Archive | Workouts & Routines

Rotator Cuff Exercises – Conquer Rotator Cuff Pain With the Right Exercise Routine

When it comes to muscle pulls and tears, there’s nothing quite like rotator cuff pain. It not only hurts a lot, but you also have to suffer the misfortune of losing the mobility in your arm. You never realize how much you rely on a body part until you can’t depend on it anymore. I mean, you’re used to being able to casually reach for items off of a shelf, or throw a ball across the yard, or even pull a t-shirt over your head.

But now, each one of these activities is a struggle, because every time you go to use your injured arm, it aches, and is stiff as a board in some cases. Yep, a rotator cuff injury is no laughing matter. But, you’re slightly encouraged because you learned that if you do rotator cuff exercises, your shoulder can get better – even healed completely.

This is true, but I want to give you a word of caution: don’t just jump into any old upper arm exercise routine and think you’ll be safe. You see, this area in your arm is very delicate, and it got injured because of too much wear and tear. When a rotator cuff is pulled or torn, it can be the result of over strenuous activity, or years of using your shoulder and arm to perform various tasks.

Most of us never think about how much we use our arms and shoulders until something happens to them. We take them for granted most of the time. Even when we’re having fun or working out, we are putting stress on those rotator cuff muscles. Doing normal arm exercises may actually end up making your problem worse, because most exercise routines aren’t designed to address this particular area of the body.

In order to get your shoulder back to normal, you’ll need to do specially designed rotator cuff muscle exercises. These are gentle exercise routines that involve stretching motions and some light strength training. You can use exercise bands, a lightweight dumbbell, or even a towel to perform each exercise. They are not designed to get you toned, but to increase the strength and elasticity of the rotator cuff.

The goal of these exercises is to target the source of your pain. Doing so means that gradually, you’ll begin to feel a sense of relief when you lift your arm. But, the only way this will work is if you make a full commitment to actually performing these exercises on a regular basis. Even if you normally don’t do any kind of exercising, in order to get the full benefit from rotator cuff exercises, you’ll need to follow the program as laid out.

The reason why I’m emphasizing this is because there are many people suffering from this awful pain, including you, who could greatly benefit from a targeted series of simple exercises, but for one reason or another, just kind of think about it without taking any action.

I want to stress that you can be free of the pain and limited mobility if you really want to be. If you’ve watched any type of sports, then you know that athletes often suffer from muscle injuries that are quite painful. Sometimes they have to leave a game, or be carried off the field due to these muscle injuries.

After a few weeks, many of them are able to get right back into their sport and play like nothing happened. Yes, sometimes this is because of pain medication, but often they are given extensive therapy that targets the exact area of the muscle that needs rehabilitation. The average person never sees this workout, but obviously they are very effective in solving the problem.

So, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing for your own painful shoulder. All it takes is your willingness to learn the routine and follow easy instructions.

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Sore Penis Alert: Possible Penis Pump Risks

The penis pump is a lifesaver for men whose erectile issues prevent successful sexual interactions with a partner. It’s also a familiar option to men whose quest for a larger penis is intense. But whether using a penis pump for purposes related to penis health or for purposes that are more in the recreational or decorative mode, the risk of a sore penis is real. Knowing about these risks is important before starting the practice of pumping.

The vacuum penis pump

First, it’s important to know that this article refers to the use of a vacuum penis pump. In recent years, some people use “penis pumping” to refer to the practice of injecting silicon (or other materials) into the penis, which is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.

Risks

As mentioned, there is a risk associated with penis pump use which can result in a sore penis or other issues. Among these problems are:

– Simple soreness or pain. Overuse of the penis pump may cause soreness during and/or after use. The purpose of the pump is to force the penis to stretch and grow. It’s like blowing up a balloon. As the balloon grows larger, the material stretches tighter and tighter. Sometimes this happens with the penis, especially for those using the pump to grow the penis beyond its normal length. All that stretching can overwork the skin, tissue and muscles, resulting in pain and tenderness.

– Bleeding. Often tiny little dots of blood appear on the penis or near the base from use of the pump. This occurs because the pump stretches out tiny capillaries beneath the skin, causing them to burst. In addition, and of greater potential concern, is that this bleeding may be more intense if a person is taking blood thinning medication (including aspirin).

– Bruising. Sometimes the capillaries spout more blood than just tiny dots. When this occurs, particularly on the shaft, the fluid gathers beneath the skin and causes bruising. In addition to being unattractive, the swift movement associated with intercourse may bring about some pain.

– Blisters. Blistering is also not uncommon, especially on the head of the penis. This again makes for a sore penis, which may interfere with the enjoyment of friction-based sexual activity. But it may also cause some discomfort from everyday contact with clothing.

– Cyanosis. Cyanosis refers to a type of discoloration of the skin that can occur when using a penis pump. Instead of being a healthy reddish color, the skin may start to take on a blue tinge. This results from the pump trapping blood in the penis. Over time, with no new blood entering the penis, it starts to lose its oxygen – which causes the discoloration. Use of the pump should be discontinued if this occurs, as long time deoxygenation can seriously damage the skin and penile tissue.

– Blood vessel damage. Sometimes more than the capillaries receive some trauma due to misuse of the pump. If a major vessel is damaged, it can have serious consequences. Beyond bruising and swelling, it can impact the manner and effectiveness with which blood enters and leaves the penis.

Men who use a penis pump should be on the lookout for warning signs of potential problems and should stop if such signs are present. Visiting a doctor if damage does occur is essential.

Hopefully, a sore penis from use of a penis pump will be a transient issue and not cause for concern. One thing that can help soothe a sore penis is the application of a top notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Skin that has been stretched by the pump will respond to a crème that features both Shea butter (a high-end emollient) and vitamin E (a natural hydrator), which will help repair damage to the skin. It is also wise to use a crème with pantothenic acid (aka vitamin B5), which is reparative of damaged penile tissue and can help relieve soreness from overuse.

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The Extremism of Bodybuilders and What it Has to Do With Building Muscle and Getting Rid of Fat

Have you ever wondered why bodybuilders are also extremists? Can we simply say that their extremism helps them with their body building? Or maybe it’s that bodybuilding inevitably compels them to become extremists? Whichever is true, we cannot deny the fact that the bodybuilders go for the extreme.

During the period in which they are gaining weight or bulking up, bodybuilders take in higher amounts of calories than the usual for them to become bigger. These people usually do this in an out of control or do as they please manner. They don’t care whether the food they eat is healthy or not as long as they take in large amounts of food. This is certainly a face of the bodybuilder being an extremist.

What the body does is that it immediately stores all the extra calories as fat and considers these fat deposits as ‘gold reserves.’ The body then utilizes all the needed nutrients and calories for its different processes such as cell repair and maintenance. After which, it opts to store as fats all the excess calories and nutrients.

Bodybuilders who are still in their beginning phase aim to practice two things at the same time: get rid of fat, and build muscle. It is important to remember though that lifting weights will not actually result to loss of weight even if it causes muscle gain. Bodybuilding starters who need to lower their weight will have to reduce their calorie intake and do aerobic exercises that don’t cause muscle buildup.

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Tight Hamstrings – Why Stretching May Not Work

As a trainer, I have found that clients seeking to improve their flexibility complain about tight hamstrings more than any other muscle group. Time and time again, clients are consistently surprised to find that hamstring flexibility can be improved without stretching at all.

Before I can talk about flexibility, we need to define what a “tight muscle” really is. A very big flexibility misconception is that muscles need to be physically lengthened and the best way to lengthen muscles is through stretching. This is simply not true! Muscles already have all the length they need and attempting to change that length via intense stretching is liable to cause ligament damage rather than actually increase the range of motion.

Riddle me this: If muscles need to be lengthened, then why are people incredibly flexible when unconscious or under anesthesia? If a normally stiff man who can not touch his toes is put under anesthesia, he will become as flexible as a professional ballerina. The key concept here is that the flexibility of a muscle is determined by the central nervous system. The human body is wired for survival, and the brain only doles out as much flexibility as it thinks is safe to use.

With that said, over the years as a trainer I have encountered three common presentations of tight hamstrings:

In the first situation, you have someone who once was very mobile but simply experienced a loss of range of motion (ROM) due to inactivity over the years. For this group of people, traditional static stretching is often enough to quickly return ROM to normal levels. However, if you were in this group, you probably would not be reading this article. This group is also one of the reasons why static stretching remains popular; for this particular subset of the population, it works quite well and acts fairly quickly.

In the second situation, there is the person who has a marked difference between active ROM and passive ROM. Active ROM is the range of motion a person can actively control their hamstring through (think trying to touch your toes). Passive ROM is the range of motion a hamstring can be moved by an outside force (like when a partner stretches you out). To test your active ROM, lie on your back and lift one leg up as high as you can without bending the knee. To test your passive ROM, perform the same test but have a partner move your leg up and back as far as she can. Differences of more than an inch or two between active ROM and passive ROM are a very undesirable trait and come along with a high risk of injury. This essentially means that your brain is allotting more range of motion than it can actively control. A lack of motor control is an injury risk; if you were forced into a position in which you had no muscular control (falling for example) an injury is likely to occur. In my experience, this is most common in females.

If you are in this group, an easy fix is proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching. It is a mouthful, but it is not as difficult as it sounds. This basically is stretching interspersed with muscular contractions. Here is how to do it:

– Lie on your back, and have a partner lift your leg (with a slight knee bend) in a traditional partner hamstring stretch.

– Once you reach the end of your range of motion, push down into your partner’s hand to contract the hamstring. Start the contraction slow and build up to a strong contraction over the next 10 seconds.

– Release the contraction, and have your partner push your leg back a little further.

– Repeat this process for a few more repetitions.

This is effective in fixing discrepancies between active and passive ROM because the muscular contraction in combination with stretching builds strength in the stretched position, thereby increasing involvement of motor neurons. This practice will lead to improved motor control over time and as a result, more active flexibility.

The third group consists of people who have had “tight hamstrings” since birth. This group has never been able to touch their toes. This group can stretch, get professional massage, therapy – the whole nine yards without seeing the hamstrings budge more than an inch or two.

As mentioned before, this is completely neural in nature. Not everyone was born as a gymnast. In this situation, for whatever reason, the brain is not comfortable with allowing too much range of motion from the hamstrings. There is a myriad of reasons why this could occur, the discussion of which is far beyond the scope of this article. In this situation, PNF stretching is sometimes effective, but usually only results in a few inches of ROM increase. The most effective way to improve flexibility in this situation is through various motor control drills. As motor control improves, the brain will loosen the reins and allow for more flexibility on a whole body level.

Conclusion

If you wish you could get a little more range of motion out of your hamstrings, rather than just stretch, try to figure out which group you belong to and act accordingly. You will not be disappointed!

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The Joy And Benefits Of Jumping Stilts

Some people would want to have a fitter body but rarely stick to an exercise regimen. This could be for many reasons, but a lot of them quit their routines because they have become so boring. It is human nature to want to keep trying other avenues of achieving their goals, and when they can’t seem to find that variety, they can just stop right on their tracks and probably never go back. When it comes to exercise, the more common have been jogging, brisk walking, aerobics and weight training. A relatively new method of working out which people may try though is with the use of jumping stilts.

Jumping stilts have been quite a trend these days among people who want to lose weight without getting stuck with an old and boring way to do it. What’s great about exercising with these stilts is the fun that one can have, especially when he exercises with friends. Instead of their usual walk or job around the park, jumping around on those stilts can provide a nice twist to their quest for health regimen. Most of the time, boredom is the enemy of those who are struggling to adhere to an exercise program. But with jumping stilts, this is almost impossible.

The best thing about using jumping stilts is the fact that it gives a person the benefits of cardiovascular and respiratory organ strengthening and muscle training. Because jumping with those stilts will increase the person’s heart rate, the activity also tends to give the heart a good workout which is good for cardiovascular health. At the same time, because of specific muscles that are being engaged as one struggles to maintain his balance on the stilts while jumping around, toning becomes an inevitable effect. On top of that, because this is an exercise that will have one catching his breath, the respiratory organs are also exercised.

Apart from its health benefits, most people find exercising on jumping stilts to be a whole lot of fun, especially when they do it with kids. It’s definitely a great way for the young ones and their parents or elders to bond with each other. It’s rather rare for adults and kids to find an activity that they both enjoy doing together and using jumping stilts is one. They may have different purposes for doing it – adults want to lose weight while kids want to play – all of them will always cherish the great memories they spend while simply enjoying themselves on those jumping stilts.

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The Joy And Benefits Of Jumping Stilts

Some people would want to have a fitter body but rarely stick to an exercise regimen. This could be for many reasons, but a lot of them quit their routines because they have become so boring. It is human nature to want to keep trying other avenues of achieving their goals, and when they can’t seem to find that variety, they can just stop right on their tracks and probably never go back. When it comes to exercise, the more common have been jogging, brisk walking, aerobics and weight training. A relatively new method of working out which people may try though is with the use of jumping stilts.

Jumping stilts have been quite a trend these days among people who want to lose weight without getting stuck with an old and boring way to do it. What’s great about exercising with these stilts is the fun that one can have, especially when he exercises with friends. Instead of their usual walk or job around the park, jumping around on those stilts can provide a nice twist to their quest for health regimen. Most of the time, boredom is the enemy of those who are struggling to adhere to an exercise program. But with jumping stilts, this is almost impossible.

The best thing about using jumping stilts is the fact that it gives a person the benefits of cardiovascular and respiratory organ strengthening and muscle training. Because jumping with those stilts will increase the person’s heart rate, the activity also tends to give the heart a good workout which is good for cardiovascular health. At the same time, because of specific muscles that are being engaged as one struggles to maintain his balance on the stilts while jumping around, toning becomes an inevitable effect. On top of that, because this is an exercise that will have one catching his breath, the respiratory organs are also exercised.

Apart from its health benefits, most people find exercising on jumping stilts to be a whole lot of fun, especially when they do it with kids. It’s definitely a great way for the young ones and their parents or elders to bond with each other. It’s rather rare for adults and kids to find an activity that they both enjoy doing together and using jumping stilts is one. They may have different purposes for doing it – adults want to lose weight while kids want to play – all of them will always cherish the great memories they spend while simply enjoying themselves on those jumping stilts.

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Penis Bumps – 4 Contagious Causes

The words “penis bumps” strike fear into the heart of any man, and for good reason. While sometimes the cause is simply contact with an irritant or a lack of proper hygiene, a rash in the region may also indicate an infection that not only bothers the man affected, but can be passed onto partners. Whenever a rash appears on or around the penis, a man should have it diagnosed by a medical professional and refrain from sexual contact until the cause is known. Proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary for penis health as well as responsible sexual conduct. The following are a few causes of penile rash that are contagious.

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum is a virus that causes a rash, often in the genital area. It is passed through skin-to-skin contact. This virus doesn’t pose any health risks to infected individuals, and the body fights it off eventually; this can take a couple months or several years.

Molluscum contagiosum manifests as a group of little bumps that are pink or flesh-colored. They are generally shiny and smooth, with a dent in the center. The bumps associated with this rash are painless.

Potential partners should be made aware of what this rash is – a contagious but harmless virus. They will have to choose whether or not to expose themselves to this innocuous, but perhaps aesthetically unappealing, bumpy condition.

Herpes

This sexually transmitted infection (STI) occurs when a person is infected with one of two herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 or HSV-2. These viruses are spread between partners during sexual contact.

Unlike molluscum contagiosum, whose only symptom is bumps, herpes causes great discomfort. The rash is characterized by several blistery bumps that are filled with fluid; they may itch, break open and ooze. Condoms offer only limited protection against spreading this virus, since the blisters can appear on other places besides the penis or vaginal cavity. On a man, they can show up on the penis, testicles and anus.

As of right now, herpes is for life – there is no cure for the virus. However, antiviral medication can reduce the intensity and frequency of outbreaks. The bumps are not permanently present; they come and go. With proper treatment, they may be gone longer.

Scabies

Scabies infestation occurs when a very small insect called the human itch mite sets up shop in a person’s skin. The insects mate on the surface of the skin; then, the females burrow under the skin’s surface to lay eggs. Scabies can be picked up from another person’s skin or from contact with clothing, furniture or other objects with the bugs on them.

The rash associated with scabies can appear in different ways. It may be scaly, pimply or blistery. One consistent feature is itching; the scabies rash is particularly itchy at nighttime, as this is when the bugs are most active.

Resolving scabies requires a combination of medicated lotions and thorough cleaning of one’s home. Lotions kill the insects, and doctors may also prescribe other lotions or antihistamines to help manage the associated itch. Bugs that have fallen off the body can survive in one’s bedding, clothes, etc. for days. All things washable should be washed in hot water; other surfaces should be vacuumed.

Warts

Almost all cases of genital warts are caused by one of two strains of the human papilloma virus: HPV 6 or HPV 11. This is an STI, passed through skin-to-skin contact. Condoms don’t offer full protection against the spread of warts, since the virus can appear beyond the penis and vaginal cavity.

The warts associated with HPV are soft and fleshy; they may appear in clusters resembling cauliflower. Sometimes, the bumps itch. They may show up on the penis, scrotum, thighs and/or anus.

Warts may be removed with the use of a special prescription ointment; they can also be burned, cut or frozen off (by a trained medical professional only). In some people, the warts go away on their own, although it’s uncertain whether the virus remains in the body or not.

Less Serious Rashes

If a man has confirmed that his penis bumps are not caused by a contagious virus or infestation, he may find that he’s simply been exposed to an irritating substance or that his skin is too dry. In these cases, a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) may be sufficient to help the skin heal. Emollients like Shea butter and vitamin E restore smoothness, hydration and elasticity to rough skin. Check with a medical professional before applying to damaged manhood skin.

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Exercise For Man Boobs – A Great Aerobic Exercise To Burn Chest Fat And Get Rid Of Moobs

Since man boobs are bags of excess chest fat, you can reduce them by proper exercise and diet. While a regular diet and exercise routine may not be enough to get rid of your man boobs, it can reduce them by a considerable degree.

I’m often asked what is the best exercise for man boobs (or moobs which is another name for man boobs). There is no answer for this, since what works for one man may be less effective for another. The best exercises for man boobs need to either:

  1. Work the chest muscles
  2. Be aerobic routines to burn chest fat
  3. Be an aerobic routine which works the chest muscles.

This article deals with one excellent exercise which falls into the 3rd category and is very effective. This exercise, despite it’s being very simple and easy to perform is not done by many men. I’m referring to the jumping rope exercise.

This old exercise of our childhood, which is mostly remembered as a game, is one of the most effective aerobic routines there is. It’s effective because it’s an intensive aerobic exercise which burns a lot of fat, and it also involves rapid rotation of the arms and soldiers which also stimulates the chest muscles. This is exactly what you need in order to burn chest fat and eliminate your man boobs.

Here are a few tips to correctly jump rope in order to reduce man boobs:

  1. Rotate the entire length of your arms so your shoulders and chest muscles get more stimulation.
  2. Jump over a soft surface such as grass or soft sand. Refrain from jumping over floors or asphalt.
  3. Don’t jump barefoot. Always wear snickers.
  4. If you have joint problems such as ankle or knee injuries or pain, consult your doctor before jumping rope.

A few minutes of jumping rope will leave you sweating and gasping for air. Include a few minutes of jumping rope a few times a week and you will see an impressive reduction in your body fat and man boobs.

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Points To Consider When Buying Used Gym Equipment

If you are on a tight budget, purchasing used gym equipment can be a smart decision you could make. However, the used equipment that you select should be in good condition. The following article provides tips that would help in making an informed decision when buying used fitness equipment.

Buying Tip

Irrespective of the equipment that you have selected to buy, it would do well to find out a reliable and trustworthy seller with a reputation for delivering quality products that are priced reasonably. When selecting the right equipment, you need to keep certain things in mind so that the purchased equipment does not falter when used later on.

Check for Functionality

Buying used gym equipment should not be at the cost of compromising on the durability. Ensure that the equipment is working completely fine. Examine the different features of the machine and find out the presence of any damage. Try the machine and verify if its features are working fine and safe.

Check for Maintenance

Take time to inspect and find out if the gym equipment is maintained well. It is important that no damages are done to the vital components of the equipment so that it is safe when working with the equipment. The presence of cracks and tears in the parts are the results of poor maintenance.

Check for Comfort Level

It is important that you feel comfortable at the time of using the equipment. Otherwise, there are chances of sustaining injury and health issues while using it. So don’t buy equipment simply because the deal appears lucrative.

Choose from Reputed Brands

See to it that the maker of the used fitness equipment is a reliable and reputed manufacturer and provides a warranty on the parts. So going for quality brands ensures the durability of the equipment.

Check for Warranty

Although used fitness machines do not come with a warranty, but in certain cases, the seller could provide a warranty of up to a year. Check with the manufacturer to find out if they provide after-sales service.

Go Through Customer Reviews

It makes sense to buy gym equipment that has a considerable number of testimonials to its credit. Searching online or reading fitness magazines about customer reviews of the equipment will help to judge the reliability of the equipment.

Buy at the Right Price

Before buying used equipment, find out the retail price of the machine. For this, you could go through the classified ads as given for the local area or browse the websites and compare prices to find the best deals available that meet your budget. Once the actual market value is found out, it would be much easier for you to bargain with the seller for the used fitness equipment. Before inking the deal, verify if any additional expenses like installation cost, delivery charges, and servicing cost need to be paid.

On the whole, it would be beneficial to do one’s own research before purchasing used gym equipment. Purchasing in haste could mean regret later. On the whole, an impulsive buy is not recommended when buying used gym equipment.

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Warm Ups – Don’t Do Them

Don’t be misled by the title warm ups are a key factor in any athletic or general fitness programme.

However that said a lot of people turn up to their session for PT or with their coach and get the bog standard, Go warm up on the treadmill for ten minutes” or “run five laps” each time they have a session.

Warm ups are a key factor in any programme as is a cool down, and should always be conducted despite time restraints. Do not neglect your warm up as it is probably as important as the outcome of your session.

Warm ups can take a few forms but general consensus is that they should be:

Task specific

Prepare the body for the upcoming workload

Prepare you psychologically

Increase the heart rate and blood flow.

So does the light treadmill warm up or cycle warm up fit into the basic criteria? The simple answer is no.

Your warm up should be about the following:

SMR- Foam Rolling (self myofascial release)

Activation – dynamic movement

ROM- range of motion

Using a ball, stick or roller activates the myofascial muscle fibres allowing feedback of tightened areas and possible problems arising in the muscles.

The dynamic activation further prepares the body by stimulating the CNS increasing, blood flow, and heart rate to name a few.

The dynamic activation leads into increased range of motion in the muscle groups preparing the body for the workload.

By conducting a detailed warm up using the method described above we start a sequence of events within the body, which allows us to:

Prepare the muscles

Prevent injury

Increase blood flow

Promote muscle plyobility

Increase muscle flexibility

Sample warm up

Foam rolling full body inclusive of vertical and X Sagittal rolling of the muscles.

1a rotational half squats

1b monster band walks

1c ninja band walks

1d walking lunges with rotation

2a diagonal wood chopper (mb) left

2b diagonal wood chopper (mb) right

2c wood chopper (mb)

2d round the world (mb)

3a glute picks

3b ankle picks

3c can opener

3d bent over windmill rotation

Repeat the above warm up twice more, do not include the foam rolling in the subsequent sets.

Each time you conduct the warm up apart from the foam rolling which should always be executed first, start at a different point in the routine, this ensures the body is always adapting to new stimulus thus helping promote the muscles to activate.

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