Why is shoulder press so hard?
Without specific examination in the movement of the individual person, it is almost impossible to diagnose why someone may be feeling pain in their back when shoulder pressing. Despite this, there are a few common culprits. The first one being overarching the lower back. When we over arch our back when Shoulder Pressing it puts a huge amount of pressure onto that spine in an unstable position. This could be down to having a weak core or the weight is simply too heavy. Strengthening the core through various core movements such as planks, lying leg raisers, hanging leg raisers etc will help improve this.
How to shoulder press
When we shoulder press the line of movement from what ever we are lifting should always end up directly over our head with our spine straight/ neutral. A correct brace is a lifting cue often overlooked or performed wrong. When bracing currently you can create a huge amount of intro-abdominal pressure. This pressure although sounds bad and terrifying is actually what provides stability to our spine when lifting. It is safer for your spine and it also helps you to lift heavier.
How to brace for performing a shoulder press
So how do we brace? A teaching technique I like to use is by imagining I have a standard trouser belt around my waist which doesn’t quite fit, about 1-2cm too wide. Before I lift an object I take a deep breath in and with that breath, try to push my stomach out into the belt (filling the belt). Hold this brace until the movement is completed, in this case the weight is now directly over your head.
What if I’m still experiencing pain after good bracing and a strong core?
So, if you have a strong core and you are good at bracing but still get lower back pain when shoulder pressing, I think it’s time to look at your shoulder mobility. Mobility is essentially how well we can move through our joints. If we have poor/ limited shoulder mobility, chances are you will over arch your lower back to complete a lift.
How to see if you have good shoulder mobility
Follow this test in the picture bellow to see if you have good mobility.
What we are looking for in this test is to see how far back you can bring your arms past your head without arching your back or having your chest rise to the ceiling. Good mobility would look like the one on the far-right hand-side.
If you prove to have insufficient movement in the shoulder, I would first try foam rolling and stretching the Lat and chest muscles and then retry the test. Strengthening all your rotator cuff muscles through a series of internal and external shoulder movements will also help stabilise that shoulder joint when shoulder pressing.
For years being able to do a Push Up has been portrayed as a good feat of strength. But why can so many of us not do one? In this blog we will delve into how we perform a Push Up and what is needed in order to complete one full push up.
What muscles are used in a Push Up?
A Push Up works a whole variety of muscles but the main ones being: Chest, Shoulders and triceps. It will also take some core strength as well. So, in order to be able to perform a Push Up we must have adequate strength in these main areas.
How to perform the perfect Push Up`
In order for you to see if you can do a Push up follow this list.
- Firstly, start on your knees
- Place your hands on the floor with straight arms in front just outside shoulder width, as you would if you were about to fall forward
- From there, bring your feet to the floor and lift your knees off the ground. Make sure there is a STRAIGHT LINE from the ankles, to the knees, to the hip, to the shoulders and from there to your head. Your wrists should also be directly under your shoulders at this point.
- You are now in a full plank position (in this position squeeze your abs nice and tight and hold as if you were to take a punch in the stomach form Mike Tyson)
- From here take a deep breath in and try to lower your whole body to the ground and then back up again while exhaling. Try tucking the elbows in towards your sides slightly. Make sure to retain that straight rigid body throughout the movement
What if I’m struggling to do the perfect Push Up?
To make this exercise easier, simply bring your knees to the ground and try again. Or if you still struggle, try putting your hands on a raised surface. Both these two ways are a simple regression from a normal push up, so practicing these will help overall. Now instead of practising easier modifications of a push up over and over again, there are other elements of exercises that will also help you to achieve that goal.
What other exercises can help me do a Push Up?
What other areas should we focus on? Scapular retraction… or put simply, squeezing your shoulders blades together. An easy way to help me perform this is by imagining someone has placed a tennis ball directly in the centre between both my shoulder blades and from there I need to squish that ball by only using my shoulder blades.
Try this by standing up and having your arms out straight in front of you like you would for an actually Push Up. From here imagine the tennis ball and squeeze. That is Scapular Retraction.
Now go back into that full plank position we did earlier and squeeze those shoulder blades back and forth but when you separate the shoulders blades try doing so as far as you can.
Your upper back may arch slightly (this is fine, as long as it’s only the top of your back). Perform this for 10 repetitions 4x sets and not only will this help better stabilise those muscles on your back, but it will also strengthen the triceps. We will call this exercise Full Plank Scap Retractions.
In addition, most weighted chest exercise such as, Barbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Chest Press etc will help with a push up as these will strengthen those main muscles needed.
Here is a small Push Up program anyone can use in order to help improve. If you are already at the point of being able to perform a couple of press ups, simply change the first exercise to normal Push Ups and perform as many as you can,
|PUSH UP PROGRAM||SSETS||REPS||WEIGHT||TEMPO
Speed in which to perform exercise
|INCLINE PUSH UP||4||5||BW||2:1|
|FULL PLANK /SCAP RETRACTIONS||4||10||BW||2:3 SQUEEZE SHOULDERS FOR 2 and keep pushed apart for 3|
|DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
|Choose a weight that you will fail at 10reps||2:1
|FULL PLANK HOLD
(seperate shoulder blades as much as you can on hold)
Don’t allow your hips to dip or raise
Now remember building strength doesn’t happen overnight so be patient and keep consistent and you will eventually get there!
Pull ups are by far one of the hardest exercises. You are lifting your whole bodyweight and not only that, you need a lot of muscles to work together effectively, otherwise the movement will become even harder. In this Blog we will look at how to do a Pull Up, as well as some accessory exercises that will help you achieve one.
What muscles are used during a pull up?
So, what are the prime muscle movers during a Pull Up? The muscles used most heavily in a Pull Up are the lats, bicep, core and mid-lower traps. So ultimately, if we can strengthen these areas then a Pull Up will be a lot easier.
Improving grip strength will also be beneficial. When doing a Pull Up the grip width we decide to use is going to be crucial. For example, the wider the grip, the harder the movement. So, for your first pull up we recommend using a neutral grip.
During this blog you will see that it is broken down into two main sections. This is an exercise difficulty level. I would recommend everyone to start at Section One, however if you are currently able to perform 1-3 Pull Ups and wish to be able to do more, then starting at step two may be more beneficial for you.
Section one – Exercise to strengthen your prime movers
In this next part of the blog we will talk about the best exercises that will help strengthen those prime movers.
The first exercise we will do to help improve Pull Up strength will be an inverted row. This exercise will help strengthen all those areas we mentioned previously. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to do an inverted row.
- Start by hanging from a bar shoulder width apart with your legs extended straight out in front
- Pull your chest towards the bar by squeezing your back and shoulder blades together.
- Hold at the top for 1 second and slowly lower down
Tip 1 – Focus on squeezing your shoulders back and down on this movement.
Tip 2 – To simply make this exercise harder, lower the bar or have your feet on a raised surface so that your body becomes more horizontal.
Kneeling Cable Pull Down
The next exercise variation we want to do in order to improve our pull up is a Kneeling Cable Pull Down. The reason a Kneeling version is superior to the traditional seated pull down is because the kneeling engages the core to a higher level and like we mentioned earlier, core strength is a limiting factor on why so many people can’t do a pull up.
- Start kneeling just in front of the cable with your hips stacked directly over your knees
- Pull the cable attachment (recommend a neutral/close grip) vertically down till it reaches your chest
- Hold at the bottom for 1 second and release slowly back up
Tip – When the arms are extended out above, try to initiate the movement by pulling your shoulders down towards your trouser pockets.
The last exercise in this section is going to improve Grip Strength. Try holding a Dumbbell or Kettlebell etc as heavy as you can for 30-40secs. Perform this three times.
Our recommended structure to help you train to do a proper pull up:
|Kneeling Cable Pull Down||3||10-12|
Section 2 – How to utilise your bodyweight in order to train you to do a pull up
The next three exercises we will perform will utilise the most strength in order to help you train to do a pull up. These will help you to get stronger as you use your bodyweight.
Banded Pull Up
The first exercise will be a banded pull up. This exercise is the closest replica to a traditional pull up. This will also give you a good confidence boost.
- Tie a band around the top of your pull up bar
- From there, place your foot into the band
- Grab the bar in a neutral grip and allow the band to take your weight
- Pull yourself up from the bottom all the way until your chin comes over the bar
Remember with Banded Pull Ups to change the resistance of the band every so often in order for the exercise to keep challenging you.
Scapular Pull Up
The second exercise to help strengthen your pull up will be a Scapular Pull Up. These are a great exercise to help strengthen the lower traps as they help move and stabilise the Scapular. This exercise will also help grip strength.
- Hang on a bar (neutral grip)
- Let shoulders relax down into a dead hang
- Try to pull body up by pulling the shoulders down without bending the elbows
- Hold at the top for a second and then come back down slowly
This exercise has a very short range of motion so don’t be alarmed if you feel like you aren’t doing much! This exercise replicates the first portion of the Pull Up known as Scapular Depression (bringing the shoulder blades down).
Negative Pull Up
And the last exercise to help strengthen will be a Negative Pull Up. Negative Pull Ups are a great way at getting you stronger holding your own body weight.
- Start at the top of a pull up position (you can jump up or use a box to achieve this)
- From there slowly lower yourself all the way down into the bottom position/hang
- Bring yourself back up to the top position by means of jumping or using a box again and repeat
|Banded Pull Ups||4||8|
|Scapular Pull Ups||3||10|
|Negative Pull Ups||3||5|
With both of these workout programs you don’t need to perform every exercise each session. What I would recommend is alternating each session between picking 1-2 of the exercises and performing those in order to help you train to do a pull up.
Are you wondering how to kick start weight loss? When broken down, weight loss is simple but often over complicated. The fundamental law to remember is the following:
You must burn more calories than you consume (eat).
What Are Calories?
Calories are units of energy that we get from the foods and drink that we consume. When you burn more calories than you consume, this brings you into what’s called a calorie deficit.
The calories that we burn through each day are built up of 3 separate components:
- Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) – When your body is at rest, REE are the calories that you burn when you are at rest. This energy is used to keep you alive, performing functions such as breathing and blood circulation.
- Thermic Effect of Food – This is the calories that your body uses when it carries out the process of digesting and absorbing, as well las metabolising food
- Activity energy expenditure – This is the calories that you burn during exercise, and movement – Even just fidgeting can cause you to burn calories!
What Is A Calorie Deficit?
If you are providing your body with fewer calories than it needs for the above 3 components, then that means you are putting your body into a calorie deficit. Doing this consistently can cause you to begin weight loss.
The bigger the calorie deficit the quicker the weight loss. It is recommended you calculate the calories you need to lose weight. From there, tracking your calories is the easiest way to truly know how much food is going into your body. There are many apps
Once you’ve found how many calories you need to lose weight the rest is simple. DON’T EAT MORE!
Calculating your calories
The calories that our body needs differs from person to person and can be affected by a wide range of environmental and physical factors.
It is wise to figure out how much maintenance calories you need for your body to support its energy expenditure. We would recommend using a calculator that takes into account your weight, sex, age height and the levels of physical activity that you undertake.
To ensure a healthy weight loss and adequate nutrient intake, women should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories per day whilst men should not consume fewer than 1500.
How Can I Burn More Calories to kick start weight loss?
Now there are a few simple things we can do throughout the day to help speed up the process of weight loss i.e. burning more calories. One often simple but overlooked thing is what we call ‘NEAT’ (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis). NEAT is all the non-voluntary sports like exercise we do each and every day from: walking to the car, making hand gestures when we talk, vacuuming the house, gardening and even fidgeting.
To your surprise the average person will typically burn more calories through Daily NEAT than they will in their actual gym workout. So how can we push the boundaries even more and burn those extra calories through NEAT? Here are a few of easy ways we can do so:
- Walk or cycle to work
- Use stairs not lifts
- Standing more frequently whether it’s at work or in general.
- 10,000 steps a day
Anything you do that gets you moving around more will help increase your daily energy expenditure or put simply, burn more calories through NEAT.
Many people wanting to go to the gym sometimes have this notion that they are working out because they just want to get rid of fat in one part or a specific area of the body.
But guess what? It is one huge myth that gets thrown around so people will actually buy into what they are selling.
Doing all those crunches using some contraption you’ve just seen on television will not burn the fats on your belly. Ultimately, it also will not give you a six-pack by doing a hundred crunches when your abs are hiding under the fat.
The human body works in mysterious ways. It needs you to follow a certain regime for it to come up with the results that you wanted.
In reality, those workouts you do is for burning fats in your entire body. You become healthier and fitter; and you can then target which muscle groups to develop.
But fat-burning? That’s a little more complicated.
How do you burn body fat?
Here is what works for fat burn: regular exercise and good nutrition.
Targeting muscle growth can help improve the muscles’ definition and you could break it down into specific areas: chest, arms, legs, abs or back.
But going back to fat burning, why don’t we try workouts that are geared towards a holistic fat burn or that will blast the calories, burn fat all over your body, and get the body ready for muscle toning?
Cardiovascular exercises like running are great ways to burn fats, but it is proven that cardio workouts — partnered with resistance or weight training —are way better means as it burns fats faster.
What are these fat-burning exercises?
- Burpees. These are known to be a full-body exercise. It involves a lot of movements and targets a lot of muscles. In doing the burpees, you need to do it fast and the most number of repetitions in order to get the fat torching level.
To do burpees, you start with a plank, push-up, squat and jump. String them together and repeat those movements to torch those fats.
- Jumping Rope. What? That game little girls play? Yes! let’s up it a hundred repetitions and it will be one of the best fat blasters of any grown person.
A jump rope may look like the most basic ‘equipment’ in the gym, but it is one of the best things that could get you to burn fats.
To do jump ropes, you need to hold the rope on each end with your arms locked on your sides. Spin the rope using your wrists and jump as the rope hits your feet and as the rope swings back for another rotation. Once you have gotten the rhythm, do it faster so your heart rate shoots up for a better calorie and fat burn.
Jump ropes are also used as one of the exercises of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
HIIT is a cardiovascular exercise and is a set of short but intense burst of physical activities for a few seconds followed by a short interval of very quick rests followed right away by the next exercise in the series. It is known to build up muscles.
- Goblet Squats.
It is a form of squat where you hold in front of your body the weights like kettlebell or dumbbells, usually as heavy as about half of your total body weight. This helps keep your upper body upright and in proper form. A thigh exercise, it also works the shoulders. This exercise usually done in high-rep exercises. Do this 10 reps per minute for 10 minutes.
- Kettlebell Swing.
This exercise is known to be a great cardiovascular exercise plus resistance training and should be able to torch those fats. Kettlebell swings, especially the alternating ones, is a good exercise since the motion of passing the kettlebell from hand to hand while swinging is a good cardio workout. On top of that, it works not just your arms, obviously, but also your core as you strengthen it when you try and control the movement and the swing.
To take advantage of its full potential, you can do swings for 30 seconds with 15 second rest in between and do it for about 20 minutes.
- Farmers’ Walk
They say walking is the simplest way to get your heart rate up. It is something one does forever. Just imagine adding weights to this simple activity and you can already imagine those fats melting.
Walking provides a lot of health benefits without subjecting your body to high-impact injuries.
To do this, hold dumbbells in both hands and walk for a minute. That is one set. Rest for 30 seconds and do another set and you repeat this 10 times. You can play around a farmers’ walk as you can hold your weights overhead, chest level or hip level.
- Battle Rope Wave
One exercise that can rip through those fats are the rope exercises. It offers a low impact on the lower body but will burn through your back chest and core will have a good workout.
There are many variations to the rope exercises:
Power slams, which offer a total plyo-metric burn as it tires out your muscles fast. You slam those heavy ropes while jumping for added burn.
There are also other slam options like the single arm slams, where you alternate your arms from slamming the rope to the floor. Do this with control and alternate both arms in quick motion.
You can also do the regular slams, where you simply squat and with your back straight and with control, slam those ropes to the ground without flailing your body around.
Rope waves are the most basic but still offers maximum burn. You squat, back straight and raise the ropes up and down and see it make the wave motion. You may also do this alternately, one arm at a time
Weighted Jacks. Stand feet together holding the ropes on both hands with an underhand grip. Jump to wide legs hand with the rope ends stretched overhead. It is jumping jacks with the added weight of the heavy ropes. Now that’s cardio and strength training in one!
These are just some of the exercises that you can do so you can lose fat. You can’t simply say you want to lose fat in your arm. It does not work that way. Losing fat means burning fat and calories through an intense strength and cardio exercises and, more importantly, proper nutrition.
Once your muscles have been exposed after hiding from all those fats, then you can start targeting sculpting your muscles. This does not happen in one session. All these are a result of consistent hard work and it may take months of even years, but consistency and hard work will get you the results you want in no time
We are about to serve you some real, honest-to-goodness truth: cardios aren’t the best way to lose weight. Surprised? And how’s this for more surprise? Weight training is better and more effective.
In a nutshell, lifting weights allow you to burn more calories. Studies also reveal that it will help keep the metabolism up. Let’s just say weights are the batteries that help keep your energiser bunny metabolism up and going. We all know that a faster metabolism helps burn calories more. Thus, preventing weight gain.
You may spend hours on end running on the treadmill or spending countless hours at spin class but the weight loss will not be as much as what you will get from weight training. The results do not happen right away because the magic happens right after the workout.
The ultimate goal will always be weight loss. Getting you fitter and stronger is a no-brainer benefit of weight training. But there are other benefits that include reducing the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.
But what happens in between the now and the weight loss is a lot of hard work—working out is one part and the bigger part of that is proper dieting, rest and exercise.
Although weight training is just part of the equation, it plays an important part in calorie burn and weight loss.
What are these weight lifting myths?
Gone are the days when lifting weights are being shunned. So many old beliefs about lifting weights have been eradicated:
- “I don’t want to bulk up!”
- ”Weights are only going to make me look like a bodybuilder!”
- ”I will turn into incredible hulk or a WWE wrestler.”
- I don’t need those weights coz I just want to do a little toning here and there.”
- “I have to do cardio first before losing weight because the weights will harden the fat.’
These are the common misconceptions about weight lifting especially those who are trying to lose fat at the gym.
So gym-goers, who have been led on by this belief do this: Use light weights and go bat-shit crazy with the repetitions with short rests in between. This has proven to be an incorrect strategy to burn fat.
The best way to get toned is to lose body fat. To lose body fat, you need to burn more calories. To burn more calories, you need to do more heavy lifting.
In this blog, we will try and dissect which ones work and which doesn’t. But before anything else, let us try to understand what heavy lifting means.
This means you are lifting weights heavy enough for you to do two to 10 reps until failure or in other words until you can’t do it any longer.
So why is a high rep, low weight, short rest period NOT effective? Because this actually promotes fat gain.
We are going to be a little bit scientific here.
Weights that you can lift for many repetitions means that the load is not heavy enough to push your body into training mode. You want to put your bigger muscles to work. But by doing the lightweight-more-reps strategy you are instead tapping the smaller muscles fibre, which has little power and thus recovers easily.
Of course, since you are using lighter weights, your body can easily lift them as many times as possible.
But we do know that it takes more than that in order to push your body into fat-burning mode. If you keep on targeting the slower twitch muscle fibres over and over again, the thing it does is it makes your cortisol level shoot up. And cortisols are not a good thing.
They are hormones that induce stress and suppress testosterone and growth hormones—the natural fat burners.
Higher repetitions also cause stress on your muscles and it, unfortunately, leads to aging and damage to your muscles and body.
What are the benefits of weight lifting for weight loss?
Now let us talk about the good things about heavy lifting as far weight loss is concerned.
It increases muscle mass, increases metabolism and increases chances of calorie burn even after a workout
When you lift heavy, you also increase muscles mass. The more muscles you have, the more energy the body needs even when it is at rest.
The body needs a certain amount of oxygen in the body for it to go back to its pre-exercise state or the resting state. Lifting weights actually increases this oxygen level, more than cardio does. It results to more muscle breakdown, which means that even if you have completed the workout, the body still has enough power to burn calories at the resting stage.
High-rep leads to lower muscle mass
What are usually the reasons for working out? Burn calories, lose weight, tone your muscles.
But high-rep-short-rest-light-weights leads to muscle loss. Since as what we discussed is that this taps the smaller muscles, those that aren’t used are turned into energy thus losing muscle mass. Because of this, it takes you away from having that toned body, you have always dreamed of. It may give you endurance, yes, but not toned muscles.
When you are toned, you are stronger
If you want to be toned, you need to strengthen your muscles. To strengthen your muscles, you need to lift heavier weights. See, you may lose fat but to get toned, lift those weights.
You can have two women both weighing the same but one could still have flabby arms, the other could have defined ones. Of course, the difference is one of the most probable lifts. And that ain’t the one with flabs.
Caloric deficit pairs perfectly with weight training
Heavy lifting plus diet is the simplest way to get to your goal of a toned body.
Following the use it or lose it principle, this plan is backed by research that shows people who diet and lift weights maintained higher levels of muscle mass than those who did not. Now this follows that if you have a high level of muscle mass, you have enough energy to burn calories while on rest mode.
Lifting weights gets rid of sugar faster
What does excessive sugar intake do to your body?
First, if you eat a lot of sugar, your liver will become resistant to the hormone insulin. Insulin is the hormone that turns sugar into energy. If your body resists insulin, it could lead to a world of problems, health-wise.
Too much consumption of sugar can lead to heart disease, weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Diabetes disables your body from processing glucose thus insulin becomes useless.
If you do strength training, again, it increases the lean muscle mass. This boosts your metabolic rate and calorie burn is faster.
Weight training following a stop-start fashion, allows you to empty the stored sugar in your muscles. When you eat later on, it once more refills sugar in your body. This aids your system into having more insulin sensitivity. Ultimately, the body is able to transform sugar into energy instead of it becoming stored fat.
Burns more and more calories
Just because you are dripping in sweat doesn’t mean you are losing weight.
Doing the intense and high-rep exercises, you will definitely feel the burn or you will feel sore. You are burning calories, yes, but it is not long term. The effects are only up until the duration of your workout.
Intense workout, which is brought about by heavy lifting, despite lesser repetitions, ultimately burns more because it burns more calories and continues working even after a workout. Even when you are already resting.
Aside from this, the body does not go through the struggle of a high-intensity, interval workouts. If done for a longer amount of time, it stresses the muscles out. If this happens, the body needs to repair the tissues. Instead of burning calories, the energy will instead be used to repair the tissues.
Heavy lifting can help with hormonal imbalance.
In weight-loss, hormones are king they say. You need to fix your hormones in order to see the effects of all your hard work at the gym and in the kitchen.
You may wonder why no matter how hard you try, you are still not seeing the results and if you have lost weight, you have reached a plateau and the scales have not moved since.
This weight-loss resistance is caused by hormones. There are many reasons for this obstacle and it could be a nutritional imbalance, your unhealthy gut, toxins and genes and of course, hormonal imbalance.
Excessive insulin is the major cause of weight gain.
As mentioned earlier in this article, light weights and high repetitions will tap on hormones that will promote weight gain.
Heavy lifting, on the other hand, does the exact same opposite.
Go to the gym and think about burning calories right away. Think about how your workout will affect your hormones. Heavy lifting plus recovery can lead to changes in hormones that will then expedite the fat loss.
Heavy Weight will NOT lead to overtraining
Enough recovery time is an important aspect in the weight loss formula.
Overtraining leads to stress; stress leads to fat retention. If you incorporate heavy lifting into your workouts, make sure that you get enough rest and sleep and proper nutrients to allow your body to recover. If in time you find yourself getting weaker instead of the other way around, it means you have overtraining and it is your body’s way of telling you that you need to recover.
It is also important to lift smart. Heavy training also needs a longer recovery period. Low weights put your body in a craving mode that you want to train day in and day out missing out on maximum results for your body.
Some important things to consider:
Meanwhile, if you want to include weights into your workout regime, here are some important things to consider:
Do not crimp on getting professional help.
Getting the right people to guide you is always the best option. The right trainers know what to do and they can help you get to your goal by following the right, safe and healthy system and strategy and technique. Personal trainers will personalise your workout and will help you not just on how to use the machines at the gym but also motivates you to keep going. Once you have a trainer by your side, they will be able to monitor your progress and are there to spot your when you are already lifting the heavier weights thus minimising chances of injuries.
Lift to fail
When you think lifting heavy weights will not do anything for your body, you are absolutely wrong. If you follow the lift to fail system as what the pros do, you will see the effects of your workout more quickly. Lifting to failure, in gym lingo, means you do the repetitions until you can no longer do it. When you lift a heavier load, the number of time you lifts is not important anymore. It is now dependent in your body. If you can’t then
Eat properly and get enough rest
Eat a high-protein breakfast, avoid sugary and fruity drinks, drink water. Always. Eat fibre, drink coffee, eat whole, unprocessed (if possible) and eat slow.
And while all these things mentioned, the things that make proper nutrition along with workout, are important in weight loss, the glue that binds them together is a good night’s sleep. If your body lacks rest, it cannot repair itself. A tired and worn out body leads to stress and stress causes your ”body to produce hormones that will lead to weight gain and fat retention.
And as we mentioned, fat burn –the magic– happens not at the gym while you are lifting those dumbbells. But it happens when your body is at rest. Heavy weightlifting is advisable one to three times a week only. The other times, it allows yourself to heal and recover. Believe you me, this will lead to maximum effect, which is weight loss.
You must have seen the mustard-yellow powder, right? That is turmeric and is something that has got into the mainstream food and medicine industry. This plant has been widely used especially in Asian cuisine. It is used as an ingredient to add flavour and colour for curry powder. It is also used to add colour to mustards, butter and cheeses. However, its roots, which has the same semblance as that to ginger, has been used for its medicinal properties.
Turmeric is becoming popular nowadays and it comes in different processed forms: Fresh roots, ground and supplement in the form of tablets or capsules.
Consuming it could also vary: It could be brewed, mixed in your food as in curry powder, add it into your daily smoothie, juiced or cooked adding it into your food.
India is the leading producer of turmeric in the world owning 78 percent of the global supply. It has been used for centuries as its properties have been found not just as a food ingredient but for its medicinal or herbal medicine use.
Historically and traditionally, turmeric is used in folk medicine because of its therapeutic properties and helped treat respiratory medical problems like asthma and allergies, colds, cough and sinusitis. There are also historic
It is thought to have medicinal properties and aids in strengthening the body’s energy. It helps relieve gas, helps get rid of worms and helps in digestion. It is also used as antiseptics in other countries as it has antibacterial properties.
Aside from these, it is an antioxidant and studies have shown how it helps prevent damage to heart cells, blood vessels kidney cells and lipid degradation,
Inflammation, they say, is one of the reasons why the body suffers dangerous diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and even obesity. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a compound called curcumin that might decrease swelling that is why it could be very useful when treating conditions that involve inflammation.
Is Turmeric Effective for Weight loss?
Speaking of obesity, turmeric has just been recently reported being an effective aid in weight loss.
Aside from its healing properties, curcumin in turmeric suppresses the growth of fat tissues that in weight loss.
The curcumin in turmeric “suppresses” the growth of fat tissues, which helps control or eventually reduce weight. Remember: it doesn’t mean that by drinking turmeric tea alone will make you lose weight. It’s always, of course, the great combination of eating healthy food , working out, and drinking turmeric tea can help you lose weight.
How to Include Turmeric Tea in your diet?
Some weird and wacky ways to include in your diet
1. Turmeric tea with ginger
Fill enough amount of water in a saucepan. Add a dash of turmeric and ginger to the water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat once boiled and let the tea cool at a temperature that you can tolerate.
Drink this tea daily to see results for yourself. The ginger helps suppress your appetite naturally and it helps your blood sugar levels stable.
2. Turmeric tea with mint leaves
Not everyone is a fan of ginger. If you’re one of them, you can use fresh mint leaves as a substitute. All you need to do is to steep the mint leaves in the turmeric tea.
Mint leaves have super low calories but high fibre content. It also prevents indigestion and stimulate digestive enzymes and transforms fats into energy.
3. Turmeric tea with cinnamon powder
Sprinkle some cinnamon powder or add a piece of cinnamon stick to your cup of turmeric tea.
Cinnamon helps improve insulin sensitivity. It’s also a great antioxidant. Make sure to get a cup of turmeric tea with cinnamon powder daily for added health benefits.
4. Turmeric tea with honey
Honey can sweeten your turmeric tea and suppress appetite. Its anti-inflammatory properties aid in weight loss.
Remember, anything in excess is bad and unhealthy. Do not go overboard with consuming too much turmeric. Also, drinking turmeric tea won’t be enough, so make sure you are getting a healthy diet and exercise.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Turmeric?
Aside from weight loss, here are some other benefits of turmeric:
Turmeric also proves effective in promoting joint mobility. This is helpful most especially to those suffering from inflamed and swollen joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. It should, however, be taken before the pain kicks in.
Promotes healthy heart
Because inflammation can lead to heart ailments, this is where curcumin comes into play. Curcumin helps clean the lining of the blood vessels to regular blood flow and helps prevent clotting.
Research also shows that taking curcumin helps improve cardiovascular functions and
Normalises cholesterol level
Let us not forget that high levels of cholesterol in your body increases your risk of heart disease. That is the direct relation of cholesterol to one’s health.
Cholesterol build up in your blood vessel means plaque accumulates and it blocks blood flow this leads to the risk of a heart attack. The worst thing about it is it shows no signs and you will only feel it when it’s too late and when major damage to your organs have already happened.
According to a research, an experiment among animals showed that there is a 10 percent improvement among the test animals who were given turmeric extracts, compared to the controlled group.
According to the same research, a test was also given to human subjects and it also showed the same results.
A paper published in Life Sciences in 2005 shows the effectiveness of ginger and turmeric in eliminating plaque from your blood vessels. This is after test subjects incorporated turmeric and ginger into their daily food intake.
It is believed that for turmeric to work against cholesterol, it is recommended to drink it as a form of milk or tea. You may also combine turmeric paste with black pepper to make it easier for the body to absorb. But beware about taking too much as it might cause hyperacidity.
Reduces stress levels and improves mood and is good for the brain
Curcumin has compounds that help one improve their mood. A study conducted also showed that
Acts as Antioxidants
Toxic conditions happen when harmful free radicals build up in the bloodstream and the body could not eliminate them. Curcumin has proven through a study that it has the same effects as that of Vitamin E. It is also said to bind to get rid of toxic free radicals that eventually leads to blocking the formation of cholesterol.
Reduces Cancer Risk
Although still at the early stages of research, experts are looking at the possibility of turmeric preventing diseases following experiments on rats exposed to colon, stomach and skin cancers.
The results, however, are still inconsistent as more research is still needed to prove this.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Turmeric is also good for the skin. Not only does it have medicinal properties but it is also used for cosmetics. Its anti-inflammatory properties bring out your skin’s natural glow.
It can be-be used as a face mask by mixing a small amount of turmeric powder to Greek yogurt and honey. Apply it to your face and let is stay for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
If you have fresh wounds, turmeric can help wounds heal faster as turmeric can affect tissue and collagen as well.
If you are suffering from psoriasis, it can also help prevent flare-ups, if you incorporate turmeric in your diet.
It can also help one who is suffering from acne marks by using it as a face mask. It targets the pores and reduces the visible scars. It also prevents the skin from having an acne breakout.
With all the uses of turmeric, you can safely say that it could now be part of your daily diet or beauty regime. Or as a part of your weight-loss program. Do not, however, forget to consult your doctor beforehand especially about the dosage as it is different for every person.
One aerobic exercise you need to keep in your arsenal is the burpee. It’s an essential full-body exercise that’s perfect for adding a cheeky spike to your workout. The burpee has many variations but its basic movement is executed in four steps: stand, squat, hands are on the ground, move into a plank position, while kicking feet back and extending arms, then squat. The movements of the standard burpee seem simple but they do demand physicality. And if you’re determined enough, performing burpees will do wonders to your body and entire wellbeing.
We often use elements and sometimes the full burpee as mobility and warm-up exercise. Slowing the speed down and focusing on quality movement.
Let’s check out a few of the benefits you’d get from including burpees in your fitness routine:
Your muscles get a complete workout.
The burpee works for most major muscle groups, and that makes it a real full-body exercise. With burpees, nearly all your muscles get a workout all at the same time. This greatly helps in keeping you in great shape without worrying about what equipment you have available.
Form and function get equal attention
All those muscles that get a workout while performing a burpee are used in a functional manner. You do not just develop great-looking muscle tones, you gain equal doses of strength and mobility as well. These improvements you’ll gradually notice as you go on with your daily life.
Economical and practical
With burpees, there’s no pressure of going to the gym all the time. And that’s what makes burpees economical and practical. With burpees, you don’t need kits, or a big space, not even equipment to perform a complete workout. All you need is perhaps a floor mat and the discipline to go through a burpee regime that suits you best. And as long as you will the mind and body to go through the most gruelling of burpee routines, the fitness returns are simply priceless.
Flexibility and variety
Of course, nobody wants to do the same exercise over and over again. And this is what makes the burpee an even better aerobic exercise: the burpee comes in many extensive variations. Not only that, you can easily combine the burpee with other exercises for a more diverse way of giving your body a complete workout. You can give your brain a workout as well by coming up with different combinations and making up your own burpee variations as well.
With flexibility and variety comes a great opportunity to focus on developing particular aspects of your body and fitness. For instance, you can focus on your lower or the upper body simply by incorporating exercises into burpees or by tweaking them a bit. And it helps to have a goal to focus on, be it speed, strength, mobility or even agility. You can check out the more than a dozen burpee variations to help you figure out how to develop a focus area.
Improved physical skill
Looking at the more than a dozen of burpee variants, you’d realise the kind of effort demanded of finishing a number of these routines. And all these require various levels of skill. So as you move from the standard burpee to the more complex variants like the jump-over burpee or the Parkour burpee, you’ll be developing key requisite physical skills as well.
Can you imagine your physical skill levels if you mastered any of these complex variants? On the other hand, you can focus on which skill set to develop with well-curated burpee routines.
One of the most integral and necessary parts of any workout is balance training. With burpees, you can get the benefit of attaining and improving one’s balance. Even in the execution of the standard burpee demands balance, and doing this on a regular basis ensures that you keep your balance and improve it further. With burpees, the body learns to use your body parts especially the muscles in a symmetrical way, from squat to plank and back to an upright position. So if you’re looking for a great balance training, then burpees are for you.
Just as important as developing balance is having good coordination. Executing the standard burpee or its more complex variations demand a certain level of coordination among your body parts. Imagine if your body lacks coordination — performing burpees would be a great challenge. But that’s what burpees are here for: they help you slowly improve on your coordination, along with your balance. And you can’t have one without the other.
Whether it’s running, biking or even climbing stairs, some activities that look simple can actually get tiring. It’s the same with burpees. And depending on the frequency, extent and variation, burpees can get really demanding physically. The good news is you end up with a good cardio workout. Want your heart to pump blood faster and burn more calories? Then go for speed and catch your breath. Surely, you’ll be sweating buckets and be rewarded with a fantastic exercise that does wonders to your health, especially in improving your heart and lung capacity.
When it comes to burpees, less is more. That means you get to burn more fat with less equipment and in less time than conventional exercise routines. Yes, that’s 50 percent more fat. As a result, your metabolism improves significantly, helping you burn more calories the entire day even when you’re not working out.
With better metabolism comes to weight loss. And burpees do it naturally. Trimming all that fat might demand some work, but the benefits will be apparent if you put your heart into it. Do this daily and the results will be striking and immediate. The burpee, after all, is the ultimate fat burning exercise.
A happier you
With better cardio, good metabolism, weight loss, more strength and bulk, and improved physical looks and skills, undergoing a burpee regime adds plenty of good to your wellbeing, not to mention the release of those hormones called endorphins that create a positive vibe. That means doing burpees make for a happier you. And for all your efforts, what reward could be better than having a happy, healthy life?
When it comes to food intake, there are a few things you might want to observe to stay fit. Most people are aware of eating protein and avoid fatty foods while on a weight loss journey.
But what about carbs? When is the best time of the day to eat carbs?
That’s where it gets tricky, considering the many schools of thought regarding carb intake. There are those who maintain that perfect time to consume most of your carbohydrates is before a workout.
Some recommend eating carbohydrates mainly in the morning, while others insist most of your carbs should be eaten at night.
Truth is, research that specifies a recommended timing of carbohydrates is still a work in progress
When is the best time to eat carbs?
Either way, here’s a good start as we’ve put together some of the most sensible and helpful tips to guide you when you need to get those carbs.
First thing in the morning
As soon as you wake up, take carbohydrates like granola, porridge and fruit along with some protein right away. Normally, the body breaks down most carbs and turns them into glucose. The body stores glucose in the muscles. So if you train hard you need carbs to replenish, don’t train hard enough you will convert this into fat.
But while you’re sleeping, your body goes in search of carbohydrates that it has stored away. This stored form of glucose is called glycogen. The body breaks down glycogen to release glucose so the body’s cells to get fuel.
Complex carbohydrates for dinner
The best time for intake of complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole grains, vegetables, peas and beans is during dinner. Scientists say eating complex carb at night modified a “satiety hormone” and a protein regulating the secretion of insulin. The trick is to consume healthy carbs in modest portions.
Carbs to eat throughout the day
There are certain carbs you should eat throughout the day. Carbohydrates with other nutrients make a great choice. For instance, you will digest food with fibre like sweet potato much slower than white rice. There are also better options than just eating white pasta or white bread, like a cup of nuts or berries. Go for a recommended 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal.
Carbs before exercising
Your body needs carbs for nourishment, and this holds true especially before you work out. Since your body will require an immediate energy source, carbs will give you the energy that acts quickly when you’re on the move.
Without that energy source, you’ll burn up fuel quickly and won’t be able to optimise your workout as you’ll tire quickly. You can go to as much as 150 to 200 calories for your pre-workout snacks. Having a snack rich in carbohydrates with protein before an intense workout will do wonders. Eat something that digests with ease some 30 to 60 minutes before you exercise. Since fat takes the longest time to digest, avoid ingesting something with plenty of fat. A banana, nuts, and porridge, on the other hand, sound good.
Carbs and protein after working out
Yes, you’re exhausted after burning all that energy from all that exercise. That means you need to replenish your body with protein and, yes, even carbs immediately. Within half an hour, you need protein to rejuvenate your muscles and carbs to restore your all that glycogen depleted from your workout. Sliced bread, peanut butter and banana will do the trick.
Carbs for competition
Exercise is one thing. Entering a competition is another. Whether it’s football, rugby, triathlon or any physical activity that demands more than the usual effort, then you need to do some serious carb-loading the night before that’s just as serious, perhaps even before that. Doing this ensures that your body gets the optimum, much-needed fuel when you embark on a gruelling, strenuous activity. Loading up on carbs and timing it well is a surefire way that you perform to your expectations come game day.
Carb intake depends on your goal
Make sure to adjust the portion range of your food intake depending on the activity you’re engaging in. Trying to lose weight or making sure it doesn’t go up any further? Don’t stray beyond 45 grams of carbs per meal. Athletes or those who work out several times each week should aim something closer to 60 grams per meal. Take note that every time you exercise, the body must work to repair muscles, so, again, make sure your carbs come with a good amount of protein. A 2:1 carb to protein ratio is a good start.
For low carb diets
For health and weight control, low carb diets have well-established benefits. Beneficial changes in body mass, lipid profiles and other health risk factors. Among these benefits are changes in lipid profiles and body mass, as well as reduction of health risk factors. At the same time, it’s been shown that nutrient timing can enhance workout performance. However, when it comes to weight loss, the trick to getting results from consuming fewer calories as opposed to completely getting rid of carbs from your diet is incorporating healthy carbohydrates in a much more balanced manner.
When in doubt …
The aim is to fit carbs into each meal for a well-balanced serving. So, if you’re not sure what program or diet to embark on, it makes perfect sense to stick to the tried and tested pattern of distributing your carbohydrates throughout the day. That means dividing evenly between meals and snacks your carb intake to maintain balanced energy levels in your waking hours. To help you stay on this standard track, getting most of your carbs from food like veggies that aren’t starchy and are naturally nutrient-dense but are low in carbs. Keep these vegetables on your list alongside those leafy greens: cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant and asparagus.
Exercise buffs often say “No pain, no gain” as a way to motivate themselves.
The term often connotes that the rewards of regular exercise outweigh the painful process one must cross in order to reach it.
Even though pain is part of the rigorous exercise process, prolonged pain in the joints and muscles is another matter.
Pain could also mean a lack of mobility.
Mobility is the ability to move freely and easily. If a person experiences pain after a tedious workout, it could mean that their joints have not reached its full range of motion and could lead to an increased risk of injury.
A failure to address mobility issues during exercise could lead to long-term injuries.
Pain and discomfort for not doing mobility exercise could also lead to people no longer getting interested in working out.
But improving mobility is not only for exercise buffs and athletes.
It’s also for ordinary people who just want to stay healthy and pain-free.
Even for five to 10 minutes’ worth of mobility exercises and stretching could really mean a lot of difference to a person’s daily workout regime.
Watch this 10-minute mobility exercises…
5 reasons why mobility exercises are important in every workout:
1. A free joint is a happy joint.
Mobility exercises provide that extra grease to the joints and allow full range of movement without the risk of injury or pain. It can alleviate the pain accompanying strenuous exercise and also makes your body more aware of itself.
Though mobility is not the same concept as flexibility, they often work together to improve your agility. Simple mobility exercises such as stretching muscles and joints work wonders for one’s flexibility.
3. Keeps the body feeling younger.
Even though our joints become stiffer and less responsive as we age, mobility exercises often slow its aging process. A 2017 study conducted by the Tufts University in Boston found that improvements were seen in 70-to-90-year-olds who added some mobility exercises to their weekly routines within two years.
4. Keeps post-workout pain out and good vibes in.
Mobility exercises can be low intensity and help in curing high-intensity workout pain. It also helps in relieving stress and calms the nerves.
5. Keeps your doctor away.
Ailments such as back or knee pain, and even arthritis, can be alleviated through mobility exercises. During mobility exercises, the joint being exercised is in a state of “warming up,” in which blood moves to the joint’s surrounding tissues. This also promotes the movement of synovial fluid which helps reduce friction between the joints.
It’s never too late to apply mobility exercises into your workout. Spending a few minutes in order to limber one’s self could do wonders in the long term.
Mobility exercises should be an important part of your workout, whether you are an athlete or just to improve your health. But always remember to know your limits and never overstretch. You are not joining a stretching competition but improving your joints’ overall efficiency and movement.