10 Advantages of Pilates

Occasionally it can be stimulating to find the correct workout routine that works for you. Some people like the freedom of the gym while others like the setting of a Zumba class. However, after a while the same routine you may leave you a little bored. If you want to switch up your fitness routine, it could benefit you to try Pilates. Pilates can improve a person’s strength, flexibility, and posture by using specific techniques. Founded to mend injuries Pilates, has mastered the art of being simply complex in its training and routines. But does Pilates encourage weight loss in its participants?

 

Here are the top ten advantages of trying Pilates:

1. Enhances mind awareness

Unlike other exercises Pilates focuses on motion rather than repetition of specific stances. Breathing correctly is vital in Pilates since it aids your motions and helps you move with effectiveness. Also, when you breathe correctly, you’re more likely to live a stress-free life. Therefore, breathing allows you to focus inward and channel your emotions into the exercise. When you focus on your feelings, the exercise then becomes a challenge about both body and mind.

2. Enhances core muscles

While Pilates may seem like a mental challenge, it’s much more. Pilates can improve your core muscles. With a variety of exercises that work out the chest, back, shoulders, and pelvis allow your core muscles to strengthen and become toned. Therefore, unlike other routines, there isn’t just one exercise that strengthens your core. If you try Pilates, you’ll find that all the exercises you do are targeted to enhance a specific muscle group.

3. Can elongate muscles  

While some fitness routines may depend on weights or high impact exercise in order to increase flexibility, however, increasing flexibility in the traditional way may cause muscles to be easily injured. Unlike other exercises Pilates elongates muscles by strengthening muscles first and then increasing flexibility in joints. Therefore, the body is evenly distributed with both strength and flexibility in order to decrease injuries to the body when working out.

4. Total body workout

Not only does Pilates exercise your core but it also works out your entire body! It’s essential when working out that you don’t overextend yourself, but it’s also true that you should try and push yourself. There needs to be a middle ground where you’re entirely satisfied with your workout. Pilates is the perfect workout for those struggling to find their balance. Since Pilates works out your entire body you’ll muscle will feel trained but at the same time, you’ll still have some energy left.

5. Effective  

All the exercises and routines performed in Pilates are formulated to work out muscle groups in constant motion. These exercises are safe and will aid a person’s overall health. In fact, if a person learns these exercises well while using proper breathing techniques he or she might experience a boost in sports performance, improved posture, and a decrease in fitness related injuries. Therefore, Pilates can effectively be used in a person’s workout routine to help them tone and shape their bodies.

6.  It can be light exercise

Depending on what you want to achieve from Pilates the routines can be as light and as comfortable as you want. In fact, some exercises are executed while sitting down or in relaxed positions. Also, most routines feature low-impact exercises and only some present a weight component. However, Pilates is known for its safety. Since Pilates is used in physical therapy, there are no restrictions on who can join in, unlike other fitness classes and studios.

7. It can be a challenging exercise

While Pilates can be a light and easy exercise if you want to be it can also be an intense exercise. One of the perks of Pilates is that you can choose the range of difficulty you want. If you want an easy workout, there’s plenty of routines that cover a beginner’s workout. However, if you want a problematic routine that challenges you, Pilates has exercises for many advanced individuals. Although, it’s advised that you start relatively easy with your workouts and slowly increase your intensity with each week you exercise. But the way you choose to exercise is entirely up to you.

8. Increases energy levels

Unlike other workouts, Pilates works out the entire body which allows the body to feel energized and refreshed afterward. While some workouts tend to under exercise muscles or overextend muscles groups which can lead to feelings of fatigue, tiredness, and drowsiness. However, if you work out your muscles correctly, you should feel a rush of energy afterward. In fact, your body will release endorphins which will boost your mood and allow you to feel like doing other daily activities.

9. Encourages weight loss  

Pilates is the perfect solution for weight loss since Pilates works out your entire body your likely to burn a lot of calories which will help you lose weight. In fact, since Pilates is an aerobic exercise you’ll also tone your body in no time. However, like all fitness related exercises, it takes time. Losing weight can be a challenging goal for anyone to accomplish but it doesn’t happen by working out alone. It’s essential if you want to lose weight in combination with Pilates that you also eat a health-conscious diet and remain positive about your goal.

10. Various ways to learn Pilates  

While it’s better if you learn from a certified instructor especially if it’s your first time you don’t always have to go a studio or a class to do Pilates. In fact, once you learn the basics, you can learn other routines and exercises directly from your home. Many videos on YouTube explain what to do, how to do it, and how it will affect your body. All you need to complete a Pilates exercise is some comfortable clothes and mat that suits you.

 

Pilates can be a simple exercise or a complex routine. Depending on what you like and what you want Pilates can meet your needs with its effective flexibility and fitness activities.

The Advantages of Taking a Spin Class

It can be challenging to find a workout routine that works for you. Some people believe the gym is the best place to work out while others think a yoga studio is the where relaxation and fitness meet. Although, spin classes have become more popular recently in fitness. Some might say they rather take a spin class than go to the gym.  But what is exactly is a spin class? A spin class is a cycling workout that occurs on a stationary bike. This workout is usually intense as it works a lot of muscles groups. Therefore, it might not be a workout everyone will enjoy. However, taking a spin class can be very beneficial to both your health and your fitness goals. Here are the top ten benefits of taking a spin class:

  1. Burn a lot of calories

Due to the intensity of the workout, it’s known that spin classes can burn a lot of calories. However, it depends of course on how you adjust the bike, how fast you pedal, and your posture. If all of those requirements are met at the highest standard, then you could burn at least 500 calories in a smooth 45 minutes. That’s amazing! So why not try one class if not for the other benefits mentioned then for the quick calorie burn advantage?

  1. Create muscle tone

Since spin classes workout many muscle groups they also help tone your body. In fact, spin classes will target your core muscles in addition to your buttocks, thighs, and calves. However, depending on the adjustment of your bike you may not work out all those muscles groups. It’s important to pay attention to how the bike is adjusted if you want to tone specific muscles.

  1. Low impact exercise

If you’re interested in taking a spin class, you should know it’s a low impact exercise. A low impact exercise is an exercise that doesn’t put a strain on your knees or joints. In fact, spin classes are recommended for people who have arthritis. The intensity of the workout will help with joint movement and therefore will improve a person’s overall well-being.

  1. Reduce stress

Some people find quiet to be a place where inspiration is born. But others find silence as a place to over think about their problems. For people who like loud music and socializing spin classes is for you. Before and after a spin class you have plenty of opportunities to meet new people and talk with them about different topics. In addition, during a spinning class, there will be loud music to get your heart pumping and an instructor to motivate you. During the class, you might find that these strategies such as the workout, the music, and the instructor allow for a decrease in stress.

  1. Little chance of injury

Unlike running or weightlifting, there isn’t a risk of serious injury. When you take a spin class, an instructor will guide you and if anything were to happen the instructor would see the moment it would happen. Not to mention there are more than twenty people on staff who could help if something were to happen. So, unlike running where you might be excluded from passersby or any people of a medical profession in a spin class your safety is thought of carefully.

  1. Changeable tensions

Due to the nature of the stationary bike, you can change the pressure in order to fit what you like. It’s essential to have a workout that benefits you when you’re in a group scenario. Make sure that you’re getting the best of both worlds by getting a good workout and the perks a spin class has to offer. If you’re not sure how to change the tensions on the bike, ask an instructor how to do it or ask if they can show you.

  1. Record your advancements  

Most stationary bikes have a device that allows them to record heart rate, a number of calories burned, and even mileage. These advancements can be used as a measuring tool to let you know when you need to slow down, speed up, stop, or even keep going. It’s important to know your limits, however with stationary bikes they offer you a cheat-cheat into your body to tell you when enough is enough. These devices can also do the opposite. They can also be used as a motivational tool when you think you can’t do it.

  1. Can be completed all year round  

Since spin classes are completed inside people, don’t have to worry about weather troubling them when they work out. Offering spin classes in the comfort of the indoors allows people to feel the gentle cool breeze of air condition any day of the week. Not only does the air condition help but the hours of operation do too. Having a studio stay open later during the week and weekends offers a diverse clientele list. However, spin studios may be closed on certain holidays if so it’s best to look to your local spin studio for dates when they re-open.

  1. It’s energetic

Between the music, the instructor positive comments, and feeding off other people’s energy spin class can be quite a class. By the end, you won’t want it to stop. The energy in the room will be electrifying since everyone is trying to achieve their chosen goal. With everyone vocalizing their necessity to reach their goal the room can get quite loud as everyone starts to work together on their individualistic needs.

  1. It’s fun  

While some people might find watching sports, listening to music, or playing video games as a fun thing to do. Others might discover working out as fun and exciting. After all, the body’s reaction to working out promotes it as useful and productive. If someone were to take a spin class who knows it may not be because of all the other benefits a spin class offers it might just be because it’s fun.

Cardio Workouts for Shedding Calories

 

Cardio exercises are often difficult and time consuming, but also necessary for burning calories and getting your blood flowing to all your organs. It may be hard to find an aerobic workout that you actually enjoy. Luckily, there are many different types of cardio workouts to choose from. Here are some of the most effective cardio exercises for burning as many calories as possible.

Running

Running has a reputation for being a good way to burn tons of calories. If you run about one tenth of a mile per minute, you will burn ten calories per minutes. This pace is close the average pace of a male marathon runner, which may seem fast if you do not think you are in shape for a marathon. However, you must keep in mind that it is not actually super-fast unless you maintain it for 26 miles. In fact, most men can run much faster than this pace when doing shorter distances. If you think you can run faster, then you will start to burn even more calories.

Burpee

Burpees are like a mixture of pushups and jumping jacks. The jumping jack part will get your heart pumping, while the push up part will also work to strengthen your arm muscles. One burpee will help you burn a little over one calorie. By aiming for about ten burpees every 60 seconds, you can burn almost fifteen calories per minute. Studies show that 10 burpees per minute can give your metabolism the same boost of a thirty seconds high intensity bike sprint.

Jump Squats

Jump squats are usually considered a dreaded exercise at the gym, but if you can manage a few of them, it may actually be worth it. According to one study, people who did eight rounds of jump squats burned over thirteen calories in one minute, which is definitely relatively high. However, the real benefit of jump squats is that your metabolic rate after your workout continues to soar. In fact, one study revealed that your post-exercise metabolic rate will be twice what it usually is for close to half an hour.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is one of the more enjoyable cardio workouts out there because it can be fun to try out new skills and see how long you can go without messing up. Fortunately, you can burn about thirteen calories in just one minute if you manage a little over 100 skips per minute. You can also improve your balance, coordination, rhythm, and footwork. If you challenge yourself by trying out some new jump rope skills, you will likely end up using more muscles groups than you use when going for a run.

Agility Ladder

The agility ladder takes speed, balance, and coordination, which is why it is often popular among many athletes. Of course, you will burn plenty of calories doing it as well. Additionally, studies show that the agility ladder is very good for your brain. All cardio workouts are probably going to benefit your brain a little bit because exercising your heart increases the flow of oxygen rich blood to your brain. However, the agility ladder seems to be especially beneficial to the brain because going through drills on an agility ladder is not a mindless activity. You will need memory and concentration in order to go through the footwork routines. As a result, you can boost both your heart muscles and your cognitive ability.

Kettlebell Swing

This exercise requires you to move in ways that your body is not used to. You are not particularly efficient with this type of movement and, as a result, it works many of the muscles in your body, including your legs, arms, and heart. In one study, people burned over 20 calories each minute from this type of exercise and their heart reached 93% of its maximum potential after about 20 minutes.

Indoor Rowing

Studies show that after rowing hard for about thirty minutes, you can burn hundreds of calories. A 185 pound man will burn over 12 calories each minutes. You also engage the muscles all over your body, which is why it is also good for strength training.

Stationary Bike Sprints

Biking is becoming a popular way to get easy exercise in for people who only have time to exercise on their way to work. However, if you are a fan of biking and you have extra time on your hands, you may want consider trying out stationary bikes. Evidence suggests that you can get rid of over eighty calories in just one minute of using a good stationary bike. In order to reap the full benefits of a stationary bike, make sure your bike has pedals that increase in resistance if you pedal harder and faster.

Cross-Country Skiing

For all the skiers out there, you may think of skiing as a fun activity, but skiing is also a good way to exercise. Cross-country skiing is a good way to burn many calories, workout your heart muscles, and still enjoy yourself. Cross-country can actually be a better workout than running because, on average, you burn over twelve calories per minute. However, if you were to run at the same pace, then you would probably burn fewer than twelve calories per minute. Skiing has the added benefit of engaging both your upper and lower body strength. You need to push with your lower body, while pulling with your upper body.

 

Cardio workouts are usually going to require a lot of hard work and motivation. Finding a way to enjoy aerobic workouts is not always going to be easy, but it is still important to pick an exercise that will not convince you to eventually give up because you hate it so much or because it makes your joints sore. Cardio workouts can often help you burn many calories and some will even help you with a little bit of strength training. Additionally, by exercising your heart muscles, you can stay fit and healthy by preventing all sorts of lifestyle diseases.

How to Get a Six Pack without the Gym

ripped guy who takes Progentra shirtless and showing six pack abs

It is not always easy to get to the gym and you can’t always afford the expensive equipment for home. You do not need these things to get a great core, all you really need a space to workout. These exercises will help you to work every muscle in your core.

Crunches

Crunches are one of the most classic exercises out there. Crunches can replace many of the fancy machines out there because they work the same muscles. The crunch can activate a variety of muscles.

Spiderman Push Up

This exercise has you mimicking Spiderman crawling up a building. This is a compound move that engages your core. It targets your arms and chest like a push up, but the added move of bringing your leg up works your core. Since you only have three contact points with the ground, your core muscles will have to work hard to keep your balance.

Leg Raises (Hanging)

ripped guy with six pack doing hanging leg raise and has been using ProgentraThis is a very hard ab exercise and surprisingly, you can do it in your home. This exercise is extremely effective because it focuses on all your core muscles. You may need a pull up bar to do this exercise properly, but if you have something that works in your home, use it.

Extended Arm Plank

Planks work your core muscles like crazy. If you do an extended arm plank, it will put even more responsibility on your core muscles. Not only will they flexed to hold you up, they will also be working to keep you balanced. Your core holds your body in place during this exercise, making it killer.

Side Plank

This exercise works your side core muscles. These can be some of the hardest to work out properly. This exercise can also work your lower back and can help to prevent pain. It will also help to work your hip muscles which will help you as you age.

Plank

Just a good, old plank will also get the job done. A plank, no matter how it is done, is one of the best exercises to work out your core muscles because it works out all your core muscles. The best part is that it also works out multiple other muscles in your body as well.

Russian Twists

Your core will also be keeping balanced during this exercise. The twists help to work out both sides of your body. If you want to amp this one up, add a medicine ball for more weight.

V-Sit

V-sits are where you do a sit-up, but hold a v position at the top of it. This helps to test your control over your core muscles. They will be holding you up, keeping you balanced, and controlling the rest of your body.

Rise Ups

These are partial sit-ups where you keep your arms straight up in the arm. This exercise will help you to build your ab muscles and create the six pack that you want.

Ball Crunch

You will need an exercise ball for this one. They are relatively cheap and can be used for various exercises. You are lying back on the ball and doing half sit-ups. This is a good way to keep your balance and work your leg and core muscles.

Dip/Leg Raise

If you were able to do the hanging leg raises, you will be able to do this exercise at home. You can set up two items that you will be able to lift yourself up on. After you raise yourself up between both items, you raise your legs. This is another exercise that helps with balance, but it also works your arms and core.

Flutter Kick

This exercise works our lower core muscles. You will have to keep them tight as you raise your legs and kick slightly. This workout can be killer if you are doing as many reps as possible within 30 seconds.

Leg Raise

Much like the flutter kick this exercise works on your lower abs. As you lift your legs into the air, your lower abs will be working hard to keep them in the air. Make sure to never have your legs touch the floor while you’re doing reps for a maximum core workout.

fit Progentra user doing mountain climbers exercise at homeMountain Climbers

This exercise can help you to get your heart pumping while working your core. It is important to get your heart going when you are exercising if you want to get the best results.

Superman’s (With Ball)

You can also do this exercise without an exercise ball, but an exercise ball will help you to put in maximum effort. If you are using the ball, you will be in a push up position and roll the ball until your torso is vertical. If you are doing it without the ball, you will be lying face down on the floor and raise your arms and legs and hold them. Either way works out your core muscles very well.

Reverse Crunch

If you use a resistance band, or something similar, this will even more resistance for your core muscles. When doing a reverse crunch you bring your hips and knees up to your chest. Your torso will be raised off the floor. This is another way to help exercise your core muscles.

Swiss Rollout (With Ball)

If you put your forearms on the ball and then extend your legs behind you, you will be able to work out your core muscles and your back muscles. This is an easy exercise that will help you get in some serious workout time.

Seated Knee Tuck

You will be able to sit on any chair in your home to do this exercise. Extend your legs in front of you and your torso back so that you are in a straight line. By holding this position, your core muscles will need to be tightened, working them out greatly.

 

If you want to get a six pack, there are many exercises out there that you can do from home.

 

Effective No Equipment Workout

man doing push ups has been taking Progentra

        Not everyone has time to go to the gym and not everyone has the money to buy expensive equipment for home. This leaves many men feeling helpless when it comes to their fitness. What most men do not know, is that you don’t need all the fancy equipment to get a killer workout. You can do workouts at home, or even in the gym, without using any equipment. Here is an example of a killer, effective, no equipment workout.

        Whether you travel frequently, or you just have too much going on to make it to the gym regularly, a no equipment workout is the best way to stay in shape. After you make this work out a part of your routine, you may even want to do a version of it when you go to the gym. This workout will work your lower body and help build your endurance.

 

A warning: this workout is long. If you are a beginner, you can do a shorter version of the workout listed below. You may want to quit halfway through this workout. Make sure to adjust it to what you will be able to do and then work up from there. Do not be discouraged if you cannot finish this workout the first time you try it.

The good news: this workout will make you fitter, leaner, and stronger. Once you get the hang of it, you will begin to interpret it into any other sort of exercise that you do. Since this workout is not easy, it will test your mental toughness. If you can complete this workout, you will also be improving your mental strength.

 

        This workout is useful for endurance and strength athletes. This workout works your lower body. By doing repeated exercises, like lunges, you will strengthen your lower body while making yourself leaner. By working your lower body you will also reap the benefits of longer runs, bike rides, and anything in between. It will also strengthen your body so that you are less likely to be sore or have any aches and pains after a workout.

        Many times strength athletes, or just men who want to work on their fitness, get stuck in a rut. This is usually because they do not do enough reps in their regular workouts. Doing just a few rounds of this workout, you will work out harder than you have in your whole life.

        Remember, this workout is designed to work on your body toughness and your mental toughness. This workout will help you to get shredded and change your mind about the way that you work out.

 

The Workout:

man who takes Progentra doing lungesAlternating Lunges

Start with 40 alternating lunges. Lunges are great for your lower body and they also help shed fat around the belly area. The areas that are worked are especially helpful for running, bike riding, and anything else that involves massive leg work.

Wall Sit

Your wall sit should last 30 seconds. This gives you a sort of break between lunges without you cooling down. A wall sit works your legs and your abs, again a workout that not only works your lower body, but also your belly area. A wall sit also works some of your back muscles only helping to get you leaner quicker.

Alternating Lunges

This set of lunges should only be 38. This is less than before but it will help you to see a stopping point in your workout. Lunges target your glutes, which are located in your hips and butt. They also target your hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs. This helps build muscle in these legs without causing damage. There is a reason why lunges are some of the most popular exercises done today.

Wall Sit

Another 30 second wall sit. A wall sit helps build your isometric strength. This type of strength is found in your glutes, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and adductor muscles. A wall sit works the same muscles as lunges, but are less intense. This is another reason why this workout is considered hard. Your “break” continues to work the muscles that are being targeted in the main workout. Your muscles never truly take a break during this workout.

Alternating Lunges

This set of lunges should be 36. You can probably see where this workout is going by now and you can see why it is considered a hard workout. When doing lunges, your calf muscles acts as stabilizers which helps work all aspects of your legs. Your abdominal and back muscles also act as stabilizers. Which is why this workout helps you to become leaner as well as stronger and fitter.

Wall Sit

no equipment workout woman doing wall sits30 second wall sit. Wall sits help work your quadriceps. One of the most important muscles that are part of quadriceps is the rectus femoris. This muscles help move your thigh towards, or away, from your torso. Wall sits help increase the strength and endurance of this important muscle.

If you are a beginner, try to start with only 20 lunges, so it is an even number, and then work down by two from there. Keep your wall sits at 15 seconds with a 15 second break before you begin lunges again. This will help you to start building muscle so that you can work up from there. Do this beginner workout for two weeks and then jump to 30 lunges with 30 second wall sits, and so on as you get stronger and more confident.   

 

        When doing any version of this workout, keep reducing each lunge workout by two until you reach the end. Once you have reached zero, you are done with your workout. You can see how this workout helps build muscle and strengthen your mind if you are able to make it through. Do not be discouraged on your first try if you cannot make it all the way through. If you can make it through this no equipment workout, you can make it through anything!

Motivational Tools to Get Back in the Gym

man who takes Progentra working out in gym with weight plates

We all need a little push every now and again, especially when it comes to the gym. It can be hard enough to find time in your busy schedule to get the gym, let alone have enough motivation to go. No matter how much of a gym goer you truly are, here are a few motivational tools to help you get back into the gym.

Why? Why are you going? What are your goals? How important are they to you? Questions like these usually make you go, “ugh fine, I’ll go.” This may not be the perfect way to get yourself into the gym, but it is a way to get you to finally get up and go.

Be positive

After convincing yourself, try to be positive going into the gym. Think of all the ways that this will benefit you and help you to reach your body goals. Think about how you can overcome whatever is making you dread the gym and how much you will appreciate yourself after you have overcome your obstacle.

Body appreciation is important

Appreciate what your body can do, not what it can’t do. Think back to the beginning when you were struggling just to make it 10 minutes on a treadmill, now I’m sure you are way past where you were in the beginning. Remember that even little accomplishments, like lifting five more pounds, or being able to do five more reps, is a big accomplishment. It means that your body is growing and strengthening and even if it feels small it is so, so big!

Stop comparing yourself

Get off the internet. The fitness models on social media can be great if you are looking for ideal body motivation, but you need to remember that it is their job to look like that. They literally get paid to spend hours a day in the gym working on that perfect body. Don’t get me wrong, you can use them as inspiration for what you want for your body, but remember that they literally spend their time working out, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

Make a plan

couple doing barbell squats in gymMaking a plan can be one of the best ways to help get yourself back into the gym. Once it is written out it will be easier to visualize and see what you want for yourself. You should start small and work your way up. Even if you used to be an avid gym goer, if it’s been long enough you won’t be able to go into the gym with the same intensity as before.

Talk about your plan

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk about your plan with others. By telling others about your plans you will be more likely to stay accountable. I mean, you don’t want to overshare to the point that they dread talking to you, but sometimes they can be helpful and want to help you stay on track for your goals.

Motivate yourself every day

Try leaving yourself notes, or try a vision board, to have a reminder of why you are doing this every day. You can motivate yourself every day with little things that you do for yourself. Even just a reminder in your phone can help.

Quit your bad habits

Bad habits don’t only include smoking and drinking. Do you need a frappe, with three shots, and whip cream every day? Now, that is a sugary wakeup call. You could start by switching out your sugary morning drink with tea, or even black coffee (don’t worry a little creamer won’t hurt). By becoming aware of bad habits like these, along with any serious ones, you will be better able to make the decision to change them for the better.

Create good habits

You can easily change some of your bad habits into good ones. Once you start to change the little things in your life, it will be easier to change bigger things in your life. If you start small, like changing your coffee in the morning, you can start in on bigger diet changes. Try adding more protein to your diet, like lean meat and fish, for example.

Be mindful

A good workout consists of a mental game. You need to be just as mindful as you are physical while in the gym. If you are thinking about what you’ll do next, instead of keeping your mind on what you are doing in the moment, your workout will reflect that. You will get a better workout every time if you are keeping your mind on the task at hand.

Self-care is important

man resting after gym workout and happy with ProgentraSelf-care is one of the most important things to do for yourself. No matter if you are an avid gym goer or just go every once in a while, self-care before and after workouts is very important. Make sure that you are stretching and resting as much as your body feels like it needs to.

Take rest days

You should be taking at least one or two rest days a week. Your body needs it to stay healthy and strong. Now, these days you should still be somewhat active, like going for a walk, but you do not need to spend your time in the gym on these days. Rest days are an important part of a healthy workout routine.

Check the excuses

It can be very easy for us to start making excuses to not go to the gym. Life can get in the way sometimes, but you should still be able to find some time to be active during the day. You should be spending at least 30 minutes in the gym about four days, or more, a week. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can probably still hit 30 minutes of workout time at home or in your office. If this seems totally impossible, think about doing five, 5 minute intervals to hit your 30 minutes a day.

Easy Exercises to Do at Home

Fitness routine with exercise ball to maintain the abs

        When it comes to getting back in shape, we can’t all make it to the gym every day of the week. By working out at home, you will be better able to juggle your life and your health. As we get older we tend to add more things to our plates, like a career, marriage, children, etc. By adding these things, we sometimes forget to stay up on our health and to get that “killer summer bod” by getting rid of the “dad bod.” Working out at home is an easy way to stay in shape, and to make sure that you are not taking away from any of your other priorities.

Here are a few easy exercises to try to at home.

Push-Ups

        We all know how to do push-ups, but we don’t always get them done. Push-ups are easy things to do at home because as long as you have a flat surface, you can do it. Whether you do them when you wake up in the morning or at night before you go to bed, this is an easy exercise that you can incorporate into your life.

        If you have children, they are an easy way to add extra weight while you do push-ups, they may even want to get in on the fun! If you are performing these in your office, it could become a competition, making you do more reps. Push-ups are easy to incorporate into your daily life.

        Push-ups help to move multiple muscle groups at once. They can help strengthen shoulder joints too! These can also help you stay fit between gym visits.fit woman doing push up and plank at home

Standing Shoulder Press

        These should be done standing up. They will only cost you a small amount of money as you go buy dumbbells. Think about it this way, dumbbells will be used with many different exercises, so why not get some of your own? By using dumbbells, you will be able to make more progress than if you were not using them. Plus, they are not huge, and you will be able to store them easily.

        This workout helps out beginner weight lifters. It is much safer than lifting a weight bar behind your neck. It is also an awesome workout for the home, as you will not have to buy a whole weight system, just to get similar results. Make sure that you are making all of your sessions or you will not see the results you want from this workout.

Squats

        Ah, squats. The most popular form of workout to date. We all want that perfect rump and lucky for you, squats are crazy easy to do just about anywhere. You can do them while you wait for your food to cook, in your office, in your room after you wake up, they’re so easy, anyone can do them!

        Just think about it, this workout strengthens more than just your legs. It strengthens your core and many other muscle groups. Squats are an easy workout that you can do at home so that you do not have to go to the gym. Try adding dumbbells to your squat routine so that you will see more results. By using barbells, you can build overall strength too. They also help you to perfect your technique.

Farmer’s Walk

        This is just one name for this exercise. It is where you take two dumbbells, hold them to your sides, and walk forward. This exercise is super simple and you can do it literally anywhere. This exercise works on your shoulders, traps, and deltoids. It can also help with grip strength.

        Make sure that you are using barbells that are almost half your weight. You should also be walking with your shoulders back. Walk quickly with short steps to maximize this exercise.

Lateral Raise

muscular man doing lateral arm raise with dumbbells        This exercise also uses dumbbells. It is where you must hold a light dumbbell in each hand, then lift the dumbbells up to shoulder height, and then back down to your sides slowly. Make sure that you are doing this slowly so that you build muscles and don’t just bang your dumbbells together. This is a simple exercise that will help to work your shoulders.

        If you do not have dumbbells, but you have children, pile them onto your arms and do this exercise. You’ll love the dad time and so will they. Plus, they probably weigh more than your dumbbells do.

Calf Raise

        Another exercise that uses dumbbells. You will hold dumbbells in each hand and you will lift your heels, while keeping the balls of your feet on the floor, up. This is a way to ensure that you are exercising your calves. It is a part of leg day that many people skip and can cause “chicken legs.”

Curls

        Bicep curls are an easy way to tone and build muscles in your arms. Make sure that you are keeping your elbows still while you do this exercise. This is also a great exercise to incorporate your family. Whether it be your dog or your kid, they can help you to work out at home. The coolest part about bicep curls is that you get to do a workout that builds multiple muscles in your arms.

Plank

        Do you remember when planking was an internet sensation? Well now it is a regular exercise that is incorporated into many routines. A plank works many muscles throughout your body and is easy to do. Planking helps to build that flat six pack that you want. Just like with a push-up, as long as you have a flat surface you can do a plank. You can do them virtually anywhere, I wouldn’t suggest the middle of the street, but you could do it there too!

        Look for as many ways as possible to incorporate your family, pets, whatever, in your at home workout. It will make it much easier to work out at home as they will also start to look forward to spending time with you, even if you are working out.

5 Professional Tips to Grow Huge Legs-How to Best Improve Your Technique

muscular guy doing leg curls higher testosterone with Progentra

When it comes to exercising our legs, many people tend to have more difficulty in this area than other muscle groups. Our legs should be the strongest muscle groups in our body, however many of us fail miserably when it comes to properly training them at the gym.

Not only do many of us use improper form and fail to perform the exercise properly, but many of us aren’t just wasting time doing the wrong exercises as well. Your are the biggest mistakes people make one train their legs, and the proper way in which they should do so.

Biggest Mistakes Made in Leg Training

1. Focusing on Machines

First thing you want to do when it comes to any type of muscle group and exercise is to first gain functional strength. This is one major reason why you should avoid revolving your leg work out around extension machines, in fact it is advisable to avoid them altogether.

toned man doing leg exercises stronger with Progentra

This because machines like the leg extension machine cannot serve any functional purpose in life and in addition can put unnecessary strain on the ligaments and tendons which comprise the knee joint.

You should work on functional strength first and foremost a specially if you’re someone is new to the gym, because if you don’t develop dysfunctional strength first and foremost it’s going to negatively affect your performance down the line.

If you are someone who is new to the gym you should focus on using free weights first and foremost and tried to avoid machines as much as possible. This is because machines are designed to support the weight for you, which doesn’t do any of our supporting muscle groups any good.

2. Avoiding the Difficult Exercises

Another huge problem that many of us fall victim to is that’s we avoid the most difficult exercises and opt to for ones that are a little less strenuous. This makes sense as the goal for many of us is to gain as much muscle mass and strength while exerting the least amount of effort necessary.

ripped guy doing heavy leg press higher testosterone with Progentra

This is especially true again for people who are new to the gym. Instead of say heading over to the squat rack and picking up a straight bar, slapping in all of your back, and getting down and dirty; many people opt to go to the squat machine instead.

While using the machine isn’t going to be a detriment as far as your gains are concerned in the main muscle groups you’re targeting here, UR it’s going to be developing a stabilizing muscles as you would buy doing this exercise in the traditional manner.

The best time to implement most difficult exercises in your routine is when you first start. Get into a habit of revolving your workouts around squats, Deadlifts, bench press, pull ups, and pushups. These five exercises are arguably the best ones you can do for all around functional strength and to gain muscle mass.

3. Add Variety to Your Routine

For those of us were more experienced at the gym, adding more mass to our legs can be more difficult. After you put on those newbie gains, any additional muscle mass gained after words can seem like a strenuous process.

Many people fall into our routine of doing the same exercises, in the same sequence, and at the same weight yet they expect consistent results. Doing this after wiles going to allow the body to adapt to your routine, which means that your body is going to be able to perform the exercise with more efficiency however that means that you’re going to see less and gains as a result.

This is a common problem for many people who regularly go to the gym, as this type of routine easily get stagnated. In order to boost the results are seeing in your leg workouts, you should employ a different strategy..

Something to consider here would be to first and foremost adjust the amount of repetitions you’re doing during your leg exercise. Due to the fact that the legs are the strongest muscle groups in the body, they can lift the most weight and many of us revolve our leg exercises around lifting a huge amount of weight.

Another effective strategy to help you put on more muscle mass is to decrease the amount of weight you’re lifting at the same time increase the repetitions. We do this because we have to remember that there are different types of muscle fibers which reside in any type of skeletal muscle tissue, and different muscle fibers are going to respond differently to different types of exercise.

The Best Shoulder Exercises To Maximize Muscle Growth

When you are starting any routine with the goal of putting on as much mass as possible, combination exercises are usually the best bet. When you perform a combination exercise, you are using more than one joint, hence its name. This allows you to lift more weight and progress at a faster rate.

To get the most benefit out of your exercise, you want to do little repetitions with a lot of weight.
Switching up your routine and do something that your body isn’t used to will ensure that you see the best results.

Best Exercise to Build Shoulders-Seated Shoulder Press

Building mass in the shoulder is best done with the traditional shoulder press exercise. This exercise can be preformed either sitting or standing, however if you are just starting it is recommended that you begin in a seated position for extra support.

This exercise can also be done with either dumbbells or a straight bar, dumbbells are recommended here because you will have a greater range. You will be able to expand your arms further upward and bring your hands closer together. Using a dumbbells also helps to develop stabilizing muscles that wouldn’t get that work from using a straight bar.

To do this exercise, sit down in a chair with good back support so that your back and legs meet at a 90 degree angle. You want to then take your dumbbells, bring them to chest level with your palms facing outward, hands positioned slightly outside the shoulders. This is your starting position.

Take the weight, and press it using your shoulders bringing the weights above your head(they should almost be touching). Hold the weight at this position for 1-2 seconds.

Bring the weights back down to the starting position to complete one rep. Do these reps as slowly as you can to get the most benefit out of the exercise.

Using a mirror here as a guide can be helpful in maintaining correct posture.

Shoulder Press With an Extra Twist

If you are an experienced athlete the shoulder press may seem like the same old boring exercise to you. If you want to switch things up, there is another more challenging variation that you can do which was developed by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.

Instead of starting with your palms just outside of your shoulders with them facing outward, start with the weights at your chest with your palms facing inward. Take the weight, and twist it to the outside as you go up, and then perform the press as normal.

This will give a little variation to your workout using your shoulders and arms as well.

Use More Weight and Less Reps for More Mass

Since we are doing the seated shoulder press to gain mass in this case, we want to use heavy weights and lower our repetitions as a result. The goal here is to lift enough weight to where we almost can’t finish our set but not too much.
Ideally you want to do at least 3-4 sets for 6-8 repetitions each. If you feel that this exercise is too easy, add more weight. Remember we are doing this to gain mass so doing more repetitions isn’t as beneficial.

You should be getting exhausted to the point where you have to decrease the weight as you progress through your sets.

Straight Arm Side Raises For Huge Shoulders

When it comes to shoulders everyone automatically thinks of shoulder press and military press, the number one exercise that everyone sees performed routinely at their gym. Afterwards they usually go to bent arm side raises because that exercise is also performed sitting down in a similar position.

If you are an athlete who wants to avoid ruining their throwing arm or just someone who doesn’t want to potentially develop tennis elbow, straight arm side raises are the best bet.

These are done in a standing position, with a pair of dumbbells which are held at the side at arm’s length, with palms facing forward. Slowly raise the weight upwards to a position where your arms become parallel with the floor, and then slowly descend back to the starting position to complete one repetition.

Make sure to keep your back straight and that your movement is in one plane(do not move your arm backwards or forwards when going up and down, keep it straight). You shoulder should be the only joint working here, do not flex your arm at the elbow.

Are Group Workouts More Effective Than Hitting the Gym? Which Are the Best Ones to Do?

If you’re someone who has been exercising for a while, you already know what exercises you prefer, and which ones are going to give you the best results. While establishing a routine, and sticking to it is one of the most important things to do when you first start exercising, it can also hinder you down the line.

Doing the same types of exercises at the same frequency, and with relatively the same weight is going to stunt your progression, if not halt it altogether.

Once we get to this point where we hit a plateau getting the desire to get back in the gym can be difficult. For this reason it can be a great idea to join a fitness class or two to switch things up and get motivated.

Studies have shown that incorporating variation into our workouts is a very effective way to confuse our muscles so to speak, which can really aid us in our progression. Here are some of the most fun group classes which you can look into to vary up your routine.

Pool Bootcamp/Swimming

One of the most underutilized types of exercises involve swimming or some type of aquatic fitness. Exercising in a pool comes with multiple benefits, and is definitely something that you should at least try to incorporate into your routine.

This is because one of the best aspects to swimming is that it requires the recruitment of many different muscle groups just to perform your average stroke. Propelling in the body through the water requires muscles in the legs, in the back, core muscles, the arms, shoulders, the chest and virtually the whole body.

Along with getting a full body workout, swimming has the added benefit of being very easy on the joints. This because of the natural properties of water and how buoyancy helps to a eliminate much of the force exerted on our joints through exercise.

Swimming helps to reduce long-term damage on our joints as opposed to other very common and beneficial forms of exercise such as running jogging or even walking.

Boxing

Boxing is another great activity that you can use to a really give yourself an intense workout. Due to all of the recent studies conducted in regards to brain damage and hits to the head, many people understandably have avoided partaking in the sport.

Without being said many of these types of classes which are offered at gyms revolve more so around the cardiovascular elements of the sport more so than learning how to connect with a punch. This means that you shouldn’t be concerned at all about taking a punch to the face or getting hit during this type of exercise as if that was the case these classes wouldn’t be so popular.

We tend to forget that boxing is more than just an arm work out throwing our hands, but also requires a lot of core strength and labor intensive footwork, which can provide us with a full body workout.

Indoor Rowing

One of the saddest aspects to any gym is that people don’t utilize rowing machines, if they exist at the gym at all. This and because many people are under the false impression that the rowing machine is only beneficial for the arms, when in fact it can provide one of the best full body workouts out there.

Not only does it work the entire body but due to the nature of the movements to and little impact of the exercise itself, is also a great exercise to do if you’re looking to reduce the amount of strain and damage done to your joints as a result.

If you can’t find an indoor rowing class you should definitely look to join a gym at least has a few of these machines lying around. Chances are they’ll be housed in the back corner somewhere, as again this machine definitely isn’t a favorite among many people.

Cycling

Last and certainly not least we have cycling classes, which tend to be looked down upon by many people. This is especially the case for weightlifters another self proclaimed serious gym rats as cycling is perceived as a joke of an exercise.

The thing is if you’re someone who actually take cycling classes or rides a bike regularly, you know that the opposite is in fact true. Like the other exercises mention here cycling is a good way to get an almost full body exercise.
While many people believe that cycling only works the legs due to all the constant moving throughout the exercise it also works the core, arms and even back to an extent as well. This definitely makes it an exercise worth trying in something that you should look to add to your routine from time to time.