Monday, April 25, 2011

How To Do The Dumbbell Calf Raise



Do you want strong calves? Of course you do. Without strong calves you wouldn't be able to jump, walk, run or even stand properly. So I'm going to show you how to do a simple calf strengthening exercise. It's called the dumbbell calf raise and it comes in handy for developing powerful calf muscles.

How To Do Dumbbell Calf Raise

You'll need a pair of dumbbells for this exercise. Take one dumbbell in each hand (start with at least 40 pounds). Hold the dumbbells at your sides. Use your calf muscles to push your heels off the floor. Stand on the balls of your feet. Hold this position for two seconds then lower yourself to starting position. Now raise yourself onto the balls of your feet again. Stop after ten reps. Take a five second break then do it again. Do ten sets of this exercise. Your muscles may feel like they're on fire but if you do this exercise on a regular basis, you'll have muscular, powerful calves.

Summer is just under two months away. Don't sit around dreaming about having a better body, do something about it. Get up and start exercising. Now.

"Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts: How To Do Dumbbell Calf Raise" copyright 2011 Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How To Do The Captain's Chair Leg Raise



The captain's chair leg raise is an ab exercise for beginners and others who aren't able to do the more more difficult exercises e.g. hanging obliques. The captain's chair workout is good for exercising the lower abdominals and hips. Because of the relative ease of the captain's chair leg raise, I'll get to how they're done.

How To Do The Captain's Chair Leg Raise

To do this exercise, you'll need a captain's chair. This is an apparatus with a back support, arm rests and hand grips. They often double as a triceps dip station in most gyms. Climb onto the captain's chair. Place your back on the support, rest your forearms on the pads and take hold of the grips. Now use your ab muscles to raise your legs upward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be perpendicular to the floor, your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Hold this position for three seconds, keep your muscles tight. Then lower your legs to the starting position. Perform ten reps of this exercise, that's your first set. Take a moment to rest then repeat for four more sets for a total of fifty reps.

An easier way to do leg raises on this apparatus is to bend your knees. Next, use your abs to raise your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (Unlike in the first exercise, your feet will also be parallel to the floor.) Hold the position for three seconds. Now lower your legs to starting position. Repeat for the same number of sets and reps as in the above exercise.

Once you've mastered the captain's chair leg raise, you should be strong enough to do the hanging obliques. In the meantime, in addition to the captain's chair, train your abs with lying leg raises and crunches. Your abs will be on fire but these exercises make for a stronger core and improved posture.

Don't sit around dreaming about a better body. Get off the computer and start training. Summer is only two months away.

"Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts: How To Do The Captain's Chair Leg Raise" copyright 2011 Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 11, 2011

How To Do Barbell Shoulder Shrugs



In a previous post I showed you how to do dumbbell shrugs. Once you've mastered the dumbbell shrug, it's time to ratchet things up. And that's exactly what you're going to do because now you're going to learn about the barbell variation of this exercise. Shrugs provide a lot of strength training benefits to the upper body. Using barbells provides more advantages because you can lift heavier weights than with dumbbells which could speed up your progress.  

How To Do Barbell Shrugs

You'll need a barbell for this exercise (choose fixed barbells or the Olympic bar). To get a feel for the shrugs, you need to do a warm up set. Stand up straight. Hold the bar in front of you with your palms facing toward you. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Now use your shoulder muscles to pull the bar upward. In other words shrug. Hold position for a one count then lower it to starting position. Do ten reps of the exercise then stop. It's now time to add weight. If you've been training with dumbbells you should be used to heavy weights by now. The only to increase strength and size of the shoulders is to workout with heavy weights. Grip the bar exactly as you did during the warm up set. Go for seven to ten reps of the exercise then stop. Then do four more sets of barbell shrugs.

You'll find it more difficult to keep up the same number of reps with each subsequent set and that's okay. Just decrease the number of reps. You're going for size and strength, high reps make your muscles grow. As you progress with barbell shrugs you must increase the amount of weight you lift. To build strength you will do less reps per set, in this case your muscles are working harder to perform the movement. By that time you should be lifting four to six times in a set. Your shoulders will become more defined and powerful if you perform the shrugs on a regular basis. This strength will carry over to other exercises including the bench and overhead press. So make barbell shrugs part of your regular workout routine. You'll be glad you did.

"How To Do Barbell Shoulder Shrugs" copyright 2011 Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How To Do The Lying Leg Raise Exercise



If your goal is strength and power, you need to keep your body in top shape. That means performing exercises that train the entire body. You need a strong lower body to support upper body lifts. I recently wrote about dragon flag crunches which are great for exercising the abdominal muscles. This week I'm going to talk about the lying leg raise, which also works the lower abs but is easier to master than the dragon flag.

How To Do Lying Leg Raise Exercise

Lie flat on the floor. Place your hands at your sides. Now use your ab muscles to lift your legs six inches off the floor. Hold this position for a five count (working against gravity will increase the effectiveness of the exercise) then lower it again. Repeat this exercise for ten reps then stop. Do a total of fifty repetitions, ten reps per set. For added resistance strap on some ankle weights. Remember to keep your abs tight throughout the lying leg raise exercise. This type of exercise is very beneficial because it

  • strengthens abs
  • strengthens the lower back
  • strengthens the hips
  • can be done at home or the gym
Stronger core muscles help prevent back pain and will also help your deadlift exercises which in turn helps your bench. Make it a point of training your abs at least once a week.

Summer is almost here. Don't dream about getting a better body, make it happen.

"Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts: How To Do The Lying Leg Raise Exercise" copyright 2011 Great Chest and Whole Body Workouts. All Rights Reserved.