Top 4 Exercises for Back Pain Relief

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Standing up straight – easy, right? Wrong! If most of your day is spent sedentary and slumped at a desk, your posture will suffer – and back, neck and shoulder ache will be the norm. In fact, 43 per cent of us suffer aches and pains on a daily basis.

Bad posture reduces your strength and flexibility. It can result in disabling back and neck pain as well as major wear and tear on your joints.

To strengthen your back,  you will need to realign your body’s structure to relieve niggling aches and pains, and create a taller, slimmer physique. Here are the top 4 exercises to help with your back pain.

1. STRETCH SITTING

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Technique: Sit comfortably back on a chair, then come away from the backrest.

Steps:

  1. Using one forearm across your lower ribs, push back to help you curl forwards at the waist, lengthening your back.
  2. Staying curled over, put your hands on the seat or the armrests. Press down with your hands, pushing your top half away from your bottom half. Feel your waist getting longer.
  3. Stay curled and hinge back from the hips to trap this increased length against the backrest.
  4. Now relax.

2. SHOULDER ROLL

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Technique: Do the very beginning of a squat, keeping your weight in your heels.

Steps:

  1. Keeping your arm relaxed, roll one shoulder a little forward, then a little up. Then roll it as far back as you comfortably can.
  2. Repeat on the other side.

3. LUNGE

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Technique: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

Steps:

  1. Bend forward with a straight back, placing your hands to the floor outside your feet or resting on your knees. Bend your knees as necessary.
  2. Extend the right leg behind you. Rest the right knee on the ground if necessary. Keep your hips level.
  3. Let your pelvis gradually relax towards the floor.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

4. DONKEY KICK

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Technique: Stand near a chair, table or wall for balance, with feet turned out a little.

Steps:

  1. Shift your weight to your right foot. Bend your right knee a little, ensuring it doesn’t turn inward. Rest your right hand on your hip to make sure your pelvis stays still.
  2. Rotate your left leg outwards and raise it back behind you. Feel your upper, outer buttock muscle squeezing to do this action. Your right buttock will also be working to keep your pelvis level.
  3. Lower and repeat the leg raise, while keeping the rest of your body still.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

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Revealed! The Real Secret to Fat Loss

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If you’re a regular reader of fitness magazines or blogs, you’ll probably know that we reckon weight training is just as important as cardio for fat loss. Not only does weight training boost your metabolism and firm you up all over, it’s also great for shifting those stubborn bulges. But there’s more science behind it than you may think, and it’s all to do with your muscle fibres. By knowing how they work, and how to get the best from them, you can blitz your wobbly bits forever. Hurrah!

Which twitch is which?

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Our muscle fibres are split into two main types: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow-twitch fibres contract slowly and rely on oxygen as their main energy source. They can be used for longer periods of time; for instance, athletes who run long distances need more slow-twitch fibres in their legs.

Fast-twitch fibres, on the other hand, contract quickly and provide strength and speed, though they also fatigue more quickly. Sprinters require short but intense bursts of energy and so need more fast-twitch muscle fibres. Fast-twitch muscle fibres rely on the energy-carrying molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and glycogen as their main energy sources. As ATP sources can be rapidly depleted and lactic acid is a by-product of the breakdown of glycogen, fast-twitch fibres can only be active for a short time.

Different types of exercise will determine whether your fast- or slow-twitch fibres have to work to complete the task ahead. Basically, aerobic exercise will stimulate your slow-twitch fibres and weights, sprints and circuits will stimulate your fast-twitch fibres.

Fast weight loss

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It has been drummed into us that for maximum weight loss, we should focus on our slow-twitch fibres by doing steady-state cardiovascular exercise. But in recent years, sports science has proven that women who focus on stimulating their fast-twitch fibres by doing weight training, sprints and kickboxing lose fat and overall body weight far quicker. A U.S. study revealed that the increase in muscle mass you get by pumping iron can reduce your body fat, which in turn reduces overall body mass and lowers the risk of adult diabetes.

You don’t need to panic about putting on bulk by weight training, either. This ultimately comes down to hormones and calories. Women simply don’t have the testosterone to bulk up, even if they are doing weight training. This is the most misunderstood message among female exercisers, and it’s really important that you don’t let it get in the way of your dream body.

Weights and sprint training will help you lose fat because of the effect that our muscles have on the body’s ability to burn calories at rest (our metabolic rate). If your workouts involve fast-twitch muscle stimulation by using weights, sprints or kickboxing moves, your body will continue to burn fat for up to eight hours after a session. Slow-twitch workouts (such as long runs, extended swims or cross-training sessions) are a different story. You will only burn fat for about an hour after a slow-twitch session.

Mix it up

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An effective fat-loss programme will focus on stimulating all of your muscle fibres by mixing up weights, circuits and cardio. Women reach a plateau in their fitness when they focus 100 per cent of their gym time on their slow-twitch muscles fibres (i.e. running or cross training). Weight training and high-intensity exercise are far more powerful fat-loss tools. Ultimately, a combination of exercises that stimulate slow- and fast-twitch fibres is the recipe for weight-loss success.

The fat-burning workout over the following pages is a good example of how to stimulate your fast-twitch muscle fibres, provided you lift heavy enough weights. Each set should be so tough that you are struggling to finish the last rep!

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Mermaid Workouts for Serious Abs

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Yogalates, Zumba, underwater yoga and even the sexually suggestive shake weight have all been big fitness trends, so it’s safe to say people are more than willing to try out anything for the sake of losing a few pounds. But this new exercise routine might just be the strangest (and coolest) of them all. All around the world, women are donning monotails, taking to the water and attempting the mermaid workout.

Schools have opened in the Philippines, Germany, Thailand, Florida, Hawaii and most recently in Montreal that are teaching girls, women and even a few men, how to flip their way to a better body. A take on the dolphin kick, the mermaid workout allows girls to live their Disney fantasy while promoting good exercise habits, not to mention giving those abs a serious workout. Did you know that Olympic swimmers use the monofin to train butterfly and freedivers use it for records? Mermaid swimming is all about the core—the power comes from there because you are gyrating all day.

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While some Mermaid schools offer the full fairytale experience complete with makeovers and beachside photo shoots (Prince Charming not included), others focus on the workout and creating a space that is fun and educational for young girls.

But are people actually willing to don a glittery pink tail and flop around in the water just for the sake of getting better abs? It seems like it. Mermaid schools are popping up around the world and fitness enthusiasts seemed pretty eager to try the Ariel-inspired workout in lieu of their spin classes. Plus, since swimming is one of the best workouts for the body, one can only imagine how the ab-focused class would give us a glorious Shakira-worthy stomach.
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Get Fit And Lean With The 100 Workout

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The 100 Workout is a fast, all-encompassing workout that any girl can do, at any time of day, and from the comfort of her own home.

What makes The 100 Workout so appealing is the short amount of time it takes to exercise the whole body (glutes, quads, thighs, core, and hamstrings) as well as the convenience of not having to go to the gym.

Thinking of giving the workout a try? Here’s the breakdown of The 100 Workout:

  • 100 jumping jacks
  • 90 crunches
  • 80 squats
  • 70 leg lifts
  • 60 jumping jacks
  • 50 crunches
  • 40 squats
  • 30 leg lifts
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 10 minutes of running

That’s it! For those of you not used to exercising on a regular basis, it is recommended that you work on each exercise one step at a time and adding the next step when you think you’re ready. To learn how to do each of the 4 exercises, please see below.

1. Jumping Jacks

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Stand with your feet a few inches apart and your arms at your sides, then simultaneously raise your arms out to the sides and over your head, and jump your feet out so they are slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement. Repeat.

2. Crunches

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Place your hands slightly either side of your head, do not lock your fingers or pull the head up.

Push the small of your back into the floor to engage the abdominal. Begin to roll your shoulders off the floor. Your shoulders should leave the floor by about 4 inches and your lower back should always remain on the floor. Hold for a moment at the top then slowly move back down.

3. Squats

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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Pause, stand back up, and repeat.

4. Leg Lifts

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Lie faceup on the floor, and raise your upper legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor. Bend your knees slightly. Without changing the arch in your lower back or the angle of your knees, brace your core and try to take 3 to 5 seconds to lower your feet as close to the floor as you can. One trick: Press your lower back toward the floor as you perform the movement. Once your feet touch the floor, raise them back to the starting position and repeat.

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Flabby Arms, Be Gone!

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This circuit is the perfect way to keep your bingo wings in check for party season and work your upper body to sculpt those arms into lean, mean, cocktail-holding machines… It’s simple, easy and effective. What are you waiting for?

How to do it

Perform a full set of the exercise, then take 20-30 seconds rest and move on to the next exercise. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets.

Beginner: 2 x 8 reps each move

Intermediate: 3 x 10 reps each move

Advanced: 4 x 10 reps each move

1. Alternating bicep curl

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Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides.

Keeping your upper arm close to your body, curl one dumbbell up to your shoulder.

As you lower, do the same with the other arm.

Repeat this fluidly.

2. Front raise

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Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs.

Keeping a slight bend in the elbow, raise one dumbbell up in front of you to shoulder height.

Lower and repeat with the other arm.

3. Lateral raise

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Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides.

Keeping arms slightly bent at the elbow, raise the dumbbells up and out to shoulder height.

Lower and repeat.

4. Lying extension

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Lying on your back, hold a pair of dumbbells with arms bent by your ears.

Keeping your upper arms still, extend the dumbbells to the ceiling.

Lower and repeat.

5. Shoulder press

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Hold a set of dumbbells with palms facing you at shoulder height.
Push up to the ceiling as you rotate your palms to face away from you.

Lower and repeat.

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10 Best Exercises To A Fit And Toned Body

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Every woman is familiar with those tricky trouble zones that take a little extra work to tighten and tone (lower abs, anyone?). After a lot of exercise trial and error, I’ve finally found a solid set of moves that help me shape up and feel confident in a swimsuit, my favorite skinny jeans, or a sexy cockatil dress.

Read on for the top 10 exercises that I find work wonders for my stomach, inner thighs, booty, and shoulders plus tips on how to add them into your workout routine.

1. Single Leg Deadlift

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I love this exercise because it lifts and tones the glutes and activates my entire core (which helps prevent back pain).

How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand on your left foot. Lift your right foot behind you and bend your knee so your right lower leg is parallel to the floor.

Bend forward at your hips, and slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position. As you come up, think about using your glutes to push your hips forward instead of lifting from your back. Keep core engaged and chest up during the entire movement.

2. Side Plank

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This exercise is my secret weapon to help tighten and shrink my waistline. It works the deep abdominal muscles (obliques, transverse abdominus) that many abs exercises don’t reach.

How to do it: Lie on your left side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Turn around so that you’re lying on your right side and repeat.

3. Classic Push-Ups

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I’m a huge fan of this classic exercise because it works the entire body, burning a significant amount of calories, as well as tightens my chest muscles to keep thing perky in your bikini.

How to do it: Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders, feet close together. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor and then push yourself back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your hips lifted and your core braced the entire time.

4. Second Position Plies

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This ballet move sculpts the inner thighs as well as tones the gluteus minimus (side of butt) for lean legs like a dancer.

How to do it: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Lower your body down by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Bring arms overhead and shoulders down and back. Pause, then slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.

5. Cardio Intervals

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Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your routine to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, as opposed to long, slow endurance exercise.

How to do it: Choose any piece of cardio equipment (elliptical, jump rope, treadmill, bike, etc) and repeat the following pattern 10 times total:
3 minutes at 50 percent of your maximum effort
20 seconds at 75 percent of your maximum effort
10 seconds at your absolute maximum effort

6. Triceps Extensions

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This is my favorite exercise for toning the back of shoulders and triceps. I use light weights and perform a high number of reps (25+) for this exercise.

How to do it: Come into a lunge position, with your back heel on the ground. Lean over your front bent knee as your lift your arm straight up by your side, top of the weight facing the ceiling. Lift and lower the 2-3 pound weight about an inch (30 times each side).

7. Step-Ups

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This exercise targets the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings to create leaner, stronger legs, and a tighter, lifted rear. Stepups also work your quadriceps since they require you to straighten your knee against resistance.

How to do it: Stand in front of a bench or step and place your left foot firmly on the step. Press your left foot into the step and push your body up until your left leg is straight. Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the floor and repeat.

Keep your chest up and core engaged the entire time. Keep your weight balanced evenly, not leaning too far forward or too far back.

8. Bridge

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Bridges are not only the perfect exercise for a perfectly rounded rear, but they will also help keep your back healthy and pain free.

How to do it: Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so your body forms as straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause in the up position, then lower your body back to the starting position.

9. Plank With Arm Raise

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Adding an arm raise to an already excellent exercise like the plank improves posture and core strength, which makes me feel better, look taller, and feel more confident.

How to do it: Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core and maintain your hip placement as you lift your right arm straight out in front of you. Draw your shoulder blades down and back as you lift your arms. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds and then switch arms.

10. Should Stand

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There are so many physical and mental benefits to yoga. Inversion postures are great for helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. I do a shoulder stand or put my legs up the wall for 5 minutes every night before I go to bed.

How to do it: Lie down on your back and lift your legs and hips off the ground, bringing your legs up over your head until your toes touch the floor behind you. Place your hands behind your back and extend legs straight in the air, creating a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Keep your neck relaxed as your hold the shoulder stand. Try to hold it for at least one minute and then slowly come out of it.

Bringing It All Together

  1. Total-Body Workout

For a quick, total-body tone up, pick five of the moves and do 3 sets of each exercise 10 times (unless otherwise noted below). Move as fast as possible between moves for maximum calorie burn.

The next day, do the other five exercises. You can incorporate a few sets of cardio intervals into the total-body training session or do it separately for a longer period of time.

  1. Target Your Trouble Zone

If you want to tighten up one specific area, pick the exercises that focus on those places and incorporate them into your daily routine. Just remember to continue challenging your body by gradually increasing the weight or number of reps as you get stronger.

Original Article and Image Source: By Nora Tobin 

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8 Simple Exercises You Can Do While Watching TV

In a perfect world, you’d like to make it to the gym, but sometimes (okay, most times) after a long day of work, lacing up your sneakers and hitting the treadmill could not sound more unappealing. Curling up with Netflix usually wins out over a good ab-tightening, glute-toning workout. But who said the two had to be mutually exclusive?

Keep reading to find out about the workout you can do from the comfort of your bed!

1. Pillow Crunches

Stack two pillows at the foot of bed. Lie flat on your back with your feet resting on the pillows and arms crossed over your chest. Inhale to pull your core in, and then exhale as you lift your upper body towards your feet. Slowly lower your body down and repeat ten times to strengthen your entire core.

2. Roundhouse Kicks

Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended. Lift your right leg an inch or two off the bed and rotate it out in a wide circle, keeping your leg straight. Once your leg is level with your hip, bring it up to the center of your body and lower it back down to the starting position. Repeat your circle in a slow and controlled motion five times. Then reverse the direction. Once you’ve completed ten glute- and ab-toning roundhouse kicks on the right leg, switch to the left leg.

3. Leg Circles

Lie on your back with your legs extended out in front of you. Squeeze your legs together and lift them up about three inches off of the bed. Draw a basketball in the air with your toes. Do this 20 times, and then switch directions. For more of a challenge for your lower abdominals, swap the basketballs for figure-eights.

4. Sit and Twist

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat. Place your hands behind your head, elbows bent. Exhale as you sit up. Once you reach sitting position, twist your right elbow towards your left knee. Come back to center and lower down. Do 20 sit-ups, alternating the side you twist to each time. You’ll be working your entire core and your hamstrings.

5. Seated Floor Taps

Sit on the edge of the couch or bed, legs slightly wider than wide-distance. Extend your arms straight overhead. Keep your shoulders down and stomach pulled in as you lower your body. When your hands reach the floor, raise back up to the upright position. Repeat this slow and controlled movement 15 times to strengthen your back muscles and your core.

6. Oblique Twists

Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your abs engaged. Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle, elbows in line with your shoulders. Keeping your head stationary, start twisting side to side. Do this for 60 seconds to tone your obliques. To increase the calorie burn, pick up the pace and add a punch each time you twist.

7. Knees To Chest

Sitting on the edge of the bed or couch, bring your knees up into your chest, legs squeezing together, core engaged. Lean back as you extend your legs out straight to a 45-degree angle. Your body should be in the shape of a V. Hold that position for a few seconds then return to starting position. Do this 15 times to tone your inner thighs and lower abdominals.

8. Hip Rotations

Lie face down on the bed with your legs extended behind you and your arms folded under your head. Bend your right leg and place your foot on the back of your knee. Keeping both hips flat against the bed, contract your right glute and lift your right knee a few inches off of the floor. Hold that position for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat ten times on the right side before switching to the left. The movement is small, but don’t be fooled—you’ll feel the burn in your glutes and hips.

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One Trick To Efficiently Build A Lean Body

You’re wasting your time in the gym. Toned arms do not come from barbell curls or triceps pushdowns. Great legs don’t come from leg extensions and leg curls. The key and the only tip you need to efficiently building quality muscle is to ditch the isolation exercises and start replacing them with compound exercises.

Why Are Compound Exercises The Best For Building Lean Muscle?

Compound exercises work many muscle groups at one time. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, work a single muscle. Because of this, you can get a greater amount of work done in a shorter amount of time using compound exercises.

In addition, since compound exercises work several muscle groups at once, they help you improve your insulin sensitivity to a greater degree. By depleting glycogen stores in several muscles, you enable your body to keep insulin levels under control the rest of the day so that fatty acid mobilization can occur.

Compound exercises also cause a positive hormonal response that is beneficial for building muscle and burning fat. Hormones like testosterone and growth hormone are boosted in response to a set of intense squats.

Doing a set of squats will activate every muscle from head to toe. It forces you to have a high-intensity workout, which is key for both muscle building and fat loss.

Big arms are not made by doing curls, they are made through heaving rowing and pressing movements. A 300-400 pound bench press is going to do more for your arms than any triceps kickbacks or pushdown will do.

The same goes for your legs. You can sit on the leg extension machine trying to build great quads, and you might get a great pump and burn from it, but nothing is going to build great legs like squats will.

Are All Isolation Exercises Worthless?

No. Isolation exercises have their place, as you will soon see. However, they should not be the core of your workout. You will build all the muscle you need, and in a faster amount of time, if you would just stick to the core compound exercises.

When are isolation exercises effective? Two of the best times to use them are when you’re trying to work around an injury, or when you are trying to isolate a lagging body part (muscle imbalance).

Using isolation exercises when you’re injured allows you to continue exercising without aggravating your injury. For example, if you have an injured back, doing bent over rows is going to be detrimental to your recovery efforts. However, barbell curls will still allow you to train your arms.

The same goes for when you want to bring up a lagging body part. Isolation exercises let you hone in on one particular muscle without stimulating others.

Best Compound Exercises

The list of compound exercises is long, but there are a dozen or so core movements that you can incorporate that will make a big impact. These core movements also have several variations to them.

You can change the resistance curve by adding bands or chains, changing hand positioning to target slightly different muscles, changing angles, or by swapping out barbells for dumbbells. You can also do their bodyweight versions.

Here’s a list of compound exercises you should consider adding into your workout program:

  • Bench Press
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Pullups
  • Good Mornings
  • Overhead Press
  • Barbell Rows
  • Front Squats
  • Incline Press
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts

Whether you’re a male or female, compound exercise principles apply. There is no best exercise for a girl or best exercise for a guy. Muscle is muscle, and it grows the same regardless of gender. Men might have an easier time putting on muscle because of their hormonal profile, but that just makes it even more important that women take advantage of compound exercises.

As you put together your exercise program, make sure compound exercises form the core of your program. Isolation exercises are fun and add variety to your workouts, but only compound exercises can provide you with the resistance and intensity necessary to efficiently build muscle.

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30 Day Plank Challenge

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WEEK 1:

DAY 1: 20 seconds

DAY 2: 25 seconds

DAY 3: 30 seconds

DAY 4: 30 seconds

DAY 5: REST

DAY 6: 40 seconds

DAY 7: 45 seconds

WEEK 2:

DAY 8: 45 seconds

DAY 9: 50 seconds

Day 10: REST

Day 11: 60 seconds

Day 12: 60 seconds

Day 13 70 seconds

Day 14: 70 seconds

WEEK 3:

Day 15: REST

Day 16: 90 seconds

Day 17: 120 seconds

Day 18: 90 seconds

Day 19: 120 seconds

Day 20: REST

Day 21: 150 seconds

WEEK 4:

Day 22: 150 seconds

Day 23: 180 seconds

Day 24: 180 seconds

Day 25: REST

Day 26: 210 seconds

Day 27: 210 seconds

Day 28: 240 seconds

THE LAST HURDLE:

Day 29: 270 seconds

Day 30: 300 seconds

BE PROUD! YOU DID IT!

11 Tips To Ease Back Into Exercise

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If you’re recovering from surgery or an illness, exercising can be tough. Maybe your doctor has told you it’s time to start exercising again to aid in your rehabilitation, but even though you know it’s important, you sometimes feel worse when you try to move. This can lead to feelings of discouragement and the desire to just give up.

But exercise is a great help in recovering from illness and surgery … just make sure it’s the right kind and the right amount. Here are 11 key things to remember about exercising when it hurts.

  1. Start slowly.

If you exercise too much, too hard or too fast, you’ll feel worse and it may be harder to make yourself exercise the next time. If your body is in pain, inflamed, fatigued or weak, it will respond best to a gentle, slow approach.

  1. Believe in your ability to get better.

Wherever you are in terms of fitness level, you can increase balance, strength, muscle tone, endurance and range of motion if you work with your body rather than against it.

  1. Treat your body like a good friend.

Exercise in a kind, enjoyable way. No bullying or forcing yourself!

  1. Little bits count!

Start exercising in short segments, maybe even three to five minutes, and very gradually add time. When I was first recovering from chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I had to rest after walking up a flight of steps. Exercising for me at that time was walking slowly around my yard. Today, I climb mountains, hike, dance, lift weights and lead a vibrantly active life.

  1. Trust what you notice.

You’re the one who lives in your body. You’re the only one who can notice what’s going on inside your body. When you notice how you feel and trust what you notice, you become your own best teacher. Which activities and types of exercise make you feel better and which make you feel worse? What are the voices inside your head saying about exercising? Which voices are helpful and which ones are not?

Let your awareness and your trust of yourself guide you toward your best exercise.

  1. Breathe!

Move with your breath flowing freely in and out. No need to push your breath — just soften around it and let it flow all through your body.
Breathe through your nostrils, not your mouth, whenever possible. This calms your mind and prevents strain on the body.

Let your breath remind you when you’re doing too much. When you begin gasping and feel out of breath, slow down a bit so that you can work within your breathing capacity. As you gain stamina and lung capacity you will be able to exercise more and more vigorously while breathing easily and without strain. Enjoy, on each exhale, a letting-go-breath. Release tension, strain and discomfort as you breathe out.

  1. Warm your muscles.

Warm muscles exercise more happily than cold muscles. Exercise in a comfortably warm room. Wear layers so you can adjust your body temperature. Use a heating pad on sore muscles before or while stretching them. Stretch gently in a warm bath or shower.

  1. Work within your range of motion.

Gradually this will extend and you will do more with ease. If you force muscles beyond their range of motion, they’ll contract in self-protection.

  1. Practice relaxation-in-action.

Notice muscles that are unnecessarily tight and let them relax. How easy can you let each action be? Cats are fabulous movement teachers. Watch a cat move and imagine your own body, sleek relaxed, supple and powerful, moving with no extra tension exerted.

  1. Be cautious with repetitive movements.

… especially when there’s weight or pressure on your joints. Strength training is valuable, but to avoid the inflammation from repetitive movements, start with small weights, few repetitions and work up gradually. Free weights and stretchy exercise bands are often safer to use than weight machines when you are dealing with pain.

  1. Have fun!

Find a way of moving that is fun to you. Use the buddy system and regularly walk with friends, meet friends at the pool, sign up for a class with a friend or make new friends in a class. How can you let exercising be more fun for you?

Remember: Your body is made to move! So get moving, but do it gently and kindly. You will feel better with intelligent exercise.

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