Quadriceps


Exercises to get you ripped: Workout secrets

Posted in Fitness by quadriceps on August 7, 2010
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When you want workouts to get ripped, you don’t need to go to some secret bootcamp somewhere and do bizarre moves that few people know. All you really need to do is burn off that last stubborn layer of body fat while maintaining your muscle mass. And the best way to do this is to do the same things done by athletes who require this sort of super-lean physique. Boxers and wrestlers — for instance — need to be as strong as possible without going over a pre-set weight limit. And this means they know exercises to get you ripped.

Get ripped by keeping the muscles active

It’s not enough to (for instance) hit the treadmill an hour per day. That will probably lean you out, but it will also lead to muscle atrophy in the upper body.

What you need are workouts that stress all your muscles with high reps. Full-body workouts to get you ripped that don’t neglect any body parts.

Here are some examples:

Kettlebell Swings

If you have access to a kettlebell, there’s no better kettlebell exercise than the swing. It’s fairly simple to learn — especially when you plan to use high reps — and it really works.

Use a wide handle kettlebell if at all possible, because you want to use two hands. If that isn’t an option, use a regular kettlebell one-handed, and switch hands often. Or, use a dumbbell and perform one-handed dumbbell swings.

No matter which variation of this exercise you choose, you’ll get good results if you incorporate it into your workouts. It’s a great fat-burning, muscle-sparing exercise.

Burpees

This funny-sounding exercise is like a squat-thrust with a little something extra.

  1. Squat down
  2. Thrust your legs out straight until you’re in the plank position
  3. Do a pushup
  4. Jump back to the squat position
  5. Do a jump-squat
  6. Repeat immediately

Burpees are not for the faint of heart. They’ll fatigue you very quickly unless you’re in top shape. If you’re not quite there yet, stick to regular squat-thrusts like you learned in gym class.

Barbell complexes

Take a light barbell (or two light dumbbells) and use it to work your entire body in one super-duper workout that’ll get you ripped.

Try cleaning the barbell to your collarbones. Then immediately squat down and up again. Then press it overhead.

This is a simple barbell complex that will get the blood flowing. It works just about the entire body (push, pull, and squat) and puts a lot of stress on the cardiopulminary system, which is just what you want when you want to get shredded.

So there you have it: three simple moves that you can add into your workouts to work your entire body and boost your cardio endurance. Have at it and don’t be afraid to perspire!

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How to keep your yoga mat clean

Posted in Fitness by quadriceps on July 20, 2010
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Yoga mats: keep them clean and they last longer. Plus, it’s nicer to use a clean mat.

When it needs washing

As with most things, clean it with soap and water.

Use warm water, dishwashing liquid, and a soft brush (or a lint-free rag). To avoid making a mess, do this in the bathtub or shower (it’s easier than washing a dog!). Hang it to dry, but keep it out of the sun. Never, ever put it in the clothes dryer.

Need some extra oomph to clean your yoga mat?

You might try this:

Mix some white vinegar and warm water and use it to wipe off your mat.

If you’re the sort who doesn’t care about keeping it all-natural, feel free to substitute a bit of bleach in warm water, instead of vinegar.

Lemony freshness

When your yoga mat starts to take on an unpleasant odor, make sure to clean it. But if you clean it and it still smells, try this:

Mix a bit of lemon juice with water in a spray bottle. Use this lemon water as a handy yoga-mat deodorant. Some people really enjoy this, others can’t be bothered.

Don’t be part of the problem

Always wash your hands and feet with soap and water before using your yoga mat.

There’s no sense in introducing oil and dirt to the mat if you can avoid it with a quick, 30-second wash up.

Stay clean

Don’t use oils or creams before yoga practice. If it’s on you, it’ll eventually end up on your yoga mat. And you don’t want that.

Of course, always make sure you don’t have anything like that on your hands and feet during yoga.

Don’t sweat it

Keep the yoga mat free of perspiration during yoga practice. Wipe it down liberally with a cotton towel during your yoga sessions.

Keep dry

If you’re really perspiring, you can look into using a rosin bag. This increases the friction between your feet (or hands) and the mat. Increased friction means less slipping.

Looking for a new yoga mat? Check out exercise mats for an overview of all the styles of mat available, and why you’ll benefit from getting the sort of mat that suits your own personal style.