Must have Cardio Exercises to Lose Weight in a week

These workouts and exercises are designed to help you burn calories, banish cellulite, and lose weight. Some good cardiovascular workouts will help you maintain yourself. Rapid weight loss or fat loss diets are not too healthy to try. However cutting down on fatty food and practicing a 5-minute fat burning workout can bring a huge change in your life.

Green Tea: Know the Benefits & the Side Effects

Green-Tea-Side-Effects-And-Who-Must-Not-Consume-It

 

Green tea is one of the oldest herbal teas known to man. It gained quick prominence in the west after its purported health benefits, the most popular of them- as an effective tool for weight loss. Some of these health benefits have many studies backing them while some do not. Due to the positive spotlight, green tea has enjoyed, some side effects of green tea are often overlooked. But it’s important to understand that Green Tea also has some limitations and a few of them are highlighted below.

The tannins present in the green tea increase the stomach acid which may cause stomach ache, nauseous feeling, or cause constipation. Thus, green tea is not consumed on an empty stomach in Japan and China.

Green tea is mostly safe for adults when consumed in moderation. Green tea extract is also considered to be generally safe for most people when taken orally or while being applied topically on the skin for a short period of time. However, drinking too much green tea, more than 5 cups a day is considered to be unsafe. The side effects occur due to the caffeine present in the green tea, which may include some or all of these symptoms:

 

Side Effects of Green Tea Inclues

.Mild to serious headaches
.Nervousness
.Sleep problems
.Vomiting
.Diarrhoea
.Irritability
.Irregular heartbeat
.Tremor
.Heartburn
.Dizziness
.Ringing in the ears
.Convulsions
.Confusion

Who Must Not Consume Green Tea?

Green Tea has been found to cause certain problems when taken excessively or cause problems to some people who suffer with certain ailments:

1. Stomach Problems: The tannins present in the green tea increase the stomach acid which may cause stomach ache, nauseous feeling, or cause constipation. Thus, green tea is not consumed on an empty stomach in Japan and China. It is best to drink green tea after a meal or in-between meals. People with peptic ulcers or acid reflux should not consume green tea excessively. A 1984 study concluded that tea is a potent stimulant of gastric acid, which can be reduced by adding milk and sugar.

2. Iron Deficiency: Green tea seems to reduce the absorption of iron from food. Drinking very high doses can actually be fatal. The fatal dose of caffeine in green tea is estimated to be 10-14 grams (150-200 mg per kilogram). Green tea can also reduce the bioavailability of non-heme iron. A 2001 study reports that green tea extract reduces the absorption of non-heme iron by 25%. Non-heme iron is the primary type of iron in eggs, dairy and plant foods such as beans, so drinking green tea with these foods may lead to reduced iron absorption. However, Vitamin C increases non-heme iron absorption, so you can squeeze lemon into your tea or consume other vitamin-C rich foods, such as broccoli, with your meal. In addition, drinking tea between meals seems to have little effect on iron absorption, according to the National Cancer Institute.

3. Caffeine Caution: Like all teas, green tea contains caffeine and excessive caffeine intake can lead to nervousness, anxiety, abnormal heart rhythm and shakiness. Some people have a natural low tolerance for caffeine, and they will suffer these symptoms even when ingesting small amounts. High caffeine consumption can also hinder calcium absorption, affecting your bone health and increasing the risk of osteoporosis. To help prevent caffeine-related problems, limit green tea intake to 5 or fewer cups per day

4. Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding: Green tea contains caffeine, catechins and tannic acids. All three substances have been linked to pregnancy risks. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, green tea in small amounts, about 2 cups per day safe. This amount of green tea provides about 200 mg of caffeine. However, drinking more than 2 cups of green tea per day is unsafe and has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and other negative effects. Also, caffeine passes into breast milk and can affect a nursing infant. In addition, drinking a large amount may cause neural tube birth defect in babies.

5. Anaemia: Green tea catechins can cause a decrease in the absorption of iron from food. If you have iron-deficiency like anaemia, the National Cancer Institute recommends consuming tea between meals. If you like to drink green tea with your meal, then studies show you should eat foods that enhance iron absorption. Foods high in iron include meats such as red meat and foods high in Vitamin C, such as lemons.

6. Anxiety Disorders: The caffeine in green tea might is said to make anxiety worse.

7. Bleeding Disorders: Caffeine in green tea might increase the risk of bleeding.

8. Heart Conditions: Caffeine in green tea might cause irregular heartbeat.

9. Diabetes: Caffeine in green tea might affect blood sugar control. If you drink green tea and have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.

10. Diarrhea and IBS: The caffeine in green tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and symptoms of IBS.

11. Glaucoma: Drinking green tea increases pressure inside the eye. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes.

12. High Blood Pressure: The caffeine in green tea might increase blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this does not seem to occur in people who regularly drink green tea or other products that contain caffeine.

13. Should not be given to Children: The tannins in green tea may block nutrients absorption such as protein and fats in children. It may also lead to over stimulation because of the caffeine present in the green tea.

14. Liver Disease: Green tea extract supplements have been linked to several cases of liver damage. Green tea extracts might make liver disease worse. Severe liver disease, as the level of caffeine in the blood may build up and last longer.

15. Osteoporosis: Drinking green tea can increase the amount of calcium that is flushed out in the urine. Caffeine should be limited to less than 300 mg per day (approximately 2-3 cups of green tea). It is possible to make up for some calcium loss caused by caffeine by taking calcium supplements.

Can People On Medication Drink Green Tea?

Green tea must not be taken along with these medications as it is known to cause negative reactions.

1. Highly Interactive: Stimulant drugs like Amphetamines, Nicotine, Cocaine and Ephedrine.
2. Moderately Interactive: Adenosine, Quinolone antibiotics, Birth control pills, Cimetidine (Tagamet), Clozapine (Clozaril), Dipyridamole (Persantine), Disulfiram (Antabuse), Estrogens pills, Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Lithium, Medications for depression (MAOIs), Hepatotoxic drugs, Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs), Pentobarbital (Nembutal), Phenylpropanolamin, Riluzole (Rilutek),Theophylline, Verapamil and Warfarin.
3. Slightly Interactive: Alcohol, Fluconazole, Anti-diabetes drugs, Mexiletine (Mexitil) and Terbinafine.

How to Consume Green Tea?

The United Kingdom Tea Council recommends drinking not more than 6 cups of tea a day. For the best health benefits, 3 to 4 cups is recommended. However, doses of green tea vary significantly, but usually range between 1-5 cups daily is considered safe. The commonly used dose of green tea is based on the amount typically consumed in Asian countries, which is about 3 cups per day, providing 240-320 mg of the active ingredients, polyphenols. To make tea, people typically use 1 tsp of tea leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water.

Drink green tea when it’s freshly made but slightly cooled. Scalding tea can damage your digestive system. Moreover, recent studies suggest that too much hot tea can promote throat cancer. Compounds in tea like catechins, theanine, and vitamins C and B diminish over time through oxidation, so the health benefits are strongest with fresh tea. If you’re brewing the same tea leaves, brew them in moderation. With each successive infusion, cancerous substances in the leaves themselves (often pesticides) are drawn out and can even be toxic. Old tea can also harbour bacteria, especially since its antibacterial properties diminish with time.

Tea Dosage For Ailments

.Headache: Tea providing up to 250 mg of caffeine per day, or approximately 3 cups of tea per day.
.Improved thinking: Tea providing 60 mg of caffeine, or approximately one cup.
.Reducing cholesterol: Drinking 10 or more cups per day has been associated with decreased cholesterol levels. Theaflavin-enriched green tea extract, 375 mg daily for 12 weeks, has also been used for lowering cholesterol.
.Preventing Parkinson’s disease: Men consuming 421-2716 mg total caffeine (approximately 5-33 cups of green tea) daily have the lowest risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. However, a significantly lower risk is also associated with consumption of as little as 124-208 mg of caffeine (approximately 1-3 cups of green tea) daily. In women, more moderate caffeine consumption seems to be best, equivalent to approximately 1-4 cups of green tea per day.

Topical Application Dosage

.Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections of the cervix: Green tea ointment alone or in combination with oral green tea extract, twice weekly for 8-12 weeks.
.Genital warts: a specific green tea extract ointment (Veregen, Bradley Pharmaceuticals) providing 15% kunecatechins applied three times daily to external warts for up to 16 weeks has been used.

Conclusion

You don’t have to quit drinking your favourite cuppa green tea, but if you have any of the above mentioned medical conditions or taking prescription drugs, exercise caution and consult your doctor about how many cups you can have per day. Moderation is key to enjoy the full benefits of green tea.

 

Know How to Lose 6 Kg in a Month in Simple 3 Steps

Want to lose weight in 30 days?

 
 

Have you ever put on some unwanted weight?

got out of shape? grown a belly? all it takes is 30 days to get back in shape and drop that flab.and the best part is, you hardly even need a gym!! You can lose it all right at home.

 
 

Conditioning Workout

 
 

1. Do Conditioning Workouts.

It’s a waste to lose muscle mass when you are losing weight – which is what typically happens if you follow an ONLY CARDIO (running, cycling, swimming, skipping, aerobics, spinning) routine to lose weight. So what we need to do is get back to the basics of martial arts – using body conditioning workouts. these workouts are basic enough to be done anywhere, tough enough to maintain the muscle, and rigorous enough to burn the fat right back to hell! You’ll find a plethora of conditioning workouts on the web.

 
 

Healthy Diet

 
 
2. Moderate your diet carefully. Never crash diet because it’s the worst thing you could do to yourself. Of course crash diets work but they leave you unhealthy, weak and with dark circles under your eyes. It’s pointless to lose weight and look and feel like a zombie. The trick to lose weight is knowing WHAT you eat. Proteins are your best friends when it comes to losing weight, because your body CANNOT STORE protein. it uses what it needs and dumps the rest away. Plus, your body also needs more calories to process proteins than any other basic nutrient. And keep the following in mind:

  • Eat whenever you are hungry. WHY? Because if your body knows that you are starving or not responding to hunger, it will start storing fat!!! You need to cheat your body. Chomp on carrot strips, oranges, cucumber, tomato, black gram and onion salad, lettuce, radish slices and ‘sukha bhel’ (if you’re in India) every time you feel hungry. Peel a lemon into it. Vitamin c is the best refresher.
  • Eat two proper meals a day because your body needs nutrition and your taste buds need satisfaction. But don’t eat too much. Eat 1/4 of the quantity, just enough to kill that temptation.
  • Even in your proper meals – avoid oily stuff (in fact, run away from oily or deep-fried stuff as much as possible).
  • Non vegetarians can rejoice as their proper meals can be awesomely full of proteins. Take any meat – roast it, grill it, boil it, microwave it – and you have your low fat, high protein meal ready! Note that if you are having a high protein diet when you are doing a weights intensive workout – you’ll put on weight (muscle mass).
  • Vegetarians can settle for more grams, dal, sprouts and an absolute abstinence from RICE! In fact, salads are an awesome option for vegetarians. Low fat salad recipes are available all over the net – use them all!
  • Drink a lot of water. It kills hunger, keeps you feeling full, and flushes out toxins and clears your body. (but in the later parts, when you want your abs to be visible, cut down on salt and water. Water retention covers your abs/muscle definition and salt causes water and fat retention)

 
Exercise
 

3. Work out. This is obviously the most crucial part. Divide your workout into 6 sets. Do one set per day.

 

set 1: conditioning workout + 3 mile (4.8 km) run + Chest-Shoulder Tricep workout
set 2: conditioning workout + 500 skips + Back-Biceps workout
set 3: conditioning workout + 5 mile (8.0 km) walk with weights in your hands + core-obliques workout
set 4: conditioning workout + legs workout (yeah, no cardio here, because a good legs workout will kill you anyway)
set 5: 10 mile (16 km) walk – forget the gym, just pack a bag with some water and some carrots and maybe a camera and go out n explore your city for 4-5 hours! :) take a friend along if they’ve got the stamina :)
set 6: 500 skips + stretches + core-obliques workout (I’m concentrating on obliques because love-handles are the hardest to lose!) REMEMBER:- you are working out to lose weight, not to put on major muscle. so keep the weights light enough for you to be able to do 25 reps of each exercise. (the 20th rep onward should hurt)- don’t rest too much in between reps. 30 seconds to a minute is enough. (drink water to refresh faster)- avoid machines, use more of free weights and dumbbells and try to do as many exercises standing up as possible.

6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout- Level 1

6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout- Level 1 is a fierce fat-blasting abdominal workout that employs a sure-fire combination of core-focused cardio circuits and ab-toning exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously to boost the metabolism, slim the waistline, and chisel rock-hard abs. Forget boring sit-ups and prepare to sweat as America’s toughest trainer, Jillian Michaels takes you through this intense, ab-shredding workout that begins with a dynamic total-body warm-up, followed by 2 complete core-strengthening cardio circuits that will target every area of the abs before finishing up with a soothing, full-body stretch to maximize results. Learn how to shed fat and tone the entire body as you develop strong muscle and ripped definition. Sculpt and strengthen the arms, shoulders, chest, obliques, legs, butt, and back with this highly effective 35 minute workout from Jillian’s “6 Week Six-Pack” Fitness DVD that contains several key moves including lunges, burpees, twists, squats, crunches, supermans, planks, butt lifts, and mountain climbers that are crucial to shaping the sexy six-pack that you have always dreamed of. This workout is great for all skill levels however, beginners may choose to modify it by eliminating the weights. Work out with one of the world’s most famous trainers right from your own living room! Look and feel your best with Jillian as you craft a lean, sexy, and defined body in 6 weeks. Tune in to the BeFit Channel for new workouts uploaded daily and be sure to try our free 30-day “BeFit in 90” system. For more workouts from Jillian.

Regular exercise is the key to a healthy life and wellness

Do you want to lead a fit and healthy life? It is important that you get some exercise everyday. Regular exercise will help you to maintain the body’s systems better, keep diseases at bay and keep weight under control. A couch potato life is what you should avoid. Whether it is indulging in junk food or sedentary habits such as watching television, they have a negative impact on health. Chances of chronic diseases are higher when you lead a sedentary life. For best results make sure that you are consistent with exercise.

Picture5Source: venusfactorprogram

Get fit and active

Individuals irrespective of all age groups should avoid sedentary lifestyle. By integrating activity in your daily life you can ensure a healthy life. With physical activity and exercise you can manage your weight better. Health experts advice that you should take part in at least 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity 3 days in a week. With muscle strengthening and stretching in particular you will benefit substantially. However, if you have been out of activity for long, start with walking or swimming at your own pace. This will help you to get physically fit without straining your body.

Picture6Source:gamisbaru

Regular exercise is beneficial

If regular exercise is performed for most days of the week the risk for premature death is reduced. In addition, you can minimize the risks of coronary diseases and diabetes. Feelings of depression and anxiety will be lesser if you remain physically active. Furthermore, exercising is important to keep the muscles and bones healthy. Be it for mobility or well-being make exercise a way of life. Consequently, using a well-equipped gym can help in weight loss. You can use the treadmill and the cross trainer for an intensive workout. You will witness fast results if you seek the help of a professional trainer.

Picture7Source: thetruecare

Points to bear in mind

By increasing physical activity you can improve the quality of life. It can enhance your mood and will help you to get better sleep. If you are a beginner make sure that you start slower. You can include cardiovascular exercises after you have gained some experience. Additionally, being physically active will help you to remain happy as it releases chemicals which are known as endorphins in the brain. These chemicals will help you to lead a more relaxed and stress-free life.

Way to wellness

Ensure that you set your goals before you start exercising. By remaining physical active you can reduce high blood pressure, improve the balance of cholesterol, lower back pain, strengthen bones and minimize the risks of cancer. If you want to keep diabetes at bay exercise is a good choice. In addition, improving self-image is easier if you include physical activity in your routine. As being regular with exercise helps burn calories chances are lesser that you will face problems that arise from obesity. Thus, resolve to lead a healthy and active life today promising yourself well-being and good health.

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

You’ve been told a hundred times that exercise is good for you, and it’s true—but it’s good for a lot more than just losing weight or building muscle. Here are 10 other benefits you’ll see from just a little daily exercise.

10. You’ll Improve Your Memory

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Ever feel like you think a bit more clearly after a good workout? Not only is your brain getting more energy and oxygen, but many studies have shown that exercise can boost your memory and help you learn better. Of course, an intense workout right before a big exam could leave you more tired than smart—but the two are still undoubtedly linked.

9. You’ll Have Better Posture

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Good posture is important, and one of the best ways to fix your posture is to exercise the muscles holding you back. Check out some of the most common posture problems people have, and which muscles you should work out to help fix them. Regularly exercising your abs, back, and other muscles can go a long way into fixing your posture, both sitting and standing.

8. You’ll Boost Your Confidence

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Obviously, exercise can improve your appearance which can improve confidence, but there’s more to it than that. Exercise can also help you feel more accomplished and social (if you work out at a gym). Even if you don’t see immediate results in your body, that effort will make you feel better—and a bit of confidence can go a long way. Photo by chaoss (Shutterstock).

7. You’ll De-Stress

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

We all have stress in our lives, whether it’s the occasional rough day or a more serious, chronic problem. Stress can really wreak havoc with your mind, but studies have shown that exercise is a great way to combat it. Not only are those endorphins natural stress-fighters, but getting yourself into that exercise groove helps get your mind off the things stressing you out. Photo by Tess Mayer.

6. You’ll Sleep Better

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

If you ever have trouble falling asleep at night, the National Sleep Foundationsays at regular exercise can help you sleep better. The best time to work out is in the morning or the afternoon, rather than before bed—if you exercise too closely to bedtime, it can actually have the opposite effect! Luckily, there areother good ways to fill up that pre-bed relaxation time. Photo by Deeleea.

5. You’ll Have More Energy

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

It may seem counter-intuitive—after all, working out can drain your energy quite a bit—but regular exercise can actually make you feel more energized throughout the day. In fact, one study found that exercising in the middle of the day can leave you feeling more energetic and productive for the rest of the afternoon. You should still try to get in some walking throughout the day, but a midday workout could be a great pick-me-up. Photo by nasrul (Shutterstock).

4. You’ll Have Better Sex

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)12

Do we have your attention yet? Yes, studies have indeed shown that regular exercise can increase arousal and decrease men’s risk for erectile dysfunciton, likely because exercise improves circulation (which is pretty important when it comes to sex). Photo by wavebreakmedia (Shutterstock).

3. You’ll Get Sick Less Often

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Nobody likes getting sick, and exercise can help. A recent study found that people who exercised regularly were half as likely to get a cold than people who didn’t—which is odds I’d gladly take. Taking a good steam afterward can help, too. Photo by Anna Gutermuth.

2. You’ll Live Longer

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)34

It’s no secret that healthy living will keep you alive longer, but you might be surprised at how much. One study found that exercise improves life expectancyas much as quitting smoking. It really is true that sitting all day is killing you—and just a bit of regular exercise can stave off the reaper for awhile.

1. You’ll Just Be Happier

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

All this put together equals a much happier you. It’s not just those “runner’s high” endorphins—regular exercise can actually improve your life in oh-so-many ways. All you need to do is make it a habit—the University of Bristol found that people’s mood significantly improved on days they exercised, so find a way to fit a quick workout into your daily routine and you’ll be well on your way.

Right Exercise

How to Pick the Right Exercises for YOUR Body

Spend enough time on the Internet, and you’ll come across two strains of fitness information. There’s the hardass wing, where trainers claim, with militant certainty, that anybody can do anything. Deadlift double your body weight? Squat butt-to-calves? Bench press with two wheels on each side? You just have to want it bad enough.

Guys who follow advice like this discover a fundamental truth sooner or later: While the brain gets a vote, the body retains veto power.

Those who get the memo about their limitations often scurry to the opposite side of the industry, where you can find countless articles about how to train for your body type. The idea is that the shape of your body determines not only how good, bad, or ridiculous you look in a Speedo, but also how you should approach the process of getting into better shape.

Curiously, those who promote this notion are convinced humans have just three or four basic shapes. Most go with the classic somatotypes: ectomorph (skinny), endomorph (big-boned), and mesomorph (the guy who never worries about his body type because everything he does seems to work).

Women may find different nomenclature, like pear (bottom-heavy), ruler (narrow hips and shoulders), hourglass (yes!), or apple (more in the middle). But it’s the same concept: Your workout isn’t working because it’s not custom-tailored to your unique dimensions.

Strength coach Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes was curious about the origins of the three somatotypes. As he explained in this article, the original idea had nothing to do with fitness or weight loss. Instead, it was the foundation of “constitutional psychology,” a mostly discredited science that equated body shape with intelligence, temperament, and overall value to society. (It’s also been partially supported, since mesomorphs, the lucky bastards with naturally muscular physiques, tend to have better athletic and reproductive success, leading to more career options and higher income.)

Related: 6 Insanely Fit Guys Reveal One Thing They Do Every Day

What does body type have to do with your workouts? If you’re talking about the basic design of your program, nothing. But when it comes to exercise selection, all of us need to tweak things to accommodate our bodies’ unique dimensions, structural challenges, and occasional asymmetries.

“Training is absolutely not a black and white concept, like many feel it should be,” says Dean Somerset, CSCS, a trainer and rehab specialist based in Edmonton. That’s true for any athletic pursuit or training goal, but he says it’s especially important when it comes to exercise selection. “You have to see how the person does with the exercise to gauge whether it would work for them or not.”

Let’s explore.

Lower body

In a recent post Somerset explained that nobody’s hip joints are exactly the same as anybody else’s. (Proving that, yes, you really are a special snowflake.) Some hip sockets are deeper. The femoral neck, the piece at the top of the thigh that fits into the socket, can be relatively thick or thin. The angle of the neck, in relation to the shaft of the thighbone, can also be dramatically different from one person to the next.

And most mind-blowing of all: These things can be slightly different on the left and right sides of the same person.

All these nuances, invisible for the outside, affect your range of motion on squats. “Some people won’t ever squat ass-to-grass due to their hip anatomy,” Somerset says. “But that doesn’t mean they should never squat, or would always have pain with squats.”

What is true is that the anatomy you bring into the weight room is the anatomy you were born with, and will always have. If it limits the depth of your squats, so be it. Somerset has range-limited clients squat to a box, and says they still develop leg strength without pain.

Related: 4 Exercises You Should Do Every Day

When it comes to performance in the squat, Cortes notes that anatomy very much matters. Those with shorter legs and wider hips won’t often win a footrace, but they have a big advantage in lower-body strength and muscle development. “Wider hips can simply support a lot more weight,” he says, and shorter legs cut the range of motion.

Conversely, a guy with longer legs is going to have to descend farther when he squats, and has a much longer range of motion on his deadlifts. There’s more that can go wrong, and more potential stress on the most vulnerable joints in the lower back.

Squat Rx

The barbell squat allows you to use more weight, and thus develop more strength and mass, than any other variation. But for many lifters—those with unusually long legs, or limited hip mobility, or lingering knee or lower-back problems—it can create more problems than it solves.

Solution 1: Anyone can do a goblet squat. The goblet squat, with a dumbbell or kettlebell, is the ideal entry-level variation, and is a great choice when returning from a layoff or injury. It helps you figure out your natural range of motion with minimal risk of injury.

Solution 2: Try a variety of foot positions to find the best one for you. The width of your stance, and whether you turn your toes out or keep them pointed straight ahead, is a matter of personal comfort. Keep in mind that your stance doesn’t have to be perfectly symmetrical. You may find it feels better to turn one foot out slightly more than the other.

Deadlift Rx

Hip structure can also affect your ability to lift a heavy weight off the floor. With limited hip mobility, your lower back may flex—that is, go into a deeper arch—instead of remaining in the neutral position. Rather than risk injury, Somerset says you need to find a way to shorten the range of motion. Your options include:

Solution 1: Lift from blocks. You can start with a loaded barbell set up on one or two weight plates on each side, cutting the distance you have to lift by an inch or two. If that isn’t enough, you can put it on boxes or the bottom rails of a squat rack, raising it to mid-shin level.

Solution 2: Use the high handles of a hex bar. With a 45-pound plate on each side, a barbell sits about 9 inches above the floor. Same with the low handles of a hex bar. The high handles cut the range of motion by 3 to 4 inches.

Solution 3: Use the sumo deadlift. The wide stance, in effect, shortens your legs, while also allowing you to lift from a more upright posture.

Upper body

Everything you just read about the hips also applies to the shoulders. Structural anomalies in the glenohumeral joint, which connects the ball at the top of your upper arm to a shallow socket in your shoulder blade, can make pressing exercises unproductive at best, injurious at worst.

At the top of the shoulder blade, directly above the joint, is a piece of bone called the acromion. Forty percent of us have what’s called a type 3 acromion, with a sharp hook that appears designed to stab anything that tries to get past it. It’s linked to a higher risk for shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tears. Years of heavy bench and shoulder presses can you leave you with chronic pain.

For performance, Cortes says, the length of your arms and the width and thickness of your torso can make a huge difference. The guy with a barrel chest and alligator arms may struggle to find a suit that fits, but “pressing is generally going to be a strong pattern.” The shortened range of motion helps with chinups and dips as well as bench and overhead presses.

At the other end of the spectrum is a guy with long arms and a narrow torso, when viewed from the side. The arm length increases the range of motion on all upper-body exercises, and the two traits conspire to make bench presses an exercise in frustration.

But long arms give you a big advantage in the deadlift. Your hands are closer to the bar, which shortens your range of motion because you don’t have to bend over as far. And on pulling exercises like rows, Cortes notes that the longer range of motion can actually be an advantage: “With long arms comes increased time under tension,” he says, with minimal joint stress.

And although this is subjective, Cortes believes longer-armed lifters can get a better sense of their back muscles working on pulls, leading to more complete muscle activation.

Shoulder press Rx

Somerset compares overhead pressing to the last woman left in the bar at closing time: Just because going home with her is an option doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. If traditional shoulder presses cause discomfort, he recommends these options:

Solution 1: Half-kneeling dumbbell overhead press. Use a single dumbbell, held on the same side as your support knee, and press slowly.

Solution 2: Neutral grip dumbbell press. Seated or standing, hold the dumbbells so they’re parallel to each other, with your elbows forward instead of flared out to the side. This creates more room for the arm to move without getting fish-hooked by the acromion.

Solution 3: Narrow grip barbell press. By holding the bar with your hands just above your shoulders, rather than outside of them, you can keep your elbows pointed forward on the way up and the way down.

Bench press Rx

Shoulder joints are like a carpet: If you only walk on one part, eventually you’ll wear a path in the part of you overuse, shortening the life of the carpet despite the fact most of it is still in good shape. It’s called pattern overload, and the barbell bench press is a notorious overloader of your shoulder joints. Here’s how to spread the stress around.

Solution 1: On the barbell bench press, change grips often.Somerset says going from wide to narrow grips, and to various points in between, helps reduce excessive wear and tear.

Solution 2: With dumbbells, switch to a neutral grip. As with the shoulder press, Somerset says you’ll open more space in your shoulder joints when the weights are facing each other and your elbows are aligned with your torso, rather than perpendicular to it.

Avoiding type hype

Let’s return to the idea of “body type workouts,” especially the notion that the shape of your body, viewed from the outside, should somehow determine how you design your workouts. Ultimately, the process of getting bigger, leaner, and/or stronger is exactly the same. The basic movements patterns—squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, and chinups and pullups—are still the best tools to get the best physique possible.

But each of us has anatomical quirks that change the ways our bodies perform those movements. Along with the visible ones we discussed—long or short arms or legs, thick or thin torso—are structural challenges within the hip and shoulder joints that can limit range of motion in squats and deadlifts and literally tear shoulders apart after a few years of heavy chest and shoulder presses.

Maybe it’s disappointing to learn you’ll never squat below parallel, or that you simply can’t do barbell bench presses without pain. But knowing your body is a lot better than the alternative. “It allows you to make more informed training decisions and recognize the potential for injury,” Cortes says.

Fewer injuries mean more training and better training, which help you look better and feel better. No matter your body type.

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

You’ve been told a hundred times that exercise is good for you, and it’s true—but it’s good for a lot more than just losing weight or building muscle. Here are 10 other benefits you’ll see from just a little daily exercise.

10. You’ll Improve Your Memory

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Ever feel like you think a bit more clearly after a good workout? Not only is your brain getting more energy and oxygen, but many studies have shown that exercise can boost your memory and help you learn better. Of course, an intense workout right before a big exam could leave you more tired than smart—but the two are still undoubtedly linked.

9. You’ll Have Better Posture

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Good posture is important, and one of the best ways to fix your posture is to exercise the muscles holding you back. Check out some of the most common posture problems people have, and which muscles you should work out to help fix them. Regularly exercising your abs, back, and other muscles can go a long way into fixing your posture, both sitting and standing.

8. You’ll Boost Your Confidence

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Obviously, exercise can improve your appearance which can improve confidence, but there’s more to it than that. Exercise can also help you feel more accomplished and social (if you work out at a gym). Even if you don’t see immediate results in your body, that effort will make you feel better—and a bit of confidence can go a long way. Photo by chaoss (Shutterstock).

7. You’ll De-Stress

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

We all have stress in our lives, whether it’s the occasional rough day or a more serious, chronic problem. Stress can really wreak havoc with your mind, but studies have shown that exercise is a great way to combat it. Not only are those endorphins natural stress-fighters, but getting yourself into that exercise groove helps get your mind off the things stressing you out. Photo by Tess Mayer.

6. You’ll Sleep Better

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

If you ever have trouble falling asleep at night, the National Sleep Foundationsays at regular exercise can help you sleep better. The best time to work out is in the morning or the afternoon, rather than before bed—if you exercise too closely to bedtime, it can actually have the opposite effect! Luckily, there areother good ways to fill up that pre-bed relaxation time. Photo by Deeleea.

5. You’ll Have More Energy

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

It may seem counter-intuitive—after all, working out can drain your energy quite a bit—but regular exercise can actually make you feel more energized throughout the day. In fact, one study found that exercising in the middle of the day can leave you feeling more energetic and productive for the rest of the afternoon. You should still try to get in some walking throughout the day, but a midday workout could be a great pick-me-up. Photo by nasrul (Shutterstock).

4. You’ll Have Better Sex

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Do we have your attention yet? Yes, studies have indeed shown that regular exercise can increase arousal and decrease men’s risk for erectile dysfunciton, likely because exercise improves circulation (which is pretty important when it comes to sex). Photo by wavebreakmedia (Shutterstock).

3. You’ll Get Sick Less Often

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

Nobody likes getting sick, and exercise can help. A recent study found that people who exercised regularly were half as likely to get a cold than people who didn’t—which is odds I’d gladly take. Taking a good steam afterward can help, too. Photo by Anna Gutermuth.

2. You’ll Live Longer

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It’s no secret that healthy living will keep you alive longer, but you might be surprised at how much. One study found that exercise improves life expectancyas much as quitting smoking. It really is true that sitting all day is killing you—and just a bit of regular exercise can stave off the reaper for awhile.

1. You’ll Just Be Happier

Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight)

All this put together equals a much happier you. It’s not just those “runner’s high” endorphins—regular exercise can actually improve your life in oh-so-many ways. All you need to do is make it a habit—the University of Bristol found that people’s mood significantly improved on days they exercised, so find a way to fit a quick workout into your daily routine and you’ll be well on your way.