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November 4, 2014
Lower Body Training
Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 in Health & Fitness

Having a strong lower body is a very important aspect of health and fitness. A strong lower body stabilizes other parts of the body, especially the back. It also leads to healthier knee and hip health while also giving people a greater ability to maintain balance. All of these are reasons why exercisers should not focus solely on improving upper body strength. As legs are the largest muscles of the body, working the legs provides the exerciser with many metabolic benefits, such as greater ongoing calorie burning. There are many exercises that can be performed to improve lower body strength. These include exercises with and without machines.

Some exercises without machines are squats, Romanian deadlifts, lunges, box jumps, jumping rope, hip raises, and leg raises. Free weights (dumbbells and barbells) can be added to squats and lunges in order to provide extra resistance.

Some exercises with machines are: leg extension (work the quads), leg curls (work the hamstrings), calf raises, and the leg press.

Use a variety of these movements to continue to force your lower body to adapt and improve.

October 21, 2014
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 in Health & Fitness

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has recently become one of the most popular ways for exercisers to burn fat. HIIT increases metabolism and works both the aerobic (oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) energy systems. HIIT can be just as effective as a regular workout except it takes less time. The #1 reason people say they do not exercise is because they do not have enough time in their day, but HIIT can take less than 10 minutes to perform. Another great aspect about HIIT is that no equipment is needed. Listed below are a couple of HIIT programs you can try.

Walk or jog for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of sprinting. Repeat 6 or 7 times with no rest periods in between. Gradually increase the rounds performed as the number you complete become progressively easier.

You could also use HIIT training with calisthenics.  Perform 10 repetitions of sit-ups, followed by 10 repetitions of push-ups, followed by 10 repetitions of jumping jacks. You can substitute other exercises such as squats or triceps dips as well, depending on which muscle groups you want to focus on.  In this case you could increase both the number of rounds and the repetitions per set to make the workouts more intense over time.

This workout format is not for beginners.  You should have at least an intermediate level of fitness before trying this type of training.  It is also imperative that you are warmed up prior to starting your session.  Five to ten minutes of walking on a treadmill should be sufficient in preparing the muscles for the intensive nature of this training.

For those who participate in martial arts classes or combat competition, this style of training is an excellent supplement to your activity.  It mirrors the intensity and duration of the training in mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, and boxing.

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