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start living right

WEIGHT TRAINING

  • Elastic Band Training

    When it comes to strength training, many people enjoy using elastic rubber bands as a form of resistance. As is commonly known, strength training is vital to any fitness program. Any form of resistance training has multiple benefits for increasing st...
  • At-Home Exercises to Tone Your Arms

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff For a complete list of exercises with animated illustrations showing you how to do the correct form, download the free “Start Living Right” mobile app which can be found in your smart phone store. Do you want ...
  • The Benefits of Training with a Swiss Ball

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff I’m sure you’ve seen them in the gym or maybe someone in your office even uses it as a chair to sit on. This big exercise ball comes with many names such as gym-bal, stability-ball and Swiss-ball. The Swiss bal...
  • Does Waist Training Work?

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff If you follow fitness gurus on Instagram, you will have come across the latest fitness trend of waist training. Just type in #waisttraining and you’ll be flooded with threads about the newest ‘fitness’ rage. Ev...
  • The Truth About Weightlifting Belts

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Have you ever noticed the protective belts weightlifting athletes always wear? Actually, not only do pro athletes wear those belts, but you can most probably spot them in your own gym! When you look around in y...
  • Ab Exercises For When You Have Lower Back Pain

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff For a complete list of exercises with animated illustrations showing you how to do the correct form, download the free “Start Living Right” mobile app which can be found in your smart phone store. If you are s...
  • How to Get Broad Shoulders

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff For a complete list of exercises with animated illustrations showing you how to do the correct form, download the free “Start Living Right” mobile app which can be found in your smart phone store. A lot of peo...
  • Muscle soreness 101

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Right after an intense workout, you feel you can take on the world. Unfortunately this blissful feeling is sometimes followed by an aching soreness which can make you regret training so hard. You could also f...
  • Muscle Building Secrets Unraveled

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Whether you want to look like a fitness model competitor, a Victoria Secret model or you just want to ‘tone up’ a bit, it all begins with the building of your muscles. For too long, women have been afraid to ...
  • How Heavy Should You Lift?

    by Startlivingright.net – How much is weight lifting is too much and when should you increase the weights? Maya Nassar lets you know! Many people question how heavy th...
  • Why weight training is essential

    by Startlivingright.net – If your goal is fat loss, Weight Training is an essential factor as it makes you leaner, boosts your metabolism and transforms your body. Man...
  • Benefits of Weight Training

    by Startlivingright.net – There are many Benefits for Weight Training. Transforming shape, boosting metabolism and enhancing endurance are some of them. There are unpa...
  • Is it better to lose fat before weight training

    by Startlivingright.net – Fat loss before starting a Weight Training program is not mandatory. The best way to become fit is to lose weight by lifting weights. Many pe...
  • Beginners Training Workout

    by Startlivingright.net – People who are starting to workout for the first time are called beginners and they can pursue the Beginner's Training and stay motivated. Th...
  • Intermediate Workout Program

    by Startlivingright.net – People that have some knowledge in training with weights can follow an Intermediate Workout Program to see better results.     This program has been designed for anyone who has an intermediate level of fitness or s...
  • Advanced Workout Program

    by Experienced people that have been training with weights for long time can pursue an Advanced Workout Program to see better results.     This program has been designed for anyone who has an advanced level of fitness and lots of experience...
  • How long and how often should you lift

    by Startlivingright.net – Get more info about how long and how often should you practice weight lifting and muscle training workouts and how strict should it be. Among...
  • Changing a weight training program

    by Startlivingright.net – After how much time should you go for another weight training program and do a programmed schedule of exercise and workouts. Although the rul...
  • Should you rest between sets

    by Startlivingright.net – Many people wonder if they should rest between sets and reps while weight training. Know more about the muscles requirements. Something that ...
  • Reps and sets explained

    by Startlivingright.net – Know more about the efficacy of applying rets and sets repeatedly, and its impact on muscle exercise, fitness and fat loss. There are many di...
  • Supersets uncovered

    by Startlivingright.net – Read more to define supersets with the same muscle group, with separate muscle groups and with major and minor muscle groups. Traditional wei...
  • Women Weight Lifting

    by Startlivingright.net – Women are definitely required and advised to practice Women Weight Lifting without fearing of becoming bulky. You’ll often hear women say tha...
  • Bodybuilding

    by Startlivingright.net – Weight training, muscle exercise and cardio programs specific for fat loss, bodybuilding and size gain seekers. Check them now!     This program is extremely popular with bodybuilders and is one of the best for any...
  • How to build a six pack

    by Startlivingright.net – One of the most sought after goals is sculpting six packs, achieved naturally through exercise, eating protein and weight workouts.     One of the most sought after fitness goals of many is to sculpt a ripped midse...
  • Cardio & resistance training workouts

    by Startlivingright.net – If you ever find gym memberships expensive, you can follow cardio and resistance training workouts to control your fat loss.  Many people mig...
  • Lifestyle habits of athletes

    by Startlivingright.net – If you want to have a lifestyle similar to those of athletes, you will have to exercise, eat protein and restrict yourself from alcohol. If you...
  • How to deal with information overload

    by Startlivingright.net – We hear a lot about weight and fat loss techniques trying to convince us that we can lose weight without efforts and in no time. We are const...

Elastic Band Training

When it comes to strength training, many people enjoy using elastic rubber bands as a form of resistance. As is commonly known, strength training is vital to any fitness program. Any form of resistance training has multiple benefits for increasing strength and development in muscles. When compared to free weights or training with machines, it can be asked whether training with rubber bands is just as effective and what the advantages are.

Elastic bands offer different angles of motion

Elastic bands can offer resistance through several different angles and areas of motion. Since elastic bands do not depend on gravity to provide resistance, they offer movement which dumbbells do not.

Elastic bands are extremely versatile

Elastic band training is also extremely versatile. When you train on a machine, you are only able to perform one or a few exercises. However, with elastic bands, you can perform various different exercises for different body parts.

Elastic bands are easy to use and carry

Elastic bands are affordable and easy to carry around in a sports bag. You can also pack them in your suitcase and travel with them.        

There is little to no risk of injuries using elastic bands

Research has shown that resistance training with elastic bands is exceptionally beneficial for older men and women. As little injury can occur and there isn’t too much pressure placed on joints, this is a safe and effective way to provide them with the same benefits as free weights. However, with proper instruction and slow progression, older individuals can also benefit from training with weights.

Elastic bands are also used in rehabilitation centers or for individuals nursing injuries. Many athletes and sports centers are also known to incorporate training with elastic bands into programs.

Disadvantages

One of the drawbacks of training with rubber bands is that they can break easily, and must always be inspected to ensure they are still safe to use.

When training with elastic bands, your progress is limited and you cannot easily keep track of your improvement. When training with weights, your progress will be easy to quantify. You can keep track of the weight you are carrying and slowly increase the weight to progress even further. Although there are bands that offer different levels of resistance, it is still not equal to the precision of progressing with free weights.

Dumbbells range from light to extremely heavy and can offer progress in small or large dosages, depending on your goal and fitness levels. The biggest disadvantage in training with elastic bands is that they are not as effective as training with weights for increasing muscle size and strength. Most bodybuilders and athletes train with free weights as they help them progress more and achieve their goals faster.

In conclusion

If your primary goal is to achieve muscle mass or a change in your physical appearance, then training with free weights should be your primary focus. Although it is easy to train with elastic bands at home or travel with them, research has also shown that training with your bodyweight is actually more effective.

This is not to say that one should abandon resistance training with rubber bands. Incorporating exercises using elastic bands into a program can offer variety and new exercises for the muscles. Using elastic bands is also extremely useful for beginners who wish to start lightly in a resistance training program.

Training with elastic bands should be used in combination with free weights for optimal results. It is not advisable for anyone to solely train with rubber bands unless they are injured or have medical conditions.   

At-Home Exercises to Tone Your Arms

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

For a complete list of exercises with animated illustrations showing you how to do the correct form, download the free Start Living Right mobile app which can be found in your smart phone store.

Do you want to have beautifully toned arms? Then grab some dumbbells and get off the couch!! In this article, I’ll show you some quick and easy exercises you can do at home. For most of these exercises, all you will need is a pair of dumbbells and a soft mat or floor-like carpet. The last exercise is a bonus, not for the faint hearted.

Do these exercises with one day of rest in between as it is important to for your muscles to recover. It is in this rest period the muscles will repair themselves and develop. Do 3 sets for each arm with 15 reps.

1.     Biceps curl

Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand and your palm facing frontwards. Place your elbows on your sides and lift your arms upwards to your chest really squeezing your biceps. Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your arms to the starting position. This exercise targets your biceps which are the top muscles of your arm. Make sure to maintain a straight back and avoid swinging during the exercise.

2.   Triceps kickbacks

Many women complain about “flabby arms. This exercise targets just that! Get down on one knee on a mat or carpet and pick up a dumbbell. Place the arm holding the dumbbell on your side and form a 90 degree angle. Slowly lift the dumbbell backwards while keeping your elbow pressed against your chest. Form a straight line and hold for one second before lowering back and repeating. Repeat for both arms.

3.  Overhead triceps extensions

For this exercise you can either stand or sit on a chair. Grab your dumbbells (or just one if it’s heavy enough) and hold above your head with your arms straightened. This is your starting position. Now slowly lower the dumbbells down behind your head (neck area) while bending your elbows. Hold a few seconds and slowly return back to starting position. With the right amount of weights, you’re guaranteed to feel this the next day!

4. Side fly extensions

This is another great exercise to target those upper arms. Stand feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Let your arms hang down on your sides and slowly lift your arms up sideways while keeping your arms as straight as possible. Form an imaginary straight line and stay put for a few seconds before lowering back to starting position. Remember it’s not about how fast you perform the exercises, but how well you do them! Make sure you perform the exercises with a slow and controlled movement.

5.  Front dumbbell raises

Stand feet hip width apart and grab a pair of dumbbells. Standing upright, hold the dumbbells in front of you and place them on the front of your thighs with your knees slightly bent. Keeping a straight back, lift the dumbbells upwards until you are at face level and your arms are parallel to the ground. Hold for one second before lowering and repeating.

6. Dips

You will need a chair or bench for this exercise. Place your feet on the ground and position your hands at the end of a chair/bench. Lower your body to the ground with a slow and controlled movement while bending your elbows. Lift yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

7. Bonus exercise!

For this exercise you will need a stick and a piece of rope measuring half a meter. Tie the stick to the middle of the rope. At the end of the rope, tie one of your dumbbells. Keep your arms straight the entire time and with two hands, you “roll up” the rope till the weight reaches the stick. Do this for 45 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. This one…you’ll REALLY feel.

For more advice on how to train at home, download the home exercise guide here. 

 

Does Waist Training Work?

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

If you follow fitness gurus on Instagram, you will have come across the latest fitness trend of waist training. Just type in #waisttraining and you’ll be flooded with threads about the newest ‘fitness’ rage. Even celebrities like Kim Kardashian are endorsing them now. The bright colored corsets claim to change the size of your waist within minutes. What is the purpose of waist-training and does it serve its purpose? Is it healthy to wear such a tight garment? Read on to find out!

What is waist-training?

Waist training is the gradual process of slimming down the waist by wearing a compression garment much similar to the corsets that were worn in the Victorian era. When worn during a workout, it claims to increase your perspiration and therefore release toxins and mobilize fat cells. Many advocates of waist training say that one of the benefits is that it enhances your posture, forcing you to maintain a straight back. Since the waist trainer has a tight fit and compresses your core and abdomen, it also makes it uncomfortable for you to eat and reduces your urge to overeat (or to not eat at all).

Some women wear them over their gym outfit and some prefer to have the waist-trainer on their skin, hoping it will give them more transpiration. One thing is for sure, when you wear a waist-trainer, you immediately slim down and lose inches resulting in a trimmer waistline.

So it’s a corset right?

A corset typically is worn as a fashion statement and often to help you keep a straight posture. A corset is not worn with the aim of a permanent waist reduction. A waist trainer is worn to do just that, gradually reducing the waist over time. A waist trainer is not meant to be a fashion statement, but merely a tool to help you slim down.

Does it really work?

While there are some firm believers in waist training, there are also some heavy critics. Waist training garment companies say in their ‘manual’ that with the waist-training program you should eat right and exercise. This could indicate that fat loss is due to diet and exercise and has nothing to do with the garment.

Is it safe?

Depending on how tight you wear the waist-trainer, it has some dangers to it. When it fits extremely tight (which is the general idea of wearing such garments), it can impair the lungs by not being able to expand. When the lungs are unable to expand they can’t exchange or expel carbon dioxide which leaves a person short of breath. Doctors have stated furthermore that by compressing your abdomen you can internally damage the organs. When you wear the waist trainer to extremes, it is said to be able to fracture the ribs.

The bottom line

Does waist-training really work? I’m not convinced it serves its purpose in the long run, but when you have a party or photo shoot or some event and you want to look your best, it definitely reshapes your body and gives you an hourglass frame. Would I purchase one myself knowing the downsides of possibly impairing my lungs? No I wouldnt! If you have experience with waist-training comment down below!

The Benefits of Training with a Swiss Ball

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

I’m sure you’ve seen them in the gym or maybe someone in your office even uses it as a chair to sit on. This big exercise ball comes with many names such as gym-bal, stability-ball and Swiss-ball. The Swiss ball first appeared in Switzerland and was used to treat neurological and orthopaedic disorders. Today, the Swiss ball has become very popular in the fitness industry and offers many advantages. If you have never heard of the Swiss ball, keep reading!

The ball

You will never come across a gym that does not have a Swiss ball. The ball measurements are often between 55 and 85 inches in diameter and are made of a durable, non-cracking PVC. The ball can be used for stretching, strength and aerobic exercises. In other words, you can do a full workout using the Swiss ball.

First use of the Swiss ball

The ball was first used by Dr. Bach Little Bird in the ’70’s and ’80's. He used the ball for clinical use with adult orthopaedic patients. At the same time, it was also discovered that the ball was very useful in the treatment of spinal injuries and rehabilitation. Physical therapists eventually noticed how useful this ball was in improving the overall stability of the body, including balance and posture. They also discovered that it trains deep muscles that are very hard to target.

Benefits of the Swiss ball

The ball has proven to be very beneficial and versatile in the fitness industry. You can perform an endless amount of exercises with the Swiss ball. Women, for instance, often use the ball to strengthen their pelvic muscles if they suffer from incontinence (loss of bladder control). The ball is also used by older people to keep their muscles strong and stable. A lot of people who work in an office choose to sit on a Swiss ball behind their desk as it forces them to keep a good posture.

In the past decade, the ball has moved from the therapy room to the gym. It can help with core stability, stretching and endurance. Many people who experience back pain during training find that exercising on the Swiss ball alleviates the ache. Lying down on the Swiss ball offers comfortable support for your back which can make a world of difference from a hard floor or bench.

Some practical training tips for exercising with a Swiss ball

- Make sure you have enough space around you. Exercising on the ball relatively requires a lot of space to do different exercises.  

- Make sure your feet do not slip. You need a non-slip surface and shoes with good grip to prevent injuries.

- There are exercises you can do with and without weights. Adding weights will make the exercise more challenging.

- The harder the ball, the more unstable it is. The Swiss ball must retain the shape of a ball. It should not sag too much. If it gets the form of burger patty, then this would indicate that the ball is too soft.

- The wider apart you place your feet while on the ball, the easier the exercise will become. 

The Truth About Weightlifting Belts

Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

Have you ever noticed the protective belts weightlifting athletes always wear? Actually, not only do pro athletes wear those belts, but you can most probably spot them in your own gym! When you look around in your local gym you'll find that your average recreational gym-goer doesn’t wear a belt, but more serious bodybuilders do. The two main reasons for wearing these belts is to prevent lower back pain and to provide better power performance (to lift more weight and perform more reps). How does this work and should you wear one?

How to wear a weightlifting belt 

The belt should be strapped around your abs and lower back while avoiding your waist. You should feel pressure but still be able to breathe freely. It advised to only wear these belts when lifting heavy as it can prevent your body from getting stronger if you wear it while lifting lighter weights.

Does it protect your back? 

Wearing a belt during weightlifting, especially while doing squats and deadlifts, increases intra-abdominal pressure which is similar to inflating a balloon inside your abdominals. This pressure then pushes on the spine and gives it a sort of built in support. At the same time, the core muscles in the abdominal wall and lower back push on the spine from the outside. This pressure protects the spine when you are lifting heavy weights. In other words, when you are all strapped, yourcore is very stable. It is said that that it is not the belt that protects the back from injuries during lifting, but rather the way the body responds to the belt.

Criticism on weightlifting belts

As with almost all fitness and health related issues, there are many contradicting studies debating whether or not the belt does in fact protect your back. One of the most common criticisms against using the belt is that it would mask and even aggravate potential injuries. By being strapped in so tight, you may lift more weight because it reduces the pain. However, you can also easily overliftresulting in injuries and maybe even a hernia. Critics also claim that when using a belt even with lighter weights and more reps, it weakens the back. They say that the stress the back endures by lifting without the belt is actually a factor of adaption and development of the body.

Should you wear a weightlifting belt?

If you are a recreational weightlifter, in other words, lifting is part of your workout routine and you dont lift overly heavy, then the answer is no. It seems that weightlifting belts are best used by bodybuilders or professional athletes who lift very heavy weights. There is a lot of contradicting research about the belt but one thing that most researchers agree on is that a belt weakens the core when used for recreational weightlifting. Researchers also agree that wearing a belt can mask or even aggravate potential injury. So if you consider yourself to be an extreme lifter, then maybe a belt is worth the try, if youre not, then stick to your regular outfits!