Viewing entries tagged
strength

Quick Upper Body Workout (Just 3 Moves!)

Quick Upper Body Workout (Just 3 Moves!)

Improve your stability and upper body strength with three quick moves! If you thought that burpees were tough, wait till you try bosu burpees. Your core muscles will fight to keep you steady throughout this quick upper body workout. 

How To Do A Headstand: A 6-Step Guide

How To Do A Headstand: A 6-Step Guide

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Turn down for what? For headstands, of course! They're so much more than just an awesome party trick. Inversions have several benefits that may enhance your overall well-being, bringing greater strength, awareness, and calmness to your body and mind. By stimulating blood and oxygen flow to your upper body and brain, inversions give your heart a bit of a break and relieve pressure on your lower back and legs. They encourage you to breathe deeper, helping your lung tissue to work more effectively and efficiently. Because headstands require a great deal of focus and balance, regular practice can improve your concentration, memory, and awareness. Whenever you're feeling stressed or anxious, being upside down can even turn your frown upside down by stimulating the release of endorphins into the blood stream.

Headstands are tricky - there's no way around it. If you've ever wondered how to do a headstand, Chriss from @livingmovingbeing shared her best tips.

How to do a headstand

How to do a headstand : The ultimate guide to get you started // The PumpUp Blog

Things to bear in mind

https://instagram.com/p/7s3HsEqlCh/?taken-by=pumpupapp

The video included above is sped up. This is not my first time doing a headstand - I used to have a pillow beneath my head, or a wall behind me. I have fallen over multiple times.

You will need core strength and back strength before you will be able to do a headstand successfully.

If you think you're ready to try, then here's what you do:

The steps

  1. Clasp your fingers into a cradle and kneel on the ground. Leave your pinky fingers on top of each other so that they don't crush and squeeze when you perform the inversion. How to do a headstand (GIF) - The PumpUp Blog
  2. Bend forward and place your head on the floor between your arms. The top back section of your head should be securely anchored by your clasped hands. How to do a headstand (GIF) - The PumpUp Blog
  3. Walk your feet forward, using your tippy toes to bring your lower body closer to your head. Your bottom should be stacked on top of your thighs as much as possible. How to do a headstand (GIF) - The PumpUp Blog
  4. Engage your core and start to lift your feet off of the ground. This is where you find your point of counterbalance. You'll really need to control your core and have FAITH. Take it slow and find the sweet spot where you can lift your feet without overarching or over balancing. Be prepared to lose your balance a few times before you get to know what this feels like. Tip: Have a pillow or cushion ready behind you and plenty of space so that you don't knock things over. How to do a headstand (GIF) - The PumpUp Blog
  5. Slowly lift your legs. Once your feet are off the floor and you're in a crouched egg shape upside down, slowly lift your legs and simultaneously straighten them, working hard with your core to maintain your balance as you shift the weight above you. I imagine stacking my body parts on top of each other in a straight line to find this balance. How to do a headstand (GIF) - The PumpUp Blog
  6. There are safe ways to fall. Falling is an a essential part of learning to do anything awesome.

Did this guide help you learn how to do a headstand? Let us know how long you can hold yours in the comments below!

U.S. Hammer Thrower Amanda Bingson talks strength, femininity, and why you can kick ass and still look great doing it

U.S. Hammer Thrower Amanda Bingson talks strength, femininity, and why you can kick ass and still look great doing it

"I'll be honest, I like everything about my body"— that's not an admission you hear every day. But why shouldn't it be? USA track & field hammer thrower Amanda Bingson embodies the message that being healthy, strong, and feminine isn't a 'look' -  it's a way of being. The Las Vegas native broke the female American record for hammer throwing in 2013, made the U.S. Olympic team, and garnered a great deal of attention after posing nude on the cover of ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue. Rather than worrying about how her body looks, Amanda focuses on what her body can do. PumpUp talked to Amanda about her views on strength, femininity, and how a positive support system got her to where she is today.

4 moves to build strength with this full body workout

4 moves to build strength with this full body workout

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You're short on time and you want a workout that completely and thoroughly strengthens your whole body. If you're going to squeeze some exercise in between your tightly-packed schedule, it might as well be a full body workout. These 4 moves demonstrated by PumpUp member @fitmissrach will make your efforts worth it. You'll be working your abs, glutes, quads and arms. Only two pieces of equipment are required for these exercises: a medicine ball and a pair of dumbbells. Feel free to try this workout within the comfort of your home or at the gym. That's how accessible it is. Plank dumbbell rows

Plank dumbbell rows - 4 strengthening moves for a full body workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Begin in a plank position. Your shoulders are in line with your wrists, your feet are shoulder-width apart and you're gripping a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your elbow close to the side of your body and stabilize your core as you draw the elbow up towards your body in a rowing motion. Repeat on the other side. Perform at least 12 reps on each side.

Plank side tucks

Plank side jumps - 4 strengthening moves for a full body workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Begin in a plank position. Your feet are close together, shoulders aligned with your wrists in a straight line and hands gripping dumbbells. Tuck your knees and jump your feet together, towards the side of one elbow. Promptly jump towards the other side and repeat for 30 seconds or at least 12 reps on each side.

Medicine ball squat jacks

Plank medicine ball squat jacks- 4 strengthening moves for a full body workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Hold your medicine ball tight towards your jest, with one hand on each side of the ball and elbows out. Drop into a full wide legged squat, with your knees just over your toes. Jump your feet back together so that you spring into a straight standing position, then drop back down into a wide legged squat. Repeat for 30 seconds or at least 12 reps.

Medicine ball squat to overhead reach

Medicine ball squat reaches- 4 strengthening moves for a full body workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Hold your medicine ball out in front of you with straight arms, one hand on each side of the ball. Take a wide legged stance and drop down into a full squat, lowering the medicine ball down towards the floor and in between your legs with straight arms as you squat. As you straighten your legs, reach the ball over your head, maintaining the same arm position. Repeat for 30 seconds or at least 12 reps.

4 move full body workout from the PumpUp Blog - Get your heart pumping! You just need a medicine ball and a pair of dumbbells. Plank dumbbell rows, plank side tucks, medicine ball squat jacks, and squat to overhead presses.

Love these 4 strengthening full body workout moves from PumpUp member @fitmissrach? Let us know in the comments below and tag us on PumpUp and Instagram with #TeamPumpUp and #WorkoutWednesday if you tried these moves! Have any other favourite full body workout moves that you'd like to show the PumpUp community? Tag your videos on Instagram with #TeamPumpUp so that we can see them!

Here's how PumpUp members sprang into action this week | PumpUp Progress

Here's how PumpUp members sprang into action this week | PumpUp Progress

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PumpUp members are up to all kinds of amazing things. They're fitting into all kinds of clothes that they haven't been able to in a long time, they're defying their own self-imposed limitations, and they're smashing through personal records. April is a month of firsts, accomplishments, and steady progress. Here are some highlights from the PumpUp community over the past week.

They absolutely crushed their personal bests

@shotgunsamx beat her personal best 5K time

PumpUp member @shotgunsamx set a new 5K personal record at a race on Saturday, April 18. She finished at a very impressive and speedy time of 26:04. "I used to think 27 minutes was impossible," she exclaimed. It's clear that she's come a very long way from when she first started.

They fit perfectly into new clothes

This PumpUp member dropped 1-2 sizes in her clothes

Shirts and shorts are fitting better for PumpUp members more than ever before. This was especially true for @jazigrace when she took a trip to the mall this past weekend. "I went shopping for clothes today and I discovered that I'm one or two sizes smaller than the last time I went shopping. I haven't been able to fit clothes this size since my freshman year in softball!" She looks absolutely terrific: it's palpable in her bright smile!

...They also grew out of old clothes

This PumpUp member grew out of her old shorts from last summer

PumpUp member @cris_cc took our Spring Into Action message to heart. She worked so hard prior to summer that she realized that her old shorts no longer fit. "Last summer's shorts are too big for me now," she lamented. "I'm so happy and sad at the same time. I'll keep working. Looking forward to summer!" We're excited to help her achieve her goals for the rest of the year and beyond.

This PumpUp member grew INTO a shirt that didn't fit her last summer

Similarly, @camillagwp grew out of a shirt that fit tight around her stomach last year. "Now it's actually comfortable to wear, and I don't worry about it crawling up," she gleamed. Keep her pumped! She's been working so hard at improving her running pace!

They became much more flexible

This PumpUp member made progress with her dancer's pose

The dancer's pose in yoga is no joke.  If you've ever tried it as a beginner, you probably experienced a lot of flailing and falling. Not PumpUp member @gorgeous303. She became so much more flexible between the months of January and April and she's been able to get her leg up much further than she ever expected.

They ran forever. Literally, forever.

This PumpUp member beat her personal best distance, running her first ever 15K

5K is hard. 10K is brutal.  15 kilometers? Absolutely, mind-numbingly difficult. @limitlesstyle challenged herself to finish her first-ever 15K anyway. "Today wasn't about my time or improving my time," she affirmed. "It was about running a first ever 15K that my son challenged me to run. I may or may not have crawled the last mile home, but I finished and feel accomplished!" She definitely deserves an amazing rest this weekend!

They're improving their form in a big way

This PumpUp member is seeing improvements in her upper body strength

By concentrating on her upper body strength, @clodaghsiobhan has really been able to improve her form with tricep dips. "I can feel that my strength has improved a lot. Persistence is key for sure!"

 

How Many Reps Should I Do?

You pack your gym bag, head over to the gym, get changed, and you’re all set to start your workout. You grab some dumbbells, get into your starting position, and then you realize you’re missing something… HOW MANY REPS SHOULD I DO???

If you don’t know what a ‘rep’ is, it’s just a single completion, or repetition, of an exercise movement. This week we’re going to dive into understanding what rep range (or number of reps) is best suited for you.

For Getting Toned → 12-15 reps: This kind of rep range is normally used to tonemuscles. With a higher rep range and lower weight, you develop muscle endurance. Your rest between sets should be 30 to 60 seconds.

For Building Muscle → 8-10 reps: This range is ideal for muscle hypertrophy (building muscle size). If you’re trying to bulk up and add muscle mass - this rep range is for you.  Your rest between sets should be 60 to 90 seconds.

For Gaining Strength  4-6 reps: With a low rep range you’re able to lift more weight. Because of this, you’ll be yielding your best strength gains. This rep range is generally used by serious weightlifters and athletes who need to be extremely strong but not necessarily big in size – as this rep range is not optimal for hypertrophy (as discussed above). If your main training goal is muscle growth - low reps won’t do it for you. However,adding low reps into your workout program will help you build some extra strength which can only help you improve in other areas of your workouts. Your rest between sets should be  2-3 minutes, because you need a fuller recovery in order to repeat such strenuous lifting.

Warning: Although a lower rep range enables you to lift more than you normally would, it is not recommended unless you are extremely confident in your ability and form. If you are just starting out or have only been working out for a couple of years, you should stick to higher rep ranges (and lower weight) until you can perform exercises perfectly. If you use poor form with higher weights, you are at a very high risk of injury.

Ultimately, the rep range you will be using during your workouts is going to largely depend on your training goal. The above information is to help you understand why there are different rep ranges and what they’re generally used for. Never be afraid to incorporate different strategies into your workouts - as long as you do so in a safe and controlled manner. As you become more experienced with working out and weightlifting, you’ll find what works best for you!