August 4, 2020

11 Free Fitness Apps That Will Help You Work Out When Your Living Room Is Your Gym and More…

In today’s digest we bring you articles on 11 Free Fitness Apps That Will Help You Work Out When Your Living Room Is Your Gym, The Best Sports Drinks And Mixes To Fuel Your Exercise, Ben Chow, Fouad Abiad Respond To New Details of Luke Sandoe’s Death and The 4 Dumbest Ab Exercises. Hope you enjoy them…

11 Free Fitness Apps That Will Help You Work Out When Your Living Room Is Your Gym

As we all adjust our lives to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, our fitness routines need to adjust too—mostly to incorporate social distancing. With businesses closing and people hunkering down, it’s pretty much impossible to stick to your regular workout routine if it involved the gym, fitness studio, or a group workout….

As we all adjust our lives to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus, our fitness routines need to adjust too—mostly to incorporate social distancing. With businesses closing and people hunkering down, it’s pretty much impossible to stick to your regular workout routine if it involved the gym, fitness studio, or a group workout.

I’m a regular exerciser who relies on it heavily for stress management, so I know how difficult it is to hit pause on your fitness routine. But thankfully, there are some tech solutions out there that mean you don’t have to—you just need to think about your exercise routine a little differently.

Just as FaceTime and Google Hangouts can keep you socially connected during this time, there are some free fitness apps that can help you break a sweat without leaving home. Some of the following are always free; others are being offered for free right now. Since there’s no cost, I’d suggest trying a couple of different ones so you can figure out which you like best and what’s ideal for the equipment setup you have (or don’t have) at home.

Yes, at-home workouts will feel way different if you’re used to exercising in a gym with a plethora of equipment or in a fitness class guided by an instructor. But trust me: Once you try them, you’ll be glad you did, because any way you keep moving will definitely make you feel better. Here are some free fitness apps to help you out.



11 Free Fitness Apps That Will Help You Work Out When Your Living Room Is Your Gym was originally published at http://onself.co/OLM072K






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The Best Sports Drinks And Mixes To Fuel Your Exercise

When you’re in need of some fast fuel before or during a tough training session there’s no better source of energy than a sports drink. The carbs and electrolytes they contain will hit your system quickly to replenish your body’s reserves so you can keep on keeping on, and it’s generally more enjoyable to gulp…

When you’re in need of some fast fuel before or during a tough training session there’s no better source of energy than a sports drink. The carbs and electrolytes they contain will hit your system quickly to replenish your body’s reserves so you can keep on keeping on, and it’s generally more enjoyable to gulp down a sports drink than to take a gloopy energy gel during training.

You need to be a little wary of using sports drinks willy-nilly, however. They’re designed to provide a lot of energy, so the carb and sugar count is high. If you’re only going out for a 30-minute easy run you probably don’t need that kind of energy hit, especially if you’re running as part of a bid to lose weight.

Along with carbs, a good sports drink will also contain electrolytes to replace those lost in sweat during a workout. This is especially important during sessions that last more than 90 minutes, when just rehydrating with water won’t get the job done.

You can obviously buy sports drinks like Lucozade ready-made, but picking up a powder to mix with water yourself is often more portable, especially if it’s a single-serve sachet you can take with you to mix up just before a workout.

Bulk Powders Complete Hydration

Each 40g serving of this drink contains over 35g of carbs, from mixed sources to improve uptake, and it also contains a range of electrolytes including sodium to ensure you’re well hydrated for your workout. It’s also a great-value powder, working out to 55p per serving, and both the flavours available – mixed berry and orange – are pretty tasty. It’s one to stock up on ahead of a busy training plan, while perhaps saving more carb-rich options like Maurten’s mix or SIS’s Beta Fuel for one or two key training sessions and race day.

Buy from Bulk Powders | £10.99 for 500g

Lucozade Sport

It’s sold everywhere, usually available in some kind of deal, and comes in a range of tasty flavours, so if you’re in need of a sports drink at short notice there’s nothing better than a trusty bottle of Lucozade Sport. There are 32g of carbs in each 500ml bottle, with 18g of sugars, plus sodium to top up your reserves after a sweaty session. You’ll be glugging down 130-140 calories depending on the flavour, of which raspberry is the best. No need to debate us on that.

Buy from Lucozade | £11.99 for 12 bottles

Veloforte Electrolyte Powders

These folks lose a little credit for championing the use of Himalayan pink salt in the electrolyte powders, since it has no real benefits compared with standard salt, but that credit is clawed back by an impressively unusual range of refreshing flavours for its drink mixes – Wild Strawberry and Basil being the tastiest in our book. Each of the trio offers different sporting benefits: Attivo, which is the Wild Strawberry and Basil flavour, contains electrolytes, 22g of carbohydrates and 75mg of caffeine, while Vivo (Peach, Raspberry and Rosehip) packs in electrolytes and carbs, and Solo (Golden Apricot and Sage) is just electrolytes. All the sachets are small enough to slip into a running belt so you can make your drinks on the move.

Buy from Veloforte | £5.25 for mixed pack of three sachets

One Pro Hydro Energy Drink Mix

Each sachet of this drink mix contains around 32g of carbs, with a low-GI source used alongside the standard maltodextrin to supply both slow- and fast-release carbs. A whole load of vitamins and minerals have also been thrown into the mix, and coconut water extract is used to provide electrolytes. The mix is designed to be as natural as possible, with no artificial sweeteners or polyols used. We’re not against artificial sweeteners, but they do sometimes pose a problem by increasing the risk of stomach problems on the run. The mix comes in two flavours – pineapple and coconut, and berry, with the latter also containing caffeine.

Buy from One Pro | £25 for ten sachets

Maurten Drink Mix

Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s sports drink of choice works just as well for anyone not gunning for a sub-2hr 2min time. The Maurten drink mix forms a hydrogel when it hits the stomach, so it’s absorbed more slowly by the body to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal distress. This also allows Maurten to shove a huge amount of carbs into each drink – the 320 drink mix contains 80g per sachet, which you mix into a 500ml drink, and the 160 contains 40g. There’s no real flavour to the mix, it’s just mildly sweet, and we can say from experience that it does the job – we’ve used Maurten’s drink mix before and during our last two marathons. It is expensive, though, so save it for your most important workouts and races.

Buy Drink Mix 320 from Sigma Sports | £43 for 14 sachets

SiS Beta Fuel

It’s probably unfair to say this mix is supplement behemoth SiS’s answer to upstart Maurten’s product, but Beta Fuel also comes in black sachets in a box and contains 80g of carbs, so we’re going to go ahead and say that anyway. The Beta Fuel powder provides its carbs in a 2:1 ratio of maltodextrin to fructose that’s designed to limit tummy trouble and also contains four types of electrolyte. Although it doesn’t form a hydrogel in the stomach, Beta Fuel does have a couple of advantages over Maurten’s drink mix. One is that it’s cheaper, and the other is that it comes in two flavours – orange, and lemon and lime.

Buy from SiS | £30 for 12 sachets

Tailwind Endurance Fuel

These handy gel-shaped packs fit into a pocket easily, making them ideal for runners tackling long-distance events to carry until a water source is reached. Each pack contains two servings, though you mix it all at once into 500-700ml of water; the two servings combined contain 50g of carbs, all of which are sugars, and 200 calories. There is a good range of flavours including several caffeinated options.

Buy from Tailwind | £14.95 for eight sachets



The Best Sports Drinks And Mixes To Fuel Your Exercise was originally published at https://www.coachmag.co.uk/supplements/8268/sports-drinks







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Ben Chow, Fouad Abiad Respond To New Details of Luke Sandoe’s Death

The untimely passing of Pro bodybuilder Luke Sandoe hits even harder today, on the day that he would have turned 32 years old. Initially, his death was believed to be caused by suicide and his best friend Ben Chow made a video explaining why the promising bodybuilder likely took his own life not long after. …

The untimely passing of Pro bodybuilder Luke Sandoe hits even harder today, on the day that he would have turned 32 years old. Initially, his death was believed to be caused by suicide and his best friend Ben Chow made a video explaining why the promising bodybuilder likely took his own life not long after. 

But then today, a family member, according to the details in the post, shared a message on Luke Sandoe’s Instagram which you can read below (scroll through Inst post to see the entire message).

This individual explained the suffering Sandoe’s family has been going through with all of the speculations and rumors about his death and they revealed the cause as heart failure and not suicide. 

Read more: Family of Luke Sandoe Reveal More Information About Cause of Death

So in response to this post, Ben Chow and IFBB Pro Fouad Abiad (also a good friend of Luke Sandoe) had a discussion remotely where they shared their thoughts. So, seeing as Chow was Sandoe’s best friend who knew intimate details about the latter, spoke first. He wanted to discuss the situation in a way that is not disrespectful in any way, however, he wanted to share details he believed were important for everyone to know.

“I find the timing of it strange but that’s kind of irrelevant I guess,” he explained. 

“I’m not retracting what I said originally, at all, and I never will. I stand by everything I’ve ever said about Luke.” 

Chow explained how careful, conscious, and sensible Sandoe was about his career and that he never jeopardized his health for the sport. “One thing that Luke was passionate about was taking care of his health“.

“Luke was putting his body under stress but from other areas in his life. To say that the pressures of bodybuilding and the requirement to look a certain way is what led him down this path is insane. I promise you this, that is not Luke, that was never him.”

Chow allowed Abiad to speak after this point as it seemed to be a bit much for him at the moment. 

I think I’m pretty upset about what I saw today,” Abiad explained. He was also upset about the reactions of other people who were quick to say that Sandoe died from all the drug use, etc.

Abiad also said that he wanted to be sensitive to others’ feelings however he wanted to say what he felt needed to be said.

The original story you heard is 100% true and his best friends knew it, and the story you heard today is also true.” 

Abiad said that he and Luke’s other friends didn’t set out to mislead anybody. 

“If it was something bodybuilding related that caused Luke’s death, I wouldn’t dance around it, and I wouldn’t run away from it.”

“We made the proper videos in accordance with what we knew took place. I’m not sure what motivations anybody has to put out the statement they did put out but whatever they are that’s their business. All I can say on my end and I’ve come to known Ben very well now is we have no reason to lie both of us are honest people”. “We don’t bullshit people.” 

Abiad felt that it was an invasion of privacy to have access to Sandoe’s account. “We don’t even know who has the account, to begin with.” He suggested that people consider what he and Chow know based on their close relationship with Sandoe as opposed to immediately believing what someone unknown at the moment wrote on his page.

Chow wanted to add a few things in at this point of which he talked about protecting Sandoe and understanding that not everyone knows exactly what someone’s going through which can lead to assumptions. 

“I’ll say this on my part, I’m OK if people don’t like me, I’m OK if people think I’m a liar, I’m OK if people think I’m a piece of shit. I’m not OK with people thinking ill of Luke, said Chow”. 

“Take heart failure on paper in black and white looking through a keyhole, if you see heart failure on a post mortem or autopsy and you see a 300lb bodybuilder there’s a natural assumption, it’s very easy to connect those two dots. What’s happening here is that people are getting 2 + 2 and they’re getting 20. There’s a big difference in looking at it through the keyhole vs looking at the entire picture.”

“There’s a handful of people who know the whole picture and the people that know the whole picture aren’t actually probably the obvious people”. “Just realize that there’s a lot more to people’s lives than they’ll show you and that you’ll ever see”.

Abiad ended by explaining that people should really think about the fact that both stories could be true (referring to the other story). Chow added in that heart failure can occur intentionally or intentionally which should give everyone an idea of what may have likely happened. 

Watch the discussion below… 

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Ben Chow, Fouad Abiad Respond To New Details of Luke Sandoe’s Death was originally published at https://fitnessvolt.com/ben-chow-fouad-abiad-luke-sandoe-death/







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The 4 Dumbest Ab Exercises

The side bend gets dangerous fast when loaded. Use the tempo side-plank crunch instead. The traditional timed plank is a favorite of crappy personal trainers. The RKC plank is better. The decline sit-up has its merits, but as soon as excessive front-sided loading get thrown in, it quickly gets ugly. Use the vertical plate press…

  1. The side bend gets dangerous fast when loaded. Use the tempo side-plank crunch instead.
  2. The traditional timed plank is a favorite of crappy personal trainers. The RKC plank is better.
  3. The decline sit-up has its merits, but as soon as excessive front-sided loading get thrown in, it quickly gets ugly. Use the vertical plate press instead.
  4. There may be no greater insult to spinal health in sport or fitness than the GHD ball toss event you see at the CrossFit Games.

Abysmal Ab Training

Yes, get your diet in order or you’ll never have visible abs. Now that the completely obvious is out of the way, let’s talk ab training.

The average person will crash and burn before he ever reaches his goal of being able to take his shirt off in public without shaming himself. That’s because achieving the type of core definition doesn’t happen overnight. It also doesn’t happen through the frequent and dysfunctional spine-crunching exercises that your bros swear by.

Unfortunately, there are several debilitating, mainstream ab exercises that will lead you down a dark alley, kick the crap out of your body, and leave you with a growing gut in the process.

It’s time to save your midsection and replace the following atrocious ab exercises with intelligent alternatives.

4 – Abdominal Side Bend

The loaded, standing oblique crunch made its way onto this list for one reason – being way too easy to butcher and thus becoming a dangerous component of a core development program.

side bend

The average gym goer has no idea what neutral spine entails, let alone being able to execute an acute range of motion targeting deep abdominal musculature. Before we start loading up movements and working towards intervertebral disc trauma one ugly rep at a time, how about we first master the basics?

Primary Problem:  Butchered Form and Discal Insult

First things first. Make sure you’re unilaterally loaded, meaning you only have a weight in one hand, not both (as you’ve seen practiced at Planet Fitness).

Keeping your hips and knees in line with your spine, contract your core and turn on all the muscles that surround it to keep from slumping over to the side. Only when you can master this isolation hold using pristine mechanics and form do you dare to progress into a side crunch!

The Alternative:  Tempo Side-Plank Crunch

The tempo side-plank crunch can produce loads of tension without the actual load.

During the side plank, core muscles – including the obliques and transverse abdominis –turn on to stabilize the spine. The other primary stabilizer of this pillar, the gluteus medius, also activates to link the hips to the ab region.

Using a strong and maximally tensioned muscular contraction, own your side plank position for 20 seconds while squeezing maximally. After you earn the right to progress this movement, incorporate precise side-bending crunches with a slow descent of your bottom hip towards the ground and an explosive side bend back up into neutral.

3 – Timed Plank

Thanks to researchers like Stu McGill and other movement-based biomechanists, personal trainers and strength coaches across the world have become scared to fucking death to program a single crunch into any type of training session.

Uneducated and uninformed trainers far and wide are all of a sudden at a loss on how to produce ab-shredding results for their clients without their staple crunch, which in reality produced absolutely no results anyways.

Plank

Enter the plank, the savior of the lower back, and the creator of just another smoke and mirror show.

Primary Problem:  Pelvic Dysfunction & Sub-Par Results

The plank started out with noble intentions. I’m absolutely an advocate of minimizing shear stress on the structures of the lumbar region secondary to exercise, but I’m not in favor of producing lackluster results because of ignorance and fear.

The plank quickly became a movement (or lack thereof) that anyone could do with little to no mastery. Just put your elbows on the ground, straighten out, and hold it for 5 minutes at a time! And wow, in a matter of no time you would have a rock solid core that would save you from lower back pain and injury…

Uh, not so fast.

The Alternative:  RKC Plank

The primary problem with the traditional plank is the lack of deep core activation over an extended period of time.

Traditional planks are progressed by increasing the time of the hold, along with increasing the external load placed on the body. Extended sets can cause postural dysfunction and chronic anterior pelvic ligament trauma.

The core wasn’t meant to fire for extended periods of time in isolation. Rather, the deep and superficial muscles of the pillar need to have the ability to fire with maximal force repeatedly over time.

The RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) plank can literally be programmed into any type of training session effectively. Depending on the movement or training emphasis of a specific session, the RKC plank can be programmed as a dynamic warm up or metabolic finisher.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Place your arms slightly farther out than you would in a traditional, non-effective plank.
  2. Contract the glutes and quads as hard as you can until your body starts shaking like a paint mixer.

It’s time to throw away the traditional plank, and upgrade your planks with a version that actually involves effort.

2 – Decline Sit-Up

What epic gym session is complete without strapping your ankles to the decline bench and violently slamming your back against the pads until either your spine loses the ability to move or your hip flexors end up in a full-blown spasm?

Decline SitUp

The decline sit-up has its merits for experienced trainees when executed with precision, tempo, and appropriate muscular activation. But as soon as ego and excessive front-sided loading get thrown into the equation, this effective old-school ab-training staple can quickly get ugly, leaving the average gym goer in a world of pain.

Primary Problem:  Lumbar Spine Shear Force and Destabilization

To the average person, the decline sit-up seems quite similar to the traditional horizontal sit-up: same muscle group, similar motion, and obviously the single best way to quickly get abs, duh!

But after breaking down the intricacies of both movements, they can be deceivingly dissimilar and potentially harmful when not treated as two separate exercises.

Where things get a little more complicated is when you look at the force and range of motion produced by the decline sit-up by increasing the decline-angle of the bench when compared to the flat sit-up.

Due to the downward angle of the bench, the moment arm of the motion becomes notably longer, which increases the unwanted and potentially debilitating shear forces through the mid to lower segments of the lumbar spine.

The angle of the bench also creates more available range of motion for the spine to move through while sitting up. More range of motion means more time spent in extreme ranges, especially excessive thoracic and lumbar flexion.

Forcing your spine repeatedly into end range flexion can potentially cause some structural and soft tissue damage to the posterior and lateral structures of the spine and trunk, leaving you hurting in the process.

The decline sit-up can be risky enough when using perfect mechanics, but the risks get out of hand when people mindlessly manipulate the following variables:

  • Increasing the speed of the movement
  • Increasing the load placed in front of the body
  • Twisting, bending, or turning during end range spinal flexion

No matter what side of the sit-up argument you stand on, one thing is clear – too much of anything can be dangerous, especially when spinal health is involved.

If you’re going to continue to use the decline sit-up in your program, perfect your movement using controlled muscular contractions and maintain as close to neutral posture as possible. If you don’t, you’ll end up paying the price eventually.

The Alternative:  90-Degree Vertical Plate Press

The vertical plate press can target the abs to produce some serious results through the core.

It’s simple. Position the hips and knees at a 90-degree flexed position to eliminate involvement from the superficial hip flexors. Hold a weight plate directly in front of your chest with arms extended and press vertically under control.

The rectus abdominis muscle is a prime spinal flexor that runs from the bottom of the sternum to the pubic bone. Due to these anatomical landmarks, this muscle can still be highly active even when the spine stays in a relatively neutral position during the 90° vertical plate press.

The other key advantage to this movement is that it can be periodized and programmed for progressive overload. Over time, you’ll be able to stabilize and move more weight as your functional strength increases. Can the sit-up do that for you?

1 – GHD Ball Toss

Don’t lie. You know you were glued to your TV watching the CrossFit Games marathon on ESPN like the rest of us couch athletes.

GHD Ball Toss

If that’s true, you saw what may be the greatest insult to spinal health in sport or fitness, and it’s called the GHD (glute-ham developer) ball toss.

Primary Problem:  Everything

As potentially debilitating as this event was, an international viewership of CrossFit disciples couldn’t get enough of that shit! I mean, who doesn’t become inspired after watching spines violently and repeatedly buckle into flexion and extension while tossing dinosaur eggs for maximal distance and time?

While the CrossFit HQ should have been ashamed of their risky programming and apologized to these world-class participants for putting their bodies directly in harm’s way, they decided to instead celebrate their TV ratings.

The final slap in the face was the immediate scheduling of the GHD back into the next two years of the CrossFit Games. No wonder many CF affiliates have had enough with Greg Glassman and his corporate gorilla marketing.

It’s not like he was ignorant of its damaging potential, either. In 2005, Glassman wrote an article in the CrossFit Journal regarding that GHD that concluded the following:

“We also caution against unbridled bouts on the GHD for newcomers… This is a potent exercise and it has sidelined dozens of strong, strong, athletes for a few days to a week.”

What makes this sadder is that Glassman was referring to only a slow and controlled sit-up on the GHD, and not a dynamic motion under load, time constraints, and absolute physical fatigue and deterioration, which is the normal metabolic environment while competing in the Games.

Glad to know Glassman stands by his words and puts his athletes second behind his corporate contracts.

The Alternative:  Overhead Med-Ball Slam

While utilizing the same plane of dynamic arm action and movement as the GHD ball toss, the overhead med-ball slam provides a huge stimulus for maximal abdominal activation while functionally linking the core with the upper body.

This exercise can also minimize the damage to the lower back and pelvic regions by keeping the spine and hips within safe and functional ranges throughout the entire movement.

Decreasing extreme spinal ranges also allows the core musculature to create more intra-abdominal pressure and tension that translates nicely into other big-boy compound movements.

Just because we’re staying safe doesn’t mean you can’t take this exercise balls-to-the-wall! When executed properly, your entire pillar should be on fire with your abs experiencing a mean pump.

Oh yeah, and it will take you to a new PR in maximal heart rate, which can do you some favors in the form of fat loss.

Related: 
More on RKC planks

Related: 
The Most Effective Exercise for a Smaller Waist



The 4 Dumbest Ab Exercises was originally published at https://www.t-nation.com/training/4-dumbest-ab-exercises?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article3851