July 24, 2020

I Was Skeptical of This One At-Home Workout Tool-And Then I Tried It and More…

In today’s digest we bring you articles on I Was Skeptical of This One At-Home Workout Tool-And Then I Tried It, Cardioacceleration Band Workout, Tip: 6 Game Changers for Calf Strength & Power and 3 simple at-home exercises that work. Hope you enjoy them…

I Was Skeptical of This One At-Home Workout Tool-And Then I Tried It

That’s where resistance bands come in big for the at-home exerciser: You can pretty much create your own pulley system with one. While you can buy an over-the-door anchor online ($10, amazon.com), you can also make your own by tying a knot at each end of a long sock, putting both sides into the door,…

That’s where resistance bands come in big for the at-home exerciser: You can pretty much create your own pulley system with one. While you can buy an over-the-door anchor online ($10, amazon.com), you can also make your own by tying a knot at each end of a long sock, putting both sides into the door, and threading the band through the resulting loop, Miklaus says. You can also place the anchor on the hinge-side of the door if you want the band to be, say, at chest height, or along the bottom of the door if you want it to be floor-level. For safety, make sure the door closes toward you—that way, it won’t be able to fly open at you if the closure doesn’t hold, he says.

My apartment, though, has some pretty old and flimsy doors, so I decided to take my resistance band outside to my super-sturdy steel fire escape. I thread the resistance band through the openings on the stairs, or around the pole along the railing, which gives me a solid anchor—and a variety of pulling angles. Depending on where I choose, I can do pull-downs, high-low rows, or horizontal rows. This pulley system has been huge for me, since the dumbbells I have at home are too light to row.

Speaking of fire-escape workouts, I also use the stairs to crank out a few sets of pull-ups. (Again, the sturdiness is key here—anything you’re going to pull from, or hang your bodyweight from, needs to be super sturdy and secure.) If you can’t get a bodyweight pull-up yet on your own, bands come in handy to provide assistance. Just secure the band above you, and put your knee into the loop. (In the case of pull-up assistance, thicker bands make the move easier, not harder.)

3. Resistance bands challenge your muscles differently than free weights.

Using resistance bands during a workout was new to me. I’d used them in the past during warm-ups or for stretching or mobility work, but never to a challenging extent.

When I did, I was surprised by the difference I felt: They make the end of the move a lot harder than regular free weights do.

Then I wondered: Does it just feel more difficult because I’m not used to it?

Nope—the inherent nature of resistance bands means you actually are working harder at completion.

“With a dumbbell, you are actually going to lose tension toward the top of the range of motion. The greatest force, and therefore the greatest contractions in the muscle, usually happen around the mid part of the range of motion,” Miklaus says. “With bands, we have increasing resistance force as the band gets longer, which is typically at the peak of the movement, so we have the most amount of force at the end of the range of motion.”

The practical implication of this is that you can work on different sticking points you may have in certain exercises. For example, I struggle with the final lockout on the deadlift. When I deadlift with a resistance band, it forces me to really make sure my glutes are firing, since the resistance provided by the band is strongest at that top point.

Another benefit? When I feel that burn of peak contraction—say, when my elbow is past my side for a row—I’m tempted to hold it for a second or two. Slowing down reps and adding pauses is a key strategy for making exercises feel harder when you can’t add weight.

4. They make for killer supersets.

Another way to make exercises feel harder without adding weight is incorporating supersets—going from one exercise to the next without rest, as Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., founder of Core in Brookline, MA, told me previously. And when you’re strength training at home with limited equipment options, working the same muscles back-to-back in a superset can help pre-exhaust your muscles and make them feel like they’re working harder.



I Was Skeptical of This One At-Home Workout Tool-And Then I Tried It was originally published at http://onself.co/u28grtb






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Cardioacceleration Band Workout

I’m a big fan of elastic-resistance training and an even bigger one of cardioacceleration, so why not combine the two? For the uninitiated, cardioacceleration means doing 30-60-second intervals of cardio in between sets of resistance exercise. The following workout is a bands-only routine (plus some bodyweight moves) that’s great for when you don’t have access…

I’m a big fan of elastic-resistance training and an even bigger one of cardioacceleration, so why not combine the two? For the uninitiated, cardioacceleration means doing 30-60-second intervals of cardio in between sets of resistance exercise.

The following workout is a bands-only routine (plus some bodyweight moves) that’s great for when you don’t have access to other equipment or if you just want to switch things up. It’s also an effective alternative to cardio, targeting all the major muscle groups and incorporating such techniques as supersets, giant sets, and cardioacceleration to keep the intensity high and your heart pumping. The result is a brutal session that builds power, strength, aerobic conditioning, and muscle while torching body fat.



The workout is broken down into five exercise groups, each focusing on particular upper-body muscles with legs and full-body movements worked as the cardioacceleration component:

  • Group 1: Chest and Back with Legs
  • Group 2: Chest and Back with Full Body
  • Group 3: Shoulders and Legs
  • Group 4:Biceps and Triceps with Full Body
  • Group 5: Abs and Calves

Perform each group like a circuit and complete all sets of each group before moving on to the next group.

The intent here is constant movement, so keep your rests to a bare minimum—not just within specific supersets, giant sets, and cardioacceleration periods, but also between body-part groups. This workout will kick your glutes, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the fat-burning benefits and the cardiovascular adaptations when it’s over.

Group 1: Chest and Back with Legs

Perform the exercises in order with as little rest as possible between exercises and sets.
Push-up

Perform explosively so your hands lift off the floor at the top of each rep.

3 sets, 5-8 reps (no rest)


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2

more exercises

Group 2: Chest and Back with Full Body

Perform the exercises in order with as little rest as possible between exercises and sets.
Incline band bench press

3 sets, 15 reps (no rest)


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2

more exercises

Group 3: Shoulders and Legs

Perform the exercises in order with as little rest as possible between exercises and sets.
Band Pull Apart

5 sets, 10 reps (no rest)


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2

more exercises

Group 4: Biceps and Triceps with Full Body

Perform the exercises in order with as little rest as possible between exercises and sets.
Overhead triceps press

4 sets, 10 reps (no rest)


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2

more exercises

Group 5: Abs and Calves

Perform the exercises in order with as little rest as possible between exercises and sets.
Reverse crunch

3 sets, 20 reps (no rest)


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2

more exercises

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Cardioacceleration Band Workout was originally published at https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/cardioacceleration-band-workout.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=Social_plus&utm_campaign=fb_articles&utm_content=fb_articles







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Tip: 6 Game Changers for Calf Strength & Power

When you think of lower-body strength, you think of the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Makes sense. That’s where we can develop most of our lower-body muscle mass and power. But let’s not forget about the calves and Achilles tendon. Most people don’t spend much time building strong and durable calves. Some even neglect them altogether….

When you think of lower-body strength, you think of the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Makes sense. That’s where we can develop most of our lower-body muscle mass and power. But let’s not forget about the calves and Achilles tendon.

Most people don’t spend much time building strong and durable calves. Some even neglect them altogether. That’s a big mistake since the calves support the glute, hamstring, and quad muscles up the chain.

Here are six strength and power-building exercises you need:

1 – Tempo Kettlebell Seated Heel Raise (Strength)

Doing a heel raise in the seated position predominantly targets the soleus, the “less popular” lower leg muscle. The soleus is a single-joint muscle since it only crosses the ankle joint. (The more popular gastrocnemius crosses both the ankle and knee joints.)

The seated position targets the soleus since the knees are bent, which means the gastrocnemius is on relative slack (1). Both of these muscles work hand in hand, so don’t skip the soleus.

Here’s how to do it without a dedicated machine:

  • Sit down on a bench with one heavy kettlebell on the top of each thigh.
  • Elevate your toes 3-4 inches off the floor to train the full range of motion.
  • Perform each rep with a controlled tempo: 3 seconds up, 3 seconds down. The slower tempo will increase the overall time under tension for strategic soleus strengthening.

2 – SSB Hatfield Standing Heel Raise, Slow Eccentric (Strength)

Now let’s target the big gastrocs. The Safety Squat Bar (SSB) works really well here.

  • Place your hands on the sides of the rack (the Hatfield position) for stability.
  • Elevate your toes 3-4 inches off the floor to load the entire range of motion.
  • Take 5 seconds to lower each rep in a controlled manner to reap the benefits from eccentric training, which leads to substantial strength gains (2).

3 – Trap Bar Tip-Toe Farmers Carry (Strength)

The trap bar is a great tool for farmers walks. To hit the calves, remain on your tip-toes the entire time. This keeps them in a constant state of tension via an isometric contraction throughout each set.

Isometric exercises are typically performed lightly loaded or with bodyweight only. Nothing wrong with that. However, you need to eventually move on to more challenging progressions.

Load up the trap bar with enough weight to challenge the calves while still being able to dynamically stabilize as you carry.

The Achilles tendon benefits here as well since high-intensity contractions are required for improving tendon structure and function (3).

4 – Band-Assisted Pogo Jump (Power)

Pogos are the first step for increasing power and elasticity in your lower-leg muscles. Developing strength alone isn’t enough. Power development allows you to show off the strength gains through explosive capabilities.

This version of pogos allows you to master the landing and force absorption technique from each jump, which is often a culprit for calf and Achilles tendon setbacks.

Use the support from the heavy bands to build a rhythm and work in a higher rep range. Accumulate volume instead of focusing on maximum height. Don’t worry, that will come later.

Whether you’re moving weight in the gym or moving athletically on the playing field, developing jumping and landing skills is never a bad idea. The calves work as shock absorbers during landing so that you can produce more power during jumping (2).

5 – Dumbbell Extensive Pogo Jump (Power)

Now drop the band assistance and pick up a pair of dumbbells. This will bump up the challenge as the lower-leg muscles improve in power and force production.

You’re still building the capacity of your calves to do work since the action is repetitive with a strong emphasis on maintaining rhythm. Don’t go for maximum height; just make sure each jump is extensive.

Extensive jumps help you to get a better feel for the stretch-shortening cycle since that serves as a key factor in your ability to produce force and power.

6 – Dumbbell Explosive Pogo Jump (Power)

The goal here is to be as explosive as possible during each jump. Explode up powerfully and spend the least amount of time possible on the ground during each contact.

Keep your body stiff as a board to avoid unnecessary energy dissipation. You want all of your energy going directly into and off of the ground.

Here’s where you’ll want to go for maximum height. The amount of vertical displacement you can create is entirely dependent on your ability to produce force and power. This is where you can show off the strength and power you’ve built.

Related: 
Freaky Strong Calves – The Workout Program

Related: 
Build Calves With 8-Second Reps

References

  1. Zellers J, Brorsson A, Silbernagel K. Impact of seated and standing positions on triceps surae muscle activation in unilateral Achilles tendon rupture. Transl Sports Med. 20 Oct 2019.
  2. Vogt M, Hoppeler H. Eccentric exercise: mechanisms and effects when used as training regime or training adjunct. J Appl Physiol. 01 Jun 2014.
  3. Oranchuk D, Storey A, Nelson A, Cronin J. Isometric training and long-term adaptations: Effects of muscle length, intensity, and intent: A systematic review. Scand J Med Sci Spor. Apr 2019; 29(4):484-503. doi: 10.1111/sms.13375.



Tip: 6 Game Changers for Calf Strength & Power was originally published at https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-6-game-changers-for-calf-strength-power?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article9025







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3 simple at-home exercises that work

There are exercises that work, and there are those that don’t, this is the very simple truth. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says the same: you’ll notice better results after certain exercises, but not all of them will be equally effective for you. Here, we’ll talk about our bellies. Is your belly your problematic…

There are exercises that work, and there are those that don’t, this is the very simple truth. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says the same: you’ll notice better results after certain exercises, but not all of them will be equally effective for you.

Here, we’ll talk about our bellies. Is your belly your problematic area and you aren’t satisfied with what you see?

-Are you keen on getting your belly flat, but you don’t want to leave your house? Well, we have good news for you. This article can help you exercise at home!

Some PSA first, though. The “belly” workouts aren’t designed to make your belly more flat, but rather, they target the muscles in the belly area and build them.

-If you’re looking for ways to lose the excess fat around your belly, what you really need is cardio to help you to get rid of some extra pounds (that are weighing you down, speaking metaphorically). Then, the next logical step is ab area-focused workouts.

Now that you know all this, on to the more practical part.

What makes an at-home ab exercise routine a good at-home ab exercise routine? The range of and count of ab area muscles: the wider the range, the more muscles are affected and working, the better.

-Truth to be said, there is routine known to man (yet?) that would target all the muscles in question at once. But we offer you three comprehensive ab workouts that come very, very close.

1. Plain and simple crunches. ACE research has shown that traditional crunches may be as effective in toning the ab area as working out with any intricate and costly gadgets. Great news! Simple and effective – just what you need.

2. Doing planks. Quick and easy, and after you’ve gotten used to this exercise type, you’ll notice that your entire core is stronger, too. Planks can be easily modified into more intense exercises.

3. The “Bicycle” exercise. Again, plain, simple, effective, home-friendly, approved by fitness experts.

That’s it, we’ve just listed three great ab-focused workouts that you could easily do (almost) anywhere you are. Sure, you may found many more workouts, feel free to try them out! But this article is a good starting point.

-Try them all and see which works best for you and is your favourite, and if these are two different workouts, then which is the most effective and which is the most favourite.

Remember to commit to your working out schedule and have balanced results.

Best of luck!

#1. Plank

Image result for Plank

1. Get into a push up position, with your elbows under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
2. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms and on your toes, keeping your body in a straight line.
3. Hold for as long as possible.

PROPER FORM AND BREATHING PATTERN

Keep your core engaged, your abs tight and breathe slowly and deeply. Maintain your body in a straight line, from your head down to your feet.

#2. Squats

Image result for Squats

1. Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Bend your knees, press your hips back and stop the movement once the hip joint is slightly lower than the knees.
3. Press your heels into the floor to return to the initial position.
4. Repeat until set is complete.

PROPER FORM AND BREATHING PATTERN

When doing squats maintain your back in alignment, by keeping your chest up and your hips back. Don’t let the knees extend beyond the toes and put the pressure on the heels of the feet. Breathe in as you squat and breathe out as you come up.

#3. Crunches

Image result for Crunches

1. Lie down on the mat, keep your knees bent, your back and feet flat, and your hands supporting your head.
2. Lift your shoulders, squeeze your abdominal muscles and hold for 1 to 2 seconds.
3. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat until set is complete.

PROPER FORM AND BREATHING PATTERN

When doing crunches keep your head in a neutral position, with your eyes on the ceiling and the chin off your chest. Breathe out as you crunch, maintain your core muscles tight and engaged and keep the elbows out.



3 simple at-home exercises that work was originally published at http://www.trainhardteam.com/060-2/