Monday, March 28, 2011

Cat Camel

The Cat Camel is an underrated upper-body and core exercise. If you're into Yoga, you're probably familiar with it. Grab a gym or camping mat and start with the "camel" position with your hands and knees on the floor (your butt should be slightly up). Then you want to assume the "cat" position: round your back as high as you can with your head looking downwards; aim for 10-20 seconds (that's one rep). Do 3 or 4 sets of 6-8 reps. This exercise works your back, core, shoulders and pectorals, not bad!

Pros:
  • Works many core and upper-body muscles.
Cons:
  •  You need a gym or camping mat (or any soft surface), otherwise your knees will suffer. 

1/Camel position: keep your butt up.










2/Cat position: round your back, head down.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Plyometric Lunge

The plyometric lunge is a jump-based variation of the classic exercise. Go down with one leg forward and one leg back (in a controlled manner), pause, then jump in the air inversing the leg positions. That's one rep; repeat on the other side. This move will blast your quads, hamstrings and calves. It will also engage your core. Do 3 sets of 8-10 alternating reps.

Pros:
  • Works the entire leg and the core.
Cons:
  • Can be noisy if you live in an apartment, you may want to do this outdoors.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shadow Boxing

Shadow Boxing is a great warm up and core exercise. It's easy: keep your guard up then punch! You can jump/move sideways to avoid an imaginary opponent. Of course you can use all punch variations: straight punch, hooks (low circular punch), uppercut (high circular punch) and combinations of the formers. Shadowboxing works the entire mid-section (especially the transverse: the deep abdominal muscles); it also engages the major upper body muscles to some extent (chest, triceps, shoulders). For warming up: do 2 one minute sets. For core training do 2-3 thirty seconds sets.

Pros:
  • Works the entire core.
  • A great warm up.
Cons:
  • Can be noisy if you live in an apartment, you may want to do this outdoors.

1/Keep your guard up



















2/Punch
 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Abdominal Training Myth

Everybody wants slim and defined abs that's for sure! Most people end up doing a zillion crunches and sit-ups but please please please ... reconsider that approach! You want to target your whole mid-section (aka the core) and not just your abs. Core training is more efficient and less time consuming than abdominal training. So how do you engage your core? The answer is simple: compound exercises! Most compound moves will work your core and that of course includes the abdominals.Can't think of any? Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, sprinting, the plank,  I could go on and on .... Having a strong mid-section is highly beneficial for all kinds of physical activities and injury prevention. So forget about abs and think Core and compound exercises.

These are the main core muscles,
as you can see the Rectus Abdominis
(abs) is just a small part of the
mid-section

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Static Lunge

The static lunge is an isometric (stabilization) variation of the well-known move. Lower your lower body moving one leg forwardly, then pause (aim for 15-30 seconds). That's one rep; repeat on the other side.
It is an intense exercise that will make your quads and hamstrings burn. You core will also be engaged a lot in order to stabilize your frame. Do 4 alternative reps.

Pros:
  • Works the entire leg and core.
  • Can be done anywhere.
Cons:
  • Can be brutal if you're just starting out, might make your knees really sore. If you're experiencing any pain after your workout, rest and wait until you body heals.

Firstly: stand with your feet slightly wide.

Go down in a controlled manner and pause.