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Is there a fat man inside you just waiting to get out? Even if you’ve built a lean body with little visible fat, you could still have danger...

TACKLE YOUR INNER FAT TACKLE YOUR INNER FAT


Is there a fat man inside you just waiting to get out? Even if you’ve built a lean body with little visible fat, you could still have dangerous levels of visceral fat, you could still have dangerous levels of visceral fat - the kind stored around the organs under the abdominal muscles. Too much of this can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Weighing won’t tell you visceral fat levels, and neither will using calipers for a body-fat reading-this gauges subcutaneous fat, which doesn’t increase your diabetes risk. Instead measure your waist circumference. Men have a higher risk of health problems if their waist is more than 94cm and for women when waist circumference gets beyond 90 cm. Include interval sprints in your training-a study from Duke University in the US found high-intensity exercise is one of the most effective ways to combat visceral fat.


PINCHABLE VERSUS PRESSABLE

“Subcutaneous fat” is the pinchable, squishy fat right between your skin and muscle that helps keep you warm, cushions you against shock, and stores extra calories. “Visceral fat” stores calories too, but isn’t as pinchable because it is located in and around your organs. It’s hidden deep within the belly region, which is what makes it firm (rather than squishy) when you press it.


PROXIMITY

Fat doesn’t just store calories—it’s a living tissue capable of producing and releasing hormones that affect your other organs. Because visceral fat sits near our organs, its release of these chemicals is poorly situated. Having more visceral fat can raise your LDL (a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol) and blood pressure. Visceral fat can also make you less sensitive to insulin, which increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.


TELLING BAD BELLY FAT APART

Even if you’re thin, you can still have visceral fat around the abdominal region—being “skinny” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. There’s no sure-fire way to tell visceral from subcutaneous fat short of an expensive CT scan, but it’s important for you to get a rough idea of what your visceral stores are. Here are a few tricks to figure out where your belly stands:


APPLES AND PEARS: You’re probably wondering, “What does fruit have to do with it?” These two fruits give a quick visual of where most of your fat is stored on the body. Pears tend to store fat in the lower extremities (hips, thighs, buttocks) as subcutaneous fat while apples tend to store fat in the upper region (belly, chest) as visceral fat. It takes a quick inspection, but this is an imperfect way to tell these two fats apart.


WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE (WC): Feel for the top of your hip bone (it’s at the same level as the top of your belly button) and circle a tape measure around this point. Remember to relax and don’t suck in your gut (be honest!). Take 2-3 measurements and figure out the average. Men should have a WC of less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women should have a WC of less than 35 inches (89 cm).


WAIST-TO-HIP RATIO: The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) takes the circumference of your waist (see above) and divides it by the circumference of your hips. To measure your hips, stand in front of a mirror then figure out the widest part of your butt and measure that circumference. Then use this formula:


WHR = (Waist circumference) / (Hip circumference).


Men should have a WHR of less than 1 while women should have a WHR of less than 0.8.


KNOW YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY HISTORY

If your parents or siblings have insulin resistance, heart disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver, you may be at a greater risk for storing visceral fat. Keeping an eye on your visceral fat may be beneficial, but know that the causes of these chronic diseases are complex. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider.


BANISHING VISCERAL FAT

If you fall in the normal range for WC and WHR, that’s great! Keep working at your weight goals as you see fit. If you’re not there, don’t despair. Because of its proximity to the liver, visceral fat is usually the easier fat to burn. It’s the less risky subcutaneous fat that likes to stick around.


Unfortunately, you can’t forcefully spot reduce fat around your belly no matter how many crunches you do. The next best thing is to live a healthy lifestyle:


  • Go beyond weight tracking. You can track your waist, hip and even neck circumference in the MyFitnessPal app to see how your measurements change over time as you lose weight.
  • Sweat for 30-60 minutes each day. Visceral fat responds well to regular endurance exercises, such as running, biking, rowing, swimming, that elevate your heart rate. As your body uses fat to fuel exercise, it’ll start using up your visceral stores.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Eat a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein with calories set for gradual weight loss (e.g. about 1-2 pounds per week). Cut way back on added sugars and alcohol since these nutrients will more likely end up as visceral fat.
  • Sleep more, stress less. It’s easier said than done, but in order to take care of your physical body, you have to take care of your mental state. Sleep loss and stress can sabotage your health and fitness goals, so learn more about getting a quality night’s rest and use meditation or yoga to calm your mind. Remember, it’s not just about your health; it’s about your happiness, too.

 Dips are most often savory and served with diet-derailing chips, a no-no for a fitness-oriented nutrition plan. This sweet, buttery version...

CORE CRUNCH APPLES WITH A YOGURT DIP CORE CRUNCH APPLES WITH A YOGURT DIP

 Dips are most often savory and served with diet-derailing chips, a no-no for a fitness-oriented nutrition plan. This sweet, buttery version is scooped up with crunchy apples and offers a nutritious and palate-pleasing change of pace. And since it's made with great-for-you ingredients like Greek yogurt and almond butter, you won't suffer any of the pitfalls of the salty, calorie-bomb dips offered in the super-market. So delicious is this autumn-inspired dip, you'll be counting down the minutes until snack time.


 It's Greek to me


Packed with protein, gut-friendly probiotics and bone-building calcium, Greek yogurt is a near-perfect snack option. And it can keep vending-machine temptation at bay.

 Switch hits


• Add a touch of sweetness with honey instead of maple syrup.
• Use cinnamon in lieu of allspice.
• Try low-fat cottage cheese in place of yogurt.
• Scoop up the dip with pear slices instead of apple.

 Go nuts

It's a little more costly, but almond butter is a nutritional upgrade from peanut butter. That's because it delivers more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat as well as the bone-strengthening trio of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

► Apple of my eye

Use in-season apples as a transporter from bowl to mouth and you'll reap a low- calorie nutritional windfall including healthy amounts of dietary fiber and the disease-busting antioxidant quercetin.


ALMOND YOGURT DIP WITH APPLE DIPPERS


Makes 4 Servings

1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder pinch of salt
3 apples, sliced into wedges

1. Combine yogurt, almond butter, maple syrup, lemon zest, allspice, ginger powder and a pinch of salt in a blender. Begin by blending on low and work your way up to high speed until the mixture is smooth.

2. Place yogurt dip in a serving bowl and serve alongside apple wedges. The dip is best served chilled.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 196 calories, 8 g total fats, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 62 mg sodium, 24 g total carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 10 g protein

People who are chronically stressed tend to have more belly fat than those who aren’t. That’s because when you’re frazzled, your body pumps ...

THE PLAN LOSE YOUR BELLY FAT THE PLAN LOSE YOUR BELLY FAT


People who are chronically stressed tend to have more belly fat than those who aren’t. That’s because when you’re frazzled, your body pumps out sub- stances like peripheral neuropeptide Y, which encourages food to be stored as fat. Anxiety also revs production of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in addition to increasing your appetite, causes fat cells to grow in your abdomen and prompts the body to move fat from areas like your hips and thighs to your belly. Here’s how to stop stress overload—and beat the bulge.


#1. GET MORE SLEEP

When you’re sleep deprived, your body becomes stressed and secretes cortisol. Lack of sleep also boosts the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite, so you’re more likely to overeat. You’ve heard it before, but aim to get seven to eight hours of shut-eye a night. Consistency is also crucial: People who go to bed and wake up within roughly the same 60-minute window every day have less body fat than those who don’t maintain a regular sleep schedule.


#2. TAKE A POWER WALK

Besides being meditative, a 15-minute cruise around the neighborhood right after eating helps reduce the damaging blood sugar spikes that occur after meals, research shows. Also aim to get up and walk around at least once every hour. The more time you spend sitting, the bigger your waist size.


#3. CHEW GUM

Chomping on a stick of gum is proven to lower cortisol levels, according to Australian researchers in the journal Physiology & Behavior. They theorize that the act of chewing may relieve tension and increase blood flow to the brain, so you can better concentrate.


#4. MAKE YOUR SPRINTS! 

Find yourself a hill, or get on a treadmill. Then sprint up the mountain or on an incline, as fast as possible.


Do that for roughly 20 minutes. Make sure you are finding it hard to catch your breath. That means you’re doing it right!


Do this 2–3 times per week — no excuses and no stopping.


You need to do this regularly for at least three months to get results. Perhaps longer.


#5. STRENGHT TRAIN! 

Yes, I know, here I go again — but it works! Shave those rest periods to about 10–60 seconds whilst doing a larger volume of reps.


The more lactic acid build-up (that sweet burning sensation), the greater the hormone response.


#6. STOP WASTING TIME DOING AB CRUNCHES

They don’t work! Instead, use multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts and lunges.


If you have a flab on your belly, no amount of ab crunches will help. You have to burn off the fat to see muscle.


Use your time effectively by performing those strenuous exercises, and you will be well on your way towards having abs.


#7. INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF PROTEIN YOU EAT DURING EVERY MEAL

Make sure it’s a lean and low-calorie alternative.


#8. LOWER YOUR CARBS, INCREASE FAT

Eat more omega three rich foods to make your cells more receptive to insulin. Aim for about 120g carbs from low glycemic sources.


Better yet, why not carb cycle, so you get the best of both worlds.


#9. LOTS OF FIBRE EVERY DAY

Low fibre diets make it harder to get rid of toxins, including belly fat and poor insulin health.


#10.GUT HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL

If you have gut issues, it can make it harder to lose belly fat. For example, if our gut is inflamed, we will experience higher cortisol levels, making us more susceptible to gaining belly fat.


#11. PRACTICE MINDFULNESS

Keep a gratitude journal, writing down at least three things that made your life better today. Showing gratitude helps to lower cortisol and create a better mental health outlook.


#12. DRINK LOTS OF WATER

Two powerful things, yet people don’t do enough of each. Drink 3 litres of water to keep yourself hydrated and in top performance.


THE INABILITY TO HOLLOW YOUR STOMACH IS A SIGN OF A WEAK CORE An easy sign of a weak core is the inability to perform the stomach hollowing ...

THE INABILITY TO HOLLOW YOUR STOMACH THE INABILITY TO HOLLOW YOUR STOMACH


THE INABILITY TO HOLLOW YOUR STOMACH IS A SIGN OF A WEAK CORE

An easy sign of a weak core is the inability to perform the stomach hollowing test. When you conduct this exercise, the intent is for your stomach to cave inwards when your abdomen contracts. You do this by taking a natural breath, pulling your abs in toward your spine, and holding it. If you lack the ability to do this, then you possess a weak core. See the image below for a visual representation of this exercise.


Overall weakness in your core muscles will lead to serious health conditions if not properly rectified. One guaranteed exercise that will improve every condition discussed in this article is the plank exercise. The benefits of performing the plank exercise are amazing. Not only will you strengthen your core, but you will also strengthen your lower back and upper body, improve your chances of avoiding injury, significantly improve your posture, and shred your abs!


Most importantly, planks can be done anywhere. You do not need a gym membership, a personal trainer, or any equipment. Heck, do your planks naked if you want! Two things will happen when you embrace the plank – your fitness will improve and so will your overall health.


FIVE MORE SIGNS YOUR BODY IS COMPENSANTING FOR A WEAK CORE

1. YOUR POSTURE IS SUB-PAR

You know that the best way to sit at your desk isn't all crunched or crouched over. But what if you can't help it? Hunching over your desk can put strain and pressure on parts of your body that weren't meant to support that position for long, that includes your hip flexors, low back, pelvis, glutes, and shoulder girdle. 


The fix: Practice sitting with your core engaged—belly button drawn back towards your spine—and shoulders pulled back, suggests Lyons. If you have a job that forces you to sit more days, you can try setting an "engaged core" timer, which'll remind you of your goal.


2. YOUR LOWER BACK ARCHES WHEN YOU WALK (AKA YOU HAVE A PELVIC TILT

Have you ever noticed someone (or maybe you do it yourself) walking pelvis-first or with a super-arched lower back? Yep, a weak core could be the culprit here, too. Because carrying and delivering a baby can weaken the pelvic and abdominal muscles, this particular symptom is common in new moms.


The fix: When you're walking, asking yourself: "Are my hips stacked beneath my shoulders?" To strengthen your core and make this stacked position possible, add pelvic tilts, leg extensions, single leg extensions, and glute bridges into your morning routine, suggests Wickham. 


3. YOU HAVE FREQUENT LOWER BACK PAIN

If you've ever felt a tweak, pinch, or twinge when performing a day-to-day movement like transferring the laundry, tossing a ball to the dog, or taking something out of the oven (like these upgraded Ina Garten approved roasted carrots), weak core muscles could be to blame. When your core isn't as strong as it needs to be, your lumbar spine can get all wonky, which can put undue pressure on your vertebrae, discs, and the rest of the muscles that encase the spine.


The fix: Work specifically on strengthening your spine. Strengthening the erector spinae— which runs from your neck to your lower back— can help reduce back pain by helping to encourage proper posture and form when performing exercises.


4. YOU FEEL WEAK WHEN THROWING OR JUMPING

Ever feel weak when performing exercises like tossing a ball, throwing a punch, jumping up and down, or even doing something like a bicep curl? Difficulty doing these things could mean your core isn’t trained properly. That's because our core muscles stabilize and send power and strength to other muscles. If we aren't strong throughout the midline, we throw out the chance that we're going to be strong in arms, legs, shoulders, or ankles—called our distal parts.


The fix: Add compound exercises like the squat, deadlift, push-up, and lunge, which will tone and strengthen your extremities and core at the same time, suggests Luciani. Even unweighted, these movements teach you how to brace your core, while using and strengthening your extremities.


5. YOU USE OBJECTS AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU AS A "CRUTCH"

If you frequently rely on the furniture or friends around you to get (and keep) you standing, it's time to add some core bracing moves to your routine. It surprises people how much core strength simply getting out of bed, a chair, or standing in line takes.


The fix: Trying to sit down, get up, or stand without reaching for poles, pillars, tables, or your pals for help, will eventually help you strengthen the weak muscles, says Lyons. As with any other exercise, it's get easier the more you do it.

There’s nothing like a sculpted midsection. But the truth is, toned abs are no guarantee of core strength. Core muscles, such as the transve...

TIPS FOR A TOUGHER CORE  TIPS FOR A TOUGHER CORE


There’s nothing like a sculpted midsection. But the truth is, toned abs are no guarantee of core strength. Core muscles, such as the transvesus abdominis (TVA) are deeper, stabilizing muscles, and play a key role in balance and good posture. The transversus abdomens - a belt muscle that runs from one side of the spine around your waist and connects to the other side - is given a lot of attention in pilates.


The TVA an pelvic floor muscles work together and act like the foundation of a house. The body’s core or centre sits a few centimeters above the pubic bone and these muscles help stabilize from that point. When you move, they should switch on first and steady the body, with moving muscles near the surface the last to be activated. Strong core muscles help with alignment and ensure that minimum effort is needed to hold the body upright.


WHAT ARE SOME CAUSES OF A WEAKENED PELVIC FLOOR AND CORE?


  • Lack of use
  • Excessive pressure and use
  • pregnancy and childbearing
  • back pain injuries
  • chronic constipation
  • straining to empty the bowels
  • being overweight, obese or having a body mass index (BMI) over 25
  • heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
  • a chronic cough or sneeze, including those linked to asthma, smoking or hayfever
  • previous injury to the pelvic region (e.g. a fall, surgery or pelvic radiotherapy), and
  • aging


TVA TIGHTENING


1. Sit with a neutral or slightly flexed (forward curved) back. To locate the TVA, put two fingers on the iliac crests - the two bony points on each side of the front of your hips. Think of a muscle band between these two points and draw it back towards you sacrum.


2. Using about 30 per cent effort, draw in the muscle as you exhale, as if tightening a belt. At the same time, draw up from behind your public bone to engage the pelvic floor. Relax as you inhale. Practice several times a day for about 10-15 repetitions.


3. Tighten the muscle, but not too much. If it’s too tight, you’re likely to be engaging the muscles over the top instead of those on the deepest level. Performed correctly, the exercise should make you feel like you are elongating your spine. You want this to become second nature so no matter what you are doing these muscles learn to turn on first. The body works best form the inside out.


Growing evidence suggests a good sleep routine plays an important part in weight control - with a study from the Mayo Clinic showing suffici...

SLEEP KEEPS THE KILOS AT BAY SLEEP KEEPS THE KILOS AT BAY


Growing evidence suggests a good sleep routine plays an important part in weight control - with a study from the Mayo Clinic showing sufficient sleep is needed to keep our kilojoule intake on track. Study participants who slept for 80 minutes less than a control group consumed on average an extra 2300kJ each day. Research shows that when people are sleep deprived there are changes inside the brain and this could be driving them to eat more. The hormones linked to hunger may be upset, too. Even though they (sleep-deprived study participants) produced the signal telling them they were full, they still consumed extra kilojoules.


DREAMING IS OVERNIGHT THERAPY

University of California researchers have found that during sleep’s dream page (REM sleep), stress chemistry shuts down and memories are processed and put in perspective. The dream stage, based on its unique neurochemical composition, provides us with a form of overnight therapy… we wake up the next day, and experiences have been softened in their emotional strength. We feel better about them, we feel we can cope.


TIPS FOR QUALITY SLEEP DURING WEIGHT LOSS

There are many ways to improve sleep. Here are a few research-based tips for sleeping better when you’re trying to lose weight:


  • Keep a regular sleep schedule: Big swings in your sleep schedule or trying to catch up on sleep after a week of late nights can cause changes in metabolism and reduce insulin sensitivity, making it easier for blood sugar to be elevated.
  • Sleep in a dark room: Exposure to artificial light while sleeping, such as a TV or bedside lamp, is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
  • Don’t eat right before bed: Eating late may reduce the success of weight loss attempts.
  • Reduce Stress: Chronic stress may lead to poor sleep and weight gain in several ways, including eating to cope with negative emotions.
  • Be an Early Bird: People with late bedtimes may consume more calories and be at a higher risk for weight gain. Early birds may be more likely to maintain weight loss when compared to night owls.


MAINTAINING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BODY

Deciding if you should attempt to change your body weight is a personal decision best made with the guidance of your doctor. Don’t take all the health and weight loss information you read online25 at face value. Weight loss isn’t appropriate for everyone and doesn’t always mean better health. Remember that health is a lifelong journey that includes not only healthy habits but also having a healthy relationship with your body. If you’re considering weight loss, the National Institutes of Health offers a helpful resource for choosing a safe weight loss program.

YOUR ONE-WEEK HEALTH JUMP START On days one through three, you’ll coax your body into weight loss with key science-backed habits. Once you s...

LOSE WEIGHT QUICKLY-AND HEALTHFULLY LOSE WEIGHT QUICKLY-AND HEALTHFULLY


YOUR ONE-WEEK HEALTH JUMP START

On days one through three, you’ll coax your body into weight loss with key science-backed habits. Once you start a healthy habit, try to follow it every day of the jump start. Also use this time to stock up on the foods you’ll be eating on the plan from days four thorough seven.


DAY 1: SLEEP EIGHT HOURS

If you’re skimping on sleep, you’re sabotaging your weight-loss efforts and your health, plain and simple. Like a magic eraser that undoes the day’s damage, sleep lowers levels of stress hormones and other inflammatory chemicals. A large body of evidence links too little sleep to an increased risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and obesity. Sleep also balances the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin, which is why you feel hungrier and indulge in poorer eating behaviors when you’re tired.


DAY  2: HYDRATE WITH EVERY MEAL

Our bodies are about 60 percent water, so it’s no wonder we need lots of it to function optimally. Water aids in digestion and circulation, maintains body temperature, fuels muscles, and more. It helps your kidneys - one of your body’s main detoxifying organs - filter and clean blood of toxins. It may promote weight loss by helping you distinguish thirst from hunger and by quenching cravings for junk food. A recent study in Appetite found that children ate more veggies when they consumed them with water than with a sugary drink. Aim for an eight-ounce glass every time you eat.


DAY  3: MOVE MORE

Anything that raises your heart rate increases circulation of oxygenated blood throughout the body and spreads removal toxins. Start you day with a refreshing 20-minute morning walk. If you’re already exercising, upgrade to an interval workout - in which short bursts of activity are followed by equally short periods of rest - for even better results. This kind of cardio causes blood vessels to dilate even more, delivering fresh oxygen to muscles.


DAYS 4 to 7: DETOX YOUR BODY WITH FOOD

Continue the healthy habits you began in day one through three, but now start the regimen of nutritious shakes and soups at bottom to encourage quick, safe weight loss. THey’re filled with whole foods, minimally processed with few additives, flavorings, and hormones.

Technically, everyone has a six-pack—it's the rectus abdominis muscle, which runs down the front of your belly-but unless you're lea...

CAN ANYONE GET A SIX-PACK, OR IS IT MOSTLY GENETIC? CAN ANYONE GET A SIX-PACK, OR IS IT MOSTLY GENETIC?


Technically, everyone has a six-pack—it's the rectus abdominis muscle, which runs down the front of your belly-but unless you're lean enough, you can't see it. And that's where your genes come in: They help determine where your body deposits fat and how easily you can build muscle. To peel off that extra layer, you need to burn more calories than you take in by following a healthy diet and amping up your cardio.


Interval training is proven to be especially effective for whittling the middle. In a study from the University of New South Wales, in Australia, people who alternated periods of high-and moderate-intensity activity saw a significantly higher reduction in abdominal fat than those who moved at a steady pace. Combine your aerobic exercise with a few core strengtheners, like planks, and you'll soon be revealing that six-pack.


DO I NEED TO EAT SOMETHING AFTER EVERYWORKOUT?

Unless you just went for an easy walk or did a 10-minute stretching session, yes. Contrary to popular belief, you aren't building muscle when you lift weights—you're breaking it down, and refueling afterward helps repair it. But even if you only did cardio, eating or drinking something replenishes muscle glycogen, your cells' go-to source of energy, and helps prevent dehydration. Have a snack that's 100 to 150 calories and has a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 carb-to-protein ratio within 30 minutes of completing your workout. A cup of low- fat chocolate milk, a recovery sports drink, or a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter are in the top options.


ALL ABS ARE UNIQUE

Even if you can get those muscles to peek through, don’t expect them to look just like your favorite celeb’s toned tummy “Your genetics also determine the shape of your abs as they appear from the front—how aligned they are, how big the borders are between them, and whether they’re short and wide or long and narrow,” explains Israetel.


But while you can’t change your abs’ shape, you can help augment their thickness (how far they stick out from your core) with strength training, he says.


Performing ab-targeting exercises can help make your individual abdominal muscles stand out more for a more awe-inspiring six-pack. Your abs respond to stimulus just like the rest of your muscles do—by growing, Israetel explains. Stress them with weight and they’ll respond over time by adapting and growing bigger and stronger.

Get strong—and avoid injury—with these full-body moves. Plus, tips for doing them right 1. PUSH-UP Start in a straight-arm plank position, h...

FORM AND FUNCTION MOVES FORM AND FUNCTION MOVES

Get strong—and avoid injury—with these full-body moves. Plus, tips for doing them right


1. PUSH-UP


Start in a straight-arm plank position, hands slightly wider than shoulder- width apart. Bend elbows to a 45-degree angle and lower body down , keeping core engaged and spine neutral— you should be in one straight line from shoulders to heels. Push back up to the top of the plank.


Correct it: If you feel your shoulders or low back rounding (a common mistake for this move) , do a round of Cat-Cow yoga poses and find your neutral position. Hold that neutral spine while performing the row.


2. BENT-OVER ROW


Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge at the hips and maintain a neutral spine, keeping shoulders down away from your ears . Holding this position, bend elbows and pull weights to rib cage, keeping elbows close to sides. Straighten arms to lower weights back down.


Correct it: If you feel your shoulders or low back rounding (a common mistake for this move) , do a round of Cat-Cow yoga poses and find your neutral position. Hold that neutral spine while performing the row.


3. SQUAT


Start standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes slightly turned out, holding a dumbbell at chest. Keeping chest up, send hips back and bend knees as if you’re sitting in a chair. Drive through feet to stand back up


Correct it: If your knees buckle inward, place a mini band around the thighs and practice the squat while pushing outward against the band. From the side view, check if your knees extend too far over your toes. If yes, sit your hips back more, sending weight to the heel to help maintain strong form


4. DEADLIFT


Start standing with feet hip- width apart and a slight bend in the knees, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Send hips back, maintaining a neutral spine and the slightly bent-knee position as you lower chest toward floor and dumbbells just below knees. Drive through feet and squeeze glutes to stand back up, shoulders over hips


Correct it: Don’t think of this exercise as a toe touch. To nail the hinge position, place your hands behind your head and focus on sending the hips back, squeezing the glutes to stand, and keeping the shoulders down and back


5. PLANK


Get in a plank position by placing forearms on the mat, elbows under shoulders, shoulders pulled down and back. Tuck hips under slightly and squeeze glutes, maintaining a neutral spine. Hold for 30 seconds.


Correct it: If hips are sinking or raising, drop your knees to the mat or place your hands on a bench, chair, or couch. Keep feet wide to help with stability.


6. SIDE LUNGE


Start standing with feet together and dumbbells on shoulders. Step right foot out to the side with knee and toe pointing forward, bending the knee and sending hips back, keeping weight in the heel, and left leg straight. Drive through right foot to stand back up. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch legs.


Correct it: Make sure to push your butt back into a hinge. To help master that position, eliminate the stepping in and out: Stand with feet wider than hips, then bend right knee and push hips down and back. Keep alternating sides


7. DEADLIFT


Start standing with feet together and holding dumbbells. Then put weight on left foot, and step right foot back . Lower chest toward floor as right leg lifts straight back behind you. Keep shoulders down, and maintain one straight line from shoulders to heels, with a slight bend in left knee. Drive through left foot to stand back up, and repeat for 10 reps; then switch legs 


Correct it: Avoid turning your hips—keep both square to the ground to isolate the hamstring and glute. To better your balance before lifting your leg, do a staggered deadlift: Stand with feet hipwidth apart, then step your left foot back slightly, keeping toes on the ground as you do the deadlift.


8. LEG LIFT


Start lying on back, legs straight up with feet over hips, arms by sides. Lower legs toward floor, as low as possible without arching your lower back. Lift legs back up, and repeat for 30 seconds.


Correct it: Press your spine into the floor and pull your ribs down as you lower your legs, so you feel it in your abs, not your lower back. Keep the legs as high as needed to avoid arching in the spine.


THE DRILL 

Perform this workout in circuits, doing three rounds of each circuit before moving on to the next.

CIRCUIT 1

Push-Up: 10 reps

Bent-Over Row: 10 reps

CIRCUIT 2

Squat: 10 reps

Deadlift: 10 reps

Plank: 30 seconds

CIRCUIT 3

Side Lunge: 10 reps each

Single-Leg Deadlift:

10 reps each

Leg Lift: 30 seconds