10 At-Home Exercises For Women That Actually Work


Since the idea of work-from-home is getting extremely popular during the pandemic, make sure you do not leave your health regimen high and dry. Everyone is suffering from Schrödinger’s disease.

 

The self-isolation focuses on the idea of assuming that either you are containing the virus from the outspread or preventing yourself from being infected by avoiding any contact with the external environment.

 

 

As necessary as it is to stay indoors and work from home, it is also a good idea to focus on a Workout Program to Burn Fat.

 

Utilize this time to achieve your fitness goals.

 

If you are self-conscious about excess body fat and weight issues, the following is a list of exercises curated workout program to burn fat for women that work.

 

1. The Bridge

This exercise serves as an activator for your glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles.

 

  • Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and your back and feet touching the floor.
  • Raise your bottom off the ground and slowly bring it back to the resting position.
  • Make sure you are using your core strength.
  • Do two sets of 10 reps if you are a beginner.

 

2. Knee Push

It is an exercise that will serve as a prerequisite for pushups.

 

  • Lie face-front on the floor with your knees touching the floor.
  • Go down slowly and raise your body just before reaching the floor.
  • Make sure that your elbows are at a 45-degree angle.

 

3. Lunges

Lunges focus primarily on your core and abdominal muscles.

 

They help shred extra body fat and are included in the Tone Program For Females. If you are looking to build stability, this exercise is excellent for you.

 

 

4. Squats

The squat is a prominent lower body workout regimen.

 

The most important aspect of a squat workout is ensuring that your form is correct. Otherwise, there will be no visible results.

 

5. Crunches

Crunches are the go-to workout plan when it comes to scorching your excess belly fat. It requires immense core strength to perform crunches.

 

If you feel that crunches are on the more accessible side of the spectrum and you want to intensify them, you can add resistance bands or weights.

 

6. The Plank

It is one of the most conventional exercises in tone programs for females.

 

The reason being that the plank helps in shredding fat evenly from your body without causing any stretch marks.

 

With time, you will be able to do a plank for a longer duration of time.

 

7. Bird Dog

  • Lie with your face forward and knees touching the ground.
  • Lift alternate leg and hand simultaneously.
  • You will feel a tingling in your arms and legs.
  • This exercise requires balance and stability.

 

8. Hip Abduction

This exercise is meant for you if you are not a beginner.

 

  • Lie on either side
  • Say left hand, lift your right leg slowly while resting the other on the ground.
  • Reverse

 

The exercise helps in toning your hips.

 

9. Side Planks

  • If you want to maintain a proper posture and reduce stress on the spine, it’s time to take up side planks.
  • It strengthens the abdominal and back muscles, and the best thing is you can practice at any time.
  • But, to achieve the best results, you have to remain constant.
  • To perform side planks, extend your legs and lie on your right side and keep your feet and hips at rest on the floor.

 

10. Go for the Russian Twist

Yes, you heard it right; like its name, it’s an effective exercise you can perform at home to reduce weight.

 

  • You have to sit on a floor mat and lean back in a Russian twist until you feel that the abdomen area muscles are well stretched.
  • Create a V shape, and slowly twist from one side to the other.
  • Make sure you have the right posture to get the best results.

 

Even though you are confined to the four walls of your home, do not let this confinement stop you from following and achieving your fitness goals.

 

Make sure that you are eating right and following a workout routine to stay fit and healthy.



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Kettlebell Exercises For Toned Abs


Everyone wants to have a great six-pack. Unfortunately abs are a difficult muscle to work out. Kettlebells are an excellent tool to do just that, and they can help you to transform your body.

Figure 8

The kettlebell figure 8 is a great exercise for working the core, particularly the obliques, along with balance and coordination. The idea is to move the weight in a figure 8 motion around both legs, exchanging the weight from hand to hand. Take your time with this move and practice slowly to avoid dropping the weight. Concentrate on firing the obliques as you rotate from side to side.

  1. Begin holding a medium-heavy kettlebell in the right hand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lower into a squat and bring the weight between the legs, grabbing onto the handle with the left hand behind the left leg.
  3. Circle the weight around, again bringing it between the legs and grabbing onto it with the right hand behind the right leg.
  4. Continue moving the weight in a figure 8, exchanging it from hand to hand, for 1-3 sets of 8-20 reps.

Side Bend

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in one hand. Start with your right hand and lean your torso to the right. Allow your arm to slowly drop towards the floor. About halfway, slowly return to the upright position. Repeat 8 to 12 times before switching hands. Perform 3 sets with a 60-second rest in between each set.

“Turkish” Get-Up (TGU)

Kettlebell Exercises for Toned Abs

The TGU is an outstanding drill for the entire body and  great for your abdominal and core muscles. Start with a kettlebell in one hand and lie down on your back. Lift the kettle ball up so that your arm is comfortably locked. Now roll over to the other side of your body (the side with your free hand) and sit up into a squat. All of this should be done while still holding up the kettlebell. From the squat position, slowly stand. Repeat this in reverse until you’re again on your back. Perform 8 to 12 times before switching hands. Perform 3 sets with enough rest in between to allow you to catch your breath.

Kettlebell Windmill

Press a kettlebell with your right arm over your head. Keeping the kettlebell and arm locked in place, push your right hip out. Lower yourself until you can touch the floor with your other hand. Make sure your torso is facing your right side.

Kettlebell 2-Hands Anyhow

With two kettlebells, squat as low as possible raising one hand above your head with arm locked, and the other kettlebell curled to your chest. Explode up to a standing position with both kettlebells extended above your head.

Some of the above kettlebell ab exercises will work not only your abdominal muscles but other supporting muscles such as your shoulders and hamstrings. Make sure to stretch your body very well before you start any kettlebell routine.

Disclaimer
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Thank you for dropping in to My Local Pages and checking out this article on Women’s Health news named “Kettlebell Exercises For Toned Abs”. This news article was presented by My Local Pages Australia as part of our national news services.

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Tip: 3 Do-Anywhere Exercises for Back & Shoulders


For band training to work, you’ve got to do these things:

Maintain Tension

If your goal is to build muscle, maintain constant tension throughout the entire range of motion.

Minimize Momentum

To get more muscle-building potential out of band work, minimize momentum while maximizing tension.

Emphasize the Mind-Muscle Connection

You need awareness of which muscles you’re emphasizing during each move.

With these in mind, here are three must-try banded exercises for the shoulders and upper back. Use them as part of your warm-up or during your workouts.

1. Band Pull-Apart

To get the most out of pull-aparts, reduce hyperextension in the lower back while keeping your ribs braced down. This will allow you to use the small, often neglected muscles of the upper back more effectively.

How to Do It


  • Hold a resistance band and stand with your back against the wall.

  • Tilt your pelvis in so your lower back and head are pressed against the wall. Maintain this contact throughout your set.

  • With your arms locked, pull the band towards your neck.

  • Keeping tension in the band, slowly return your arms forward while squeezing your upper back. Don’t let the band snap back in the middle and lose tension.

You can also do these on the floor. Go for 10-15 reps and 3-4 sets.

2. Banded Muscle Snatch

Snatches aren’t limited to the barbell. The muscle snatch, done correctly, is one of the best exercises you can do for your upper back. On paper, it’s pretty straightforward: lift the weight from the floor to overhead in one continuous motion.

The banded variation is a great warm-up tool before lifting, particularly prior to the Olympic lifts.

How to Do It


  • Stand on one end of the band and face the wall.

  • Initiate the movement by pulling your elbows up towards the ceiling.

  • Once your elbows reach about shoulder height, externally rotate the shoulders and lock out your arms overhead.

  • Return the band back down in the same motion.

Facing the wall encourages you to pull up in one straight line, instead of letting the weight drift away from your body (a critical error when doing any snatch variation).

3. Banded Lateral Raise

The tension you get in the delts with this variation is insane. Try adding a pause at the top of the movement followed by a slow, controlled lowering.

How to Do It


  • Sit on a bench with a band looped around the bottom.

  • Keep your arms locked and raise them to shoulder height while focusing on lifting with the delts.

  • Slowly return back to your starting position while maintaining constant tension in the band.

Related:
14 Band Exercises For Bigger Lifts

Related:
Bulletproof Your Shoulders At Home



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What Are the Best Power Training Exercises for Women Golfers?


What Are the Best Power Training Exercises for Women Golfers? How to Do Them?


What Are the Best Power Training Exercises for Women Golfers? How to Do Them? Do you want to improve your golf performance? Doing any kind of sport-specific power training is essential if you want to get better at it. For women golfers, this means focusing on distance, speed, and stability.

Power training exercises for women golfers are superior and effective. They will help you strengthen and stabilize your physical movements and consistency. The end result will be you being able to grip women’s irons correctly. And a more efficient swing every time.

With that said, let’s look at a few important exercises for women golfers.

Power Training Exercises for Women Golfers

Here’s what you can do to get started right away…

  1. Push-Ups

Push-Ups
Push-Ups. Photo credit: runtastic.com

This is a great starter power training exercise to build endurance. It is a progressive exercise for women golfers. Progressive means that the more you practice doing it, the higher number of push-ups you will eventually be able to do.

For beginners, getting through 5-7 push-ups on the first day is victory itself. You will be working all the correct muscles needed to improve strength and agility for swinging.

Having said that, advanced trainers get through 20-plus push-ups because of consistent practice. That why is progressive power training exercises are best suited for women golfers.

Push-ups target your upper body muscles. Triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders. If you engage your core while doing a push-up, your abs and back muscles strengthen too.

Tip – If a basic push-up is too easy for you, try adding some weight on your back to increase endurance. This is an effective power training technique to get as many reps as possible.

  1. Dumbbell Squats

Dumbbell Squats
Dumbbell Squats. Photo credit: blog.myfitnesspal.com

A great lower body exercise and super effective when paired with a dumbbell. This is taking your super-basic squat to a whole new level. Dumbbell shoulder squats target your hips, thighs, lower back muscles, and glutes.

If you do not have a dumbbell at home, you can use a barbell. Just in case you do not have that either. You can add resistance using any heavy and grip-able object in the house.

The best starting point for power training for women golfers is 2-5 pounds. Once that feels too easy for you, add 2 pounds more to increase power.

  1. Skull Crushers

Skull Crushers
Skull Crushers. Photo credit: nourishmovelove.com

This targets your triceps that any golfer knows plays a huge role in impacting golf performance. Regulating proper form and movement of the arm while doing tricep exercises translates to stabilizing arm movement during a swing.

You can do skull crushers on an extension table or the floor. Make sure you have 2-5 pounds dumbbells in each hand. Lying down on your back with your knees bent. Straighten your hands in front of you in a vertical position.

Now bend your elbows to bring the head of the dumbbell just right over your skull. Hence the term “skull crusher.”

The best and most effective number of reps to do at once is 10-15. But this depends upon your personal endurance level as a beginner. If this feels too easy for you, you can always hold a heavier weight to increase power.

  1. Medicine Ball Push-Press Throw-Overhead

Medicine Ball Push-Press Throw-Overhead
Medicine Ball Push-Press Throw-Overhead. Photo credit: verywellfit.com

This exercise is one of the top-recommended power training exercises by golfers. It targets your shoulders, quads, and triceps. So it’s an all-in-one upper and lower body power training exercise for women golfers.

You can start with a 5-pound medicine ball. Grab it with both your hands like you’re holding a football or basketball. Raise the ball so that it’s under your chin with your elbows bent and close to your rib cage.

Holding the ball in this way, squat down and as you stand up straight, raise the ball right over your head. You can also throw the ball straight up if you have proper balance.

To gain better stability, as you throw the ball straight up, gently jump off the ground. Do not catch the ball as it comes down. Let it hit the ground and bounce back. This completes one round.

Conclusion

Power training involves combining endurance and agility in your practice. And since improving golf swing means experimenting with different speeds. Your focus should be to find the best and most efficient training to tackle the tenets of the golf swing.

Power training is a bit different than doing basic exercises. It includes combining different exercises in a short circuit. It means adding strength plus speed which generates power.

For women golfers, this typically means doing a round of exercises as fast and with as much force as possible. Then resting for 20-30 seconds and repeating the combo.

If you’re new to power training for sport-specific benefits, this is a great place to start.

 

 

 

 

 

What Are the Best Power Training Exercises for Women Golfers? How to Do Them?

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The 4 Best Muscle-Building Triceps Exercises


All of the presses performed for your upper body (bench press, shoulder press etc.), work your triceps besides the chest and the shoulders. This is a good enough reason to take care of the triceps and pay good attention to their development. 

I’ve heard all kinds of names given to impressively sized arms, starting of course with “guns”, “cannons” and all the way to “pythons”, for some reason. This just shows how much attention bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts dedicate to the arms, but a lot of people seem to neglect the importance of the triceps in this equation.

The biceps are important but so is the triceps, even more so, if you think about it. The upper arm is made out of two muscles (biceps and triceps), and the three heads of the triceps compose about two thirds of the upper arm, which means there can be no big arms without  a big and well developed triceps.

The triceps is used for pushing, and it’s the main pushing force behind the upper part of the arm. It helps your chest do presses, including but not limited to the barbell bench press (both incline and decline and flat), dumbbell bench presses and shoulder presses. All of these exercises are impossible to perfect without a strong and well developed triceps.

I would suggest that you don’t make any long, unproductive pauses during your workout on this routine. Go to the gym, warm up on an elliptical machine or a treadmill, relax for a minute and then begin the workout shown below.

There should be no waste of time – perform as efficiently as possible for best results. Also, make sure you’re always lifting your optimum weight and get to muscular failure on your last set.

Before training, you’ll want to eat something. A small meal with about 20-30 grams of protein and 50 to 60 grams of carbs about 2 hours before the workout is just fine. You can use steak, chicken, egg whites or even whey for the protein part, and you can use oats, whole grain bread or a small piece of fruit for your carbs.

Drink a glass of water and you’re good to go. If you can, grab a nitric oxide drink before your workout – the timing should be about half an hour before going to the gym. When you get there, do your warm-ups and perform the following exercises for a quality triceps routine.

1. Close-Grip Bench Press

Begin this exercise just like a flat barbell bench press, but with a closer grip. Your hands should be at least six inches apart, and at most the width of your shoulders. If you put them closer together, you’ll put unneeded tension on your wrists and your elbows, but on the other hand, if they are wider apart than your shoulders width, you’ll put tension on your chest.

Grab the bar and lower it down while counting back from three until it touches with your chest. Then, in one swift motion lift it up back into the starting position. Congratulations, you just did one repetition.

You’ll need to do four sets of 10 to 15 reps with about a minute of rest between them, but make sure to do two light warm-up sets before starting with the heavy stuff.

2. Lying Triceps Extensions With EZ Curl Bar

 

Lie down on a flat bench with an EZ curl bar at arm’s length. Your hands need to be about six inches apart to get the best effect on your triceps. Bend your arms at the elbows while keeping everything else tight and static, including your upper arms.

Lower the EZ curl bar until it almost touches your forehead – it needs to be about an inch away. Remember to lower it down slowly, so count back from three to get it done right. Then, just like with the previous exercise, lift it back to its starting position in one swift motion.

Three sets of 10 to 15 reps with about a minute of rest in between should be enough. People with bad elbows sometimes can’t do this exercise right, but they can always try with dumbbells. If you are one of these people, hold your dumbbells with your palms both pointed inwards and then do the same movement as with an EZ curl bar.

3. Parallel Bar Dips

Put your hands on the parallel bars and push yourself up until your arms are straight. Bend your elbows and start going down slowly. It should take you about three seconds to reach a point where your upper arms are completely horizontal, and when that happens you need to push yourself up with an explosive movement.

When you get back at the top, clench all of the activated muscles. If you feel too light, put on some weight in the form of a vest or dangle weights from your belt.

Three sets of this exercise will do the job, with 10 to 12 reps per set and a minute of rest in between.

Also, you can do some bench dips simply by putting two flat benches next to each other. Put your feet on one of the benches and your hands on the other, facing the ceiling. Counting backwards from three, lower yourself to the floor until your upper arms are completely horizontal, and then explode upwards in one swift motion. You can also add weight if you feel too light – just put it in your lap.

triceps bench dips

 

4. Triceps Rope Press down

Find an available cable station that has a rope on a high pulley. Grab the rope and make sure your hands are facing inwards (towards eachother). Your upper arms should be static at your sides, so you only work the elbows on this one.

Bend your elbows, lowering the rope and raising the weight until your arms are completely straight. Clench all of your activated muscles for a second and then relax and let the rope go back to its original position as you count down from three.

Do two medium-heavy sets of 20 reps each with a minute of rest between the sets.

Be sure to lightly stretch and flex the triceps in-between the sets on all exercises. This will keep the worked muscles warm, help the recovery process and also decrease the risk of injury.

After your workout is finished, do some more stretching and make sure you eat some carbohydrates and protein. Your muscles, including your triceps, need the right nutrients to stay healthy and to develop properly. This means that you should eat something with about 30 to 40 grams of protein, 60 to 80 grams of carbs and at least 12-16 ounces of water. Here is what you can eat before and after your workout.

Also, to aid in your recovery and to further boost your gains, I would suggest that you use some supplements as well. Supplements like creatine, vitamin C and branched-chain amino acids. Armed with all of this information, you should be well on your way to creating a formidable upper arm and an even more formidable triceps. Remember, the three heads of the triceps compose more than two thirds of the upper arm!





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5 grounding exercises to help when anxiety rises


Practical ways to ease anxiety right now, wherever you are

Have you seen that meme where the dog is sitting in a room that’s on fire and he sips his coffee saying “this is fine”? Well, I don’t think I’m the only person who can relate to this right now. It feels like the world around us is burning so it’s no surprise anxiety is on the rise for many of us.

Anxiety is something I’ve lived with for years – it feels like an old friend who I kinda hate but, for some reason, we stay in touch. Lately, though, this old friend of mine has changed. It’s made some buddies and become something bigger.

I no longer feel anxious for totally ridiculous reasons, I feel anxious for very real reasons. The threat and fear is tangible, I can taste it.

This makes tackling it a little different. Before, I could use logic and reason with myself – noticing when I was catastrophising and catching thoughts before I descended into a negative thought spiral. Now that logic is failing me.

Instead, I’m trying to accept that what I’m feeling is totally reasonable and that I’m not alone in how I feel. Accepting this, however, doesn’t make it go away. It softens its edges a bit, makes it feel less pointed, less ‘mine’ and mine alone… but it’s still there.

Amping up my usual self-care routine is helping. Talking to people about how I’m feeling, journaling, meditating, practising yoga, all things we promote here at Happiful. But there are times that this anxiety rises when, quite frankly, I don’t have the time or headspace to journal or do yoga. When I feel panic rising and I need something to quickly bring me back down in that moment.

This is where practical grounding exercises can help. I wanted to share some I’ve found useful and, let’s be honest, I wanted to put them all in one place so I can bookmark my own article for reference. Let’s take a look.

1. Hold an object

This sounds so simple, and it is, but hear me out. When we feel anxious, our breathing becomes shallow, our heart rate increases and blood is pumped to our major organs to prepare us to run or fight. Because of this, some parts of our body can become numb or tingly, we might also experience dissociation, where we feel as if we’re not in our body.

A helpful way to come back into your body is to instigate your sense of touch. And one way to do this is by holding an object. Any object will do, but try to find something with lots of different edges or textures. Focus on how it feels in your hands. Squeeze it, try to identify what you feel – is it warm or cool? Soft or hard?

I have a big chunk of rose quartz crystal I like to use for this. It’s raw and has lots of bumps and ridges, it feels cool then warms in my hands and, if you’re a believer of crystal healing, it has a soothing property that promotes healing and self-love (heck, I’ll take it!). You might want to try a fidget cube, a rock or shell picked up from a past holiday, or literally any object in front of you.

2. Adjust your breathing

If you feel able to sit and meditate, by all means do. This can be an excellent way to bring yourself back into a state of calm. If you don’t think you have the focus to sit for 10 minutes, a simple adjustment of your breathing will help.

There are lots of different breathing techniques you can try, but the one I find the simplest to remember is to focus on breathing from your belly (not your chest) and exhaling for longer than you inhale. When you do this, the vagus nerve (this runs from your neck down to your diaphragm) sends a signal to your brain to turn down your sympathetic nervous system and turn up your parasympathetic nervous system which calms your body down.

3. Smell something lovely

Activating any of your senses is a great way to ground yourself and come back to the present moment. Scent is one that, along with touch, works the quickest for me. When our brains receive a smell, it causes a reaction in the body. It can help us feel more energised, relaxed or even hungry, depending on what we’re smelling. We often tie scent to memories, so you can use this association to your advantage. If you know a smell triggers happy and calming memories and you’re able to bottle it (or bottle a sense of it), do this.

I have aromatherapy rollerballs dotted around my flat, by my bed and on my desk so I can inhale calming scents whenever I need to. I like to combine this with adjusting my breathing and give myself a real moment to pause.

4. Drink a cold glass of water

This is often recommended for someone going through (or on the verge of) a panic attack and I can see why. Cold water can ‘shock’ your system and help you feel really present in your body. When you drink it, notice the way it feels as it travels down your throat and into your stomach, let the cool sensation release tension.

Another tip that involves cold water is to dunk your head into a bowl of it. No, really. There’s research in physiology to suggest the human heart rate slows down 10-25% when our faces come into contact with cold water and this can ease panic. Perhaps that explains why many of us splash our faces with cold water when we’ve received bad news or need a moment to cool off.

5. Use an anchoring phrase

Anxiety sweeps us up and away. It’s like a tidal wave, determined to drag us to some terrifying place. As its name suggests, an anchoring phrase helps us stay put. The idea is to help remind you of who and where you are in the present moment. So an anchoring phrase I could use right now might be:

“I’m Kat Nicholls, I’m sitting at my desk in my flat. My partner is in the same room and I am safe here.”

Words like “I am safe”, “I can cope” or even “I’m OK” can all reinforce to us that, no matter how fiery the world is looking, in this present moment right now, we are safe.


I hope these techniques are helpful. Try them out and see which ones resonate the most and make these your go-tos. Ramp up that self-care, talk about how you’re feeling and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Listening services like Samaritans can be ideal for bringing you down to a calmer state of mind and for longer-term support, speaking to a therapist can help.







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3 Powerhouse Exercises Better Than Benching


Ever since Arnold became the face of bodybuilding, big pecs and arms have been the priority of young men in gyms everywhere. Not surprisingly, the bench press has become the favorite lift of gym rats. Ironically, it’s not that great of a pec builder… at least the way most people do it.

If you put all your hopes for bigger pecs on the bench press, you’ll end up disappointed. And I could say the same about other staple pec exercises like the dumbbell flye.

Here are three adaptations to common chest exercises that’ll make it much easier for you to build your pecs.

1. The Flye Press

This could be the most effective pec builder. There, I’ve said it. Am I committing a cardinal sin by saying the best exercise to build the pectorals isn’t a big barbell lift? Well, hear me out.

This is coming from someone who loves the bench press, incline press, and heavy dips… someone who has benched 445 pounds. Yet, at the height of my pressing power, my chest was my least developed muscle group. (My delts and triceps did most of the work.)

The best way to develop your pecs is with an isolation exercise… kinda.

The flye press is the lovechild of a dumbbell flye and a dumbbell press. You do the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement as a flye and the concentric (lifting) part as a press. There’s a little more to it than that, but take a look:

Why is it the best pec-building exercise? To find out, we need to look at two of the main mechanisms behind muscle growth: muscle damage and mTOR activation.

When you want to maximize both, the key is to lengthen/stretch the muscle fibers while they’re under tension. The more tension the fibers produce when they’re lengthening, the greater the muscle damage, mTOR activation, and subsequent growth.

When the muscle fibers are producing more tension (more force), more actin-myosin bridges are created within each fiber. And the more bridges you have while you’re forcefully stretching those fibers, the more damage you’ll create.

The purpose of the concentric phase is to recruit more muscle fibers and make them produce more tension to increase the number of actin-myosin cross bridges. This sets up the eccentric to be done under the best possible conditions to trigger growth (lengthening the fibers under control while having maximum tension).

If you have very little tension at the end of the concentric range of motion, it’ll be much harder to get the most out of the eccentric phase. That’s the limitation of regular dumbbell flyes and even the bench press.

During a regular dumbbell flye, there’s a lot of tension on the pecs from the bottom position up to around the middle of the range of motion. When you approach the end of the lifting phase, there’s very little tension on the pecs.

The flye is a great exercise, in theory, because of the stretch you impose on the pectoral fibers. But because you lose a lot of tension at the end of the lifting phase, you make the subsequent lowering phase much less effective.

Not to mention that you can’t use a lot of weight with normal dumbbell flyes, which also decreases fiber recruitment and tension.

That’s where the dumbbell flye-press combo comes in. By doing the concentric portion of the lift as a press, you can use more weight (more tension) and because of the line of action (pretty directly against gravity) you can maintain a high level of tension right to the end much more easily than with a flye.

More weight and maintained tension mean that you’ll start the eccentric phase, which you’ll perform as a flye, much more effectively. You’ll be using more weight and producing a lot more tension while you’re stretching the fibers during the eccentric. This will cause more muscle damage, mTOR activation, and a greater growth stimulus.

How to Do It


  1. Start from the top (arms in a finished dumbbell press position). Lower the weights down slowly (4-5 seconds down). You want a slight elbow bend to shift most of the work onto the pecs instead of the biceps and front delts, but not too much.

  2. Go as low as you can, really feel a good stretch in your pecs.

  3. In the low position, bring the dumbbells in by flexing the elbows until the forearms are perpendicular to the floor, getting into a pronated position.

  4. Press up and slightly inward, focusing on squeezing the pecs.

  5. When you reach the top, start from step one.

  6. Once it’s hard to keep lowering the weights under control and you likely won’t be able to lift them back up, hold the low position of the flye as long as tolerable for your last rep. Try to eventually reach 30 seconds or more.

There’s no exercise that’ll provide a better direct growth stimulus to the pecs, especially not with minimal equipment.

Do 6-10 reps per set. Lower the weight slowly (3-5 seconds) and lift at a moderate speed that’ll let you concentrate on contracting the pecs. You should be able to use around 80-90% of the load you’d use on regular dumbbell presses.

2. The Nilsson Press

I often use resistance bands to “redirect” tension during barbell lifts, allowing me to focus more on certain muscle groups. The sweeping deadlift is a good example.

Another awesome application comes from the mad scientist, Nick Nilsson. You attach bands outside of a 25-pound plate on each side of a barbell that’s been set up for bench pressing. Then you put your forearms inside the loop of the bands.

When you press the barbell, you consciously focus on pushing against the bands, trying to press your elbows in. This will shift the stress away from the shoulders and onto the pecs.

This is actually the correct way to bench press, but very few people do it. Instead they simply press the barbell up, moving the shoulders toward the ceiling. This both shifts the stimulus away from the pecs and increases the risk of shoulder injury.

Note: In the demo I’m not using weight outside of the bands so that you can more easily see the proper set-up. Normally I add weight to properly load the exercise. Total weight should be around 40-60 pounds less than what you use on a normal bench press.

How to Do It


  1. Put a 25-pound plate on each end of a barbell. It should be around the middle point of the sleeve (use a collar inside the plate to secure it).



  2. Wrap a small resistance band outside of that plate on each side.


  3. Image 2


  4. Add weight outside of the band, so that you have the proper load for your set. Start with around 40-60 pounds less than what you’d use on a normal set.


  5. Image 3


  6. When you’re lying on the bench, pass your forearms through the loops of the bands.

  7. When pressing the weight up, focus on pushing the elbows in and pulling the bands.

I love this exercise because it targets the pecs better than standard benching, it teaches optimal pressing mechanics, and it greatly reduces shoulder stress.

3. The Squeeze Press

This is one of my favorite mind-muscle connection builders for the chest. If done properly, no other exercise will teach you how to recruit the pecs as quickly.

I like to use it early in a workout or as the first exercise in a superset (more on that in a second), especially if you have trouble feeling your pecs working.

Because of its nature, you can actually do this exercise very frequently. Every day in fact. Why? Because it will cause next to no muscle damage, so it’s super easy to recover from.

This is why it’s my go-to exercise to fix a lagging chest. When you have a lagging muscle, most of the time it’s simply because you’re not good at recruiting it. And the key to becoming better at contracting a muscle is to practice it often. No movement will teach you how to flex your pecs better than the squeeze press.

If you’re using it as a true hypertrophy tool, not for motor learning, you must go to the point where it hurts/burns. Do sets where you’ll be under tension for at least 30 seconds, more likely 40-60 seconds.

Why? Because this exercise won’t cause much muscle damage or mTOR activation, so you need an accumulation of local growth factors and lactate to grow. The higher your discomfort tolerance is on this movement, the more you’ll benefit.

How to Do It

The squeeze press is a dumbbell bench press with one slight difference: the dumbbells are kept in contact with each other at all times and you’re actively squeezing them inward (against each other) as hard as possible. This simple action will shift all the stress onto the pecs.

Squeeze as hard as possible during every inch of every single rep. This is what makes this exercise effective.

Use a slow concentric/lifting tempo. This makes it simpler to hold a maximum inward press. It will also increase the time under tension, allowing you to more easily reach the required lactate accumulation and local growth factors release.

If you execute the concentric portion in 3 seconds and the eccentric in 1 or 2 seconds (a rare occasion where the concentric should be slower than the eccentric) you’ll need 8-12 reps to get into the right zone.

The Mighty Pecs Giant Set

Try combining all three exercises into one bad-ass giant set that’s guaranteed to inflate your chest instantly.


  • Start with a set of the squeeze press for 8-12 reps and go close to failure.

  • Taking as little rest as possible, move to the Nilsson press for another 8-12 reps. Once you reach close to failure, take the bands out and finish with as many normal bench press reps as possible.

  • Move on to the flye press and go to failure, 8-12 reps again.

The structure is important. You start with a peak contraction exercise followed by the multi-joint movements. The bands will allow you to keep stress on the chest even if they’re trashed from the squeeze press (the body would normally want to use the delts), and finish with a stretch movement. Stretching your muscle once it’s thoroughly inflated can give you a little bit more growth stimulus.

You only have to do 1-2 sets to get as much pec stimulation as you’d ever want or need!

Related:
Growth Factor Chest Training

Related:
A Crazy New Way to Bench Press



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Six Exercises that Effectively Target Abdominal Muscles


Sorry guys, but crunches and sit-ups will never give you rock-solid abs on their own.

Research has found that many of these popular movements that are supposed to get you a chiseled mid-section in no time don’t actually produce any significant results and place a lot of strain on other parts of the body such as the neck, spine and lower back.

Instead, you should first try harder to eat right and reduce your body fat by burning more calories than you consume (belly fat does a wonderful job at covering them up, remember?).

Some seasoned bodybuilders would even go as far as to say that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. Next, you have to engage in a diverse workout routine that targets each of the upper and lower abdominal muscles and works them from every possible angle.

There is more to the abdominal area than the six-pack – this muscle group includes many interconnected muscles that run up the back and stretch down to the butt, and all of them should get a piece of the action if you want to get the kind of ripped stomach you see on magazine covers.

Forget about crunches and try this program of six exercises that effectively target abdominal muscles and promote greater fat loss and a better muscle building response than any of the traditional ab exercises.

You can do them in straight sets, resting 30 seconds between sets, or in a circuit with no rest between exercises.

Ready to build a washboard mid-section? Make your abs scream with the routine below!

1. Flutter kicks

Lie on your back with the head and back relaxing on the ground, arms extended by your sides.

Tighten your abs and hold the legs straight out and lifted about six inches above the ground. Start the movement by lifting the left leg higher than the right leg, then lower it as you lift the right leg higher.

This should be done quickly, in a scissor-like motion.

You can also tuck your hands underneath the glutes for a better control of the movement. One kick with each leg constitutes one rep. Perform 5 sets of 15 reps.

2. Straight leg raises

Leg-Raises

Lie on your back with the head and back relaxing on the ground and the legs extended.

Keeping the knees straight and close together, slowly lift your legs straight up towards the ceiling until they are about perpendicular to the floor, if possible.

Hold the position for a few moments, keeping the lower abs contracted. Slowly return to the starting position.

3. Side raises

side-plank

Lie on the side with a straight body and have your body weight distributed on your forearm.

The feet should be on top of each other. Lift your hips up off of the floor, powering the movement with your forearm, so that your whole body forms a straight line, with the head and neck aligned with the rest of the body.

Hold the position for a few moments, then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Perform 5 sets of 15 reps.

4. Oblique crunches

oblique-crunches

Lie on your right side with the legs on top of each other, bent at the knees. Place the left hand behind your head. Start by moving your left elbow up and crunch as high as you can.

Hold the position for a few moments, focusing on the contraction in the obliques. Slowly return to the starting position and do a few more repetitions on the left side, then switch and repeat on the right side.

Perform 5 sets of 30 reps (15 reps on each side).

5. Alternating elbow-to-knee

elbow-to-knee

Lie on your back and cross your arms across your chest so that the right hand rests on the left shoulder and the left hand rests on the right shoulder.

Crunch up and bring the right elbow towards the left knee, then drop back to the floor. Then alternate to the other side and bring the left elbow towards the right knee.

Perform 5 sets of 30 reps (15 reps on each side).

6. Reverse hip crunch thrusts

hip-thrust

Lie on your back with your head and neck resting on the floor, bent knees and flat feet. Your arms should be by your sides.

Keeping a tight core, slowly roll your legs up towards your ears, bringing the hips up towards you. Hold the position for a few moments, then slowly lower the legs back to the floor.

Perform 5 sets of 15 reps.

These exercises are simple yet very powerful and the high number of sets is guaranteed to get your mid-section burning.

So if you want to rock some impressive abs this summer, start sweating right now!





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Australia to join India, US, Japan in large naval exercises



Conducted annually since 1992, the maneuvers have grown in size and complexity in recent years to address what the US Navy has previously described as a “variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.”

The participation of Australia means that all four members of the so-called Quad will be participating in the exercises for the first time since 2007.

The Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is an informal strategic forum for the US, Japan, Australia and India, featuring semi-regular summits and information exchanges between the four nations.

While not a formal military alliance like NATO, it is seen by some as a potential counterweight to growing Chinese influence and alleged aggression in Asia-Pacific. The collation has been denounced by Beijing as an anti-China bloc.

The Australian and Indian defense ministries announced the expansion of the drills, which had been long-speculated, late Monday.

Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said the Malabar exercises were key to enhancing Australia’s maritime capabilities, and showcased the “deep trust between four major Indo-Pacific democracies and their shared will to work together on common security interests.”

Australia’s previous participation in the drills in 2007 sparked diplomatic protests from China. Relations between China and Australia have since deteriorated, however, with the two countries locked in a series of long-running trade disputes.

Other members of the Quad have also seen tensions with Beijing spike in recent months. Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border between the two countries in the Himalayas — in June.
Japan and China remain at odds over the disputed Senkaku Islands, named the Diaoyus by China, where Beijing has increased the presence of its coast guard vessels.
The US meanwhile has increased the tempo of its naval and air missions in the South China Sea, while pushing back at Beijing’s claims to the vast waterway.

In a statement Monday, India’s Defense Ministry said the four participants “collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.”

The exercises will begin in November in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, India said.

Malabar began as a bilateral exercise between India and the US. Japan became a permanent Malabar member in 2015.

Previous exercises have taken place in the Indian Ocean as well as off the coast of Japan a year ago, and around the US Pacific territory of Guam and in the Philippine Sea in 2018.

The 2017 exercises in the Indian Ocean involved aircraft carriers from the US, India and Japan in what were then described as the largest naval exercises in the region in two decades.

CNN’s James Griffiths contributed reporting.



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Australia to rejoin ‘quad’ naval exercises in move certain to infuriate Beijing


Diplomatic tensions with China are set to be reignited after Australia was formally invited to take part in large scale military exercises next month involving the United States, Japan and India.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) last took part in Exercise Malabar in 2007, before the Rudd government withdrew from the naval drills the following year because of concerns over relations with Beijing.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has confirmed Australia will participate in Exercise Malabar 2020, which she described as a “milestone activity”.

“High-end military exercises like Malabar are key to enhancing Australia’s maritime capabilities, building interoperability with our close partners, and demonstrating our collective resolve to support an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Senator Reynolds said.

Japan and the United States have been pushing diplomatically for Australia’s return to the Quadrilateral exercises, which China views as threatening and an effort to contain its military reach.

The exercises improve the four countries’ capacity to work together across the region.(Reuters: Nobuhiro Kubo)

India had been reluctant to allow the ADF to rejoin the powerful military grouping, but the country’s Defence Ministry confirmed a long-anticipated invitation had finally been made.

“As India seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy,” the ministry said.

“The participants of Exercise Malabar 2020 are engaging to enhance safety and security in the maritime domain.

“They collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules-based international order.”

Decision makes Quad ‘very formidable’

HMAS Brisbane with dark clouds behind it.
Sources say HMAS Brisbane could take part in the exercises, but this has not been confirmed.(ABC News: Rachel Riga)

Australia is yet to announce which naval assets will deploy to Exercise Malabar in the Indian Ocean, but defence sources have suggested a warship such as HMAS Hobart or HMAS Brisbane would be likely to go.

The Malabar invitation follows a Quad foreign ministers’ meeting in Tokyo earlier this month, attended by Foreign Minister Marise Payne

“It will bolster the ability of India, Australia, Japan and the United States to work together to uphold peace and stability across our region,” Senator Payne said.

“This builds on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to which Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Modi agreed on 4 June 2020, and which I progressed with my counterpart, Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar, this month when we met in Tokyo.”

India’s former Naval spokesman DK Sharma, who has long advocated for Australia’s return to the Malabar exercises, said having all four nations taking part made the Quad a more formal security alliance.

“It makes it very, very formidable,” DK Sharma told the ABC.

“The way [China] is moving out, the first island chain and the second island chain, now you have Japan on top, you have the Pacific more or less under the control of the US, then we have Australia which will have a good look towards either the Pacific or Indian Ocean Pacific, and then we have India.

“None of us are behaving in a way China is behaving — there is a difference, we are all talking security, prosperity, peace, tranquillity … Those guys are only talking about grabbing the nations, making their ports, militarising them, grabbing the islands.”



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