VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


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Beach Bummed


Competitive bodybuilders usually train for symmetry and proportion in an effort to build an aesthetically pleasing physique. There are many individuals who go to the gym to build up their beach muscles, disregarding symmetry and proportion in designing their training programs. Instead of training opposing muscle groups equally, they sometimes ignore the muscles they cannot see (back, hamstrings, calves, quads) and focus on the muscles they admire in the mirror everyday (chest, biceps, shoulders and abs). Although training specific muscle groups more than others can create an unbalanced-looking physique, disregarding a muscle group over time can potentially lead to other problems that may subject the body to injury.

One common mistake with regard to balanced training is performing an unbalanced training program between the chest and back muscles. The amount of time, energy, effort, volume and frequency between the agonist chest muscles and the antagonists back muscles may not be equal, or even close. A simple example would be an athlete who performs 4 sets os four exercises for the chest (for a total number of 16 sets) and does only 3 sets of three exercises for the back (for a total number of 9 working sets). Following this unbalanced training regime over time will result in back muscles much weaker than the chest muscles. This imbalance may lead to a slightly kyphotic posture (forward/rounded shoulders) that can potentially cause shoulder problems because of the faulty posture. In addition to the stronger chest muscles (compared to the back muscles) pullong the shoulders forward, inadequate stretching of the chest musculature can further contribute to this problem.

For some people, training legs consists of quads and that is it. The disregard their hamstrings while training only the quadriceps. Exercises such as the leg extensions, hack squats and front squats place a large amount of emphasis on the quads. Although these exercises are great you need to do an equal amount of hamstring work with leg curls and romanian deadlifts to stress both muscle groups. Distributing attention evenly to both muscle groups can give you healthier knees and lower back, as well as fewer hamstring strains because of an unbalanced hamstring-to-quad strength ration.

A less obvious training error woth regard to balanced training concerns the shoulders. Overhead shoulder press, incline bench press, flat bench press and other chest and shoulder pressing movements are critical for maximal muscle development. However, these exercises focus on the major muscle groups such as the deltoids, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and other muscles known as prime movers. Often ignored in a training regime is the training or isolation of the smaller muscle groups in the shoulder known as the rotator cuff (the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) that are critical in keeping the upper arm in the socket of the shoulder. Failure to train these smaller muscles groups, two of which are not even visible can create an imbalance between the large prime movers and small stabilisers. This lack of imbalance in strength may result in bursts of bursitis, tendinitis or even rotator cuff tears in the shoulder joint.


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Benefits of Fasting


Many people observe fasting as a religious obligation but only few know the health benefits it has. Fasting is a good practice, if properly implemented. It promotes elimination of toxins from the body, reduces blood sugar and fat stores. It promotes healthy eating habits and boost immunity.

Fasting Promotes Weight Loss
Fasting promotes rapid weight loss. It reduces the store of fats in the body. However, fasting is not a good weight loss strategy. Reducing fat and sugar intake, and increasing fruits and rest are better measures to achieve weight reduction.

Fasting Reduces Blood Sugar
Fasting increases breakdown of glucose so that the body can get energy. It reduces production of insulin. This rests the pancreas. Glucagon is produced to facilitate the breakdown of glucose. The outcome of fasting is a reduction in blood sugar.

Fasting Promotes A Healthy Diet
It has been observed that fasting reduces cravings for processed foods. It promotes desire for natural foods, especially water and fruits. This is one way in which fasting promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Fasting Boosts Immunity
When an individual is on a balanced diet in between fasts, this can boost immunity. Elimination of toxins and reduction in fat store also helps the body. When individuals take fruits to break a fast, they increase the body’s store of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A and E are good antioxidants readily available in fruits. They help to boost immunity.

Fasting Increases Fat Breakdown
The first response of the body to fasting is break down of glucose. When the store of glucose is exhausted, ketosis begins. This is breakdown of fat to release energy. The fats stored in the kidney and muscles are broken down to release energy.

When Not To Fast?
If you are severely underweight, diabetic, pregnant, have a serious medical condition, or recovering from surgery, then you really shouldn’t fast without first consulting your physician.


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Good Posture


Good Posture
Good posture is an easy and very important way to maintain a healthy mind and body. When you practice correct posture, your body is in alignment with itself. This can alleviate common problems such as back pain, headaches, and fatigue. Being in good general health and standing (or sitting) tall will also boost you’re bearing and self confidence.


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Proper Stretching


Including flexibility training (stretching) in your workouts is crucial to round out the training program. However, many athletes neglect to make the time for it. Research shows static stretching at the beginning of your workout may hold back physique performance. Static stretching has benefits, including improved flexibility and posture. However, this type of stretching is best done at the end of your workout during cool-down when your muscles warm and pliable. Begin training sessions by warming up with dynamic stretching. Active-range-of-movements that lengthen the fascia (connective tissue around the muscles) raise your core body temperature, and prepare your body for the exercises to come in the workout.