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How to Do a Double Lift
Whether you want to mix up an existing exercise routine or start a new one altogether, the double lift may be a good choice. A double lift, also known as a double leg lift, is an excellent way to tone your abs and obliques. Both versions of the exercise use the weight of your own legs as resistance for building your abs or obliques. Aim to perform the exercises at least three times per week for the best results.
Double Lifts for Abs
Lie on your back on a mat with your arms along your sides.
Lift your head off the mat and tighten your abs.
Related Reading: How to Do Pilates for 30 Minutes
Squeeze your legs together and lift your legs off the mat, forming a 45-degree angle with the floor.
Lower your legs until they almost touch the floor.
Lift your legs back up. Repeat 10 times.
Double Lifts for Obliques
Lie on your right side on an exercise mat. Place your left hand on the floor in front of you. Place your right hand under your head for support. Stack your hips.
Lift your feet and legs off the floor. Hold for two seconds.
Lower your legs back down. Repeat 15 times.
Stretch Your Abs
Lie on a mat on your stomach. Place your hands flat on the mat under your shoulders.
Straighten your arms, keeping your hips on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.
Lower yourself back down. Repeat three times.
Good Starting Swimming Workout for a Male
Whether you're looking to bulk up or slim down, swimming at least once a week for 30 or more minutes has numerous health benefits. Taking a dip can reduce the risk of chronic diseases men face, including heart disease, and burns about 300 calories in the average 130-pound male. If you're just getting started, setting attainable goals and easing into a routine will help you take to swimming like a fish takes to water.
Swimming uses most of the body's major muscle groups. Your legs, core, back, chest and arms are all involved in propelling your body through the water. Beginning swimmers should use the backstroke, as it uses major muscle groups but keeps your head above water, giving you the chance to breathe regularly. As you gain cardiovascular endurance, move to the sidestroke.
Count Laps, Not Calories
Swimming is a calorie killer, but instead of focusing on the calories you burn in the water, focus on the number of laps you're doing and breaths you're taking. Start off by swimming 25-yard lengths of the pool eight times, resting for five breaths between each lap. Then swim 25, 50, 75 and finally 100 yards, resting for five breaths after each distance. Your initial goal should be to finish this routine once, but work up to repeating it three times in one 30-minute session. Remember to use the backstroke when you begin your swimming regimen, but switch to sidestroke after a few weeks for at least three or four laps.
Set yourself up for success by focusing on proper form early on in your new swimming workout. In your first set of eight 25-yard laps, focus on keeping the muscles in your core and lower back engaged. Doing so will stop your midsection from sagging and keep your arms and legs propelling you through the water. In your second set, focus on your arms and hands. With each stroke you take, keep your hands broad and flat. Imagine that you aren't pushing through the water as much as pulling your body over its surface to attain maximum speed and propulsion. In your third set of 25-yard laps, count how many strokes it takes you to complete 25 yards. Set a goal to finish subsequent laps in your next session with matching or fewer strokes.
Stretch It Out
Stretching is often a forgotten component to a good beginning swimmer's workout. After you're done in the water, though, your workout isn't over. Dynamic stretches such as lunges and toe touches increase flexibility and can help soothe tired, sore muscles. Stretching for at least 10 minutes after your swim can improve the time it takes your muscles to recover from your session, too.
Upright Cable Rowing Exercises
The cable upright row is the machine alternative to barbell or dumbbell upright rows. Some beginners may find it difficult to balance free weights in their hands, for example, so the cable machine provides an effective way to learn the exercise and practice the correct form. But even if you’re not a beginner, the cable upright row is an effective compound exercise that will strengthen your upper back, shoulders and upper arms if you do it correctly.
To perform a standard cable upright row, attach a straight bar to a low pulley machine. Hold the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and your palms facing your body. Set your feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang down naturally, with your hands just an inch or two in front of you. Exhale as you pull the bar straight up to about your chin, keeping the bar close to your body. Bend your wrists and flare your elbows out to the sides so you can lift the bar up. Inhale as you slowly lower the bar to the starting position. Keep your back straight and your head up throughout the exercise and avoid leaning forward or backward.
Instead of a straight bar, use a lat bar or a pair of handles attached to the cable as long as you can keep your hands shoulder-width apart. Attach a single handle to the cable to perform a one-arm row. Stand with your right shoulder facing the machine and grip the handle with your left hand. Place your right hand on the machine for support and position the handle in front of your right hip to start. Exhale as you pull the handle diagonally up to your left shoulder and then inhale as you return slowly to the starting position. Perform the exercise with both arms.
Cable upright rows target the lateral deltoid muscle on top of each shoulder. Supporting muscles include the biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis in your upper arms; the anterior deltoid in the front of your shoulders; the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor in your rotator cuffs; the middle and lower trapezius in your back; and the serratus anterior at the sides of your chest. Additionally, the levator scapulae and upper trapezius in your upper back and neck act as stabilizers.
Speak with your doctor before you start any new exercise program, particularly if you haven’t exercised for a while or you have any health issues. You may be at risk for injury if you hold your hands too close together while doing cable upright rows. A narrow grip may force the ball of the humerus bone in your upper arm to move too far into the socket of the shoulder joint, which can irritate tendons or the bursa sac in your shoulder. If cable upright rows cause you any discomfort, use a wider grip if you try the exercise again. Stop doing the exercise and see a doctor if pain continues.
Warm up before your workout with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise. Perform dynamic stretches, such as horizontal and vertical arm swings, to loosen your shoulders and upper back. Perform eight to 12 repetitions of upright cable rows, lifting sufficient weight so your final reps are challenging.
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