Ab Workouts After 40

Muscle mass starts to decline after 40, except for those doing regular muscle training since their 20s. Personal trainers Ruth Stone and Nicola Addison-Newland recommend these Ab workouts after 40.

Strategic strength and weight exercises combined with diet

A training program incorporating strength exercises at least thrice a week combined with a high-protein, low-calorie diet helps gain a six-pack. A low-calorie diet with regular general exercises makes the body leaner. HIIT sessions at least two times a week improve muscle to fat ratio and overall fitness. Weight sessions at least thrice a week help to build a muscle mass. These two factors reduce fat deposits, increase muscle mass, ability to exercise, and fitness. They also increase metabolism because the body requires more calories to operate during exercises and rest. High metabolism, in turn, reduces stored fat.

Focus on the core exercises

Exercises that involve extra weight and body weight are the most efficient in toning and definition around the abdominal region. They serve the purpose when balanced with equal back exercises that require a similar effort. They sustain balanced training and posture for those who care much about muscle appearance. Heavy lifts and weight should not be scary and make muscles stay metabolically active by burning energy even when resting.

Engaging in Compound movements

Regular weight training can boost basal metabolic rate by up to 15%. Benefits increase by incorporating compound movements into a daily routine. Compound movements are exercises that challenge numerous multiple joints and muscle groups. They include lunges, swats, deadlifts, pull-ups, and bent-over rows.

Ab workouts require a complement by the following dietary measures.

Eating breakfast every day without skipping

Skipping breakfast can water down the benefits of Ab workouts after 40. It slows down metabolism as the body functioning adjust to allow holding onto any calories and nutrients it finds. Those who exercise should eat a heavy breakfast and lunch but a light dinner while making protein the base of all meals.

Long walks before lunch

The best way to maintain a lean midsection is to stay active even when away from a gym. Walking 5,000 steps is a great way to stay slimmer, and it can happen by walking instead of taking a car. Walking for 10 minutes is equal to about 1,000 steps. Guidelines suggest that an average adult should walk for 10,000 steps per day to reach 15 minutes of activity a week. Taking 5.000 steps before lunch is one of the effective ways to burn calories and keep fitness goals on track.

This article was originally published on FrankMichelin.net

Foam Rolling Safety Tips For Stretching

Not only is the art of foam rolling beneficial for relieving tight muscles after a strenuous workout, but it can also be a great tool to reset the body after a long day at work. Desk jobs are a major culprit for body aches, specifically in the back region. Luckily, foam rolling specific areas can relieve tension and tightness, as long as it is performed correctly. Here are some common foam rolling mistakes to avoid to prevent further injury to the back.

Improper Back Support:

A common mistake people make when foam rolling is getting on the roller and having no support under their neck. A lack of support puts strain on the neck, defeating the purpose of rolling out in the first place. For a safer roll, the feet should be placed flat on the floor, with the hands placed behind the neck, to hold it up.

Rolling the Wrong Place:

Another easy mistake to make is placing the foam roller in the wrong region of the back. You can cause more damage and strain if you roll too low on your back, specifically in the lumbar region. To reduce the risk of injury, the foam rolling should be restricted to the region between the shoulders and bottom of the rib cage.

Rolling too Quickly:

The final mistake to avoid when foam rolling is moving through the process too quickly. Rolling up and down the back once or twice is unlikely to yield any significant results. It is best to slowly target an area for 5-10 minutes to allow the muscles to relax and release tightness. If a specific area feels tighter then perform the rolling process slower and spend some time on that area to release the tension in that region.

Foam rolling is a beneficial tool for athletes and desk workers alike. It is useful for releasing muscle tension and allowing muscles to reset to their original position. When performing foam rolling it is important to remember these safety tips to prevent injury. When foam rolling the back, the neck should be supported throughout the rolling, the foam roller should remain between the shoulder blades and the ribs, and the process should be performed slowly and controlled.

This article was originally published on FrankMichelin.net

The Best Free Fitness Classes Online

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, people who typically relied on the gym to stay fit had to make do with at-home workouts instead. One of the most popular at-home alternatives have been online classes, which allow you to enjoy a fitness class in the comfort of your own home.

Even as lockdowns have ended, many people realized that they genuinely loved the flexibility and ease of access that online fitness classes provide. Here are some of the best online fitness classes available.

Fitness Blender

Fitness Blender was one of the earliest online fitness YouTube channels to gain popularity. Boasting over 600 free videos, this ultra-fit husband and wife duo guide viewers through every type of workout under the sun, from strength training to HIIT cardio.

The Class To Try: With an extraordinary 75 million views, their signature 10-Minute Ab Workout will ensure that you feel the burn.

Yoga With Adriene

Adriene is easily the biggest yoga channel on YouTube. She offers a yoga class for everyone, from athletic classes that burn calories to gentle classes that soothe sore muscles. Her demeanor is calm yet motivating and her classes feel like they’re being taught by a dear friend.

The Class To Try: Adriene’s 45-Minute Total Body Stretch is like hitting the reset button on your mind and body.

Chloe Ting

Chloe Ting has shot to fitness superstardom over the past few years. Her high-paced HIIT workouts and equipment-free strength training programs help her fans to tone up quickly and safely. Part of her popularity comes from her carefully curated playlists, featuring high-octane dance tracks that keep viewers motivated.

The Class To Try: Chloe’s signature Get Abs In Two Weeks ab workout may sometimes be the subject of mockery due to its “clickbait” title, but the moves in this 10-minute video are truly effective, with a focus on planks instead of old fashioned crunches.

Don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to online fitness classes. If you’re looking for a specific type of class, chances are that if you search for it on YouTube, you’ll find a wealth of options. A huge part of the fun of online fitness classes is discovering new instructors and new classes that take your home fitness program to the next level.

This article was originally published on FrankMichelin.net

Less Common Muscles to Stretch For Relief

There are many muscles in our body that we can stretch to improve our posture and our overall quality of life. Stretching these muscles can help alleviate issues like back pain, neck aches, and headaches.

How to Stretch

Some of the most common stretches include the following:

– Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at your waist and reach your hands as far down as you can.

– Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then slowly lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in the back or hamstrings.

– Reach both arms over your head to touch fingertips together. Hold for a few seconds before bringing your arms back down to start position.

When to Stretch

It is important to stretch your muscles in association with a workout or before going to bed. This will help them relax and be less sore the next day.

It is best to stretch before, during, and after your workout. Review examples of stretches that can be done before your workout: hamstring, calf, hip flexor, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

After working out, it is important to stretch again with the following stretches: hamstring, calf, hip flexor, and quadriceps.

During the workout, it’s also good to make sure that you take a moment or two to walk around and then come back for more stretching.

Muscles to Stretch

Muscles can be stretched in many ways, so it is important to pick the exercises that are best for you.

Besides stretching large muscle groups like glutes and hamstrings and quads, also stretch muscles you rarely do for relief, such as the muscles in your neck, chest, shoulders, and lats. You might also want to stretch your fingers and thumbs as well as the muscles of your lower back and hips.

There are many ways to stretch muscles. It is important to pick one that is best for you. For example, one way you can stretch your hamstrings is from a kneeling position with the back of one heel pressing against the inner thigh of the other leg. Another way is from a seated position, where you cross your right leg over your left, then lean forward and try to get both hands on the ground in front of you (or against a wall).

To conclude, you should always start slowly and work your way toward the tensest muscles.

This article was originally published on FrankMichelin.net

Simple Hamstring Exercises For Improved Mobility

Hamstring muscles, which are on the back of the leg, are responsible for leg extension. They also assist with walking and knee bending. When they become sore or tight, it can be very difficult to walk and move efficiently. Athletes with tight hamstrings are more likely to experience serious injuries.

Luckily, there are some exercises that improve overall hamstring mobility. Here’s a list of exercises people with chronic hamstring tightness should try.

Wide-Legged Stretch

Wide-legged stretches are great for the hamstrings as well as the inner thigh muscles. For this stretch, start in a seated position. Sit as tall as possible. With pointed toes, place your legs in a comfortable V-shape. Engage the abdomen and move the chest muscles towards the floor.

Only stretch far enough so the spine stays aligned. Finally, reach out with stretched arms on the floor. Return to resting position and repeat.

Kitchen Sink Stretch

People who need to relieve their hamstring tightness should definitely try this exercise. This stretch is great because it can be performed on any flat surface that’s hip height like a counter. When someone does this exercise, they need to start by bending over and placing their hands on the surface. To straighten the back, bend over enough to be parallel to the ground. Put one leg out front and stretch. Perform this stretch on both legs.

It’s important to keep your back and legs straight so your hips are properly aligned while stretching. This creates a better stretch for people who regularly deal with tight hamstrings as well as helps with pain relief.

Lying Hamstring Stretch

Start by lying down. With both feet planted flat on the ground, lift one leg in the air. Hold the back of the leg to improve extension. Hold this position for at least ten seconds per leg. Refrain from straining to avoid further damage.

Tight hamstring muscles can make it difficult to do simple tasks like getting out of bed. By practicing these simple hamstring exercises, athletes and working people alike can improve their mobility and overall quality of life. People who perform these exercises and still experience problems should speak to their healthcare provider for alternative solutions immediately.

This article was originally published on FrankMichelin.net

Arm Workouts That Require No Equipment

Gym equipment is expensive and, these days, getting to the gym is a luxury that some people don’t have. Luckily, you can build your arm muscles without equipment by using a concept known as accommodating resistance. This means modifying the exercise through various ranges of motion to make it more challenging. Here are three examples below.

Push-Ups

Arm Muscles Worked: Triceps, Pectoralis Major (flexors), Anterior Deltoids (extensors)

Push-ups are a classic exercise. In fact, push-ups can be considered by some as the perfect exercise because they work so many of your major muscle groups. Plus, the exercise is highly versatile and can be modified to fit any fitness level.

There are so many variations of push-ups, but the classic push-up is always a good choice. Make sure your body stays straight and that you lower yourself until your arms are parallel with the ground in order to get the maximum benefits of the exercise.

Arm Circles

Arm Muscles Worked: Deltoids (shoulder), Triceps, Biceps

Most people do arm circles as a warm-up exercise. However, incorporating them into your regular routine as a primary exercise can be extremely beneficial for your arms. They especially develop your shoulder muscles which is great if you happen to have shoulder pain.

To do arm circles, stand with your arms stretched straight out to each side of you (like you’re forming a letter T). Rotate your arms at the shoulders in a forward circle for several reps. Then reverse the circle and rotate for several reps.

Inverted/Incline Row

Arm Muscles Worked: Lats, Forearms, Biceps, Grip (from the bottom of the elbow all the way down through your fingers)

The inverted row is essentially the opposite of push-ups. This will work the rest of the arm muscles that push-ups don’t. You may see people doing inverted rows with barbells, but you can do this exercise at home by closing a sheet up securely in a door.

Grip each side of the sheet and lean back to a 45-degree angle (or more depending on your level of fitness). Your arms should be fully extended. Keep your body straight as you pull yourself up and lower yourself using your heels like an anchor.

This article was originally published on FrankMichelin.net

Three Standing Ab Exercises for a Solid Core

For improved fitness and health, it is imperative to incorporate core exercises in your workout routine. You use your abs or core muscles for just about everything! Sitting upright, standing, walking, weightlifting: you name it, your core does it. Improving your core strength can help you make progress with your range of motion, balance, and stability and can even improve back pain. You can strengthen your core by doing common exercises (such as planks) on the floor on a mat. However, you can also try doing standing ab exercises, which are easier on your neck and hip flexors. Standing ab exercises are highly underrated! They can help engage deeper core muscles and are simply more useful to everyday life as most daily activities involve standing, not lying on the floor. Here are three effective standing ab exercises that you can start implementing in your fitness routine today!

1. Leg lift

Once you are in your workout clothes and warmed up, go ahead and stand up straight. Stretch your arms out straight in front of you, keeping them in line with your shoulders, parallel to the floor. Lift your right leg up towards your hands. You may want to keep a slight bend in your knee for better balance and range of motion. Lower your leg and repeat this with the other leg, completing as many reps and sets as necessary for your fitness level.

2. Squat

Although it is typically categorized as a lower body exercise, squats are a dynamic movement that also fully work your core muscles! As mentioned before, the core is involved in almost everything we do. You can do a body weight squat or a weighted squat. If you are new to fitness, start with a body weight squat. Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start to sit into your hips by bending your knees and dropping your bum toward the floor. You can stretch your arms out in front of you for balance, hands clasped, or just stretched straight out. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, push through your heels to get back to a standing position.

3. Knee lift

Lifting your knees and legs requires core strength and solid balance. The high knee lift is an effective exercise for your core. To do this exercise, stand up straight and stretch your arms out so they are parallel to the floor. Lift your right knee up to the height of your waist and slowly lower it back down. Repeat this with the other leg. You will surely feel the burn with increased reps. 

The Best 4 Yoga Poses for a Strong Lower Body

Yoga is a popular exercise that includes meditation, breath control, and stretching. It is widely practiced to increase health, relaxation, and flexibility. There is increasing evidence that yoga can improve health problems such as fatigue, asthma, chronic pain, and more. If you suffer from lower back pain or are looking for more mobility and flexibility in your lower body, yoga can help! Let’s take a look at four different yoga poses that can stretch your lower body and increase your strength.

1. Downward Dog

You must get onto all fours for the downward dog and try to position your hips above your knees and shoulders above your wrists. Spread your fingers wide and press through your hands to lift your hips up. Come onto your tiptoes and stretch the base of your spine up towards the ceiling, making a straight line from your head to your lower back. A correct downward dog should look like you are in an upside-down V pose. Beginners can keep their knees bent as they stretch their spine. It is a difficult position to maintain, but you will increase your abilities and feel the benefits of engaging your core and stretching your spine with practice.

2. Twisted Dragon

The twisted dragon yoga position works your quad muscles as well as your hips. Begin by lowering your left knee onto your mat and stepping your right foot forward. This looks like a lunge position. Make sure your press into your hips and maintain a straight back. Put pressure on the top of your left foot in order to hover your left knee off of the ground. When you raise the knee, exhale and when you place the knee down, inhale. Feel free to repeat this three times. Press your right hand onto your right knee and lift your chest and gaze towards the ceiling. Repeat this whole process with your other leg.

3. Bridge

A bridge position will help build up your glutes while stretching the spine and hip flexors. Lie down on your mat with your heels in line with your hips. Press through your feet to lift your hips off the floor. Make sure you squeeze your thigh muscles as you do this. To get your hips even higher, try lifting your toes off of the ground and pushing through your heels. Repeat this 10 times for a set.

4. Pyramid

Standing on your mat, step your left foot back about two feet away from your right leg. Point your left foot out slightly. Reach your arms above your head and then lean forward while keeping your back flat and straight. This will stretch the hamstring very well. For a deeper stretch, you can place your hands on blocks in order to get your upper body lower to the ground. For an advanced exercise, remove the blocks and put your hands on the ground, bringing your torso as close as you can to your right leg. Repeat this process with the opposite leg. 

HOW ARM STRENGTH CAN ADD LONGEVITY

People tend to be skeptical whenever a new product or routine claims to add longevity to someone’s life. It is natural to be wary of false claims or innovative products that haven’t had many studies. 

However, it is a bit more believable that certain routines and body movements will add longevity to your life when it comes to exercises. Even if you remain a little skeptical, there is no doubt that the exercises will positively affect your health. 

While there are all sorts of workouts proven to increase your lifespan or help you live a healthier life well into your old age, one that is less talked about is arm strength training. According to the British Medical Journal, having a higher grip strength reduces mortality in the elderly and combats other harmful illnesses like respiratory disease and cancer. 

It is a known fact that muscles get weaker as you increase in age. However, regularly doing exercises that work your arm strength will help you maintain healthy muscles well into your elderly years. Not only does arm strength help prevent certain diseases you become more vulnerable to in your old age, but having controlled use of these muscles will also make mundane tasks easier for you as you continue to age. Rather than eventually having to rely on others to open a jar for you or carry a box up the stairs, if you’ve been working on your arm strength, there is no need to ask others for assistance. You will find you can live an independent life longer.

If you’ve been neglecting your arm workouts and are now worrying whether it will have detrimental effects on your life, don’t panic. You can begin building up your arm strength and soon be positioned to have healthy muscles for years to come, as long as you maintain their durability.

Some effective forms of arm exercise, to begin with, are deadlifts, dumbbell rows, and pull-ups. If these prove to be too difficult for you in the beginning stages, you can choose to begin with five-pound weights on each arm, completing circuits on each side. Once you start improving your arm strength, you can branch out into some heavier lifting to improve your grip strength.

Thankfully, arm strength is not some fad that will quickly go out of style. This form of exercise has proven effects on increasing your lifespan and giving you a better chance of living an independent lifestyle for longer.

HOW TO STOP KNEE PAIN DURING SQUATS

Squats are an essential part of many individuals’ workouts. Whether looking to attain rock-hard glutes or achieve better core strength, the benefits of squats are undeniable. So what do you do if you’ve been experiencing knee pain during this drill?

Most individuals try to push through the pesky pain, not realizing it could eventually result in an injury. To protect yourself while still earning maximum results from your workout, continue reading for ways to stop knee pain during squats.

Warm-Up Properly

As with any exercise routine, it is important to warm-up before beginning your workout. It is natural to want to hurry up your warmup regime and dive straight into your drills. However, a properly executed warm-up is a crucial step in preventing knee pain. 

If you’ll be engaging your body in lots of squats during your workout, you should consider doing a prolonged lower-body warm-up that will prepare your knees for any strenuous activity ahead.

Consider Using Knee Sleeves

You may be well-versed in workout gear, but if you are not aware of what knee sleeves are, you may want to consider investing in some if you’re susceptible to knee pain. Knee sleeves are helpful for removing pain and pressure from the affected area. While these should only be used as a last resort, they can undoubtedly protect you from injuring yourself worse and will provide you with the support you need. But it is important first to try to solve your knee pain during squats through other methods. 

Spread Your Knees Outward

Even the most experienced athletes still have tendencies to do some workouts incorrectly at times. Believe it or not, your squat form may be incorrect, leading to much of the knee pain you’ve been experiencing. Especially if you do any heavy lifting, your knees may have a tendency to buckle inward. If you turn your focus to your knees more often, you will be one step closer to avoiding this pain.

The trick is to squat with your toes and knees facing outward. If you’re having trouble identifying the proper squatting form, there are many resources available that physically show you what position your entire body should be in.

If you have more severe knee issues and they are not anything that can be solved by one of the quick fixes listed above, consult your doctor or physical therapist before trying to push yourself too hard. The key is to allow yourself to make adjustments to achieve the best possible results from your workout, not to injure yourself even more severely.