Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Abdominal Exercises

By Nathan Barrett,

The test of truly strong abs in when you can supplement your own body weight while doing abdominal exercises. If you’re able to support your weight primarily through your ab strength, you’ve definitely reached the next level of definition and strength in your mid-region. To test your abdominal strength, or to begin reaching this next level, you can use the parallel bars, along with ankle weights or a medicine ball, to perform this great abdominal exercise to get abs fast.

Hip Raises,

Doing hip raises on parallel bars require that you have some abdominal strength. Even if you don’t exactly have the abs, doing this exercise can help begin to build your ab muscles and take them to new heights. Using a medicine ball or ankle weights force your abs to do more work and is a more challenging way to work out your abdominal muscles.

Strap ankle weights onto each leg, or place a medicine ball between your knees.

Your body should be straight (up and down) with the entire weight supported by your arms.

Raise your legs and hips toward your chest; your goal is to try and form at least a 90 degree angle with your body.

Focus on tightening your abs as you pull your legs up. If your hips are not being moved upwards, this means you are not using your lower abs during this exercise. Your goal is to exercise both the upper and lower abs.
Once your legs are as high as you can left them, hold them in this position for one second. DO NOT hold your breath as you attempt to hold them steady. Remember to breathe.
Slowly lower your legs and return to the vertical position you started again.
Repeat for 10-15 reps. and you will get abs fast
You can also perform this exercise using a Roman chair or dip bars, especially if you’d rather have a back rest to provide better stability. If your ab strength is on the weak side, you might want to consider practicing this abdominal workout without using the weights or medicine ball. This will not only help build up your abs, but also develop muscle memory when the motions are required and the extra weight has your doubting your ability.
This type of abdominal exercise really helps to strengthen your core and make you a stronger person. After all, there’s a lot more to having great abs than making the ladies (or gentlemen) swoon.

Do You Need Cardio For Fat Loss?

By Nathan Barrett.

If you are asking yourself this question, then you will want to read this article, because hopefully it will get you thinking differently and trying new things.
As you probably know there are tons of people that believe that you don't need cardio and then there are others that swear by it. As far as you are concerned, you can make your own choices, just make your choice after reading this article, "Do You Need Cardio to Get Lean and Obtain Flat Stomach?" This article contains "anti-traditional cardio."
Most weekend warrior type or fitness minded type people trying to lose stomach fat and get in shape, would consider cardio a must to lose stomach fat or tone up there mid-section.
However, I'm not only questioning it, in fact, you may be surprised to know that some of the leanest and meanest people never do any type of normal or traditional cardio.
One the other hand, low to moderate cardio for really overweight people can be good, but even then there are more productive methods out there.
Most people consider cardio to be running miles on a treadmill, riding miles on a stationary bike, or gliding along on a elliptical machine wathing a TV screen at their local gym. This is what I consider to be traditional cardio, and at least 50% of the people doing this give up after a few months after not seeing results.
In reality, if you think about it, cardio exercise can be any exercise or activity that strengthens the cardiovascular system. I'm not going to get into anything technical like increasing your VO2 max or anything like that. Just to keep it simple, if it gets your heart pumping, and gets you huffing and puffin and sucking air, it's cardio. I don't care if you're holding dumbbells or a barbell and everyone calls it a weight training exercise still conditioning your heart.
Let's take a look at a couple examples. Take a barbell (or dumbbell, or kettle bell) clean & press for example, which involves lifting a barbell from the floor up to shoulders, then push pressing overhead. And listen up ladies, because even though this is usually seen as a manly exercise, it doesn't matter if you're not lifting 250 lbs; if 45 lbs is challenging to you, then you will still benefit just as much.
At first glance, most people think of the barbell C&P only as a weight training exercise or strength exercise. However, I challenge you to do a hard set of around 10-15 reps on the C&P. If you used a challenging enough weight, what you'll find is that your heart rate is probably up to about 80-90% of your recommended max, and you are huffing and puffing like you just ran a 100-meter sprint (which by the way, sprinting kicks the crap out of jogging any day if you want the easiest way to lose the flab).
Try the same thing for a set of 20 reps of one-arm snatches or swings with each arm with a kettle bell or dumbbell, and tell me your legs aren't burning, heart racing, and you're gasping for breath. How about trying 5 minutes straight of bodyweight squats, lunges, and push ups with very little rest. Again, notice your heart pounding, sweat pouring off of you, and chest heaving for breaths!
Now, you try and tell me you are not going to conditioning your heart with this style of exercising. traditional thinking tell you this is a weight training style program. in reality this these types of exercise are in fact cardio also because they are conditioning your heart.
Not only will you be conditioning your heart but you will be using every muscle in your body giving you a full body exercise and therefore a better workout. If you do them with enough intensity...something that can't be said for that boring stationary bike ride or treadmill jaunt while reading a book or magazine while exercising.
By the way if you are able to read a novel or magazine while exercising you are not concentrating enough on what you're doing, plus you're probably not working out hard enough to see any real results.