side as far as you can without losing contact with the wall and then reverse maintaining contact.

Put your feet in front of you to help maintain proper position.

Do 10 reps with short isometric holds.

This exercise is specially good to get rid of rounded shoulders.

Cable Shoulder External Rotation (Low Pulley)

Pull away from the body as far as possible by externally rotating the shoulder. Return and repeat, then switch.

Maintain the elbow fixed at your side with the forearm and upper arm as close to a 90 degree angle as possible.

You can do it from mid pulley if you like. Don’t use too much weight.

Facepulls

No they’re not for your face. But they will do wonders for your shoulders, specially if you bench press a lot.

Using the rope attachment with the pulley set at chest level, grab both ends of the rope using a neutral / underhand grip. Step back until your arms are completely stretched and bend the knees slightly for a stable base.

Start the movement by retracting the scapula, squeezing your upper back together and pulling the rope apart toward your face. As the rope approaches your face, externally rotate your shoulders so your knuckles are facing the ceiling at the top of the movement. Hold there for a second, lower under control and repeat.

Avoid using too much weight, don’t drop the elbows, don’t do it too fast and don’t push your head forward to meet the rope.

Reverse Dumbbell Fly

Besides hitting your rear delts, this one is great to work the smaller muscles that stabilize the scapula.

Done sitting or standing.

Don’t go too heavy and don’t raise the arms past shoulder level.

Planks

Planks are a simple but effective exercise.

Position yourself like you’re about to do a push up. Neutralize the neck and spine and squeeze the abs and glutes to stabilize the body.

Hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breathing. Don’t let the head drop and don’t reach up with the hips and butt or let your lower back collapse.

For an easier variation, support your body with the forearms instead of the hands.

As you get more advanced you can start adding weight and using single leg variations.

A great variation that targets the obliques without adding hypertrophy is the side plank. This will help if you have trouble stabilizing overhead lifts.

The most important thing when planking is maintaining proper alignment.

T Push Ups with Dumbbell

Good exercise with many benefits.

T Push Ups work your chest, shoulders, obliques, triceps and many of the smaller stabilizers.

They will also improve your coordination which makes them good for any sport and everyday life activities.

Grab the dumbbells and take the normal push up position, execute the push up and when you push back up raise one arm to the ceiling so your body ends forming a T. This is similar to the side plank position.

Don’t go too heavy.

Thoracic Bridges

These, along with T Push Ups, will do wonders for your thoracic mobility.

Y Raises

Great for the lower traps.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie face down on an incline bench. Raise arms overhead to make a “Y” with the palms facing each other. Lower and repeat.

Do 12-15 reps.

Behind The Head Shoulder Band Pull Apart

Good for overall shoulder health and mobility.

Single Arm Mid Pulley Standing Cable Rows 

A more athletic variation that also helps improving shoulder health and function.

Pull to the abdomen.

Swiss Ball Pikes

For core stability. Good for developing the V lines / Adonis Belt.

Keep the thoracic area from rounding.

Here is the advanced version with the hands balancing on a bosu ball.

Stomach Vacuums

This one activates the transversus abdominis (your body’s natural weight belt) well. These muscles are extremely important to support your spine and entire core during heavy lifts such as squats and deadlifts.

Suck in your stomach as far and hard as you can, pulling your belly button to your lower back, squeeze and contract.

Hold for a few seconds, that’s one set.

Also great for the adonis belt.

Side Lying Clamshell

Very easy glute activation exercise.

Lie on one side with bent knees and heels together. Then open up the knees like a clamshell.

Pause for a few seconds and then lower your knee to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Reverse Crunches

Make sure head, neck and upper back stay on the ground.

This helps to correct excessive kyphosis and will make your abs burn.

Iron Cross (Lower Back Mobility Warm Up)

Shown @ 00:43 below.

You may hear some cracks while doing it.

Look to the opposite side of your legs to increase the stretch.

Deep Neck Flexor exercises.

You can start by doing chin tucks and then progress to quadruped chin tucks.

Do a 2-3 seconds hold on each rep.

Don’t hyperextend your neck.

Scapula Dips (Elevation & Depression)

This will get rid of elevated shoulders posture.

Dumbbell Farmer Walks

Besides being a great full body strength and conditioning exercise, farmer walks encourage good posture.

You need to walk while flexing your glutes, bracing your core and keeping the shoulders and rip cage down.

Use a pair of heavy dumbbells that you can hold for a distance of 50 m approximately. Don’t go to failure.

Quadruped Thoracic Extension / Rotation

One of the best movements for thoracic spine mobility.

Do 12 reps.
Notes:
- All exercises can be performed for multiple sets, depending on the context you’re doing them. The prescribed reps are just for you to have an idea.
- These exercises can be done as part of a preworkout mobility / warm up routine or as a separate mobility / rehab / prehab workout during the day.
- You should work on your mobility everyday, multiple times if possible.

Conclusion & Final Tips


Life Outside The Gym
You can’t expect to be mobile and flexible if you only move for one hour a day when you go to the gym.

Sounds obvious but many of us are actually doing that.

The human body is not designed to be stuck in one position for very long.

One may think that putting together a badass workout, taking pain killers, foam rolling and warming up is enough to go train like a beast and get away with it, but that’s really programming for disaster. What you do outside the gym is what’s going to make a difference in your posture and pain levels. We can’t expect to fix in 1 hour what we f&ck up in the other 23.

The first steps to being mobile, pain free and properly aligned 24/7 are:

Training More Frequently

Almost any motion is better than none for those with bad posture. The more often you train, the more often you do your daily mobility circuits: foam rolling, stretching, warming up, etc. You don’t even need to add more work, simply break your current training into smaller sessions.

Sleeping Better

Stop sleeping on your stomach, it puts your body in lumbar hyperextension and cervical extension / rotation for hours. That means hundreds of pounds of pressure on the lower back. Alternatively, try to sleep on your side or on your back with the legs elevated to keep the lower back flat.

Breathing Better

If worrying about how you stand and how you walk wasn’t enough, now you have to worry about breathing too. We all breathe but few of us do it well and it can really affect your
posturelife. I’m no expert on the subject but I recommend you to look into breathing exercises, yoga and even taking singing lessons.

Sitting Better

Many people think that sitting at the edge of a seat is good posture. But this actually forces you into extension, of which too much is a bad thing just like too much flexion. To prevent this, sit all the way back into the chair to support your lower back properly.

Balancing Training

At the beginning of this article, a.k.a. a long time ago, I briefly mentioned the push / pull ratio. When you train, you need to balance your efforts; pull more than you push using a 2:1 or 3:2 pull-to-push ratio. Simply adding a few extra sets of rows for the upper body and deadlifts for the legs should do the trick.

Now Keep Doing That

As you can see, good posture is about good habits more than anything.

Being aware is the first step, then comes the corrective work.

The best fix for bad posture is forcing yourself to maintain good posture.

Regardless of what you’re doing, get up, stand up…No seriously, stand up and walk every few minutes.

TL;DR: there is no tl;dr. Don’t be lazy, these are your gains and health we’re talking here.

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