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Ineffective Workouts to Avoid

Despite what many people believe, not all workouts are actually effective and conducive to losing weight and toning up.  There are a number of workouts that you will see people doing at your gym any given day of the week that are actually ineffective.

Unless you have the best form and are using some of these machines like textbook, then you actually may be doing more harm than good to your body.

The following are some examples of the least effective exercises that you can do:

Despite what many people believe, not all workouts are actually effective and conducive to losing weight and toning up.  There are a number of workouts that you will see people doing at your gym any given day of the week that are actually ineffective.

Unless you have the best form and are using some of these machines like textbook, then you actually may be doing more harm than good to your body.

The following are some examples of the least effective exercises that you can do:

  • Behind the Head Lat Pull Downs: Unfortunately, only those with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spine straight enough to get a good workout from the behind the back lat pull down bar. The move done wrong can actually tear the rotator cuff.
  • Behind the Head Military Press: This exercise done similarly to the behind the head lat pull down, can cause the same problems with the rotator cuff that other exercise could cause.
  • Lying Leg Press (with knees bent too deeply): This exercise is typically done to work your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes and is done on a machine where you use your feet to push a weighted plate up and down.  If you bend your knees too far, then you can seriously injure your back and/or knees.
  • Squats on a Smith Machine: While the Smith Machine is generally an effective machine, the bar on the machine doesn't give, which can force the body into risky positions, including placing their feet too far in front of them while doing their squats.
  • Using Bad Form on Cardio Machines: While using bad form is not good on any machine, using bad form on cardio equipment is a big no-no. Hunching over can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders and elbows.
  • Always Lifting with a Weight Belt: Unless you have a back injury, are lifting a lot of weight or if you have some other medical reason, then a weight belt is not necessary.  Wearing a weight belt too often can weaken your core muscles, throwing off your entire workout.

Yoga for Digestion

Lunges, twists and squats are all great moves to help getting your digestion system moving, but there are also some great yoga poses that you can also do that will aid in digestion as well. Here are some suggested poses:

Awkward chair pose Stand with feet together and squat back in to an imaginary chair as you lift your arms above you. Pull in your lower abdominals and stretch up through the front body. Sit back as deeply as you can and hold the pose for 5 to 8 breaths. 

Lunging twist Lunge back with your right leg and take a twist to your left. Place your right hand outside your left foot and stretch your left arm upwards. If you can't get your right hand and shoulder outside of your front knee, place the hand on the inside of the foot. Twist from your waist and move with your breath, using the strength of your legs to support you. Hold for 5 breaths.

Low lunge twist with quad stretch Lower your right knee to the floor and reach back with your left hand to catch the right foot as you lift your right heel up toward your buttocks. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths.

Cobra From the lunging quad stretch, release your right foot and bring your left knee back to meet your right. Lower down on to your belly. Place your hands near your shoulders or slightly forward and start to lift your upper body off the mat. Keep your pubic bone on the mat and make sure your shoulders are down and away from your ears. Stay here for 5 breaths and feel your tummy stretching as well as getting a little gentle pressure on it.

Child's pose From cobra, press into your hands and lift your hips up and back until your buttocks are resting on your heels and you can lay your chest on the floor. Stretch your arms forward or back alongside your waist. Let your mind relax let your shoulders release and stay here a good 8 to 10 breaths.

Fitness for All: Treadmill Workouts for Everyone

Tired of your same old treadmill routine?  Why not spice things up this week and try this easy treadmill work out that will help you burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

Day One:

Power walk : 30 minutes

Strength train : 20 minutes

Day Two:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes

Power walk : 2 minutes

Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 10 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 2 minutes

Day Three:

Warm-up (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Do your favorite strength-training move : 12 reps

Power walk (4-6% incline) : 3 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Day Four:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes

Power walk : 2 minutes

Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 3 minutes

Day Five: 

Repeat Day One's Routine

Day Six:

Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) : 5 minutes

Power walk : 2 minutes

Run fast (don't sprint) : 4 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 4 minutes

Day Seven:

Rest

Repeat this workout weekly or every other week.  Remember to mix up your workouts to keep things fresh and exciting.

Fitness for All: Resistance Band Workouts

If you are looking for something different to do to change your typical workout routine, pick up a set of resistance bands and give some of these exercises a try!

Front Squat - Stand on a tube band with the feet slightly wider than your shoulders and center of the band between the feet. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder, securing the band in place by crossing your arms at your chest. Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing your knees out over your toes. Rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps.

Bent Over Row - Stand over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 10-12 reps.

Bench Press - Anchor a tube band on the bench legs, and lie on the bench, face up. Grabbing a handle in each hand. position them at shoulder

height (so your thumbs touch the front of your shoulders). Extend the arms straight up overhead to full extension, moving your hands toward each other at the top. Lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Overhead Press - Stand over the center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps.

Russian Twist - Sit on the floor with legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet. Hold the free ends in each hand. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral. Return to starting position and rotate left then right for a total of 10-12 reps on each side.