Tag Archives: abs

Should You Do Chinups or Pullups?

20 Jul

0903_ExercisePullupTwo_200x200[1]Chinups and pullups are both great exercises, and there’s room for both in any strength training regimen.  Each of these exercises targets some similar and some different muscles.  Here’s the breakdown:

Chinups are performed with an underhand grip.  This exercise is great for the back, especially the lat muscles, and also recruits the biceps and pectoral muscles.  The chinup tends to be easier to perform than the pullup.

Pullups are performed with an overhand grip.  This exercise recruits the trapezius muscles more effectively than the chinup.  The pullup also works your abs and shoulders.

If you’re not quite ready for chinups or pullups, the lat pulldown activates the same muscles and can be an effective starting point.  You can change your grip on the lat pulldown exercise – and perform single-arm lat pulldowns – to work more muscle and make the exercise more effective.  (please see related article, Change Grips to Improve Your Lat Pulldown)

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Work Your Core, Not Just Your Abs

25 Apr

theplankmain[1]When most people hear “core,” they think “abs.”  Actually, your core includes the muscles of your torso — shoulders through hips (deltoids, abdominals, gluteals, and lumbar spine).  These muscles initiate, generate, and resist movement (running, jumping, hitting, and throwing), strength, and power.  If you’re not strong through your core, it won’t matter how strong the muscles of your arms and legs are, because you just can’t compensate for a weak core.

Exercises that integrate your entire core elicit greater muscle activation than exercises that isolate the abs.  There are lots of exercises that target the muscles of the core, but not all core exercises elicit significant activation in a way that enhances functional gains and peak performance.

Benefits of exercises that active your core musculature include:

  • maximize strength
  • improve endurance
  • enhance stability
  • reduce injury
  • maintain mobility

Here are some core exercises that will help you maximize strength,improve muscular endurance, and reduce injury:

  • Plank (4-point, 3-point, 2-point)
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Medicine Ball Toe Touch
  • Swiss Ball Leg Raise

Rotational exercises, like the one’s listed below, help to strengthen the core through all 3 planes of motion:

  • Russian Twist
  • Lateral Medicine Ball Slams and Throws
  • Kettlebell Woodchopper and Corkscrew

Anti-Rotational exercises — those for which you move your arms and shoulders laterally but do not rotate your hips (for example, the Russian Twist – Bench Holding Stability Ball) — are still another way to effectively strengthen your core.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Abs Are Built in the Kitchen

27 Mar

VMO[1]Well (regarding the title), I’m not sure that’s 100% true — at least some of the work has to be done in the weight room — but I do believe You Can’t “Out-Train” a Bad Diet.

Here’s an article, titled, 7 Eating Habits That Will Uncover Your Abs, that provides some helpful advice and insight about the relationship between diet and the quest for abs.

The article focuses on 7 areas:

  • Smart snacking
  • Avoiding hunger
  • Eating for your ideal weight
  • Eating a variety of carbs
  • Eating more veggies (and fish)
  • Post-workout protein and carbs
  • Drinking more water

Remember, balance and moderation is the key.  An extreme, fanatical approach to diet and nutrition (or anything else) rarely has “staying power;” slow and steady — consistency — is the way to go.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Should You Do Chinups or Pullups?

3 Jun

0903_ExercisePullupTwo_200x200[1]Chinups and pullups are both great exercises, and there’s room for both in any strength training regimen.  Each of these exercises targets some similar and some different muscles.  Here’s the breakdown:

Chinups are performed with an underhand grip.  This exercise is great for the back, especially the lat muscles, and also recruits the biceps and pectoral muscles.  The chinup tends to be easier to perform than the pullup.

Pullups are performed with an overhand grip.  This exercise recruits the trapezius muscles more effectively than the chinup.  The pullup also works your abs and shoulders.

If you’re not quite ready for chinups or pullups, the lat pulldown activates the same muscles and can be an effective starting point.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Work Your Core, Not Just Your Abs

29 Mar

theplankmain[1]When most people hear “core,” they think “abs.”  Actually, your core includes the muscles of your torso — shoulders through hips (deltoids, abdominals, gluteals, and lumbar spine).  These muscles initiate and generate movement (running, jumping, hitting, and throwing), strength, and power.  If you’re not strong through your core, it won’t matter how strong the muscles of your arms and legs are, because you just can’t compensate for a weak core.

Exercises that integrate your entire core elicit greater muscle activation than exercises that isolate the abs.  There are lots of exercises that target the muscles of the core, but not all core exercises elicit significant activation in a way that enhances functional gains and peak performance.

Benefits of exercises that active your core musculature include:

  • maximize strength
  • improve endurance
  • enhance stability
  • reduce injury
  • maintain mobility

Here are some core exercises that will help you maximize strength, improve muscular endurance, and reduce injury:

  • Plank (4-point, 3-point, 2-point)
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Medicine Ball Toe Touch
  • Swiss Ball Leg Raise

Rotational exercises, like the one’s listed below, help to strengthen the core through all 3 planes of motion:

  • Russian Twist
  • Lateral Medicine Ball Slams and Throws
  • Kettlebell Woodchopper and Corkscrew

Anti-Rotational exercises — those for which you move your arms and shoulders laterally but do not rotate your hips (for example, the Russian Twist – Bench Holding Stability Ball) — are still another way to effectively strengthen your core.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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