Cynthia's Weight Training Exercises And Tips!

After the holidays, many of us are looking for a positive change in our life! Making some resolutions traditionally marks the beginning of a New Year.
After the holidays, many of us are looking for a positive change in our life! Making some resolutions traditionally marks the beginning of a New Year. The most common resolution people make is to loose weight and to start an exercises program.

It is indeed a great decision to make the commitment to better yourself and care about your health. Your body is your "vehicle", you're stuck with it for life, and therefore preserving it in a good shape is a must!

To accommodate you in your search of simple yet efficient exercises, I will list and explain a few that will work all the major muscle group of the body.

As a remainder, you should always start with a light amount of weight until your learned the proper technique and position of the exercise.

NOTE: If you have any medical problems, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any of them!

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Chest:
(pectoralis)
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Firming up your pectoral muscles will help in maintaining a great bust (something all women strive for).

arrow Dumbbell Bench Press:

    Lay down on your back on a bench while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the dumbbell to your chest (top of your shoulders) & press them all the way back up (over collarbone).

    When done, rock yourself to a siting position (put the dumbbells on your upraised tights then roll up).

Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    Useful Hints:

    • Keep your head on the bench while exercising.
    • Avoid dropping the weight on the floor when done
    • This is a great alternative to the " Barbell bench press" exercise: it gives you a better pectoral stretch in the lower part of the movement and it is safer then the barbell bar (especially if you train alone).
    • You can perform these dumbbell presses on a flat or inclined bench: 15-25 degrees inclination works best at targeting the chest area.

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Shoulders:
(deltoids)
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Esthetically speaking, clothing fit better with toned and rounded shoulders. It also gives you a sexy look when wearing summer clothes.


enlarge Click To Enlarge.
Clothing Fits Better With Toned & Rounded Shoulders.

arrow Sides Raises (flyes):

    One of my favorite exercises as I can really feel the muscle working and burning.

    Stand up in front of a mirror with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand (palm facing in and downward) with your elbows slightly bent. Lift the weight up (side ways) until your reach head level. Lower them back to your sides.

Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    Useful Hints:

    • Avoid leaning backward or forward during this exercise.
    • Don't swing the weight
    • Higher then head level isn't necessary or better.

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Biceps:
(biceps brachii)
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Below is the basic but effective biceps exercise. This gives your upper arms a nice curve, so don't be afraid to bulk or look masculine. Just use lighter amount of weight.

arrow Dumbbell Curls:

    You can do this exercise while standing up or sitting down on the edge of a flat bench/chair. Start with a pair of dumbbell held down to your sides.

    Next, concentrate yourself on curling the weight up as you flex your elbow. Lower the dumbbell back to starting position.

Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG
    Useful Hints:

    • As an alternative, you could use a barbell bar or e-z curl bar.
    • You could add variety to your workouts by flexing one arm at the time (called alternated bis curls) instead of both at the same time.

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Back:
(latissimus dorsi)
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I was going to choose "lateral pull down" as the recommended exercise for your back but as you might not own or have access to the machine I decided to go with a dumbbell exercise instead.

arrow One Arm Dumbbell Row:

    To start, you will want to rest your left knee on a flat bench & your right foot flat on the floor. Bend over at the waist so your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Support yourself with your left hand on the bench.

    Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and pull the weight up as far as you can go (elbow bent). Return back to start position and perform the desired amount of reps. Do the same with left arm when finished right side.

Video Guide: Windows Media - Real Player

    Useful Hints:

    • Look straight ahead when doing this exercise, don't arch your back, keep it flat.

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Abdominal Area:
(rectus abdominis)
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Nothing is more attractive then a flat and shaped mid section. While exercises are needed to achieve this, the nutrition part represents more then half the results!

arrow Crunches:

    Lie down on the floor/floor mat with your feet flat on the floor. Curl your trunk (pull your ribs towards your hip).

    You can put your hands behind your head but be careful not to pull on your neck as u curl up. If you prefer, you can rest your hands on your chest in a cross-position.

Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG
    Useful Hints:

    • Keep your chin up throughout the entire exercise.
    • Make sure your lower back remains flat on the floor.

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Triceps:
(triceps brachii)
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This is the muscle you want to tone in order to avoid sagging arms. It gives shape to the upper (back) arm.

arrow French Presses:

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent (or sit on a bench for better control and less tendency to lean. Grab a dumbbell (large collar dumbbells are best for this) and position it behind your head while paying attention to press your biceps against your ears.

    Now, press the weight back up while keeping the elbow pointed up through all the movement. This is a great exercise to create isolation of the tris.

Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    Useful Hints:

    • Keep the palm of your hands facing up against the dumbbell's plate.
    • Don't lower the weight too much behind the head. (Until your feel a stretch is good indicator).

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Calves:
(gastrocnemius)
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Your calf muscle helps you in many exercises (running, jumping in aerobics classes...) & shouldn't be left aside from your exercise program.

arrow Standing Calf Raises:

    Simply grab a weight in each hand & go up on your toes as high as possible. Then, go back down but don't allow your heels to touch the floor. Feet should be shoulder width apart.

Video Guide: Windows Media - MPEG

    Useful Hints:

    • It is best to do this on a firm surface rather then on a carpet.
    • Keep your back straight
    • To work the outside of your calf: point your toes in/heels out.
    • To work the inside of your calf: point your toes out/heels in.
    • Toes straight ahead work the main calf muscle.

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Quadriceps:
(quadriceps)
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This is the powerful muscle of the front thigh. As women tend to be heavier on the lower part of the body, so it is important to avoid fat accumulation of this area by staying active.

arrow Dumbbell Squats:

    Hold a weight in each hand with your palm facing in (feet shoulder width). Stay erect and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

    Careful not to allow your knees to move more then 2-3 inches forward of their locked position. Think of this exercise as if you would sit down into a chair. Squatting is a great exercise for the buns too. Push back up to start position but don't lock your knees.

Video Guide: Windows Media - Real Player

    Useful Hints:

    • Keep your knees directly over your feet
    • At first, practice squatting using only your body weight.
    • Avoid this if you have any knees/back problems.

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Hamstrings:
(biceps femoris)
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This is the back thigh's muscle (leg's biceps). In firming this area, you will add curves (shape) to your legs.

arrow Dumbbell Lunges:

    While standing with your feet together, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Stand tall (back /shoulders straight) and keep your chin up.

    Take a step forward with your left foot & bend your knee (knee over foot at 90 degrees angle). Lower your hips until your right knee almost touch the ground.

    Push back up with your left leg to bring you back to your starting position. Do the amount of reps for the left leg then switch to do the same with your right leg.

Video Guide: Windows Media - Real Player

    Useful Hints:

    • As recommended for squats, practice with only your body weight at first.
    • Keep your front foot (the one you step with) flat on the ground.
    • Lunging can be very hard on your knees, so if you have any knees problems, avoid this exercise!

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Reminders:
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  • Eat 5-6 smaller meals per day. Each should contain some fat, carbs and protein.

  • Drink lots of water. At least 8-10 glasses a day.

  • Allow yourself plenty of rest: Good 7-8 hours night of sleep, occasional nap in the afternoon if possible. Your body proper function and metabolism rely on this a lot.

  • Don't forget the supplementation part. You will need extra vitamins/minerals, some protein bars or powder to accommodate you in your frequent meal intake.

Good luck with your exercise program and hope you enjoy the all "new you" soon!