Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Good Move For The Back Arms

One of the problem areas for men as well as women is the triceps. The good news, this muscle is one of the easiest muscles to isolate or tone in the entire body. There are three heads to this muscle which give it the first part of its name (tri). The long head is the part of the back arm that gets the least work and therefore the flabbiest.

A good exercise to firm up this problem area is the chair dip. Sit on a hard chair and position your hands on the side of your butt. Scoot out a little until you butt is just off the edge of the chair and lower the body up and down a little. You don’t need to go down too far. Six to ten inches is more than enough.

You can tell you’re doing it right if you feel a burning in the back arm after just a few repetitions. Two things to watch out for are pain in the shoulders and a feeling of fatigue in the legs. The first means you went down too far and the second means you’re using the legs and not the back arms.

If you’re new to this move you only need to do it five to ten times. Wait a few days and try it again. Gradually work up to 10-15 a few times a week. For those of you who want an advanced version, put your legs out straight out in front of you. The really advanced can put their leg up on a chair so the feet are level to the hips.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Make Your Legs Stronger With This Home Exercise

If you want to get stronger legs, here is an exercise you can do at home without any gym equipment. Most people who walk only bend their legs slightly from about 10 to 20 degrees. The more you walk the more you work the same muscles over and over again. This is great for the calves and part of the front quads but you don’t work the leg muscles the assist you in getting up from a seated position.

The main thing to be careful of is knee pain. Any attempt to add something to your walking will only be beneficial if it doesn’t involve sore joints in the long run. The “wallsit” is an easy exercise to do at home because it requires no weight or equipment.

Stand with your back up against a wall. Walk out two or three little steps with your back still flat on the wall. Then you want to slowly lower yourself, stop and count to five or ten. Make sure you can see your feet and that your knees don’t go in front of your ankles. As you start you may not go all that low or count past a few seconds. The longer you practice the lower you can go and the longer you will hold the down position.

The goal position is a right angle (legs of a chair) and the time to shoot for is 60-90 seconds. The beginners need only slide down the wall a foot or two but still make sure you can see your toes. I tell my clients to wear a watch with a second hand and keep track as you hold so you can compete with your last time. You will be amazed after a few weeks how much longer you can hold yourself in a squat position. I had a lady go from
ten seconds of pain the first time to a 30 second hold in less than three weeks.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Some Weight Lose Tricks For My Foothill Neighbors

When you wake up in the morning drink two 8 oz. glasses of water. Most of us have a hard time drinking during a busy day. People who drink an extra six to eight glasses of water lose an extra five pounds over non drinkers. Try this before every meal and you’ve accomplished ¾ of the battle.
Eat within an hour of waking. Ghrelin is called the “feed me” hormone and it’s triggered as soon as we wake up. If we ignore this nasty hormone and don’t eat, it will make us more ravenous when we do.  A good idea is a mix of low fat protein and some complex carbohydrates.
Ghrelin also begins to rise again a few hours before lunch. If you get a mid morning break, have a small snack to make lunch more productive. I like a stick of string cheese. It’s portable and you can make it last.
Another hormone creeps up around lunchtime called Galanin. When you eat dietary fat you produce more Galanin. This all goes on without us even knowing. If you eat more cleanly you stop the insidious cycle of craving more or the artery clogging stuff that can actually kill you.
If you want a caffeine boost, make sure you have it before 4 PM. Sleep is a factor that all the experts agree can affect weight loss. As we age we produce less melatonin. If you want to sleep better, avoid caffeine of any type after 4:00 and try some melatonin after dinner. With this natural supplement, less is more. All you want is one to three mgs. It’s not a sleeping pill so you shouldn’t fall asleep watching TV after you eat.
If you want to maximize fat burning spend 30 minutes of strength training between 4:00 and 8:00 PM. Studies show that’s when your metabolism is lowest and your temperature is highest. The best time to exercise is when you know you’ll do it. For some people early is better than later. If you have a routine that works, stick with it. If you don’t and want to get a bang from you weight loss efforts, hit the weights. You don't need any fancy equipment and don't need to spend a long time learning how to lift. We can teach anyone in a few hours the proper form and technique. Give us a call if you need a little help getting started.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Best $20 You'll Spend On Fitness

A personal trainers advice on what the neighbors in La Crescenta, La Canada and the Glendale need.
If you own a “home gym machine” or have nothing at all, a fit ball or Swiss ball is a good addition to your home. You have an option of various sizes and they only cost about $15-$25.
When inflated these multi-colored balls are about 45-65 diameter. If you want the right size just have a seat and make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your legs are at a 90% angle. You can work your legs, core and upper body and you’ll need little or no extra equipment.
To get started, walk for a few minutes to warm up. For the legs put the ball up against a wall and lean back with the ball by your lower back. Squat up and down with the legs in an L position (right angle). If your knees are a little sore don’t go all the way down or you can hold it in the down position (or ¾ way down) for a count of ten.
For the upper body you can do a variety of push ups. Lay on the ball and walk out until the ball is on your upper thighs. Push up and down and as you get more confident walk out a little further until the ball is by your shins and eventually your feet.
You can work the core (stomach), legs and upper body but doing a variety of plank exercises. Kneel down and put your forearms on the ball. Walk back or push forward until you’re on your toes. It’s like a push up position only inclined. Hold it for a count of ten and build from there. An easy version is to put yourself in the push up position (hands on the floor, shins on the ball) and hold it for 30 seconds.
To isolate the abdominals all you need to do is sit on the ball and walk yourself back until the ball is under your lower back. Put your hands behind your neck and curl you body up.The range of motion is really small, only about four to six inches.
If you have a set of dumb bells, you can sit on the ball while pressing overhead or curling the weight up and down. Most any exercise you do standing will be more challenging and thereby more effective when sitting on a ball that moves.