7 Exercises for Killer Arms and Shoulders

7 Exercises for Killer Arms and Shoulders

Strong, toned arms and shoulders can make you feel like a total badass–whether you’re nailing those burpees during bootcamp or showing off your results in a racerback tank. Time to get lifting, pulsing, and pushing, ladies: These seven arm-shaking moves are totally worth the burn.

1. Rolling Push-Up

Start in a high plank with a 10- to 15-pound medicine ball under left hand.
Engage core and bend elbows, lowering into a low push-up position.
Push back up to high plank and roll ball to right hand (as shown), keeping elbows away from body.
Repeat in opposite direction for 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

2. Supergirl Soar

Lie facedown, a light weight in each hand, arms at sides.
Lift upper body and arms (as shown) to start.
Keeping upper body lifted, reach your arms straight in front of you, shoulders next to ears.
Pause; return to start. Do 12 reps.

3. Resistance Band X-Raise

Stand on a resistance band with feet hip-width apart.
Criss-cross it in front of you and hold handles at hips, palms in.
Step to left as you raise hands to chest, elbows out (as shown).
Return to start; repeat on opposite side for 1 rep. Do 20 reps.

4. Bow and Arrow

Stand with feet staggered wide, left foot in front, a heavy weight in each hand at sides.
Bend knees and lean forward as you reach right hand toward left foot (as shown).
Straighten legs, drawing right weight to waist.
Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

5. Triangle Push-Up

Start in a plank.
Walk hands together so thumbs and forefingers form a triangle.
Do a complete push-up (as shown) for 1 rep.
Too tough? Lower your knees. Do 12 reps.

6. Downward Dog Push-Up

Start in a downward dog position.
Bend at the elbows, sliding the shoulder blades down the back, and then pressing back up to the starting position for 1 rep.
Start with 10 reps; build up to 20.

7. Chair Dip

Sit on edge of a chair, hands on edge of seat, fingers forward, legs extended, feet flexed.
Use arms to lift yourself off chair.
Bend elbows, lowering body until upper arms are almost parallel to floor, hips directly under shoulders (as shown).
Push through hands to rise back up for 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Fun First Dates via Fitness

Fun First Dates via Fitness

Singles know first hand that dating can be a challenge from having to deal with awkward conversations to bad manners. Finding someone that you have something in common with can be difficult; it can be even harder when you are looking for someone that loves being active as much as you do.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 80% of American adults are not getting the recommended amount of exercise. So what does this mean for fit enthusiasts looking for a connection with someone that enjoys being active instead of spending free time on the couch with a movie marathon?

There is good news! With dating sites like Fitness Singles and Fitness Date Club you can eliminate first date jitters and find your future workout partner with a fit date. Uncovering a world of fellow fit singles can be exciting and relief if you are sick of dating the same inactive people over and over again.

dates with fitnessThe unique idea of working out with a possible love match will offer a boost of endorphins and by the end of the date leave both parties in a good mood! Once you have found a potential love connection it is time to plan a workout date that you will both remember. Avoid using this opportunity to show off by trying to impress your date with a workout you have already mastered.

Select a workout that neither of you have tried before, experiencing something new with your date is a major plus! The new experience will help to create a connection and it is also a great chance to see if you are compatible.

The Benefits of Having a Weight Loss Buddy

The Benefits of Having a Weight Loss Buddy

Over the years I’ve wanted to lose weight at various times. And I’ve found that I tend to succeed at reaching my goals more often when I have a weight loss buddy. My first was a walking buddy. But I’ve had the most success thanks to a colleague and friend I talk to online. We became virtual workout buddies a few years back. And after a break, we’ve been thinking about giving it another go. It might be just what I need to jump start my “get in shape” plans.

A weight loss buddy is simply someone who joins you on your journey to lose weight, get in shape, and improve your health. That might be a friend or neighbor who joins you on your daily workouts. Or it could be a long distance weight loss buddy where you keep in touch to share your progress and help motivate each other towards your goals.

Benefits of Weight Loss Buddies

No matter what kind of weight loss buddy you want to work with, there are some definite benefits of having one. Here are three examples:

Accountability — Motivation can be a serious problem when we try to lose weight on our own. When there’s no one asking us for progress updates or pushing us to exercise (like a personal trainer), it can be easier to slip back into bad habits. A weight loss buddy might not push you quite as hard as a trainer, but they keep you accountable to someone other than yourself. For example, you might be less likely to skip a run if you have a partner counting on you to join them.

Support — Another reason we sometimes give up on weight loss goals is that it seems no one supports us or understands the changes we’re trying to make. But even if your family isn’t on board with your new routine or dietary choices, a weight loss buddy supports you. They understand what you’re going through because they’re going through it themselves — both the ups and the downs.

Celebration — It can also be nice to simply have someone you can talk to when you reach your goals, big or small. A weight loss buddy is there to rejoice with you.

Sometimes the people in our lives can do things to sabotage our efforts, even if they don’t really mean to. That could be due to anything from outright jealousy to someone holding onto food-related family traditions that encourage you in unhealthy habits. Your weight loss buddy always wants the best for you in this sense, and they’re ready to help you celebrate and then keep on moving toward your next goal.

Add some exercise to your beauty routine

Add some exercise to your beauty routine

In need of some extra motivation to hit the gym other than increasing heart and lung function, weight control and gaining muscle? Well what about looking and feeling more beautiful.

Muscle gains aren’t the only thing to gain from working out; exercise improves your body’s overall physiological functioning by increasing blood flow and the delivery of essential nutrients. This process has a greater impact than just shrinking your waistline; adding exercise to your beauty routine can help enhance the look of your skin and hair, improve sleep habits, boost your immune system and improve your mood.

Skin care

Exercise can be a natural and cost-effective way to promote clear and vibrant skin; as little as 20 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity can aid in reducing breakouts and acne, preventing wrinkles and inducing a natural glow.

During exercise blood circulation to the entire body increases and your face is filled with many tiny blood vessels that lie close to the surface of the skin, these arteries dilate during exercise allowing blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients to access the skin. This blood rich in oxygen and nutrients gives you that post-workout glow and also helps to keep skin clear, plump and improves overall texture by increasing collagen production. Collagen is the protein responsible for maintaining skin elasticity, keeping skin taut and preventing wrinkles.

beauty routineLike blood vessels during exercise skin pores also dilate and become wider this helps to flush out debris from the skin, which decreases breakouts and helps controls acne. Sweating gives an extra push and further helps to expel dirt and oil that become trapped in your pores, making high-intensity workouts a great way to clear clogged pores.

This also makes post workout the best time to wash your face and prevent dirt and oils that have been released during exercise from being sucked back into the pores. Exercise can also help with skin conditions triggered by stress by helping with stress relief and decreasing cortisol levels which is the stress hormone linked to increasing oil production in the skin.

Hair care

Your face isn’t the only area benefiting after exercise your scalp also gets some much needed nourishment. While you workout your scalp gets a fresh supply of that oxygen and nutrient-rich blood as blood vessels in the scalp open up, this promotes hair growth and helps to keep your hair and follicles healthy and strong. Exercise also helps to release natural oils from the scalp, preventing hair from drying out and becoming brittle. As a stress reliever exercise may help with reducing hair loss, as stress is one of the leading causes of female hair loss in North America.

Can exercise really help you sleep better? The answer is yes! According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine, people experience a better quality of sleep if they get at least 150 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. People who exercised regularly reported having more restful sleeps, feeling refreshed in the morning, and feeling less tired during the day.

Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature followed by a gradual decline; this drop in temperature helps to promote falling asleep. Exercise also helps to decrease arousal states, which have been linked to insomnia. Getting a good nights rest is also important for the repair of your body and build tissue post workout. Schedule workouts in the late afternoon and evening to get more rest at night.

The Immune System

Just like your heart and lungs regular exercise can also increase the strength of your immune system. Regular exercise not only increases white blood cells and natural killer cells which protect the body by destroying bacteria and other foreign bodies,g but people who exercise experience faster response times of these cells. Exercise improves the efficiency at which blood is transported through the body, which in turn allows white blood cells to move more quickly and detect illness earlier than in those who do not workout regularly.

Exercise also improves the body’s lymphatic system, which is responsible for filtering toxins from the body. Increase muscle contraction during exercise aids with lymphatic drainage and elimination of waste. Lastly exercise increases body temperature making it hard for certain infectious organisms to survive.

Mood Improvement & Stress

There is a strong link between mood and exercise, studies have shown that people who are active reported being less stressed and depressed than individuals who are inactive. During a workout your brain releases natural feel-good chemicals called endorphins; these chemicals help to relieve stress and anxiety and give you a natural “high”, which improves your mood.

Serotonin is another chemical released by the brain during exercise, high levels of serotonin are associated with an elevated mood while low levels are associated with depression. Exercise is a great way to increase your energy level, confidence, memory and overall sense of well-being

The benefits of exercise are proven and countless, it’s a great cost-effective way to improve your health and well-being in more ways than one. So the next time you’re in the store stocking up on your favourite beauty products remember to add regular exercise to your beauty routine for more radiant skin, luscious locks, a good nights rest, and a stronger immune system.

Carbohydrates are the villains, forget them

Carbohydrates are the villains, forget them

In that last sentence lies concealed a secret message, and each dieter must work out its meaning for himself. Sixty grams of carbohydrate per day has been set as the maximum which the average individual can allow himself in order to achieve a satisfactory, steady weight reduction. It is here that you start out. As you go on, you may find that you are not losing weight fast enough to keep you happy. In that case, ask your doctor if you can trim down your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams a day, and try a short walk before breakfast.

The chances are that if the diet is not working quickly enough to satisfy you, it is not because it is wrong for you, but because you haven’t yet discovered the precise proportion of carbohydrate to protein and fat which will work best for you. Taking it down a few grams will usually do the trick-but keep in mind that the danger of ketosis makes it essential that you check with your doctor first.

On the other hand, there are those fortunate types who, having lost as much as they hoped to on 60 grams a day, find that they can start inching upward by minute steps until they are taking in perhaps 65 or even more grams a day, while still, like the teen-ager previously cited, retaining their weight loss. It is premature here to emphasize this, because you must start out with 60; but it is nice to know that though this diet is full, satisfying, and tasty, you may be one of the lucky ones who can eventually go on to even better things.

Meanwhile, start with 60. Make meat, fish, poultry, and eggs the backbone of your diet. Go cautiously in the direction of all desserts, all flour, potatoes, noodles, rich dishes, all addenda like honey and jam. Shun candy, sweet soft drinks, beer. You must snack between meals? A slice of cheese, a few almonds, an olive or two, dried crisp bacon curls (here is one cocktail-type tidbit you can dip into) should pacify your craving-but face facts, they do add something; you’ll have to either trim the extra grams off something else or, better still, train yourself not to snack. It can be done.

In stews and gravies, experiment. Omit flour and corn-starch thickeners and rely instead on flavour-building spices, herbs, and wines to make these items more appealing than ever before. However, don’t lose your head; if, in dining out, you cannot avoid a dish in which some thickener was used, try to eat as much of the solid portion and as little of the sauce as possible-and remember that if two or three tablespoons of flour were used to thicken a stew served to six people, your allotment of it is not really going to be disastrously large.

As a matter off act, a cook’s tour of favourite recipes will be a remarkably cheering experience for the low carbohydrate dieter. Barring desserts–and barring of course main-dish recipes based on noodles or pasta or other starch -so many of the meat, fish, and poultry recipes that you like can be adapted so easily to this diet that unless you prefer to live simply on plain foods you certainly don’t have to. The menus and recipes included in this book have been organized to show what can be done; they are far from the limit of what you can do, if you have the time, taste, and mind to do it.

On this diet you will eat fully and well. You will reduce quickly down to your own best weight and will at the same time form new eating patterns which will maintain this weight for you easily. You will accomplish this without endangering your health, disrupting your way of life, making yourself anathema to friends and co-workers, or creating soap-opera spectaculars about your sufferings (because there won’t be any) unless you want to. You will avoid depression, low energy, and nervous strain induced by semi-starvation; if you have a nasty temper you will have to find some other excuse to explain it. You can enjoy your liquor like any other civilized human being. What are you waiting for?

Physical Condition of the Muscle

Physical Condition of the Muscle

The physical condition of a muscle is determined by its freedom from fatigue, its temperature, its stores of energy foodstuffs, its state of training and its ability to recover from bouts of work. Fatigue reduces the excitability, power and extent of contraction of muscle. Unless the stimulus is great fatigue reduces the number of fibers which respond in repeated muscular contractions. Such reduction in the number of contractile elements reduces the power of the contractions.

The range of each contraction is also diminished by fatigue due to the reduction in the number of fibers stimulated and to the reduction in the amount of shortening of ach fiber. Muscular contraction is most rapid and most powerful when the temperature of the muscle fibers is slightly warmer than the normal body temperature. In this slightly warmed condition the muscle viscosity is lowered, the chemical reactions of contraction and recovery are more rapid and circulation is improved.

Excessively high temperatures overcome the capacity of the body for circulatory adjustments and also may destroy the tissue proteins. Temperatures below the normal body temperature increase the viscosity, making the muscles stiff and sluggish. The relaxation phase of muscular action is especially affected by cold and this results in a loss of coordination and increases the liability of rupture of the fibers in muscles acting as antagonists in rapid movements.

If stores of muscle glycogen and phosphocreatine are diminished by starvation or prolonged work without adequate feeding, the elements essential for contraction are consumed in the metabolic processes and the amount of contractile tissue is reduced. Muscular weakness is one of the first symptoms in starvation.

The strength of contraction of muscle fibers is increased by programs of physical training. Training not only increases the size of muscle fibers but improves the condition of the contractile elements as well. Lack of use of muscles decreases the size of the fibers and increases the proportion of fat in the muscle tissues. The contractile strength of each fiber is diminished by disuse.

The ability to recover from a bout of work is dependent upon the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissue, the rate of removal of carbon dioxide and other wastes, the provision of energy foodstuffs and the replacements of minerals and other elements expended in muscular work. The circulation must be adequate to carry these materials to and from the working muscles.

As the circulation becomes inadequate, metabolites collect in the muscle and impair its activity and the tissues run short of energy and nutrient materials. The trained muscle recovers more quickly because smaller amounts of metabolites are formed and these are more rapidly removed by circulation.

The 15-Minute Workout to Build Strength

The 15-Minute Workout to Build Strength

These days lots of workouts happen at a frenetic, all-out pace, jumping between exercises without even giving you a chance to wipe the sweat off your face. I’m all for heart-racing intensity (and trust me, you will sweat in this workout), but not at the cost of proper form. Think of fitness as a game of chess, not checkers: a strategized play for the long-term win.

Strength is the baseline of all physical performance, and this high-intensity workout is going to help you build some. But it’s a bit of a departure from what you may be used to. We’re going to put away the timed interval blocks and instead use a set number of reps in order to drill form and really focus on strength.

How it works:

Before you start, roll your glutes, hamstrings, calves, IT bands, hips, quads, and upper back for about 5 minutes. Don’t have a foam roller? Get Fitness Tune Up Balls instead.

Warm up with some jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, butt kicks, and high knees for 3 to 5 minutes.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Perform the assigned reps for each move below, back-to-back, resting only when necessary. Repeat for as many rounds as possible. Keep track of your rounds.

Repeat this workout up to 3 times per week on non-consecutive days. Maintain proper form and work to increase your number of rounds in each session.

After 3 weeks, increase your time to 20 minutes.

1. Explosive Sumo Squat
12 reps

Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out. Keeping your torso straight, push knees out over toes to lower into a squat. Explosively jump up pointing through toes. Land softly and repeat.

2. Tap-Up
12 reps

Start in top of push-up position. Take 3 seconds to lower chest to floor, then push back up quickly. At the top of the move, tap left shoulder with right fingertips. Return hand to floor. Repeat, this time tapping right shoulder with left fingertips. That’s 1 rep.

3. Power Thrust
12 reps

Crouch down and place hands on floor below shoulders. Jump feet back to land in the top of a push-up position. Jump feet back to start and jump up explosively, raising fingertips to the sky. Land softly and repeat.

4. Plank Pike
12 reps

Start in a low plank with elbows under shoulders and toes tucked. Pike hips and drive right knee forward. Return hips and foot to starting position. Repeat with left knee. That’s 1 rep.

5. Laterals
12 reps
Lower into a quarter squat and explosively jump up and over to your right. Land softly and repeat to the left. That’s 1 rep.

6. Single-Arm Iso Hold
3 reps per side

Start in the top of a pushup position with wrists positioned below shoulders. Extend your right arm out parallel to the floor for a slow count of 15 to 20, focusing on contracting the muscles in your upper back. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Go for 3 on each side.

7. Tuck Jump
12 reps

Stand with heels shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, arms stacked in front of chest. Press hips back to lower into a squat. Go as low as you can without losing the natural curve in your lower back. Explosively jump up as high as you can, tucking the knees to the chest. Land softly and repeat.

Workout Performance

Workout Performance

Gymnastics develop heavy, strong arm and shoulder muscles. The legs are not developed proportionately. Running develops stringy, tough leg muscles. Arms remain undeveloped. Strenuous training has reduced the fat end extra muscle tissue which would require energy to carry. Boxing develops compact, powerful arm and leg muscles. The boxer trains for speed and endurance which does not produce the large muscles seen in the gymnast.

Heavy muscles would be a burden to boxers who must keep their arms up and move them fast during a fight. Swimming develops long, flexible, smooth muscles throughout the body.Training diminishes the individual differences among performers in endurance events. Runners who are in good condition at the start of a training period show a small improvement, while those in poor condition in the beginning improve rapidly during the training season.

An increase in work output as a result of training has been observed in track and treadmill runners and in bicycle riders. In one study college students unselected for athletic ability trained for a period of six months. Track and treadmill running was supplemented with gymnastics and other activities. An average reduction of one minute in the time required to run a mile occurred between the second and sixth months. The maximal grade of treadmill running was increased by 50 per cent.

In another experiment subjects who trained on a bicycle ergometer for three months were capable of about three times the work output of untrained subjects. Such large increases in work output as the result of training cannot be explained in terms of improved mechanical efficiency alone. In two careful work experiments in which training resulted in comparable increases in work output the mechanical efficiency remained unchanged in one and increased only 5 to 10 per cent in the other. In both of these experiments it was noted that in the trained subjects the R.Q. during work was lower, the volume of oxygen removed from each liter of expired air wits greater, the oxygen consumption was greater and the oxygen debt smaller.

Work during fatigued states on a bicycle ergometer was carried on at a 31 per cent higher rate in trained individuals (women physical education majors) than in untrained (student nurses). The trained individuals also had an 11 per cent greater capacity for maximum work.

Anxiety State and Effort Syndrome

Anxiety State and Effort Syndrome

The effect of severe fright which might occur in battle or in a tragic accident is occasionally a disorganization of an individual’s motor nervous system which renders him incapable of skillful movement. This motor disorganization frequently persists and the victim behaves continually as if the original traumatic situation were still in existence.

Tremor of the hand may be so intense that he is incapable of buttoning a coat. There is a reduction of muscular strength and in severe anxiety states there is often a loss of kinesthetic sense resulting in an incapacity to stand and walk. Recovery does not occur until improvement in the mental state is made.

Effort Syndrome

A person with subnormal tolerance for exercise experiences breathlessness, rapid beating of the heart, sweating, and dizziness on even such mild exertion as climbing a short flight of stairs. Such effort intolerance may be due to a constitutional inferiority present since infancy, or it may have developed from emotional disturbance.

The effort syndrome may not be recognized if the individual avoids heavy physical work. Possessing a frail physique and a conviction that he has always had a “weak heart” or “lung trouble,” he has always dreaded the supposed ill effects of vigorous physical exercise. The response of the heart and respiration to exercise is usually as poor as if he possessed the suppose heart and lung disorders.

Under pressure of a job requiring occasional physical exertion the effort syndrome is seen. Under such a condition of pressure his feelings of insufficiency may be exaggerated until he is out of harmony with his surroundings. Recovery commences when he is restored to an environment which is within his effort capacity and when no further intense pressures are anticipated. The effect upon this individual of a program of physical education which does not consider individual differences in response to exercise would probably be to increase emotional conflict and result in further motor disorganization.