Compound Exercises: The Fundamentals of Good Muscle Building

When it comes to muscle building, all exercises can be separated into two different camps. On one side are the compound exercises, on the other side are the isolation exercises. They each have very different functions.

As the name might suggest, compound exercises are workouts that exercise multiple muscle groups at the same time. Isolation exercises are exercises that target a specific muscle group.

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If you’re trying to build muscle, using compound exercises is a much better way to go about it. Both for building overall tone and putting on muscle, compound exercises will get you there faster.

Compound exercises work out your muscles, your tendons, your joints and your ligaments. It puts the most strain on the area of your body that’s the weakest, strengthening the overall system. It’s the “broad strokes” of building overall muscle quickly.

Is There a Time When Isolation Exercises Are Better?

Yes, there is. Isolation exercises are great for targeting and improving a specific muscle group that’s out of balance.

If your right triceps is larger than your left for example, you might want to do some isolation exercises targeting just your left triceps.

Compound exercises are the fastest way to build muscle mass in your body in general. However, compound exercises aren’t great for laser-targeting specific parts of the body to develop.

Isolation exercises also have an additional benefit of being able to put on short-term mass quickly. Professional bodybuilders will often do isolation exercises before a major competition to add an inch or so of muscle. This muscle doesn’t last, however, and will disappear if you stop working out.

To build muscles that really last, start with compound exercises, then refine your body with isolation exercises if imbalances come up.

A Few Popular Compound Exercises

What are some of the most popular and proven compound exercises in bodybuilding?

Perhaps the most popular is the bench press. The bench press works out many of the muscles in your upper body, including the many muscles in your arms and your back.

Squats are another popular compound exercise. Everything from your calves to your thighs to your buttocks is worked out by squats.

Deadlifts are another popular compound exercise. Deadlifts will work out your abs, your leg muscles, your back muscles, your hips and your forearms.

Of course there are many other compound exercises you can choose from depending on your fitness goals. Pick the exercises you use based on the kind of body you want to develop.

In summary, compound exercises are the main building block to a solid workout routine. While isolation exercises are definitely important for sculpting the body and perfecting muscle balance, the actual work of building muscle should be done primarily with compound exercises.

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What It Takes to Develop Six Pack Abs

Six pack abs is one of the most common goals of people who get into body building. Yet it can seem very elusive for most people, as they can work out for weeks and months without seeming to make any progress.

That’s because most people go about building six pack abs wrongly. It’s not just about doing a lot of push-ups and sit-ups. Yes, ab exercises are important, but on their own they’re not going to get you there.

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Here’s how to actually get six pack abs.

Selective Working Out Doesn’t Work

Trying to just work out one area of your body to develop that part’s muscles doesn’t work. In other words, exclusively doing abdominal exercises won’t get you six packs.

Why? Because your abs have fat covering them. Even if under all the fat you have ripped abs, people won’t be able to see them. Unfortunately, when you’re just doing push-ups and sit-ups that’s what you’re doing: toning your muscle under the fat, without eliminating the fat.

The first step to actually getting six pack abs is to reduce the amount of fat in your abs. Unfortunately, you can’t selectively lose fat. You have to lose fat throughout your entire body for this to work.

Removing the Fat

Fat burning essentially comes down to doing cardio exercise regularly. Try to exercise at between 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes or more three or four times a week.

If you do this, in about a month you’ll start to notice your body overall becoming more toned. If you measure your body fat percentage, you’ll find the amount of fat in your body lowering and the amount of muscle increasing.

As this happens, your abs will naturally become more and more visible.

Diet

Of course, in order to burn that fat you’ll also need to make changes to your diet. You can’t just burn fat and then take the fat back into your body.

Eliminate all extraneous fats from your diet. A bit of fat from protein foods or other “healthy fats” is okay, but stay away from anything that’s unnaturally fat.

That means no deep fried foods, no fast foods, no meals that are frozen or microwavable. Read the calorie contents and ingredients of packaged foods before you buy.

Building Stronger Abs

The last and final step is to do the exercises that strengthen your abs. You can start the phase at the same time as when you start cardio and start changing your diet, but you’ll only see the results from the ab workouts once you do the rest of the steps discussed in this article.

There you have it. To build abs, you need to burn off the fat throughout your entire body so there’s minimal fat covering your abs. Then you need to change your diet to keep that fat off. Finally, use abdominal exercises to tone up your ab area.

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Simple Ways to Cut Down on Saturated Fat



Saturated fats are fats that don’t have double bonds between their carbon molecules. They are found naturally in foods such as pork, beef and dairy products. Regularly eating foods that are high in saturated fat will cause your blood cholesterol levels to increase, which means an increase in the chance that you might suffer from heart disease or a stroke.

But, while many of us eat a diet that includes a high level of saturated fats, cutting down on those levels is simple. Here are some tips you can follow in order to keep your saturated fat levels to a minimum and your cholesterol levels low.

Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit is often overlooked as a snack or dessert food. But, it provides a sweet taste without any saturated fat. Vegetables are also an excellent snack food, but may be a better fit as a side dish at dinner time. In addition, fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, and many of them contain vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.

Use Low-fat Dairy Products

You may already buy the skim or low-fat alternative milk at the store. But, there are low-fat alternatives to many dairy products. Start using low-fat cheese whenever possible. And if a recipe calls for sour cream, use plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead.

Cut Way Down on Butter

Butter is a particularly versatile dairy product that is often overused. Whether it’s spread across toast, or used in baking or frying, many of us tend to overdo it when it comes to adding butter. Whatever you’re using butter in the kitchen, use less than what the recipe calls for, or than you feel that you need. You might even cut butter out of your cooking entirely by substituting it with things such as Greek yogurt, peanut or almond butter, or mashed avocado.

Avoid Frying Your Meat

Frying meat means giving it a chance to absorb the fat from the oils that you cook it in. While some oils may be touted as ‘healthy’, others are not. When possible, it’s best to just avoid them altogether. Fortunately, there are several ways to prepare meat that doesn’t involve frying at all. The simplest alternative is to bake the meat. The roasted flavor is more than delicious. If you have access to a grill, use that instead of frying so that you can stay away from fats and give your food a satisfying grilled taste.

Consuming too much saturated fat can be a serious issue, especially if you are already experiencing problems related to high cholesterol. If you’re looking for more ways to keep cholesterol levels in check, it may be best to speak with a healthcare professional. They will be able to tell you more about what effects cholesterol have had on your body, and the steps you can take to work toward a healthy diet.

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Choosing Whole Grains Vs Refined Grains




Whole grains vs refined grains. A whole grain is a grain that consists of each and every one of the original components that were present when it was growing in the area. Refined grains, on the other hand, have had a few of the components removed to give them a better texture and a longer shelf life.
These refined grains are more generally used and find their way into our diets more often. though, recent studies indicate that it may be absolute to omit refined grains exhaustively, in favor of the whole grain substitutes.

Parts of a Grain

A whole grain is a grain that consists of all of the original components that were present when it was growing in the field. Refined grains, on the other hand, have had some of the components removed to give them a better texture and a longer shelf life.

These refined grains are more commonly used and find their way into our diets more often. However, recent studies indicate that it may be best to skip refined grains altogether, in favor of the whole grain alternatives.

Parts of a Grain

Grain begins its life as the seed of a plant. It consists of an edible kernel surrounded by an inedible husk that protects it from the dangers of nature. The kernel itself is made up of three parts:

* The bran is the outer skin of the kernel. It contains lots of dietary fiber and B vitamins, as well as protein and starch.

* The germ is the part of the kernel that is the embryo of the seed. It is high in both vitamin B and vitamin E, as well as fat and protein.

* The remaining part, the endosperm, is the part of the seed that provides energy to the germ. It increases safe storage times, but has little else to offer as far as nutrition goes.

Refined Grains

When it comes to refined grains, the bran and germ have been removed mechanically. The main reason for this is so they last longer before spoiling. Neither component is especially hardy, so removing them creates a product that will stay on the shelves for much longer. Refined grains also have a finer texture, which some people find to be preferable.

Many of the health benefits of cereal grain are removed during the refining process. Without germ and bran, grains do little more for us than provide energy. Studies show that sticking with whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Another type of grain available on the market is enriched grain. These grains have had several nutrients added to them, such as iron and riboflavin, in order to restore some of the nutritional value lost during the refining process. While enriched grain is healthier than other refined grains, they are nowhere near as beneficial as their whole grain alternatives.

Looking for ways to add more whole grain to your diet? The next time you go shopping, consider choosing whole wheat bread, rice and pasta instead of the enriched or refined alternative.

When shopping for whole grain products, it’s important to check the nutritional facts panel and go over the ingredients. Even if the label says multi-grain or something similar, it may not be made with whole grains.

Always make sure that “whole wheat” or “whole grain” is among the first items to appear on the ingredients list. That way, you’ll be completely certain that these products will provide you with the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy diet. There’s really no better time to add the versatility of grains to your menu!

 

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How To Do Yoga At Home Safely




It is easy to start a yoga practice at home with just a few basics. The first is a yoga routine you wish to try, such as a beginner’s DVD or yoga video you can stream on your computer. Your next important pieces of equipment are comfortable clothes that are not too tight or too baggy, in order to avoid injury.

Mat

A good non-skid yoga mat will allow you to practice your yoga safely almost anywhere, such as a carpeted or wooden floor. Choose a thicker mat if you have any joint issues or arthritis. Be sure to place your mat on a level surface to avoid tripping or turning an ankle.

 

Props

Not every yoga pose requires you to turn into a pretzel, but there are a few yoga props that can support you in certain poses and deepen others. These include:

* Strap – A yoga strap can be looped around the soles of your feet to help you deepen your bends. You can also support your leg during leg raises and grip the straps with both hands if you wish to do a stretch with your arms behind your back.

* Blocks – Blocks offer support and stability and can be used with certain postures to make them either easier or more challenging. Some people also use them to sit on for long periods of time when holding a pose.

* Bolster – A yoga bolster can be used to support the body in a number of ways, sitting or lying down, to help with form and comfort. They come in a wide variety of styles for different purposes, such as supporting your legs or back. They are ideal for making your Corpse pose more comfortable, as either a neck pillow or a support behind your knees.

* Yoga Cushion – The most popular cushion is the classic Zafu or medication cushion that looks like a powder puff. Others styles include a crescent-shaped cushion that supports the back and protects the knees. Wedge-shaped cushion that you put under your butt are also good because they stop you from slouching during your seated yoga poses and meditations.

* Blanket – Some people like to cover themselves when they are doing the Corpse pose for deep relaxation. Others use the blanket to practice on instead of a mat. Blankets are a good idea for anyone who has muscular skeletal issues, because cold muscles are more tense and therefore more prone to injury. If you don’t use a blanket, put a tracksuit over your yoga clothes before going into Corpse pose.

Other Helpful Tools

In addition to the props listed above, you might also find the following useful:

* A Metal Folding Chair – Chairs can be used for balance and certain poses. The chair seat should be upholstered and the chair placed on your mat so you do not slip in any way. A chair is also useful for those who can’t stand up for very long or who wish to try certain upright poses in a seated position without going down onto the floor.

* The Walls – Use the walls to steady yourself in different poses, either standing or inverted poses such as shoulder stands. For extra steadiness, use a corner of the room.

Starting Safely

When you are first starting yoga, begin slowly and only do what feels comfortable. Warm up and cool down with some stretches at the start and end of each routine. Use reliable websites like Yoga Journal to learn more about each pose you see on the videos, and you will soon have a safe yoga routine to enjoy at home.

 

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Inexpensive alternatives to Eat More Fruit and Veggies




Fruit and veggies are very nutritious. Not only that, they in addition provide your body with lots essential supplements and other nutrients. Unfortunately, it can be hard to make these things a regular part of our diet. the positive thing is that both fruit and veggies are notably versatile when we refer to their use in the kitchen. Here are many great alternatives to incorporate fresh generate into every meal of the day.

Breakfast

Many fruits are previously considered to be a brilliant addition to a complete breakfast. Orange or grapefruit juice brings a wholesome way to coffee and sugary sports drinks. anyhow, check that some of these juices contain added sugars, so make sure you enjoy them in moderation.

Another alternative to serve fruits at breakfast is in the kind of a homemade fruit spread. Take fresh fruit and gradually boil it down to thicken. You can add honey for sweetness, though lots fruits will be candy enough without it. Depending on the fruit you use, you may require to add a small pectin to assist it thicken as it cools. This fresh fruit spread makes a brilliant topping for a bagel or a piece of toast.

Vegetables are consorted with breakfast less often. But, that does not mean there aren’t alternatives to appreciate them. You can try bell pepper or tomato slices with eggs to provide a little something additional to your omelets. Or, you could take a step toward a full English breakfast and include fried tomatoes in the meal.

If you value more highly a shake or a smoothie in the morning for breakfast, there are all forms of recipes for both fruit and veggie smoothies accessible on the internet. It only takes a fast search to find them.

Lunch

Lunch is a meal that lots of us take for accepted. For lots people lunchtime is an highly busy period. This signifies that they often pick the fast-food option in preference to the healthy one. Vegetable soup is a good decision, which enables you to add in whatever generate you desire. If you change up what you mix together every time, you’ll be able to be pleased of a little multiplicity from batch to batch. Another possibility is easily to consume raw fruits or vegetables along with lunch or as a snack.

Dinner

Adding fruit to your dinner is easier than you may think. Just about any fruit you can imagine may be cooked into a sauce or glaze for whatever from beef, chicken and pork, or even seafood. a few fruit in addition makes a brilliant topping for basic meals like hamburgers or pizza.

As far as veggies go, it’s probable that you previously eat them with your dinner on a regular basis. But, that does not mean there isn’t room for more in your diet. Try to plan meals that center around veggies as often as probable, such as soup or stir fry.

Also, do not forget about a yummy side salad and never pass up a brilliant opportunity to include veggies, fruit and nuts into your evening meal. Greens such as kale or lettuce are the perfect example of this. One of the main influences on fruit and vegetable prices is the season. These foods use to be much less pricey and easier to find throughout and in short after their harvest season. For example, pumpkins are widely accessible in the fall, while pineapples are simple to find in the spring. Making your fruit and vegetable decisions based on the season enables you to save cash as well as give your menu a fun-to-eat theme.

 

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Getting Started as a Vegan

Trying to create a new eating habit and switch to Veganism is something that more people are attempting to do each year. From a lifestyle that used to be quite uncommon, it has grown into a much more popular option and is finding a massive amount of support in all walks of life. People who work two jobs, people who live in multi-million dollar houses and even the rebelling teenager down the block are all likely to be vegans at this point. With so many people turning to veganism it is no doubt that you have wondered exactly what it would mean for yourself as well.

Most people think that veganism is exactly like vegetarianism. However, this is actually highly incorrect; they are two completely separate ideas that only share a few similarities. Typically speaking vegetarianism is a much easier lifestyle to adopt and is much less rigid. Vegan is much stricter and can be much harder for someone to change to on a quick basis. This can make it extremely complicated to actually change to vegan living immediately.

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In order to get the biggest benefits out of living as a vegan it is very important to follow all of the guidelines. This means avoiding all foods and food products that include animals, or are made from animal parts. This includes meat, honey, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt and other similar products. A true Vegan diet will consist on massive quantities of breads, vegetables, fruits, pastas and other similar foods. This can be an extremely different diet for someone to adopt that is used to eating large quantities of meat and could be a bit difficult at first.

Working to make some slow changes is typically recommended to make the entire process as simple as possible. Of course, the idea of a single massive change might sound easier, but in reality this is typically a lot harder and is associated with a substantially increase risk of failing to really follow through with the vegan lifestyle. Rather the smaller changes are better since they will lay the foundation for permanent changes.

Not everyone finds the process of switching to Vegan to be a disaster. There are some people who do switch to the new diet with no problems or complications at all. However, typically the people who switch the easiest will generally be those who consume small amounts of meat and other animal products on a normal basis. This makes it much easier for them to adopt the new lifestyle with the fewest amount of complication. If you discover that you are having a problem adjusting to the new dietary requirements you should always take some time to see if there are any small changes you can make to your life to make things easier.

These small changes might seem really minor but they can potentially help you substantially. Waiting until you have completely failed the diet can be a crushing experience. Seeking out as much help as possible as quickly as possible is instead a fabulous way to proceed and is typically quite easy to do. A few minutes of your time is all that is required, the results are well worth the effort and you will be glad you took that time as well. Your new Vegan lifestyle awaits you, as long as you are able to manage the transition.

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