Tag Archives: kettlebell workouts

How To Perform Cardio Exercises If You Have Bad Knees

Cardio exercise

Cardio exercise is a high-impact activity that can seriously backfire if you have bad knee problems. Cardio workouts with injury are always a gamble, even if you are otherwise young and healthy. Running or rope jumping with bad knees is not a good idea because of all the impact and pounding on your joints. Did you know that when you run, your body absorbs your weight x 7 every time you take a step? So if you weigh, say, 170 pounds— that would still be 1,119 pounds of pressure on your knees every single time your foot hits the ground.

Other exercises without impact and pounding, like cycling, still put a lot of repetitive stress on your joints, especially knees and ankles.

No joint stress cardio

To protect your knees from the impact and repetitive stress of cardio, here are three items you can easily work into your training routine. You will tone your muscles, burn calories and keep your knees in good shape.

1.     Battling ropes

Battling ropes need to be long and thick, the more the better.  Loop them around something stable that will not move and then take each end in your hands, pulling while doing the exercises. A good example of battling ropes cardio is rope slams— where you slam each end of the rope up and down on the floor, making waves. These exercises are quite aggressive for most people, so start slow and move up to longer sets as you feel more comfortable with it.

2.     Kettlebells

Cardio kettlebell exercises involve a lot of swinging and snatching. You can effectively strengthen the muscles in your hamstrings, glutes and lower back, but putting no stress whatsoever on your knees. Kettlebells come in different sizes and weights, but it is always a good idea to start slowly. Try 44 or 53-pound units and then move on to heavier ones as you see fit.

3.     Sledgehammer

Sledgehammer exercises, or sledgehammer swings, involve an eight-pound and a car tyre. The bigger the tyre, the better. You swing the sledgehammer hard against the tire, hard and rhythmically, in circular motions. Do a number of sets on each side (Twenty is good to start with). There will be no impact on your knees, but your pectorals, upper body and biceps will benefit tremendously.

Each of these three exercises can be part of a workout routine, or be the routine itself. You can include them as needed in your usual training, and feel all the benefits of cardio exercise without causing further injury to your knees.

9 Kettlebell Moves That Burns Away Fat

kettlebell

Kettlebell exercises

Kettlebells are an all-around fitness training tool, perfect for cardiovascular exercises combining strength and flexibility workouts. For strength training and weight loss kettlebells are your best allies.

So what is a good kettlebell strength training routine? David Schenk, a certified trainer from World Kettlebell Club, has put together a complete and effective fat-burning  kettlebell workout. It should be done following a Tabata interval (8 sets of 20-second repetitions, resting 10 seconds in between).

What you need

Some clear space, an exercise mat and two kettlebells. This routine focuses on all your major areas: shoulders, biceps, triceps, torso, back, glutes, knees and legs. There are nine different sets. Here is a brief description of each, along with their benefits:

1.     Goblet Squats

Holding the kettlebell’s handles, stand up and then squat down. This tones all your major muscles, but especially quads.

2.     Thruster

A continuation of the previous exercise. This time, when you stand back up push the kettlebell up with your arms. It improves cardio and strength.

3.     Turkish Get Up

A bit more complicated, but easy. Lie on your back and bend your right knee. Holding the kettlebell in your right hand, lift it up above your head as you push yourself up with your left arm, straightening your back. Then move up, with your left knee on the floor, and stand straight, all the time holding up the kettlebell. Repeat on the other side. It works on your whole body.

4.     Dead-Lift

Take the kettlebell in your hands and hold it down. Then squat down, resting the kettlebell down on the floor while still holding it. This tones your legs, glutes and lower back.

5.     High-Pull

Standing straight and holding the kettlebell in your hands, lift both elbows up and push the kettlebell towards your chin. You will be working on your shoulders, biceps and back.

6.     Dead-Lift to High-Pull

A combination of the previous two exercises, starting with the first one and progressing to the second. It will benefit all the combined muscles as well.

7.     Burpee to High-Pull

Stand up, with the kettlebell on the ground. Then bend your knees as you put your hands down. Stretch your legs until your back is straight, then bring your feet forward until you are squatting. Grab the kettlebell handle with both hands and stand up straight while pulling the kettlebell as in the High-Pull. It will do wonders for your torso, legs, shoulders and biceps and also for your cardio.

8.     Back-Pulls

Hold down the kettlebell with your right hand, then flex your left knee and push your right foot back. Do pulling movements with your right arm. Repeat with the other side. It will tone your shoulders, biceps and back.

9.     Renegade Rows

Using two kettlebells on the floor and grabbing their handles with each of your hands, start in push-up stance, then pull one kettlebell up while supporting your weight on your other arm. It will work on your entire upper body.

When done well, these exercises are guaranteed to lead you towards successful fitness and weight loss, while at the same time taking a lot less time than regular gym workouts.

Start slow

If it is your first time, start slow. Do not overstress yourself, but work your stamina up step by step. You can begin by doing one cycle with each set of exercises, and then as you gain resistance you may work your way up to faster and more intense training, until you can accomplish the Tabata interval.

 

How To Include Your Workout Schedule Into Your Busy Life

Balance-Fitness-And-Your-Busy-Life

When you have a really busy life, it is more important than ever to stay fit and healthy so you can perform all your tasks with energy and efficiency. But often a busy life means having very little time for workouts. Or perhaps you have family responsibilities, and children you want to spend more time with.

It is possible to be productive at work, spend quality time with your family and keep a gym schedule. Workouts for busy people can be possible by modifying the way you exercise and manage your time.

Take these steps towards optimizing your workout time to the maximum:

First, save time at the gym

  1. Intensify your workout by increasing the number of repetitions for each set, then decreasing the rest period between sets.
  2. Add compound movements (exercises that use various muscle groups) and, if you can, lift more weight.
  3. Use full-body, strength-training circuits where you can train both your upper and lower body in the same workout. Circuits can be six or more resistance exercises with very little rest in between. These can be done with short repetitions or long stances.

All these measures will not only cut down your time at the gym by half, but also help you burn calories faster and better — even after you leave the gym. Your resting metabolism will step up for almost two days after a short and very intense workout with compound exercises.

Second, make lifestyle changes

Now that you have a more efficient, optimized workout schedule, it will be a good idea to review your lifestyle habits. Are you keeping a healthy diet? Are you getting enough sleeps? Do you keep good posture at work?

Normally, it takes 21 days to work a new habit into your life. Keeping this in mind, introduce each novelty one at a time for a span of three weeks. This will keep the pressure away, and you will modify your life little by little with minimum effort.

For example, you can start cooking healthy meals at night so you will have good, ready meal options the next day. Then, the next three weeks, start going to bed one hour earlier than usual. And so on.

When you have efficiently worked all these changes into your life, you begin to aim for bigger goals. A fast and efficient workout is only part of the ticket towards a full and healthy life. It needs the support of good, lasting habits.

10 Exercises for Toning Your Body After Weight Loss

Body Toning

We are always given tips to losing weight; drink more water, do cardio, eat less, decrease your serving size. But after we lose the weight, what’s next? We have hanging arms, tummies and flabby legs. One obstacle has been overcome and another created.

Below is a list of exercises that you can do to tone your body after you have lost the weight. The exercises have been categorized into upper, lower and total body workouts.

Upper Body Workouts

  • Push-ups

Moving yourself from a full plank position, with your hands apart and your feet together, bend your elbows while you lower your body toward the floor without touching. Keep your back straight and avoid touching the floor with your inner body. Do 10-15 reps.

  • Chest Press

Lie on your back, knees bent at hip width and arms out at 90 degrees with dumbbells in hands. Lift arms towards the ceiling and press the weights to the center of your chest. Do 10-20 reps.

  • Kneeling Curls

Kneel, shoulder width apart, with your arms by your side with dumbbells in your hands. Do bicep curls, turning your palms up while lifting. Do 10-15 reps.

  • Quadruped Kickback

Start in a kneeling position with your hands on the floor with dumbbells in hands. Bend your right elbow upward with your palm facing in and extend your arm to your hip. Return elbow to original position and repeat on left side. Do alternate sides for at least 5-10 reps.

Lower Body Workouts

  • Rear Lunges

Holding dumbbells with your arms by your side, stand upright with your feet together. Take a wide step back with your right leg into a lunge while bending both knees. Keep left thigh parallel to floor. Return to standing position. Repeat using other leg. Do 10-20 reps.

  • Sumo Squat

Holding dumbbells, stand with your feet wide apart. Bend your knees so they go over your toes. Extend your arms and bring them slowly down towards the ground. Complete 20 reps. 

  • Side Lunges

Holding dumbbells with your arms by your side, stand upright with your feet together. Using your right foot, step to the side, while bending your knee and pressing back your hips. Return to start position and do the same with the left leg. Do 10-20 reps.

Total Body Workouts

  • Plank Inchworm

Start in full plank position. Slowly walk your hands in towards your legs as your hips are lifted in a pike position. Walk your hands back to the original position. Do 5 reps.

  • Lawnmower Row

Start in a lunge position with arms by your side. Reach left arm towards your right shin and row left elbow behind your body while rotating your torso to the right. Lower your left arm and do 15 reps.

  • Squat Curl and Press

Do a full squat holding dumbbells with your hands reaching downwards. As you stand, bend elbows to shoulder width, curling the dumbbells in with the palms facing each other. Press the weights overhead. Do 10-15 reps.

 

Weighted Balls and Their Differences

BAlls

Gym routines are continuously being tweaked in a bid to maximize time spent in the gym. Weighted balls have been included by fitness enthusiasts looking to spice up their work out and make it increasingly rigorous. This piece will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both slam balls and medicine balls. Which one is better or are they both the same?

Slam Balls

They come in different weight classes ranging from 2lb all the way up to 50lb. It is up to the type of exercise one is conducting as to which slam ball is required. The largest one can be equated to being the size of a regulation basketball. It is easy to handle and is often preferred by people in the gym.

The advantage of a slam ball over a medicine ball is its ability to be thrown. You can easily toss it around for exercises requiring throwing motions. Athletes prefer slam balls for certain exercises because of this. It can be used in partner exercises in order to reinvigorate your workout and make it fun.

Explosive energy is necessary for athletes and even the average Joe in the gym. You do want to get that little burst of energy and this can happen with slam balls. Building up cardiovascular strength and overall muscle tone happens easier with a slam ball in comparison to a medicine ball.

Medicine Balls

Medicine ball sizes can range just like slam balls. The weights range from 2lb to 50lb just like a regular slam ball collection. Many people use medicine balls for exercises such as squats in a bid to add more resistance. It is a great core ball tool because it hits that core better than anything else.

The difference between a medicine ball and a slam ball comes in the form of holding vs throwing. A medicine ball is not designed or meant to be tossed. It is meant to be held close to your body while conducting movements in the gym. Medicine ball exercises have their own place in a workout program.

The material from which medicine balls are made makes them conducive for dead ball exercises. The leather provides excellent grip and is manufactured for this exact purpose.

These are not as good for weight-lifting programs because they are not designed for those particular movements. Most people will use these for light cardio workouts and getting the body warmed up.

In the end, it is all about preference and nothing more. Both have their uses and can be found at the local gym.

Which Size to Use?

As noted, weighted balls come in a range of sizes. Looking to gain strength? It is best to go with a heavier ball that will be around the size of a basketball. It will help in pushing the muscles to the limit.

Choosing the weight of the ball should be dependent upon the ability of the person. Do not select a weight will is causing instability and loss of control. This can lead to injury. The partner’s strength has to be taken into account too.

Best way to find the ‘perfect’ weighted ball is to do a little assessment. Hold the ball away from the body. Is it putting significant stress on the muscles? Is it better as you bring it closer? A weight is too heavy, if stress is placed regardless of where the ball is held. It is too light, if there is no stress placed at any point of the assessment.

5 Best Kettlebell Workouts

3

One of the recent innovations in the fitness category, Kettlebell exercises can make a great addition to your workout—but only if you know how to properly use them. Research shows that 20-minute kettlebell workouts will burn as much as 300 calories and can even increase to as much as an additional 50%.

Kettlebell workouts are also an excellent exercise regimen if you don’t have time to go to the gym. As long as you know crossfit kettlebell exercises, you can still achieve a toned body at the comfort of your home—making its convenience the main advantage in the fitness category.

Exercise #1: The Snatch
Start by placing the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Assume a position where your hips are pushed back, knees bent, and your butt almost touches the ground. Then swing the kettlebell from between your legs to the back of your forearm. Pull the kettlebell up to your chest, with your arms folded. Be sure to control the weight of the kettlebell all throughout so as not to hurt yourself.

Exercise #2: Clean and Press
With the kettlebell placed on the floor, spread your feet wider than your hip and slightly bent your knees. Grab the kettlebell using one hand and raise it to the level of your chest. Let it rest on your forearm, before you prop it above your head. This is one of the kettlebell exercises that focus on several areas: the quadriceps, shoulders, ankles, back, and hip.

Exercise #3: One Arm Swing
With your knees and hip slightly bent, hold the kettlebell with one hand between your legs. Swing the kettlebell upwards toward your chest as you stand up straight. At this point, let your other hand catch it mid-air as you assume the first position.

Exercise #4: Windmill
Crossfit kettlebell exercises usually focus on more than one area, and the windmill is one of them. First, place the kettlebell on the floor. With your legs spread wider than your hip and one hand over your head, push your hip back to pick up the kettlebell and raise it slightly as you look at your other hand above your head. Lower and raise the kettleball while keeping your back flat.

Exercise #5: Turkish Get Up
This is one of the crossfit kettlebell exercises that hold the rare distinction of focusing on many muscles. First, lie on your back, while you let the kettlebell rest on your forearm with one hand above your head. Bring your left leg toward your body, as you pivot to the right. Move your body forward using your left foot and your free hand, until you perform and lunge, and then stand on your feet. All the while, the kettleball must be above your head. After this, go back to your initial position by letting your free hand place you back to the ground.

Now that there are a number of kettlebell exercises for you to try, it’s becoming clear that they’re more than a fad in the fitness category. Kettlebell workouts are here to stay, and the sooner you get into it, the faster you can reach your goals.