A Spicy Full-Body Workout with Resistance Bands

A Spicy Full-Body Workout with Resistance Bands

Who needs the gym for a workout when you have resistance bands?

Resistance bands are lightweight powerhouses that can make the difference for your workout. They are a fabulous alternative to machines, they are perfect for compound exercises, and they engage not only the main muscle groups but also your stabilizing muscles.

Resistance bands are also a good choice if you are recovering from an injury or are older and need to work slowly. They are also useful if you are someone who needs to slow down and benefit from a bit of mindfulness in your workouts.

Let's look at some exercises to get a full-body workout with resistance bands.

The Best Full-Body Exercises with Resistance Bands

For these exercises, all you'll need is some booty bands. And if you haven't got yours yet, you can find booty bands here.

Squats

Squats are really good for your lower body, and they work the muscles that we use when we get in or out of bed or sit down. In other words, they target your calves, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and adductors, as well as your core muscles and your lower back.

Squats are great all-round exercises because they work several muscles at once.

Put the booty band around your thighs, just above your knees. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Move your right foot out to go down into a squat.

Keep your back straight. The resistance band should be quite taut.

Bring your right foot back to start. Then do the same with the left foot. Repeat as many reps as needed.

Note: For your arms, you can either keep your hands on your hips or stretch your arms out in front of you each time you dip into a squat.

Variation: You can follow this exercise with squat leg lifts by lifting one leg up and out to the side while you come up out of the squat.

Bridge

Bridge exercises help you strengthen your hamstrings and core muscles and the muscles in your butt and lower back. Bridge exercises are also a great way to improve your core stability as they target your hips, too, especially if you're using resistance bands at the same time.

With your feet flat on the floor, lie down on a mat on your back. Your knees should be bent. Have the booty band around your thighs as before, above your knee joints.

Raise the hips into a bridge position while pushing your thighs out to the side to tighten the band. Hold in the top spot, squeeze your buttocks as you bring your knees back together. Lower your hips back down onto the mat. That's one rep. Repeat as needed.

Abductor Pulses

Abductor pulses are perfect for working your hip muscles, giving you strength and balance and flexibility. Your hip muscles are what help you stand or balance on one leg.

Still lying down on your mat, move the booty band down around your calves. Bring your legs up to have your feet pointing straight up towards the ceiling. Now pulse gently out towards the sides. You should feel your abductors working!

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles, all at the same time! The muscles that jumping jacks target specifically are your glutes, hip flexors, and quadriceps. Your abdominals and shoulders are working too. An excellent full-body exercise!

Still keeping the booty band around your calves, do some jumping jacks. You should feel the burn!

Standing Rowing

These standing rowing exercises work your deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius, and even your biceps.

Stand and have your feet hip-width apart and the booty band around your hands. Lean slightly forward with your arms straight out in front of you, hands pointing down towards the ground. Your palms should be facing each other.

Now keep your arms the same distance apart as you row towards your body. Think of bringing your elbows to meet your sides. Imagine a robot rowing a boat, and you'll be in perfect form!

Pulldowns (lateral)

Lateral pulldowns work the most massive muscle in your back, the latissimus dorsi, which helps keep your spine stable and therefore assists you with good posture.

In the same standing position, hold one end of the booty band in each hand with your arms straight up above your head. Pull down with your right arm, bending your elbow. You want to aim for your right hand to come to shoulder height.

Make sure to keep the left arm straight while you do this. You'll feel the resistance! Bring your right arm back up above your head. Repeat as needed.

Now repeat the same thing with the left arm.

Arm Pulses

These arm pulses will work your arm muscles and your chest muscles, specifically your shoulders, back, triceps, and biceps.

Put your arms out straight from your body. With the booty band wrapped around the outside of your hands, have your palms facing each other. Your arms should be shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.

Pulse your arms away from each other while raising them above your head. Pulse again on the way down until you return at the starting position. Repeat as needed.

Back Pulls

Back pulls work your back as well as your arms.

Stand in the same position as the arm pulses exercise. Holding one end of the booty band in each hand, put your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing down.

Bend your arms while keeping your elbows level with your shoulders to pull the band back towards your chest. You want your hands to come back far enough to touch your chest.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers work every area of your body from your head to your toes! They are also excellent for building strength, stability, endurance, and agility. A total body workout!

If you want the full list of muscles, here it is your butt, abs, back, hip flexors, quads, triceps, deltoids, and hamstrings.
With the booty band around your wrists, get into the plank position. Do mountain climbers, keeping your hands far enough apart so that the band is taut.

Sit-Ups

Sit-ups work not only your abdominal muscles, but also your hip flexors, neck, chest, and obliques. They help you gain core stability, and they also help improve your posture since you are also working your glutes and lower back.
Sitting on your mat, have your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.

Have the booty band around your wrists as in the mountain climbers exercise. This time though, you'll be moving back slowly to lie down on the mat and then sit up again while retaining the band taut between your arms. Repeat these sit-ups as needed.

Resistance band conclusion

Start with a low amount of reps and work your way up. Best to increase gradually and stay consistent with a workout routine than to go full-out and quit.

Just remember that while you're building strength, you're improving your flexibility, endurance, posture, balance, and stability.

Get in a full-body workout without ever stepping foot into the gym with these simple exercises! Enjoy this full-body workout with resistance bands!

8 Signs of Overtraining Syndrome and What Can You Do About It

8 Signs of Overtraining Syndrome and What Can You Do About It

Ah, overtraining – not something we even consider when we take our first tentative steps in working out.

After all, how can we overtrain? Isn’t all training good for us?

As it turns out, it’s not. In fact, as most experienced gym-goers will tell you, building muscle is as much about rest as it is about lifting weights. Runners will tell you the same thing – you can’t expect your body to just infinitely keep going. If that were the case, we’d all be as fit as fiddles our entire lives, provided we put the work in.

Overtraining sucks, just to share my personal experience as well. When I first started going to the gym, I used to put in 5k every morning in the local park, and then I’d put another hour in at the gym in the evening. Maybe with an occasional rest day thrown in there. And trust me, it wasn’t a nice feeling.

But I know how we can trick ourselves into overtraining – we want to see better results, it feels good, we are hooked on the feeling, and we can’t really buy into the “I need to rest” thing.

8 Signs of Overtraining Syndrome (and what you can do about it)

Let’s go over the eight signs of overtraining syndrome, and if you find yourself nodding along while you read, let’s also discuss how you can get back on the right track.

A general feeling of fatigue

We are all somewhat used to feeling a bit tired now and again. Some of us have even accepted that this is just how we feel and are living with it.

However, one of the more prominent signs of overtraining is a lack of energy, a general feeling of sluggishness and fatigue. Everything is just a bit difficult, and you can’t really be bothered with anything.

Specific and general pain

Nothing like the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) to through a wrench into training.

Contrary to popular belief, pain is the first sign that you have overdone it. If your muscles are sore the day after a workout, if this soreness persists for more than 72 hours, if you experience DOMS – this is a clear sign that your body is not recovering well, and that you need to stop doing what you are doing.

Some will tell you there is no gain without pain – or that soreness is the sign that you are doing something right. Don’t believe them. Yes, working out should be a challenge – but it shouldn’t leave you in pain for days.

Trouble sleeping

The connection between sleep and overtraining is a complex one: and while you may think that tiring yourself out with a workout can put you to sleep easier (and this is the case when you train well), overtraining can keep you awake.

As you are not able to relax completely, you are not able to drift off to sleep, or you wake up a lot during the night, tossing and turning as you go. This, in turn, means your body will not be able to get the rest it needs and repair the damage you have caused while working out.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is one of a number of symptoms due to over-training.

You need to fuel your workouts with the right nutrients – carbs, proteins, fats all play an important role in helping your performance.

However, if you feel like you don’t really have to eat, or you can’t eat and there is nothing appetizing about food, you will be putting yourself at risk in a whole host of ways: a lack of nutrients means your body can’t repair itself, and that you are driving it too far on too little. Your immune system can suffer, you can get injured more easily, and your feeling of fatigue will only increase.

Getting ill more often

As your immune system can no longer keep up with the demands you are putting on your body, you will be more susceptible to colds, inflammatory diseases, and all kinds of other illnesses. You can also experience a lot of headaches, and that icky feeling when you are not ill, but you are not healthy either.

Mood swings

A lack of sleep and increased stress will cause you to become more irritable. Stress will also boost your cortisol production, which will make losing weight that much harder, your performance will suffer, you won’t be as ready to go to the gym. Overall, you’ll just be an irritable sack of moodiness.

These mood swings will also lead to a drop in your confidence, and you won’t feel as good as you used to while working out.

Performance drops

The weights you were once able to lift and the distances you were able to run will become increasingly difficult, and you’ll be forced to cut back. This will translate into a sluggish progression, and your already dampened mood will slip further into the gutter as well.

Injuries

When all the above starts to happen, you will naturally be much more susceptible to injuries. When you’re simply not as focused, not as able, not as ready to perform as you normally would be, anything from sprains and tears to more serious injuries is more likely to occur.

What can you do about it?

If you have recognized these symptoms in yourself – don’t worry. There is a way back, and while you may not like it, it can help you get back “to normal.”

  • Stop working out hard – If you are lifting, this will mean no weights for a while. If you are running, you will need to cut down on your speed and distances.
  • Switch to some light cardio – jogging or biking – but nothing too extreme and vigorous.
  • Seven days is all it will usually take – unless your body is extremely exhausted, in which case you might need to take a longer break.

Of course, this is not all.

7 Lifestyle Tips to Keep Overtraining and Burn-out at Bay

The key to health and fitness lies in the trifecta I so love to mention sleep, nutrition, and working out.

Here’s what you need to pay attention to in terms of sleep and nutrition to maximize your workouts:

  1. You need to teach yourself to sleep more and sleep better. Establish new and beneficial sleeping habits, and ensure your body has enough time to recover from the day.
  2. Eat well – I don’t need to go into what that means, as you already know what a balanced diet is. Of course, you can let yourself off for having something essentially bad for you occasionally. But 80% of your diet should still be good for you.
  3. Also, make sure you are eating enough. This will depend on your goals, but even if you are trying to lose weight and working out at the same time, you can’t under-eat, as that will not give you the results you need. Your workouts need proper fuel – so give it to them.
  4. Don’t work out if you are in pain – ever. It’s better to take a couple of days off than to risk making everything worse.
  5. Always add rest days to your routine. They are not days of slacking off, but rather an essential part of the split.
  6. Don’t train for over an hour at a high intensity – an hour is enough. If you are doing low to moderate impact exercises, you can work out for more, but don’t forget you still need to rest.
  7. Try to stress less – I know this is a cliché, but stress really is the worst possible enemy to your quality of life, and to the quality of your workouts.

Wrap Up

Prolonged overtraining will just make your symptoms worse and compromise your body even more. It will take longer to recover, and you won’t see the progress you had in mind.

In fact, why would you want to keep overtraining, when it’s not giving you what you are looking for?


 

5 Common Weightlifting Mistakes to Avoid

5 Common Weightlifting Mistakes to Avoid

If you want bigger biceps or washboard abs, then weightlifting can be a good way to go. While weightlifting is an effective way to build both size and strength, there are other benefits as well.

In a 2014 study, Harvard researchers determined that strength training is more effective in preventing increases in abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise. When you incorporate weightlifting into your exercise routine, you burn calories and increase lean muscle mass. In other words, it can help you build muscle and lose fat as long as you do it correctly.

Though weightlifting could be the key to helping you achieve your fitness goals, it’s not something you should rush into. Proper form when lifting weights is critical if you want to stay safe and see results.

5 of the Most Common Beginner Weightlifting Mistakes

Read on to learn five of the most common weightlifting mistakes beginners make and how you can avoid them.

1. Skipping the Warm-Up

Warming up your muscles before a workout improves your performance and reduces the risk of injury. When it comes to weightlifting, dynamic stretches can be the way to go. Whereas static stretches isolate a muscle for an extended period of time, dynamic stretches involve movement.

In a 2018 study published in Sports Medicine, dynamic stretches increase range of motion and enhance muscle force and power. Examples of dynamic stretches include:

  • Lunge with a twist
  • High kicks
  • Hip rotations
  • Leg swings
  • Arm/shoulder rotations

If you prefer to work out in the morning when your muscles are cold, it may help to spend 5 to 10 minutes walking or jogging slowly before you stretch.

2. Going Too Fast

When you first start weightlifting, it takes time to learn proper form. It may feel silly to use weights that don’t challenge you, but good form is essential for a safe and effective workout. Trying to progress too quickly can increase your risk for an injury which will only put you further behind in reaching your goals.

Take the time to watch videos or schedule a few sessions with a licensed personal trainer to learn proper form for common lifts like squats, deadlift, and bench press. Practice your form with little to no weight until you have it down, then slowly add weight to build strength. The key is to train your muscles and use their full range of motion in each exercise rather than “cheating” by using your momentum.

3. Not Engaging the Core

Building your core is about more than just achieving the coveted six-pack – it’s also the key to increasing safety and performance throughout your entire weightlifting routine. Having a strong core helps stabilize your lower back, enhances flexibility, and improves balance and coordination. It also has real-world benefits like improving posture.

Many beginner weightlifters make the mistake of failing to engage their core during every exercise. If your core is weak, it may put extra pressure on your lower back during lower body exercises like lunges and squats. Include core exercises in your workout routine and keep your core tight during other exercises to give your body a solid and stable foundation.

4. Using Higher Repetitions

A common weightlifting misconception is that lifting lighter weights for higher repetitions tones the muscles while heavier weights for lower reps build strength. The truth is muscles don’t change in tone; they only change in size. To achieve a “toned” look you’ll need to shed body fat while gaining muscle mass to increase muscular definition.

Incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your workout routine can help you burn extra calories, but a healthy diet may be even more important. Consult with a licensed dietitian to determine the optimal calorie deficit to facilitate healthy fat loss.

5. Going Too Heavy

To keep building strength you need to challenge your muscles during each workout. It’s important not to go too heavy, however, because it decreases the efficacy of the workout and increases your risk for injury. Find a weight that feels comfortable and allows you to achieve a full range of motion throughout the exercise without compromising your form. If you’re struggling to grow a particular muscle group, explore the mind-muscle connection to jump-start your gains.

Whether your goal is to lose fat or build muscle, weightlifting will help you get there. Using proper form, warming up before your workouts, and giving your body time to recover in between are the keys to staying safe and achieving your desired results. Fuel muscle and joint recovery with a post-workout collagen protein shake and listen to your body – slow and steady progress is better than risking injury. If you stay consistent and avoid these common pitfalls, you’ll see the results you want in time.


 

5 Things to Consider Before Opening A Fitness Center

5 Things to Consider Before Opening A Fitness Center

You’re growing sick of your work-life balance!

Nothing seems to be working the way you’d like it to; you slave all week/month just to survive, and you’re still not happy. So you decide to get out of your bubble of misery and open up your own business. After a considerable amount of contemplation, you come to the conclusion that opening a fitness studio is the optimal business to start.

Whether you’re an expert in aerobics and bulking or not, it is very clear that today’s target market is constantly looking to enhance their bodies.

Before Opening a Gym or Fitness Club, Consider These 5 Things

1. Standing Out

Motivated by all the potential opportunities, you start to blaze a trail toward your dream fitness center. While it might be true that the fitness industry is somewhat saturated with fitness centers, the sheer volume of options and themes one could customize their gym will allow you to uniquely set yourself apart from the competition. That’s why the approach you’ll follow in your gym is one of the most basic things to consider when starting your own fitness business.

2. Fitness Agenda

The introduction of specialized boutique fitness studios—and their raging success—have adjusted customers’ mentalities to expect their fitness centers to offer a collection of all fitness and physical enhancement techniques. Clients right now prefer to have a fully equipped gym and the presence of fitness professionals to aid them in their exercises.

So far, these two customer attractions are available in everyday gyms, but being a fully running fitness operation with massage therapists, nutritionists, and personal trainers are the ultimate goal of any gym owner.

The truth is, almost all brand-name fitness centers started up with a fraction of the services they provide right now. They mainly start with a simple aerobic fitness center, and as their client base grows, they also start to grow and expand into more fitness territories.

On the other hand, brand names like CrossFit have remained a specialized fitness entity from their inception. They only cater to those who are seeking a more personalized and less aggressive form of fitness. Their success came from the fact that they provide something unique and stick to it. Finding your unique fitness approach is the first step of the journey.

3. Starting Capital

So far, you’ve selected the fitness agenda your gym will follow but have no clue yet about how to finance that dream. When you open a normal business, say a grocery store, you are initially required to spend your capital on acquiring the goods and a prime location.

Fitness centers, however, have the added cost of buying gym equipment that fills your center with all the needs of a fitness enthusiast. Furthermore, you don’t just have a couple of employees, but a fleet of marketers, salespeople and fitness trainers. This results in the accumulation of a hefty startup fee.

Image source: Pinterest

Fortunately, there are countless business financiers that specialize in startup fitness businesses. They might provide raw money as a loan to start your own business, or more conveniently, they could finance your equipment for you. Enter Gymstarters, the leading financier for new gyms in the US. They provide treadmills and dumbbells for belated fees—just browse here for more detailed descriptions. Their personable business plan will ensure the success of your opening.

4. Choosing A Name

To begin your journey toward your financial independence, you obviously must pick out a unique name that accurately captures your business’s theme. Begin by brainstorming the terms that might work. Words like gold, titanium, and metal are all key elements of a workout and fitness organization to signify top-quality, endurance, and energy.

Of course, these suggestions are meant mainly for bulking gyms, but not exclusively. The goal here is to think about the words that people want to talk about when they hear your name.

5. Startup or Franchise?

As previously mentioned, there are countless approaches one could have with their fitness plans. This creates the opportunity for you to either start your own business and keep it as a small local business, or grow it to become a franchise. If neither of those is the desired endgame, you could always pay a royalty for an already established brand name, like CrossFit.

After the many questions answered above, you are almost ready to start your own fitness business. The only remaining thing is to file for a state license, and definitely get your fitness center insured. In the end, the process of opening up your own business can be intimidating to even the bravest of us—especially when it’s about getting in a line of business that’s filled with competition. However, mindfully considering all these notions would surely make your journey run smoother.


 

Dad Body Project Must-Do 2 of 5: Maximize Your Lifts to Maximize Your Muscles

Dad Body Project Must-Do 2 of 5: Maximize Your Lifts to Maximize Your Muscles

Many people don’t realize that when you go and lift weights, there’s a certain strategy to be employed when it comes to how much weight you’re doing and how many reps you’re doing.

Finding a balance between the two is important, but most people either tend to do high weight with lower reps, or lower weight with high reps. Depending on which one you choose, you can have some drastically different results in terms of how your body looks.

Maximize Your Lifts to Maximize Your Muscular Gains

High reps and low weight will get your muscles used to higher amounts of stress and they’ll be better adapted for endurance, which is good for things like sports. However, for building muscles, you want to go with higher weight and lower reps.

You might only be able to do five reps with a certain weight but by training, that way will help you get muscles better than you would with a lower, more comfortable weight. When you lift weights, you’re microscopically tearing your muscle fibers.

Not enough to seriously injure you, but therefore you feel sore. When you eat and drink protein, your body repairs those microscopic tears stronger and larger than before to accommodate.

This is how you get stronger and how you build muscles from lifting weights in the first place. By lifting heavier weights, you’re putting more direct strain on your muscles rather than testing their endurance, causing more micro-tears, leading to larger muscles.

Lifting heavy is how bodybuilders get into the shape they do because they solely focus on putting on pure muscle mass while also being sure to shed as much fat as possible, making their muscles pop a bit more.

There’s a serious caveat to keep in mind when it comes to heavy lifting: you need to be careful. If you do everything right, you’ll put on muscles and keep getting stronger and lifting heavier weight.

However, if you try to lift more weight than you can reliably lift, there are going to be some problems. It’s not uncommon to see injuries from weightlifting, but most often it comes from people trying to lift as much as humanly possible.

You should be aiming for a heavyweight that you can lift for about five reps per set cleanly. If you mess up on your form and must jerk the weight in a weird way, you can end up causing things like muscles separating from tendons, which can take months, if not years to fully recover.

After all, putting some muscle in your hustle is all fun and games until someone tears a pec or bi… so lift responsibly!


 

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