Monday, November 29, 2010
A properly executed squat is one of the best exercises you can do for overall strength and conditioning. Using the Smith Machine is a big aid in helping you to perform squats correctly. First, place the bar a little lower than shoulder height. Next, position yourself under the bar, twist to unlock it and place the bar on top of your shoulders. Now, place your feet about six inches in front of you shoulder width apart. This is your start position. Lift your chest and keep your chin high. Now, squat by leading with your butt until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then return to the start position. Be careful not to round your lower back, and that your knees do not extend over your toes at anytime doing this exercise. (For the first few times it’s best to have someone observe you from the side to make sure you are doing this exercise correctly). Your breathing pattern is to inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up on this exercise.
Combine this exercise with the leg press, step-ups, and roll-ups for a terrific lower body routine. I recommend beginners do 2 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise, and those more experienced do 3 sets of 12 repetitions each exercise.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Yesterday I had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right and I let the events of the day darken my outlook on life. The weather was damp and dreary, I was stood-up for a very important appointment, and I snapped at my wife, who understandably got upset with me. By the end of the day all I could see was what was wrong with the world. I let myself become a victim of negative thinking.
This morning upon waking I realized how much I have to be thankful for. I started mentally counting my blessings such as, my beautiful and loving wife, my wonderful family, my successful business, the books I have written and published. Then I started thinking of the things I had taken for granted such as, I have a house to live in, a car to drive, and plenty of food to eat.
After a few minutes of being thankful for what I have, the dark cloud that seemed to envelop me yesterday is gone. I am no more a victim of circumstance. I have wrestled the reigns of control in my life back by counting my blessings. I now feel bright, full of energy, and ready for a great day. It's amazing how such a simple thing as being thankful can change your attitude and outlook on life.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Rollups shape and develop the back of your legs and your calves. This is also an excellent exercise to strengthen your core. Lay down flat on your back, extend your legs and place a therapeutic ball under your heels. This is your starting position. Pick your hips up off the floor and pull the ball toward your butt with your feet as far as possible and then slowly return to the starting position. Breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale while rolling the ball towards you and to inhale when returning to the starting position.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I typically don't toot my own horn, but I have to let you know how excited I am about the latest review I received on my book "Forever Fit and Firm." It's my first review by a major book reviewing service, called Book Reviews Weekly and it's great! I have included the link below for anyone who wants to read it.
If you need a book reviewed I highly recommend Book Reviews Weekly. You can find them online at http://www.bookreviewsweekly.com
To see my book review click here.
I thank my many readers for their loyal following.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Step ups are great for developing and shaping your butt. With this exercise you will do ten repetitions on one leg followed by ten repetitions with the other. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and position yourself in front of a bench. Place one foot flat on top of the bench positioning you body to make a right angle at your knee. Start with your chest held high and shoulders square step up through your heel and lightly tap the bench with your other foot before returning to your starting position. Breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you step up and inhale as you step back down.Be careful to use a steady bench or aerobic step when performing this exercise. Beginners should do 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg, and those more advanced can do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The leg press is one of the best exercises for overall strength and development of your legs. First, sit in the seat, positioning your feet about shoulder width apart and chest high on the platform. Adjust the seat height by pulling the handle and sliding forward until your thighs are parallel to the platform. This is your start position (make sure that your lower back is pressed firmly against the back of the seat). With your feet flat, slowly press upward until your legs are fully extended but short of locking. Slowly return to the position where the weight almost touch the weight stack. The breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you press up and inhale as you return to the start. Again, you will have to experiment to find a weight with which the last three repetitions are difficult to perform.
If you are new to strength training do 2 sets of 12 repetitions. If you are a veteran of strength training do 3 to 4 sets of 10 repetitions.
Monday, November 8, 2010
The 2007 Physical Activity Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association for men and women under the age of 65 is:
- Moderate cardiovascular activity 30 minutes per day, 5 days each week, OR
- Vigorous cardiovascular activity 20 minutes per day, 3 days each week, AND
- 8 - 10 strength training exercises (8-12 repetitions each), 2 times each week.
- Moderate cardiovascular activity 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, OR
- Vigorous cardiovascular activity 20 minutes per day, 3 days per week, AND
- 8 - 10 strength training exercises (10-16 repetitions each) 2 to 3 times each week, AND
- Balance exercises, if at risk of failing.
Now the benefits of adhering to the above exercise guidelines are:
- Reduced stress, depression and anxiety
- Lowered risk of stroke
- Lowered incidence of breast cancer in women
- Reduced blood pressure
- Increased function and mobility with less pain in arthritis sufferers
- Improved total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels
- Enhanced cardioprotection of cardiovascular disease
- Improved body composition and weight management
- Increased bone density for a reduction of risk of osteoporosis
- Improved blood triglycerides and HDL levels
- Better management of diabetes
- Lower incidence of colon cancer.
After seeing these facts, my advise to everyone is to get off your seat and start moving. Sitting is indeed hazardous to your health.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The lateral dumbbell raise develops and strengthens your shoulders. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of you. Position your feet shoulder width, slightly bend your knees, and hold your chest high. This is your starting position. Bend your elbows slightly and raise your hands out to your sides about shoulder height with your palms facing down then return to your starting position. Be careful to keep your forearm and your elbow at the same level at the finish of this movement. Your breathing pattern is to exhale as you raise your arms up and inhale as you return to start.
Combine this exercise with the 3 previous (lat pulldown, seated low row, and dumbbell chest press) exercises for a routine that works all the major muscle groups of your upper body. Do this routine 2 times each week to keep your upper body tone and strong.
If you are new to weight lifting do 1 to 2 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. If you have some experience with strength training do 3 to 4 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise.