5 must-do exercises for a flat & sexy tummy

Danielle Collins lists out 5 exercises to tone your tummy which can be done at home.

SaturdayArticle

We Indians have this problem of a protruding tummy even if we are slim otherwise. It has to do with the way we eat and our lack of exercise. Most people think they need to join expensive gyms and do 100 crunches everyday (read why just crunches don’t work) to get those celeb-like flat abs. But the truth is it is just about eating the right food, doing some belly-busting yoga poses and trying these simple exercises. Calculate how much weight you can lose in a month here.

Lift and Twist Crunch
Lift and Twist CrunchThis is a Pilates exercise and is excellent for trimming the waist and toning the tummy.
  • Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bring the hands behind the back of the neck, lift and twist the upper body to one side and bring your elbow towards the opposite knee.
  • Inhale, lower back down.
  • Exhale, lift and twist towards the other side, inhale return to starting position.
  • Keep this movement going and you can start to speed it up a little bit once you get comfortable with the exercise.
  • Then, start to extend one leg out as you go.
  • Keep pulling the lower tummy muscles up and breathe deeply.
  • To advance it further, you can start to tap the heel of the extended leg on to the floor.

This will work the lower tummy muscles even more therefore giving support and strength to the lower back. Aim for doing it for 30 seconds in one go.

The Plank The Plank

  • Lie down on your tummy and then come on your palms and toes.
  • Lift the knees off the floor.
  • Draw your tummy muscles up and breathe deeply into the side and back of the rib cage. Aim to hold the pose for 30 seconds.
The Hundred Exercise

The HundredThis classic Pilates exercise defines the tummy muscles and promotes a strong and healthy back.

  • Bring the legs in to a table top position, hip-width apart.
  • Lift the arms up off the floor and lift the head, neck and chest upwards, being careful not to strain the neck but taking the strain to the tummy. Start to pulse the arms up and down.
  • If you would like to advance the pose, extend the legs up towards the sky.
  • Keep the tummy muscles taught and aim to continue for 50 seconds.

Static Tiger PoseStatic-Tiger-pose

  • Place your hands and knees on the floor. This is the starting position.
  • Now lift up one leg and extend the opposite arm. Hold this Static Tiger Pose for 3 deep breaths.
  • Come back to the starting position and swap sides, extending arm and opposite leg.
  • You can look down towards the mat to keep the spine in line. This exercise will build core strength.

Sitting Spinal TwistSitting Spinal Twist

  • Sit on the floor and cross your legs.
  • Place one hand next to your hip and the other on the knee.
  • Rotate the spine and look over one shoulder into a Sitting Spinal Twist.
  • Inhale. Exhale back to centre.
  • Swap sides, rotating and looking over the shoulder. Inhale. Exhale back to centre.

This pose will trim and define the waist.

 

 

 

 

original post found here: http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/exercises-for-a-flat-tummy/

 

APPLE CIDER’S JOURNEY TO FITNESS: Hello Rice… Oh No Lunges!

Sponsored By: LeanStop.com

 

I started the week off great so my coach allowed me 100g of rice for 1 meal once a day. Hello rice… I missed you! For one of my meals I had fish, veggies & 100g of rice.

Here’s an example of what my meals consist of:

STEAMED MAYA-MAYA FISH with JASMINE RICE

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Can you believe this meal is only 333 calories!? How awesome is that… Here’s the breakdown:

50 grams cucumber = 8 calories

100 grams steamed fish with tomato sauce = 120 calories

100 grams sauteed vegetables = 75 calories

100 grams jasmine rice = 130 calories

Last time I showed you a couple of upper body exercises, but this time we did a lot of lower body exercises. The clip below shows me doing a few lunges with dumbbells.

Of all the exercises I learned this week, lunges would have to be hardest and most despised by yours truly. However, my coach tells me it will result in a stronger lower body. Of course I will believe her… and will continue to “Suffer” through lunges. So here’s to a more awesome butt and defined legs!

If you missed last week’s update you can read about it here and here. Until then, stay tuned for more Apple Cider’s Journey to Fitness!

5 Moves To A Better Butt

FridayArticle

Everyone wants a better butt, no buts about it! These five exercises will help you build a pro-level posterior.

Let’s get one thing clear: It’s all about the bum. Sure, built biceps fill out a shirt and six-pack abs are the prize of every beachgoer, but the back is where it’s at. A bodacious booty is essential to a good physique—and not just for stage-bound fitness contestants. Everyone seems to want a great bum. Photos of posteriors flood the Internet and are often the most viewed—and “liked”—body part on social media. There’s just something magical about a beautiful butt!

“How do you get your butt like that?” is the fitness question I hear the most. And before you say it, yes, genetics play a part. Just like a pretty smile or clear skin, there are people born with a genetic booty advantage, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to improve your glutes. Women often turn to cardio to “get a butt,” but the clear path to a better booty doesn’t go through the treadmill or the elliptical. Instead, start with weights.

When it comes to training, I prefer to stick with the basics. People think they need 10 different exercises to fashion a fine pair of cheeks, but that’s not what it takes. When it comes to toning your glutes, you only need two things: drive and dedication—and I mean real dedication. You must train your glutes hard and diligently to get a great response. If you stop every time it gets difficult or whenever it burns, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Skip the skimpy weights to build a booty. Your butt gets bigger as it gets stronger, so use heavy weights that limit you to 5-12 reps per set. Need an extra boost of motivation? Use your workout log as a form of healthy competition.

Always try to beat your last butt-kicking (and building) workout by using heavier weights and increasing the number of sets and reps. Are you unsure where to start? Take a page from my book. Below are my five favorite booty-building exercises.

YOUR CHEEKY TRAINING PLAN

Weave one of these exercises into your regular workout plan one or two days per week. Believe it or not, this is more than enough time under tension to build the better butt you want.

More training isn’t always better. Targeting your glutes more than twice per week can actually slow down the butt-building process. Your glutes need ample time to rest, recover, and grow.

For each exercise, aim for 5-12 heavy reps. Always keep good form. As you progress, bump up the weight whenever necessary and mix the exercises you include.

EXERCISE 1 SQUATS

Squats are the king of lower-body exercises. Why? Well, they work pretty much every muscle in your legs while strengthening your core, hips, and lower back. Just make sure you get the most out of the movement. With a back squat, stopping at parallel or just barely below puts most of the emphasis on your quads, leaving your glutes less engaged.

Squatting until you’re below parallel—the lower the better—puts the emphasis on your glutes and hamstrings. The narrower your stance, the more focus you put on your quads.

When squatting, be sure to maintain proper form: Keep your legs shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly out.

EXERCISE 2 WEIGHTED WALKING LUNGES

BARBELL SQUAT

These elevate your heart rate and will make you sore the next day. With your arms at your sides and a dumbbell in each hand, step forward. Lunge and alternate legs with each step. Lunge low. Make sure your front knee never extends past your toes.

EXERCISE 3 BARBELL HIP THRUSTS

The hip thrust activates and builds the upper glutes to a much greater extent than squats, and even to a greater extent than deadlifts.

Sit on the ground with your back against a bench, feet planted firmly in front of you, and a padded barbell in your lap. Keep your knees stable, raise the barbell by extending your hips, and push your hips upward with your glutes.

Rise until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, then slowly lower back to the ground. Squeeze your glutes at the top.

EXERCISE 4 STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFTS

To do these properly and take the focus off your lower back, push your hips back as far as you can until you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. I prefer to keep my feet positioned in a close stance, but you can make them sumo—feet wider than shoulder-width apart and slightly pointed out—to switch things up.

Keep the bar as close to your legs as you can. Keep your back straight. Go down as low as you can while feeling a deep stretch, and then come back up. Don’t let your lower back round.

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT

EXERCISE 5 BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS

With these, as with most exercises, positioning is the key. The closer together your legs are, the more you target your quads. The farther you place your front leg in front of you, the more emphasis you place on your glutes.

With your back foot situated on a bench or box and your chest high, drop your back knee to the floor. Go down as far down as you can. Repeat.


CHADY’S CHEEKY WORKOUT
1

BARBELL SQUAT

5-12 heavy reps

Barbell SquatBarbell Squat

2

BARBELL WALKING LUNGE

5-12 heavy reps

Barbell Walking LungeBarbell Walking Lunge

3

BARBELL HIP THRUST

5-12 heavy reps

Barbell Hip ThrustBarbell Hip Thrust

4

STIFF-LEGGED BARBELL DEADLIFT

5-12 heavy reps

Stiff-Legged Barbell DeadliftStiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

5

ONE LEG BARBELL SQUAT

5-12 heavy reps

One Leg Barbell SquatOne Leg Barbell Squat
original post found here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/glute-workout-5-moves-to-a-better-butt.html

The Top 5 Exercises For Increasing Triceps Mass

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Build your arms the fast way: weighted dips, close grip bench press, seated tricep extension, clapping diamond pushups and rope pushdowns.

One of the most common goals for many weightlifters is to gain mass in the arms. The reasons will vary, but it’s often the experience and more properly balanced trainers that are doing it for the right reasons. Knowing why and how to increase the mass in the arms is superficial by itself, but it’s still an important lesson for anyone to learn whom is interested in weight training.

If you’re looking for bigger arms, it’s important to train your triceps. While most people believe that the biceps are the most important factor, they are not – as they only make up 1/3 of the total upper arm muscle. The triceps make up the other 2/3 of upper arm muscle tissue. Want bigger arms? Do the top 5 exercises to increase your triceps.

Want to press more weight? Stop training your biceps (at least by themselves). Despite making up 2/3 of the muscle tissue in the upper arm, the triceps are the weakest for people on average in that muscle group. Work your triceps with the top 5 exercises to build more mass in the right areas.

The Anatomy of the Bicep

Before you jump into a workout routine and start throwing weights around like a gorilla, you need to understand the nature of the human body and how the muscles work in conjunction with one another. A basic understanding of anatomy and physiology will help you make sense of the workout and keep you on track for form, posture and performance.

The triceps are made up three heads that run between the scapula (shoulder blade) and one of the forearm bones (the ulna). These heads are known as the Lateral, the Medial and the Long.

 

  • Lateral Head – Located on the outward side of the humerus (long bone of the upper arm) and is responsible for movements requiring high-intensity force.
  • Medial Head – Located on the inline of the body, mostly covered by the long and lateral heads. It is primarily responsible for slow, more low-intensity movements.
  • Long Head – Largest of the 3 heads, running predominantly along the bottom side of the humerus. The long is employed when sustained force is necessary or where there is a need for synergistic control of the shoulder and/or elbow joints.

The Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Triceps – The Breakdown

There are a number of exercises that will work the triceps, with many focusing on a broad range of muscles in the arm. There are however a number of specific exercises that will target primarily the triceps and deliver the best results.

While this article focuses primarily on using free-weights in the top 5 exercises for increasing triceps, there is some use of a machine within.  Keep in mind that you can alter your own exercises to use the appropriate machines and weights, provided you understand the form and function of the muscle groups within the triceps.

Top Triceps Exercise #1 – Weighted Dips

Muscle is improved by providing resistance. The primary source of resistance is by adding weight. Weighted dips rely primarily on your own body weight, though additional weight can be added in your lap to increase the resistance on the muscles.

Use two benches, placed approximately 3-5 feet apart. Sit on one bench with your heels resting on the other; you may need to adjust the distance between the benches depending on your height. Place your palms on the bench you’re sitting on and slide forward, using your arms to support your weight. Now, slowly lower yourself until the bend of your elbows reaches a 90 degree angle. Maintain tension and push yourself back up until your arms are completed extended.

Top Triceps Exercise #2 – Close Grip Bench Press

This press keeps the elbows close to the body, with the hands no more than a foot apart – they should not extend out beyond your shoulders. The focus of the close grip bench press is on the muscle groups of the triceps however the mechanics of the bench press will supply some additional workout to the pectoral muscles as well the muscle groups of the biceps.

As you un-rack the weight bar, begin with arms fully extended and lower the weight toward the lower part of the chest slowly while keeping the elbows tucked in. Bring the weight back just before you touch the bar to your chest and return your arms to a fully-extended position.

Top Triceps Exercise #3 – Seated Triceps Extension

This position places a great deal of emphasis on the triceps equally. For this exercise, it’s important to use a seat or weight bench of some kind with an adjustable seat to aid in back support. Choose an appropriate dumbbell weight and hold it with both hands. Raise the weight up and behind the head.

While holding the dumbbell, carefully lower it behind your head. Lower the weight behind your head so that it is even with the lower part of the back of your head – try not to let the weight fall too far to avoid over-exertion of the triceps during this exercise. Raise the dumbbell back overhead so that arms are fully extended and repeat.

Top Triceps Exercise #4 – Clapping Diamond Pushups

We talk a lot about how resistance will bring on muscle gain. If you want your muscles to increase in mass then you have to use them. You need to use them a lot, from different angles and in different ways. This may seem a little unorthodox but this method will definitely push triceps to the limit.

Position your hands under chest like a push up but bring your hands together so that your index fingers and your thumbs are touching, forming a diamond shape. Perform 10 pushups like this. In order to get the clap in between each push up, you’ll need to push yourself with enough force to leave the floor, gaining enough height to insert the clap and still bring your hands back to a diamond form.

Top Triceps Exercise #5 – Rope Pushdowns

This can be easily done with a number of machines. When using a machine, try to balance the weight so you can fit it a set of approximately 10 reps easily while still feeling the proper burn in the triceps. This top triceps exercise requires a bit more form than others. When pulling the weight with the rope, it’s important to keep your upper arms locked at your sides while keeping your back straight.

If you release your arms, twist or bend your back you’ll start using your shoulders and back to take the brunt of the weight, giving little gain to your triceps.

Beginner Workout

  • Close Grip Bench Press – 3 Sets of 10 Reps
  • Weighted Dips – 2 Sets of 12 Reps
  • Rope Pushdowns – 2 Set of 15 Reps

Intermediate Workout

  • Close Grip Bench Press – 3 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Weighted Dips – 3 Sets of 12/10/8 Reps
  • Seated Triceps Extensions – 2 Sets of 12 Reps
  • Rope Pushdowns – 2 Sets of 12 Reps

Advanced Workout

  • Rope Extensions – 2 Sets of 15 Reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press – 3 Sets of 6 Reps
  • Seated Triceps Extensions – 3 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Weighted Drops – 2 Drop Sets* – Perform 8 Reps to failure then drop all weight and perform as many reps to failure
  • Clapping Diamond Push-Ups – 2 Sets to Failure

You’ll see the best results by adding the top exercises to build your triceps to your usual workout routine. When working on increasing muscle mass in triceps, remember that it’s important to take in the proper amount of nutrients and protein to sustain your exercises.

 

 

 

 

original post found here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/top-5-exercises-increasing-triceps-mass.html

The Top 5 Exercises For Increasing Bicep Mass

Build bulging, peaked biceps with these 5 exercises: barbell curl, alternating dumbbell curl, hammer curl, supinated bent rows and the chin up.

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There’s a desire among most men that take in interest in bodybuilding to gain as much muscle mass as possible. Whether it’s for show purposes or practical use, many who work towards this end often gauge effectiveness and success on the sheer size, shape and ripped physique they can create. For many, the target muscle that often gets most attention is the biceps, hence the never ending quest to find the top exercises to increase the biceps.

The biceps are one of the most “famous” muscles in the body. Even in youth, kids raises their arms and flex to the mirror, or one another, as a show of who is stronger and more dominant. When someone asks you to flex, they’re not talking about seeing a ripped chest or detailed back – they want to see the bicep. It’s long been used to gauge the overall muscle build of a man, and for those that want to increase the size of that area there are some very specific workouts that can be done to achieve maximum muscle in the biceps.

Granted, these workouts are less effective on their own. It’s best to pair them with an overall workout plan that targets the entire body.  There’s no skeletal muscle that is more important than another, and it’s important to remember that fact as you work through the top 5 exercises for increasing your biceps.

The Anatomy of the Bicep

Before starting any workout plan you should take time to understand the muscles that you’ll be using and the role they play in your everyday life. When you understand their function, you’ll be able to learn how to best use and manipulate those muscles during these top 5 exercises to achieve an optimal workout of your biceps.

The biceps consist of three primary muscles; the Biceps Brachii, Coracobrachialis and Brachialis

  • Biceps Brachii – This segment of muscle tissue is linked to the forearm bone (the radius) and originates in the process of the scapula (shoulder blade).  This muscle tissue runs the length of the anterior side of the humerus (upper longbone of the arm) and makes up about 1/3 of the muscle mass of the upper arm.
  • Coracobrachialis – This muscle, the smallest of the trifecta, attaches also to the coracoid process of the scapula with the other end attached to the humerus.  The action of this muscle draws the arm forward and toward the torso.
  • Brachialis – This muscle crossed the elbow joint, originating in the lower segment of the humerus and extending to the ulna.  While part of the bicep muscle group, the brachialis is the strongest flexor of the elbow however because it only inserts on the ulna (not the radius) it cannot participate in pronation and supination of the forearm (rotation).

The Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Biceps – The Breakdown

First and foremost, there’s a lot of equipment out there and the equipment you use is going to change the form and position of your workout. Some machines are available to reduce strain on the rest of your body or promote a motionless workout while ramping up resistance. Whatever you use, that resistance is what’s important because the weight or resistance is what pushes the limits of the muscles and forces them to recover and grow.

For this article, we’re focusing primarily on free weights because they require more form and concentration – giving a more powerful workout to the biceps.

Top Bicep Exercise #1 – The Standing Barbell Curl

If you have any interest in building your biceps up in order to look like a tank, the standardbarbell bicep curl is the best all-inclusive bicep exercise. Regardless of the amount of weight, your body will use all of the bicep muscles and some forearm muscles to raise the weight as you flex the arm closed. The standard curl forces the arm to work in relative isolation from the back and shoulders, but on one condition – you can’t cheat.

Torso swinging is common, and needs to be avoided if you want the most effective workout. The goal is to remain stationary, flexing the arm at the elbow joint without moving your upper body. Perform this bicep curl by holding a barbell in both hands. Hold the weight with your palm outward and let the weight hang at your hip so that your arm is fully extended downward. Tuck your elbow into your sides and curl the weight to your chin without moving your elbow, hips or torso. Maintain tension, let the weight down slow. Do not bounce the weight off your hips or quads to start the next rep.

Top Bicep Exercise #2 – The Alternating Dumbbell Curl

The alternating dumbbell curl is a simple exercise that functions as a cross between a hammer curl and a standard curl. Instead of curling one weight using both biceps, or simultaneously curling with two separate weights, the alternating curl lets you focus the intensity of the workout in each bicep separately.

Torso swinging is also common in this workout, so it’s important to once again keep your elbows tucked into the body. Start at the same point as a standard curl with your arm fully extended however your palms will be facing in toward your body. As the weight clears your flank you can begin to rotate your arm. At the end of the movement your palm will be facing toward your head.

Top Bicep Exercise #3 – The Hammer Curl

While a significant amount of focus is given to the bicep, some of the muscle groups within the forearm will be working as well. Because the focus here is on a rotated curl there is a lot of emphasis on the brachialis and brachioradialis of the forearm.

The starting position for this curl is identical to the alternating curl, where the palms face in toward the body. Your elbows remain tucked in with your body and upper arms remaining stationary. Lift the weight, curling it upward without rotating the weight or forearm to the point where the weight is almost touching the shoulder of your lifting arm. Think of the motion of swinging a hammer – this is also where the bicep exercise got its name.

Top Bicep Exercise #4 – Supinated Bent Rows

Resistance breeds muscle gain, and more weight equals more resistance. You can sack more weight into a bicep workout using rowing. Bent over straight bar rows can let you work double the weight over your standard curling or straight bar curls.

Grab the straight bar with palms facing up/away with hands shoulder width apart. Either pull the weight from the rack or deadlift the weight from the floor to a standing position. Once the weight is up, bend into position so that your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Avoid rounding off or trying to lift with your lower back. While bent, raise the bar to touch your abdomen while keeping your elbows tucked into your flanks. Lower the bar just short of fully extended and repeat.

Top Bicep Exercise #5 – Chin Ups

Not just any chin up either – this is about close grip chin ups.   While curling or rowing can give you a significant workout, when was the last time you tried to curl your body weight with success? If you’re over 150lbs and you don’t often try to beat yourself into submission then likely not often.

Closing the grip on your chin ups will focus the pull on your biceps. You can use any secured straight bar or chin up bar. Reach up and grasp the bar so that your palms are facing you and about 6” apart. Pull yourself upward, keeping your legs raised/crossed so that you do not touch the floor when you lower yourself. It’s important to get your chin up over the bar so that your arms are fully flexed. Maintain the tension as you lower yourself, and avoid relaxing once you get to the bottom of the rep.

While all of these exercises will help you target the biceps, they’re intended to be inclusive with an overall workout program. You should never try to build only your biceps. You need to think in terms of your biceps being just a small part of the major muscle groups that form your body. In order for each of the muscles to work properly, the surrounding muscles need to be targeted as well.

Here are some Sample workouts:

Beginner Workout

  • Barbell Curls – 2 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls – 2 Set of 12 Reps
  • Hammer Curls – 1 Set of 10-12 Reps

Intermediate Workout

  • Barbell Curls – 3 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Chin Ups – 2 Set to Failure
  • Hammer Curls – 2 Sets of 10 reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls – 2 Sets of 12 Reps

Advanced Workout

  • Alternating Dumbbell Curls – 3 Sets of 12 Reps Superset with Supinated Bent Rows – 3 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Hammer Curls – 2 Sets of 10 Reps
  • Chin Ups – 3 Sets to Failure superset with Barbell Curls – 3 Sets of 10/8/6 Reps

Biceps like most muscle groups if worked out in this fashion should be trained once a week twice at the most if you have really weak biceps. Go hit the weights hard, these workouts will help you get the biceps you are looking for. Good luck.

 

 

 

 

original post found here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/top-5-exercises-increasing-bicep-mass.html

 

The Ultimate Guide to Workout Clothes From Lululemon to Outdoor Voices, and everything in between

Before you can attack that fitness resolution, you have to attack that fitness wardrobe (right?). The activewear market has exploded in the past few years with countless new workout and athleisure brands — not to mention that just about every fashion retailer has added or expanded its activewear lineup. Needless to say, there’s a lot to wade through when it comes to sports bras, running tights, and yoga tanks.

Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork to precede your leg work. Below is our guide to the absolute best places to shop for workout clothes. Here, all 25 of them are broken down by category, including the major brands on the scene (and what to trust them for); the shops to hit for stocking up (without spending much); the best multi-brand boutiques; the brands to turn to when your sport takes you outdoors, and the up-and-comers to turn to when you’re so done with Lulu.

THE BIG DOGS

The “no, duh” activewear giants, and what to rely on them for.

Lululemon

Lulu, how do we introduce you? A huge range of pants, shorts, sports bras, and tanks for runners and yogis is the company’s bread and butter, so they’re a go-to source for nailing down just the right capri-length legging, or the jogging top that’s loose there and fittedthere. This past year they gave their iconic bottoms a redesign with four new pant lengths and silhouettes, but customer-friendly services like complimentary hemming and free in-store classes on the regular keep the girls (and guys) coming back.

Athleta

This Gap Inc.-owned athletic chain has been expanding at a rapid clip, so you’ve probably noticed one pop up at your local mall. Clothes on offer range in function from studio classes to winter sports, and are available in an agreeable range of hues like black, navy, and coral, with a few seasonally-updated prints thrown in the mix. Check out the”unstinkable” selection, which uses silver salts in the fabric to lend an antimicrobial quality.

Gapfit

Something like Athleta’s little sister in the Gap Inc. family, GapFit has all the essentials for a stylish — but not too showy — run or yoga wardrobe: leggings in solids and prints, breathable tops, low- and medium-impact sports bras, and seasonally-available layers for outdoor exercise. We love the Reserve In Store service, where you can select items online to be ready for you to try on in store without having to put a credit card down.

Nike

On top of being obsessive over constant innovation in performance wear, Nike consistently churns out the most on-point colorways. They really can’t be beat for shoesthat are both functional and stylish, but you didn’t need us to tell you that.


THE INEXPENSIVE STOCK-UP SHOPS

When it’s time to amass low-impact bralettes and enough black leggings to get you through marathon-training season, here’s where to take the “more is more” approach.

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Forever 21

Of course Forever21 has hopped on the activewear train, ramping up budget offerings to include dozens of variations of leggings hovering around $20 a pop and a ton of workout tops that are a little more interesting than your average (we’re loving this $15 high-impact sports bra and this $35 reflective-paneled hoodie for a night run).

Old Navy Active

The first thing to love here are yoga and run leggings in the $20 to $30 range. Scratch that — even better are the special sizes: they’ve got dedicated active sections for plus, petite, and tall girls, which means those leggings will actually be the right length and fit, and ankle-bunch will be one less thing to worry about while breaking a sweat or holding a pose.

H&M Sport

Workout tanks will run you $10 and quick dry leggings are $25, and both are available in standard solids and seasonal prints. Continue to stock your gymbag with colorful accessories, like combination locks and water bottles, headbands, and sport socks.

Joe Fresh

Highlights here include $29 slim jogging pants (so hard to find good ones that aren’t an inexplicit zillion dollars) and a hoodies and jackets section that spans from popovers to track jackets, all designed with purposeful minimalism.


THE MULTI-BRAND STORES

Boutiques and department stores with tons of brands to shop and only one shopping cart to check out from.

Bandier

Former music manager Jennifer Bandier sought to reinvent the high-end activewear market when she launched her Southhampton boutique, which nows has an e-comm element. Find a variety of stylish specialty brands from Vimmia to VPL, but check out their exclusive artist collaborations if you’re looking for something a little less traditional. (We’re currently loving this $88 crop top with a quirky print by the New York-based artist Christopher Lee Sauvé and these super cute $175 silk printed leggings created in collaboration with London-based artist Malarko).

Net-a-Sporter

Luxury e-tailer Net-a-Porter’s sport division is Net-a-Sporter (cute, guys). Here, shop the most stylish picks from big names like Nike, major designer collabs like Mary Katrantzou for Adidas, emerging lines like Live the Process, and gratuitous sport offerings from high-fashion labels. Their selection is broken down into eight sports — including golf, sail, and equestrian — plus accessories and Aprés (the French word for “after”) which translates to loungewear like oversized Fendi turtlenecks.

Six:02

An extension of Lady Footlocker, Six:02 was created as its own stand-alone destination for premium athletic apparel and footwear in 2012. Here, you’ll find a wide range of items that include everything from Dancewear to CrossFit-appropriate shoes. Notable perks include free shipping and the chain’s repertoire of activewear giants like Asics, Reebok, and Nike.

Revolve Activewear

From graphic VPL leggings to pastel Lorna Jane tanks, Revolve has a fashion-friendly mix that doesn’t skimp on actual performance details (and most of what they stock is still under $100). The assortment of way-beyond-basic sports bras may even inspire you to workout sans-top.

Shopbop Activewear

Shopbop is another great source of fashion brands doing active — like Norma Kamali and Finders Keepers — as well as smaller lines with growing fanbases, like Prismsport, Michi, and Koral. Expect prints, colors, and mesh panels that are equal parts decorative and ventilating.

Nordstrom

Notorious for selection, the department store doesn’t disappoint in the activewear department. Here, you can shop everything from Adidas by Stella McCartney “Climatelite” tees to fitness trackers and a well-priced in-house line called Zella. Major props for an extensive special-size section that includes yoga gear for expecting momsand plus sizes, including sports bras in E cup and up from Panache, Elomi, and Wacoal.

Zappos

Not only do they have a huge assortment of athletic shoes, but Zappos can cover your fitness wardrobe from sport socks to shorts and jackets, too. Brands on offer include Brooks, Nike, Spanx Active, and Under Armour, plus they have super speedy shipping (and returns) so you’ll be set to start that workout routine in, like, two days.


THE ELEMENT-BRAVING BRANDS

Seriously stylish picks for looking good while interfacing with Mother Nature.

Duskii

Duskii is all about good-looking swimwear designed for being active, so you can paddle, surf, dive, and lay out. One-pieces run $200 to $300 with a wetsuit aesthetic, while mix-and-match separates offer sporty crop tops and bustier styles up top, and everything from cheeky bikinis to surf leggings on the bottom.

Aether

Aether takes that “city-to-sport” look to the next level, with well-designed pieces that work for blustery morning commutes and hardcore hikes (they have a section simply called “mountain”). The color palette is agreeably neutral, which sets the goods apart from a lot of other outdoorsy brands. Invest in base layers, snow pants, or studiowear, which are all backed by a lifetime warranty.

Vie Active

Relatively new to the US, this Aussie label uses merino wool — yes, wool — for everything from sports bras and shorts to compression leggings and jackets. “[Merino is] soft, breathable, quick-drying, and naturally regulates temperature,” brand founder Noa Riessays of the material you’re used to seeing in sweaters.


BEYOND LULU

When you’re through twinning with the rest of the barre class.

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices is one of the newer activewear brands taking hold of the fashion world. Launched in 2013 by Tyler Haney, it’s often heralded as sportswear for millennials, with simple sweats, leggings, and crop tops in neutral colors like emerald green and charcoal. For those new to the workout world, check out their 2-piece, 3-piece, and 4-piece kitsthat offer the base essentials of burgeoning activewear collections.

Sweaty Betty

Like Lulu and Athleta, this British brand offers free classes in its US stores. Their vast selection of sports bras, tops, bottoms, and jackets is shoppable by sport, from Pilates to outdoors, and done in punchy colors like royal blue and buttercup yellow (as well as basic black and heathered grey).

FP Movement

From Free People comes a line of pretty, active separates best suited for yoga, barre, Pilates, and the like. Expect strappy-backed sports bras, harem pants, and plenty of leotards.

Alala

Super luxe materials and downtown cool collide in this new brand out of NYC. The products, mostly around the $100 mark, stand out with details that are sexy without being over-the-top, like breathable tanks and slimming tights with flattering mesh panels.

Lolë

Running, yoga, and ski apparel are on offer here. Its White collection is especially elegant, with drapey tops in neutral hues and berry shades, plus performance outerwear you won’t mind wearing in the city, too.

Move by Alternative

Socially-responsible brand Alternative Apparel’s answer to activewear includes lots of interesting, loose-fit tops, cool prints, and refreshing silhouettes. Prices range from $30 to $80 for bottoms that are mostly stretch jersey.

Cory Vines

They’re passionate about simple design and direct-to-consumer merchandise (think Warby Parker or Everlane), which keeps prices low compared to other active brands. Sports bras and tanks will run you around $30, while leggings and half-zip hoodies hover around $50.

 

 

 

 

original post found here: http://www.racked.com/2016/1/4/10656658/best-workout-clothes-fitness-apparel

APPLE CIDER’S JOURNEY TO FITNESS: 1 Week Update

Sponsored by: LeanStop.com

Its been 1 week since I started my journey to fitness and so far here are some of the results…

Starting Weight and Measurements

Weight : 109.6 lbs

Waist : 63.5 cm

Hips : 90.5 cm

Thighs :  L : 54 cm         R : 54.5 cm

Arms :  L : 26.5 cm         R : 26.5 cm

1 Week Progress

Weight : 107.7 lbs

Waist : 62.5 cm

Hips : 89.5 cm

Thighs : L : 52 cm           R : 53 cm

Arms :  L : 26.25 cm       R : 25.75 cm

It’s amazing to see results like these after 1 week. Just goes to show how big an impact diet and exercise has on one’s own body and overall health.

I’ve learned a lot this week about discipline when it comes to food (rice & noodles especially) & waking up every morning to work out which is not easy. I also learned I cannot do a pull-up to save my life… which is why my coach has me doing negative chin-ups that will strengthen my arms so that one day I will eventually be able to do a “real” pull up.

A negative chin-up is where you jump up and slowly lower yourself, focusing your strength & control on the negative/decline. If you can’t do a pull-up or even a chin up, this is a good place to start.

Before I go, here’s another snapshot of a low calorie, highly nutritious and very delicious meal.

Roast Chicken with Garlic Green Beans & Carrots and Mashed Pumpkin & Carrots

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Can you believe this meal is only 394 calories!? OMGoodness… Here’s the breakdown:

100g Roast Chicken = 239 calories

60g Mashed Pumpkin & Carrots = 75 calories

60g Garlic Beans & Carrots = 30 calories

50g of Side Salad with Garlic Ceasar Dressing = 50 calories

Well that’s it for now. If you missed the beginning of this journey you can read about part 1 here and part 2 here. Until then, stay tuned for more Apple Cider’s Journey to Fitness!

The Best Whey: A Review Of The Most Popular Whey Proteins On The Market

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My goal here was to review most of the major whey protein powders on the market. Read on to learn what the results were of some common protein powders and how they stacked up against each other.

My goal here was to review most of the major whey protein powders on the market. The powders were all judged and mixed in a uniform way. All mixing was done with either a spoon or shaker bottle and the prescribed amount of water as found on the products package. In some cases I also tried the powders mixed with other liquids but these mixes were not considered in the final rating.

PROTEIN POWDERS JUDGING CRITERIA

Mixability: This is the product’s ability to mix and dissolve thoroughly with consideration given to clumps, foam, and stickiness.

Taste: Factors considered in this category are how well the product mimics its flavor, chemical or other after tastes, and balance of sweetness.

Texture: Products will be judged here based on the nature of the product, whether it is supposed to be like juice or like a shake; thick and creamy or watery and thin. Also considered in this section are graininess as well as clumps and foam if applicable.

Profile: This refers to the protein profile of the product.
It will be based on current preference for whey protein where WPI is better than WPC and cross-flow micro- filtration is better than ion filtration. Additional supplements added to the mix may be considered in this section depending on context but cannot make up for a bad protein blend.

Overall: This is the sum of all the previous factors.

Also included will be specific product highlights as well as drawbacks and my own personal thoughts on the product. The thoughts section is for factors that may be considered when purchasing a product (such as price) but were not part of the rating. If applicable, I will also make note of any other flavors that a particular brand offers.

THE CONTESTANTS

OPTIMUM 100% WHEY PROTEIN

VIEW PRODUCT

Highlights: Low price for a decent protein product.
Drawbacks: Cookies and Cream!
Mixability: 4/5
Taste: 3/5
Texture: 3/5
Profile: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

Thoughts: This protein is a staple for most people and it’s too bad most people don’t branch out to other econo proteins. The 100% Whey Protein line is solid except for the Cookies and Cream flavor which is absolutely horrid. A comparable product would be Dymatize Elite Whey.

NOW FOODS WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE

VIEW PRODUCT

Highlights: All natural, Good price
Drawbacks: None
Mixability: 3/5
Taste: 4/5
Texture: 4/5
Profile: 5/5
Overall: 16/20

Thoughts: NOW Foods Whey Protein Isolate is one of my personal favorites. This protein is pure CFM WPI which is the highest quality whey you can get. It is all natural with no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners and has a great, smooth, natural flavor. The powder mixes up quite thick and when you drink it, it just feels healthy.

DESIGNER WHEY DESIGNER PROTEIN

VIEW PRODUCT

Highlights: Added supplements
Drawbacks: None
Mixability: 3/5
Taste: 3/5
Texture: 4/5
Profile: 3/5
Overall: 12/20

Thoughts: Designer Whey Designer Protein would make a good econo protein that could replace 100% Whey Protein. The added supplements to the mix don’t really up the cost but also aren’t enough to make a huge difference so no complaints there. I say definitely give this one a try if you’re looking to switch up your econo protein.

VPX ZERO CARB SRO

VIEW PRODUCT

Highlights: Added supplements
Drawbacks: Price
Mixability: 3/5
Taste: 3/5
Texture: 4/5
Profile: 5/5
Overall: 15/20

Thoughts: For the price, I would rather get one of the fruit juice protein powders. Sure,VPX Zero Carb Protein is a quality powder with added things like glutamine peptides and arginine (in small amounts), but it just doesn’t justify the price.

DYMATIZE ELITE WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE

VIEW PRODUCT

Highlights: Variety
Drawbacks: Flavor
Mixability: 4/5
Taste: 3/5
Texture: 4/5
Profile: 3/5
Overall: 14/20

Thoughts: First off, although they have a great variety of flavors, many of the flavors have a chemical after taste. For some though this may not be a problem. I seeDymatize Elite Whey as one of the most viable contenders for best econo whey. It mixes well and the new fruit flavors are very good for the price.

CONCLUSION

Well, that’s it for this installment. My favorite protein overall is NOW Foods WPI because, aside from the purity of the product (I like things that are “all natural”), the price can’t be beat.

Protein is probably the most important part of an athlete’s supplementation and there is no reason aside from simple luxury to shell out more money than is necessary.

Find a good econo-whey like 100% Whey Protein, Elite Whey, Pure Whey Protein Stack, and Complete Whey and use it to help get approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

 

 

 

 

original post found here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/tietge9.htm

How Many Reps & Sets for a Beginner?

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How many repetitions or reps and sets should I do is one of the most common questions beginners have. And as always, the common answers are usually confusing. By the end of this article, you will learn the optimum number of sets and reps you should be doing as a beginner.

How many reps for a Beginner?

General rep recommendation? Beginners are always advised to start with 8 -12 repetitions or reps. Mainly because the weight is light and this reps range is best for muscle growth.

recommendations for reps for beginners

Why are 8-12 reps NOT ideal for beginners? Learning proper technique becomes critical for a beginner.  Beginners should be more concerned about perfecting their form than worrying about muscle growth and strength.

  • Too much burn:  The 8-12 repetition range increases the lactic acid accumulation and brings the “burn”. The more the burn, the harder it is to focus on proper form, especially for beginners.
  • Long set: An 8-12 repetition is a long set. The longer the set, the easier it is to loose your focus (and your form) The only benefit of using an 8-12 reps range is that it gives your lots of practice (of course with bad form).

Ideal rep range for beginners? So the best range for beginners would be 6 – 8 reps.

This will minimize the burn, keep the set short and will also give you enough practice with the movement.

What the heck is a rep range? A rep range (like, 6-8 reps) will give you an objective measure of when to go up the weights compared to single reps number (like, 6 reps/repetition).

For instance, you start with 45 lb for 2 sets of 6 reps. Now keep using the same weight for your workouts until you can do 2 sets of 8 reps. Now you know that your strength has gone up and you should use a heavier weight.

How many sets for a beginner?

Compared to reps, the question of number of sets seems to be more complicated. Some say one set is best while others say more sets are better.

Luckily, for beginners, both research and anecdotal evidence have shown 1-2 sets are all that is required.

Things to remember about sets & reps

  • Don’t go to failure on these sets. This will ruin your form and defeat the whole purpose. You do not have to go to failure on your sets for your muscles to grow.
  • Though they say certain repetition/rep ranges are better for muscle and for strength, there is very little evidence to support this. You can do 6-8 reps and still grow some big muscles.

 

 

 

 

original post found here:  http://www.exercisebiology.com/index.php/site/articles/how_many_reps_sets_for_a_beginner/

Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity

You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.

 

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these seven ways exercise can improve your life.

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No. 1: Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can’t do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.

No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

No. 3: Exercise improves mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

No. 4: Exercise boosts energy

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

No. 5: Exercise promotes better sleep

Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.

No. 6: Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there’s more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

No. 7: Exercise can be fun

Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.

The bottom line on exercise

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.

 

 

 

 

original post found here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389?pg=2