Monthly Archives: September 2016

Weightlifting Maneuvers You’re Missing Out On

You’ve heard about the old-school techniques to becoming larger, we all have. Withstanding the test of time, the staples to any real weightlifters repertoire haven’t undergone a drastic change, in the past decades. As tidbits often will, we have concentrated on the legendary lifts of the past that we’ve left a few behind, where they should not be. Without further ado, I present these three lifts that aren’t in your weightlifting regimen, but should be.

Hack Squats
Take everything that you’ve learned about how to do low squats and toss it out the window. If you don’t like lifting that squat formmakes you feel slightly off-balance, you might need someone to stand behind you. Yes, if you just starting hack squats, you could feel a sensation that you are leaning back too far, albeit a false fear. With squats that are of the hack variety, you need to put a bar to the rear of you, picking it up in a similar motion to squatting. If you wear shorts to workout in, be advised a bar, being lifted close to the back of your legs could scrape them up. I find that an occasional scratch on my skin, while hack squatting, isn’t far off from scraping my shins during a deadlift. Please keep in the forefront of your brain to not even attempt to lift what you normally squat, you’ll still be making use of your calves but the weight won’t be resting on your shoulders.

Kneeling Tricep Extensions with Dumbbells
While I enjoy gaining tricep strength, over most other groups of muscle, this exercise is responsible for the back of your arms getting a nice burn. To effectively carry out a tricep extension where you’re kneeling, balance is super important. Even if you are only using five pound dumbbells, falling over on one side could leave you with a broken arm. Falls are painful enough, holding weights while nearing the ground only intensifies that pain.

Barbell Shrugs
I never see anyone doing heavy shrugging, which leads me to believe that those same folks are likely missing out on some easy added mass. The setup to this exercise couldn’t be much more simple. To effectively do this exercise, you’ll need to grab a barbell (DO NOT lift from the floor), preferably rack your weights on a stand, if one is nearby. After that, slowly take the weight down and shrug your shoulders, try to get five reps. What I like with doing shrugs is that you can go heavy with them, since you are recruiting more fibers, than you would be with other lifts. While not quite a compound lift, but certainly not one for isolation, the shrug is somewhere in the middle.

These lifts aren’t the easiest ones to do and they sure won’t seem familiar, however don’t let that stop you from attempting any of these listed exercises. As with any new lift that you implement into your already routine schedule, give yourself time to learn. The first time that you try any of these exercises, take the hack squat for example, you won’t feel like you are doing the motions correctly. Whenever I start changing up mundane workouts, the first time that I try out a new lift (no matter how many videos I’ve seen concerning form), I still feel like the new kid on the block who is messing it up. Get limber, take the word no out of your head, and get a little confidence as you step up to the plate to put these new lifts into your weekly plan!

How Exercising Can Save Your Wallet

If you were to stand outside of a fitness center and ask why they keep going, saving money wouldn’t be a likely response. That being mentioned, there are findings that show your muscles and wallet could be thanking you. When comparing those who workout regularly, with those who aren’t active, one group is more likely to be in the waiting room of a doctor! If you thought that hearing about exercising helping you live longer was a farce, the proof is in the (lack of) medical bills. Men and women who are taking their free time and putting it to good use, by exercising have got stronger immune systems, making them less susceptible to medical problems.

Many employers will offer incentives to employees that maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s a smart move that is made by large corporations, to encourage their workforce to take preventative measures through any of the following methods: walking, jogging, regularly weight lifting, etc. The rewards for employees that are tracking their efforts are usually rewarded with a cut out of their insurance deductible, time off, or a combination. While the ones who choose to be lazy could have more free time, they will likely be shelling it out at the doctor’s office. I used to constantly get allergies and would be seriously ill, once or twice every month, before I picked up taking better care of myself. Nowadays, I end up ill maybe once a year, thanks to a more fitness minded life. The results seem clear, it looks like those who are exercising are keeping the doctor away and doing a great job of it.

With the stacked advantages of saving up funds, this looks like another notch in win column for us! If it is being offered, take a look at what your company could offer, in the way of extra employee incentives to get moving! If not, you could be missing out on many great opportunities, especially if you already exercise, outside of work! I often dodge hearing about how exercising is too expensive for some, which has a grain of truth, there are memberships, supplements, clothes, that will be additional costs to you. Although, when compared to how much you could save in the workplace, those initial costs don’t seem to be too staggering, do they? If faced with a situation, where someone is giving you a bad word for being so obsessed with the way you live, remind them that you are getting healthy, all while saving money, are there any two feelings more awesome than those? Perhaps, now that you know another, adding to the list of many benefits that come with regular exercise, anyone wanting to stay lazy might change their tune. I know that I’ll be reminded, when facing a set that I don’t believe I can complete, that I will be having visions of lower insurance and a longer lifespan! I can’t speak of what certain incentives that I know about, from hearing of others employment but it only drives home the point that you need to find about if your own workplace offers fitness incentives, it is likely most large ones will.

Sometimes depending upon the season of the year, different workplace programs will be in place, largely appearing during the Summer season. When adding in the extra cash you have from not spending it at the doctor, plus the added discounts you will receive on those insurance payments, once again, regular exercise is starting to gain momentum once again!

Always Wrap Your Wrists Before Straining Them

I wanted to point one aspect of fitness accessories that I’m not seeing many make use of. Sure, we all have to get our awesome tank top, shorts, and whatever else we are going to wear to the gym. Being so obsessed with appearances, of which I am just as guilty as the next person, one important piece of safety equipment always goes missing. I used to think that wrapping up wrists was for those big fight scenes in movies, never something I would find that I needed to use. I started having some nagging wrist pain that was starting to honestly hinder my quality of life. There is nothing that comes close to making you feel like a weakling, than having a sharp pain shoot up your wrist, while trying to just push on a door. I had spoken to a co-worker of mine, an avid weightlifter. He had said that I could have either pulled a muscle or had come down with a case of tennis elbow.

I started seeing what others had to say on this matter and if they had experienced any similarities with the pain I had. It didn’t take long before I got responses suggesting that I could have weakened wrists. I had thought those folks were crazy, I had been lifting all of the time, how could I have a weakened anything? Checking the ego and starting to think a bit more clearly, I realized that some random guy on the internet could have just figured out this puzzle. I went to a sporting goods store and purchased some high quality wrist wraps. Not content to settle with the cheapest option, I plunked down about thirty bucks for a pair of these wrist wraps, money well spent. After about a week of using these wraps, almost all of the pain I had went away, that’s not a joke.

I went from barely being able to push myself up to going back to having wrists that had no pain in them at all. When I first noticed this pain start coming on was during only two lifts: the bench press and bicep curls, such an interesting and in no way related pairing! With two far apart exercises, for the muscles that are trained, as well as the pushing and pulling movement difference, this was why I was so mystified as to what could be the source of this horrible pain. I got some mild laughter when I would keep having to adjust my wrist straps but it didn’t matter to me, I would gladly have a workout go over ten minutes than to have to not be able to push anything for weeks. I have noticed that there are assortments of various straps that you can use.

I like the mobility that comes with simple straps but there are other options. If you can’t keep that strong grip when you are trying to move that bar, I would advise you use straps that are forced to tie onto the barbell itself, with this type of strap I prefer the ones that are cloth, than the cloth and metal hook contraption. Call me crazy but I don’t want any hook near me while I’m trying to lift weights, ouch! If you are less accident prone than I am and not a total clumsy guy, you could end up loving the strap with hooks, many do.