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gettin’ slim without the gym | tone it up | full video here

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50 Amazingly Helpful Tips For The Kitchen

icanhasflatstomachplez:

1. For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor.

2. Fresh coffee beans can also absorb nasty odors from your hands.

3. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.

4. When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.

5. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavor of these persnickety fruits.

6. To clean cast iron cookwear, don’t use detergents. Just scrub them with salt and a clean, dry paper towel.

7. Will milk curdle if it is allowed to boil? It turns out that this age-old piece of wisdom isn’t true, after all. Milk that has been boiled is perfectly safe to consume.

8. To clean an electric kettle with calcium buildup on the heating element, boil a mixture of half white vinegar and half water, then empty.

9. When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from getting stinky.

10. If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.

11. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

12. Before you chop chili peppers, rub a little vegetable oil into your hands and your skin won’t absorb the spicy chili oil.

13. If you aren’t sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.

14. To banish ants from the kitchen, find out where they are coming in and cover the hole with petroleum jelly. Ants won’t trek through the jelly. If they are coming under a door, draw a line on the floor with chalk. The little bugs also won’t cross a line of chalk.

15. Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then pop as normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and fluffier with fewer “old maids.”

16. Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.

17. To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them.

18. If you manage to have some leftover wine at the end of the evening, freeze it in ice cube trays for easy addition to soups and sauces in the future.

19. To clean crevices and corners in vases and pitchers, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets. The bubbles will do the scrubbing.

20. After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love.

21. When you clean your fish tank, the water you drain can also be used to water your house plants. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fish droppings make aquarium water a great fertilizer.

22. When defrosting meat from the freezer, pour some vinegar over it. Not only does it tenderize the meat; it will also bring down the freezing temperature of the meat and cause it to thaw quicker.

23. The substance in onions that causes your eyes to water is located in the root cluster of the onion. Cut this part out in a cone shape, with the largest part of the cone around the exterior root section.

24. Taking the top layer off of a onion can also reduce the amount of eye-watering misery.

25. Toothpaste is a great silver cleaner.

26. Baking soda isn’t as effective a deodorizer for the fridge as that baking soda company would like you to believe. Activated charcoal is much better at absorbing fridge and freezer odors.

27. Baking soda is an extremely effective cleaner, though. Use it with vinegar to deodorize drains and clean stovetops and sinks.

28. A favorite tip of thousands of grandmas: when you nick your finger while cutting veggies, wait until the bleeding stops and paint on a layer of clear nail polish. It will keep juices out of the wound and won’t fall off into the spaghetti sauce like a bandage.

29. The jury is still out on what to put in the bag of brown sugar to keep it from going hard: a slice of apple, a piece of bread, and a shard of a terra cotta pot have all been used.

30. Got a nasty invisible splinter from your kitchen tools? Put a piece of adhesive tape on the area and then pull it off to remove the splinter.

31. When you burn yourself in the kitchen, just spread mustard on the affected area. Leave it for a while and it will ease the pain and prevent blistering.

32. For aluminum pans that are looking dull, just boil some apple peels in them. This will brighten up the aluminum and make your house smell yummy.

33. To keep cookies fresh, savvy grannies like to put some crumpled-up tissue paper in the bottom of the cookie jar.

34. If your salt is clumping up, put a few grains of rice in with it to absorb excess moisture.

35. To clean fruit stains off of your fingers, rub them with a fresh, peeled potato. White vinegar can also do the trick.

36. Keep iceberg lettuce fresh in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel and storing lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.

37. If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

38. Always keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen. It’s invaluable when you scrape your arm or burn your finger. Just break off a leaf and rub the gel from the inside on the injury.

39. When making a soup, sauce, or casserole that ends up too fatty or greasy, drop in an ice cube. The ice will attract the fat, which you can then scoop out.

40. To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked in the oil previously, cook a 1/4″ piece of ginger in the oil. It will remove any remaining flavors and odors.

41. If your milk always goes bad before you can finish it, try adding a pinch of salt to the carton when you first open it. It will stay fresh days longer.

42. Water that has been boiled and allowed to cool will freeze faster than water from the tap. This comes in handy when you’re having a party and need ice pronto.

43. Remove tea or coffee stains from your fine china by mixing up a paste of baking soda, lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Rub it over the stains and they’ll come off easily.

44. If two drinking glasses become stuck together after stacking, it’s not impossible to unstick them. Just put ice in the inner glass and dunk the outer glass in warm water. The warm glass will expand and the cold glass will contract, making the glasses separate easily.

45. For splinters under the fingernail, soaking the affected finger in a bowl of milk with a piece of bread in it is said to draw out the splinter.

46. Did grandpa ever give you a drink of cola for an upset tummy? It turns out that this is actually a pretty effective remedy. The sugar and carbonation can soothe many tummy problems - but it can also exacerbate others.

47. Putting salty bacon on a boil is said to “draw the poison out” of boils.

48. To help old wooden drawers (without runners) open and close smoothly, rub a candle on the tracks.

49. A cotton ball soaked in white vinegar and applied to a fresh bruise will reduce the darkness of the bruise and help it disappear sooner.

50. Drinking cranberry juice and eating blueberries regularly will help stave off urinary tract infections.

I put in a pinch of salt to stop an egg for cracking when I boiled it this morning— and it worked!

(Source: healthylivingforyou, via boomsquatthefuckdown)

The 100 Best Fitness Tips

livelaughlovehealthy:

A great tip is an awesome thing. Whether it’s an undiscovered restaurant, a sleeper stock, or a Sure Thing in the late double at Pimlico, savvy inside info imbues a man with confidence. Control. Strength.

Knowledge is power, baby.

It’s also the secret to a powerful body, as you’re about to find out. In our never-ending mission to get you in the greatest shape of your life, we’ve grilled the world’s top experts and combed our own archives to find 100 perfect fitness training tips—small gems that will make a huge difference in any man’s life.

Get ready: You’re about to feel the power—and have the body to show for it.

And for even more ways to shape your body, check out The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. With complete instructions of more than 600 exercises, along with hundreds of workouts and useful tips, it’s the most comprehensive guide to fitness ever created.

Do Them Right: To maximize your workout, good form is a must. Men’s Health Personal Trainer features videos demos that you can download and take with you to the gym. Find out more. 



Build Better Abs

Don’t work your abdominal muscles every day. “Physiologically, your abs are like any other muscle in your body,” says David Pearson, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise scientist at Ball State University. Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.

Protect Your Neck

Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. “It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain,” says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health exercise advisor. 

Keep Muscles Limber

If you’re under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you’re over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer.

Don’t Drop the Ball

To catch a pop fly in the sun, use your glove to shade your eyes. It’s bigger than your free hand and puts the leather in perfect position to snag the ball.

Grow Muscle, Save Time

Keep your weight workouts under an hour. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a testosterone-blocking, muscle-wasting effect.

Exercise in Order

Use dumbbells, barbells, and machines—in that order. “The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups,” says Charles Staley, a strength coach in Las Vegas.  So progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.

Strengthen Your Core

Don’t be afraid of situps. We’ve changed our tune on these, and here’s why: Situps increase your range of motion, which makes your abdominals work harder and longer. (Doing crunches on a Swiss ball or with a rolled-up towel under your lower back has a similar effect.) Just avoid situps with anchored feet, which can hurt your lower back.

Test the Bench

Press your thumb into the bench before lifting. “If you can feel the wood, find another bench,” says Ken Kinakin, a chiropractor in Canada and founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists. Hard benches can cause T4 syndrome—a misalignment of your thoracic spine that affects the nerve function of your arm, weakening it.

Swim Faster

To build speed in swimming, develop your ankle flexibility. Flexible feet will act like flippers and propel you faster through the water. To increase your flipper flex, do this: Sit on the floor with your shoes off. Extend your legs in front of you, heels on the floor. Point your toes straight out as far as possible, then flex them toward your shins as far as you can. Repeat for 1 minute.

Buy Shoes That Fit

Shop for workout shoes late in the day. That’s when your feet are the largest. Make sure there’s a half inch of space in front of your longest toe, and that you can easily wiggle your toes. Then slip off the shoes and compare them with your bare feet. If each shoe isn’t obviously wider and longer than your foot, go half a size bigger.

Kill Your Excuse

If you think you’re too busy to exercise, try this experiment: For one day, schedule a time to work out, and then stick to it—even if you can exercise for only 10 minutes. “At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were any less productive than usual,” says John Jakicic, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at the Brown University school of medicine. The answer will probably be no—and your favorite excuse will be gone.

Help Your Forehand

To build forearm strength for tennis and racquetball, crumple newspaper: Lay a newspaper sheet on a flat surface. Start at one corner and crumple it into a ball with your dominant hand for 30 seconds. Repeat with your other hand.

Muscle Up Your Back

When doing lat pulldowns, don’t wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you’ll work your back harder. Works for pullups, too.

Drink A Pint, Get Ripped

If you’re a beginner, train to failure—the point at which you absolutely can’t do another repetition—then throw back a pint. In a new study, beginners who trained to failure with three sets of six exercises per day then drank a supplement immediately afterward gained over 5 pounds of muscle in just 8 weeks. A pint of 1 percent chocolate milk will provide all the nutrients you need to achieve the same result.

Lose Your Weak Spot

If you don’t like an exercise, start doing it. “You’re probably avoiding it because you’re weak at it,” says Mejia.

Overcome Injuries, Build Big Arms

If you hurt your right arm, don’t stop exercising your left arm. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that people who trained only one arm for 2 weeks managed to increase arm strength in their nonexercising arm up to 10 percent. The reason: Exercising one arm stimulates the muscle nerve fibers in the opposite arm.

Cut Pain, Increase Gain

Count your repetitions backward. When you near the end of the set, you’ll think about how many you have left instead of how many you’ve done.

Turn Heads with Your Legs

Do standing and seated calf raises. You’ll get better results. “Your calves are made up of two different muscles, so you have to do the straight-leg and the bent-leg versions of the exercise to hit them both,” says Mejia.

Keep Your Stats, See Amazing Results

Test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, body fat, bench press—that equates to your end goal. “It’ll show you the tangible results of your training,” says Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Canada. And that translates into motivation.

Kill the Pill

Don’t pop a pill after you work out. Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found that ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) were no more effective than a placebo in relieving postexercise muscle soreness. More important, they say the drugs may actually suppress muscle growth when taken after a workout.

Putt Like a Pro

Roll a golf ball across the carpet to improve your putting. The distance doesn’t matter. Just toss it by hand and try to make it stop at a specific target. You’ll hone your ability to judge speed and line without even picking up a club.

Blow Off Your Belly

Exhale forcefully at the top of the movement when you do abdominal crunches. It forces your abs to work harder.

Build Big Biceps

Bend your wrists to work your biceps harder. That is, extend them backward slightly—and hold them that way—while you do arm curls.

Heal Faster

Don’t exercise when you’re sick—unless your symptoms are above the neck. And even then you might do better taking a day off. “Your body will use its resources to heal itself, not build muscle and endurance,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Santa Clarita, California.

Pick Up Your Pace

Increase the speed of your running strides—not their length—to get faster. Your foot should always land under your body, rather than out in front of it, and you should push off with the toes of your rear leg for propulsion.

Ditch the Weight Belt

Don’t train with a weight belt. Over time, regular training in a weight belt actually weakens your abdominal and lower-back muscles. Wear it only when attempting maximal lifts in such exercises as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

Ride More Efficiently

Practice cycling one-legged to ride more efficiently. This forces you to concentrate on pulling up at the bottom of the stroke, which better distributes the work among the major leg muscles. Lock both feet on your pedals, but let your left leg go limp while you do all the work with your right leg. Do this for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Ride normally for 5 minutes, then repeat the drill. Continue this way for a 20- to 30-minute workout.

Pay Now, Build Later

Pay your trainer in advance. “You’ll be more likely to follow through on exercise sessions,” says Mejia.

Flatten Your Gut

Work your invisible abdominal muscles. Your transversus abdominis lies beneath your rectus abdominis—the six-pack muscle—and flattens your waistline when you suck in your gut. Work it with the vacuum: Pull your belly button toward your spine and hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Repeat five times.

Stretch for Strength

Between sets, take 20 to 30 seconds to stretch the muscle you just worked. Boston researchers found that men who did this increased their strength by 20 percent.

Save Your Shoulders

Decrease the weight by 10 percent when you change your grip. So if you’ve been benchpressing 135 pounds for 10 repetitions with a medium grip, drop to 120 pounds when you switch to a wide grip. “You’ll be stressing your joints and muscles in a different way than they’re used to, which can cause injury,” says Kinakin.

Improve Quickness

For faster foot speed in sports, try this move: Start with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides. Lift your left foot in front of you, touch it with your right hand, and lower it to the floor. Lift your right foot, touch it with your left hand, and lower it. Then touch your left foot behind you with your right hand, then your right foot behind you with your left hand. Go for 20 seconds at a time, moving as fast as you can, and repeat for a total of three to five sets.

Repair Muscle Faster

Recover faster from a hard workout by lightly exercising the same muscles the following day. Use a light weight—about 20 percent of the weight you can lift one time—and do two sets of 25 repetitions. This will deliver more blood and nutrients into your muscles so they repair faster.

Dress Better

Buy only workout clothes that are black, white, or gray. They’ll go with everything, and you’ll never again waste time looking for a T-shirt that matches your gold-and-purple Lakers shorts.

Eat Meat and Grow

Eat meat—4 to 8 ounces every day—to grow more muscle. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared two groups of older male weight lifters: One group ate meat, the other didn’t. Both groups grew stronger, but only the carnivores gained significant muscle. Chicken, turkey, and fish count, too.

Save Time in the Gym

Don’t worry about specific rest periods between sets. Instead, rest as you need it—less in your early sets when your muscles are fresh, and more as they become fatigued. “You’ll cut your workout time between 15 and 20 percent,” says Staley.

Get Home-Run Power

To hit more home runs, swing with a slight uppercut at high pitches. The high swing utilizes your powerful hip and midsection muscles instead of just your hands and arms.

Shake a Defender

To come open for a pass in football, run near enough to your defender that you can shake his hand. The closer you get, the easier it’ll be to blow past him. As you close in on him, shorten your strides without slowing down—it’ll help you cut faster.

Stay in the Saddle

When you cycle, keep your pace between 80 and 110 rpm. You’ll ride farther and faster with less fatigue and knee strain. To gauge your pace, count how many times your right leg comes to the top of the pedal stroke in 10 seconds, then multiply that number by 6. The result is your pedal rpms.

Build Arms Faster

Work opposing muscle groups—your biceps and triceps, for instance—back-to-back for a faster workout. “While one muscle is working, the other is forced to rest,” says Staley. You won’t need as much time between sets.

Get a Better Handle

To improve your ball-handling skills in basketball, practice dribbling while wearing leather or canvas work gloves. The thickness of the gloves helps improve the sensitivity of your fingertips, so you’ll have better ball control when you take them off. Jason Williams, a Memphis Grizzlies guard, credits his ball-handling mastery to this training method.

Make More Contact

Play foosball to become a better softball hitter. It improves hand-eye coordination.

Improve Balance

Use a sofa cushion to improve your balance. Stand one-legged on the cushion and move a medicine ball (or a 1-gallon milk jug or heavy phone book) from hand to hand, side to side, and behind your head. Once you’ve mastered the move, try it with your eyes closed. “You’ll improve your balance, coordination, and body control, all important athletic attributes,” says Greg Brittenham, assistant coach of player development for the New York Knicks.

Get Stronger Fast

Do the same amount of exercise in 10 percent less time. It forces your muscles to work harder and improves your endurance at the same time. If it takes you 30 minutes to do a full-body workout on Monday, try to do it in 27 minutes on Wednesday.

See Ball, Hit Ball

Play better tennis by training your eyes to focus faster. You’ll hit more winners by learning to change your visual focus from distance, when your opponent is hitting the ball, to close up, when you’re hitting it. Try this drill while riding in a car: Focus on an object about a tennis-court length away. Then quickly shift focus to a closer object.

Double Dip Benefits

Do dips with your elbows in and your body straight to work your triceps. But lean forward and flare them out to focus on your chest.

Bench More Now

Look at your dominant hand—without turning your head—while you’re bench-pressing. “You’ll be able to lift more weight,” says Staley.

Do More Chinups

Don’t think about pulling yourself up when you do chinups. Instead, imagine pulling your elbows down. The exercise will seem easier.

Climb Like Spiderman

For rock or wall climbing, buy shoes that fit your bare feet so tightly you can stand but not walk comfortably. They’ll give you optimal control, and you’ll be better able to use your legs—the key to successful climbing.

Run Injury-Free

One week out of every six, cut your weekly training mileage and frequency in half. You’ll give your body a better chance to recover, and you’ll avoid permanent, nagging injuries. 

Drink Up, Get Lean

Drink low-fat milk. Scientists in Canada found that people who consumed more than 600 milligrams of calcium a day—roughly the amount in 2 cups of milk, a cup of broccoli, and a half cup of cottage cheese—had lower body fat than those who consumed less than 600 milligrams a day.

Slash Your Score

When you’re putting, aim high on breaks. “Whatever you think the break is, double it and you’ll come much closer to being correct,” says Dave Pelz, author of Dave Pelz’ Putting Bible and a consultant to dozens of PGA pros.

Multiply Your Muscles

Follow this simple formula to build more muscle: Multiply the amount of weight you lift for a particular exercise by the total number of times you lift it. Try to increase that number every workout by lifting heavier weights, increasing your repetitions, or doing more sets.

Be More Flexible

Spend twice as much time stretching your tight muscles as your flexible muscles. “Focus on problem areas instead of muscles that are already flexible,” says Bill Bandy, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. Typical problem areas for men: hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back.

Recover Faster

When you’re recovering from a muscle injury, begin exercising again as soon as you can. Try a few minutes at low intensity to test yourself. Go slowly—no explosive movements. If you experience pain, stop immediately. Afterward, ice the area for 20 minutes and exercise again the next day. You should be able to go a little harder and longer each workout.

Reach Your Goals

Set your goals in reverse. That is, pick a date of completion and work backward, writing down short-term goals as you go. “The goals then seem more like deadlines,” says Ballantyne.

Run Hills Faster

When running uphill, keep your head up and your eyes focused on the top of the hill. This opens your airways, making it easier to breathe than if your upper body were hunched forward.

Manage Your Middle

Do your ab exercises at the beginning of your workout if you can’t pass this test: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your legs bent—as if you had just performed a situp. Then place your fingers behind your ears with your elbows pulled back. Lower yourself to the floor as slowly as possible. “If it doesn’t take at least 5 seconds, you need to prioritize your abdominal training,” says the Australian strength coach Ian King.

Win a Marathon

To build speed and endurance, train like a Kenyan: Go slowly for the first third of your run, at a normal pace in the middle third, and at a faster-than-normal pace at the end. Gradually increase your starting pace each week, and you’ll increase your normal and fast paces, too.

Outdrive Your Pals

To hit a golf ball farther, take some practice swings from the opposite side. It strengthens and balances your muscles, which may help you clear that water hazard. Do a few opposite swings on the first three or four holes, or for a minute at the driving range.

Sit Back, Squat More

Use a bench to squat with perfect form. That is, stand in front of the bench when you squat. Lower yourself as if you were sitting down. When your butt touches the bench, push yourself back up. Try it with a light bar or a broomstick first.

Shake Your Muscles

Eat immediately after your workout. A 12-week study conducted by Danish researchers found that older men who drank a shake with 10 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of fat (about the same as in a cup of milk) within 5 minutes after their weight workout gained muscle, but men who consumed the drink 2 hours later did not. For a serious postworkout muscle-building shake, try this formula from Thomas Incledon, M.S., R.D.: Blend a half cup of fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt, a quarter cup of egg substitute, a cup of fat-free milk, a large banana, and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and drink. You’ll down 23 grams of protein, 52 grams of carbs, and only 4 grams of fat.

Get Stronger Legs

Do lunges in reverse. This forces your front leg to work throughout the entire exercise. Use the same movement pattern as in a traditional lunge, but step backward instead of forward.

Tape Your Jams

If you have a finger that is frequently jammed, tape it to a neighboring finger when you play sports. Together the two fingers will be stronger and less likely to bend at an odd angle.

Use Iron, Get The Lead Out

Lift weights to run faster. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that 8 weeks of resistance training improved experienced runners’ 5-K times by 30 seconds.

Save Your Back

Squeeze your butt muscles when you lift weights over your head. “You’ll force your body into a position that automatically stabilizes your spine, which lowers your risk of back injuries,” says Staley.

For a Better Warmup, Train Your Brain

Don’t forget to warm up your brain. “Preparing your central nervous system for activity is just as important as preparing your muscles,” says Vern Gambetta, former director of conditioning for the Chicago White Sox. That’s because your central nervous system tells your muscles when to contract. Try standing on one leg while you squat down, and touch the floor in front of it with your opposite hand. Do two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with each leg.

Loosen Your Hips

Keep your heels on the floor when you squat. If you can’t, your hip flexors are too tight. Try this stretch: Hold onto the sides of the squat rack and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to a standing position, then repeat five times.

Squeeze Out Gains

Squeeze the bar inward when you bench-press. This works more muscles in your chest. But squeeze it outward when you do the close-grip version of the exercise—this hits your triceps harder.

Make More Birdies

For straight-on putts, aim exactly 17 inches past the hole. That’s because the 17 inches of green surrounding the cup will be free of footprints, meaning blades of grass there are thicker and more upright and will slow down your putts dramatically.

Finish Faster

To save time, use the same weight for your entire workout. Pick the weight based on your weakest exercise—choose an amount you can lift only six to eight times—and do the moves in a circuit.

Save Your Calves

If you’re a runner and your calves feel tight when you wake up in the morning, try sleeping on your stomach with your feet hanging off the bed. Gravity will take over, lightly stretching the calf muscles all night.

Go Short, Get Fast

Go faster for shorter distances to improve your running form. You’ll not only perform better, but you’ll also be less susceptible to injuries.

Go Light, Get Strong

Lift light weights fast to build strength. Your muscles will generate as much force as if you were lifting a heavier weight more slowly. Try it with the bench press: Use a weight that’s 40 to 60 percent of what you can lift one time, and do eight sets of three repetitions, pushing the weight up as fast as possible. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Isolate Your Abs

When you do reverse crunches and hanging knee raises, round your back by rolling your hips and pelvis toward your chest, instead of simply raising your legs. Otherwise, you’re mainly working your hip flexors—the muscles at the top of your thighs.

Stay Healthy

If you’re not exercising at all, just try to fit in two 20-minute aerobic or weight-training sessions a week. Researchers at Oklahoma State University examined absentee records of 79,000 workers at 250 sites and found that those who did this minimal amount of exercise had fewer sick days than those who didn’t exercise at all.

Swipe the Rock

To make a steal in basketball, swipe up, not down. Refs and whiny opponents are just waiting for you to hack down on the ball. Flicking up is more subtle and surprising—and if you do poke the ball away, it’ll be higher and easier to grab.

Build Sprint Muscles

To sprint faster, work your hamstrings. They help you push off and develop speed. Try this variation of the leg curl: Pull the weight toward you with your ankles flexed (as you normally would) so that your toes are pointing toward your shins. But when you lower the weight, extend your ankles so that your toes are pointing away from your shins. Your hamstrings will work harder than with the traditional version of the exercise.

Get Up Faster

To mountain-bike uphill faster, edge forward in the saddle to distribute your weight more evenly between the front and rear wheels. If you slip back too far, you’ll cause the front wheel to skitter off the ground. If you lean too far forward, you’ll lose traction on the back tire.

Save Your Neck

When doing squats, rest the bar so that as much of it as possible is touching your shoulders. Holding it only on your lower neck causes the entire weight to compress your spine, which can lead to spinal and muscle injuries.

Isolate and Grow

Exercise one arm at time. Do a set of shoulder presses with your left arm, then do a set with your right. “You’ll get higher-quality sets than if you work both arms at the same time,” says Ballantyne.

Come Clean

Throw all your dirty workout clothes into one mesh laundry bag. At the end of the week, tie a knot in the bag and throw it in the washer. You’ll always know where your favorite workout shirts are, and you won’t have to touch your sweat socks when they’re fully ripe.

Squat for a Six-Pack

Do squats and deadlifts … to build your abs. Research shows that these two exercises force your abdominal muscles to do a significant amount of work to maintain your posture.

Flex for Muscle

When doing standing arm curls, completely straighten your arms by flexing your triceps at the end of each repetition. This ensures that you work the muscle through its entire range of motion.

Run Longer, Easier

When you run, breathe so that your belly rises as you inhale. This ensures that your lungs are inflating fully with oxygen, so you’ll be able to go longer. Practice by lying on your back and placing a book on your stomach. The book should rise when you breathe in.

Jump Higher

Do this simple jumping exercise to improve your vertical leap: Stand on the edge of a step that’s about 8 inches high. Step off backward with both feet. When your toes hit the ground, immediately jump back onto the step. Concentrate on pushing off the ground as quickly as possible, rather than on the height of your jump. “The speed of the jump is more important than the height,” says Brittenham. Do three to five sets of 10 to 20 repetitions twice a week.

Make the Catch

To catch a football, focus on the tip of the ball. You’ll watch the ball into your hands, instead of just tracking the blur. Plus, by concentrating on that specific spot, you’ll block out oncoming defenders.

Replace Your Shoes (Not Your Knees)

To avoid injuries, write an “expiration date” on your shoes as soon as you buy them. Shoes last about 500 miles, so simply divide 500 by your average weekly mileage to determine how many weeks your shoes are likely to last.

Get Up and at ‘Em

If you want to exercise before work but aren’t a morning person, try this trick: For a set period—say, 4 weeks—force yourself to get up 15 minutes earlier than normal and do any type of physical activity (walking, for instance). “Make it so easy that you don’t even have to change into your workout clothes,” says John Raglin, Ph.D., an exercise researcher. As you near the end of the 4 weeks, you’ll have a new habit and will then be able to progress to greater amounts of exercise.

Build Quality Quads

Push from your toes when you do leg presses. Your quadriceps will work harder.

Warm Up the Right Way

Skip the treadmill warmup before lifting weights. Instead, do a warmup that targets the muscles you’ll be using. For a full-body warmup, grab a bar and do two sets of 10 repetitions each of the squat, deadlift, bench press, and bent-over row.

Get a Better Grip

To strengthen your grip, wrap a towel around the bar when you do arm curls. It makes the bar thicker, which forces your forearm muscles to work harder.

Improve Your Max

Before you try a maximal lift, load the bar with a weight that’s 20 to 30 percent heavier than what you think you can handle. Then simply lift it off the rack, hold for 1 to 2 seconds, and put it back. Wait 3 to 4 minutes, then try your true max—the weight will feel noticeably lighter. Never attempt this without a spotter.

Avoid Burnout

To see if you’re overtraining, check your pulse first thing in the morning the day after a workout. If it’s 10 beats per minute or more above normal, your body is still recovering.

Skip Tendinitis

Use a shoulder-width grip when doing upright rows. Unlike the traditional narrow grip, it’ll help you avoid shoulder-impingement syndrome—an injury that causes tendinitis and bursitis.

Build Real Strength

Don’t use machine weights exclusively. A study at Georgia State University found that older adults using exercise machines improved their strength on the machines an average of 34 percent in 2 years. But their strength measures for everyday activities actually declined 3.5 percent.

Get a Big Back

Break cable rows into two parts. Hold the bar with your arms outstretched and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then pull the bar to your body.

Feed Your Muscles

Satisfy your sugar cravings immediately after your workout. Eat at least 20 grams along with some protein. The sugar will help carry protein to the muscles you’ve just worked. So have a soda with your tuna sandwich, but limit your sugar intake the rest of the day.

End Back Pain

For every set of abdominal exercises you perform, do a set of lower-back exercises. Focusing only on your abs can lead to poor posture and lower-back pain.

Stop Screwing Up

Don’t try to lose your gut by working your abs. Researchers at the University of Virginia found that it takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat—that’s 100 crunches a day for 7 years.

(Source: happyhealthy-ashley, via fatskinnygirl)

downtownn:

Level 3
Scroll down to find my other levels. Start from level one, it’s like a video game!
Don’t re-blog with negative things. If you disagree, let ME know (;

downtownn:

Level 3

Scroll down to find my other levels. Start from level one, it’s like a video game!

  • Don’t re-blog with negative things. If you disagree, let ME know (;

(via skinnnnysummer)

berryhealthy:

gettin’ slim without the gym | tone it up | full video here

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50 Amazingly Helpful Tips For The Kitchen

icanhasflatstomachplez:

1. For cleaning smelly hands after chopping onions or garlic, just rub them on a stainless steel spoon. The steel is supposed to absorb the odor.

2. Fresh coffee beans can also absorb nasty odors from your hands.

3. If you happen to over-salt a pot of soup, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb the excess salt.

4. When boiling eggs, add a pinch of salt to keep the shells from cracking.

5. Never put citrus fruits or tomatoes in the fridge. The low temperatures degrade the aroma and flavor of these persnickety fruits.

6. To clean cast iron cookwear, don’t use detergents. Just scrub them with salt and a clean, dry paper towel.

7. Will milk curdle if it is allowed to boil? It turns out that this age-old piece of wisdom isn’t true, after all. Milk that has been boiled is perfectly safe to consume.

8. To clean an electric kettle with calcium buildup on the heating element, boil a mixture of half white vinegar and half water, then empty.

9. When storing empty airtight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to keep them from getting stinky.

10. If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.

11. Burned a pot of rice? Just place a piece of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes to draw out the burned flavor. Be careful not to scrape the burned pieces off of the bottom of the pan when serving the rice.

12. Before you chop chili peppers, rub a little vegetable oil into your hands and your skin won’t absorb the spicy chili oil.

13. If you aren’t sure how fresh your eggs are, place them in about four inches of water. Eggs that stay on the bottom are fresh. If only one end tips up, the egg is less fresh and should be used soon. If it floats, it’s past the fresh stage.

14. To banish ants from the kitchen, find out where they are coming in and cover the hole with petroleum jelly. Ants won’t trek through the jelly. If they are coming under a door, draw a line on the floor with chalk. The little bugs also won’t cross a line of chalk.

15. Before making popcorn on the stove or in an air popper, soak the kernels in water for 10 minutes. Drain the water, then pop as normal. The additional moisture helps the popcorn pop up quicker and fluffier with fewer “old maids.”

16. Don’t store your bananas in a bunch or in a fruit bowl with other fruits. Separate your bananas and place each in a different location. Bananas release gases which cause fruits (including other bananas) to ripen quickly. Separating them will keep them fresh longer.

17. To keep potatoes from budding in the bag, put an apple in with them.

18. If you manage to have some leftover wine at the end of the evening, freeze it in ice cube trays for easy addition to soups and sauces in the future.

19. To clean crevices and corners in vases and pitchers, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets. The bubbles will do the scrubbing.

20. After boiling pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your house plants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love.

21. When you clean your fish tank, the water you drain can also be used to water your house plants. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fish droppings make aquarium water a great fertilizer.

22. When defrosting meat from the freezer, pour some vinegar over it. Not only does it tenderize the meat; it will also bring down the freezing temperature of the meat and cause it to thaw quicker.

23. The substance in onions that causes your eyes to water is located in the root cluster of the onion. Cut this part out in a cone shape, with the largest part of the cone around the exterior root section.

24. Taking the top layer off of a onion can also reduce the amount of eye-watering misery.

25. Toothpaste is a great silver cleaner.

26. Baking soda isn’t as effective a deodorizer for the fridge as that baking soda company would like you to believe. Activated charcoal is much better at absorbing fridge and freezer odors.

27. Baking soda is an extremely effective cleaner, though. Use it with vinegar to deodorize drains and clean stovetops and sinks.

28. A favorite tip of thousands of grandmas: when you nick your finger while cutting veggies, wait until the bleeding stops and paint on a layer of clear nail polish. It will keep juices out of the wound and won’t fall off into the spaghetti sauce like a bandage.

29. The jury is still out on what to put in the bag of brown sugar to keep it from going hard: a slice of apple, a piece of bread, and a shard of a terra cotta pot have all been used.

30. Got a nasty invisible splinter from your kitchen tools? Put a piece of adhesive tape on the area and then pull it off to remove the splinter.

31. When you burn yourself in the kitchen, just spread mustard on the affected area. Leave it for a while and it will ease the pain and prevent blistering.

32. For aluminum pans that are looking dull, just boil some apple peels in them. This will brighten up the aluminum and make your house smell yummy.

33. To keep cookies fresh, savvy grannies like to put some crumpled-up tissue paper in the bottom of the cookie jar.

34. If your salt is clumping up, put a few grains of rice in with it to absorb excess moisture.

35. To clean fruit stains off of your fingers, rub them with a fresh, peeled potato. White vinegar can also do the trick.

36. Keep iceberg lettuce fresh in the fridge by wrapping it in a clean, dry paper towel and storing lettuce and paper towel in a sealed baggie in the fridge.

37. If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, just put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. For some reason, this restores a fresh taste and texture to the bread.

38. Always keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen. It’s invaluable when you scrape your arm or burn your finger. Just break off a leaf and rub the gel from the inside on the injury.

39. When making a soup, sauce, or casserole that ends up too fatty or greasy, drop in an ice cube. The ice will attract the fat, which you can then scoop out.

40. To reuse cooking oil without tasting whatever was cooked in the oil previously, cook a 1/4″ piece of ginger in the oil. It will remove any remaining flavors and odors.

41. If your milk always goes bad before you can finish it, try adding a pinch of salt to the carton when you first open it. It will stay fresh days longer.

42. Water that has been boiled and allowed to cool will freeze faster than water from the tap. This comes in handy when you’re having a party and need ice pronto.

43. Remove tea or coffee stains from your fine china by mixing up a paste of baking soda, lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Rub it over the stains and they’ll come off easily.

44. If two drinking glasses become stuck together after stacking, it’s not impossible to unstick them. Just put ice in the inner glass and dunk the outer glass in warm water. The warm glass will expand and the cold glass will contract, making the glasses separate easily.

45. For splinters under the fingernail, soaking the affected finger in a bowl of milk with a piece of bread in it is said to draw out the splinter.

46. Did grandpa ever give you a drink of cola for an upset tummy? It turns out that this is actually a pretty effective remedy. The sugar and carbonation can soothe many tummy problems - but it can also exacerbate others.

47. Putting salty bacon on a boil is said to “draw the poison out” of boils.

48. To help old wooden drawers (without runners) open and close smoothly, rub a candle on the tracks.

49. A cotton ball soaked in white vinegar and applied to a fresh bruise will reduce the darkness of the bruise and help it disappear sooner.

50. Drinking cranberry juice and eating blueberries regularly will help stave off urinary tract infections.

I put in a pinch of salt to stop an egg for cracking when I boiled it this morning— and it worked!

(Source: healthylivingforyou, via boomsquatthefuckdown)

The 100 Best Fitness Tips

livelaughlovehealthy:

A great tip is an awesome thing. Whether it’s an undiscovered restaurant, a sleeper stock, or a Sure Thing in the late double at Pimlico, savvy inside info imbues a man with confidence. Control. Strength.

Knowledge is power, baby.

It’s also the secret to a powerful body, as you’re about to find out. In our never-ending mission to get you in the greatest shape of your life, we’ve grilled the world’s top experts and combed our own archives to find 100 perfect fitness training tips—small gems that will make a huge difference in any man’s life.

Get ready: You’re about to feel the power—and have the body to show for it.

And for even more ways to shape your body, check out The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises. With complete instructions of more than 600 exercises, along with hundreds of workouts and useful tips, it’s the most comprehensive guide to fitness ever created.

Do Them Right: To maximize your workout, good form is a must. Men’s Health Personal Trainer features videos demos that you can download and take with you to the gym. Find out more. 



Build Better Abs

Don’t work your abdominal muscles every day. “Physiologically, your abs are like any other muscle in your body,” says David Pearson, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an exercise scientist at Ball State University. Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.

Protect Your Neck

Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. “It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain,” says Michael Mejia, C.S.C.S., Men’s Health exercise advisor. 

Keep Muscles Limber

If you’re under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you’re over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer.

Don’t Drop the Ball

To catch a pop fly in the sun, use your glove to shade your eyes. It’s bigger than your free hand and puts the leather in perfect position to snag the ball.

Grow Muscle, Save Time

Keep your weight workouts under an hour. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a testosterone-blocking, muscle-wasting effect.

Exercise in Order

Use dumbbells, barbells, and machines—in that order. “The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups,” says Charles Staley, a strength coach in Las Vegas.  So progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.

Strengthen Your Core

Don’t be afraid of situps. We’ve changed our tune on these, and here’s why: Situps increase your range of motion, which makes your abdominals work harder and longer. (Doing crunches on a Swiss ball or with a rolled-up towel under your lower back has a similar effect.) Just avoid situps with anchored feet, which can hurt your lower back.

Test the Bench

Press your thumb into the bench before lifting. “If you can feel the wood, find another bench,” says Ken Kinakin, a chiropractor in Canada and founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists. Hard benches can cause T4 syndrome—a misalignment of your thoracic spine that affects the nerve function of your arm, weakening it.

Swim Faster

To build speed in swimming, develop your ankle flexibility. Flexible feet will act like flippers and propel you faster through the water. To increase your flipper flex, do this: Sit on the floor with your shoes off. Extend your legs in front of you, heels on the floor. Point your toes straight out as far as possible, then flex them toward your shins as far as you can. Repeat for 1 minute.

Buy Shoes That Fit

Shop for workout shoes late in the day. That’s when your feet are the largest. Make sure there’s a half inch of space in front of your longest toe, and that you can easily wiggle your toes. Then slip off the shoes and compare them with your bare feet. If each shoe isn’t obviously wider and longer than your foot, go half a size bigger.

Kill Your Excuse

If you think you’re too busy to exercise, try this experiment: For one day, schedule a time to work out, and then stick to it—even if you can exercise for only 10 minutes. “At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were any less productive than usual,” says John Jakicic, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at the Brown University school of medicine. The answer will probably be no—and your favorite excuse will be gone.

Help Your Forehand

To build forearm strength for tennis and racquetball, crumple newspaper: Lay a newspaper sheet on a flat surface. Start at one corner and crumple it into a ball with your dominant hand for 30 seconds. Repeat with your other hand.

Muscle Up Your Back

When doing lat pulldowns, don’t wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you’ll work your back harder. Works for pullups, too.

Drink A Pint, Get Ripped

If you’re a beginner, train to failure—the point at which you absolutely can’t do another repetition—then throw back a pint. In a new study, beginners who trained to failure with three sets of six exercises per day then drank a supplement immediately afterward gained over 5 pounds of muscle in just 8 weeks. A pint of 1 percent chocolate milk will provide all the nutrients you need to achieve the same result.

Lose Your Weak Spot

If you don’t like an exercise, start doing it. “You’re probably avoiding it because you’re weak at it,” says Mejia.

Overcome Injuries, Build Big Arms

If you hurt your right arm, don’t stop exercising your left arm. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma found that people who trained only one arm for 2 weeks managed to increase arm strength in their nonexercising arm up to 10 percent. The reason: Exercising one arm stimulates the muscle nerve fibers in the opposite arm.

Cut Pain, Increase Gain

Count your repetitions backward. When you near the end of the set, you’ll think about how many you have left instead of how many you’ve done.

Turn Heads with Your Legs

Do standing and seated calf raises. You’ll get better results. “Your calves are made up of two different muscles, so you have to do the straight-leg and the bent-leg versions of the exercise to hit them both,” says Mejia.

Keep Your Stats, See Amazing Results

Test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, body fat, bench press—that equates to your end goal. “It’ll show you the tangible results of your training,” says Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Canada. And that translates into motivation.

Kill the Pill

Don’t pop a pill after you work out. Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found that ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) were no more effective than a placebo in relieving postexercise muscle soreness. More important, they say the drugs may actually suppress muscle growth when taken after a workout.

Putt Like a Pro

Roll a golf ball across the carpet to improve your putting. The distance doesn’t matter. Just toss it by hand and try to make it stop at a specific target. You’ll hone your ability to judge speed and line without even picking up a club.

Blow Off Your Belly

Exhale forcefully at the top of the movement when you do abdominal crunches. It forces your abs to work harder.

Build Big Biceps

Bend your wrists to work your biceps harder. That is, extend them backward slightly—and hold them that way—while you do arm curls.

Heal Faster

Don’t exercise when you’re sick—unless your symptoms are above the neck. And even then you might do better taking a day off. “Your body will use its resources to heal itself, not build muscle and endurance,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., a trainer in Santa Clarita, California.

Pick Up Your Pace

Increase the speed of your running strides—not their length—to get faster. Your foot should always land under your body, rather than out in front of it, and you should push off with the toes of your rear leg for propulsion.

Ditch the Weight Belt

Don’t train with a weight belt. Over time, regular training in a weight belt actually weakens your abdominal and lower-back muscles. Wear it only when attempting maximal lifts in such exercises as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

Ride More Efficiently

Practice cycling one-legged to ride more efficiently. This forces you to concentrate on pulling up at the bottom of the stroke, which better distributes the work among the major leg muscles. Lock both feet on your pedals, but let your left leg go limp while you do all the work with your right leg. Do this for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Ride normally for 5 minutes, then repeat the drill. Continue this way for a 20- to 30-minute workout.

Pay Now, Build Later

Pay your trainer in advance. “You’ll be more likely to follow through on exercise sessions,” says Mejia.

Flatten Your Gut

Work your invisible abdominal muscles. Your transversus abdominis lies beneath your rectus abdominis—the six-pack muscle—and flattens your waistline when you suck in your gut. Work it with the vacuum: Pull your belly button toward your spine and hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally. Repeat five times.

Stretch for Strength

Between sets, take 20 to 30 seconds to stretch the muscle you just worked. Boston researchers found that men who did this increased their strength by 20 percent.

Save Your Shoulders

Decrease the weight by 10 percent when you change your grip. So if you’ve been benchpressing 135 pounds for 10 repetitions with a medium grip, drop to 120 pounds when you switch to a wide grip. “You’ll be stressing your joints and muscles in a different way than they’re used to, which can cause injury,” says Kinakin.

Improve Quickness

For faster foot speed in sports, try this move: Start with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides. Lift your left foot in front of you, touch it with your right hand, and lower it to the floor. Lift your right foot, touch it with your left hand, and lower it. Then touch your left foot behind you with your right hand, then your right foot behind you with your left hand. Go for 20 seconds at a time, moving as fast as you can, and repeat for a total of three to five sets.

Repair Muscle Faster

Recover faster from a hard workout by lightly exercising the same muscles the following day. Use a light weight—about 20 percent of the weight you can lift one time—and do two sets of 25 repetitions. This will deliver more blood and nutrients into your muscles so they repair faster.

Dress Better

Buy only workout clothes that are black, white, or gray. They’ll go with everything, and you’ll never again waste time looking for a T-shirt that matches your gold-and-purple Lakers shorts.

Eat Meat and Grow

Eat meat—4 to 8 ounces every day—to grow more muscle. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared two groups of older male weight lifters: One group ate meat, the other didn’t. Both groups grew stronger, but only the carnivores gained significant muscle. Chicken, turkey, and fish count, too.

Save Time in the Gym

Don’t worry about specific rest periods between sets. Instead, rest as you need it—less in your early sets when your muscles are fresh, and more as they become fatigued. “You’ll cut your workout time between 15 and 20 percent,” says Staley.

Get Home-Run Power

To hit more home runs, swing with a slight uppercut at high pitches. The high swing utilizes your powerful hip and midsection muscles instead of just your hands and arms.

Shake a Defender

To come open for a pass in football, run near enough to your defender that you can shake his hand. The closer you get, the easier it’ll be to blow past him. As you close in on him, shorten your strides without slowing down—it’ll help you cut faster.

Stay in the Saddle

When you cycle, keep your pace between 80 and 110 rpm. You’ll ride farther and faster with less fatigue and knee strain. To gauge your pace, count how many times your right leg comes to the top of the pedal stroke in 10 seconds, then multiply that number by 6. The result is your pedal rpms.

Build Arms Faster

Work opposing muscle groups—your biceps and triceps, for instance—back-to-back for a faster workout. “While one muscle is working, the other is forced to rest,” says Staley. You won’t need as much time between sets.

Get a Better Handle

To improve your ball-handling skills in basketball, practice dribbling while wearing leather or canvas work gloves. The thickness of the gloves helps improve the sensitivity of your fingertips, so you’ll have better ball control when you take them off. Jason Williams, a Memphis Grizzlies guard, credits his ball-handling mastery to this training method.

Make More Contact

Play foosball to become a better softball hitter. It improves hand-eye coordination.

Improve Balance

Use a sofa cushion to improve your balance. Stand one-legged on the cushion and move a medicine ball (or a 1-gallon milk jug or heavy phone book) from hand to hand, side to side, and behind your head. Once you’ve mastered the move, try it with your eyes closed. “You’ll improve your balance, coordination, and body control, all important athletic attributes,” says Greg Brittenham, assistant coach of player development for the New York Knicks.

Get Stronger Fast

Do the same amount of exercise in 10 percent less time. It forces your muscles to work harder and improves your endurance at the same time. If it takes you 30 minutes to do a full-body workout on Monday, try to do it in 27 minutes on Wednesday.

See Ball, Hit Ball

Play better tennis by training your eyes to focus faster. You’ll hit more winners by learning to change your visual focus from distance, when your opponent is hitting the ball, to close up, when you’re hitting it. Try this drill while riding in a car: Focus on an object about a tennis-court length away. Then quickly shift focus to a closer object.

Double Dip Benefits

Do dips with your elbows in and your body straight to work your triceps. But lean forward and flare them out to focus on your chest.

Bench More Now

Look at your dominant hand—without turning your head—while you’re bench-pressing. “You’ll be able to lift more weight,” says Staley.

Do More Chinups

Don’t think about pulling yourself up when you do chinups. Instead, imagine pulling your elbows down. The exercise will seem easier.

Climb Like Spiderman

For rock or wall climbing, buy shoes that fit your bare feet so tightly you can stand but not walk comfortably. They’ll give you optimal control, and you’ll be better able to use your legs—the key to successful climbing.

Run Injury-Free

One week out of every six, cut your weekly training mileage and frequency in half. You’ll give your body a better chance to recover, and you’ll avoid permanent, nagging injuries. 

Drink Up, Get Lean

Drink low-fat milk. Scientists in Canada found that people who consumed more than 600 milligrams of calcium a day—roughly the amount in 2 cups of milk, a cup of broccoli, and a half cup of cottage cheese—had lower body fat than those who consumed less than 600 milligrams a day.

Slash Your Score

When you’re putting, aim high on breaks. “Whatever you think the break is, double it and you’ll come much closer to being correct,” says Dave Pelz, author of Dave Pelz’ Putting Bible and a consultant to dozens of PGA pros.

Multiply Your Muscles

Follow this simple formula to build more muscle: Multiply the amount of weight you lift for a particular exercise by the total number of times you lift it. Try to increase that number every workout by lifting heavier weights, increasing your repetitions, or doing more sets.

Be More Flexible

Spend twice as much time stretching your tight muscles as your flexible muscles. “Focus on problem areas instead of muscles that are already flexible,” says Bill Bandy, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. Typical problem areas for men: hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back.

Recover Faster

When you’re recovering from a muscle injury, begin exercising again as soon as you can. Try a few minutes at low intensity to test yourself. Go slowly—no explosive movements. If you experience pain, stop immediately. Afterward, ice the area for 20 minutes and exercise again the next day. You should be able to go a little harder and longer each workout.

Reach Your Goals

Set your goals in reverse. That is, pick a date of completion and work backward, writing down short-term goals as you go. “The goals then seem more like deadlines,” says Ballantyne.

Run Hills Faster

When running uphill, keep your head up and your eyes focused on the top of the hill. This opens your airways, making it easier to breathe than if your upper body were hunched forward.

Manage Your Middle

Do your ab exercises at the beginning of your workout if you can’t pass this test: Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your legs bent—as if you had just performed a situp. Then place your fingers behind your ears with your elbows pulled back. Lower yourself to the floor as slowly as possible. “If it doesn’t take at least 5 seconds, you need to prioritize your abdominal training,” says the Australian strength coach Ian King.

Win a Marathon

To build speed and endurance, train like a Kenyan: Go slowly for the first third of your run, at a normal pace in the middle third, and at a faster-than-normal pace at the end. Gradually increase your starting pace each week, and you’ll increase your normal and fast paces, too.

Outdrive Your Pals

To hit a golf ball farther, take some practice swings from the opposite side. It strengthens and balances your muscles, which may help you clear that water hazard. Do a few opposite swings on the first three or four holes, or for a minute at the driving range.

Sit Back, Squat More

Use a bench to squat with perfect form. That is, stand in front of the bench when you squat. Lower yourself as if you were sitting down. When your butt touches the bench, push yourself back up. Try it with a light bar or a broomstick first.

Shake Your Muscles

Eat immediately after your workout. A 12-week study conducted by Danish researchers found that older men who drank a shake with 10 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of fat (about the same as in a cup of milk) within 5 minutes after their weight workout gained muscle, but men who consumed the drink 2 hours later did not. For a serious postworkout muscle-building shake, try this formula from Thomas Incledon, M.S., R.D.: Blend a half cup of fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt, a quarter cup of egg substitute, a cup of fat-free milk, a large banana, and a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and drink. You’ll down 23 grams of protein, 52 grams of carbs, and only 4 grams of fat.

Get Stronger Legs

Do lunges in reverse. This forces your front leg to work throughout the entire exercise. Use the same movement pattern as in a traditional lunge, but step backward instead of forward.

Tape Your Jams

If you have a finger that is frequently jammed, tape it to a neighboring finger when you play sports. Together the two fingers will be stronger and less likely to bend at an odd angle.

Use Iron, Get The Lead Out

Lift weights to run faster. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that 8 weeks of resistance training improved experienced runners’ 5-K times by 30 seconds.

Save Your Back

Squeeze your butt muscles when you lift weights over your head. “You’ll force your body into a position that automatically stabilizes your spine, which lowers your risk of back injuries,” says Staley.

For a Better Warmup, Train Your Brain

Don’t forget to warm up your brain. “Preparing your central nervous system for activity is just as important as preparing your muscles,” says Vern Gambetta, former director of conditioning for the Chicago White Sox. That’s because your central nervous system tells your muscles when to contract. Try standing on one leg while you squat down, and touch the floor in front of it with your opposite hand. Do two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with each leg.

Loosen Your Hips

Keep your heels on the floor when you squat. If you can’t, your hip flexors are too tight. Try this stretch: Hold onto the sides of the squat rack and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to a standing position, then repeat five times.

Squeeze Out Gains

Squeeze the bar inward when you bench-press. This works more muscles in your chest. But squeeze it outward when you do the close-grip version of the exercise—this hits your triceps harder.

Make More Birdies

For straight-on putts, aim exactly 17 inches past the hole. That’s because the 17 inches of green surrounding the cup will be free of footprints, meaning blades of grass there are thicker and more upright and will slow down your putts dramatically.

Finish Faster

To save time, use the same weight for your entire workout. Pick the weight based on your weakest exercise—choose an amount you can lift only six to eight times—and do the moves in a circuit.

Save Your Calves

If you’re a runner and your calves feel tight when you wake up in the morning, try sleeping on your stomach with your feet hanging off the bed. Gravity will take over, lightly stretching the calf muscles all night.

Go Short, Get Fast

Go faster for shorter distances to improve your running form. You’ll not only perform better, but you’ll also be less susceptible to injuries.

Go Light, Get Strong

Lift light weights fast to build strength. Your muscles will generate as much force as if you were lifting a heavier weight more slowly. Try it with the bench press: Use a weight that’s 40 to 60 percent of what you can lift one time, and do eight sets of three repetitions, pushing the weight up as fast as possible. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Isolate Your Abs

When you do reverse crunches and hanging knee raises, round your back by rolling your hips and pelvis toward your chest, instead of simply raising your legs. Otherwise, you’re mainly working your hip flexors—the muscles at the top of your thighs.

Stay Healthy

If you’re not exercising at all, just try to fit in two 20-minute aerobic or weight-training sessions a week. Researchers at Oklahoma State University examined absentee records of 79,000 workers at 250 sites and found that those who did this minimal amount of exercise had fewer sick days than those who didn’t exercise at all.

Swipe the Rock

To make a steal in basketball, swipe up, not down. Refs and whiny opponents are just waiting for you to hack down on the ball. Flicking up is more subtle and surprising—and if you do poke the ball away, it’ll be higher and easier to grab.

Build Sprint Muscles

To sprint faster, work your hamstrings. They help you push off and develop speed. Try this variation of the leg curl: Pull the weight toward you with your ankles flexed (as you normally would) so that your toes are pointing toward your shins. But when you lower the weight, extend your ankles so that your toes are pointing away from your shins. Your hamstrings will work harder than with the traditional version of the exercise.

Get Up Faster

To mountain-bike uphill faster, edge forward in the saddle to distribute your weight more evenly between the front and rear wheels. If you slip back too far, you’ll cause the front wheel to skitter off the ground. If you lean too far forward, you’ll lose traction on the back tire.

Save Your Neck

When doing squats, rest the bar so that as much of it as possible is touching your shoulders. Holding it only on your lower neck causes the entire weight to compress your spine, which can lead to spinal and muscle injuries.

Isolate and Grow

Exercise one arm at time. Do a set of shoulder presses with your left arm, then do a set with your right. “You’ll get higher-quality sets than if you work both arms at the same time,” says Ballantyne.

Come Clean

Throw all your dirty workout clothes into one mesh laundry bag. At the end of the week, tie a knot in the bag and throw it in the washer. You’ll always know where your favorite workout shirts are, and you won’t have to touch your sweat socks when they’re fully ripe.

Squat for a Six-Pack

Do squats and deadlifts … to build your abs. Research shows that these two exercises force your abdominal muscles to do a significant amount of work to maintain your posture.

Flex for Muscle

When doing standing arm curls, completely straighten your arms by flexing your triceps at the end of each repetition. This ensures that you work the muscle through its entire range of motion.

Run Longer, Easier

When you run, breathe so that your belly rises as you inhale. This ensures that your lungs are inflating fully with oxygen, so you’ll be able to go longer. Practice by lying on your back and placing a book on your stomach. The book should rise when you breathe in.

Jump Higher

Do this simple jumping exercise to improve your vertical leap: Stand on the edge of a step that’s about 8 inches high. Step off backward with both feet. When your toes hit the ground, immediately jump back onto the step. Concentrate on pushing off the ground as quickly as possible, rather than on the height of your jump. “The speed of the jump is more important than the height,” says Brittenham. Do three to five sets of 10 to 20 repetitions twice a week.

Make the Catch

To catch a football, focus on the tip of the ball. You’ll watch the ball into your hands, instead of just tracking the blur. Plus, by concentrating on that specific spot, you’ll block out oncoming defenders.

Replace Your Shoes (Not Your Knees)

To avoid injuries, write an “expiration date” on your shoes as soon as you buy them. Shoes last about 500 miles, so simply divide 500 by your average weekly mileage to determine how many weeks your shoes are likely to last.

Get Up and at ‘Em

If you want to exercise before work but aren’t a morning person, try this trick: For a set period—say, 4 weeks—force yourself to get up 15 minutes earlier than normal and do any type of physical activity (walking, for instance). “Make it so easy that you don’t even have to change into your workout clothes,” says John Raglin, Ph.D., an exercise researcher. As you near the end of the 4 weeks, you’ll have a new habit and will then be able to progress to greater amounts of exercise.

Build Quality Quads

Push from your toes when you do leg presses. Your quadriceps will work harder.

Warm Up the Right Way

Skip the treadmill warmup before lifting weights. Instead, do a warmup that targets the muscles you’ll be using. For a full-body warmup, grab a bar and do two sets of 10 repetitions each of the squat, deadlift, bench press, and bent-over row.

Get a Better Grip

To strengthen your grip, wrap a towel around the bar when you do arm curls. It makes the bar thicker, which forces your forearm muscles to work harder.

Improve Your Max

Before you try a maximal lift, load the bar with a weight that’s 20 to 30 percent heavier than what you think you can handle. Then simply lift it off the rack, hold for 1 to 2 seconds, and put it back. Wait 3 to 4 minutes, then try your true max—the weight will feel noticeably lighter. Never attempt this without a spotter.

Avoid Burnout

To see if you’re overtraining, check your pulse first thing in the morning the day after a workout. If it’s 10 beats per minute or more above normal, your body is still recovering.

Skip Tendinitis

Use a shoulder-width grip when doing upright rows. Unlike the traditional narrow grip, it’ll help you avoid shoulder-impingement syndrome—an injury that causes tendinitis and bursitis.

Build Real Strength

Don’t use machine weights exclusively. A study at Georgia State University found that older adults using exercise machines improved their strength on the machines an average of 34 percent in 2 years. But their strength measures for everyday activities actually declined 3.5 percent.

Get a Big Back

Break cable rows into two parts. Hold the bar with your arms outstretched and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then pull the bar to your body.

Feed Your Muscles

Satisfy your sugar cravings immediately after your workout. Eat at least 20 grams along with some protein. The sugar will help carry protein to the muscles you’ve just worked. So have a soda with your tuna sandwich, but limit your sugar intake the rest of the day.

End Back Pain

For every set of abdominal exercises you perform, do a set of lower-back exercises. Focusing only on your abs can lead to poor posture and lower-back pain.

Stop Screwing Up

Don’t try to lose your gut by working your abs. Researchers at the University of Virginia found that it takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat—that’s 100 crunches a day for 7 years.

(Source: happyhealthy-ashley, via fatskinnygirl)

downtownn:

Level 3
Scroll down to find my other levels. Start from level one, it’s like a video game!
Don’t re-blog with negative things. If you disagree, let ME know (;

downtownn:

Level 3

Scroll down to find my other levels. Start from level one, it’s like a video game!

  • Don’t re-blog with negative things. If you disagree, let ME know (;

(via skinnnnysummer)

Set your alarm for 6am. Don’t groan when it goes off and pull the covers over your head, get up and start your day. Put on a baggy top and running shorts. Go downstairs and pour yourself a nice big glass of ice water. Cut up some fruit and mix it in with yogurt. Add some granola. Now go outside. Stretch for 10 minutes. Skip for 5 minutes. Jog for 10 minutes. Run for 10 minutes. Walk back. Lay out a towel on the ground and lie down on it. Do 50 crunches. Yes, they hurt, but they are 100% worth it. When you’re done, get in the shower. Use a nice smelling shampoo and matching conditioner. Shave your legs and wash your body. Exfoliate your face. Get out of the shower and let your hair air dry. Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? If you do, good for you. Do this every day and you will continue to love yourself. If you don’t like what you see, do this every day and pretty soon you will. Being lazy might feel good at the time, but being active feels better in the long run. How badly do you want it?

About:

since september 2011 i've lost 10 pounds with light dieting and exercise. this is my motivation blog.

as of november 19, 2011, i'm 13 pounds away from my goal weight and 18 pounds from my dream weight.

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