July 8, 2020

Mental Health News Spring 2020 and More…

In today’s Body Shapr Digest we bring you articles on Mental Health News Spring 2020, Here’s Exactly How to Start Walking for Weight Loss (Indoors or Outside!), 8 Scientific Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate and Lean machine total body. Hope you enjoy them…

Mental Health News Spring 2020

Research supports the use of apps for reducing COVID-19-related anxiety and depression, online learning taxes already stressed parents, police officers face a high risk for psychological problems, and other recent mental health news. Switch to Online Learning Is Taking a Toll on Many Parents What’s New Nearly half of parents of children under age 18…

Research supports the use of apps for reducing COVID-19-related anxiety and depression, online learning taxes already stressed parents, police officers face a high risk for psychological problems, and other recent mental health news.

Switch to Online Learning Is Taking a Toll on Many Parents

What’s New Nearly half of parents of children under age 18 say that trying to manage their kids’ online learning has become as significant a source of stress during the global COVID-19 outbreak as worrying about meeting basic needs (access to food and housing) and access to healthcare, according to the Stress in America 2020 survey published in May 2020 and conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Research Details Survey results were based on interviews with 3,013 adults in the United States over age 18; surveys were conducted in English or Spanish between April 24 and May 4, 2020. Pandemic-related stress among parents with at least one school-age child was found to be especially high, with 46 percent of them rating it between 8 and 10 on a scale in which 1 corresponds to “little or no stress” and 10 to “a great deal of stress.” For adults without school-age children, 28 percent rated pandemic-related stress between 8 and 10.

With schools closed and many people working from home, 71 percent of parents identified helping their kids with online learning as a top source of anxiety. The only stressors that scored higher were worrying about getting coronavirus (73 percent), disrupted routines (74 percent), the government response to the outbreak (74 percent), and a family member getting coronavirus (74 percent).

Why It Matters “The mental health ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic are immense and growing,” says APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD. These results point to the need for parents to “prioritize their self-care and try their best to model healthy ways of coping with stress and anxiety,” he adds. What’s more, Dr. Evans warns, “we need to prepare for the long-term implications of the collective trauma facing the population. On an individual level, this means looking out for one another, staying connected, keeping active, and seeking help when necessary.”

Police Work Linked to High Risk for Alcoholism and PTSD

What’s New Mental health problems and alcohol abuse pose a “substantial health concern” for police officers, according to research published online in May 2020 in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine. More than a quarter of police officers drink alcohol at harmful levels, per the findings, and around 1 in 7 meet the criteria for depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Research Details British researchers analyzed data from 67 previous studies that included 272,000 police officers in 24 countries, primarily in North America, Europe, and Australia. They found that just under 26 percent screened positive for hazardous drinking, and 5 percent were considered alcohol dependent. In addition, 14.5 percent met the criteria for depression, 14 percent for PTSD, 9.5 percent for anxiety disorder, and 8.5 percent for suicidal thoughts.

Low levels of peer support, higher levels of job stress, and poor coping strategies were identified as strongly contributing to officer mental health issues. Being female was also a consistent risk factor for poorer mental health among police.

Why It Matters Working in law enforcement unavoidably requires repeated exposure to a wide range of traumatic scenarios, including extreme violence and death. However, to date, there are no well-established guidelines for keeping officers mentally and emotionally stable, not only for their well-being but to ensure that they can perform their duties effectively, the researchers note. “Further research into interventions that address stress and peer support in the police is needed,” they conclude. Otherwise, very serious psychological difficulties will remain a substantial health concern among these public safety officers.

‘Drunkorexia’ Is an Emerging Eating Disorder in Young Adults

What’s New A disturbing new behavior is popping up among young women: forgoing eating by day to offset the chance of gaining weight from consuming lots of alcohol at night, according to research published online in May 2020 in the journal Australian Psychologist.

Research Details An analysis of the drinking patterns of 479 female university students age 18 to 24 found that over three months almost 83 percent had engaged in “drunkorexic behaviors,” such as purposely skipping meals, purging, or exercising after drinking to account for the calories in alcoholic beverages.

Why It Matters “Excess alcohol consumption combined with restrictive and disordered eating patterns is extremely dangerous and can dramatically increase the risk of developing serious physical and psychological consequences, including hypoglycemia, liver cirrhosis, nutritional deficits, brain and heart damage, memory lapses, blackouts, depression, and cognitive deficits,” says study coauthor Alycia Powell-Jones. Being aware of drunkorexia may help primary-care providers, educators, parents, and friends recognize this harmful behavior in a timely fashion and potentially reduce its short- and long-term effects.

Free Apps Help Reduce COVID-19 Anxiety and Depression

What’s New A study shows that a collection of skill-focused apps can greatly reduce anxiety and depression in people dealing with the mental health effects of COVID-19. The paper was published online in May 2020 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Research Details A total of 146 patients were recruited from internal medicine clinics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, then divided into two groups: One used the Northwest Medicine Intellicare apps, and the other received treatment as usual from their primary-care providers. At the end of the eight-week study, depression and anxiety in the Intellicare group had improved by almost 60 percent, results similar to those seen in traditional psychotherapy. In contrast, people with depression and anxiety in the group that did not use the apps had improved by 31 percent for depression and 38 percent for anxiety.

Why It Matters “These apps offer remote treatment to avoid depression and anxiety during these socially distancing times,” says senior study author David Mohr, director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “They’re designed to fit easily into people’s lives and to help the millions of people who want support but can’t get to a therapist’s office.” The apps are available free of charge at Apple’s App Store and at Google Play.

Sleeping Instead of Sitting Helps Lower Stress and Boost Mood

What’s New Regularly sleeping instead of sitting quietly for long periods of time decreases stress and boosts your mood, according to research published online in May 2020 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Research Details Researchers first assessed the fitness levels of 423 healthy men and women ranging in age from 21 to 35 on a treadmill test. Next, they analyzed data sent from armbands that tracked the study volunteers’ energy expenditure 24/7 for 10 consecutive days. They repeated the same procedures one year later.

The results showed that people who regularly went to bed one hour earlier instead of sitting for one hour, say, in front of a television or computer screen, felt less stressed and were happier across the year. Similar results were seen when study participants replaced prolonged sitting during the day with light physical activities such as walking around the room while talking on the phone or standing while preparing dinner.

Why It Matters It’s commonly known that more vigorous activities such as walking briskly or breaking a sweat at the gym can reduce stress and improve your mood. But few realize how impactful going to bed earlier or breaking up long periods of sitting with easy activities can be, says lead study author Jacob Meyer, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University in Ames. “It may be easier for people to change their behavior if they feel it’s doable and doesn’t require a major change,” he says.

Lack of Control at Work Can Lead to Depression, Even Death

What’s New Having greater control over your job, and having a job that suits your abilities, can actually be a matter of life and death — or at the very least, help protect you from mental health problems, reveals research published in April 2020 in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Research Details Using mental and physical health data from 3,148 participants in the Midlife in the United States National Longitudinal Study of Health and Well-Being, researchers at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Bloomington examined how job control (the amount of autonomy that employees have at work) and cognitive ability (one’s ability to learn and solve problems) influence how work stressors such as time pressure or workload affect mental and physical health and, ultimately, mortality.

What they found is that “when job demands are greater than the control afforded by the job or an individual’s ability to deal with those demands, there is a deterioration of their mental health and, accordingly, an increased likelihood of depression and death,” says lead study author Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, PhD, assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources. On the other hand, more control of work responsibilities resulted in better mental and physical health and a lower likelihood of death.

Why It Matters “Managers should provide employees working in demanding jobs more control and, in jobs where it is unfeasible to do so, a commensurate reduction in demands,” Gonzalez-Mulé says. “For example, allowing employees to set their own goals or decide how to do their work, or reducing employees’ work hours, could improve health.”

Can’t Concentrate? Blame Your Burger and Fries

What’s New Eating foods high in saturated fat — like sausages, bacon, burgers, fries, pastries, and pies — can interfere with your ability to focus, even after just one meal, according to a study published in June 2020 in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Research Details Ohio State University researchers compared the response times of 51 women during a 10-minute test of attention after they ate either eggs, biscuits, turkey sausage, and gravy made with an oil high in saturated fat or the same meal made with an oil high in unsaturated fat. Both meals totaled 930 calories.

The women then completed the same test one to four weeks later, but they ate the opposite meal of what they had eaten on the first visit. The study showed that the women’s performance on the attention test was, on average, 11 percent worse after eating the high-saturated-fat meal, signaling a link between that type of fatty food and the brain’s ability to concentrate.

Why It Matters Previous research has focused mainly on how high-fat diets produce changes in the brain over time. But “this was just one meal — it’s pretty remarkable that we saw a difference,” says lead study author Annelise Madison, who is a clinical health psychology graduate student working toward a PhD at Ohio State in Columbus. Why saturated fat has that effect isn’t clear, Madison says, but earlier studies suggest that saturated fat can drive up inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.

Conspiracy Beliefs Make People Balk at Official COVID-19 Guidelines

What’s New Adults who hold coronavirus conspiracy beliefs are unlikely to wear face masks, comply with social distancing guidelines, or get future vaccines, posing a danger to public health worldwide, concludes a study published online in May 2020 in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Research Details The data, compiled by University of Oxford researchers who polled 2,500 adults in England earlier in May, show these findings:

  • 74.5 percent think celebrities are being paid to say they have coronavirus.
  • 60 percent think the government is misleading the public about the cause of the virus.
  • 40 percent believe to some extent that the spread of the virus is a deliberate attempt by powerful people to gain control.
  • 20 percent believe to some extent that the virus is a hoax.
  • 20 percent believe that the virus is a bioweapon developed by China to destroy the West.

Why It Matters Guidelines are only effective if the majority of people use them. Therefore, it is important to counter conspiracy theories directly and reduce their spread, says lead researcher and clinical psychologist Daniel Freeman, PhD. And although the results were limited to British residents, they indicate the extent to which an alarming number of people are excessively mistrustful of official information about the novel coronavirus and therefore reluctant to follow government guidance on controlling its spread. “There is a fracture,” says Dr. Freeman. “Most people largely accept official COVID-19 explanations and guidance; a significant minority do not. The potential consequences, however, affect us all.”

Mental Health News Spring 2020 was originally published at https://trib.al/dj9aJ90

Here’s Exactly How to Start Walking for Weight Loss (Indoors or Outside!)

You don’t need a fancy gym membership to lose weight. On the contrary, one of the most powerful ways to slim down is free: walk! Walking for weight loss may even be more effective than running, according to a 2015 study. British researchers found that people who regularly took brisk walks weighed less than those…

You don’t need a fancy gym membership to lose weight. On the contrary, one of the most powerful ways to slim down is free: walk! Walking for weight loss may even be more effective than running, according to a 2015 study. British researchers found that people who regularly took brisk walks weighed less than those devoted to other types of physical activity, including running, swimming, and cycling.

Why walking is so good for you

Walking literally transforms your body and mind. In fact, research shows it can add almost two years to your life. Of course, there’s the major perk that sneaking in those steps helps you shed unwanted weight. But going for a walk can benefit your body in other significant ways too. Here’s how:

  • It guards your brain. Two hours of walking per week cuts your risk of stroke by 30%. Hitting the road also protects brain regions associated with planning and memory, and doing it for 20 minutes a day has even been found to reduce symptoms of depression.
  • It strengthens your bones. Research also shows that about some form of physical activity every day, such as walking or bicycling, can lower the rate of hip fractures and fractures overall. In other words, the more you move now, the more mobile you’ll be later in life.
  • It improves your heart health. A study of more than 89,000 women found that those who walked briskly for 40 minutes two or three times per week had up to a 38% lower chance of heart failure after menopause than those who did it less often or more slowly. Researchers have also found that walking for just 20 minutes per day lowers your risk of heart disease by 30 percent, and it can also cut your risk of obesity (a major risk factor for heart disease) in half.

(Build strength and tone your whole body at home – try with Strong with Betina Gozo.)


What to do before you start walking for weight loss

Follow these tips from Scott Mullen, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine and Performance Center:

1. Check in with your doctor.

If you haven’t been exercising, running it by your primary care doctor is a good idea, just to make sure they don’t have any concerns or think you need any testing ahead of time, says Dr. Mullen. Other red flags include chest pain, pain that shoots down your arm or up your neck, or severe headaches, he adds. If you develop any of these issues, stop your workout and check with in with a professional.

2. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes.

Look for a shoe store that does gait analyses to help you select the right pair for your specific foot type, Dr. Mullen says. Go a half-size up from your regular work shoes, since feet tend to swell when you exercise. Check out our full list of the best walking shoes for women right now.

3. Buy moisture-wicking clothing.

Walking doesn’t require a closetful of expensive athletic wear, but investing in a few key pieces can make you much more comfortable. Look for tops and bottoms in moisture-wicking fabrics and choose styles with a bit of stretch, so they don’t pinch if you take a bigger step or stride uphill. In cold weather, layer up. Here are a few workout essentials to consider:


A walking workout for your upper body

The calorie-burning power of walking combined with the metabolism boosting effect of strength-training moves makes this two-in-one workout efficient and effective. Do it in your neighborhood if there are sidewalks, or around a track. For optimal results, try it two to four times a week on nonconsecutive days.

Your pro: Jessica Smith, fitness instructor, trainer, and creator of the Walk On home workout series.

Focus on your posture! Keep shoulders pulled back, abs drawn in, and spine tall (imagine two balloons tied to your ears, giving you a lift!) during both the walking section and the strength section. Proper alignment can prevent imbalance and help muscles fire more effectively.

Be smart about dumbbells. This workout incorporates weights while you walk. Choose ones that will fatigue your muscles but that you can still maintain great form with—and that you can carry with you during the walking parts (around 5 pounds should be good). If you’re new to weights, try the circuit without them until you’re comfortable with the moves.

Walk carefully with weights. Swinging dumbbells while walking can lead to joint strain, so aim to hold them at your hips and keep your core muscles engaged during the walking intervals.

The Warm-Up

  1. Start walking at a slow pace, holding the weights, and progress in speed for 3 minutes. Then find a safe place for a break and set your weights down.
  2. For one minute, alternate lifting one knee up toward your hips as both arms reach overhead, drawing abs deeper into the spine, and lowering your arms with each step down.
  3. Next, take a wide step to the right and bring your left foot to meet your right; immediately repeat on the opposite side. Move back and forth at a brisk pace and let your arms move naturally, alternating for one minute.

The Circuit

Chest Squeeze: Stand tall with your feet at hip width, elbows bent at 90 degrees and arms open to sides of shoulders, holding weights with palms facing forward (your upper body should resemble a goal post). Draw abs in tighter to the spine as elbows come together in front of shoulders, maintaining the 90-degree angle. Return to start and repeat. Do 15 reps total.

3-Minute Walking Interval: Walk forward, lifting knees high in front of hips at a quick tempo, holding dumbbells at hips.

Single-Arm Reverse Fly: Standing with feet at hip width and maintaining a straight spine, hinge torso forward from hips 45 degrees, reaching dumbbells toward the ground. Keeping elbows slightly bent, raise left arm out to the side to about chest or shoulder height, squeezing left shoulder blade in toward your spine. Hold there for one count, then slowly lower down to start. Perform 15 total reps with the left arm and then repeat with the right. (Doing one arm at a time challenges the core more and makes you focus on form.)

3-Minute Walking Interval: Turn your body sideways and walk to the side, leading with your right foot, as quickly as you safely can for 90 seconds. Then switch and lead with the left foot for 90 seconds.

Bicep Curl to Front Chest Scoop: Stand with your feet at hip-width, arms extended down and holding weights by your sides. Curl forearms up toward your body until they form 90-degree angles, keeping elbows bent and close to rib cage, with palms facing up. Next, extend arms out in front of chest in a forward scooping motion, with elbows remaining slightly bent and palms facing up. Then bend elbows back in by your sides and lower arms to return to start. Repeat for a total of 15 reps.

3-Minute Walking Interval: Power up your pace and walk as quickly as you can.

Rear Row and Triceps Kickback: Stand with feet at hip width, knees slightly bent, and hinge forward about 45 degrees from hips, maintaining a straight spine. Extend arms toward the ground with palms facing in. Bend elbows and pull weights up to sides of rib cage, squeezing shoulder blades back and together. Keeping elbows pulled back and in place, extend arms behind your body, squeezing through backs of arms. Reverse the move to complete the movement Repeat for a total of 15 reps.

3-Minute Walking Interval: Keep up your brisk pace and walk in a zigzag formation as you travel forward. The quick change of direction keeps your brain sharp and helps build agility and coordination.

NOTE: When you’re on your third time through the circuit, replace the zigzag walking interval with a 3-minute cool down at an easy pace to bring your heart rate back down to normal and finish with the post-walk stretches below.


A walking workout for your glutes

If crummy weather is keeping you inside or you have no time to hit the gym, don’t worry. You can do this power-packed walking workout by Sansone at home—no treadmill required.

Your pro: Leslie Sansone, executive producer of Walk at Home Workouts

Warm-ups are essential! Smart workouts begin slowly and increase gradually. The goal is to raise body temperature, warm muscles, and prepare lungs, bones, joints, and the circulatory system for the challenge of the workout. It’s the “rehearsal” for the main event.

Train your abs while you walk. Draw your belly button back toward your spine. This engages the big, deep muscle that runs horizontally across your lower abdominal region. It’s like doing a standing crunch or holding a plank position while doing brisk exercise!

Don’t underestimate stairs! Gluteal muscles (your back end) are called on more with each step up stairs or on an incline. This means that even short bursts of quick climbing—just 15 seconds—can enhance your calorie burn in a big way.

These tempos are suggestions. To figure out your pace, march in place and count the number of steps you take in a minute. This is your starting line. If it’s fewer than 130 steps per minute, try picking up the pace.

Add music! Listening to music can increase your performance and make your workouts fly by faster. Powermusic.com and musclemixes.com offer playlists that are engineered for fitness.

The Workout

Part 1
Speed: 130 steps per minute
Time: 3 minutes
Instructions:
Repeat this circuit for your warm-up:

  • March in place for 16 counts.
  • Sidestep for 16 counts.
  • Alternate front kicks for 16 counts.
  • Alternate knee lifts for 16 counts.

Part 2
Speed:
140 steps
Time: 4 minutes
Instructions: Repeat these moves to begin your circuit:

  • March in place, raising hands overhead with every other step, for 16 counts.
  • Sidestep, opening arms with each step out and closing with each step in, for 16 counts.
  • Alternate front kicks, reaching both hands toward your foot on each kick, for 16 counts.
  • Alternate knee lifts, touching elbows on your knee in a “standing crunch” motion, for 16 counts.

Part 3
Speed:
It should feel brisk.
Time: 1 minute
Instructions: Climb up and down a flight of stairs. If you don’t have a full flight, use one step. Step up right, step up left, step down right, step down left for 30 seconds, then lead with your left foot for 30 seconds.


5 best post-walk stretches

After each walking workout, perform these stretches to help reduce tension and help your muscles recover.

Reach for the Sky: Raise hands up overhead, then (with knees slightly bent), slowly bend forward and touch toes. Repeat four more times.

Calf Stretch: Stand two feet away from a wall, with hands on wall. Bend arms and lean your upper body toward the wall, hold for 15 seconds, and repeat twice more.

Hip Opener: Sit on a chair or bench and put your right foot on top of your left knee for 30 seconds. Do the same thing on the other side, then repeat once more with each leg.

Hamstring Easer: Remain sitting and move forward toward the edge. Reach your right hand toward your right toe. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Repeat with the left leg, then do once more with each leg.

Quadriceps Stretch: Stand up and hold on to back of chair. Try to touch your right heel to your butt, using your right hand to assist. Hold for 30 seconds. Do the same with your left leg. Repeat once more with each leg.

Additional reporting by Cindy Kuzma


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Kaitlyn Pirie Sr. Editor Kaitlyn started her career as a reporter in the research department at Real Simple and went on to become a health editor at Family Circle before joining the Hearst team.

Here’s Exactly How to Start Walking for Weight Loss (Indoors or Outside!) was originally published at https://www.prevention.com/fitness/a20494108/how-to-start-walking-for-weight-loss/

8 Scientific Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

If you’ve dreamt of eating chocolate every day, now you have an excuse — or eight. Scientific studies have shown that dark chocolate — sorry, milk and white chocolate don’t count — is rich in antioxidants and packed with nutrients, making this bittersweet treat a superfood favorite. Dark chocolate contains phytonutrients called flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that act as antioxidants and may…

If you’ve dreamt of eating chocolate every day, now you have an excuse — or eight.

Scientific studies have shown that dark chocolate — sorry, milk and white chocolate don’t count — is rich in antioxidants and packed with nutrients, making this bittersweet treat a superfood favorite.

Dark chocolate contains phytonutrients called flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that act as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention, heart health, and weight loss, noted an article published in December 2016 in the Journal of Nutritional Science. The cacao plant that chocolate is derived from also contains a compound called theobromine, which Toby Amidor, RD, a cookbook author and nutrition expert for the Food Network, says can help reduce inflammation and potentially lower blood pressure.

“Cacao is packed with numerous antioxidants — actually more than green tea or red wine,” she says. “The darker you go, the more antioxidants you’ll get, but there needs to be a balance between eating palatable dark chocolate and getting the health benefits.”

Your best bet is choosing a bar with 70 percent cacao or higher, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; bars with lower percentages of cacao have more added sugar and unhealthy fats. Even though quality dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate, it is still chocolate, meaning it’s high in calories and saturated fat. To avoid weight gain, Amidor recommends eating no more than 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day. Now, a look at what this treat offers.

8 Scientific Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate was originally published at https://trib.al/BoYe1FU

Lean machine total body

This total-body workout focuses on heavy lean muscle-building strength work. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a heavy barbell.  Hey friends! How are ya? Hope you’re having an amazing morning so far. I wanted to re-share this post because it includes a workout from one of my most popular Fit Guides: the…

This total-body workout focuses on heavy lean muscle-building strength work. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a heavy barbell. 

Hey friends! How are ya? Hope you’re having an amazing morning so far. I wanted to re-share this post because it includes a workout from one of my most popular Fit Guides: the Lean Machine program. I based this program off of my personal workouts and the way I like to train with a muscle split.

Whenever I stick to a dedicated muscle split, I see results quickly and can notice measurable strength gains. Total body workouts are more rare, but when they occur, I focus on heavy strength with a couple of built-in intervals.

Lean machine total body circuit

I have quite a few Fit Guide workouts to choose from and spent so much time designing these plans for maximum effectiveness. Lean Machine is perfect if you’re looking to build lean muscle and follow a solid split, or you can check out a handy quiz here to find a great *fit* for ya.

For today, I’m sharing a workout named after the Lean Machine plan, focusing on heavy strength, but working your entire body instead of splitting up the muscle groups.

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Try to really challenge yourself with the weights on this one – I had minimal equipment when we took these pics because everything was being packed up! – and try to find a weight that makes you really breathe and push yourself to finish each set with proper form. As always, check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes and honor your body. Modify as needed.

Here’s what the workout looks like:

Lean machine total body circuit workout

Form cues and tips:

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Low lunge to squat: For this exercise, you aren’t rising in between switching – keep your body LOW and knees bent the entire time. Torso stays upright, step back into your lunge, then keep the front knee bent as you step out to the side to squat. Step the opposite foot behind and lunge. Watch the front knees to make sure they don’t extend past the toes.

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Reverse fly: Your feet will be just under your hips with a slight bend at the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat (shoulders pulled back) and core braced. Open your arms straight out to the sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then bring them back down with control.

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Barbell row: Your feet will be just under your hips with a slight bend at the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat (shoulders pulled back) and core braced. Lifting up from your elbows, bring them in towards your torso, engaging into your rear delts. Stop the elbows in line with your torso before carefully lowering back down.

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Plie squat jumps: Get into a plie squat position (feet wide and booty LOW), and touch the floor. Keep your abs engaged and chest lifted. Powering through your heels, spring up, reaching your arms towards the ceiling. Land with a soft knee. Repeat

Hammer curls: Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides, palms facing in. Bend your elbows as you lift them to your shoulders and return to start.

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Triceps dips: Place your hands on a bench behind you, or you can perform these on the floor as I have in the pics above. Either bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor or straighten your legs in front of you for more of a challenge. For even more of a challenge, place a flat plate on your legs. Bend your elbows straight back and keep your back close to the bench. Keep your chest lifted and shoulders down. Push back to start.

Decline push-up: Place your shins on a bench and walk your hands out into a plank position. With your core engaged and hips in line, lower into a pushup. Squeeze your chest as you push back to start.

Chest press: Start on your back with legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the weights out to your sides at 90 degrees. Press the weights in front of your chest, performing a chest press.

So, tell me, friends: do you follow a strength training plan, or do you wing it?

Have a wonderful morning and I’ll see ya soon!

xo

Gina

Photos: Lindsay Colson

Wearing: Fabletics tank and lululemon shorts

Lean machine total body was originally published at https://fitnessista.com/lean-machine-total-body/