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Benefits of Barefoot Squatting

The Benefits of Barefoot Squatting

This article refers to squatting as in weightlifting, leg day squats, not settling on some land and raising a few sheep, although there was no doubt a number of barefoot squatters back in the day. Now, if you have an interest in weightlifting, then no doubt you have seen photographs of Arnold Schwarzenegger training barefoot. There is more and more research being done looking into the benefits of barefoot walking and minimal shoes. Arnold seemed way ahead of the curve here, as with most things he ended up excelling at, and saw great benefit in squatting without shoes.

Most people in western society spend their lifetime wearing shoes. Over the years, our feet gradually lose their tactile capacity and fail to develop to their proper size, width and shape, due to narrow, restricting shoes. The tendons and ligaments in our feet shorten and the muscles weaken, and so the risk of foot or ankle injuries increase – especially for those people who are heavily active with a lot of sporting commitments.

 

Squatting In Runners

If you’re used to squatting in running shoes or cross trainers, you will notice quite a difference. Running shoes have substantial wedges at the heel of the shoe, angling your feet slightly. But even the smallest angles and imbalances can have significant effects on our bodies. Just try keeping your wallet in your back pocket for a long drive.

That thin wallet will end up playing havoc on your back alignment and you could even end up with a strain.…


Dips For Chest Triceps

The Deal On Dips

For an impressive physique, you need a broad, thick chest. The best chest exercises are the ones that strengthen and grow your chest, while also widening it. Usually, when people talk about chest exercises and the best way of developing a powerful chest – they go straight for the classic bench press. However, there is research that supports the simple Dip as being the best exercise for developing a strong, powerful chest. Dips also fall into the category of compound exercises, recruiting a range of muscles to get the job done – they work not only the chest, but also the back, shoulders, and arms. Being such, they give you a hormonal boost which aids in muscle growth.

 

Form

Dips are a great compound, body-weight exercise, but even though they are quite a natural movement, it is still important to get advice on and be mindful of technique. Hold yourself up on a set of parallel bars. Most gyms have dip bars connected to a knee raise station or assisted pull-up rig. There are also many parks these days that have parallel bars and pull up bars, free for public use.

You want your thighs to be vertical, the lower legs can bend out towards the back, but keep your upper legs pointing straight down. It’s best to also keep your forearms pointing straight down and your elbows tucked into the side of your body. Your torso should be sitting forward at a 20 – 30 degree angle, and the head in line with the spine.…


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5 Benefits of High Intensity Circuit Training

The majority of people these days complain about being time poor. Gym attendance and memberships are usually the first things to go when people try to make room in their schedules to fit in all the other necessities of daily life. But maintaining and improving on your fitness is extremely important. Circuit training is a great way to maximise your time at the gym and get bang for your buck.

 

Make the Most of Your Time

Unless you are a fitness professional, it is likely that you don’t have hours a day to be spending at the gym. A good circuit training session can give you a great workout in the minimum amount of time. Whether you have as little as 15 minutes or a full hour, you can get a great workout in, as long as you really commit to your workout for that period of time. Set up a few stations and go for as many circuits as you can within a certain time frame, or give yourself a set amount of rounds to complete.

 

Work Your Whole Body

The human body is designed to work as a unit. Circuit training allows you to work your whole body as you move through various stations, hitting different muscle groups but keeping your body in tune and working as the advanced machine that it is. You will get a far better overall workout doing a solid circuit session than if you were to just zero in on biceps.…


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The Benefits of Workout Attire – 5 Reasons Why You Should/Shouldn’t Get Kitted Up

Does what you wear to the gym affect your performance or is it all just a waste of money? Good question, and one that hasn’t really been answered properly yet. But here are 5 pros and cons of getting the latest workout gear.

 

Mindset

A lot of what goes into getting in good, consistent workouts depends on playing mind games with yourself. Almost anyone can do a few good sessions after making over-enthusiastic New Year’s resolutions. But staying consistent week in, week out, is a completely different story. Having specific clothing that you only wear when working out can help get you in the mindset that it’s time to get busy as soon as you put them on. In the same way, if going out and buying some cool, new work out gear that makes you feel great and gives you a renewed sense of motivation to work out, then it is worth the money. But don’t feel like you need to go out and spend money on that. If an old t-shirt and shorts work for you, then there’s no reason to change.

 

Compression Clothing

Recent studies have begun to look into whether compression clothing assists in your training or whether it’s people’s mindset and expectations that are doing most of the work. Compression clothing supposedly aids in blood circulation and therefore helps to bring more oxygen to your working muscles. The garments are also supposed to improve your proprioception – which basically aids an athlete’s perception of their position in space (most people don’t need to worry about this).…


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The Aftermath: Tips to Help You Get Lean and Fit

The Christmas season has well and truly ended now, and yet some new dietary habits can prove hard to shake. If you let yourself go and enjoy your food, with little exercise, over the holiday break, then chances are you might still be struggling to return to your previous level of dietary discipline. The more sweets, simple sugars, and rich foods the body consumes, the more it seems to want. The trick is to break those habits before things (your waistline) get out of hand. Here are some ways to get into the best shape you can this year!

 

Increase Cardio

You want to create a caloric deficit. If you’re burning more calories than you are consuming, then you will lose fat. This doesn’t mean you have to go and run a marathon and risk losing the muscle you have been working hard at building. Increasing your cardio can be as simple and super-setting at the gym, or upping the intensity of your workouts with some functional training, kettlebell exercises, body-weight workouts on the chin up and dip bar, using battle ropes, or all of the above.

 

Workout in the Mornings

Get some cardio in first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Swim, bike or run as soon as you wake up. This might mean getting up earlier to be able to get in a decent workout. If that’s what you need to do, then do it.…


Tips For Avoiding Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder Shock: Tips For Avoiding Shoulder Injuries

Whatever your fitness goals are, getting injured will set you back weeks of hard training. With the rise in popularity of CrossFit and functional training, there are more and more people injuring themselves while attempting exercises and lifts that they have not been shown the proper technique to perform. The poor posture that most people carry around with them during the day, plus hours spent at a computer weakens your musculoskeletal structure.

Stretch

Incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Stretch in the mornings after waking, and before bed at night. Even 5 minutes and each end of the day is going to reap some benefits. And stretch throughout the day when you take breaks. Especially if you sit at a computer most of the day. Take regular breaks and stretch out your muscles and spine. It will make a huge difference in preventing injuries and improving your overall health.  

 

Take Your Ego Out Of It

A lot of injuries happen in the weight room because of uncontained egos. Loading up a bench press or military press isn’t going to give you shoulder boulders in one sitting. Take your ego out of it and train as if you are your own PT. Build yourself up, don’t smash your muscles into the ground thinking that will produce more results. Train hard, but train smart.

 

Push and Pull

Don’t get caught up in bench pressing your way to muscle gains. Think of your body as a well-rounded and symmetrical sculpture.…


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