All posts by spworkout

Exercises for Bigger Forearms

Many bodybuilders complain that they cannot bring their lower arms up as they can’t complete a set, especially a high repetition or heavy duty set, their forearms “blow up” and fatigue earlier than the muscle they are supposed to be working. This can happen with exercises like chins, curls, and even upright rowing, and it’s largely due to the individual’s particular arrangement of muscle origins and insertions. Of course it is a source of annoyance to those who experience it, but those of us with puny, underdeveloped forearms would love them to blow up while we are doing sundry exercises, because our lower arms cannot be galvanised into significant development however hard we try.

There is not a great deal you can do with the natural shape  of the forearms, because the forearms are in virtually constant use and have therefore developed a resistance to moderate exercise, they should be worked hard and with a system of high (10 – 20) repetitions. However, subjecting your forearms to progressive training is even more important than the repetition count. You will get nowhere by simply performing a few wrist or reverse curls at the end of your arm workout. You have to attack your forearms with a planned campaign of ever-increasing workloads. Then you will reap the rewards of your disciplined endeavour.

As times change, there is a requirement for specialised attention where most bodybuilders find time to train their forearms two or three times a week. The best exercises are as follows; Wrist Curls, as they work the flexors (the belly) of the forearm. Perform them in a seated position, with your lower arms resting on your knees (palms up) or on the top of a bench. Your hands must be free. Arnold Schwarzenegger keeps his elbows to be comfortably apart, anything from 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45cm). Moving only your wrist, curl the weight upwards until your forearm is fully contracted. Allow the barbell to lower under control and you may allow your fingers to “unroll” to some extent, but this is optional.

The reverse curl, stand erect, holding a barbell at slightly more than shoulder width. Allow the arms to hang down straight, elbows at your side, hands over gripped (knuckles up). As you curl the barbell, keep your wrists straight and level with your forearms and keep your elbows tucked in. Then lower, and repeat. You will feel this exercise in the upper forearm, near the elbows.

Finally there is the reverse wrist curl, this exercise is performed in the same manner as the regular wrist curl, but your palms should face downwards instead of upwards. Also, you will be able to use less than half the weight in the reverse wrist curl. Most people find it more comfortable to keep the arms at least 12 inches (30 cm) apart in this variation.

10 exercises to get great abs without sit-ups

Smart Physical Workout

Whatever fat starts to settle around the midsection is going to have to be removed one day, which usually means that you will have to put yourself into a negative calorie balance for a considerable period. This will, of course, tend to hold back or diminish overall muscle gains.

The following are a series of exercises which can be done, and there is not one sit-up in site, try each one, include in your overall workout routine to obtain any benefit.

1. Kettlebell swings

The kettlebell swing is a near gym-perfect exercise because it works your heart, legs, core, and back. Swings are an explosive, compound movement that produce lean muscle from head to toe.

2. Farmer’s walk

Grab a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell with one arm, and take it for a walk. The farmer’s walk is like a moving plank that tests your grip, legs, trapezoids, and abdominal strength all in one go.

3. Single leg push-ups

Had enough of the bench press? Tone your chest while utilising many other muscles, including your core, with push-ups. A challenging variation of the traditional push-up is to simply raise one leg off the ground. Instability with proper form means your abs are taking on the load and doing even more work.

4. Sprints

I dare you to run 200 metres with 100 per cent intensity. Walk back, and repeat nine times. Usain Bolt doesn’t drop for 200 sit-ups to get his toned body – he just keeps running with his core engaged, hard. And high-intensity sprints guarantee you’ll be burning calories long after you stop working out.

5. Side planks

Everybody is planking, but don’t forget to side plank. Your obliques are important, and side planks provide the isometric movement to strengthen them. To side plank, lay on your side with legs extended, placing your elbow under your shoulder to prop up your torso, then hold.

6. Wood chopping

A full body exercise that’s functional, twisting, and tones the abs is the woodchop on a cable mountain. It starts with two hands grabbing a cable’s rope, then pulling and twisting in a downward motion. Using cables is superb, as they make the concentric and eccentric phases equally challenging.

7. Clean and press/jerk

Olympic lifts aren’t just for athletes bound for Rio. The clean and press/jerk is a full body (including abs) exercise just like all other exercises where weights are lifted overhead. From the legs, glutes, core, and shoulders – all must be engaged to hold a significant mass for any time above the head.

8. Barbell ab rollout

This is an advanced exercise using a barbell with 10kg plates on each side. On your knees, place hands on a barbell, then slowly roll it out until your body is semi-parallel to the floor with arms extended. Pause, then roll back to the starting position, and repeat.

9. Burpees

I said no sit-ups, but I didn’t say anything about burpees. Sure, they suck, but they also work the entire body and are especially good for promoting lean, toned abs. In a quick, fluid motion, lower into a squat position then put hands flat on the floor in front. Kick both legs back into a push-up position. Perform a push-up. Spring both legs forward, then stand up and jump.

10. Mountain climbers

Like ‘standing high knees’, mountain climbers are similar but only when parallel to the ground. From shoulders and arms to legs and abdominals, climbers are a cardio treat to slim and tone while engaging most of the body’s muscles.

More than just abs

The beauty of all these exercises is not that they’ll deliver abs, but even better:

1. It’s about posture.

All day you sit at a computer and hunch, hunch, hunch. Then you go to the gym and crunch, crunch, crunch. Strengthening in the foetal position is dangerous. It’s not only an awkward look, but a hunched-over posture (kyphosis) affects breathing and overall health.

2. It’s about compound movements.

The exercises above aren’t singularly about abdominal work. They’re full body movements that work a variety of muscles. That’s how you get lean, strong, healthy, balanced. That’s how you get abs.

Crunch this

And if you think it’s all about crunches in the gym? Working off a triple cheeseburger with sit-ups is as wise as gifting your bulldog a saxophone. It’s insanity. Everybody’s got abdominal muscles, but it’s what you do in the kitchen that provides a window to see those abs.

Is it Possible to Overtrain?

Overtraining has additional hazards. It weakens THE BODY’S RESISTANCE to infection, making you more susceptible to the common cold and to flu bugs and germs that could lay you low for a week or more. The following are signs of overtraining.

Muscle Symptoms – Persistent soreness or stiffness in joints and tendons. Heavy-Leggedness

Emotional Symptoms – Loss of interest in training, Nervousness, Depression, “I don’t care” attitude, Inability to relax and decreased academic work or performance.

Warning Signs – Headache, Loss of appetite, Fatigue and sluggishness, Loss of weight and muscle size, swollen lymph nodes in neck, groin, or armpit and constipation or diarrhoea.

For decades on of the most popular methods used to detect overtraining was to monitor the morning pulse rate. Upon rising the athlete would measure his pulse for 60 seconds. If it was 7 beats a minute faster than usual, a layoff or reduction in training was indicated. There are more sophisticated ways of measuring fatigue toxins in order to determine whether you are in an overtrained state. One way is to measure the enzyme levels in the blood, since damaged muscles release more of these proteins. Sports doctors who monitor their athletes carefully know that when the enzymes exceed a certain level, the athlete has a slowdown.

Actually, an experienced bodybuilder is usually well aware of it when he has not recovered from the previous workout. He feels it. Get acquainted with how you feel the day after a workout. Make notes in your diary or your training log. The ultimate test of whether a bodybuilder is overtraining is that his progress has come to a halt. But before he concludes that the problem is one of overtraining, he’d better be sure that he is working out on a progressive basis. If not, his no gain status may be due to laziness of insufficient work.

Recuperation from heavy workouts takes up to 48 hours, and therefore daily training for added muscle size is rarely advisable. What is becoming more and more popular among aspiring bodybuilders is the every other day split routine. This works in the following manner, divide routines into two and train half your body on Monday, the other half on Wednesday, the first half again on Friday, and the second half again on Sunday. The next week workouts would start on a Tuesday. Of course this system is only practical for those who have training facilities available at all times. This system has no respect for the seven-day schedule, known as a week that man has concocted to pace his style of living.

So what speeds recuperation? The first answer that comes to mind is relaxation. If one doesn’t relax, full recuperation will only be greatly prolonged. Many top bodybuilders have learned the art of relaxation. They do it by turning their mind to other interests and enjoyments such as art, music, conversation, yoga, poetry, religion, books or TV. Most of us respond best to music. Maybe you do too. So relax, put your feet up, absorb. Spend half an hour with some pretty heavy stuff. Inspiring and profound music will do a better job at relaxing you than fast beat disco, but the whole point of this soul washing business is that the music should get its message to you, and if “Moonlight Serenade” does things to you, then by all means relax with that. In general don’t be afraid of experiencing deep emotion. You want to be a whole person, not merely a muscle machine.

If the Mona Lisa rests your weary mind, get yourself a print. Maybe you like Picasso, Dali, or Van Gogh, Sculptures, why not? Maybe Rodin’s “The Kiss” or Henry Moore’s “Reclining Woman”? Reproductions are available. Then there is Nature’s sculpture: fields, streams, mountains and valleys. What could be more restful? Do you like poetry? You can read it or listen to it as many athletes do. Read some good authors: Thoreau, Wilde, Shaw, Russell, Emerson, Hazlitt, Nietzsche, and Goethe. Read about things other than muscles, and your relaxation will pay you dividends.

Some people believe in never running when they walk, never standing when they can sit, and never sitting when they can lie down. Within limits the hard-working athlete can follow this philosophy. In other words, rest when you can.

Training the Metabolism

Smart Physical Workout

Your metabolism consists of all the chemical processes by which your body produces energy and assimilates new material to maintain, replace, and build up its cells. The metabolic rate is the speed at which the body burns up fuel. The body has a tick-over speed, just like a car. When it is running fast, it will burn up a great deal or fuel. At a more moderate pace, it uses less fuel.

People have a great many misconceptions about the metabolism and its relationship to bodybuilding. What is important to understand is that the successful bodybuilder does not try, or should not be trying, to speed up their metabolism to a super accelerated rate (unless they are looking to shed fat very quickly). nor do they want to slow down metabolism to a subnormal level.

In Nature, we can observe two high metabolism creatures which, due to their genetic makeup, are always in need of food and spend about 95 percent of their waking hours either eating or looking for food. The shrew is in endless pursuit of food, and when you look at this minute creature, you can see its system pumping away and shaking its tiny body like a battery driven toy. The tiny hummingbird, one of Nature’s marvels whose super-fast wings beats enable it to hover in mid-air while stealing its vital nourishment from various plants, is the other insatiable creature. From a study of such high metabolism creatures we can conclude that a fast metabolism is of little use to the bodybuilder.

So what about a slow metabolism? What creatures can Nature offer us in that direction? The koala, the elephant, rhino and sloth. A slow metabolism may be conducive to gaining weight, but definitely does not lead to a rapid increase in muscular tissue, which is the ultimate aim of keen bodybuilder.

There are two aspects to the metabolic process. There is the anabolic, or building up process, and the catabolic, breaking down process. Both processes are consistently taking place in your body. The most desirable state, and one which you can train for, is a positive ratio in favour of the anabolic process.

Many youngsters are plagued not only by skinniness but by a super high metabolism. Whatever they do, they just cannot gain weight. Everything they eat is used up in their system. They find it almost impossible to gain weight. Their engines seem always to be running hot. Nothing seems to work when attempting to gain weight, regardless of many nutrients they put in their body. Then, one fateful day, their metabolism seems to normalise, and suddenly their bodybuilding efforts and generous food intake begin to show results.

So how can metabolism be slowed down, the answer is immobilization. The only other way to achieve a slower metabolic rate is by growing older. Our metabolism slows down as we age. Ironically, as we age, it is not a slowing down of our metabolism that we need, but the opposite. Then the fat starts to settle around our bones, and we yearn for those earlier days when we had an accelerated metabolism.

In order to slow down metabolism, you must purposely practice relaxation, real relaxation. Never run when you can walk, never walk when you can sit. Don’t sit if you can lie. Relaxation, even for ten minutes, is particularly important after a meal. Try and check on yourself during the day. Are you as relaxed as you can be while you follow your daily routine? How do you watch TV? Do you lean forward in your chair, or do you sit back comfortably with your feet up on a padded stool? Now do you get the idea? Relax! Rid yourself of tension and stress, mental as well as physical.

If you feel that your metabolism is slow, or you tend to be slow moving, overweight and lethargic you can take steps to stimulate your metabolic processes so as to normalise it. When that begins to happen, your digestive processes will accelerate, your glands will secrete more, and your hormones will be stirred up.

How can metabolism be sped up? This can happen when making room in your schedule for exercises that stimulate the metabolism. For a while you will have to put abdominal training, calf work, and arm exercises aside. The true stimulators of our metabolic functions are the movements which work the bigger muscle groups, such as squats.

When an athlete has been unable to make any progress, especially in the beginning or early intermediate stages gains accelerate enormously as soon as they are placed on heavy, high repetition squat program just two days a week, and not many other exercises are required during this time. Numerous successful cases only included the wide grip chin and bench press along with the squat training for their metabolism.

When an average trainer with a normal metabolism isn’t gaining, it would then be helpful to steer metabolic ratio towards the anabolic state, for this is needed to build up the body’s growth pattern and overall size. That means they should not stay on heavy, high-rep squatting programs for long periods. This form of training to stimulate the metabolism and thereby set the body up for overall gains, which should be alternated with periods of rest and so allow the body to gain. This followed by a more normal training routine, will help to favour the anabolic metabolism over the catabolic metabolism.

Virtually all top bodybuilding champions have used heavy, high-rep squats in their training to give their body overall size. Once this size has been reached, many champs find they don’t need those regular heavy squatting exercises any more. They can get by on hacks, thigh extensions, and other less strenuous leg movements.

Remember that this metabolism training is not necessary as long as your current bodybuilding routine is developing your muscles at a satisfactory pace. This mode of training is designed specifically for the hard gainer. Virtually all hard gainers who have applied this principle seriously over a period of 3 to 9 weeks made significant progress, and what is more important they made this progress when every other form of training had failed.

Triceps Extension in Sports use.

Smart Physical Workout

The Triceps extension, it’s not just for show, it has useful sports uses as well. If your sport involves hit, bounce, punch, swim, lift, toss, run, swing, catch or throw and you will be incorporating the movement of triceps extension in your sports performance. When it comes to triceps, there are literally hundreds of movements for this area.

Two factors are vital, how much force you can apply to generate power, speed or distance and how much control you can produce for touch, feel and judgement of distance. The latter of the two functions is vital when catching. You must allow the elbow to bend as the impact of the ball is absorbed. If too much resistance is applied as the triceps contracts eccentrically, the ball may bounce out. If there is too little eccentric force applied then the ball can go ‘right through’ the catcher who has produced insufficient stopping power to hold the catch.

Choose the one triceps exercise which puts stress throughout the movement, and no appreciable balance is needed to perform a set. Although this isolation exercise is popular and gets you god pump, it is not a size builder in the sense of a combination or “natural” exercise such as the close-grip bench press or the parallel bar dip.

When it comes to propulsion, recruitment of muscle fibres is vital. In the swim leg, triathletes must fully extend the elbow in the forward arm stroke before starting the arm pull. Similarly, a rower starts each stroke in a bent arm position and finishes in a straight arm position.

The opposite can apply. The tennis server stores energy in a bent elbow position and then extends through the ball. A netballer preparing for a long, flat pass uses the same technique, as do cricket and baseball fielders and golfers.

Always remember to especially avoid any exercise that gives you pain or discomfort in the elbow region. There are several triceps movements which can contribute to tendinitis in the elbow. You must immediately stop using such an exercise or else cut down drastically on the weight you were using. Let’s assume you have worked up to using 6 reps with 120 pounds in the lat-machine press downs exercise, but the pain is unbearable. Either stop the exercise entirely or push it to the end of your arm routine and merely perform a few pumping sets of 20 reps with a far lighter weight.

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