Archive for the ‘Core & Strength Training Workouts’ Category
Fun, challenging and effective strength training workouts are an important part of producing fitness results. A favorite component of my chest strength training workouts is push-ups.
It may surprise you to know there are a lot of different ways to perform a push-up. Most often, push-ups are performed with momentum and little attention is given to body position or targeting a specific muscle group. People often drop their hips, scrunch their shoulders, or over-arch their lower back in order to squeak out a few more reps. This is because push-ups are often tested against time or the exerciser is attempting to do the maximum number they can before failure.
The form you use for push-ups should be dependent on your specific goal. For chest workouts, I teach clients to do push-ups while holding a neutral spine, stabilizing the shoulder girdle and isolating the chest muscles. Using this form is an effective way to use push-ups as part of your chest strength training workouts.
I used this push-up workout with a few clients to add something new and different instead of the standard flat bench or flat dumbbell press. I call it the 100 push-up challenge. The goal is to perform 100 (women 70) push-ups at the beginning of your chest workout.
Step 1: As many push-ups as you can do starting with perfect form and control, and allowing your form to slip only a little. Use your form as a guide: if you cannot hold decent form, then you’ve worked until failure.
Step 2: Perform 25 sit-ups as a recovery.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 until you’ve done 100 total push-ups.
Note: If you’re accustomed to doing push-ups, you may need to set your number higher than 100. Generally I’ve found that getting to 100 requires at least 3-4 sit-up breaks for most people.
Real Life Example
Set 1 = 40 push-ups; 25 sit-ups
Set 2 = 25 push-ups; 25 sit-ups
Set 3 = 18 push-ups; 25 sit-ups
Set 4 = 10 push-ups; 25 sit-ups
Set 5 = 7 push-ups
Push-ups are often overlooked as an effective means for strengthening the chest because they are such a simple body weight exercise. The truth is body weight exercises are an excellent addition to any strength workout and can also be used in substitution for traditional strength training workouts.
When done correctly, body weight exercises are challenging, realistic, and relevant to real world movement including functional movement and athletic performance. They require you to stabilize yourself, activate your core, and control your body position as the target muscle group becomes fatigued.
Even if you opt out of the 100 push-up challenge, I recommend incorporating some form of push-up into your chest strength training workouts as part of a super-set or as a simple warm-up before you being your standard workout. If you do decide to take the challenge, report your results back to me here, I would love to know how you did!
If you deal with chronic or acute back pain, it can be debilitating. One minute you are in your normal fitness routine and the next minute you are hunched over or leaning to one side just so you can walk comfortably. Back pain is very common and it can also be very severe. Even minor “pulls”, “spasms” or “injuries” can be debilitating and when things are severe (like bulging and herniated disks, it’s even worse!)
Not only can the pain be difficult to manage, but it can also leave a person feeling confused as to what exercises they can do or fearful of doing any at all! If you have regularly occurring back pain, you should consult your physician or physical therapist about the nature of the injury before taking action. They will probably give you some back strengthening exercises and stretching to prevent recurrence and improve overall core strength. Regularly performing these exercises is an important practice for staying mobile, preventing injury and managing back pain.
Today I found a fantastic YouTube video that demonstrates some excellent back & core strengthening exercises, practicing some of these every day or even every other day will fit perfectly into any strength training workout. The video is done by a personal trainer and offers a good explanation of about ten exercises. It’s about 8 minutes long and the exercises are demonstrated in quick succession. If you are serious about performing some of these exercises, you may want to take a quick set of notes or watch it a few times in a row.
Toward the end of the video, he demonstrates some exercises and suggests they should be excluded from your back routine for 4-6 weeks. I am not really sure of his reason for avoiding these exercises, but if you decide to follow his recommendations exactly, let me know about your results.
Including two or even three different exercises everyday or every other day along with two or three stretches is something I highly recommend, especially if you fall into one of the following categories:
- You are over 21 years old.
- You have had back pain at any time during your life.
- You regularly participate in sports that require jumping, cutting, running, or sprinting.
- You have a job that requires a lot of sitting.
- You perform heavy lifting on a regular basis.
So that basically includes 95% of the people living in the United States! I’m serious, take notes on a few of these exercises and do them! You’ll thank me…If you already do your exercises and still have chronic back pain, you should definitely consult with a medical professional before doing any type of strenuous exercise.
I often work with clients who experience back pain. I can say that it has really helped them to have the guidance and knowledge of a professional when performing exercises. If you want to learn how to strengthen your core, manage chronic conditions, and prevent injuries contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an appointment!
(Repost from a loooong time ago but thought you would enjoy)
If any of you know me personally, you know I love to tell people what to do, and the two things I enjoy telling people to do most are stretching & strength training (when it comes to fitness anyway). Today, I’ll list 17 benefits of strength training so you know I have good reason for being so bossy…
1. Improve overall body strength
2. Increased lean body mass (muscle)
3. Increased metabolism (a pound of active muscle burns 50 calories a day. If you gained 10 pounds of muscle through strength training you would burn an additional 500 calories per day.)
4. Decreased body fat %
5. Improved confidence & appearance
6. Improved tendon & ligament strength
7. Increased joint stability
8. Improve coordination of neuromuscular system
9. Improve circulation
10. Increased aerobic capacity
11. Decreased cholesterol
12. Decreased in blood pressure
13. Reduced stress
14. Increase your quality of life by living independently as you age
15. Slow or reverse the effects of aging
16. Improved posture
17. Increased bone density & bone strength
Just imagine what you can do for yourself by making the commitment to strength train on a regular basis! Not only will you become leaner and feel better right away, you will be investing in long term health and quality of life for years to come. If you want help developing a personalized strength training program send an email to email@example.com and we can set up an appointment! Or, if you would like to learn more about strength training and general fitness guidelines, become a fan of Jes Reynolds Fitness to stay in touch!