Posts Tagged ‘core’

by STEVEN MILNER IIST

SECRETS TO A BIG CHEST  15 Minute Chest Workout

Do you sometimes find yourself a bit short on time and on CHEST DAY of all days? No worries, I’ve got a 15-minute workout for every body part, and this one is for chest.

The first two exercises and the last two are super sets, which are two exercises for the same body part done back to back with no rest in between. For instance, on your first set you might do the smith machine flat bench press for 12 reps, then immediately pick up two dumbbells for 8 reps of the neutral grip flat bench press.

Rest 60-90 seconds between compound sets (by the way, this general guideline applies to most compound sets).

NEUTRAL GRIP FLAT BENCH DUMBBELL PRESS
Start: Take two dumbbells, lie on a flat bench and turn your wrists so they face each other, hands at each side of your torso.
Move: Press the dumbbells upward, allowing them to naturally move toward each other at the top (without touching or under control at the very least). Then reverse the move back to the start, getting a good pectoral stretch at the bottom.

SMITH MACHINE FLAT BENCH PRESS
Start: Position yourself on a bench so the bar lines up with the middle of your chest. Now get up and load some plates on, lie back on the bench and grasp the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip.
Move: Keep your elbows pointing outward as you press the bar straight up. Pause at the top, then lower the bar until it’s slightly above your chest. If you reach failure without a spotter, simply rack the bar on the nearest hook rest.

SEATED CHEST PRESS MACHINE
Start: Position the handles of the machine so they line up with your mid to upper chest, sit back in the seat and grasp the handles with an overhand grip.

Move: Press the handles straight out in front of you until your arms are fully extended but not locked, then slowly bring your hands back toward your chest without letting the weights touch the stack.

EXERCISE BALL DUMBBELL FLYE
Start: This exercise is similar in execution to the flat bench flye, except that here your body works harder to keep you stabilised (personal note here; destabilising you’re core is only effective if you can still handle weight that takes your muscles to failure safely. Grab two dumbbells and lie back on a ball so that you face the ceiling with the ball supporting your chest girdle. Extend the dumbbells out above your body, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows throughout to protect them from hyperextension and to keep the tension on the pecs.
Move: Without altering the angle in your elbows, bring the dumbbells up in an arc toward each other, stopping just short of touching over your chest. Lower them back along the same path to the start. To get more upper-chest emphasis, lower your hips toward the floor and perform 
in the same manner.

EXERCISE-BALL PUSH-UP
Start: This one will really work your shoulder stabilisers and improve your strength, balance and muscular coordination. Make sure the ball is fairly secure (place it in a ring rest if you can find one), and with your hands on the ball and feet on the ground, get into push-up position.
Move: Keeping your body straight as a plank, lower your chest to the ball by bending your elbows (let them point outward as you descend). Once you reach the bottom, press yourself back up to the start, don’t play bouncy bouncy it’s not big and it’s not clever.

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the transverse abdominals beautifully displayed

SECRETS TO A FLAT TUMMY Working the Transverse Abdominals

Ladies, ever wonder why you never seem to get that flat stomach when you’re relaxed?  No matter how effectively you work your abs typically you will be working them in just one direction, up and down, or, more properly along the length of the rectus abdominus. But what about the abdominals that go from side to side? Can we exercise those?  Well, yes you can, the transverse abdominals (TA) flatten the tummy from side to side, so read on because I’ve got some information to share with you about working your Transverse Abdominals.

The TA complex belong to a group of core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus and are often neglected in standard ab routines. Typically most abdominal exercises target the vertical rectus abdominus largely ignoring the horizontal transverse abdominals. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominals. This group of muscles connect to both the lower back and the rectus abdominus to form a powerful support for the entire abdomen. Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominals as a focus. Using the following exercises, you can target your transverse abdominals and really make progress towards that flat tummy.

Transverse Abdominal Crunch
Lie face up on a mat and plant your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart, maintain contact between the mat and the small of your back. With the fingers of both hands find the tips of your hip bones on either side of your tummy. Move your fingers inwards slightly towards your centre line just off the hip bone, don’t worry your hip bones are easy to find even if you’re carrying a lot of fat. Now this is an easy exercise to master once you know how to “feel” the transverse muscle working, here’s how, press down slightly with your fingers and cough! You will feel the transverse abdominal wall tighten and jump beneath your fingers. To use the exercise, first cough to initiate the contraction and then hold for a count of ten and relax, repeat for sets.

Pelvic Tilts
Lie on your back on a flat surface, such as a mat or a bench. Roll a towel to cushion the small of your back. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis off the floor,  hold momentarily, and lower under control. Repeat for sets. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise, use your abdominal muscles not your body’s momentum to do the work. Be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout to target the transverse complex.

Crunchless Crunch
This exercise is fairly simple but can be difficult to master. In a nutshell we’re going to try to pull our belly button in towards our spine, this involves muscles which you may not be accustomed to working, it can take time to make the mind muscle connection. Start by either lying on your stomach or supporting yourself on hands and knees. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible; use only the lower abdominals to try to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. You should aim to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it anymore, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, release the contraction and relax.

Scissor Kicks
Again start by lying on a mat or bench, place your hands under your backside and try to keep the small of your back pressed down. Start by slowly raising one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor, as your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this movement for reps and sets. Keep disciplined, focus, don’t let momentum rob you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.

Transverse abdominals aren’t show muscles but if you want a flatter tummy vitalising these muscles will take you a lot closer to your goals. Exercises like these are key to any tummy flattening plan, and they are especially good for pregnant and postnatal women.