If you participate in any strength training program, one of the first things you notice is the count for each rep. Instead of going through the motions absent-mindedly, use the following advice from our expert guest blogger who suggests we slow down!
As a runner, this advice really hits home. There are plenty of times during a long run when I enjoy a good distraction; like making to-do lists, music and mentally redecorating my dining room. But, one thing that I have really noticed about distraction is that quite often I’m too uncomfortable to even be distracted. If I’m in the habit of relying on distraction to get through a difficult run, I am done for. My mind will often wander to the end of the run and create all sorts of worst-case scenarios that will (most likely) never happen.
Learn how to maintain an inner awareness during exercise, to focus on your breathing and your strength, and come through feeling exhilarated.
Drop and Give Me 20!
Pushups are an excellent way to tone and strengthen the upper body but women are frequently intimidated by them. We’ve been lead to believe that we don’t have the upper-body strength for them and wind up missing out on the benefits. But, with proper technique and a bit of practice the basic pushup can become your go-to exercise for sleek, powerful arms.
1. Set yourself up in a basic plank position–palms on the floor, wrists and shoulders vertically aligned, core engaged. Most importantly DON’T do them on your knees! If your wrists and shoulders are strong enough to hold a plank on your hands, your ready to try pushups on your toes!
2. Lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows and push back up until your arms are straight or almost straight again. If you’re new to pushups, don’t worry about going down all the way. It can take a while to develop the strength to go all the way down and back up again.
1. Butt ups–people sometimes are so focussed on the up and down motion that they start rocking their hips up and down rather than bending at the elbows. This won’t get the results you want and may irritate your lower back. Lower your entire body at the same time, and keep that core engaged!
2) V-up–double check that your hands are in line with your shoulders as you move. If your hands are too far out in front of you you risk injuring the front of your shoulder. Think of making a perpendicular line from the floor, through the wrist and elbow to the shoulder. If you feel discomfort in your shoulders, you can try widening or narrowing your hands but they should always be lined up with your shoulders, not your face or eyes.
You can do it! Stay on your toes for strong arms and shoulders.
Push Up Variations for Strong Arms
1) PUSH UPS- Yes, i said it. Just do some simple push ups. But you can do a variety of push ups. Do some tick tock push ups. Get in a push up position, do one push up, then turn your body going in a clockwise position, do another push up, and keep going in a clockwise position until you end up where you started.
2) Another arm workout includes using some light dumbbells or resistance bands and do some curls and tricep extensions. Take the dumbbells in both hands or resistance bands and do some curls. Do what you call a burnt out set which means you curl the dumbbells/resistance bands as many times as you can until you can curl them anymore and really burn your arms out until you can’t even lift them up.
And for the tricep extensions, you do the same thing. Do overhead tricep extensions with the dumbbells until you burnout or use the resistance bands the same way until you burn out.
Make May your month of action! What will you do today to prepare yourself for swimsuit season?
Pull-Ups to Build Strength and Tone Muscles
Pull ups are quite possibly the best upper body strength training exercise. With nothing more than a bar to hand from you can train the back, chest, shoulders, arms and core. A couple of quick changes in hand placement, hands wide or close together and palms facing away from or towards the body (chin-ups), can add variety and target different muscle groups.
To get started, hang from a pull-up bar with your hands about shoulder width apart and your palms facing away from your body. Engage your core and back to pull yourself towards your hands so your chin is at or above the bar. To complete the exercise slowly lower yourself back to the hanging position.
If you are unable to perform a pull up, make strengthening the muscles of your upper body a priority. Try incorporating the inverted row, plank row, lat pull-down and assisted pull-up into your workout program.
Make May your month of action. What did you do today to prepare for swimsuit season?
As the weather gets nicer, we are reminded that bikini season is fast approaching. And what do we all want to show off most while wearing our bitty bikini?… great abs! Our guest blogger, Scott Wiess, is the clinical director at the physical therapy clinic, Bodhizone in NYC. Learn how he suggests to strengthen your abs effectively.
Subscribe to receive updates!
The Pretty Hard Work Store
- 18 May 2013Learn The Advantages Of Pilates
- 15 May 20138 More Quick Tips on How to Start a Physically Active Routine
- 14 May 2013Curb Your Cravings With Almost Heaven Almond Macaroons
- 30 Apr 2013Shaved Heads, Pride and Being Blissfully Grateful
- 26 Apr 2013Home Gym: Keep It Simple
- Dr. Len Lopez on Don’t Neglect Half Your Upper Body – Try Inverted Pull-ups!
- samac on How to Fuel Your Workout
- Tony Nguyen on 4 Tips for Those Who Can’t Stop Sweating After a Workout
- Quick Start Morning Workout | Iron Mountain Pilates & Movement Ltd. on Quick Start Morning Workout
- Where to Find Motivation to Exercise | Pretty Hard Work « Try Wellness on For Size on Where to Find Motivation to Exercise