Abdominals are the most difficult muscle groups to train, but they are also very important. The stronger the abdominals the more stable the back and overall physique. Strong abdominals contribute to "core strength"; this is the ability of the abs and back to correctly support your spine. When core muscles are weak an imbalance is created, you have to take care of this. One way is exercise, I know it is a dirty word, but it's the only way to help with or prevent back pain and other problems. Improve your posture, train your back and get those abs.
You can't go wrong with these next few exercises.
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Do continue to learn, comment, share your knowledge and live fit, my Lovers.
This workout is not recommended for beginners but if you really want to try this out, do not do this on your own and make sure you have a qualified trainer to spot you.
Day 2 of Julien Greaux's circuit exercise. This workout is pretty straightforward but knowing your form is very important and crucial to avoid injuries.
Day Two: 3 Exercise Circuit
1 ) Smith Machine Bench Press: 1 set of 10 reps
2 ) Smith Machine Squats: 1 set of 10 reps
3 ) Smith Machine Deadlift: 1 set of 10 reps
1 minute rest at the end of each circuit set. Complete circuit 4 more times.
I tried out this exercise on Tuesday and completed all 5 circuit sets using light-medium weights because I'm still a rookie. It's a great upper body workout, although the deadlifts almost killed me by the end of each set! It's not as intense as Day 1 so it's totally possible to do the 2 exercises back-to-back as you aren't working on your core for this exercise.
Who's taking up the challenge?
I mentioned in my last post that I was going to tryout Julien Greaux's 365 circuit trainer exercise and that was exactly what I did on Wednesday. I showed Charles the video and he was confident that we could complete all 5 circuit sets. So we went with it and man, it was tough. Halfway through the 2nd circuit set, Charles said he felt like throwing up (in his defense, it was because the new protein drink he drank that day tasted bad) and by the 3rd set, we were both burned out.
The next day, both our abs were achy and sore. It was a pain to sneeze, cough or stretch backwards!
Here's what I have to say about the exercise:
- If you're going to try it out, do it with a friend so you can spot and motivate each other.
- I completed 3 circuit sets in 1 hour, when it is said that 5 circuit sets should only take 45-60mins. I must've rested too long in between sets as Charles and I were taking turns.
- Make sure you rest for 1 minute in between sets. Although Julien did mention that it's best to take as little rest time as you can. Just make sure you keep the heart rate up, that's the whole idea.
- I replaced the burpee pushup + pullup superset with a burpee pushup + lateral pull down machine (see video for example).
- The lunges definitely killed me when I was up to my 3rd circuit set. I find that this is probably the only exercise that works on your lower body.
- Be extra careful when doing the side-by-side jump over the bench, make sure you jump high enough so you don't trip over. Julien sure made it look easy but if you look at my video, I was struggling with it!
- The first 5 exercises definitely tires you out so by the time you get to the 7th exercise, which is the hanging leg raise, you are most likely to be tired and start to slow down a bit. Don't! Remember to keep your heart rate up!
- Work on your abs more effectively when doing the crossover running plank by making sure you tighten you abs and push your knee towards the other side of your shoulder. Your butt shouldn't be pointed too high up in the air.
- Control your form, do it fast and stay hydrated.
Share your experience after you've tried this one out!
I am inspired. Saw this video on Bodybuilding.com and while I never thought I'd follow anything they write on that site (I mean come on, it's Bodybuilding.com... I'm no Arnold, right), I watched this whole video and thought to myself - "Hey, this is doable. I think I can totally kick ass at this." Then again, that's my ego talking.
Anyway I'm going to try this out on Wednesday...
Day One: 10 Exercise Full Body Circuit
1 ) Burpee Pushups : 1 Set of 10 reps
+ Pullups: 1 set of 10 reps (Let's be real here, I can't do a proper pull-up so I'm replacing this with a jump instead. Make sure you extend your arms upwards when jumping. Alternatively, you could do 2 reps on the lateral pull-down machine like in my example video.)
2 ) Alternating Lunge: 1 set of 50 reps, 25 each leg
3 ) Vertical Jumps: 1 set of 10 reps
4 ) Bench Dips: 1 set of 10 reps
5 ) Side by Side Jump Over A Bench: 1 set of 10 reps
6 ) Triangle Pushups: 1 set of 10 reps
7 ) Hanging Leg Raises: 1 set of 10 reps
8 ) Alternating Knee Ups: 20 reps, 10 each leg
9 ) Crossover Running Plank: 1 set of 20 reps, 10 each leg
10 ) Hanging Side Leg Raise: 1 set of 10 reps
Rest for 1 minute in between sets. Repeat all sets 4 times (1 complete circuit = 5 sets total) and this workout is said to take only 45-60mins. We'll see about that.
Just a quick post before I pack my stuff for Singapore this weekend... Catching the 10am bus from KL, and going to Wavehouse tonight to watch LMFAO!
If you want hot legs and ass, do lotsa this - sumo squats with dumbbells. And do it right! Make sure your knees don't go over your toes when you lower your body like in the example below. Make sure you go down 90〫or lower. If you're trying to slim your legs and calves, this, plus some cardio (set on Intervals) on the cycling machine AND a strict diet low on sugar and carbs would help.
My weight is currently at 114lbs. Which is good, although ideally I'd like to lose 4 more pounds. Been feeling a little bloated lately, probably due to the fact that I haven't been drinking enough water and Aunt Flow is about to make her monthly visit. Goddamn water retention.
Anyway here's today's workout:
Warm-up: Cycling machine - 10 mins
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press – 5 sets x 8 reps
Lie supine on bench with upper chest under bar. Grasp bar with wide oblique overhand grip. Disengage bar by rotating bar back.Lower weight to upper chest. Press bar until arms are extended. Repeat. Keep your elbows close to the side of your body when lowering the barbell. Range of motion will be compromised if grip is too wide.
Alternatively, you can use dumbbells if you aren't confident about using the barbell.
Press dumbbells up with elbows to sides until arms are extended. Lower weight to sides of upper chest until slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulder. Repeat.
Dumbbell Incline Fly – 5 sets x 8 reps
Lower dumbbells to sides until chest muscles are stretched with elbows fixed in slightly bent position. Bring dumbbells together in hugging motion above upper chest until dumbbells are nearly together. Repeat.
Keep shoulders internally rotated so elbows point downward at bottom position and outward at top position.
Dumbbell Pullover – 3 sets x 8 reps
Lie upper back perpendicular on bench. Flex hips slightly. Grasp one dumbbell from behind or from side with both hands under inner plate of dumbbell. Position over chest and keep elbows bent slightly throughout exercise.
Lower dumbbell over and beyond head until upper arms are parallel to torso. Return and repeat.
Lower body extending off of bench acts as counter balance to resistance and keeps upper back fixed on bench. Avoid hips from raising up significantly. Actual range of motion is dependent upon individual shoulder flexibility. Keep elbows fixed at small bend throughout exercise.
If you find trouble balancing or maintaining your form, use a stability ball - that's what I do it.
Dumbbell Decline Bench Press – 3 sets x 8 reps
Sit down on decline bench with feet under leg brace and dumbbells resting on thigh. Lie back with dumbbells. Position dumbbells to sides of chest with bent arm under each dumbbell.
Press dumbbells up with elbows to sides until arms are extended. Lower weight to sides of chest until slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulder. Repeat.
Stirrup should follow slight arch pattern, above upper arm between elbow and chest at bottom, traveling inward over each shoulder at top.
End off with 15 mins on the rowing machine.
* * * * *
Making smoked salmon pasta for lunch, sooo looking forward to that after this workout!
Images & description from ExRx.net
My back is STILL a little sore from Monday's workout. Probably because I haven't done deadlifts in a while. Checked in the bathroom 6 times yesterday, I figured it wasn't the acid reflux acting up afterall but simply a case of bad food or something. Feeling much better this morning!
About to head to gym in an hour, but not without a game plan. Already did cardio yesterday so I'm gonna do shoulders today. If you're on the Explode Program, check out Day 6 - Shoulder & Abs . I'm switching it up a bit because my body's gotten used to that routine.
Kicking off with 10 mins on the elliptical machine to get the heart rate up, followed by Smith Shoulder Press:
Smith Shoulder Press – 3 sets x 8 reps
Sit on bench with bar positioned in front of shoulders. Grasp bar with wide overhand grip. Disengage bar by rotating bar back. Press bar upward until arms are extended overhead. Lower bar to front of shoulders and repeat. Pull head back slightly so bar does not head. Range of motion will be compromised if grip is too wide.
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press – 3 sets x 8 reps
Lie on bench and grasp barbell from rack with shoulder width grip. Lower weight to chest with elbows close to body. Push barbell back up until arms are straight. Repeat. Grip can be slightly narrower than shoulder width but not too close.
Cable Pushdowns – 5 sets x 8 reps
This will work on your triceps. Effective for getting rid of flabby arms!
Face high pulley and grasp cable attachment with overhand narrow grip. Position elbows to side. Extend arms down. Return until forearm is close to upper arm. Repeat. The elbow can travel up few inches at top of motion. Stay close to cable to provide resistance at top of motion.
Cable Decline Tricep Extensions – 3 sets x 8 reps
Position legs under lower leg pad and lie back on bench. Grasp bar with narrow overhand grip. Position bar near forehead or top of head.
Extend elbows to raise bar attachment until arms are straight. As arms extended, position them vertically. Lower bar by bending elbows. As bar nears head reposition elbows back just enough to allow bar to clear around curvature of head. Repeat.
Dumbbell Arnold Press – 3 sets x 8 reps
Stand with two dumbbells position in front of shoulders, palms facing body and elbows under wrists. Initiate movement by bringing elbows out to sides. Continue to raise elbows outward while pressing dumbbells overhead until arms are straight. Lower to front of shoulders in opposite pattern and repeat.
*Important: Movement should emphasize shoulder abduction while minimizing forearm pronation as this exercise attempts to combine lateral raise like motion with shoulder press. Lean forward slightly when lifting dumbbells.
I'll most likely do some lateral raises and dumbbell shrugs to end things off if I still have the energy...
If you're not confident with using the Smith machine or bar bell (especially if you don't have a trainer/someone supervising), it's best and safe to work with free weights. There are plenty of other routines where you can use dumbbells, that's why the Explode Program (Shoulders + Abs) was made easy for beginners.
Ladies, you will not get buff from these routines unless you have sumo's eating habits.
Follow these routines carefully and eat right - you WILL become toned and lean. Strong and lean is the way to go, not thin and frail!