23

A very well thought out question. First, the technical term for holding your breath is called the Valsalva maneuver. In the world of weight lifting it has a distinct purpose: to increase the body's ability to protect the spine under heavy load. The Valsalva maneuver does not work alone. There's a pretty fair treatment of the subject on a Rebock Crossfit ...


19

I'm sorry, but the selected answer for this question is terribly ill-informed. It doesn't even answer the OP's question of which muscles are actually utilized for each of these activities. Common myth #1: The pushup is merely an exercise for muscular endurance. Common myth #2: The bench press is far superior to the pushup for building muscle, mainly due to ...


15

Don't "Stretch" Doing static stretches before working out is not good. It cools you down and relaxes you, which is the opposite of what you want while you're exerting yourself. What's worse is that by stretching your muscles, you decrease the amount of force that your muscles can exert, and make yourself vulnerable to injuries like muscle pulls. Static ...


14

The problem is, I am not that fat to remove fat from other part of my body Don't worry about that. Your body knows itself better than you do, and it is very good at what it does. If it needs to burn fat for energy, it won't deprive an area of essential fats when it could go across the street to an area with an abundance of fat. That's probably a bad analogy,...


13

The basics of getting abs Abs come from low body fat and large core muscles. Ultimately weight doesn't matter, though checking your weight can help with achieving the low body fat. To get abs, you need to first need to cut enough fat that your muscle tone becomes visible. This is best achieved through the combination of healthy, disciplined, and goal-...


12

I'm a right leg above knee amputee. I lost it 8 years ago and went from 135 to 242 pounds. Finally I told myself I could do anything with one leg. A year later and I am down to 142 pounds. I never had a chance to go swimming even though that would be the best for my joints. All I did and still do is weight lift and cardio. As for the cardio, all I do is pick ...


12

First, congrats on your progress. I bet you look much better than before, and your looks will continue to improve while you lose more weight. Getting abs to show though, is rather hard. In fact, surprisingly hard. As a comparison, I am 176cm also. I got my weight down to 68kg before all abs started showing when contracting them. In order for me (and you) ...


11

It sounds like you want to start incorporating muscle-ups and weighted pull-ups whenever possible. I don't think kipping pull-ups are really appropriate for a number of reasons, but if they float your boat (and you have a healthy, strong, flexible shoulder girdle), rock 'em. Upper-Body Pulling Power Power is not a common goal for upper body pulls, though ...


9

The core, is a group of muscles that include: Pelvic Floor muscles Transversus Abdomoninis Multifidus Internal and External Obliques Rectus Abdomonis Erector Spinae Longissimus Thoracis Diaphragm Long story short, engaging your core is to engage all of these muscles. Only engaging the abdominals will pull you forward. Probably a better way to think about ...


9

You do have the right basic concept that low weight exercises can help build smaller muscles. However, it does require a better understanding of kinesiology (exercise science) to know which small muscles need help, how often, and when. For example, lifters who focus on bench press and rows will have the major muscle groups exercised. However, the rotator ...


9

KL, Your pectoral has two portions and two muscle groups: the upper portion and the lower portion, the pec major and the pec minor. So to effectively target both portions and both muscles, here are two simple stretches that you should try: Corner stretch for the entire lower and upper chest and mainly the pec major This corner stretch to mainly target ...


8

Relevance of front and overhead squats as warm-up for back squats Warm-up sets are meant to prepare the entire body for the heavy challenge of the work sets. They're not used to practice other lifts, or to be challenging in themselves. Warm-ups are there to increase flexibility and blood flow, and to practice impeccable form in preparation for the challenge ...


8

Dropping weights is basically an acknowledgement that you either can't slowly lower the weights due to fatigue or that you want to avoid unnecessary risk of injury in slowly lowering them. It's only acceptable on a surface where this won't result in damage to the floor and weights, and it's more accepted with heavier weights and if you're clearly lifting to ...


7

It's not always necessary to focus so diligently on "out-of-the-way" muscles, but for many athletes with prior injuries or non-athletes it is. More important than exercises like this is programming a lifting regimen that is well-balanced. Pushes like the bench press should be balanced with pulls like rows or pull-ups, squats should be complemented with ...


7

I have been an amputee since 1982. I don't think jumping or hopping is a great idea for regular exercising. Often times I was too lazy to use my crutches around the house and would hop on my left leg. I developed severe osteoarthritis in my good knee and recently had to have a total knee replacement. It is all good now and feels better than it has in years, ...


7

Welcome to the community! As you may know, the glutes are the largest and most powerful muscles in the human body. Some exercises, if performed with proper form, simply can't be done without major glute activation. Based on your complaints, here are a few of things I've identified that are standing in the way of you getting the results you want with your ...


6

These are exact words from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the July 2007 Muscle and Fitness: [...] you can build up to doing full-range-of-motion chins for many reps. Start with the lat pulldown machine. Over time, increase the weight until you're doing pulldowns with your equivalent bodyweight for about eight reps. Then, leave the machine and to free-hanging ...


6

I am an above knee amputee, and have been for 8 years. I came looking for more exercises to do, but can give some advice as well. Swimming is an excellent exercise, for all the reasons mentioned. The only caution I give is to make sure you work out a plan for getting in and out of the pool before you commit to it. The pool I use has a lift, but I prefer not ...


6

I do barbell rows overhand, like exrx recommends and like Arnold does and like this StrongLifts-doing guy does. I think underhand would turn them into curls when they're challenging. StrongLifts specifically recommends against the underhand grip.


6

First, I don't think you have the correct notion of ATG based on this sentence: For example, if I lay on my side with my legs in line with my torso and try to pull one foot straight back, I can't get my heel to touch my glutes. In an ATG squat you are going down until your calves are in contact with your hamstrings. Simple physics state that two ...


6

A lot of people have this problem, and it's usually caused by short tendons on the back of your ankle. I forget the name... Achilles? Anyway, there are plently of things you can try in order to fix this, and yes, the weight is supposed to drive into the ground through your heels. Method 1 One way, is to elevate your heels, by placing them on top of plates....


6

The smaller leg muscles, we can pick on the extensor digitorum longus or the sartorius (as examples) are not supposed to be individually engaged. They are role-specific, and supposed to serve in a helper capacity. A good overview of skeletal muscle functioning could help explain a bit, but realize that some muscles are purely antagonists in their role, ...


5

I do aquatic HIIT intervals with different variations on running. I don't use a floatation device, although you can use something like the Aqua Jogger . I don't use resistance cuffs, or resistance bands, although you can. I do make forward progress. I alter my motions to pull in various muscle groups. The water provides resistance so I can target ...


5

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html This is a fairly good catalogue of exercises, organized by body part, with animated gifs showing proper form. You can also look up exercises by name on youtube, you'll usually find videos of people performing them (although not necessairly with good form).


5

The first thing to realize is that if you have good knees, full depth squats are safe as has been stated on multiple occasions including a link to the kinesthetic breakdown of a squat. A squat and squat jump are two very different exercises though. A proper squat is much less impact on the knees than say running or jumping. Although there is some research ...


5

The Knee The knee joint bends. To avoid bending it in the interest of injury prevention is folly, since we know from experiment and experience that the dangerous exercise regimen is in fact the one that does not use the knee to its full capability. Like anything else in our body and mind, it's Use It Or Lose It. The half-squat-half-deadlift, whether single ...


5

I had read to use both mouth and nose, but found that whereas the nose is good at filtering air, it's not very good at filtering the water droplets splashing around. Water up the nose isn't nice. I ended up buying Total Immersion's "O2 in H2O, A Self-help course on breathing in swimming" and it teaches in with the mouth, out with the nose.


5

You can lay down flat on your stomach and then lift your feet up. You don't only lift your toes off the ground, but you also lift your feet up to the point where your knees are also leaving the ground. You then repeat this for several repetitions. This will cause you to feel a certain burning sensation in the lower back muscles. The idea is, once you feel ...


5

How about hurting yourself and be unable to exercise for a long time (possibly never again)? Is that a good reason? And yes, bad forms can easily lead to short/long-term injuries. Programs such as Strong Lifts advocate starting the weightlifting program with an empty bar. This allows you to focus on the form. Then, you increment the weight periodically. ...


5

Both cardio and strength training can be an excellent way to improve your physique, it all depends on what you like to do. Lean muscular body mass can be done by doing cardio for say 30 minutes a day and focus on 45 minutes of moderate to intense strength training. At first start out with light weight until you get a feel of the weight, you can then ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible