Archive for March, 2009

How to Turn Your Batwings Into Nice Shapely Arms

Yes, I said bat wings.  You know those flaps that sling back and forth when you raise your arms while wearing those cute sleeveless tops that every woman wants to wear in the summer time.  I don’t know about you but the last thing I want to do is be flapping in the summer time breeze.  So how can you turn those bat wings into nice shapely arms that you would love to show off in your new sleeveless top?  One of the most effective ways to tighten up those arms is with an exercise called the tricep dips.  The wonderful thing about tricep dips is that you can do them just about anywhere.

How to:

Place two flat surfaces, for instances benches or chairs, parallel to each other approximately 3-4 feet apart. 

Sit on one bench with your feet facing the other bench.  Place your hands on the side of the bench holding on to the bench. 

Use your hands to support your weight and lift your feet to the top of the other bench supporting the rest of your body between the two benches.

Slowly lower your body toward the floor by bending your elbows forming a right angle (90 degrees) with your elbow.  (DON’T GO BELOW 90 DEGREES).  Slowly straighten your arms moving up towards the starting position.

Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps or for a real burn do a couple of sets of burnouts.  (Burnouts is performing as many reps as your body will allow you too, complete exhaustion of the muscle)  Expect to be sore for a couple of days.  The reward: Great looking arms.

March 30, 2009 at 10:13 am Leave a comment

Compound Movements

liveliving-image-777Name: Richard Miranda
Role: ePersonal Trainer
Favorite exercises: Compound movements
Why compound movements? “I like compound movements because more muscle groups are being used and more calories burn.”
What is an example of a compound movement?: Full Barbell Squat

How to execute a full barbell squat:liveliving-image-778

1. Grasp bar with overhand grip (palms forward) and slightly wider than hip width apart. Step under bar and position bar across posterior deltoids at middle of trapezius (as shown). DO NOT rest bar on neck. Lift elbows up, pull shoulder blades together, and lift chest up to create a “shelf” for the bar.

2. Start position: Using the legs, remove bar from rack. Stand with feet slighter wider than hip width apart. Back should be straight in a neutral position.

3. Lower body by flexing at the hips and knees. Upper body can flex forward at the hips slightly (~5°) during movement. Be sure to “sit back” so that knees stay over the feet.

4. Once thighs are parallel to floor, return to start position.

5. Remember to keep head and back straight in a neutral position – hyperextension or flexion may cause injury. Keep weight over the middle of foot and heel, not the toes.

6. DO NOT allow knees to go past the big toe or deviate medially or laterally throughout movement. Keep abdominals tight throughout exercise by drawing stomach in toward spine.

Click here to read about LiveLiving ePersonal training. Access ePersonal trainer profiles and enroll in an ePersonal training program with a special offer to lose 7 – 10 pounds in 30 days or get your money back guarantee.

March 27, 2009 at 9:06 am 1 comment

No Nonsense

livelivings-image-1019

Kevin Willis spent over 21 years in the NBA as a power forward / center. During that time, this Christian athlete played on several different teams. The longest spurt was with the Atlanta Hawks, whom he played with from 1984-94 and 2004-2005. I had the privilege of talking to him about priorities and ways we can all learn how to “dejunk” our lives. In this exclusive interview, Kevin, shares his personal mantra for “no nonsense” and keeping things in right order.

LL: What do the words, “dejunking your life” mean to you?
KW: You have to distance yourself from insincere people. In the line of professional sports, you realize people have different motives. Some look at your status and what they can get from you. You have to determine what’s real and what’s not. For over 21 years, I played in the NBA and met a lot of different people. Some have your best interest at heart and some just want to be part of the show. Surround yourself with sincere people.

Click here to read more on “Dejunking Your Life” an interview with former NBA basketball player, Kevin Willis by Dana Williams in LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness eMagazine.

March 25, 2009 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Strengthening the Back and the Abs

Last week I talked about the Transverse Abdominius muscle, the one that pulls everything in the midsection up and in. This week I am going to address the entire core complex.

The “PLANK” exercise is a great way to strengthen the core by building endurance in both the abs and back, including the stabilizer muscles for the spinal column.

livelivings-image-725Not only is this exercise great for protecting your back for lifting, carrying, and performing all those activities you do daily, but also this exercise is the second layer of support for the Transverse Abdominius muscle.

The PLANK is performed this way:
1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows / forearms.
3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air.
5. Hold for 20 seconds working your way up to a 60 second hold, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps daily.

March 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Walking Lunges for Great Legs and a Shapely Butt

LiveLiving image 119Name: Tonya Mitchell, DPT, ATC
Role: Director of ePersonal Training
Favorite functional exercise: Walking Lunges
Why walking lunges? This is an exercise that will shape and tone your entire lower body. It is a functional exercise as well as a shaping exercise. You can do them anywhere! I absolutely love walking lunges and recommend to everyone who not only wants good looking legs, but also a shapely derriere. They are great for strengthening the legs for walking, running, sports activities, or just being able to transfer from a sitting position to standing.

How to execute a walking lunge:
1. Start position: Stand with feet hip width apart.
2. Step forward 2-3 feet forming a 90° bend at the front hip and knee. DO NOT allow front knee to extend past the big toe – may cause injury.
3. Push body up and move the back foot beside the front foot. Alternate feet and repeat.
4. Remember to keep head and back upright in a neutral position. Shoulders and hips should remain squared at all times.
5. Watch for proper knee alignment – do not let front knee extend past big toe or deviate laterally or medially. Back knee should not come in contact with floor.
livelivings-workout-image-700*To make this exercise more challenging try it holding a dumbbell in each hand.

 

March 20, 2009 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

The Belly Lift

liveliving-image-610Face lifts pull saggy skin up and back to reduce wrinkles, but what about your abdominal muscles or your stomach? You know that unsightly pouch that many women experience after pregnancy. Or how about that gut that hangs out over those, oh, so cute jeans you bought in hopes that you would lose enough weight to wear them? Well, guess what? It is now time to pack up those big sweaters you wore to cover up those extra holiday pounds, and break out the bathing suits and cute T’s you wear in the summertime or when you go to the beach on that much deserved vacation. Not to mention a vacation is supposed to help you get away from the stress of life, so the last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to look in your summer wardrobe.

If you want to pull that pouch in or tighten up your abs to eliminate the rolls hanging over those cute jeans then you definitely need to become friends with your TRANSVERSE ABDOMINUS MUSCLE, better known as the corset muscle of the abdominal group. This is the most important muscle in the abdominal group, but it has been the most overlooked when it comes to training. If you place your hands on your stomach (lower portion) and cough you will feel this muscle push out against your fingers. Training this muscle will lift your abdominal wall, gut, up and in, therefore decreasing the belly bulge, or pouch, we all hate to see in the mirror.

The best way to work the Transverse Abdominus muscle is with the vacuum exercise.

liveliving-image-600Lie on your back with your knees bent. Inhale through your nose, allowing your lungs to expand fully. Exhale through your mouth, press your abs strongly inward as if you are trying to push your navel towards your spine. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds and continue to breathe. (If you are holding your breath then you are using the WRONG muscle, diaphragm, not your transverse abdominus muscle.) Repeat 10 times. Once you have mastered this exercise in the lying down position, practice it in sitting and standing. After this has become a habit you will notice a flatter, stronger, and more attractive midsection.

March 16, 2009 at 11:32 am 2 comments

Burn Calories with the Clean Hang

LiveLiving image 115Name: Paul Mitchell
Role: ePersonal Trainer
Favorite weight training exercise: Clean Hang
Why the clean hang? Because not only is it a total body exercise, which tends to allow the body to burn more calories and produce more of the body’s natural growth hormones, but it also forces you to move the weight at a faster pace than most other exercises, which means constantly recruiting more muscle fibers.

Click here to read about LiveLiving ePersonal training. Access ePersonal trainer profiles and enroll in an ePersonal training program with a special offer to lose 7 – 10 pounds in 30 days or get your money back guarantee.

March 13, 2009 at 3:27 am Leave a comment

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