The 7 Fitness Secrets We Had Always Known

Fitness Secrets

On a very hectic schedule with efforts to balance work and life, being fit is always necessary. Whether going to the gym, doing home workout routines and yoga, a lot of people haven’t considered these fitness secrets that we have always known. For the reason, that physical fitness does not just involve your body, but your mind as well.

Be conscious and composed

To stay fit means staying mindful about you. Be observant on your moods and emotions. If you are feeling anxious, acknowledge it and take three rounds of deep breathing. This helps in re-oxygenating the blood, hence, you could bring you’re A-Game before working out. This will give you the best results. Playing your favourite song super loud as mood music also helps in setting your mind.

Have a Tea Time

Taking a sip of caffeine could support in boosting your workout as it stimulates adrenal glands, thus improving endurance. A good hour before heading to the gym, taking a shot of matcha green tea could not only boost your performance but also gives you mental clarity. This is due to the potent antioxidants found in the drink. 

Take a Break

We have always put in mind that more workout means more progress, but is it? Rest has always been overlooked, yet it is the most important aspect of fitness. Over-training yourself could cause fatigue, given the volume and intensity of your routines. Oftentimes, we disregard muscle and joint pains and injuries just to keep ourselves in the fitness loop. Little do we know when the body is at rest, it is when physiological changes occur. A good eight-hours sleep and a break from time to time during workouts and exercise are substantive.

Less is more

We have always thought that the heavier the weight the more toned our body is. But for the ladies, lifting more and more weight could cause bulker arms and shoulder. To achieve sexy and slender, keep in mind that less is more. Keep the weights on the low and increase the reps; the more muscles you work out, even on low scales, would be very helpful. This also applies to the guys. If you just started working out, this principle is also imperative in the gradual development of your muscles.

Visual Aids

If you have been battling over going to the gym or not, it is because you lack motivation. Treating fitness as a competition rather a marathon would be a mental dilemma. Keep your eyes on the long-term goals as you build a strong success plan. Be specific in your schedule, write it down and put it somewhere you would always sweep your eyes to. With that, you are always reminded of your motivations.

Variety is the key

Steady and conventional are not a thing when you are achieving a certain physiological goal. You need to keep challenging yourself.  A change in routines is always an imposed need for development. Shift your exercises for beginners, intermediate and advance. Once you have achieved your goal, choose what routines you are going to maintain.

Be consistent

All work requires effort. In that case, working out should take more than just “enough”. It doesn’t mean you have to surprisingly push your body to the extremes but to be consistent and invest effort in your practice. Keep it fun and enjoyable, but at the same time keep it regular. A good week of training deficiency could cost you a month-long effort of muscle development. Hence, be very mindful of how consistent you are in working out.

Get On the Ball for Tight, Toned Abs


Likely, you’ll fit into one of two exercise camps. Either you hate abdominal work, but you do it because it is a necessary evil, or you thoroughly enjoy it. Either way, most people want to have better abs. Adding a few more sets of sit-ups is not usually the answer for producing those washboard six-packs or tightening your midriff. Don’t let excuses like “poor genetics” or a “slow metabolism” control your fitness outcome, because these excuses are usually self-fulfilling prophecies. The solution is relatively straightforward, but it is not simple. One of the “secrets” for improving abdominal shape is to increase your metabolic rate, both acutely (for a short time) and chronically (throughout the day). Usually, your metabolic rate will be elevated for several hours after a workout, so it’s important to maintain regular workouts for your metabolic success.

Cardio for at least 20-30 minutes a day will go a long way toward increasing your metabolic rate both during and after training. Cardio uses the stored fat calories as energy sources to eventually reveal a flat abdomen. However, your long-term success is improved if your lean body tissue is increased because larger muscles burn more calories throughout the day than small muscles, even if you’re only sitting at your computer and working from home. By no means do you have to add 20 pounds of muscle before your resting metabolic rate increases; even a little more muscle helps, regardless of your age. You should choose abdominal exercises that shorten and tighten the fibers in this area and not exercises that excessively stretch the abdomen. Crunches on an exercise ball are great because they optimize your abdominal contractions, while protecting your back.

Muscle Form and Function

The rectus abdominis muscle is really a series of short fibers stacked vertically on each other. The linea alba is a thin tendon-like vertical line that creates a groove in the middle of the abdominal wall so the rectus abdominis appears to have a left and right half to it. Usually, there are three additional rows of horizontally placed tendons running across the rectus abdominis. The fibers of the rectus abdominis are short and only run from one horizontal tendinous insertion to the next. When the rectus abdominis is tensed, these short fibers bulge between the tendinous grooves, almost like small ropes or blocks, giving that six-pack look. However, even if you are not interested in a six-pack, the small blocks of abdominal fibers will give your waist that tight and flat look from your rib cage to your pelvis.

If both right and left halves of the rectus abdominis muscle contract together, the trunk is flexed forward so the head and chest move closer to the hips and legs (assuming a fixed pelvis). This is the general movement of the crunch. Although there is muscle activity in all the blocks during most abdominal exercises, the upper two rows preferentially contract and shorten the most when doing crunches. However, in the crunch on the ball, the inferior fibers close to the pelvis can be effectively activated.

You can see the external oblique muscles dance and tighten, if your midriff is reasonably tight, and especially if you twist to either side. If this is not the case yet, then crunches on the ball will move you a little closer to this goal. The external oblique runs from the lower ribs by small bundles of muscle fibers that are angled in the same direction that your fingers would point, if you were to put your hands in your pockets. As the external oblique approaches the center of your abdomen, it unites with other slips of muscle fibers to form a flat fan-shaped muscle that attaches to the iliac bones of the pelvis and hip structure and also the linea alba. When both left and rights sides of the external oblique muscles work together, they can act to flex the trunk and move the head toward the feet. When one side contracts (unilateral contraction), the body twists to that side.

The internal oblique muscle sits just deep to the external oblique muscle. It attaches on a thick connective tissue sheath in the lower back, called the thoracolumbar fascia, and from the iliac bone of the hip. Its fibers run around the side of the trunk at right angles to the external oblique muscle, fanning out from their origins and running toward the head (superiorly). It attaches on the lowest three or four ribs, where it becomes continuous with the internal intercostal muscles (respiratory muscles of the rib cage). Similar to the external oblique muscle, if both left and right portions contract together, the internal oblique flexes the trunk at the waist and moves the head towards the feet. It assists in twisting the torso if it contracts unilaterally.

Crunch on an Exercise Ball

This exercise will most effectively contract the upper two rows of the rectus abdominis, but the internal and external oblique muscles will also assist in the flexion of the trunk.

1. Carefully lie back on a Swiss ball. Start by placing the ball behind you and holding it with your hands. Bend your knees and lower yourself so your shoulders and back are lying along the center of the ball. Next, extend your knees and let the ball roll a bit toward your head. Continue until your knees are at about 90 degrees and the ball is lying in the small of your back (lumbar). Your shoulders will not touch the ball, but your shoulder blades will contact the ball in the starting position. Make sure your shoes have a good gripping surface; otherwise, you may risk sliding off the ball.

2. Place your hands so that your fingertips are on either side of your head. It’s not a good idea to place your hands behind your head and interlace the fingers. This is because as you fatigue, you could pull up on your head with your hands and forcefully bend your neck forward. This has the potential to hurt your neck. Instead, with your fingers placed on the side of your head (the temple area), you cannot use your head as a lever to help you lift your head and torso off of the ball.

3. Point your elbows to the side and away from your body (not forward). Take a breath; then exhale as you bring your head and chest upward toward the ceiling. Your shoulders should rise an inch or two during this first phase; you’ll feel your lower back press deeper into the Swiss ball and the upper row of rectus abdomnis contract strongly as you come up. Do not let the ball roll forward as you come upward. And don’t let your hips drop down as your chest comes upward.

4. During the second phase, try to come up even further so your shoulder blades (scapula) lift off of the ball. But, think about curling your shoulders and upper back so your chin moves toward your chest as your upper body is curling (or crunching) toward your thighs. Hold the crunched position for a count of two.

5. During the third part of the exercise, tilt your pelvis forward and upward toward your head as your shoulders move upward. A pelvis tilt is critical because it strongly activates the lower blocks of your abdominals. All the while, try to keep squeezing your abdominals while you’re holding the pelvis tilt.

6. Inhale as you slowly control your upper body as it returns to the starting position. The ball prevents your shoulders and head from resting between repetitions so you’ll maintain tension throughout the entire exercise and between repetitions. This greatly increases the effectiveness and intensity of the exercise.

Important Tips

Getting on and off the ball can be difficult or uncomfortable if you have previously hurt your lower back. Consult your sports medicine doctor before doing this or other abdominal exercises. However, this is considered an excellent exercise even for someone with a weak back, because it does not put your lower back at risk if done correctly. Also, the ball supports your lower back throughout the exercise, whereas regular sit-ups and leg lifts jeopardize even a healthy back. Furthermore, strengthening the abdominals reduces the risk for other back injuries.

Don’t hold your breath during the crunch on the exercise ball, since this increases intra-abdominal pressure and prevents the abdominal fibers from shortening as much (although it might feel easier to do the crunch when holding your breath). It is good to either exhale as you are crunching forward, or even better, exhale before you do the contraction. Then concentrate on achieving a maximal shortening of the fibers during the exercise.

It would be impossible to attain fitness, aesthetic or sport objectives and tight abdominals if your diet is mainly high in fats and calories. Even if your diet is pretty good, you may need to add cardio to help meet your training goals. If your bodyweight goes down, crunches will become easier because you have less to lift each time you rise from the ball. Therefore, you’ll need to add a few more repetitions to continue progressing. You can also add a slight twist to the right as you elevate your shoulder blades from the ball, followed by a slight twist to the left on the next repetition. The twists increase the activation of the oblique muscles and this tightens the “love handle” region of your waist.

Probably nothing worthwhile or lasting comes easily, and this is certainly true for the abdominals. As a result, you must carefully set high standards and realistic goals for your diet and exercise program and you must establish firm deadlines for achieving success. Then, you must move your dream forward with determination; let nothing stop you from meeting those goals. So, maybe not all abdominal exercises are fun to do, but this exercise is not exhausting, yet it’s effective and intensive.

References:

Arokoski JP, Valta T, et al. Back and abdominal muscle function during stabilization exercises. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 82: 1089-1098, 2001.

Bayramoglu M, Akman MN, et al. Isokinetic measurement of trunk muscle strength in women with chronic low-back pain. Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 80: 650-655, 2001.

Bower A. Absolutely fabulous? The TV ads promise easy rock-hard abdominals, but studies show there’s no such thing as a free six-pack. Time, 158: 54-55, 2001.

Demont RG, Lephart SM, et al. Comparison of two abdominal training devices with an abdominal crunch using strength and EMG measurements. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 39: 253-258, 1999

Moore KL and Daley AF. Cinically Oriented Anatomy. Lippincott Williams & Williams, Baltimore, 4th Edition pp. 1999. 178-187.

Sands WA and McNeal JR. A kinematic comparison of four abdominal training devices and a traditional abdominal crunch. J Strength Cond Res 16: 135-141, 2002.

Stich V, Marion-Latard F, et al. Hypocaloric Diet Reduces Exercise-Induced alpha2-Adrenergic Antilipolytic Effect and alpha2-Adrenergic Receptor mRNA Levels in Adipose Tissue of Obese Women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 87: 1274-1281, 2002.

Suleiman S and Johnston DE. The abdominal wall: an overlooked source of pain. Am Fam Physician, 64: 431-438, 2001.





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Kylie Jenner moans about her ‘quarantine pounds’ as she shows off ridiculously toned body


Kylie Jenner has baffled fans by moaning about the “quarantine pounds” she has to lose while showing off her ridiculously toned body in a bikini.

The reality TV star, 22, took to Instagram to complain about all the weight she has put on during lockdown.

She shared a video of herself modelling a bikini in front of a mirror and wrote: “Ok cutting off these quarantine pounds starting tomorrow.”

However, the post left fans baffled as Kylie looked to slimand toned in the video.

Kylie Jenner shared a video in which she moaned about her quarantine pounds

One shared her comments on Twitter, adding wide-eyed emojis in shock.

Kylie has previously admitted she’s been treating herself during lockdown by feasting on sugary and carb-heavy foods.

She’s shared pictures of naughty breakfasts including waffles drenched with syrup and dusted with sugar.

She has vowed to go on a diet

Fans were baffled as Kylie appears to look slim and toned

The make-up mogul has also been indulging in cake, pizza and ice cream over the last few months.

However, despite her indulgences, Kylie looks like she’s managed to stay trim.

Her lockdown treats are in stark contrast to her sister Kourtney, who seems to have maintained her strict diet over the last few months.

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Kourtney been sharing regular updates on her food intake, telling fans she’s been snacking on vegan cheese and sourdough bread with butter and honey.

While she also showed her kids tucking into watermelon and mango sprinkled with special chilli powder, and celery with almond butter.

Kylie  has been staying at home at her multi-million dollar mansion in California with her daughter Stormi, on/off boyfriend Travis Scott and best friend Stassie Karanikolaou.

Despite lockdown in California, she has managed to enjoy several nights out during lockdown, and was recently pictured hitting the town with her pal Fai Khadra.

The pair enjoyed a meal at Nobu in Malibu before heading to LA hotspot Bootsy Bellows, which is said to have opened just for Kylie’s group.

She was also pictured attending Stassie’s birthday party at her home recently along with a group of friends.





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