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5 Ways to Improve Your Push Press Form

Push Press Exercise
Per Bernal

The push press is an often-overlooked exercise that, if done correctly, can help build a ridiculously strong and balanced upper body. Compared with a standard military press, the leg drive used in this move also allows you to use more weight and get a greater muscular response. Unfortunately, most people don't do it right. Here are five reasons you might be struggling with the exercise—and how to perfect your form.

Problem 1: Your Knees Shoot Forward

If your knees shoot forward when you dip, your hips may not drop straight down to transfer maximal force. Push your knees outward, as with a squat, to power back up.

Problem 2: Bar Placement is Wrong

The bar should rest on your shoulders and clavicle. This lines the weight up with your hips so that when you press, you can transfer your force upward in one straight line.

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Problem 3: You're Not Breathing Properly

Breathing sounds simple, but a lot of people mess this up, which is a shame since proper breathing can add several reps to your set. Before you start the dip, take a big breath into your belly. Exhale at the top of the push press, then inhale again when the barbell descends to your shoulders. Repeat for every rep.

Problem 4: Your Grip Is Off

The proper grip can vary by a few inches from person to person, but the ideal range is between the start of your deltoids and six inches outside them. Any wider and your leverage will be weakened. Any closer and your elbows won't be in the right position to drive the weight overhead.

Problem 5: You're Not Catching the Weight

One thing new push pressers don't think about is how to absorb the weight on the descent. When you become pretty strong at the move­ ment, and the weight begins to add up, you put your rotator cuff in danger when you slowly lower the weight down as you would with a military press. Instead, let the bar fall at a reasonable speed and bend your knees a bit so you dip about three inches. This will ensure that you catch the falling weight and absorb the load more efficiently.

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How to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis

How to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis
Getty

Plantar fasciitis, which can feel like a scorpion is digging into the bottom of your feet, can turn your daily gym session or even a simple stroll to the supermarket into a hellish experience. If this sounds like your day-to-day, know you're not alone. One in 10 Americans will deal with plantar fasciitis (PF) in their lifetime, according to a study in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. Read on to learn more about PF, then gain a foothold on the problem by tackling the recommended stretches.

THE PROBLEM

Your fascia tissue—which connects your heel to your toes—is inflamed, and the pain is debilitating. Even the most basic tasks make you wince.

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THE CAUSE

The most common causes of plantar fasciitis are being overweight, lacking toe strength and mobility, and participating in high-impact activities like jumping and sprinting. However, a lesser-known cause is not doing enough dorsiflexion (aka pointing your toes toward the sky). Doing this counteracts the constant downward position our toes are usually in, which can leave the fascia tissue tighter than Scrooge's wallet.

THE FIX

One good step is to treat yourself to a foot massage. This increases the blood flow, making the tissue more malleable—because if the tissue is too tight, even stretching won't do you too much good. If that's out of your budget, loosen up the fascia by rolling the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball or golf ball. Then move on to the stretches below, which involve dorsiflexion and extension. Finally, make it a point to extend and flex your individual toes throughout the day. As simple as it sounds, it'll counteract foot pain.

Mobility Recovery

You can (and should) do these stretches whenever you feel foot pain.

  • Lacrosse Ball Foot Roll: 1 min. each foot
  • Toe Flex and Extend: 1 min. each foot
  • Banded Ankle Distraction: 1 min. each foot

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How to Incorporate the Westside Barbell Method Into Your Training

How to Train With the Westside Barbell Method
Ian Spanier

The Westside Barbell Club—an invitation-only gym in Columbus, OH—is known as the strongest gym on the planet. Its athletes have set more than 140 world powerlifting records. Behind its success is the Westside Barbell Method, the brainchild of founder Louie Simmons. It's been said that if you don't train at WSB, then you can't say you train with the WSB Method. The atmosphere, the unique equipment, and the ability to train alongside Simmons and the world's elite are big reasons behind the program's success. Still, the tactics of the WSB Method are used regularly by lifters worldwide with admirable results. Here, we outline what you need to know so you can train this way, too.

WHAT IT IS

The Westside Barbell Method follows a four-day split: two upper-body days and two lower-body days. The defining difference is what Simmons calls the "conjugate method," meaning joined together in pairs. Instead of separating speed and strength into distinct training blocks, like most strength programs, Westside focuses on strength (maximal strength) and speed (dynamic effort) at the same time. Another major difference: Simmons has his lifters train with variations of the big three (squat, bench, and deadlift) for the max-effort days—think box squats, board presses, and deficit deadlifts. As for accessory work, you choose your own based on your weaknesses. Have trouble locking out your bench press? Double up on triceps. Get stuck in the hole on squats?

Try box squats and band squats. Basically, pick three to four moves that will help your main three lifts, and do a few sets for many reps. It isn't rocket science.

HOW IT WORKS

Lifting heavy weight for low reps and then moving lighter weight (at Westside, the term light is relative) for speed reps teaches the body to strain against a bone-crushing load while also applying rapid, violent force with the same movement. Also, using variations of the big three will prevent you from burning out (these variations are usually less strenuous on the body) and help you blow past plateaus since they also focus on different portions of the lift.

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Westside Barbell Method

Follow this program for eight weeks and watch your maxes soar.

Dynamic-Effort Bench: Do 9 sets of 3 reps with about 50% of your 1RM, focusing on technique and moving the bar quickly. Then perform relevant accessory work.

Maximal-Effort Squat/Deadlift: Work up to a 1- to 2-rep max of a wide-stance box squat with varying bars (Duffalo, spider, safety squat).

Maximal-Effort Bench: Work up to a 1- to 2-rep max with a different bar or method (Duffalo bar, floor press, or close grip). Then perform relevant accessory work.

Dynamic-Effort Squat/Deadlift: Do 10 sets of 2 reps with roughly 50% of your 1RM, focusing on technique and speed. Then perform relevant accessory work.

DO IT

Four days doesn't sound like a lot, but these will not be an easy four days. Also, you won't have the world's strongest lifters holding you accountable, so you need to be able to push yourself. Hard. As for what days to lift, the Westside lifters follow this split:

  • Sunday: Dynamic-effort bench
  • Monday: Maximal-effort squat/deadlift
  • Wednesday: Maximal-effort bench
  • Friday: Dynamic-effort squat/deadlift

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3 Upper-Body Cardio Workouts That Torch Calories



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The Brutal 60-Minute Barbell Workout Challenge

Deadlift
Edgar Artiga

WHAT IT IS

A test of strength and stamina that has you perform one deadlift rep using 80% of your one-rep max (1RM) at the top of every minute—resting for the remainder of the minute—for 60 straight minutes. This is known as "every minute on the minute," or EMOM for short. "The EMOM scheme allows for consistent rest periods throughout the challenge, but you'll also have to develop muscular endurance to be able to continue as the reps progress," says Jim Smith, C.P.P.S., owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning (dieselsc.com). If an hour sounds too daunting, cut it to 45 or even 30 minutes. Trust us, it'll still be difficult.

WHEN TO DO IT

"This challenge is brutal and will leave you broken for a couple of weeks after," Smith says. "So perform it only two or three times per year."

WHAT TO EXPECT

During the challenge, you'll actually feel like the weight is decreasing as you hit your groove. "The bar will just start flying up," Smith says. But as you hit 30 to 45 reps, it'll feel heavy again.

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PERFORMANCE TIP

For this challenge, Smith highly recommends using both chalk (for a better grip) and a lifting belt. "Try to expand your belly into the belt, and hold this brace for the entire rep," he says.

DIRECTIONS:

Before taking on the chal­ lenge, Smith advises training with some of these moves for three to four weeks prior.

DEADLIFTS

Do 12 sets of heavy singles with 2 to 3 minutes of rest between sets. For Week 4, decrease the rest periods to 45 seconds.

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POSTERIOR CHAIN EXERCISES

Perform glute-ham raises, good mornings, sled-dragging variations, back raises, rack pulls, and other deadlift variations.

CORE, UPPER-BACK, AND GRIP MOVES

Try ab rollouts, weighted crunches, pullups, and heavy shrugs and rows to smash your core and back. For grip, do heavy farmer's walks, as well as deadlifts with a double-overhand grip.

STRENGTH GAUGE

Give the Power Hour a try and see how you measure up:

  • Failing before 60 min. = Get to work
  • 60 min. completed = Mission accomplished
  • 100 min. = You're an animal

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5 Ways to Burn Body Fat Without Cardio



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Nothing Can Stop Paralympian Alana Nichols

Nothing Can Stop Paralympian Alana Nichols
Doug Pensinger / Getty

Think you understand resilience? Meet Alana Nichols, who makes Rudy look like a kid with an OK attitude.

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At 17, she was a multisport star dreaming of college softball glory. Then a snowboarding accident left her paralyzed from the midthighs down. Devastated doesn't begin to describe her feelings. Two dark years later, Nichols started bouncing back.

"I've been an athlete all my life, and I thought I'd never be an athlete again," the New Mexico native says. "Then I found wheelchair basketball, and that opened my eyes to the opportunities people with disabilities have to play sports."

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Thus began an incredibly inspiring, Bo Jackson–like athletic odyssey. An alternate in 2004, Nichols scored hoops gold at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. Then she got into monoskiing and won four more medals, including two gold, in Vancouver in 2010, just nine months after the death of her brother, D.J. She also snagged a silver in Sochi (2014) and raced a sprint kayak in Rio de Janeiro (2016).

How does she do it? Fitness is key. For the Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, she prepped for monoskiing with CrossFit-type workouts focused on her core—which plays the role that hips do in able-bodied skiers, helping her hold angles during high-speed, G-force-loaded turns.

There were plenty of days after my injury that I didn't even want to leave the house. If I had let that stop me, I wouldn't be where I am today.

 

She also credits sponsor Toyota, which stresses at mobilityforall.com that it's critical for every body to move—and to go for your own gold.

Even so, you need something extra to overcome extraordinary obstacles: resilience. "There were plenty of days after my injury that I didn't even want to leave the house," Nichols says. "If I had let that stop me, I wouldn't be where I am today."

Double Threat

Nichols is the only American woman to win gold at both a Summer and Winter Olympics.

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20 of the Best Butts on Instagram in 2018



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Which Is Healthier: Regular Fries or Sweet Potato Fries?

Regular Fries Vs. Sweet Potato Fries
Westend61 / Anastassios Mentis / Getty

On its own, the humble potato is not too exciting. But when cut into sticks and deep-fried, the unassuming tuber becomes the lauded french fries, which are perhaps America's most popular side dish. Since you'll likely crave fries at some point, we set out to find which is healthier: the regular kind or sweet potato variety. 

In terms of calories, carbs, fiber, and protein, "they are quite similar," says Amy Goodson, a sports dietitian in Dallas who has worked with the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas rangers. Both fry types are loaded with potassium, and sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene. So it's less about which fries you choose and more about how you prepare them. 

"Keeping the skin on is a good idea, since thats where some of the fiber is found," Goodson says. "Frying causes food to soak up more oil, but if roasted or baked, fries can be a great side dish and fairly healthy. The key things are your portion size and what you eat them with." 

If you're really looking for a healthy side, try another vegetable or a salad. But don't assume that baked potatoes are any better than fries, especially if they're loaded with butter and sour cream.

Since both types of fries provide similar nutrition, choose your favorite—just eat it in moderation. Pressed to pick one, Goodson gives sweet potatoes the nod for their beta-carotene.

Lastly, ditch the ketchup. Instead, combine a packet of powdered Ranch mix with Greek yogurt for some added protein.

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Regular Fries: 

Carlories: 274

Protein: 3g

Sugar: 1g 

Carbs: 28g 

Fat: 14g 

Sweet Potato Fries: 

Calories: 188

Protein: 2g

Sugar: 4g

Carbs: 19g 

Fat: 9g 

And the winner is:

Sweet potato fries!

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'Smackdown' Recap: Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Rusev and More Compete in a Grueling Gauntlet Match

'Smackdown' Recap: Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Rusev and More Compete in a Grueling Gauntlet Match
Courtesy of WWE.com

AJ Styles has had a pretty good run as the current WWE champion. He's been holding it down for over seven months and has defended his belt three times against Shinsuke Nakamura. But it's about time for someone new to take a shot at the throne.

To name the next challenger, this week's Smackdown included a special main event—a gauntlet match in which five superstars would have a chance to win a shot at the belt. In a gauntlet match, two superstars enter the ring. Once one of them gets pinned, another superstar takes his place until they've all been in the ring. Whoever gets the last pin wins the match.

The match began with The New Day's Big E facing off against the hugely popular Daniel Bryan. Bryan is known for his next-level endurance, having lasted over an hour in the Greatest Royal Rumble. While E held his own against Bryan, he eventually fell victim to a pin.

The next competitor was the behemoth known as Samoa Joe. Joe appeared to have the upper hand against Bryan, managing to trap him in multiple submission holds. But he was disqualified when he misjudged the length of time he'd been outside the ring.

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Bryan, clearly winded after his face-off with Joe, then took on the infamous trash-talker The Miz. Before Miz entered the ring, however, Bryan was blindsided by a surprise appearance from Smackdown tag-team champions The Bludgeon Brothers, who hit Bryan with a devastating double powerbomb and let Miz get the pin. 

This left The Miz to take on his final challenger, the "Bulgarian Brute" Rusev. The match went back and forth, but Rusev was able to land a Machka Kick and force Miz to submit with his signature Accolade submission hold.

With Rusev triumphant, the fan favorite now has an opportunity to take on "The Phenomenal One." Will the Extreme Rules event be remembered as "Rusev Day"? We'll find out in a few weeks.

Catch the annual Extreme Rules event on Sunday, July 15 on the WWE Network.

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'M&F' Radar: 6 Things Fit Guys Should Know In July 2018



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Katrina Law Talks Training and the Most Attractive Muscle on a Man

Katrina Law
The Riker Brothers

Tell us about your character on this new show The Oath.

Karen Beach is a police officer in an indistinct police precinct. She joined this gang, the Ravens, quite willingly and now considers them her family. And she's ride or die for these guys, or she thinks she is. As you follow her, you see how her loyalty is tested.

50 Cent is an exec producer on the show. Did you meet him?

He came to the set, and he was wonderful—such a great personality, and you can tell he works out like a maniac. We were all trying to be cool around him, like, "Hey, 50, what's up? Thanks for the show." As soon as he walked away, we all started singing "Candy Shop."

The Oath is shot in Puerto Rico. Was it affected by the hurricanes?

We took a monthlong hiatus and came back, so we witnessed the devastation firsthand. It's going to take years for the island to recover. We were glad Crackle didn't make us finish shooting somewhere else. The people of Puerto Rico are so resilient and tough and feisty.

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This is a very physical role. What was your training like for this show?

I went old-school—working out with weights and doing just one body part at a time. For a while, I was doing a HIIT circuit. But sometimes with interval cardio, I find myself getting injured and wearing myself out a lot. When you're working 14-hour days, you tend to break down. I found it easier to do very lazy, long cardio. And also yoga to stay stable and Zen out.

Is there anything you don't like about working out?

The biggest deterrent is getting out of my house, getting in my car, and driving through L.A. traffic to get to the gym. So I just started working out at home. It's much easier to motivate yourself when you have a [Bowflex] Max Trainer. It kicks your ass in 15 minutes and makes you sweat.

How's your diet?

I've been dieting off and on for the different shows that I've been on, starting with Spartacus, so I've just adapted it to my real life. For example, I know that I need to eat four or five times a day. When I'm working out, I actually eat a lot more sugar when I'm on set. I know it's a bad habit, but sometimes I'll have a piece of cake for a pick-me-up. When I'm home, I eat clean. I love eggs, natural carbohydrates, and lots of vegetables.

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Any cheat meals besides cake?

Cheetos just do me in. Or salt-and-vinegar chips. I'm really into crunchy things.

Has anyone tried picking you up at the gym?

I have my game face on when I'm at the gym, and everything about me and the outfit I'm wearing—usually sweatpants— says, "Do not hit on me." I look like a blob on purpose. Wearing cute things or a sports bra—I'm not that girl. I wish I were, but I'm not.

Is there one muscle on a man you find attractive?

I like men with great backs. Like a nice set of rear delts, a nice V, the back muscles.

So a different kind of back than what Sir Mix-a-Lot sings about.

I'm not saying I don't appreciate it. My husband has a great ass.

Stream all 10 episodes of The Oath on crackle.com, and follow Katrina Law on Instagram and Twitter: @katrinalaw.

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'Raw' Recap: Ronda Rousey Gets a 30-Day Suspension, Seth Rollins Suffers a Stunning Loss

'Raw' Recap: Ronda Rousey Gets a 30 Day Suspension and Seth Rollins Suffers a Stunning Loss
Courtesy WWE.com

Ronda Rousey has had a rough couple of days.

Originally the favorite to win the WWE Raw Women's Championship at Money in the Bank last Sunday, Rousey's victory seemed assured when she managed to lock her opponent Nia Jax in her trademark armbar.

But her moment was cut short by Alexa Bliss, who forced a disqualification by hitting Rousey with the briefcase she'd won earlier in the night. Bliss then cashed in her contract and took down Jax, essentially stealing the title right from under Rousey's nose.

Considering the way her weekend ended, it's no surprise that Rousey wasn't particularly happy at the start of this week's Raw when Bliss celebrated her new belt alongside Raw General Manager Kurt Angle. When Rousey came into the ring, Bliss responded with a tirade in which she declared Rousey to be an "over-hyped rookie."

EMBED1

Rousey viciously assaulted Bliss in return, striking dozens of blows on the new champion. When Angle tried to restrain Rousey, she ruthlessly attacked him and the other WWE officials. Rousey ended her rampage by throwing Bliss right through a table.

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Of course, Angle couldn't just let Rousey walk away after that behavior. He suspended her for 30 days, and we have a feeling she'll want some revenge on Bliss the moment she gets back.

Meanwhile, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins was on a massive upswing. He defeated The Miz at Backlash and Elias at Money in the Bank to retain his title, and he declared an open challenge to anyone who wanted a shot at it. This week, Dolph Ziggler (accompanied by his ally Drew McIntyre) answered the call.

EMBED2

Ziggler has a reputation for having more bark than bite when in comes to competing in WWE, so Rollins' victory seemed assured. However, in a shocking turn of events, Ziggler managed to reverse Rollins' pin to get the victory—and the belt.

With Ziggler and McIntyre living up to their promise of upending Raw's status quo, only time will tell if Rollins can rise back up to his former glory.

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