Posts Tagged ‘legs’

5 Squatting Mistakes

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How NOT to Squat

Chick Squatting
8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best: “shut up and squat.” [1] After all, there’s nothing better for building lower body mass. Squats force you to use numerous stabilizing muscles and exhaust hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

To get the most out of squats, however, they must be executed with correct form. Avoiding these common squat mistakes will take both your performance and physique to the next level.

Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Core

The core is the body’s center of gravity and is where movement originates. [2]If you have a weak core, it will be much harder to keep the weight stable. It also places you at a greater risk for hip or lower back injury.
To properly engage your core when performing a squat, concentrate on sucking your belly button towards your spine. A strong core will be able to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. If you have a weak core, using a weight belt around the waist protects the spine and keeps you from relaxing the core.

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Leg’s Day: A Workout Guide

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Legs

Leg’s Day: A Workout Guide

Here is a brilliant leg training article from the team at JackedPack. If you don’t know, JackedPack is a membership subscription service that sends you a monthly box of the samples of the best in sports nutrition supplements.

You can subscribe for 50% off your first month by using the coupon code SWOLE at checkout.

One of the best feelings in the world is when someone says to you, “Oh my gosh, are those Giant Sequoias or are those your legs?” We hope that all JackedPack members and non-members alike are able to experience the satisfaction and benefits of leg strength and size, and that’s why we’ve dedicated this post to giving our lower extremities the attention they deserve. We want everybody to be squatting school buses and deadlifting beached wales back into the ocean. We have included a stellar legs day workout that incorporates some awesome exercises that are sure to have people singing Sir Mix-A-Lot every time you walk in a room.

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Prone to Box Jumps

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Here is a great plyometric exercise that you probably never do. It can be used in HIIT training or any other kind of conditioning workout. You can even use it at the end of a leg workout to really kill those wheels.

How to use this single exercise for a 20-25 minute HIIT workout:

  • Lie on your belly, on the floor, jump up to a standing position, then immediately jump up onto a box. Very simple.
  • Do 5 sets of 5 reps with 30-45 seconds rest between sets. Execute the reps as fast as possible with good form.
  • Take 3 minutes to rest and do some ab work – maybe some fold-ups or something.
  • Do another 5 sets of 5 reps.
  • Finish up with 3 more minutes of abs.

Stretch for 3-5 minutes.

HIIT workout complete!

Watch the Prone to Box Jumps video below.

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How to Get Skinny Legs for Women

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Editor’s Note: I nearly didn’t publish this guest post, due to the fact that I don’t believe any Project Swole readers want ‘skinny legs’. I am a firm believer in diet and heavy resistance training to lose fat and create hard, dense lower body muscle. But hey, if any of you female Swole readers want toothpick legs, here is some good advice.

Skinny Legs

As you go about your workout program, one goal that you might have set for yourself is to get skinny legs. For many people, especially women, losing weight in the thigh region does tend to be placed on high priority as this is that one place where females naturally tend to store higher amounts of body fat.

If you want to get skinny legs, there are a number of important things that you should be focused on doing with your workout routine. Implementing the correct strategies will ensure that you’re doing everything possible to reach your end goal.

Let’s look at the main points to consider to help you learn how to get skinny legs.

Avoid Resistance Based Cardio Exercise

The very first thing that you’ll want to make sure you’re doing in order to get skinny legs is avoiding any cardio exercise variations that are going to place a high level of resistance on the muscles. This would include activities such as biking at a high level or uphill walking.

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How to do Box Jumps

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Woman Box Jumps

How to do Box Jumps

Box jumps are a great exercise for your legs, and can be performed on just about any variable flat surface. They hit your posterior chain – calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings – pretty hard.

Box jumps can be used for cardio workouts, neural activation training (NAT), high intensity resistance training (HIRT), and high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuits. They are often used in CrossFit WODs (Workout of the Day), and are a staple exercise in plyometric training. Plyometrics have a wide range of athletic and real sporting applications; they are used, for example, to increase jumping ability, leg strength, hip drive, and explosiveness.

Box jumps are a simple movement. They require you only to jump from one flat surface up onto another flat surface, then either step or jump back down, depending on the purpose of the exercise.

What if You Can’t Perform Box Jumps?

To excel at box jumps, you have to develop strength, flexibility, speed, power, coordination and balance. Without a basic foundation in these core exercise stills, you should not attempt a box jump, and whatever you do, don’t follow the box jump tips at eHow unless you never want to know how to do proper box jumps.

Be sure you are comfortable with bodyweight squats. If you can’t do bodyweight squats then you’ve got a real problem and should not be attempting box jumps.
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How to Treat Shin Splints

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kalee wrote:

I have shin splints right now so I can’t run or bike or anything but lift weights while sitting and do core exercises… unless you can think of anything that I could do for cardio that wouldn’t require me to use my legs. What exercises [should I use] until my shin splints heal? Thanks!

Response:

If you haven’t managed to avoid shin splints, then it is obvious that you haven’t read and understood my article about How to Avoid Shins Splints, but first, if you haven’t already, you should take a couple minutes to understand What Are Shin Splints. Once you’ve become well versed on shin splints, you can now read about how heal or treat shin splints. Let’s get this problem under control so you can get back to training.

Shin Splints
How to Treat Shin Splints

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How to Avoid Shin Splints

Thursday, January 20th, 2011
Woman Sprinting
You can’t sprint with shin splints

Isn’t it obvious that we wouldn’t have to know how to recover from shin splints if we could avoid them in the first place? In order to understand how to avoid shin splints, we must first understand What Are Shin Splints. Then we can better understand how to proactively avoid them. We need to learn more about who gets shin splints, how to properly warm up and stretch the lower leg, and finally we need a method of strengthening those muscles. Assuming we can’t avoid shin splints, we will need to understand How to Treat Shin Splints.

Now, let’s examine the best ways to avoid shin splints by first understanding who is in danger of developing them.

Who Gets Shin Splints?

Athletes, weekend warriors, and even military recruits often experience shin splints, especially at the beginning of the season. Sometimes treatment can be as simple as changing to softer running surface or adding extra arch support to shoes to redistribute the stress. Active rest is often recommended by doctors as a primary treatment. This means that a runner should take up non-impact exercises such as swimming or biking, which gives the injured areas time to heal, but also maintains the cardiovascular benefits of exercise.

It is also believed that people with misalignment often develop problems such as shin splints. Misalignment to the knee, pelvis, ankle, neck, and spine, can result in abnormal posture and abnormal ROM at different joints, which causes excessive wear and tear on bones, joints, and muscles.

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What Are Shin Splints?

Sunday, January 9th, 2011
What Are Shin Splints
What Are Shin Splints?

What is a Shin Splint?

“Shin splints” is a term used to describe the pain felt between the knee and the ankle after athletic activity, and are considered a cumulative stress disorder rather than an acute injury. This painful condition occurs when muscles and tendons in the lower legs pull on the tibia bone along the shin.

There are several reasons why athletes develop shin splints, but ultimately we can say they develop when the constant stress placed on the joints, bones, and muscles of the lower leg overwhelms the body’s natural ability to recover from trauma.

The most common cause is inflammation of the periostium, the sheath that surrounds the tibia. Traction forces on the periostium from the muscles of the lower leg cause shin pain and inflammation.

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Top 6 Calf Training Mistakes

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

The calves are a serious problem area for most bodybuilders. You can win or lose a contest depending on whether or not you have put some time into building thick slabs of beef on the back of your legs. Women tend to have calf issues as well; many are sporting the dreaded “cankles”. Both sexes often suffer from skinny little twiggy leg syndrome, sometimes known as “bird legs”.

To build marvelous calves, you have to put time into training them frequently and from a variety of angles. First and foremost, you can’t make the following 6 calf training mistakes and also hope to build world-class wheels. Train your legs right and you will prosper. Make too many mistakes and they will continue to lag.

Calf Training Mistakes
These cows were not built with calf training mistakes.

The Top 6 Calf Training Mistakes

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Weightlifting Injury Prevention: Protect Your Back!

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Shaun Stay Fit
Shaun Sinclair

This is a guest post from Shaun Sinclair, founder and author of Stay Fit Bug. Shaun is a former 100/200 meter runner and professional athlete. Visit him at his website and connect with Shaun on Twitter.

Look after your BACK!
Because once that goes you are FINISHED!

It really is that simple.

The spine and the muscles surrounding it are the backbone to our physical existence ‘Pun intended’.

However, it is a part of our body that is prone to injury. Now, prevention isn’t a difficult thing to do. But one thing I am certain of is that trying to cure the issue of back pain is an entirely different matter (Yes… not always easy).

  • Good form
  • Good exercise execution
  • Embracing good posture

All of those things are highly important when it comes to protecting your back. Heck, embracing good posture isn’t even something you need to worry about in the gym only. In fact, that has a lot more to do with your activities outside of the weight room.

  • How you sit at your desk in the office.
  • In your bed and how you sleep (sleeping on the floor is still one of the best things you can do).
  • How you position your body when using a computer at home, which of course, is where most of us spend most of our time in today’s world on Facebook and the like.

These lifestyle habits are highly important in regards to back injury prevention. Now let’s see how you can change your lifestyle to proactively protect yourself from back injuries.
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