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  1. If you go to the gym, I'm pretty sure you also nurture the goal of building massive arms. The kind where your arms look like they need to breathe when you put on a t-shirt. Half an inch more and your sleeves will tear off. You get the point. In pursuit of building these massive arms, you keep doing hundreds of bicep exercises with thousands of reps. But despite all these efforts, nothing seems to work for you. Well, that's because you are hitting the wrong muscle group. This doesn't mean you should stop training your biceps altogether, it's about shifting focus to other areas. The main muscle you want to focus on for the density and width of your arms is the tricep. That's correct, the triceps give your arms the volume and the thicker look. To optimally build the triceps, you need to focus on all the heads and train them in the best possible way. Your triceps are made of three heads: 1. Long head 2. Medial head 3. Lateral head Out of these three heads, it is the long head development that gives your arms and in particular, the triceps that beefy look. A well developed long head takes care of most of the size you can gain on your triceps. © Getty Images The understand what lifts to do, it is important to know the main functions of your triceps. The two main functions of the triceps are elbow extension and shoulder extension. To work on all the three heads, you need to do exercises that: 1. Have your arms over the head 2. Have your arms to the side of your body 3. Have your arms behind the torso This will ensure that you are hitting the three heads of the triceps optimally and ensuring all-round development. For your arms over the head movement, you can pick one of the exercises from: 1. The skull crushers 2. Two-arm overhead dumbbell press 3. Overhead cable tricep extensions with a rope attachment For arms to the side of the body, you have: 1. Tricep pushdowns on a cable 2. Machine tricep pushdowns 3. Dips For arms behind the torso: 1. Cable kickbacks 2. Dumbbell kickbacks In your next workout where you are working out your triceps, ensure that you are exercising the triceps in all the three different positions. © Getty Images This is just one part of the job done, i.e. picking the exercises. The other part is to ensure that you do not commit any rookie mistakes: Mistake 1: Lifting Too Heavy A lot of guys at the gym compromise form for their ego. This particularly is stupid for your isolation exercises. Your goal here is to ensure that you are working out using the best possible form for the desired number of reps. Going too heavy means involving your shoulder and pressing using them. That is not going to develop your triceps. Pick a load you can work between 12 to 15 reps, to begin with, and even at 15 reps, you can push 2 or 3 more reps for failure. Do not push for failure, keep a buffer for it. Mistake 2: Training Frequency I have written this article where I have mentioned exactly the problem with the bodybuilders aka bro aka one muscle group a day split. Want maximal development? Ensure you are training your muscles at least 2x a week. Go ahead and build huge arms by beefing up your triceps. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  2. The erector spinae are the group of muscles that form the Christmas tree shape on your back. That Christmas tree isn't just meant to show off on the competitive bodybuilding stage, but it also means that you have strong lower back muscles as well. Having a strong lower back will not only help you to prevent injuries but also help you with other compound lifts like the deadlift. Here are the exercises that you should include in your workout routine to make your lower back strong and to build that Christmas tree: 1. Stiff Leg Deadlift To perform this exercise, you need to take an Olympic bar and use an overhand grip (palms facing down). While going heavy in this exercise you can also use wrist wraps. Your torso will remain straight and your knees will be slightly bent. This will be the starting position. Now, keeping the knees stationary, you will lower the barbell over the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. You should feel a stretch on your lower back and hamstrings. Remember that this is not an exercise that is recommended for people with any form of lower back issues. Also, it needs to be treated with the utmost respect paying special attention not to round the back forward as you move the torso down; the back should always be straight. Finally, jerking motions or doing too much weight can injure your back. 2. Back Extensions/Hyperextensions This exercise can be performed on a hyperextension bench. Lie face down on a hyperextension bench, tucking your ankles securely under the footpads of the bench. Adjust the upper pad if possible so your upper thighs lie flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room for you to bend at the waist without any restriction. Now while keeping your body straight, cross your arms in front of you. This will be your starting position. You can also choose to hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms. Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Keep moving forward until you feel a nice stretch on your lower back and you can no longer keep going without a rounding of the back. Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you inhale. 3. Seated Rowing To perform this exercise you need access to a low pulley row machine with a V-bar. To begin this exercise, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not completely locked out. Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles. With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. Now while keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso. Keep the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point, you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in. Start doing these exercises and grow strong in them to build a mean X-Mas tree on your back. Anuj Tyagi, author of this article, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist from American Council on Exercise (ACE). Now an Online Health Coach, he is also a Chartered Accountant by education. You can connect with him through Instagram on:- https://www.instagram.com/sixpacktummy_anuj/
  3. The one single thing that keeps bros outside the gym and missing out on the muscle gains, is injuries. An injury can backtrack your progress by months, at the very least, when it hits you. Many people think that injuries are a result of just poor form or heavyweights. And they could not be more wrong. Injuries are equally caused by poor exercise selection and by choosing the wrong exercises, you can get injured by just lifting light weights too. Here are the three most common 'poor' exercises people pick for shoulders and smart ways you can fix them by making some adjustments: 1. Upright Rows When doing the upright row, you will often see that the elbows go above the shoulder. This position leads to an internal rotation that makes your rotator cuff muscles rub with the shoulder blades. This error can lead to shoulder impingement or inflammation. The Fix: You can still do the upright rows by widening your grip to around twice that of your shoulder width. Along with that, ensure that you are not swinging your arms and your elbows are not going above your shoulder height at the top. These modifications will activate the target muscles more prominently while keeping you in a safer position. 2. Behind The Neck Shoulder Presses I had covered this exercise in my article on a similar topic. You can read it here. A research done in 2015 has shown that for doing behind-the-neck shoulder presses, you need good flexibility in the external rotation of your shoulder. Most men do not possess that flexibility. By doing this movement, you are simply straining the neck and the shoulder muscles while risking an injury. The Fix: The plain old shoulder presses or the military press. It is much safer and you could lift a heavier load on it. 3. Front Raises This is one of the most popular exercises done by a lot of people to target the front delts. There is no issue doing this exercise or any significant injury risk by itself, but there is a good chance that this exercise is pretty unnecessary for most people and leads to other issues for most people. The issue is that of muscular imbalances. Your front delts are targeted pretty well when you do pressing movements or compound movements for your shoulders. People who add front raises to their routines often ignore the other heads of the shoulder muscle. The most common being the rear delts. The rear delts play a major role in having a proper muscular balance. It has been observed that they have a significant role in reducing shoulder injuries. The Fix: Your front delts do not need special emphasis via isolation movements. You can skip it altogether and instead add a rear delt isolation movement into your routine. The face pulls could be a great exercise to add to your routine, especially if you do not do anything to isolate the rear delts. References: 1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254614000106 Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  4. If you were to pick just one muscle group to grow the best which would result in you looking muscular, what would it be? Pretty sure a lot of you would pick the biceps. But if I were to pick one, it would be the shoulders any given day. Why is that? Shoulders are the muscles that give your upper body the illusion of being big and the much desired V-taper. The V-taper is what the golden era glorified. People found the taper aesthetic and beautiful, all for a reason. © YouTube A lot of you may be doing front raises and dumbbell overhead presses but do not see any good changes in your shoulder. The main reason for this is that you are not training your shoulder for all its functions. Let's understand the functions and look at the exercises you should start incorporating if you want to build those 3D shoulders. Your shoulder muscle is made up of three different muscle fibres 1. Anterior deltoid or front delt 2. Lateral deltoid or side delt 3. Posterior deltoid or rear delt These muscle fibres have distinctive functions or movement patterns. For example: 1. The anterior deltoid enables you to perform shoulder flexion, i.e. raising your shoulders in the front of your body. 2. The lateral deltoid allows you to perform shoulder abduction, i.e. taking the shoulder away from the body at the side. 3. The posterior deltoid enables you to perform horizontal shoulder abduction, i.e. moving your shoulder away in a horizontal position. To build those 3D delts, you need to create a mechanical tension and overload it with time for all the muscle fibres that make up the shoulder. Do you get it why doing a hundred sets of front raises have not yet built your shoulders? Here are the exercises you should do to build 3D shoulders: 1. A Vertical Press © YouTube The vertical pressing has to be the bread and butter of your shoulder workout. You could pick an overhead barbell press or overhead shoulder press to activate the front delts. Data has shown that any vertical press in an incline from 30 degrees to 90 degrees activates the front delts. If you find overhead pressing difficult, you could use a high-incline dumbbell or barbell press as well. Front raises is not a good option to include in my opinion, as a lot of people simply ego lift here. Due to internal rotation during the movement, there are chances of shoulder impingement. 2. A Lateral Raise © YouTube The function of your side delt is to lift your shoulder to the side. Lateral raises are your best bet when it comes to building the side delts. You can pick any method that suits you better and that you enjoy. For example, you could pick any of the following: a. Lateral dumbbell raises b. Lateral cable raises c. Lateral kettlebell raises 3. A Rear Pull © Scott Herman Fitness Isolation exercises beat compounds when it comes to your rear delts. The exercises that help you engage your rear delts the most are: a. Rear flyes on a machine b. Face Pulls Coming to the volume and frequency to build 3D shoulders, here's what the data says: a. A minimum frequency of 2x per week b. 8 to 20 sets per muscle or 80 to 210 reps per muscle group. I would suggest including shoulders in a push-pull-legs or an upper-lower fashion and incorporating exercises for all the three muscle fibres to build 3D shoulders. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  5. Don't have a dedicated workout routine for shoulders? Yeah, you know what? You can't really have those 3D delts without good genetics. I've heard this statement so often when people see my 3D delts. They seem to believe that everything is just about genetics. No, I am not saying that there is no role of genetics in bodybuilding. But what I am saying is that genetics will matter only once you have done your ground work. People who generally complain of weak delt muscles are the ones who do not spend ample time training them. So if you are one of those who have weak delt muscles and would like to improve them, read on to the list of these delt exercises that you should be doing in 2019. Push Press © Coachmag Heavy lifting and 'beast mode' fans, here you go. This is the exercise where you should go heavy. Push press will not only help you with building good delt muscles but will also help in building explosive strength levels. The Push Press exercise is a closed kinetic chain movement and it works synergistically on multiple muscle groups from legs to shoulders and to arms. You can say that Push press won't just help you to build the show off muscles but will make you better in performing your daily life activities as well. Lateral Raises © Coachmag No matter how many machines you bring in to isolate those lateral delts, lateral raises is always going to make it to the top exercises that you can do to get those impressive looking delts. I know the critiques of this exercise will point out that there's a dead spot in the exercise when you bring the weight down in front of your body or that the level of resistance is uneven at various points of the range of motion. Trust me, I may sound bias due to my own experience with this exercise, but once you master the technique of this exercise, you are going to love it for the kind of pump that you get in your lateral delts. A must do in 2019 for improving your lateral head of the delt. Face Pulls © YouTube Want those striated rear delts in 2019? Well, face pulls is the exercise that is going to help you get that. This exercise targets your rear delts and middle trapezius and helps you to build those 3D shoulders. When we talk about having that 3D look in the delts, we want an equal proportion in all the three muscles groups of delt, front, lateral and rear delt. However majority of the people do not perform any kind of isolation move on their rear delt and hence end up having a disproportionate look. Hence include this exercise in 2019 and that 3D look is all yours. Arnold Press © Coachmag You'll find people talking rubbish about this exercise that it may cause impingement of shoulder joint and what not. Well, my only answer to that is that you can injure yourself in any exercise if do not follow the correct technique and indulge in ego lifting. Arnold made adjustment to a normal overhead shoulder press in a way it could hit all there heads of your delt and named it as Arnold press. Include this exercise in 2019 and don't worry about your shoulder joint. You'll do just fine till the time you follow the correct technique. Upright Rowing © Coachmag Upright rows hit your lateral as well as rear delt simultaneously. Since there are not many exercises that hit these sections of your delt together, this exercise is also a must have in your shoulder workout arsenal. It can be performed either on a free barbell or on pulley with medium size bar or even on a smith machine.
  6. College is a period where life happens at a fast pace: you are simultaneously involved in lectures, societies, parties, relationships, part-time jobs (maybe), exams and more exams. With so much going on, one important aspect that often gets left behind is fitness. It is said “If you do not take out for your fitness today, you will have to take time for illness tomorrow.” Bro don't be this guy! Here are 5 bodyweight exercises for college boys. I recommend performing these movements first thing in the morning after having a shot of black coffee and a scoop of protein. This ensures you get it done every day and also give you a sense of achievement to kick-start your morning. 1) Push Ups © Thinkstock Images The good old push up is an ultimate exercise for upper body development. It targets your pectoral major, triceps, anterior delts and also engages your core. One mistake which majority of bros do with push-ups is: Chasing the number of reps. The reps do not matter, the number of quality reps does. If you can only perform 6 push-ups with proper form, stick to it and perform more sets, instead of more reps with poor form. Once you get good at it, you can put your heavy books in your back-pack and perform push-ups wearing it. This will increase resistance, consequently resulting in more muscle development. Variations: Close Grip, Wide Grips, Decline, and Weighted Push-Ups Sets: 2-5 Reps- 15-35 2) Jump Squats © HIIT academy Jump Squat is an effective exercise for shaping your thighs and building a powerful lower body. It is crucial that you first learn how to perfectly perform bodyweight squats before trying this. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and slowly perform a squat, putting tension in your hamstrings, go slightly below parallel (NOT ASS TO GRASS), from here imagine pressing the floor downwards with maximum effort and jump upwards. Make sure you do not land with stiff legs or you will injure your knee joints. Sets: 2-4 Reps: 10-20 3) Wall Push Ups © Thinkstock Images This is perhaps the only bodyweight exercise you can do for your shoulders and traps. And building mass in these muscle groups can drastically enhance your looks, transforming your appearance from a boy to a masculine man. This is an extremely difficult movement, beginners are advised to start with placing your feet on a high table and gradually move on to perform the full wall push-ups. Sets: 2-3 Reps: 8-12 4) Walking Lunges © YouTube As much as this movement is painful, it is equally rewarding for leg gains. Walking lunges effectively targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes for complete leg development. All you need is a 50m space. If you cannot maintain your balance while doing lunges walking, initially perform lunges one leg at a time standing at one place. Sets: 2-4 Reps: 12-15 Each Leg 5) Chin Ups / Pull Ups © Thinkstock Images You will need something to hang on to for this exercise, a door chin up bar or you can also utilize the 'Chaj Ja' (balcony) (disclaimer: it will hurt your hands). Chin ups are a staple movement in the routines of bodybuilders, powerlifter and weightlifters. Why? Because it works for building a wide and strong back. It also isometrically stimulates your forearms and biceps. Always chase quality over quantity while performing chin ups or pull ups. Make your chin move past the bar and you come down with controlled motion. Once again you can use your heavy-duty books to increases the resistance. Sets: 2-4 Reps: 6-12 Yash Sharma is a former national level Football player, now a Strength Coach, Nutritionist and Natural Bodybuilder. He also runs a YouTube Channel Yash Sharma Fitness via which he aims to educate all the fitness enthusiasts to maximize their gains by methods that are backed by science and applicable easily. Connect with him on YouTube, YashSharmaFitness@gmail.com, Facebook and Instagram.
  7. I get a lot of comments on my YouTube channel to make a shoulder workout videos. I haven't made the video yet but I would like to share my thoughts on how you can achieve massive shoulders. Remember, this is the base of any shoulder workout plan you will see on the internet. With the help of this, you can easily find out where you are lacking if you have weak shoulders or why your shoulders aren't as muscular as they can be. 1. Shoulder Press When it comes to building strength and size, the good old shoulder press is the king of all shoulder exercises. The best thing about shoulder press is that it works all the 3 heads of the shoulder i.e. anterior (front), side (lateral) and rear (posterior). Not just the shoulders, even your triceps get worked to a certain extent. There are various variations of this exercise that you can do with barbells or dumbbells, for example - standing overhead press, seated front press (military press), Arnold press and lying dumbbell press. © Pixabay Beginners should always master the seated variation before moving to advanced variations. Most people don't know that they can emphasise different heads of shoulders by using different elbow positions and grip width while doing the shoulder press. -Using a narrow grip while keeping the elbows forward, isolates the anterior (front) deltoid and clavicular head of your pecs. Also hits the triceps more hard. -Using a wide grip with elbows out to the side isolates the anterior (front) and middle deltoids. 2. Lateral Raises If you want something referred to as the 3D shoulders look, you can't ignore lateral or side raises. This exercise can again be done using a dumbbell, cable or even an e-z bar. Lateral raises target the middle deltoid or the side shoulder mainly. Hold a dumbbell either in one or both the hands and raise it to the side until it becomes horizontal to the floor while keeping a slight bend in the elbow. Lower the dumbbell under control without letting it fall under the action of gravity taking 2-3 seconds. © Pinterest Note- It's very important that you keep your elbows slightly bent in order to work your muscles effectively. Since the deltoid is a multipennate muscle, meaning it has multiple rows of diagonal fibres with a central tendon (tissue attaching muscle to a bone) branching into two or more tendons, it makes sense to hit it from all the angles. 3. Exercises For The Rear Deltoid The posterior (rear) deltoid is the most commonly ignored head of the shoulder. People get a lot of front deltoid work from various presses done on chest or shoulder days while the poor opposite rear deltoid is mostly left on its own. Having a stronger anterior head but an even weaker rear head is asking for trouble. Poor posture and injury chances increase by doing so. © Pixabay Make sure you add exercises such as rope pulls, high pulley lateral extensions, bent over lateral raises and rear deltoid extensions on a pec dec machine(rear pec dec fly) along with the exercises mentioned in points above for maximal shoulder development. Following the above protocol consistently while focussing on increasing weight/ reps will result in overall shoulder development. Daman Singh is an internationally certified sports Nutritionist and an athlete competes in Strongman and powerlifting without the aid of Anabolics .He also runs a YouTube channel named :- SIKHSPACK and you can follow him on Instagram and trains Drug free population .
  8. If you are amongst those who like to work only on their show-off muscles (biceps, chest or abs), then you may move on to some other article, but if you are looking to build a V-taper sturdy back in 2019, then I suggest you read this complete article. I know it happens during your initial years of training, when you don't really work on your back as you don't really see your back in the mirror after every set. However, when you have spent a couple of years in your training, you realize the importance of that V-taper thick back. In this article, I am going to tell you 5 exercises that you should be doing in 2019 to build that V-taper and thick back: 1. Barbell Deadlift © YouTube The king of all the back exercises is the deadlift. It's not just an exercise for your back muscles but it actually works on your complete posterior chain. However, I would suggest that the deadlift shouldn't be just about the numbers game where you flaunt your latest deadlift numbers. Building good hypertrophy in your back muscles has more to do with thr correct technique and range of motion than just flaunting your deadlift numbers. Thus, focus more on the mind and muscle connection than just adding plates to the barbell. 2. Pull-Ups © Thinkstock You may say that I am being biased here, but trust me, no other exercise except Pull-ups offers you the same level of upper lat muscle activation. You may find it difficult to perform it if you are a beginner, so I would suggest that you take the help of a spotter or use the assisted pull-up machine if your gym has one. Also, performing Pull-ups early in your workout is always the best, as you might not be able to do them with the same intensity during the latter part of your workout. Not to mention that form is important here too and the scapula should be retracted before initiating a pull-up. 3. T-Bar Rows © YouTube If there's one exercise that has served a staple in back workouts from Arnold's era, it's the T-Bar Rows. T-Bars are your best bet if your back muscles are weak from the middle. A neutral grip T-Bar engages your rhomboids, teres and trap muscles at the same time, helping you to build that cobra shape thick back muscles. The best part about this exercise is that even if you do not have an exclusive T-Bar Station in your gym, you can still perform this exercise with a barbell and free weights. 4. Single Arm Dumbbell Rowing © Bodybuilding Wizard Single arm dumbbell rowing is an ideal way to include a few unilateral movements in your back workouts. It also allows you to lift heavier weights and perform an optimum range of motion. Try to maintain a neutral spine position if you want to hit your overall back muscles and not just the upper lats. Generally, people often complain about having a weak lower back, well, a majority of them fail to maintain a neutral spine and thus work only on their upper lats. 5. Close Grip Pull Down © YouTube The Lat-Pull Down is an exercise that people always perform in their back workout. I am sure you would also be doing it from the first day of your visit to the gym. Thus, instead of Lat-pull downs, I've included a variation in this workout. This one is called Close-Grip Pull down where you will perform the same movement but with another grip. Use the close grip handlebar to perform this movement. It will give you the same level of lat-activation, if not less, and will also offer you a change of exercise. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  9. There are tons of exercises that can be performed on a chest day. You'll find all types of variations of hitting your pectorals from various angles to get that perfectly shaped chest. But trust me, building your dream chest doesn't really have to be a rocket science by over complicating things by using unconventional training exercises and techniques. Even if you perform only a few staple moves of a chest day, but do them with good intensity, that should be enough to get things done for you. Here is the list of those 5 conventional exercises that you should do in 2019 to achieve the best looking pectorals that you always wanted. 1) Barbell Bench Press © Pixabay Okay, no surprises here. Barbell bench press will always make it to every list of chest exercise that will ever be compiled. It's like you just cannot presume that you are training chest till the time you are doing bench press on your chest day. Bench Press has been the ultimate chest builder since the Arnold Era. Bench Press helps you to build your strength as well as power. It is also one of the best exercises to build the mid pectoral section of your Chest muscles. Relatively easy to spot and easy to balance than a dumbbell press, Barbell Bench press lets you go heavy than its dumbbell counterpart. Thus, there is no reason why you should not be performing a barbell bench press on your chest day if building a good looking chest is your target. 2) Low Incline Bench Press © Stack I've seen so many people doing Incline Presses at a very high angle. When I ask them, they tell me that they are doing it to isolate their upper pecs. However, the truth is that you are actually recruiting more front delt as you go steeper in your incline bench. You should ideally perform incline bench press at a less steep angle to hit your upper pectorals appropriately. Not to mention that Incline Bench Press will help you to build your upper chest and thus give your chest a complete look by complementing those mid and lower pectorals. 3) Decline Bench Press © MyProtein With the inclusion of the decline press in your chest workout, you will be hitting your upper, mid and lower pectorals at the same time. This will help you build your pectorals in a proportion as every area of the muscle group is being given equal attention. Some of the Gyms lack a dedicated decline bench in their equipment, which can be managed by using the adjustable bench on a squat rack. 4) Incline Bench Cable Flys © YouTube After completing your multi-joint movements, you should include a few isolation moves as well to create the required stimuli for muscle growth. Cables allow continuous muscle tension along with full range of motion. Since majority of the people lack that finishing touch in their upper pecs, including Incline Cable Flys in your Chest routine will help you with a complete Upper chest builder workout. 5) High Pulley Cable Cross Over © Thinkstock This one isolates your lower pecs like no other exercise out there. People who have problem of puffy nipples or lose lower chest can actually benefit from including this exercise in their routine. If you were not doing this exercise till now, include it this year and see the change in your pectoral shape with those rounded lower pecs.
  10. Years will come by and trends may change, but if there's something that's never going to change is the fact that a 6-pack will always be desirable. It's like an epitome of fitness and shows that you're serious about your nutrition. It shows the world that you're dedicated to the fit lifestyle and aren't afraid of the hard work. Though the first requisite of having a chiseled core is a 'clean' and 'calculative' diet, yet focusing on your core with some isolation movement will give you the finesse that you are looking for. 1) Single Arm Side Bends (High Pulley) © YouTube I can't tell you how much underrated is the Oblique muscle workout. People limit themselves to only crunches when it comes to isolating their core and then later on complaint about having weak sides. Well, this exercise is surely going to do the needful for you. I personally prefer using cables for certain movements like this one as they provide you the constant tension to the muscle group. To perform the movement, get on your knees on the floor with pulley machine being positioned on one of the sides. Put the pulley at a level high enough that when you start the movement, the handle/lever is at your shoulder level. Now crunch sideways to feel the contraction in your oblique muscles. 2) Ab Wheel Roll-Outs © Pixabay Out of all the advertisements that you see on your television set that offer you various benefits from fat loss and abs, ab roller is the only one that lives up to the expectation. The rollout hits spinal flexion and anti-extension extremely hard and gives shouts out to your serratus and lats. However, it might not be a good idea to perform this exercise if you are a complete beginner or have lower back issue. If you do not have an ab roller in your gym, you can perform this exercise with the help of barbell and plates. 3) Bottoms Up © YouTube I am sure you must have performed reverse crunches and hip raises as a part of your regular abs workout routine. Bottoms Up is an exercise which includes the movement of both these exercises together. Again, people with severe back issue can give it miss otherwise it's really a challenging exercise to train your core. 4) Reverse Crunch On Decline Bench This is very good exercise to perform if you have difficulty in performing hanging leg raises. This exercise mimics the same movement as hanging leg raises without putting too much stress on your lower back. People with heavy leg and stiff lower back have difficulty in performing hanging leg raises as they can't move their pelvic and perform hip flexion than engaging their abs. © Bodybuilding Wizard 5) Planks © YouTube Planks offer the best isometric hold that focuses totally on the core. It activates rectus abdominis and oblique together. This exercise will always make it to the best exercises for abs as beginners as well as advanced athletes can perform this exercise according to their strength capabilities. Once you have perfected the technique of performing the conventional planks you can try the advance movements like lifting an arm or lifting up one leg. You can also try adding weight on your back to make it more challenging for you. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  11. On the occasion of International Men's Day, we have listed out a bunch of basic at-home excersies that every man must learn how to do. 1) Push-Ups © YouTube Literally, everybody starts their exercising journey with push-up being their very first exercise. Yes, I know, it's tough to get your first error-free push-up but once you do, reps just keep on adding. Right from the chest, the back, the core and even the legs, the push-up works everything. Getting better at push-ups is a sure shot marker of getting stronger. 2) Pull-Ups © Pixabay If something that screams real strength, it's got to be the ability to crank out pull-ups. One of the toughest BUT an absolutely essential exercise to a build strong back and resilient grip strength. Can't do a single pull-up? Here's the best tutorial on the internet. 3) Bodyweight Squats © YouTube Nothing builds legs better than squats. To get under the bar, you first need to master perfect form and build basic posterior chain strength. And that's done with basic body weight squats. Probably the easiest to 'watch and learn' movement, you will find hundreds of tutorials that will teach you how to do bodyweight squats. 4) Burpees © YouTube Now this one is looked at as a demon but it's really not. Okay, it is. But burpees are one of the best exercises to get your heart rate up and get a sweat breaking. Start with doing 5 at one go and take it forth from there. 5) Lunges © YouTube Another great lower body workout, lunges are another great at home exercise. It will bolster your leg strength and get your core working as well. Start with a set of 15 for each leg.
  12. Just like learning the basics of mathematics can take you a long way, it's imperative to learn the fundamentals of exercising. Once well brushed with, you cannot only get better with doing less but also can do various exercises wherever you want with minimum equipment. With this piece I'll be chopping up a killer resistance band- triceps workout that I recently tried while on a trip where I had no access to a gym. What Will You Need The only equipment you need here is a resistance band. How much resistance? Well, that entirely depends upon you. If you are accustomed to lifting heavy on a regular basis, pick the highest resistance. It's usually color coded black. For intermediates, the red one with medium resistance would do. For beginner, picking up the one with the least resistance would work. Usually color coded purple. Getting It Done 1) The Push-Downs © YouTube You already know how triceps push-downs are done on a pulley machine. This isn't any different. Find a spot where you can tie up the band and hold the band from the hanging end like you hold the push-down bar. Make it a point to maintain tension on the band throughout the movement. Here's a video: Try 50-75 repetitions. 2) Reverse Grip Pull-Downs © YouTube Now like a no-brainer, when you are done with the above exercise, reverse your grip and start pulling the band straight down. Again, make it a point to maintain the tension throughout the motion. The point of these exercises is to get a workout done when you really don't have access to equipment. This is also good for a warm-up before hitting heavy weights for triceps. Now next time you are out, don't forget your bands!
  13. Have you as a kid or, scratch that, even as an adult wondered if you could be in top shape like the athletes out there? Ok let's be honest, we all have, and some of us dream about it even now. When it comes to the NBA, the players, apart from being immensely talented, maintain a level of fitness which is almost second to none. After all the speed, agility and endurance on the court does not come out of thin air. Years of commitment, hard work and practice are needed. What we see is the final result, what we often ignore is the effort put in behind achieving that result. So having seen how fit NBA players are, we as fans of players and basketball in general have certainly asked ourselves this question - can we be fit as them? Well, I have got news for you guys, yes we can! No, this is no joke or a pep talk to make you feel better. It is possible. NBA players don't stay in shape by some divine intervention. In fact, they do so by following a set of exercises. Now of course workout regimes, gym sessions and methods vary from player to player so there is no fixed set to follow. Nonetheless, here are some common ones you can include in your routine if you want to maintain that level of fitness. Let's take a look: 1. Split Stance Sprinters One literally has to stand in a split stance and then sprint a certain distance. The key is to keep the body alert so that the adjustment can be easily made. This improves sprinting speeds as well as the ability to jump higher. Core strength is the key for any athlete and your speed is always a major factor. 2. Jump Rope As the name suggests, just jump over the rope and keep it in motion so that the jumps are timed in sequence. This is the perfect workout to get the blood flowing in the knees. It can be done almost anywhere in the gym. The footwork of a player improves and also the knee muscles are enhanced. However, when jumping rope, one must ensure that it is not on a hard surface like cement as that can do damage to the knees over time. 3. Weightlifting Going to the gym at least three days a week is a must. Ensure that weight lifting sessions are distributed equally between light and heavy to avoid the risk of too much load. This builds body strength, particularly in the arms. 4. Power Lunge Rope Slams Slam a rope constantly on the surface of the floor and keep on doing it until a rhythm is maintained. This has to be done at a fast pace and requires both physical and mental endurance. The exercise is good for both upper and lower body strength. 5. Flexibility Exercises One can improve the flexibility of one's body by performing stretching exercises. This helps during more intense workouts to build muscle and burn a lot of fat which is a key factor to stay in shape. 6. Ball Handle Lunges Engage your core, standing hip width apart with shoulders relaxed. Holding a medicine ball a few inches in front of the chest, step forward into a lunge with the right leg. This does wonders for body strength. 7. Dumbbell Press This one is using two dumbbells to perform a hand exercise while lying on one's back. It's not an easy task as both dumbbells need to be balanced as does the body. This is good for the biceps, shoulders and also upper body endurance.
  14. Glute training or butt poses have become way too popular due to the female fitness models on Instagram flexing the muscle or selling booty bands or booty building programs. Due to this, there has been unnecessary sexualization of the booty, with men almost skipping booty work in the gym, as they consider it feminine or associate it with female fitness models. If you are one of them, you are horribly wrong. As wrong as you were about BCAAs helping in muscle growth or the anabolic protein window. What are the benefits of stronger glutes for men, you ask? . You Are Stronger & You Look Better Glutes are literally the powerhouse of a muscle in your body. Stronger glutes mean that you can generate more power from your lower body and it builds a good looking butt. Believe it or not, women like men with a strong butt. And another thing, strong glutes are never found on weak men. . They Improve Athletic Performance Glutes provide power for quick and explosive movement. Go check out any Olympic sprinter, you will never find one with weak glutes. If a sprinter has weaker glutes, they won't be competing in the Olympics in the first place. . They Ensure You Do Not Have Lower Back Pain When you are not doing anything at all, the glutes work to keep the lower back area aligned. It does not mean that developed glutes always mean a guaranteed good lower back health. That is not always the case, though it does give a higher chance of better lower back health. So, now that we have established the importance of developing the glutes, let's look at the top exercises that you can include in your gym routine right away: 1. The Barbell Hip Thrust © Stack You can also do this using a Smith machine if you are a total beginner and feel that it is overworking your lower back. Put your feet on the ground and set up the bar at your hips and your upper back is on the bench. Keeping your back straight, drive the bar off the floor with maximal power until you are at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Come down, pause for a bit and repeat. 2. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts © Stack Most people in the gym fail to do a Romanian Deadlift with a proper form. To them, this exercise should be done with extra caution or better yet, after learning the normal Romanian Deadlift properly. Hold a barbell in the top deadlift position, so that you are standing up with the bar in your hands. Now, slowly raise one of your legs off the ground in the opposite direction while lowering the bar down. Ensure that you are maintaining a straight flat back while doing so. Lower the bar until you feel a stretch in the hamstring of the leg planted on the foot and then come back to neutral standing position. This is one rep. Caution: Handling a barbell right from the first time you do this, may not be a good option. Start with a dumbbell, progress to an empty bar, and then move to the loaded bar. 3. Kettlebell Swings © HIIT This exercise will help you develop immense power and speed in your hips. Hold the kettlebell in a half squat position almost touching the ground and drive your hip forward swinging the kettlebell. The hip drive should be as explosive as possible and you should feel the movement in your hips. Ensure that the hip hinging is done and you are not taking the movement on your lower back. Start doing these exercises today and develop some mean and badass glutes. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  15. You can never have big enough biceps. This is something all gym bros will agree upon. In the pursuit of arms that fill out sleeves, and forearms that Popeye himself would be proud of, most gym bros spend hours (read: waste) doing a lot of isolation work. Most of the time, it is the same old bicep curls, hammer curls, dips, tricep extensions, forearm curls and etc. that make up the routine. What if I told you that there were some exercises that will give you a better chance to grow your arms? Here's the list of those exercises: 1. Pull-Up Or Chin-Up © Thinkstock Images A pull-up or a chin-up challenge your biceps as much as curls do and it is more functional as an exercise as well, that has a carryover effect into your daily life. They help you in sports movements as well and help you get stronger overall. 2. Dumbbell Skull Crushers © Thinkstock Images In the gym, you see a lot of people doing skull crushers with a straight bar or an EZ-bar. The problem with these two is that they are heavy on your wrists and you spend more time adjusting or working with your wrists than actually doing the movement. When you pick a dumbbell instead, your wrists are in a neutral position and you will be able to blast your triceps without hurting your wrist or your shoulders. 3. Diamond Push-Ups © YouTube A lot of people do tricep kick-back but the problem is that you cannot really go too heavy and if you do, you do not isolate the tricep area. You are swinging your body and involving your upper body muscles. Diamond push-ups, on the other hand, hit the triceps more effectively and you can also load them externally by doing weighted push-ups. 4. Farmer's Carry © YouTube Ever seen a strongman's forearms? A single forearm of theirs may easily outsize a typical gym bro's arm size. If you want to build massive forearms, have amazing grip strength, and strong forearms, then embrace the farmer's carry. This movement will not just make your forearms pop out, it will also make you build endurance and have stronger glutes. 5. Waiter's Carry © Pixabay Another super unconventional exercise to add to your toolkit, the waiter's carry hits your forearms while also activating your core and improves stability. You can hold a plate or a barbell or a dumbbell overhead and walk the desired steps or time doing this. Do it one hand at a time and then switch hands. These unconventional exercises won't feel the same as the old curls and dips to you, but that is where the growth occurs, outside your comfort zone. Go give these a try and start growing those arms as thick as you can. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  16. If the stats are to be believed, around 80 per cent of people will experience lower-back pain at some point in their lives. In a recent analysis, lower-back pain was the leading cause of physical disability worldwide. The problem certainly hasn't gotten any less common in recent time as well. You know what will really amuse you? Both athletes and sedentary people seem equally prone to lower back pain. But it's still the majority of desk jobbers who are affected by this the most. Since I help people in recovering from various musculoskeletal injuries and I have myself dealt with a herniated disc in the past, here are some really effective and easy exercises that will help you: 1) Prone Leg Extension © YouTube Take a yoga mat and lie down on your abdomen. Now lift one leg keeping your knees locked out and raise it up 30 degrees from the floor. After you have elevated the leg, you need to count to ten and return the leg to the starting position. Then repeat the same with the other leg. If this seems too difficult to perform, you can bend your knees to make it a little less challenging. This exercise strengthens your glutes and the lower back. 2) Knees To Chest © YouTube Lie down on your back with your legs straightened out. Now lift one leg up while bending your knees and try to bring the knee as close to your chest as possible. You have to try to touch your chest with your quads or bring it as close as possible. Feel the stretch and maintain it for around 5 seconds before releasing the stretch. Your other leg will remain constant on the floor while you perform this movement. Now do the same movement for the other leg. 3) Bird Dog © Builtlean The Bird Dog exercise can help you strengthen the stabilizer muscles in the core by relieving excessive pressure on the lower back. To perform the bird dog exercise, come down on the floor with your hands and knees touching the floor. Now position your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Keeping your abdominal muscles engaged; lift your right leg straight behind you. Keep them at the hips level. Once your core feels stable, lift your left arm forward. Stretch your body out long. Keep the back of your neck in line with your spine. Hold for a few seconds before returning to your starting position. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  17. Well, to start with, getting in shape is a simple process. 1. Lift some weights 2. Eat according to your goal 3. Consume adequate protein 4. Sleep 5. Repeat Disclaimer: Every coach at MensXP Health has an individualistic opinion on different exercises. No exercises are worth it if they injure you and keep you out of the gym for a long time. Here are the top 5 exercises you should avoid if your goal is to remain injury-free and stay in the gym more than staying out of the gym: 1. Behind The Head Military Press © YouTube This is the most common injury-causing exercise, that most lifters, who blindly follow bodybuilders and how they train, suffer from. In terms of muscle recruitment and overload, it does not do anything different than a standard overhead press. What it does is that, it puts you in a position where your rotator cuffs are more prone to injury. It will automatically reduce the poundage you lift which will reduce your strength gain potential as well. 2. Behind The Neck Lat-Pulldowns © YouTube Another pro-bodybuilder inspired exercise that has little to no relevance in reality. A lot of these behind-the-neck exercises put your shoulder in a very unnatural position. For most people, they do not have adequate shoulder mobility to do these exercises and they, in no way, provide any additional benefits over the standard exercises. 3. Smith Primary For Compounds © YouTube A majority of beginners are made to train with a smith machine on joining the gym. They believe that this is rather safer for them than free weights. But the reality is that a Smith machine severely reduces your range of motion. Another benefit of doing free weight exercises is that it enables core stabilization and activates your core muscles while lifting, not the case when you are using a Smith machine. And it is more injury-prone than regular forms or free forms of exercises, as your range of motion is pretty restricted in a Smith machine. 4. Heavy Leg Presses © YouTube I had written a standalone article on why doing heavy leg presses can be detrimental. Mainly, as it puts your back in a stiff position and you have seen a lot of people adding a lot of weight on the leg press machine and you would want to do it yourself. These heavy leg presses often lead to cheated reps and locking out of knees which have a very high risk of injury. If you want, just do an internet search on leg press injuries and you will be shocked. Do yourself a service and do not press your ego there. 5. Upright Rows A lot of people go very heavy when doing upright rows. Now, the problem here is that when you do upright rows, your shoulder rotates internally and you are overloading them beyond its capability. This often leads to shoulder impingement and can lead to severe shoulder injuries. Physios or physical therapists will often put you in a similar position to test you for shoulder impingement. So, you are basically doing a loaded exercise which is actually used by therapists to check for injuries. Not a smart move, right? My advice: Avoid these injury prone exercises so you can spend a productive time inside the gym making progress and not otherwise recovering from injuries. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  18. It's so funny to see new fancy workouts popping up on the internet every day. One would claim extreme fat burning and the other would promise a chiseled core. Let's call these tall claims with short walks. One common thing or as I like to call it, a flaw each of these stupid programs have is the absence of evidence and science. Burn these many calories in these many hours. Put on this much muscle in this time and what not. Look, a lot of things in the fitness industry just don't have precise answers. It all depends. It's all very subjective. But some questions do and their answers will always remain the same. New Fancy Programs Will Never Replace Proven Exercises © Pixabay TRX this, BOSU ball that and ZUMBA, my god. These are just outrageously idiotic additions to a workout that could have been sensible, otherwise. Look, if you want to look good naked, the drill is simple. Reduce body fat and build muscle. To build muscle, you need to lift weight and overtime add more and more weight. Our body is an adaptive being. It adapts to loads. The more comfortable you get with a given load, the lesser the chances of building new muscle tissue. Hence, no muscle built. And best believe that all these circus type workouts won't help you look good naked simply because they don't load your muscle enough. Moreover, half of these workouts are downright illogical. What's the point of trying to flip a 100-kilo tyre when you can't deadlift your own bodyweight? Exactly, no point! They might be fun but well, the results will never be what you wanted in the first place. Stick To The Basics Of Pull, Push, Hinge, Hang And Carry © Thinkstock Our bodies do great when we make them do what they are built to do in the first place. For centuries, humans have used the pulling, pushing, hinging, hanging and carrying movements in daily life. And not to mention, back in the day there were hardly any cases of lifestyle obesity. People were strong and lean, naturally. These same movements were carried over into the gym rooms and in the form of push-ups, pull-ups, rows, loaded carries and deadlifts. People did them and got results because these exercises made sense. Just like to lose fat, you have to eat in a caloric deficit and expend more energy; you have to focus on the proven exercises to build strength and muscle. Don't expect to do acro-yoga and zumba and get jacked! What Are These Exercises? 1) Deadlifting 2) Rowing (different variation) 3) Overhead shoulder pressing 4) Squatting 5) Pull-ups 6) Pushup 7) Farmer's walk
  19. When Arnold Schwarzenegger talked about 'confusing the muscle', I bet that he wouldn't have wondered that 40 years on, his words would be turned into a joke. While the concept of muscle confusion has some legit science backing it, how it's actually put into application on the gym floor nowadays is nothing but a mockery. Who is to blame? The exercises gurus who come up with fancy looking but hardly working exercises! It isn't hard to find them either. Look around in your gym. If you see somebody doing squatting bicep curls or pec-flys with barbells, you will know. Or else, they usually come up and say 'confuse the muscle' with new exercises bro! Anyway, let me break down the principle of muscle confusion to you. © Thinhstock Images Your Muscles Recognize The Amount Of Load. Not The Name Of The Exercise In a layman lifter terms, our muscles feel the load we put on them. Now call it a bench press or a dumbbell bench press, your pectorals will act according to the amount of weight you are pushing on either of the exercises. The extent of the micro tears that the muscles endure depends primarily on the amount of weight moved and till what level of muscle exhaustion it was moved. Simply put- how much weight you use and if in case you reached to full or partial failure with that weight. So it's either lifting more and more weight progressively or touching muscular exhaustion (failure) with the selected weight that would SHOCK the muscle and push it to come back bigger (to grow). More than muscular failure, progressive over-load is necessary. Get the point? Weight lifted > name of the exercise. The Functional Exercise Scam Ever since the inception of CrossFit into the fitness scene, the word functional is being thrown around like whey protein. Every one beating a tyre with a hammer, flipping tyres and battling ropes thinks that they are very functional. What's worse that the growing popularity of functional workouts is demeaning the typical bodybuilding style training. While the truth is that majority of the stupid so called functional exercises people do in regular gyms isn't Crossfit and typical bodybuilding is certainly functional. CrossFit is still highly misunderstood in India and bodybuilding training is feared and given a bad name rooting from personal bias and lack of educated trainers. When done properly bodybuilding style training is just as much functional as CrossFit done under an intelligent coach. So, beat it! © YouTube Here's A Middle Ground Pick your best pulling and pushing lifts. They can be any. Shoulder pressing, benching, pull-ups, push-ups or rowing. Now make it a point to get stronger on these. This means lifting more and more loads weeks after weeks or months after months. This is called progressive overloading. These should be the bread and butter of your training regime, be it fat loss or building muscle. On you days off, look at the functional exercises you love to do. Pick the ones that will help you better condition yourself. My tops picks are loaded carry for time, interval sprinting and times box jumps. This concoction will help you build and confuse muscle at best.
  20. Whenever we use the term 'core', it is generally construed that we are talking about the so called 'six pack abs. However, when it comes down to the real core strength, it's not just those chiseled wash board ones that actually matter. It is the test of the function of what your core is actually meant to do. Your core is designed to stabilize your spine and to help it to move efficiently. Your core muscles collectively create a stiffness that limits the excessive movement of the spine in any direction. So it's not just enough to have those visible biscuits on your abdomen but you should also have real core strength too. Let's discuss a few reasons why you need a strong core and how can you build one. Why Build A Strong Core - A strong core helps you maintain a good body posture. A good posture helps you to avoid major musculoskeletal injuries. It also helps you prevent chronic back injuries. - A strong core will help you in improving the functionality and performance of your body. Thus, not just conditioned athletes, anyone who trains to be fit should aim for a strong core. - It will also help people who have a desk job and thus have to sit on a chair for prolonged hours. They often complain about having regular back pain. Strengthening of core muscles can actually help them reduce the symptoms of back pain. Following are some very good exercises to build a strong core. 1) Planks © Freeletics One of most common and yet effective exercise to strengthen your core is planks. Planks are convenient to perform as you do not need an equipment to perform this exercise. Just lie on the floor with your toes and forearms touching the floor while rest of the body is at shoulder level above the floor. Keep your arms bent and directly below the shoulder. Try to hold the position for as long as possible. 2) Hanging Leg Raise With Holds © YouTube This one is not going to be easy for beginners so make sure that you take things a little slower for your body to adapt the progression. You can perform this on a pull-up bar or a Bar dip station. Stand straight and grab the pull-up bar with a grip that's shoulder width apart. Now lift your torso till it makes a 90 degree angle with your legs. Exhale out your breadth as you perform the movement. Try to hold the movement for a second and then bring your legs down. This is the initial progression and with time you have to increase the holding time of your legs at the 90 degree angle. If you do this correctly, trust me only one exercise is going to be enough for your core training. 3) Compound Movements © YouTube Compound movements like overhead squat and press, deadlift, squatting and bench press work on your core as well. This may come as a surprise to a lot of guys out there but that's actually true. In all these compound exercises, your core plays an important role in stabilizing your body when you lift heavy in these exercises. Therefore, someone who lifts real heavy in deadlift and squatting will never have a weak core. It's because when you lift heavy, you automatically engage your core muscles when you embrace your abdomen. Thus a heavy lifter may not have visible abs but he will always have a strong core. Make sure to incorporate heavy compound movements too in your training routine to build up a strong core. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  21. Posture is the shape and alignment of different body segments. Posture defects normally arise due muscle imbalance in certain muscle groups. For example, some muscles may be strong and short, while the opposing muscle groups could be long and weak. In simple terms, attaining correct posture means keeping each part of the body in alignment with the neighbouring body parts. Proper posture ensures all the muscles are balanced and supported. Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many deep muscles in the back and spine healthy. This is much more than looking at it from the point of view of aesthetics. Good posture and back support are important to reduction of back pain and neck pain. Benefits Of A Correct Posture © YouTube A good posture will make you look slimmer, younger and make your clothes look better on you. More than that, it will keep your bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly and with the right bio mechanics. It can also decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degeneration of bones, arthritis and joint pain. There is lesser stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the chances of injury. Sitting and standing with proper postural alignment will increase efficiency with less fatigue and strain on the body's ligaments and muscles. Being aware of good posture is the first step and it is important to get yourself a postural analysis done to know about your plus points and limitations of the body. Exercising And Posture Correcting proper body posture can improve biomechanics at the gym and ensure your form and technique of each exercise is performed efficiently without causing and injury. Even from the perspective of day to day life preparedness, working on posture can help you perform certain tasks much better and easily. Do These 6 Exercises At Home 1) Partial Crunches © YouTube Although I don't really support partial reps in any form of exercises, in this particular case one of the core-strengthening workouts is the partial stomach crunch. Partial crunches build strength in both your lower back and associated stomach muscles, also making this a good exercise for people with spondylolysis. 2) Hamstring Stretches © YouTube Hamstring stretches are good to reduce tightness in the lower back and the back of the leg, where some of the muscles that support the work of the lower back are found. 3) Wall Sits © YouTube Incorporating wall sits for a few seconds every time you feel a lower back pain will make you feel better. 4) Pelvic Bridges © YouTube Bridging is a great exercise for back pain; it helps strengthen various supporting muscles for your back like the hamstrings, glutes, abdomen and hips. It also works directly to strengthen the lower back muscles. 5) Band Pull-Apart This is one of the most effective shoulder rehab exercises. To do this, all you need is a resistance band. They are usually colour coded, so pick one according to your strength. 6) Plank © YouTube This is one of the simplest exercises that can give you many benefits. Performing planks can improve your posture if done the right way. When performing the exercise, be sure to keep your legs straight, don't allow your lower back to drop, and ensure you are looking down at the floor. Conclusion Posture is mostly associated with some pain problems. Much of “poor posture” is actually just postural strain and bad ergonomic, and not really a postural problem at all. Many people seem to be affected to poor postures and postural strain, but these people also may not have a posture problem suffering from some pain. Many elements of poor posture are the result of long-term adaptation that is either difficult or impossible to change. One sure benefit to correcting posture is that it can affect mood, emotion and sensitivity to pain. Helius is one of Mumbai's most promising fitness professionals and part time kettle bell lecturer. His knowledge on nutrition and trainer soft skills management is well recognized. To know more about him CLICK HERE, and mail your queries about fitness to heliusd@hotmail.com.
  22. When you go to the gym and do an exercise, it serves a specific purpose. You bench press to build a stronger bench and develop your chest. You squat to grow your quadriceps and so on. Every exercise has some application and they fulfill a function. And then, there are some exercises that are outrightly useless, stupid, and serve no purpose. The funnier part is that you see many gym bros doing it or even trainers suggesting it to their clients. 1. Bosu Ball Anything © Pinterest Bosu ball squat, Bosu ball bicep curls, Bosu ball overhead press. Basically, Bosu ball anything is practically useless. Why? Because you would never be overloading yourself on a bouncy surface in your actual life, ever! When was the last time you tried to hit a squat PR in a bouncy house? Umm, never, right? I thought so too. And when you are doing anything on a Bosu ball, you are constantly juggling between balancing yourself vs. moving the weight. You do not get better at anything. Those who'd debate saying 'core stabilization', there are hundreds of different ways to stabilize the core which do not involve a Bosu ball. The high risk of injury while moving those weights and wiggling is totally not worth it. 2. Dumbbell Side Bends © Muslce and Fitness We have all seen those people who at the end of the workout would hold two dumbbells on their sides and set rep records for the same thinking that they are reducing the 'side fat' or building abs with it. Nah, that does not do anything. This is mainly because your core is built to counter resist or stabilize a load and not assist it. This is exactly what it is doing when you do side bends! 3. Dumbbell Shadow Boxing © YouTube These folks literally make me cringe in the gym. Holding a pair of 2 lbs and dancing around near the weight rack creating an injury prone area not only for themselves but also for those around them. And when you look at it biomechanically, you are moving horizontally (punching the air) against a resistance (the dumbbell) that is acting vertically, i.e. towards the gravity. Usually, adding resistance also slows you down. Compare a bodyweight squat vs. a loaded barbell squat, which one would you move faster in? You got it right! If you are actually practicing boxing, the goal would ideally be throwing punches as fast as you could, not actively slowing it down. 4. Squat/Lunge Combined With An Upper Body Movement A lot of trainers make their clients do this weird combo of a lunge or a squat coupled with bicep curls or overhead presses or lateral raises, basically with an upper body movement. Saves time? Probably yes. Effective? Absolutely not! But by doing this combo, you are effectively making your lower body part of the exercise worthless as the resistance you are holding to do a curl or a lateral raise or an overhead press is too light for your lower body and you are not effectively loading it. If your exercise routine includes any of these exercises, maybe it is a time to take these out. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  23. Almost every other dude these days joins a gym in hopes of building abs. Blame it on Instagram, every skinny guy next door with a poorly developed core is a fitness model or at least, introduces himself like that. Let me start by saying that you can get to see your abs only if you are at a certain low body fat level (less than 12% for most). If you are carrying layers of fat around your midsection, ab exercises can`t do anything for you. Attain a lower body fat percentage by dieting and training and add the following ab exercises in your routine to see your abs more prominently. 1. Leg Raise © Thinstock Leg raises work your abs and the obliques, and is fairly popular. That also makes it one of the most common exercises done with the most butchered form. The problem occurs when people start extending their legs fully in any variant of leg raise. They end up using their 'psoas major muscle' more than the abs. This can overtime result in lower back pain. As a beginner, never start with hanging leg raise. It is an advanced variation which can be done only if you have mastered basic versions like lying knee raise, lying bent leg raise and lying straight leg raise. Once you are comfortable with the basic variants, go ahead with hanging leg raise. 2. Ab Wheel Rollout © Pixabay To do this highly effective exercise, you need a basic ab wheel available at most sports store and online costing anywhere between Rs.300-1500. Counted among the best anterior core building exercise, you need to have a good base of training abdominal muscles via planks and sit-ups so as not to find yourself in pain after doing it. 3. Wood Chopper © Leanitup Also known as cable chop, this exercise is unique in its own way since it`s a multidirectional ab movement working both abs and obliques. Another best thing about this exercise is anyone from beginners to advanced can do this exercise by varying the load on cable station. There are two ways to perform this exercise a) High to low chop: Set the cable at high position on the cable station using a rope or D handle bar. Stand at approximately arms length away from the pulley. Grabbing the handle with both hands, pull it down across your body towards the knee farther from station while rotating your torso slightly. b) Low to high chop:-Cable should be set up at low position and you will now direct the handle towards the shoulder farther from station. Note:-Rotating the torso too much can take the tension away from abs. 4. Compound Exercises © YouTube Here`s the real deal. I don`t think we can make the best out of any ab building program if we aren`t doing basic compound lifts including barbell rows, barbell squatting(front and back), overhead pressing ,deadlifts and push-ups, etc. All these exercise put considerable tension on your midsection working that core without you even knowing. Daman Singh is an internationally certified sports Nutritionist and an athlete competes in Strongman and powerlifting without the aid of Anabolics .He also runs a YouTube channel named :- SIKHSPACK and you can follow him on Instagram and trains Drug free population .
  24. Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Well, in fact, it's pretty much true when it comes to exercise and workout. Everybody has certain exercises that they don't like. People generally avoid exercises because of two reasons: either they fail to perform them or simply because it demands too much effort. But trust me, once you make peace with those exercises and start performing them, you will reach your goal faster. Burpees © YouTube I've never heard someone saying, burpees are fun! Even when I am on the floor training my clients, as soon as I tell them that today we are going to perform burpees, they start picking excuses. I personally don't love them too. The reason is simple enough: burpees take a lot of effort. They are tough because you are using so many muscles in a single exercise. Secondly, it is an exercise that builds up your explosive strength and power which majority of us suck at. However, it is a true test of fitness. Push-Ups © Thinkstock Images If you remember, pushups were used as punishment back in the day. How are you supposed to love something that's used as a punishment in your childhood? Even today I see people performing bench press but running away from pushups. Pushups are a very good body weight exercise for the upper body. Pushup uses your core, delts, pectorals and triceps which makes it another important multi muscle exercise. You can perform them easily at your home or a nearby park too. Not only will it help you build some real good strength but it will also help you build good endurance. Mountain Climbers © Coachmag If you've been to a boot camp, you would know that mountain climbers are a staple for any kind of camp. Another body weight exercise that works on your total body. The unique thing about this exercise is that it works simultaneously on various aspects of fitness like body balance, strength, agility and coordination. You work simultaneously on your core, delts, triceps , chest, quads and hip adductors. Use this exercise to build good core endurance in your body. Box Jumps © Pinterest How many people have you actually seen doing box jumps in your gym? I am sure the count is either zero or one. Majority of the crowd that you see these days is just obsessed with muscle pump to click a few selfies for their social media likes. Plyometrics is something that people don't even talk about these days, forget about training. Box jumps can help you build some good explosive strength by recruiting your fast twitch muscle fibers. Include them in your workout at least a couple of times per week to balance your hypertrophy with explosive strength. Sprinting © Thinkstock Images The most primitive yet effective way of exercise is running. However, I am not talking about your regular cardio jog on a treadmill. I am talking about performing some sprinting that will help your body become more agile and recruit faster twitch fibers. Including sprinting in your workout will help you increase the intensity of your workout while simultaneously increasing your agility. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  25. Right from desk jockeys to gym monkeys, almost everyone complains of lower back pain. Blame it on the lack of exercise for desk jobbers and overlooking lower back exercises for gym goers. With this article, I break down 4 of the best exercises that everybody must do to keep lower back pain at bay: 1) Pull Through © YouTube This exercise is great for the glutes. This also teaches you to hinge your hips correctly, which eventually assists in weightlifting, jumping, sprinting and not to mention, humping. This exercise is so effective that you will find its mention in most of the powerlifting accessory movement programs. Another good thing about this exercise is that it`s fairly easy to learn and doesn`t strain your lower back. Make your glutes stronger via this exercise and you will see your squat or deadlift numbers rocket up. Use moderate weights and please, no grunting on this exercise. 2) Back Extensions © YouTube You can do this exercise on a regular bench with the help of a partner or on a hyperextension bench by yourself. Doing it on a hyperextension bench is generally better due to additional ROM. Keeping your glutes stationary on the pad, you can work on isolating your lower back. This exercise is also great for warming up before a heavy deadlift or squat session. Once you have mastered the basic version, you can add resistance in the form of a weight plate or a dumbbell. And if you still feel they are very easy for you, try using a barbell with a wide grip and add load as per your capacity. 3) Floor Hip Extensions © YouTube The best thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere to train your glutes and hamstrings (a little). At home, the office, or a park, literally anywhere since it doesn`t require any equipment and is perfect for beginners too. How to do it:- 1. Support yourself on your elbows and one knee. The other knee should be lifted slightly off the floor and just behind the supporting leg. 2. Contract your glutes while you fully extend your leg. Return to starting position. 3. Use ankle weights if it is very easy for you. 4) Rack Pulls © YouTube Also known as deadlift from the knees, this exercise is very common among powerlifters and strongmen. And when I mention Powerlifters and Strongmen, we are talking about the people who have a bulletproof back that can handle 100`s of kilos on deadlift, squats and farmer walks. It is also one of the very few hardcore lower back exercises that you can do. You can always add weight to the bar as per your level of experience and strength. Daman Singh is an internationally certified sports Nutritionist and an athlete competes in Strongman and powerlifting without the aid of Anabolics .He also runs a YouTube channel named :- SIKHSPACK and you can follow him on Instagram and trains Drug free population .