Kickboxing For Flexibility

Kickboxing For Flexibility

Two areas of fitness that aren’t give the respect they deserve are balance and flexibility. Sure you admire it in the gymnast or dancer, but when you go for a workout, unless it’s yoga, more focus is on strength and endurance. You may get questions on how far you ran and how fast or impress people with the amount of weight you can lift, but nobody asks how your range of motion is. Flexibility and balance are both important. Kickboxing for flexibility and balance training is exceptional.

Good flexibility and balance not only helps you move gracefully, it plays other important roles in your fitness.

If you want healthy joints and muscle, work on your flexibility. It’s particularly important for anyone working on strength building. Good flexibility improves the range of motion and increase the elasticity of the connective tissue and muscles that are around the joints. That improved elasticity means fewer strains and pulls whether working out or just doing every day activities. It helps maintain posture and aids the body in proper functioning. Good balance helps prevent falls that lead to injury.

Unlike Tai Chi or Yoga, you aren’t really focusing on flexibility, but you are improving it.

The difference between yoga, Tai Chi and kickboxing is all about focus and goal. In one, the first two, you’re working on flexibility for the sake of the movement itself. You’re focused on the movement. In kickboxing, those high kicks and flexibility come as a result of training to fight and win. Which one is better? The one you enjoy most and do regularly.

Kickboxing is even recommended for older people because of its ability to improve agility and balance.

You might not think that the power that kickboxing promotes has anything to do with balance. You notice, I said power, not strength. Power is a combination of speed and force, not just brute strength. It’s a good indicator of how susceptible one is to falls. It’s been noted that of all the sports available, non promotes power, balance and agility like kickboxing. It’s a sport for all ages that keeps you thinking while you’re making power moves with one leg raised and the other planted firmly. That sounds like a test for flexibility and balance to me.

  • Just watching people kickboxing shows the embodiment of HIIT training. There’s top speed motion, followed by moderate recovery movements and back to top speed. It’s no wonder it burns so many calories.
  • Kickboxing has been used to help people with MS, which leads to impaired communication between the brain and muscles. It’s been shown to strengthen and improve neuromuscular control. It improves balance and mobility.
  • The flexibility and balance developed in kickboxing helps people of all ages. It’s especially important the older you get and is one reason many rehabilitation experts and neurology specialists recommend kickboxing, even for the elderly.
  • Many times, people take up kickboxing and then seek ways to get even better. They often look to additional flexibility training to help them in a match.

Does Running Relieve Stress

Does Running Relieve Stress

There’s a lot of ways to relieve stress, running is one of those ways. Here in the gym in Chino Hills, CA, we use kickboxing and other types of workouts to do it. That doesn’t mean either way is right or wrong, they just both approach the fight or flight response differently. The fight or flight response is what your body experiences when you’re under stress. As you can tell, kickboxing is the perfect fight option and running is a great flight option.

The body responds to stress with a primitive mechanism.

When a cave person first encountered situations where he or she was threatened, either by members of a hostile tribe or a wild animal, the body went into a mode that prepared it to run or fight. Blood flowed into extremities, the heart beat faster, blood pressure and breathing rate elevated. This was all caused by the triggering of the sympathetic nervous system to release hormones to prepare the body for the activity.

What do wild animals and hostile caveman tribes have to do with you?

Some things don’t change. People still get stressed. What does change is the cause of the stress. Today, it’s not wild animals that trigger it, but often a wild crowd at the store trying to get the same bargain on Black Friday. It’s not hostile combative tribes, but a hostile boss or an angry customer. You might want to fight them or simply run away, but you can’t. It’s not socially acceptable or even appropriate. Instead, the stress builds up inside you and you carry it with you until you burn off the hormones by running or doing other physical activity that mimics fighting.

Add one more response to the category.

If you’ve ever experienced something so scary that you couldn’t move, you’re not alone. One added response often not mentioned is the “freeze” response. You literally freeze in your place. It’s probably because early man was safer by remaining quiet and still when a wild animal approached, rather than running and causing the animal to notice them. It’s also similar to the feeling you get when you’re not taking action on the fight or flight. Your muscles tense and you’re ready for action, but none take place so you’re left with that sickening feeling. You need to burn off the hormones with an activity that gets your heart pumping and makes you sweat.

  • No matter how evolved we are, the brain still can’t differentiate between a threat to the body and one that’s simply an emotional threat.
  • Eating healthy can help relieve some of the stress in your life. Some foods actually help produce hormones that fight stress.
  • Learning to deal with stress is a huge help. Deep breathing exercises is one way to start. Taking a break and going for a walk away from the stressful situation, reminding yourself some things just aren’t important and even improving your posture can help.
  • There’s no one right stress buster. It’s all about what works best for you. Some people find that something as simple as running up and down the stairs helps.

Can You Workout Too Much?

Can You Workout Too Much?

For those that find it tough to make it to the gym three times a week, the question whether you can workout too much might seem ridiculous. It’s not. There are people that do tough workouts every day for long hours, hoping to achieve their goals more quickly. The problem is, they often find they’re not only, not achieving their goals, they’re losing ground. Yes, you can definitely workout too much and there are signs that let you know this is occurring.

Your body works hard during exercise.

When you’re working out, you’re creating stress on your body. While exercise reduces stress by burning off stress hormones, it creates stress in another way. It causes a suppression of the immune system that impairs the immunity for up to 72-hours. It also takes time for muscle tissue repair. When you’re working out, small micro tears occur. When they repair, they repair stronger than before, but if you’re over-exercising, that can’t happen.

There are signs to look for when you suspect you’re putting in way too much time working out.

The first most important sign is that your performance will suffer. Instead of improving, you’ll go backward and be unable to accomplish as much as you did before you hit the wall. Some people try to push past this by making their workout tougher or longer, which only makes it worse. On top of that, most people who over-exercise find they simply don’t enjoy it as much as they did. For those pressing weights, it often shows up this way.

Signs outside the gym you’re overdoing it.

Check your mood to see if you’re overdoing it. If you’ve ever been around someone that’s really sick, with their body fighting hard to get back to normal, you’ll often notice they’re depressed, confused, angry, anxious or irritable. That’s not too different from people who are ove-rexercising. It comes from over stressing the body. Delayed recovery time is another sign, just like a weakened immune system is. People often experience increasing fatigue. It’s chronic and not the good kind that says you’ve worked out hard. Most people feel tired when they first start working out, but this occurs after working out for a while.

  • Check your heart rate. If your normal resting heart rate is 55 beats a minute and then it jumps to 70, you’re probably stressing your body by over-exercising.
  • Insomnia is not only a sign you’re overdoing, it actually can contribute to the problem. Your body needs rest to heal, but it won’t get it.
  • Overworking can lead to loss of muscle mass and increased fat gain. That’s the opposite of what most people want from their exercise program.
  • If you’re experiencing an appetite loss, it’s not necessarily good. It also is a late stage indication of over-exercising.

Benefits Of A Workout Partner

Benefits Of A Workout Partner

One of the things I always tell new members at the gym in Chino Hills, CA is to bring a friend. While you might not workout with them directly, there are benefits of a workout partner or someone who works out at the same time as you do. They turn an ordinary gym visit into an appointment with a friend. You tend to go out of your way to make that appointment, where you might find it easier to skip a gym visit where nobody misses you.

It’s a reason that personal trainers are so popular and get such good results.

Seriously, one of the biggest reasons for any fitness plan failing is the lack of follow through. At first, you’re dedicated, excited and willing to go to great lengths, just to get your workout in that day. Sometimes, that excitement lasts weeks, sometimes only a few days. It’s at that point you skip a visit or two, after all, who’s going to notice. Having a personal trainer means you’re accountable to someone, not just for the weigh in and how hard you work, but also for showing up to workout.

Workout partners also provide other benefits.

Whether you’re kickboxing or working out, it’s a lot more fun when you have a friend doing it with you. Just because you’re dedicated to getting fit, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Having fun is what makes the kickboxing classes so popular. You get in a good workout, but the time goes quickly and you barely notice you’re working hard. It’s super motivating and can take the sting out of an even hard workout.

You don’t have to be in perfect shape to appreciate some friendly competition.

Even if your workout partner is fitter than you or far less fit, each person is working to achieve his or her own personal goal. If you’re competitive at all, having a work partner means either openly or secretly, you’ll be doing your best to out achieve your workout buddy. People whose fitness level is far removed from the other works hard to achieve their own personal goal and maybe even flaunt that success a bit or at least keep up with their counterpart that achieved theirs. If you’re both on equal footing, let the games begin!

  • A workout partner can add variety to your workout by showing you exercises or kickboxing moves they learned, but you somehow missed.
  • You can share knowledge with one another. Whether it’s the proper form for a move or exercise or the number of reps and combinations, you’ll both get better sharing the knowledge.
  • There’s safety in numbers. Whether it’s as a spotter when you’re working with weights or enjoying a run, walk or jog, having a partner to workout with can make your fitness efforts safer.
  • When you have a partner, you’ll be more apt to try something new. It’s less intimidating when there’s two of you joining a new class or even trying something like kickboxing.

Balancing Mental And Physical Health

Balancing Mental And Physical Health

A truly happy person leads a healthy life, balancing mental and physical health. When a person’s mental condition is centered and happy, that person tends to have better health. If someone is fit, they tend to be happier. The body and mind work together to complement each other, with one directly affecting the other. Even the very term disease, indicates the connection between the two. It’s the prefix dis, meaning not and the word ease. Together, they mean not at ease, which could take on the meaning of being mentally uncomfortable, but more commonly means illness.

The body and mind are connected.

While there are stories from psychologists demonstrating how people display certain physical illnesses from a mental conflict occurring earlier in those people’s lives, you don’t have to search out stories like this to see it in everyday life. I see it all the time with clients. People come in angry and stressed or depressed and upset. As they workout, you can almost see that veil of emotion lifting and their spirits with it. It’s more than that. While staying healthy and working out can lift your spirits, studies also show people who are depressed often have poorer than average health.

Treating both the body and the mind has become important.

Exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep and good hydration are important to good health, but so is taking time each day to quiet the mind and thoughtful reflection. Whether you choose meditation or simply take time to review the day’s events, keeping a positive attitude is mandatory to good health. Meditation is nothing more than being in a state of relaxed awareness, allowing your body to rest while letting your mind remain awake, but quiet. More and more studies show that meditation, as part of a program of health, can also reduce the potential for heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension and insomnia.

Eating healthy feeds both the body and the mind, just as exercise helps both.

Eating should be a pleasure, but to many people it’s nothing more than a habit. I see it every day in restaurants, people shoveling food in their mouths, barely chewing and swallowing. They barely taste the food and are on to the next bite. When you engage in mindful eating, you’re savoring each bite, looking for the subtle blends of tastes and enjoying each combination. While we recommend choosing a rainbow of colors when creating a meal, the Ayurvedic method is to include six tastes: sweet, pungent, salty, sour, bitter, and astringent. Astringent, bitter and pungent tastes are anti-inflammatory and include foods like ginger, peppers, mushrooms and tea. Many people’s diets include just sweet, sour and salty.

  • The mind can produce chemicals that boost the immune system, with physical exercise burning off the hormones of stress that can slow it.
  • Your mental attitude not only can change the course of illness, it can also boost the benefits of exercise and help you get in shape faster.
  • Building good friendships helps both the body and the mind. Studies show that people who have a more social existence live longer.
  • If you want to be healthier and live longer, smile more and laugh. Studies show that laughter truly can be the best medicine.

Workouts For Biceps

Workouts For Biceps

Finding the best workouts for biceps is a quest that many people pursue. Having big guns is the sign that you’ve worked out. While women won’t develop the massive muscles men do, they’ll get a sleek, strong look that is perfect for short sleeve tops. I’ll just list a few that I find effective for the upper arm. One works the biceps brachii, the muscle at the front of the arm located between the shoulder and elbow. One works the brachialis, located at the bottom of the upper arm, connecting the bottom of the bicep to the forearm. The last one works both areas.

Use dumbbell curls for the biceps brachii.

You can use either dumbbell curls or barbell curls to get great results. Both do a good job of strengthening the biceps brachii. Here’s a quick review of the dumbbell curl. Holding a dumbbell as you stand straight, with arms to the side of the body and make sure your elbows are close to your torso, rotate your hands so your palms face forward. Keeping the upper arms still, exhale as you curl the dumbbells by contracting your biceps. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder level. Hold the position, while you squeeze the bicep muscle. Inhale and lower them back down. Repeat.

Hammer curls are good for the brachialis.

Start the hammer curl in much the same position as the dumbbell curl, but your palms should face toward your body. Keeping the upper part of your arm stationary, exhale and bring the barbells slowly, all the while, contracting your biceps. Bring them up to shoulder level, focusing on keeping your elbow stationary as you move your forearm. Hold for a bit, inhale and lower them back down. Repeat.

If you want to workout both the long and short heads of the biceps use regular grip barbell curls

Adjusting your grip width on a barbell can help eliminate discomfort problems, but it also can be a great way to vary the area worked. If you use a wide grip, it works the short head of the muscle, while a narrower grip works on the long head more. Stand up straight as you hold the barbell with a shoulder-width grip. Face the palms of the hands forward with the elbows held close to your body. Curl the barbell forward as you exhale and contract your biceps, while ensuring the upper arm remains stationary. When the barbell is at shoulder level hold the position and squeeze the bicep. Then slowly lower the barbell as you inhale. Repeat.

  • When you first start, work with a personal trainer to ensure your form and breathing are correct.
  • Don’t attempt to start too heavy. Work on form. Your trainer will help you pick out the right weight for your fitness level.
  • By adjusting your body position, you can improve the effectiveness of an exercise. For instance the incline dumbbell hammer curl is more effective than the dumbbell hammer curl.
  • Don’t work on biceps every day if you want growth. They need about 48 hours to repair themselves. They get stronger as they heal, so don’t mess up that process.

Have You Thought Of Weight Training Once A Week

Have You Thought Of Weight Training Once A Week

While weight training once a week is acceptable, doing strength training twice a week is better. Strength training doesn’t always require the use of weights. In fact, bodyweight exercises and resistance bands are two good examples of strength training that requires no weights. In our gym in Chino Hills, CA, many students use kickboxing, plus other strength training techniques to get the maximum benefit from strength training, while enjoying a fun, yet fitness oriented outlet.

Strength training builds muscle tissue.

No matter how old or young you are, you’ll benefit from having more muscle tissue. Older people benefit because as people age, their lean muscle mass starts to dwindle. It’s called sarcopenia. You really don’t have to be very old to show some signs of it. It starts at about the age of 30 when the rate of decline is as much as 3 to 5 per cent each year. More muscles affects bone density, too. Strength training has been compared with some osteoporosis medications and found superior. Thirty minutes of training twice a week showed an improvement in bone density in postmenopausal women that had low bone mass. It improves bone density in teens, too.

Strength training helps you burn fat.

A lot of people hop on the treadmill or take up running to lose weight. While cardio is good for burning calories, strength training is better. It doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio does while you’re doing it, but it does provide a lasting effect. It builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue, so it improves your resting metabolism rate. That means you burn more calories 24/7. Unlike running, which can use lean muscle mass for energy, weight training builds muscle mass and burns off fat.

Strength training improves functional fitness.

You’ll get more than just stronger from working with weights or other types of strength-training, you’ll improve your coordination, posture and balance, too. It reduces the risk of falling by as much as 40 percent in older people, when compared to those who didn’t do strength training. Stronger muscles and core strength also improve functional fitness. That protects you from injury doing every day types of activities.

  • Strength training burns more calories following exercise. The increased calories are used during the recovery period after a workout.
  • Strength training helps you sleep better at night.
  • Women don’t develop large bulky muscles during strength-training like men do. Instead, they develop strong toned, attractive muscles.
  • Strength-training can boost your immune system, while also reducing the pain from chronic diseases like arthritis.

The Best Pre-Workout Foods

The Best Pre-Workout Foods

There’s a myth that starving yourself before a workout is good. It’s just that, a myth with no science to back it. You do need some food to help sustain your body through a workout or it starts feasting on your own muscle mass. One study showed that cyclists who ate something before their workout lost the same amount of fat as those who ate nothing, but the group that ate nothing also took ten percent of their calories used from burning protein and some of it was muscle mass. That’s counterproductive. Not all food is the same when it comes to eating before a workout. Here are some of the best pre-workout foods.

Grab a banana or a fruit smoothie before you workout.

Both of these make a great pre-workout snack. The banana has natural sugar, potassium and easy to use carbohydrates, so it can supply your body with energy by boosting your stores of glycogen and boost blood sugar levels. Fruit smoothies are also high in natural sugars and provide the same benefits as a banana. They also contain phytonutrients and extra nutrition for good health. Be ware of consuming these more frequently than pre-workout, since they’re high in fructose!

Yogurt and fresh fruit make a great pre-workout snack.

When you combine the quick energy fruit with the long lasting protein of yogurt, you have a snack that not only boosts your energy, it helps prevent muscles tissue breakdown. Top your Greek yogurt with berries and throw in a few seeds in your yogurt or find Greek yogurt topped with them. You can pitch some coconut, dried figs and vanilla into plain Greek yogurt for flavor, but don’t get the ones with fruit flavors since they’re higher in calories and sugar.

One of my favorites is an apple and nut butter.

While it’s easier to get peanut butter, I’m a huge fan of almond and cashew butter. No matter which you choose, slicing an apple and spreading the contents of two tablespoons of nut butter on the slices is a delicious way to get all the pre-workout energy and protein you need. If you’re not a fan of apples, use a banana instead.

  • Eat your pre-workout snack about a half hour to an hour before you workout. It gives it time for the benefits to be available for the body and to avoid cramping.
  • While healthy fat is good for you, too much can hamper your performance. It digests slowly and can make you feel out of sorts and sluggish so you won’t do your best.
  • Having a source of protein in your workout food can help prevent muscle breakdown and boost muscle recovery.
  • If you’re eating complex carbohydrates before a workout, do it two hours before the workout starts. They’re slower to digest and can help maintain blood sugar levels.

You Can't Out-Exercise A Bad Diet

You Can’t Out-Exercise A Bad Diet

When I was growing up, I knew some pretty crazy people. I had one female friend that would eat a donut running in place. She said the calories didn’t count if you were moving, since they didn’t stick because you burned them up. Of course, that logic is hooey, but it seemed pretty convincing when I was in my early teens. Now I can firmly state that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Not only is it nearly impossible to work off all the excess calories, there’s also the problem with getting the nutrition you need for a healthy body.

Seriously, unless you’re a professional athlete, you simply won’t burn that many calories.

Even professional athletes eat wholesome foods, but probably a lot more than you do. Olympic swimmers like Michael Phelps and Ryan Murphey who are constantly training, still stick to whole foods for their calories. In an interview with Ryan Murphey he said that before his morning training, he ate a Power Bar and banana, after practice he ate eggs, spinach, fruit and some oatmeal or Greek yogurt with granola and fruit. You didn’t notice any donuts in the mix because they provide no nutrition and actually impede his performance. Ryan even noted that with all the exercise he gets, if he ate chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast he’d gain weight.

Your training will suffer if you don’t eat right.

That’s right! The wrong foods can take away from your workout, rather than help it. If you eat the right snacks before a workout, you’ll boost your energy levels and enjoy all the benefits of working hard. You can’t maintain a high intensity workout. You’ll lack the energy to move. A good workout requires you to work your hardest.

You won’t get the results you want for weight loss if you don’t have a healthy diet.

Sure, exercising will burn off calories, but when you combine it with a healthy diet, you also get super results that not only take off pounds, it leaves you feeling energized. You’d be at a stand still for weight loss if you ate a burger and fries and exercised enough to work off the calories. Rather than trying to offset your poor eating habits with exercise, strive for a healthy lifestyle. You’ll look and feel better while shedding pounds more rapidly.

  • Eating the wrong foods can lead you to be cranky and overweight. Even if you’re working out, if you have too much fat in your diet, you’ll be sluggish in the gym. Too little carbs, you’ll burn out and burn muscle tissue.
  • If you eat poorly, you won’t have the nutrition to build the muscle tissue you need to burn extra calories. You need the building blocks to boost muscle tissue growth.
  • If you eat the wrong foods high in sugar, your blood sugar levels will fluctuate and create an even more ravenous appetite, while lowering your energy level.
  • Eating the right food about a half hour to an hour before working out, can and does help boost your performance. Something as simple as a banana or an apple with nut butter can help you workout your best.

Make Procrastination Work For You

Make Procrastination Work For You

Everyone procrastinates about doing something. It may be something as significant as making a call about a matter you can cover in a text to someone you know will keep you on the phone forever. It could be starting a program of lifestyle changes you’re putting off doing. While it may be tough to make procrastination work for you when you consider the phone call, lifestyle changes are quite another thing, especially when it comes to eating healthier or ending bad habits.

You can procrastinate away when it comes to eating unhealthy foods.

If your favorite stop is at a Quickie Burger for their super triple burger deluxe, it’s time to put your super power, procrastination, into action. Just do what you do best when it comes to working out in the gym or creating healthy menus, put it off and drive by the burger palace. You can tell yourself that you’ll get one tomorrow. No matter what the temptation, don’t take the time to stop but tell yourself you’ll eat it another time.

Cutting out bad habits, do the same routine.

I’ll do it later can be your chant as you conquer every bad habit. Want to quit smoking, put your cigarettes in a difficult place to reach and when you think about smoking, consider how tough they’ll be to get to and wait until later. Find ways to make smoking more difficult so your powers of procrastination have a chance to kick in and stop you, at least for that moment.

Change I’m only going to eat a little to I’m only going to workout for a minute.

Seriously, don’t consider working out for an hour, just consider a short exercise. It’s like that little sliver of cake you’re going to eat and then end up consuming several large pieces. It’s easier to think of exercising for just a few minutes than it is for 30 minutes to an hour. Go for a short walk around the block and if it feels good, procrastinate about stopping. Even if you only get in a few minutes of exercise, it’s a few minutes more than you would otherwise do.

  • Whether you’re trying to eat healthier, quit a bad habit or get your booty into gear at the gym, procrastination is just a small tool to help you along. You need a plan and the desire to do those things to succeed.
  • When you want to eat healthier, shop healthier. If the snacks and processed foods are available, you’ll eat them.
  • Have healthy snacks already prepared. Slice up veggies and have healthy dip ready. Have a bowl of fruit, such as cantaloupe, cubed and ready. If you don’t have to go through the hassle and make it easy, you’re bound to eat healthier.
  • Know yourself. Identify your pitfalls and the places you’re most likely to breach your reserve. Don’t ignore the fact that you’ll be tempted, but use it as a planning tool. If you fall off the wagon, it’s no big deal, it happens, just get back on track and start again.