Be it in the gym or at home, if you tried every trick in the book to build a six-pack, but still haven't achieved it yet, you are in the right place!
With everyone in the fitness industry talking about incredible ab transformations, it's only natural you want to be part of it too. Even though the hype created around home workout routines might have convinced you that's the way to go, working out only at home is not enough.
Also, another thing you have to keep in mind is that a proper diet is always essential for getting six-packs abs. So, if you are ready to know what are the best exercises, which will help you get the six pack abs you’ve always wanted, you can start by doing these seven key ab exercises at the gym.
1. Hanging Leg Circles
While most workouts focus on one particular muscle, this exercise works on all of your muscles at once.
Apart from letting you get six pack abs fast, Hanging Leg Circles will help you to strengthen your muscles including your arms, back, and legs. Also, while doing this exercise, you can burn a considerable amount of fat in your body, so integrating it into your daily routine will come with amazing advantages.
How to do it:
Start by holding on the pull-up bar with your palms parallel to each other. While keeping your legs straight in the air draw a big circle in one direction. Next, repeat the circle, in the reversed direction. Avoid rocking back and forth and brace your abs tight while performing the exercise. Avoid rocking back and forth and brace your abs tight while performing the exercise.
2. Ab Wheel Rollout
The ab wheel workout is an excellent exercise which targets not only your abs, but also your hips, shoulders, triceps, and latissimus dorsi.
How to do it:
After you kneel on the floor, hold the handles of the ab roller with your hands. Slowly push your hips forward and roll out the ab wheel as far as you can, all the while keeping your back flat and the arms extended in front of your body. Push your hips to the extent so that you can not roll in anymore and then slowly bring your hips back to the starting position.
3. Pull-up Bar workout
Even though some people think that pull-ups are actually legitimate exercise for arms, this workout routine targets many abdominal exercises. For anybody who wants to have a ripped six-pack ab, pull-ups are undoubtedly crucial.
How to do it:
Grip tightly on the pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip, palms towards you. Cross and bend your legs behind you, and pull yourself up until your collarbone reaches the pull-up bar. To finish the movement, lower yourself without touching the floor while making sure at the same time that your elbows are straight.
4. Horizontal Seated Leg Press
Horizontal Seated Leg Press will not only help you to maintain a harmonious physique, but it will also help you to develop and target all the major muscles of your body.
How to do it:
Start by resting your back and head comfortably on the padded support of the equipment. Next, place your legs wide apart forming a 90 degrees angle at the knees on the platform. Hold on the assist handles, then brace your abdominal muscles and push the platform with the help of your heels.
Before returning to the starting position, stop for a moment and inhale. While inhaling, gradually bend the knees while keeping your head against the seat pad. Note that the knees and back should be held flat throughout the exercise.
5. Roman Chairs Crunch
If you want to get that slim waist and also burn extra fat, roman chair crunches are an excellent way to reach your goals. This type of exercise focuses on the lower back, an area of the body that many people tend to overlook while exercising. Besides, you'll get killer abs!
How to do it:
Pull a roman chair in an upright position while putting your pads as low as possible. Afterward, get on the chair and hook your legs under the pads.
Lower yourself to a certain limit and then get back to the starting position. Keep in mind that you need to squeeze your abs on the way up.
6. Standing Biceps Cable Bar
For beginners, this exercise is one of the best and quickest ways to get a sick pack. Besides, biceps cable curl is the only exercise which includes upper arm biceps muscles that are beneficial to both men and women.
How to do it:
Stand up straight while holding a cable curl bar. Keep your elbows close to the torso while you grab the cable bar at shoulder width. Don't move your upper arm while your steadily lower the curls cable as you breathe out. Note that only the forearms should move. Continue the exercise until your biceps are nearer to the bar. Afterward, bring your arms to the starting position and repeat the movement.
7. Seated Chest-Press
Chest press muscle exercise is excellent for toning and strengthening the abdominal muscles, and it also helps to burn any extra calories.
How to do it:
First, when starting this exercise, you need to grasp the handles and push the bars away from your chest area while you breathe out. Pay attention to your elbows, and perform the movement without locking them out. Focus on inhaling as you come back to the starting position. Besides, by doing the seated chest-press, your upper ab muscles will get more definition while your body fat percentage will get lower.
If you can put into practice all these exercises above, you'll soon find yourself in excellent shape and finally get the six-packs abs you always wanted!
So, don't wait until tomorrow, and step into the gym today!
After all, it all comes down to building an inner discipline that will make you exercise on a regular basis, which will mold in return the body of your dreams.
Once you stop waiting for magical transformation and get ready to put in all the required work, the stunning six-packs you always wanted will soon start showing.
Author Bio: Lyuthar Jacobs
Lyuthar is a Health and Lifestyle addict who blogs at Dealslands.co.uk. He is that kind of geek who loves to write about Lifestyle hacks, Money Saving, and Finance. In the above post, he is sharing tips on what are the best exercises for building an incredible sick pack.
Are you tired of cycling, weight lifting, aerobics, and running because they don’t work for you? Well, here is some excellent news for you: sex is the ultimate body workout!
Most workouts are tedious, tiresome, and expensive at times if you compare them with sex. Is pleasure guaranteed if you lift weights and run every day? Do you have the discipline to work out regularly? If that’s your case, you can turn sex into your favorite training routine. By far the most pleasurable workout, sex is really incomparable to other workouts.
Most people make love because they want to have fun, and little do they know that they’re actually exercising. More so often, you often hear people complain of tiredness after sex.
The reason why most people don’t consider making love as a full body workout is that they forget how much effort really goes into this enjoyable activity. If all the exercises would so fun like this one, imagine how physically fit everyone could be!
According to many studies, because sex engages all body muscles, some really consider it the ultimate training for both body and mind. As awkward that may sound, this alone should give you a reason to spend more time between the sheets!
Interesting Things You Should Know About Sex
According to a study conducted by the University of Montreal, women burn approximately 69 calories during an average sex session. Besides, if you thought sex is only a workout for women, you are wrong because most men consume about 100 calories during intercourse.
The body has 657 muscles, and you need to exercise all these muscles in order to stay healthy.
For instance, golf exercises 137 muscles, break-dance 133, texting 38, and crying uses 17 muscles. Also, most workout routines usually don’t involve too many muscles, but sex, if done correctly, can exercise all of them. Is it any wonder then that sex is so awesome?
Besides, even though some people refer to the penis as the man’s love muscle, to many people’s surprise, the penis doesn’t contain any muscles.
With each minute you spend engaged in sexual intercourse, you will burn approximately 3.6 calories, which is a higher number of calories you consume while walking. Finally, the best thing about sex is that you’ll rarely feel that you are exercising because of the pleasure involved in it.
Benefits of Sex
Most people look for a suitable workout routine to benefit from improved sleep, to stay physically fit, reduce stress, improve productivity, and reduce the chances of sickness. Sex, done regularly, allows you to enjoy all these benefits. Below, you'll find out what are the best advantages to having great sex.
Improved heart health
Just like other physical activities, good sex is great for your heart. People who have sex more frequently have fewer chances of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. By increasing the flow of blood leading to improved heart activity, sex burns a lot of calories and helps to keep your weight in check.
If you experience sleep problems, having sex could be very beneficial to you. If you think an intense gym session can do the trick, wait until after you have sex. Sex will make you instantly feel like sleeping. As soon as you have a fantastic session with your partner, you’ll sleep like a baby.
How come good sex makes you sleep so rapidly?
Well, when having an orgasm, a prolactin hormone connected to sleep gets released into the bloodstream. For women the levels of estrogen in the body also goes up, which also leads to better sleep.
You have probably heard people advocate for exercise as a way to reduce stress. In addition to being more pleasurable than working out, according to a recent study conducted on 46 people, sex can alleviate stress before public speaking.
If done correctly, this specific “bedroom training” can do miracles because of the movement of hips during sex release tension and stress. Making love lowers not only the level of cortisol the body, but it also boosts the level of oxytocin. If just a hug can calm you down, imagine what effect sex can have! You can only try for yourself and share the results with us!
Boosts your immune system
People who frequently have sex have better protection against viruses and germs. Sex increases the number of antibodies in the body thus strengthening your immune system. To avoid falling sick often, have more sex, and you'll definitely become healthier.
Reduced risk of prostate cancer
Men who ejaculate over 21 times a month compared to those who do so about four times are less likely to suffer from prostate cancer. Cancer is a dreadful disease, so it’s important to try and prevent it by any means possible. If you want to reduce the chances of developing prostate cancer, it's recommended to spend more time between the sheets.
Skin that glows and looks younger
If given an option, we would all want to stay young forever. Besides getting wiser as we age, most of us are not happy when our skin begins to show signs of old age. Some people exercise a lot to stay young-looking, but sex can also help a great deal.
If you are dying for that smooth skin, you can easily achieve it through making love. Last but not least, sex promotes not only glowing skin, which is a result of reduced stress and improved blood flow, but also comes with long-term health benefits.
Best Exercises to Be Bedroom Fit
Now that you have learned about the benefits of sex, it’s time to find out which exercises can help you improve your sexual experience. We all want to be great in bed, but how many of us actually know what it takes? If you want your sexual performance to improve, you don't really need to take Viagra!
By exercising regularly, you can turn into a real beast in bed. Below you’ll find suggestions on how to speed up this process.
Have you always wondered how you could become a bedroom athlete or Olympian? It’s easy, train like a professional! Because lifting weights leads to increased production of testosterone boosts male libido, most doctors will also advocate for strength training as a means to improve sex drive.
Recent studies have confirmed that there is a link between increased levels of testosterone in the body when people are engaged in strenuous exercises. For performing in the bedroom like an Olympian, you need a strong upper body.
To reach your goal, it is advisable that you do crunches, sit-ups, and push-ups. You mainly use the muscles in the upper part of the body during intercourse, so building muscles through these exercises will definitely make you a better lover!
Named after a physician known as Arnold Kegel, Kegel exercises are another excellent exercise for men who want to achieve the best performance in bed. As an exercise, Kegel increases endurance and leads to the toning of the pubococcygeus muscles which help you to control the flow of urine. Besides, doing Kegel exercises also strengthens your pelvic muscles which significantly improves your sex life.
Additionally, Kegels can also be used to delay ejaculation. To perform these exercises, begin by interrupting your urine flow. If you start doing this every time you go the restroom, you'll soon be able to squeeze your PC muscles any place and any time.
How To: Hold the muscles for about 10 seconds before you relax, and do as many repetitions as possible. As a result, you will have better control of ejaculation if you know when and how to contract these specific muscles.
Nowadays, yoga has become quite a trendy workout almost anywhere you go, and most people do it for health purposes. Besides, you can also spice up your sex life by learning new sex positions.
How To: You can practice the peacock pose, shoulder stand, and the bow pose. Also, yoga will increase your flexibility, and your muscles and bones will grow stronger. With such mind-blowing effects on both your health and sex life, yoga promises never to disappoint you!
Brisk walking is a great exercise that helps you maintain healthy blood flow and favors the elimination of fatty tissues by activating the blood circulation. Besides, some studies found that aerobic activities burn more than 200 calories daily which in return lower the ED risks. Among other vigorous activities, brisk walking and running make your body release endorphins, which in return will boost your sexual performance and relax you.
When you do fast walking, blood vessels such as arteries and veins will become a lot clearer, and this will make your erections longer and stronger. As stated in this Harvard research, aerobic exercises also lead to lower rates of erectile dysfunction, so why integrate brisk walking into your daily life?
As having sex, swimming is an activity of strength and endurance and introducing it to your weekly workouts will improve your sex life.
If you really want to improve our ability to perform in bed at a quicker pace, swim at least three times a week for about 30 minutes a session. Besides, fat loss will also promote the development of six-pack abs, which in return will make you look more attractive. As a direct result of swimming, an increasing number of people will become more attracted to you, and this will definitely boost your sexual performance.
Best Sex Positions as an Exercise
Most people consider the missionary position to be boring or a position you get into when you feel lazy or tired. Despite all those beliefs, Missionary can be a great workout!
For obtaining the best results, you have to engage enthusiastically in performing this activity, as your core muscles will start burning excessively. Being a workout which requires core strength, the back and forth thrusts will get certainly improve your overall physical health.
When in this position, you’ll feel a lot of pressure on your abs like you would feel when doing sit-ups exercises. Also, if you focus on lifting the pelvis, this can quickly become a great butt workout. Unlike running and weightlifting, the Missionary won't make you feel like giving up, and it will also bring you a lot of satisfaction at the end of each session.
Doggy style is a favorite sexual position for many people.
Besides being an excellent workout for the upper body, both men and women benefit from adding this to their sexual intercourse.
Firstly, a woman's core gets engaged when the penetration happens from behind. Secondly, because she stays on her fours, the man uses his glutes and quadriceps to perform in this position properly.
Also, women can touch the wall rather than the bed to increase muscle tension. No matter what you decide to do, you can always get creative while reaching your sexual health goals.
Everything about this position sounds like it was built to awaken your wild side, but Cowgirl can also be an excellent workout for legs, core and back muscles. Depending on a woman's flexibility, this sex position engages her lower abs and butt, and also makes a woman's pelvic muscles flex. You can easily get creative if she lies on the floor or bed with her legs bent back.
Because most people encounter some difficulty in trying to engage in the Lotus, this position is not quite common.
First, to be able to perform satisfactorily and support the physical demands, which this sexual position involves, a higher level of fitness is required. Similar to the missionary position, the Lotus is a passive sex position which in fact exercises the same muscles as those during the cowgirl style.
In practice, it is advisable that you try this position as often as possible because it will not only engage your glutes during thrusting, but it will also be beneficial for your core. The lotus sex position is one that involves many unused muscles, so make sure you find a comfortable position, and just take advantage of that close physical contact.
So, that's how you turn sex into a full body workout! If you're not convinced that sex involves all muscles, just try it tonight!
Also, most often sexual intercourse goes unnoticed as a workout session and also boosts the level of intimacy between partners. Why not forget about weightlifting and running, when keeping yourself healthy through can be so much fun?
By developing good, proper habits, you and your family can minimize the risk of common health conditions, and live to a ripe, old age.
Regardless of what generation you belong to, there are some life hacks which can give you and your family enough energy to enjoy life to the fullest.
However, because lifestyle design has nowadays become such a booming industry, it can be difficult to nail down what habits are worth forming, and which ones are the most beneficial, especially when the entire family is getting involved.
Today, we’re going to share the essential top ten habits which are going to help you and your family live their best life. So, let’s jump straight into it!
#1 – Talk About Your Body Positively
The way you speak your inner dialogue, and how you relate to your body is the way your children are going to grow up and see themselves. Because of this, it is vital that we speak in a kind and caring manner with ourselves so that our future children will inherit the same healthy habits.
Even if there are parts of your body you don't like, don’t forget to always focus on the things you love about your body. For instance, you can be thankful for the strength you have to lift your children and play with them.
#2 – Don’t Eat Too Many Packaged Foods
We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve grabbed a bag of chips or cereal box and just started eating straight out of it. In the long run, this habit might become a problem because it's close to impossible to portion your food when you're too hungry. Also, because of eating impulsively, you'll end up feeling guilty. What you could do instead of this to prevent you from overeating, is portion everything out. If you don't want your kids to pick up these habits from you, it's best to teach them early on how to eat and portion their food.
#3 – Eat Enough Fruit & Veg
The recommended daily dosage is five pieces of fruit and veg every single day, and it’s surprising how many families don’t manage to eat this amount. If you want to rip the benefits of healthy eating, you can start by simply having a piece of fruit with breakfast and then another one at lunch. After dinner, you can also eat another fruit. Regarding vegetables, you can add two types with your dinner, so you'll easily hit your five of day goal! Extra fruits and veggies, which you can add, will also be incredibly beneficial to your well-being.
#4 – Have a Meal as a Family Daily
It doesn't really matter which meal it is, as long as you eat it with your family. It's important for families to spend time together, and mealtime can become an incredible occasion to connect and communicate. To improve family relationships, simply chose one meal a day where you can all sit together and catch up on everything that’s been going on.
#5 – Let Kids Help you Out
When you're making dinner, it can be a good idea to get your children involved. If you let your kids help out, you can have more quality time together. Besides, if they help prepare the food, the chances to eat more vegetables are far more likely.
#6 – No Distractions in Family Times
After following the advice above, it is crucial to eat in a mindful manner when you're eating dinner as a family. Once sitting at a table, avoid using smartphones, tablets, computers or TVs. Let these distractions be something reserved after dinner when you can cuddle up on the sofa.
“Practice being mindful at the task at hand, rather than dividing your and your children’s attention up over different activities” shares Nina Smith, a health blogger for State of Writing and Eliteassignmenthelp.
#7 – Put Your Marital Relationship First
As a parent in a relationship, it’s important you put your relationship with your partner first, even before the one you have with your children. Even if you have one date night a month or glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed, it's essential to spend some time together.
After all, the happier you and your partner are, the more joyful your entire family unit becomes. Focus on your relationship first, so you can further nurture and build your relationship with your kids.
#8 – Get Outside Together
It’s quite hard to stay angry, in a mood or upset when you’re walking around outside with your family. Also, it's good to make walking a weekly habit. Whether you chose to walk in your local park or your neighborhood, you need to make sure you and your family get enough fresh air.
Leave devices and electronics at home and really engage in actual conversation with your family members and enjoy the time you’re having together.
#9 – Play Games
“As we get older, we tend to forget how the world looks like through a child's eye, and we stop appreciating the simple things in life, like the ability to be playful. We have a lot to learn from kids, but we need to be willing to be with them first! My advice to you is to play games with them and connect on a deeper level,” explains Sarah Hardy, a lifestyle writer, and blogger at Academized and Bigassignments.
#10 – Be Open About Life
There many things which a lot of parents are afraid to share or don’t want to talk about to their kids. For instance, you can be the one to teach them about safety plans in case a natural disaster occurs (if you live in a prone area), fireworks, disease, drugs, sex, alcohol, and many other things.
However, if your children don’t learn about them from you, they’re going to find out some other way which might not be the best way. In the end, it would be beneficial for both you and your kids to be open about everything.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can optimize your family's level of well being. By introducing these simple and healthy habits that everyone can follow, I can assure you your life will get a lot easier. The more often you follow through with these habits, the easier they’ll get, so why not start today?
It wasn’t long ago that kettlebells were practically unknown, and nobody knew how to train with them. These days, they have become an incredibly popular tool for fitness, andyou can practically find kettlebells at nearly any gym in the world.
However, most people still don't have the specialized knowledge to train with kettlebells. To eliminate the mystery around this type of workout, this series of articles will explain to you step by step how to safely and effectively start training with kettlebells.
At first glance, the kettlebell may seem intimidating, especially for those who are new to this. After all, a kettlebell is basically a cannonball welded onto a thick handle that you swing around your body in a ballistic manner; it’s natural to have a bit of fear!
Learning how to use a kettlebell isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s worth the time investment to get the fat-burning and muscle-building benefits that lifting kettlebells provides. Spending too much time sitting at a desk affects your glutes, hamstrings, upper back, and core.
Luckily, kettlebell training targets those specific areas of the body where you need to gain more strength and flexibility. While most often used for ballistic movements like swings, cleans and snatches, you can also perform standard dumbbell exercises with kettlebells.
The versatility and applicability of kettlebell training make kettlebells the perfect tool for both at-home fitness as well as group classes at a gym. Little space is needed, and an effective workout can take as little as 20 minutes and require just one or two kettlebells.
In part one of our Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners Series, we will perform a full body workout focusing on seven major compound movement patterns. This workout is designed to develop a solid foundation of strength, increase muscle definition, and improve endurance in all major muscle groups.
The workout requires only one kettlebell. We recommend that women start with a 6-8 kg (13-18 lbs) kettlebell, and men with a 10-12 kg (22-26 lbs) kettlebell.
The workout is split performed in two different ways:
- Consecutive Sets – perform three sets of 8-12 reps per exercise with 30-45 seconds of rest between sets.
- Circuit – perform each exercise for 60 seconds back-to-back, then rest for 60 seconds. Do 3 or 4 sets.
Primary Muscles Targeted: quadriceps, gluteal muscles, and hamstrings
- Stand upright with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold the sides of the kettlebell handle in both hands at chest height while keeping your elbows tucked in.
- Squat down, bending at the hips and knees while maintaining an upright, neutral spine.
- Lower down until your thighs are parallel or slightly below parallel with the floor. Tap the inside of your knees with your elbows. Push through your heels and return to the upright position, finishing with fully extended hips by contracting the glutes.
Single Arm Overhead Press
Primary Muscles Targeted: deltoids, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and triceps
- Start with the kettlebell in the rack position. Hands need to be inserted through the bell handle fully, so the handle lays diagonal across your palm, and the kettlebell is resting in the V of your shoulder, elbow, and hand.
- Activate your lats by depressing and retracting your shoulder, then press the kettlebell overhead, extending your arm fully and locking your elbow out in the top position. Make sure to squeeze your glutes and brace your core throughout the press.
- Lower the kettlebell back down to the start position, keeping the lats active by depressing the shoulder (this will set you up for a strong rep to follow).
- Repeat the movement on the other side.
Single Arm Bent Row
Primary Muscles Targeted: latissimus dorsi, rear deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, erector spinae.
- Similar to a lunge stance, place one of your legs forward and bend the other one in the back. Hinge at the hips and put the kettlebell on the floor on the side opposite to your front foot. Hold the handle with the opposite side hand. Maintain a neutral (flat) spine position throughout the movement.
- Lift the kettlebell by drawing your elbow toward your belly button, and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Instead of pulling your elbow up as high as you can, focus on creating tension through the lats and upper back by pulling your shoulder blade down and back. The elbow should just come to the side of the ribs or slightly above if the goal is targeting your back muscles.
- Lower the kettlebell back to the floor and release the shoulder blade before reengaging it for the next repetition.
- Repeat movement on the other side.
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Primary Muscles Targeted: hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and erector spinae
- Start with your feet about hip-width apart, the kettlebell between the feet. After you slightly bend your knees, hinge at the hips. Grab hold of the kettlebell handle with both hands. The shoulders should be over the toes. The spine should be neutral, with shoulders at or above hip level, and upper back muscles engaged.
- Descend and touch the floor with the kettlebell. As you come back up, extend the hips into a standing position while contracting the glutes to complete the movement.
- In subsequent repetitions, only go down as far as you can while maintaining a neutral spine with a slight bend in the knees. If you can't maintain a neutral spine while you bring the kettlebell all the way down to the floor, use a box or elevated platform to limit your movement.
Lying Chest Press
Primary Muscles Targeted: pectoralis major, deltoids, and triceps.
- Lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Bring the kettlebells into position on either side of your body. Insert your hands through the handles fully and keep your elbows tightly next to your body.
- Press the kettlebells up and over the chest while the elbows get locked out. Lower the kettlebell back down until the elbows touch the floor. Keep the lower back flat throughout the movement.
Straight Arm Crunch
Primary Muscles Targeted: rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and hip flexors
- Lie on your back with your feet flat and knees bent, hands holding onto either side of the kettlebell handle (the heavy bottom of the kettlebell up toward the ceiling).
- Engage your core by lifting the shoulder blades and then the upper back up off the floor for a few inches. Push the kettlebell toward the ceiling. Keep your neck in a neutral position (avoid excessively pulling your chin into the chest).
- Slowly lower the shoulder blades back down to the floor, vertebrae by vertebrae. Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise.
Offset Farmer Carry
Primary Muscles Targeted: full body
- Use a single arm deadlift with a neutral spine to come to a standing position, holding the kettlebell by the handle in one hand to the side of your body.
- Walk at a controlled speed, maintaining an upright neutral spine with core engaged and shoulder blades pinched together.
- Switch the kettlebell to the other side and repeat.
- Carry the kettlebell for about 30 seconds – 1 minute per arm.
As you build strength and endurance, you will be able to increase weight and reps. You should always ensure that you are executing all kettlebell movements with proper form to avoid injury.
Stay tuned for more beginner kettlebell workouts in part two of our 10-part Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners Series.
About Kettlebell Kings
Kettlebell Kings is a premium-quality kettlebell and kettlebell content provider, based in Austin, Texas. You can view our equipment, kettlebell how-to’s, and get expert advice at www.kettlebellkings.com. For more information, call us at 855-7KETTLE to learn more.
Among gym-lovers, recreational runners, and professional athletes alike, muscle soreness is considered a hard-earned prize for their efforts. As painful as it may be, sore muscles are a clear sign you’ve crushed your workout, pushed your boundaries, and your body got enough stimulation to grow stronger and more resilient.
However, what most workout novices fail to understand is that muscle growth and recovery will not happen on their own, no matter how mighty you may feel with those sore muscles.
When it comes to physical recovery, professional athletes have mastered the art of crafting the best recovery routines to enable their bodies to fully utilize the effort they’ve put into their workouts and truly achieve their fitness goals.
Understanding that growth and progress don’t happen in the gym is vital, and only by following pro-recommended techniques you can know for sure when is the best time to time off for recovery.
Because we want you to progress towards your fitness goals, let’s see what some of the world’s most renowned athletes consider to be their best recovery strategies, not just to beat sore muscles, but to live up to their true fitness potential.
Active recovery sessions
Most people can barely fit their workouts into their busy schedule, so asking them to add a bit more physical activity would most likely be greeted with pure disbelief. However, the idea of rest and recovery are different for getting sick, catching the flu, or wrapping up a strenuous workout.
For the former, every physician would tell you to take it down a notch or two, while the latter actually requires you to move your body in order to help your muscles recover properly.
Some enthusiasts will find it difficult to use their rest day to take a stroll in the park or do some yoga, while the busy bees among you will struggle with the concept of including more active time into their routine.
Whichever your issue may be, the solution is as simple as it gets: walking.
This simple activity not only helps to reduce inflammation that causes soreness, but it also boosts microcirculation to flush out toxins and reduces the stiffness associated with post-workout soreness.
Improve your nutrition and hydration
Feeding your muscles the right nutrients is essential not just for curbing soreness, but also for helping muscle protein synthesis.
In order to use your diet properly to aid your recovery, make sure to focus on including healthy carbs that will replenish your glycogen stores, and lean protein to build new muscle and repair muscle tissue affected by your training session.
Furthermore, you need to drink plenty of fluids, especially water and electrolyte-infused water to kick your muscles into recovery mode. Some athletes even mix their protein into pure water instead of milk to meet both of their hydration and nutrition needs post-workout with a single move.
By timing your meals and your water intake right, not just after your training but before and regularly during the day, you’ll maximize the speed of recovery and minimize the intensity of soreness that follows.
Look at mother nature and allow her to work for you.
Science keeps revealing new ways to utilize natural means such as plants to heal our sore muscles, which is especially appreciated by the likes of Andrew Talansky, whose grueling triathlon preparations take a severe toll on his muscles and performance.
Like many other professional and recreational athletes, he has started using cannabidiol, or CBD for short, to mitigate his muscle soreness and more importantly, help his body heal well enough for the next round of strenuous exercise. As one of the main active compounds found in marijuana, CBD is responsible for reducing pain, anxiety, improving sleep quality and many other perks, without the “high” side-effect.
Due to this fact, a growing number of athletes across the world have started using marijuana concentrates and other forms high in CBD to bolster their recovery after workouts. This active ingredient alone can help reduce pain and inflammation that caused by injuries, all the while improving other aspects of your recovery regime, including appetite and sleep.
The only prerequisites involve two factors: first, that CBD has to be legal in your region, and second, that the strain you’re using isn’t high in THC, so it won’t actively get you feeling “high”.
Cryotherapy at its best
Do names such as Shaquille O'Neal and Floyd Mayweather ring any bells?
Considering the fame they earned through their athletic careers, in basketball and boxing respectively, their choice of recovery has to be acknowledged as successful as their careers. The notion of cryotherapy, or using freezing and near-freezing temperatures to improve health, wellbeing, and of course, fitness recovery, may seem a new one outside of elite circles, but it’s an already widely-embraced practice worth considering for your own recovery regime.
However, if this sounds like an extreme you’re not yet ready to try out, the least you can do is treat your body with a bit of cold water while you shower, and your muscles will still benefit from this.
Of course, you start at a temperature you usually use for showering and gradually get to a colder one, which will boost your blood flow and help your entire body detox properly. Cold compression is another way to go, especially if your joints are achy, which is where the cold helps reduce localized inflammation rather successfully.
Professional sports massages
We all know that a tough workout will lead to damage in the muscle tissue, but to what extent, only a professional massage therapist will know. Pro athletes from all fields rush to book their time with their massage therapist, as they understand how important it is to prevent injuries and treat those sore trigger points with pressure.
Unlike a regular, relaxing massage, sports massages can be quite painful, which may sound counter-intuitive if all you’re looking for is momentary relief from sore muscles. However, this is one of the most effective long-term methods that helps fitness enthusiast stay safe while working out and treat any scar tissue resulting from strenuous workouts.
Specific methods may offer short-term relief, while others focus on long-term results, but all of them combined are a great way to combat exercise-induced soreness as well as a slew of other side-effects.
It’s vital that fitness lovers everywhere start embracing a recovery-focused mindset to actually reap the benefits of their workouts and truly accomplish their health goals.
About the Author: Scarlet Gratton
Scarlet is a passionate writer and regular contributor at ripped.me, and she’s interested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves traveling; one could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit exotic destinations. She thinks that we can draw inspiration from the most unexpected places.
Modern society has made people less and less concerned about health, and going to the gym has nearly vanished from our daily routines. Nonetheless, this doesn't necessarily mean that you're doomed to live a sedentary life.
This article will introduce you to the principles of how to crush your fitness resolutions from home with 13 effective workouts.
To maintain a healthy body in the comfort of your home, you will learn how to get rid of your stresses and worries by investing a few minutes in keeping you fit any time and anywhere you want.
The squat is indeed one of the most straightforward exercises. No matter where you decide to train, the squat is the movement you should regularly do to be in good shape. This exercise is perfect for the back, upper thigh muscles, and buttocks and the way to do it is uncomplicated. You need to prepare a small space and follow the instructions below.
How to do:
- Stand straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart while both hands stay loose.
- Push buttocks backward and gradually lower the body to the squatting posture, and simultaneously take a deep breath. Extend your hands in front of you to help keep your balance.
- Gradually stand straight again and breathe out at the same time. Do 3 sets with 12-15 reps per set.
- While doing the squads, the knees should not exceed the tips of the feet.
Note: Always squeeze your abdominal muscles to keep your body in balance. Keep your back straight, and breathe evenly and adequately.
Plank is the easiest and most effective home exercise for our belly muscles. If you want to lose belly fat, this is a valuable exercise. Only 60 seconds per day to practice a plank can make your belly muscles firm, and if you increase the frequency to 2 -3 reps per set, results are guaranteed to appear even quicker.
Plank affects the overall abdominal muscles, firming the skin along the way. Plank isn’t hard to perform, but its technique needs to be executed correctly.
How to do:
- Position your body on a flat floor.
- Put your elbows and wrists against the ground to create a 90-degree angle to the chest and floor.
- Straighten your back with two feet touching the ground.
- Straighten the body as your entire upper part is parallel to the ground.
- Hold the posture 60s (the first time can be 30s and then gradually increase to 60s).
3. Wide Grip Push-ups
Regular push-ups not only help improve your health but also enhance your quality of life and make you happier. Wide grip push-ups help develop the chest and hand muscles and boost the metabolism.
As you engage in this exercise, your body temperature increases, which supports digestive processes and metabolism to burn calories and provide energy. If you incorporate push-ups into your workout routine, this alone will make you lose weight faster.
How to do:
- Put two hands on the floor, and create a distance between them which is greater than the shoulders, and keep your legs straight.
- Lift your hips so that your heels and shoulders lie in a line.
- Tighten the buttocks and abdominal muscles.
- Slowly stretch your elbows and lower the body while taking at the same time a deep breath until your chest is close to the ground, and the arms and forearms form an angle of 90 degrees.
- Push against the floor and gradually lift the body to the starting posture while you simultaneously and slowly breathe out.
- Repeat the movement for several sets with 20-30 reps per set, with a 50-60 seconds interval between each.
In addition to burning calories and fat, push-up exercises manage to produce mood enhancer hormones, like endorphins. Therefore, a daily routine of push-ups will make you feel happier.
4. Decline Push-ups
How to do:
- Prepare a chair about 0.5m in height.
- Put 2 feet on the chair, two hands down to the floor, lift the hips and let the weight of your body sink into your hands.
- Perform push-ups until the face is near the floor and stop for 1 second.
- Lift the body back to the starting posture then repeat. Remember to take a breath correctly while performing this exercise.
- Do 10-20 reps per set.
5. Close Grip Push-up
Also known as the diamond push-up, this exercise is perfect for a whole arm and chest muscles workout. Before doing these push-ups, you should start with regular ones, as this exercise is considered quite hard for beginners.
How to do:
- Start with a push-up posture, legs closed, and your back straightened. The index fingers and thumbs need to be close to each other to make a diamond-shaped form.
- Perform push-ups in this posture and try to go as deep as possible while you take a deep breath at the same time.
- Push the body up, and slowly breathe out.
- Do 10-20 reps per set.
6. Ball Twist (Home Gym For Intercostals Muscles)
Doing a ball twist requires a flat floor and a wall, so you can easily practice this at home. This exercise has the most impact on the intercostal muscles and helps you achieve a firmer waistline.
How to do:
- Sit down and stretch your legs in front of you.
- Keep your back straight and lean against the wall or maintain it in a vertical position.
- Hold a ball in front of the chest with both of your hands.
- Take the ball from right to left, and always keep your hands high in front of your chest.
- Do several sets with 15 reps per set.
7. Table Top Leg Extension
This exercise affects the thighs and lower abdomen the most. Besides this, not only does this exercise help train the body’s strength but also it also burns the lower abdominal fat effectively. Therefore, doing this exercise on a regular basis will bring you a much firmer belly.
How to do:
- Start with a 4-leg table posture with two hands and two knees touching the ground.
- Lift your right leg straight ahead of your face while kicking your left leg straight backward.
- Keep the posture for several seconds.
- Switch legs and do 10 reps for each side.
8. Lying Glute Bridge
If you are looking for a light exercise at home, you may choose the lying glute bridge. If you practice this movement every day, it will help to “wake up” hip muscles and reduce belly fat very fast, resulting in more flexibility in the hip area. For men, this exercise can be an excellent trick for better love-making.
How to do:
- Firstly, lie on the floor, knees bent, legs closed. Each foot should be 30-40 cm away from the buttocks.
- Squeeze the abdominal muscles and press the heels to the floor. Lift the hips slowly off the floor, and hold it there for 2 seconds. Gently lower your hips and repeat.
- Do 3 sets with 15 reps per set.
9. Glute Bridge Leg Lift
This exercise is somewhat similar to the flying glute bridge one, but it’s a bit harder to do. The glute bridge leg lifting helps to enhance and firm the muscle groups around the buttocks and hips. As a result, this exercise helps control the activity of both hips and thigh bones.
How to do:
- Lie on your back, two hands parallel to the body, knees bent.
- Lift the left leg, and then gradually lift the whole hip area. At the same time, you need to breathe out and put pressure on the hip while the right knee, abdomen, and chest make a line.
- Slowly lower both the hip and the left leg but don’t let the hips touch the floor. Take a deep breath in through your nose while you change the leg.
- Repeat the same process with the right leg.
- Do 3 sets with 12-15 reps per set.
10. Jump Squat
Jump squat is a one of a kind cardio exercise that helps to reduce body fat very fast. Since it makes you sweat out a lot and burn many calories as you jump, it also helps to firm buttocks and thigh areas. Therefore, if you want to tone and improve your thighs and leg muscles and at the same time sculpt a better muscle shape, do not miss this home exercise.
How to do:
- First, stand straight. Create a distance between your feet which is equal and parallel from one shoulder to the other.
- Gradually bend two knees and slow the body to the squat posture. The knees shouldn’t exceed the tip of the foot.
- Put the pressure on the leg, and then jump up as high as possible. Vigorously push the hands upwards at the same time.
- Go back to the squat posture, and repeat the movements.
- Do 3 sets with 12-15 reps per set.
11. Jump Lunges
The jump lunge exercise is quite new to many people. It is a combination of knee lunges and jumps, and it helps you burn fat effectively. However, if you are not used to it, you will find that doing these at home will make your legs feel “tired.”
How to do:
- Start in a straight up position, with the right leg stepping forward. Gradually dip down so that the thigh of the right leg is parallel to the floor, while the left thigh is perpendicular to the floor. Note that the left knee doesn’t touch the floor while you keep your back straight and eyes looking forward.
- In the lunge position, always keep the neck and back straight. Stand up slowly and jump as high as possible.
- Go back to the original posture and change legs.
- Do 3 sets with 12-15 reps per set.
This exercise focuses on the abdominal area, especially the upper part. It helps to burn belly fat and firm up the abdomen. If you want to build muscles in this area, do not skip this exercise.
How to do:
- Start with lying on your back and bend the knees to make a 90-degree angle.
- Cross your hands together and put them behind the head.
- Slowly squeeze your belly, push the shoulders and head as high as possible so that your elbows touch your knee. Breathe out at the same time.
- Gradually settle down and take a deep breath.
- Do at least 3 sets with 12-15 reps per set.
- Remember to breathe evenly.
13. Bicycle Climber
Bicycle Crunches, also known as bicycle climber, is considered a great home gym exercise for men who want to build stomach muscles effectively. If you work out regularly and correctly, you can get rid of the fat layer that covers the muscles.
How to do:
- Lie on your back, with hands behind the head.
- Lift your upper body until it forms a bent posture.
- Slowly raise your left knee until it's perpendicular to the ground. Extend the remaining leg until it becomes parallel to the floor.
- Make your feet look like you’re riding a bicycle as fast as possible. One leg goes in as the other goes out. The more you extend your legs, the more you’re going to fire up your quad muscles. Do it continuously until you are too tired to continue.
With these 13 exercises, no matter how busy you are with work, you still can improve your fitness performance on a daily basis.
Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that exercising cannot bring great results if you only do it for a short period. You can expect great results only if you are patient and determined to work out on a daily basis.
READ ALSO: The Ultimate Guide on How to Make Your Workouts More Effective
Author Bio: Emily Pham
Emily Pham is a blogger with many years of experience in searching for the best natural home remedies for beauty and health issues. All content provided is for informational and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate for you.