Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension (exercise , how to)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vyt2QdsR7E

 

Hello Fitness Family , 

I realize I have been posting a lot of my workouts and less other post and this is because many times I have something going on and posting the workouts is much quicker  to do with little time and I don’t like rushing when writing/typing blog post, so when I do other post aside from my workouts, I want to make sure I have an adequate amount of time and put the time and effort into them. 

The above video will demonstrate today’s exercise of chose; which is the “standing dumbbell triceps extension”, an exercise I have seen people do incorrectly many times because it looks easier than it actually is, and most people will use a higher weight for it, but truthfully that can cause injury if you aren’t careful. 

How Do I perform this movement?

  1. Feet should be shoulder width apart, using both hands grabbing the dumbbell; lifting it over your head until both arms are fully extended.
  2. The dumbbell should be resting in the palms of your hands with your thumbs around it, palms should be facing up towards the ceiling (The starting position)
  3. Keep upper arms close to the head with elbows in and perpendicular to the floor. Lower the dumbbell in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps (only the forearms should be moving)
  4. Go back to the starting position, using the triceps to raise the dumbbell. 
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. 

What Muscles are effected by this exercise?

  • Triceps
  • forearms
  • lats

Should I give it a go? my thoughts?

Yes! definitely give it a go but make sure you are using the proper form before using heavier weights. 

Personally I always feel this working on my triceps muscles – especially when doing a higher rep range or a heavier weight. definitely something to implement and know that there are multiple variations of this exercise as well (which will be spoke about in another blog post)

 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, please feel free to leave a comment, like, follow and share! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman, 

Shay-lon xoo

 

Dumbbell Flys (Exercise)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eozdVDA78K0

Hey everyone, 

We have another exercise post this evening and one that is being demonstrated in the above link/video. We are going to be talking about the Dumbbell flys; how many of you have heard of this exercise and implement it? 

Well hopefully some of you have and if you haven’t, that is okay too because this post will give you some vital information and hopefully get you ready to do it on your own! 

How to do the dumbbell fly?

  1. Lie down on the flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand resting on top of your thighs.  Palms of hands will be facing one another. 
  2. Use your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them out in front of you at shoulder width with palms facing each other.  Raise the dumbbells up; but stop and hold before you lock out (starting position)
  3. Your elbows will have a slight bend to reduce the stress. Lower your arms out at both sides at  a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest (breathe in while performing this portion of the movement)
  4. Return arms at the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out
  5. Hold the contracted position for a second, and repeat the movement for the appropriate amount of repetitions.

Tips: 

  • Throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary, the movement should occur at the shoulder joint
  • use the same arc of motion to lower the weights
  • use a lighter weight until you understand the form/technique to reduce the chances of injury

What muscles does it work?

  • Chest 
  • shoulders
  • some strengthening effect on back and arms — not as much as the first two though

Would I recommend this exercise? 

Now it isn’t every exercise that I am a huge fan of and some of have their keeps with me and some don’t but I do think this is a good exercise when implemented correctly. We all tend to do a lot of bench pressing and chest press with the dumbbells, but this is one of those exercises that I think gets overlooked for the chest muscles – so with that being said, give it a go, and let me know what you think?

 

Is there an exercise or topic you want me to talk about in my blog? leave them down in the comments or email me and I will add it to my list of topics. I love hearing back from all of you and have a full list of topics that I want to write about & don’t mind people giving me ideas to add to it. I appreciate your continued support readers! please comment, like, share and follow. 

 

Your Fitness Blogger,

Shay-lon xoxo

Incline Bench Press ( Exercise)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbFgADa2PL8

Hey FitFam,

This will be my last blog post for the day, I have a previous video demonstrating alternating dumbbell curls and this video and post will be about the incline bench press. I would like to assume many of you already know what a bench press is and how to do it using the barbell, well this is the same concept except it will be at an incline, yes I said an incline. For some of you, this exercise will be something you already implement and for others, I hope depending on your goals at hand, that you will end up giving this exercise a go and letting me know what you think in the comment section. 

 

For starters, yes, I have done this exercise many times, the majority of times I have used a smith machine while doing this exercise (because my gym doesn’t offer any barbells except for the smaller ones) so I have had to use my resources but I have done this exercises using a barbell as well and I will say that this particular exercises you will notice you might lift lower in weights compared to the traditional bench press & that is okay, I know that my bench press is quite higher than my incline bench press. Also keep in mind that while doing this exercises, you pay attention to your grip, the distance of your hand placement and form when lowering and lifting the weight and it is preferred that you do this exercise with a spotter – obviously most of us will know when we are in need of a spotter BUT for my beginners, I suggest you have have some nearby helping in case you get stuck on a lift or otherwise. To begin.. the video at the top will help guide you through the exercise, but like always, I am going to post the steps as well.. for those of you who do better with reading.. 

 

How To Perform The Incline Bench Press

 
  1. Load the bar with the appropriate weight
  2. Adjust the bench to the appropriate level – most people choose 3. 
  3. lay on the bench with feet flat on the ground, shoulder blades retracted, back arched
  4. Use a pronated grip, remove the bar from the rack. Hold the weight above your chest with arms extended (starting position)
  5. Lower the bar to the sternum by flexing the elbows. Maintain control (do not bounce the bar off your chest)  & lats should stay fairly tight
  6. extend elbows to the starting position after touching your chest. 
  7. Repeat for the recommended repetitions

It is very important to maintain control through the whole movement, you don’t need to go extra fast or too hard up against your sternum, just go through the full ROM (range of motion). This is one of those exercises, you don’t need to lift heavy, you can lift little by little and work your way up. 

 

What Muscles are Being Worked

  • Chest
  • deltoids (shoulders)
  • Triceps 

This is one of those exercises I would recommend to anyone looking to spice up their chest day regimen with something different. It can be done with dumbbells as well as the smith machine. I have always said and will always continue to say, variety is good when working out, especially if you are one that gets bored in the gym or likes to learn something new, I definitely say go for it. Before tackling this exercise, make sure you speak with a specialist if you have any prior injuries or conditions – safety is ALWAYS first in my book. Thanks for reading, do me a favor and like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xoxoo

 

Training with Supersets

Happy Thursday Bloggers,

There are so many different ways to train and all of them are useful in some way or the other. I find that trying different training styles increases your knowledge for fitness, gives you better or more results and can be less boring. While some training styles take more time, it is essential you add variety to your workout to get the most out of it. Today’s training style is going to be “Supersets”, how many of you have heard of supersets? this is a popular training model, and it definitely might add some progression to your workout and challenge you. 

What is a superset?

  • Doing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. 
  • Done with opposing muscle groups (ex. biceps/triceps, chest/back) 
  • Alternating push/pull exercises
  • alternating upper/lower body 
  • good protocol for hypertrophy
  • Good when short in time
  • Typically the two exercises work different muscle groups or movement patterns, not always though. 

Example of a superset exercise:

  1. Bicep curls 3 x 10
  2. triceps push down 3 x10

Doing these two exercises starting with one or the other, then moving on to the next exercise with little to no rest and doing the same amount of reps. 

I personally do a lot of supersets when I want to feel a real good pump in my muscles and when I want to add some challenge to some of the exercises I have planned for the day. How many of you implement supersets in your workout? Let me know what exercises in the comment section! Thanks for reading.

Follow, share, comment and like.

Your Fitness Blogger,

Shay-lon xooxo

Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Exercise – how to)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEwKCR5JCog – Video Demonstration 

hursday has arrived and I am up early, getting ready for the day to begin. I love how when I wake up it is alright bright and sunny and looks to be a warm day. My only fuss is I wasn’t sure which blog topic I wanted to write about today, I have a list of blog topics that interest me to write about and sometimes the hardest part is choosing which one to start on. I realize yesterday I gave you an exercise post but I find these exercise post are handy for some people and short and to the point, that way if I have plans, I don’t feel rushed writing. I love writing but sometimes I am on a strict timeline, especially when I make prior engagements, but thankfully my tummy is feeling a whole lot better than the last couple of days and that has been helpful in focusing. With all this being said…

Have you gave the dumbbell shoulder press a try? It isn’t a new exercise by any means but it is one I do enjoy implementing in my workouts, who doesn’t have dumbbells handy someplace if not at the gym and if you don’t own dumbbells – normally you can find some lower weights for cheap vs paying a hell of a lot more for some heavier weights (although after a while depending on your fitness level, you will want to invest in high weights possibly). Just like any other exercise I mention on my blog, it is the form and technique that is more important than the load you lift, because you want to make sure you have a grip on how the arms go up and really activate those shoulder muscles. I typically tell people to start with lower weights or have a spotter if pushing higher weights so that they can get the form down and also reduce their chances of injury. This particular exercise can be done standing or sitting, and I don’t mind either way, but many times, I have probably done it standing more so than sitting (variety is key). 

How to perform the exercise?

I have a video at the top with the link showing the correct way to do this particular exercise, but for some, I always like to add some written steps in case others would rather read than watch the video.

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, sit on a bench that has back support. Start by placing the dumbbells upright on top of  your thighs
  2. Raise dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time – use your thighs to help propel them into position
  3. Have your wrist rotated so that your palms face forward, This is considered the starting position
  4. Exhale and push the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top 
  5. Pause at the contracted position at the top, slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position while inhaling. 
  6. repeat for the recommended repetitions

What muscles are being worked?

  • Anterior deltoid
  • posterior deltoid
  • lateral deltoid
  • pectoralis major (chest muscle) – help with this movement 
  • triceps brachii – help with this movement

I would highly recommend you give this exercise a try if you haven’t and leave me a comment letting me know what you think! Thanks for reading!

 

leave a comment, like, share, and follow!

 

Your Fitness Blogger 

Shay-lon xooxo

 

Skullcrushers (Exercise- how to)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_KZxkY_0cM –the demonstration video

Welcome FitFam, 

Today’s blog post will be another exercise “how to”. I am sure some of you have heard of the exercise “Skullcrusher” and if not, then today will be your lucky day because this will be the exercise I discuss with you. For starters, the skullcrusher can be considered a more advanced movement because most people who happen to demonstrate this particular exercise tend to not do it correctly (which of course can cause injury), so it is very important before doing this particular exercise, that you take the time to watch proper videos and/or ask a professional so you can reduce your chances of injury. 

 

How Do I Perform The Skullcrusher? (Using the EZ- bar)

 
  1. Use a closed grip, lift the EZ-bar with elbows in as you lie on the bench ( arms should be perpendicular to the floor) – This is the starting position
  2. Keep the upper arms stationary, lower the bar allowing the elbows to flex while inhaling. You will pause once the bar is directly over the forehead. 
  3. lift the bar back to the starting position, extending the elbow and exhaling

What Muscles are being worked on?

  • Triceps 

So hopefully this is one of those exercises that you give a go, and as always before performing any of these exercises consult with a professional if you have any prior injuries or conditions that could hinder you. Thank you for reading.

 

like, comment, share, and follow.

 

Your Fitness Blogger,

Shay-lon xxoo

V-ups (Exercise)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP2fjvG0g3w

Happy Monday FitFam, 

I love working my abdominal muscles, I love being creative and finding new ways to really activate my upper, lower and oblique muscles. I know a few people who find ab workouts to be boring or not as engaging, but I think many of those people I find only do the standard crunches and sit ups. There are so many exercises for the abdominal muscles, and today I am going to introduce you to at least one but in future post I will introduce you to more. 

Have any of you heard of the “V-Up” ? Have you performed it? if so, let me know what you think of this exercise and your experience with it. 

What Muscles Does This Exercise Work:

  • Strengthen back muscles
  • abdominal muscles
  • quads 
  • hamstrings 
  • A little bit of the obliques as well

How Does One Perform this exercise? 

You can watch the video in the following link above, or follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your back on the floor
  2. Extend arms behind your head, palms face the ceiling
  3. keep feet together and toes pointed toward the ceiling
  4. Lift the legs up (keeping them straight)
  5. Raise the upper body off the floor – reaching for your toes
  6. Engage and squeeze the abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes
  7. lower back down to the starting position

Would I recommend for beginners?

Personally this exercise requires some flexibility and someone who is not very flexible may have issues with it but with practice may be able to acquire this movement more smoothly. I know for me, this exercise was difficult at first and I was all over the place with it, but focusing and really engaging the muscles, while going at a slower pace will be helpful for beginners. 

If you are someone with prior injuries or conditions that could possibly prohibit you from doing this movement, I would speak with a professional before continuing with this movement. 

 

I hope all of you will give this exercise and chance, and let me know how you did! 

 

Your Fitness Blogger,

Shay-lon xxxo

 
 
 

Learning to do a proper handstand.

Many of you probably had the chance to read my post on “handstands” and how they have advantages and their benefits. I told you in that same post I would write another post in the later weeks discussing how to train for a proper handstand – and although there is a million different ways to do so and everyone has their own technique, I believe the best way is to practice and build up to it, like any other movement. Handstands are more advanced movements, they aren ‘t considered easy and even though they may be easier for some, they can be quite more difficult for others like myself. 

 

When beginning training for a handstand, it is best do them on a flat surface and preferably one that won’t cause you much harm if you should fall or occasionally hurt yourself trying – I don’t want anyone to end up in the emergency room. This particular post will go over some neat ways to train for a handstand and give you some good tips doing so, now don’t fret if you learned another way, please just add it in the comment section so all of my readers can look into what works best for them and also, feel free to google anything that you might not understand or to ask a professional for help. I would advise asking your doctor if any of you have conditions or injuries that would prevent you from being able to perform a handstand. Shall we begin?

 
 
  1. Wall work many of you have probably heard of this term before, especially if you have done CrossFit because many CrossFitters start their handstands by using the wall – especially those that are beginners and starting out. 

 

  • Start with going into a plank pose with your feet close to the wall. Place your hands underneath your shoulders while feet are firmly on the ground. You will slowly start walking your feet up the wall (as far as you can) whatever point you have reached, try holding that position for 15-30 seconds and focus in on your breathing. The point of this exercise is to eventually make it up the wall in a plank pose with your hands close to the wall instead of farther away. It will take much practice and will seem easy at first, but don’t forget to focus on breathing and balance.  To reduce risk of injury, make sure to do a warm up prior to this so that your wrist and the rest of your body is warmed up and ready. 

 

      2. Use An App It was brought to my attention by a fellow blogger that there are    multiple apps that will help you to learn a proper handstand by following their steps. I have never used them but thought about doing so and giving a review so that some of  you may know which ones to use. I think using an app is an awesome idea if you plan on training yourself but for those of you who are not comfortable wiith training yourself  yet, I would recommend going to a professional who can be there for assistance and  guidance. If any of you have tried any of the handstand apps, let me know in the  comment section.

      

       3. Work on strengthening the muscles used: This may seem obvious but there are exercises that will help improve your chances of landing a  handstand, exercises that will help with balance and strength and will build your  confidence so that you can perform this movement. I won’t post a long list of exercises, but only give you a couple of ideas so you can have a starting point, then feel free to  research and develop a personalized plan for it. 

  • Pike rolls with swiss ball (stability ball)
  • handstand wall walks
  • chest against the wall holds
  • Superman pulses

        4. Using your head first: this idea came from someone else who learned           how during yoga class, they practiced their handstands by first developing one using  their heads as a support and then progressing into a full blown headstand without  having to be on their head. I am not sure how effective it is, but if this how you learned, please feel free to let me know in the comment section and explain how it helped you.  Also, if you think this is not a safe way of learning to do one, feel free to add that as well. Personally I might try using my head and seeing how far I get and then  progressing, but then again I don’t mind trying new things as long as I am not putting  myself in danger or doing harm to my body. 

 

So here we have it, 4 ways that can build your handstand. Some of which were coming from my own experience and research and others coming from someone else who taught themselves how to perform the movement, As I mentioned before, there are many different ways people have taught themselves, so feel free to add your way if it isn’t list. Thank you for reading, be sure to leave a comment, share, like and follow. 

 

Your Fitness Blogger,

 

Shay-lon xxoo

 

Pull up (Exercise)/Reblog

Alright so this particular workout we will talk about today is the “pull up” and the different combinations of pull ups, and what it takes in order to do a pull up, because it is a bit more than what meets the eye.  In today’s fitness world, being able to do a pull up without assistance is a huge milestone and one that many people want to show off (instagram, facebook, youtube, at the gym, etc). This particular exercise isn’t easy and it takes patience and practice like any other exercise but it also takes building the right muscles in order to lift your body weight. I was one that didn’t know how to do a pull up; about 8 months ago and for me it was my lack of strength and not working on the muscles needed in order to do one. Today I am totally capable of doing a pull-up, but for those of you who do them on a more regular basis, you are capable of doing many more than I and with attached weight plates (advanced).  I highly recommend for beginners that you don’t go adding unnecessary weight to this already difficult exercise and that you focus on the movement at hand.  There are many variations of pull-ups and many ways that you can challenge yourself in order to increase your skill level.  For those of you who may already know how to perform a proper pull up, you may offer more advice to those who want to learn, and feel free to do so in my comment section.  

The traditional pull-up movement steps: 

  1. Grab the pull bar with palms facing forward (wide grip, close grip, medium grip) for this one be in your medium grip (hands spaced out at shoulder width apart)
  2. With both hands extended in front of you at a chosen grip, bring your torso back around 30 degrees, 
  3. Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest while drawing the shoulders and upper arms down and back.  Only the arms should move and the back should stay stationary, you will be exhaling during this movement
  4. after a second of being in the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when arms are full extended and the lats are fully stretched. 
  5. Repeat this movement for the prescribed repetitions. 
Ways to work on doing a proper pull up:
  1. Timed hangs, I would recommend to hang for 10 to 15 seconds with arms and legs straight (off the ground) for a repeated amount of times. 
  2. Dumbbell holds (for beginners),  I would recommend holding dumbbells for 30 seconds at your side, if you come to realize you cannot hold the amount of weight for 30 seconds, then decrease your load and rest for 60 seconds and repeat the hold
  3. Planks (because it is a total body exercise and helps with stabilization) not to mention you are holding your own body weight. 
  4. Push ups-Once again you are working with your own body weight and helps strengthen the chest, shoulders and arms. 
Now there are more exercises than the 4 that I have listed that will help people strengthen their muscles and prepare themselves for a proper pull up, i.e inverted rows, deadlifts, loaded carries, lat pull downs. The main thing to remember is to focus on the movement and stay controlled because you don’t want to strain or pull muscles during the exercise.  I have seen so many people at my gym do pull ups and do them half ass, knowing they cannot get their chin over the bar, but they instead aim for speed and their body movement is hardly ever controlled. Do not be those people. LOL. This is a hard exercise, everyone knows this, if you want to do something like this and be good at it, then you need to use proper form and technique and know your weaknesses so that you can improve them. 
 
Variations of pull ups: 
  • Weighted pull up
  • Muscle ups
  • Around the world pull ups
  • Clapping pull ups – yes people do these on youtube, and it is very cool, but again.. no one needs to go to these extremes in order to make a point.
  • One arm pull up
  • Parallel pull up
  • Cliffhanger pull ups
  • Towel pull ups
  • Wide grip pull up
  • chin up/ underhand pull up
  • Kipping pull up
  • Close grip pull up
  • pull up with alternating knee twist
  • pull up with leg raise 
Personally I have only done the neutral grip pull up, but have seen many people be able to do different variations of pull ups that show their strength. If you are someone who does more advanced pull ups, share with me which variations you are capable of doing, favorite variations, and if you use weight; how much? Also if you are someone who wants one on on help or advice about being able to do a pull up do not be afraid to contact me. Typically women have less upper body strength compared to men, so for women this exercise will be a bit more difficult but is very possible! 
For those of you who may need assistance in doing a pull up, there is nothing wrong with that until you are strong enough to do them on your own.  Today I did pull ups with assistance because I had done upper body exercise yesterday and my arms were killing me today, if you don’t have a machine that can help assist you in doing a pull up, you may have a partner help you as well. This is one exercise you do not want to miss out on, because of all of the benefits: 
  1. Multi-joint exercise
  2. convenient
  3. different variations
  4. improves grip strength
  5. strengthens the lats, back, biceps, shoulders, and the abdominal area. 
Pull-ups are a great exercise and can be combined with push exercises during a circuit or workout regimen to get the most out of your workout session. I hope that some of this information will give you the needed help necessary in order to accomplish this exercise, feel free to share! 
Thanks for reading! 
Your fitness blogger,
Shay-lon xoxo

Handstands (Exercise)

The biggest thing happening on social media right now.. & people are gasping over anyone who can perform a handstand (let alone a handstand push up). So what makes this movement so cool, well probably because it is an advanced movement and NOT everyone can perform it, but it is something that a person can practice at and hopefully get better. Some people have been known to do different varieties of handstands but for the moment being we will discuss the standard one (but be on the lookout for more blog post on the other types). 

 

I will be completely honest when I tell you that the last time I attempted a handstand was during CrossFit for our WOD and while I took the easy way around it (walking myself up the wall from the ground up) I haven’t yet tried doing a handstand on my own or by running toward a wall.. but something tells me this is an area I would be weaker in. There are many ways to work yourself up to a handstand BUT this post doesn’t go over that (saving that for another discussion) but this one will instead go over the benefits these athletes are receiving from being able to do handstands and the muscles used in order to be strong enough to hold your bodyweight. 

 

Why Should I Be Doing Handstands?

 
  • Weight bearing exercise – strengthens the bones
  • aids bone health in shoulders, arms, and wrist
  • beneficial for the spine (spinal stabilization)
  • stimulates endocrine system
  • builds upper body strength
  • Many yoga circles consider it a way to relieve minor stress and/or depression
  • improves grip strength
  • builds shoulder stability
  • improves athleticism – let’s be honest, when you view someone doing a handstand, the majority of times they are considered athletic. 
  • possible improved balance

Why Do You Handstand? – Leave answer in the comment section. 

 

What Muscles will be benefiting from a handstand?

  • Shoulder & chest muscles (medial & anterior deltoid) 
  • pectoralis major and minor
  • back muscles
  • arms
  • wrist
  • legs
  • stretches the core muscles

So as you can tell, it is beneficial and uses many muscles (and some I didn’t even list). Don’t fret if you can’t do one, because I will be making a blog post on how to properly do a handstand with and without the wall and will be posting some exercises you can do beforehand and during so that you can improve your handstand. In the meantime, if you have or had any back, neck, shoulder or back injuries – make sure to seek a doctor’s guidance before performing this exercise. 

 

How many of you can perform a proper handstand? How long did it take you before you could do a handstand? Can you do it with and without the use of the wall? How long can you hold your handstand for? Let me know in the comments and share this post with your peers! 

 

Your Fitness Blogger,

Shay-lon xxoo