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TRX Squat

Squats will exercise all major muscle groups with an emphasis on quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, calves, abdomen and lower back.

TRX stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, meaning it allows you to use your body as the resistance. TRX straps help you intensify squats without adding additional load from dumbbells, barbells, or machines.

Start by grabbing the handles of the TRX, facing towards it. Distance yourself just far enough from the TRX.

Stand straight up but with a slight backward lean so that there is tension on the straps. Open your feet to make a wide base (wider than shoulder-width apart), and point your toes slightly outward.

Keeping your arms straight and keeping tension on the straps, inhale and squat down until you form a 90-degree bend with your knees. Your back should stay straight and your chin up. The pressure of your body weight is on your heels rather than your toes.

Exhale as you come back to the standing position.

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Dumbbell Chest Fly

Talking about isolation exercises, the dumbbell chest fly on a flat bench is key to developing your pectoral muscles. It works mainly the pectoralis minor.

Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.

Using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other.

Lie on your back with your feet placed firmly on the floor or the bench itself so that you can keep your spine in a neutral position. Pull your shoulder blades down and back so that they make firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, and butt should make contact with the bench throughout the exercise.

Raise the dumbbells up like you’re pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out.

Inhale and with a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest.

Exhale and return your arms up you squeeze your chest muscles. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.

Hold for a moment at the contracted position and repeat the movement until you complete the set.

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Automatically save your activities in Evernote

There are many apps and activity trackers: Nike +, Strava, Fitbit, etc.
ifttt fitness services
Even when every app saves your activities, I have a couple of reasons you should save them in Evernote too.
My clients use different apps and if I want to check their progress, I have to try any app they use, to know better how each one works, I have to ask them to share their activities with me, and that´s a mess.
Even if you are not a trainer, you should try a few apps for a few weeks before deciding which one best suits your needs. After this process, why are you going to lose the data of the apps that you are not going to use anymore? you don´t have to, and the answer is really simple: Evernote. Save all your workouts and activities in Evernote so you have all of them in one place, which will save you a lot of time. Plus, you can edit these notes and add any additional info you want, tags, etc.
Maybe the best part is you don´t need to save your workouts manually. Integration apps like IFTTT or Zapier do it for you, connecting your favorite apps and saving you a valuable time.
As an example, today we´re going to connect Strava to Evernote and Strava and save any new activity.
First, go to ifttt.com and get started.
You may sign with Google or Facebook.
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This is the dashboard.
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Search for Strava. Authorize IFTTT if needed.
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Click on My Applets -> New Applet
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A New Applet looks like this.
Click on +this
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Choose a service, Strava.
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Choose a trigger,  New activity by you
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Which activity? Any.
Then click “Create Trigger”. We´re almost there.
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Choose action service, Evernote.
Authorize if needed.
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Choose action: Create a note
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You can customize your future notes, title, info included in the note, notebook, and tags.
IFTTT call all these “ingredients”.

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Click on Create action.
Click Finish and it´s done.
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Every new activity will be saved in the selected notebook.
Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
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Fitness advice: Propioception, your first fitness goal

Once you start exercising, your first goal should be to improve your

Proprioception

From Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual”, and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of one’s own parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. Proprioception, simply put, means “sense of self”. Proprioception is the capacity of the body to determine where all of its parts are positioned at any given time, and it plays an important role in the world of sports.
The International Association for Dance Medicine defines proprioception metaphorically as the sixth sense, extending the classical five senses to include the body. This body sense is more than just a feeling of movement. It is intimately tied to our feeling of muscle tone, perception of effort and, most importantly, our perception of balance.
A professional athlete has a high degree of proprioception awareness, just watch this:

While one’s proprioception may not mirror a professional athlete’s, working on your proprioceptive skills will make a difference in your day-to-day activities. There are a number of exercises to train your proprioception.

Balancing Exercises

Good exercises for proprioception development would be activities that challenge balance and equilibrium. Balance exercises help your body and brain to control the position. You can improve proprioception using a balance board, a Swiss ball, a Bosu or/and a medicine ball.

Strengthening Exercises

As you build strength in the muscles, the brain begins to understand the request of this strength more and more. As strength builds, it helps improve proprioception awareness with the mind and body and also allows you to continue/hold a movement or action longer in proper form.

Exercises While Closing the Eyes

You can gain the ability to inform and trust your muscles to perform different exercises with the eyes closed. This enhances the communication between the brain and the muscles so that you are able to perform activities properly without watching the movement take place.

Plyometric Movements and Drills

Exercise involving coordination and movement patterns enhance the kinesthetic awareness. Vertical jumps, running figure-eight patterns, change of direction drills and crossover walking help to establish the connection between muscles and nerves. As you are asking the body to perform certain movements, it trains the brain to respond to these movements.
It is always important to seek expert training support whenever possible. Work with a fitness professional or physical therapist with these types of exercises as they will be able to individualize a program for your specific needs, whether elderly wanting to gain a better sense of balance and basic day-to-day functions or an athlete wanting to enhance performance and prevent injuries.
Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
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Barbell Deadlift

The deadlift is an excellent compound exercise that targets the quads, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, lower back, traps, and forearms. If it´s not done properly, you can seriously injure yourself (such as a herniated disc).

Place the barbell on the ground in front of you and add plates according to your strength and fitness level. Beginners usually start lifting just the barbell, since a typical barbell weighs between 25 and 45 pounds on its own.

  1. With your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes pointing forward or slightly outward, and the barbell is at the midpoint of your feet.
  2. Bend your knees and hips and sit back as if you were going to sit, while you reach down to grab the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Grip the bar with both palms facing you. This is the normal or double overhand grip. You can use the mixed grip later when you can’t hold it with a normal grip.
  4. Push your knees out; don’t let them collapse in. Keep your back straight. Bend from the hips rather than from your waist. This is the starting position.
  5. Always make sure your back is completely flat and straight. If there is any kind of bend in your back, you need to do some flexibility work before deadlifting.
  6. Begin the movement by pushing through your heels and straightening your knees. Engage your hamstrings and glutes to pull the bar up.
  7. Raise your hips and shoulders at the same rate while maintaining your back straight. Keep your abs tight during the whole lift. The bar should drag along your shins on the way up.
  8. Come to a standing position with upright posture and your shoulders pulled back, don’t let your shoulders cave forward. Don’t bend backward at all, just stand up straight.
  9. Keeping your back straight, return the bar to the starting position in a controlled manner. Push your butt out as if you are going to sit down in a chair. Do not arch your back.
  10. Repeat until completing the prescribed number of repetitions.


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Us and our success by Brooke Smitham

Hello dears!

This week I´m pleased to introduce you a good friend and a great blogger, Brooke Smitham. Her blog is fully charged with positive vibes, make sure you follow her for your daily dose of positivity. She here to talk about one of the toughest topics, success. Hope you enjoy the reading as much as I did.

Hello everyone, I have to express to you all, what an honor and pleasure I have in writing this post for my colleague David, who I have now followed for a long time and enjoy his blog each day, thank you for this opportunity, David.

This is a topic I and many other blogger’s write about, but at times the clear message does not seem to be getting through, are we convinced of our own control over our lives? What we always have is total control of the reaction we have in situations that appear in our everyday being, yes it is only you that makes that decision, and we have all made mistakes at times, nobody escapes that, but if we give it some thought and change are thinking a little, if we allow ourselves to open our minds somewhat, we could make more positive decisions, it is also important that we believe in the help that we always have with us, the universe always works with us, guiding us along our life journey, it is the divine power which we store inside of us which we can lean on at anytime we need that support, many people hold this belief and name it God, that choice is yours.When we speak to this power, we are answered, but we have to listen, you may be told many times, and sadly at times we just do not listen and we do not take the advice given, your intuition talks to you, do you listen? When we don’t, things will come tumbling down around us, but don’t panic, nobody likes this but it is an opportunity for us to start again, with this experience now well within us, to guide us on, and we learn to listen, this power will never abandon you, we just need to learn to listen in a better way.

Brooke 1

You, as an individual are here for a reason, it is important that you understand that you are creating on a daily basis with the help of the great creator, what better partner can you wish for in life, the Universe/God it is no accident that you are you, just stop and think what set of sequences had to be in motion in action for you to be here, it is no accident believe me……….

Brooke 2

Do you know your purpose, are you working towards your purpose in life, achieving your dreams and goals? If you are not aware of your purpose I urge you to find this out as soon as possible, without knowing your purpose, it is like driving in the fog with no map, no gps, you could be swimming around a fish bowl looking for a corner to get out, there is no way out, so knowing and finding your purpose is extremely important, the sooner you know the sooner you can act and the sooner the universe can connect with you . You are a citizen of the universe, a very important part, you form part of the universal energy and it becomes part of you, your confidence will flourish when you understand there is something much bigger than you, far greater than you, you cannot do it alone. Everything happens for a reason, when you do not live your life as your true self, you are unable to obtain your personal intent, you are here, you are you, in your uniqueness and that is what matters, you are here and part of all this wonderfulness, when things go wrong and not the way you were expecting, it is experience you need, it is not a failure it is part of a preparation of what is to come, you are always preparing yourself with the help of the universe for what is to come.

Every thought you have, every thought you put out there into the universal energy flow and you put into action, is going to come back to you, when you believe and trust your partner, you will start to feel the flow, you will be in the flow of life, you will no longer be against it, you will be part of it, you will be connected to your inner power you will be aligned with the world that you want.
When you achieve the things you want in your life, you have to give back, your intention rules your life and determines the outcome, never worry about your competition, they will always be there, we all have competition in life, but the time and energy you give this, may give them the opening and opportunity they have been waiting for, you can only control yourself you cannot control others, for everything you put into motion the universal law states, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

Brooke Smithan is a fully qualified Psychologist,Life Coach,Performance Consultant & LOA Practitioner. Since 2013 she blogs at The Utopia Universe, helping lots of people.

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Swiss ball lower back stretch

This is one of my favorite stretches to do on a Swiss ball. It feels good on your back but also gives your abs, chest, and shoulders a wonderful stretch.

Lie back over the Swiss ball with the ball centered under your thoracic spine.
Allow your back to gently arch over the ball. Reach arms overhead keeping your elbows straight.

Hold this position and enjoy.


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Lying Gluteal Muscles & Low Back Stretch

This is a real simple and effective stretch. May be used to reduce low back pain, Sciatic Nerve Pain & other symptoms related to improper biomechanics. It stretches Tensor Fascia Latae, Ilio-Tibial Band, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Maximus.

Lie on your back and cross one leg over the other. Bring your foot up to your opposite knee and with your opposite arm pull your raised knee towards the ground.

Enjoy.

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Leg extensions

For this exercise, you will need to use a leg extension machine.

First, choose your weight and sit on the machine with your legs under the pad (feet pointed forward) and the hands holding the side bars. Adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg (just above your feet).

Also, make sure that your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. If the angle is less than 90-degrees, means the knee is over the toes which in turn creates undue stress at the knee joint. If the machine is designed that way, make sure that when you start executing the exercise you stop going down once you hit the 90-degree angle.

Exhale and use your quadriceps to extend your legs to the maximum. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position.

Inhale and slowly lower the weight back to the original position, ensuring that you do not go past the 90-degree angle limit. Repeat.

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New study: Effects of energy drinks

There is a new study on the effects of energy drinks and the conclusion is not good news. Peveler, WW, Sanders, GJ, Marczinski, CA, and Holmer, B. have been published their study to determine the effect of 3 different energy drinks on cardiovascular and performance measures. It is important to recognize the difference between these new products and traditional soft drinks such as coffee, tea, sports drinks (such as Gatorade), sodas, juices, or flavored water.

“Fifteen recreational runners completed 5 trials. The first trial consisted of a graded exercise protocol. The 4 remaining trials consisted of 15-minute economy trials at a treadmill. An hour before subjects ingested 1 of the 3 energy drinks or a placebo. HR, BP, VO2, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded during the 15-minute trial.

Fifteen-minute systolic BP readings were significantly lower in the placebo trials in relation to the 3 energy drink trials.

  • There were no significant differences in diastolic BP and HR.
  • There were no significant differences found in VO2 or RPE measures.
  • The findings show no performance benefits under the conditions of this study.
  • However, there does appear to be a significant increase in systolic BP.”

Translated, performance is not a reason to drink energy drinks. Caffeine and taurine will not enhance your performance. Your heart will beat faster and this may induce you to think you´re performing better. False impression.

Actually, if you take a look at a previous study (John P. Higgins, Santi Yarlagadda, and Benjamin Yang. Cardiovascular Complications of Energy Drinks), there is no reason at all to drink these beverages. This study concludes that energy drinks are “associated with complications not only patients with underlying cardiovascular conditions but also in young people.”

It would be a disaster if doing sports, trying to perform better, you get serious health issues because of a bad choice. Choose traditional: water, juices, sports drinks, and enjoy the process of a healthy living.

 

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Backward Lunge

Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides.

In preparation to step backward, slowly lift one foot off the floor and find your balance on the standing leg. Try not to move the standing foot and maintain balance. Hold this position briefly before stepping backward. The raised foot should land on the toes first. Slowly shift your body weight onto the lead foot, placing it firmly on the floor.

Inhale and lower your upper body down, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put more stress on the knee. Keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.

Exhale, push up activating your thighs and butt muscles to return to your upright, starting position.. Repeat or change legs.


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Resistance band Squat and press

Stand on the band, hips width apart. Grab a handle in each hand and stand up straight. Contract your abs, bracing your torso. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head and neck should be aligned with your spine. Do not allow the back to arch. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.

Inhale and start with a squat, flexing the knees and hips to lower your body. Descend as far as possible, maintaining good posture in the spine, hips, and knees.

After fully rising to a standing position, press the weights overhead by extending the elbows and flexing at the shoulder as you exhale. Repeat.


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