What Are The Main Benefits Of Strength Training?

Main Benefits Of Strength Training

Regular exercise helps reduce weight and minimize the risk of developing certain disease. Staying active strengthens the muscles and joints and keeps the tendons and ligaments flexible, allowing you to move more easily and avoid injury. Strong muscles and ligaments reduce your risk of joint and back pain by keeping the joints in proper alignment. They also improve coordination and balance. The more muscle you develop, the higher your metabolic rate becomes, so you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. Strength training is a training program that builds muscle and supports weight control. Here are the key advantages of strength training:

  • Improves strength and promotes good health: Having good muscle strength is important to perform daily activities easily, especially when you get older and start losing muscle. Strength training makes you stronger because it involves strengthening and toning the muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. There are two types of resistance training

    (i) isometrics resistance that involves contraction of the muscle against non moving object
    (ii) isotonic strength training in which the muscles maintain equal tone or tension while a movement is performed

  • Protects bone health and muscle mass: By the time you turn 30, you begin to lose 3 to 4 percent of lean muscle mass per year. As per a study published in 2017 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 30 minutes of intense training once in two weeks can improve functional performance, bone density, structure, and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. For everyone, muscle-strengthening activities help preserve or increase muscle mass, strength, and power, which are essential for bone, joint, and muscle health as we age.
  • Better body mechanics: Strength training helps with balance, coordination and posture. According to a study, older people fall frequently due to worse physical functioning. Strength training helps strengthen muscles and reduces risk of falling.
  • Prevents weight gain: Exercises such as aerobics, yoga, running, walking, etc., help burn a lot of calories and support your weight loss efforts, and also improve metabolism. According to a study published in the Journal Obesity in November 2017, dieters who did strength training exercises four times a week for 18 months lost the most fat compared to dieters who didn’t exercise and those who did only aerobic exercise.
  • Burns more calories: Your body burns calories not only during strength training but also after strength training, which called excess post exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. When you do strength, weight, or resistance training, your body needs more energy based on how much energy you’re exerting. This means that more calories burned during the work out as well as post work out.
  • Improves energy level and mood: Strength training boosts energy levels and improves mood because it increases the level of endorphins in the body. Researchers found that such workouts have a positive effect on the brain and also improve quality of sleep.
  • Helps manage chronic diseases: Studies have shown that strength training helps manage some chronic diseases. If you have arthritis, strength training can be as effective as medication in decreasing arthritis pain. It also helps to control glucose in people who have Type 2 diabetes.

If you are planning to start strength or resistance training, you don’t have go to the gym or buy expensive weights. You can do chair squats, push-ups, planks, or other movements at home. These exercises require you to use your own body weight as resistance and can be very effective You can even get an expert to chart out a strength training program that works for you. Make sure that you start slow and use the correct weight for optimal results. Increasing the number of sets or reps or time between sets, choosing different exercises, and varying your speed can make your workout session more interesting and fun.

Morning Habits to Boost Your Metabolism

Morning Habits to Boost Your MetabolismThe term “metabolism” describes all the chemical reactions in your body that keep your body alive and functioning. It is very important to keep your metabolism high, especially if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Increasing metabolism can also boost energy and make you feel better.

Your metabolism depends on various things, from the type of food you eat to the amount of sleep you get. Though we’re all born with a certain metabolic level, some people (due to genetics) are blessed with speedier metabolism than others. Making certain lifestyle changes can increase your metabolism naturally and give you more energy.

  • Regular exercise: Early morning workouts boost your metabolism and help the body burn calories all day long. One study found that 45 minutes of cardio exercise helped to speed up energy expenditure for up to 14 hours afterwards (www.msn.com). Cardio interval training also increases post-exercise oxygen consumption and metabolism for up to 24 hours afterwards.
  • Stay hydrated: Start your morning with a glass of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Besides avoiding the negative effects associated with dehydration, this will help the body to expel toxins, keep skin clear and moisturized, and keep muscles energized. If you cannot have plain water morning, drink warm lemon water. It helps your body rehydrate after sleep, flushes out toxins, stimulates the digestive systems, and provides the body with Vitamin C.
  • Get enough sleep: Not getting a good night sleep can affect your metabolism, your weight, and your hormones. Many studies have found that sleep-deprived people prefer larger food portions, seek more calories, and experience signs of increased food-related impulsivity, and more fatigue, all of which can take toll on your health and your metabolism. Getting good quality sleep can reset any metabolic damage and result in a better weight outcome. Aim for a healthy level of sleep, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation
  •  Never skip breakfast: This is a common mistake many people make, thinking it will save calories. Skipping breakfast even just once per week could spike your insulin and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. So, make sure you eat a nutritious breakfast on regular basis. Eat a breakfast high in fiber and protein. Healthline says that eating food can increase your metabolism for a few hours. – This “thermic effect of food” is caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal. Choose nutrient rich foods that are high in protein and fiber, like eggs, oatmeal or fresh fruit. These foods will help to keep your insulin levels stable and also help you feel full and satisfied for a longer period of time.
  •  Avoid stress: When you’re under stress, whether physical or emotional, your body reacts by releasing a number of hormones that are linked to fat storage. While the stress may initially increase your body’s calorie-burning abilities, it will deplete muscle and reduce your metabolism (www.livestrong.com). So, make sure you keep stress at bay. There are various strategies to beat stress – choose those that work the best for you.

Practicing these good habits will encourage you to adopt other healthy habits over the course of the day. This will keep you active, energetic and fit.

Tips to Choose the Right Shapewear

Tips to Choose the Right ShapewearLosing weight can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Sometimes diet and exercise can make it happen, but you may end with belly pooch or thigh fat. Stubborn fat pockets in these areas usually don’t respond to even rigorous workouts. But there is a way to fake instant toned thighs and a flatter abdomen – using shapewear.

Slimming, stretchy undergarments can help you go down a dress size and make your body seem smaller and firmer. This doesn’t mean buying tight shapewear. You need to choose the right shapewear that fits your body and makes you feel comfortable. Here are some tips to help you choosing the right shapewear for you:

  • Consider the fabric: These wonder-garments now come in a wide array of styles and fabrics. They are typically made of nylon and spandex, both synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe. These may be suitable for colder climates. Bur in the warmer months, you prone to sweat, which means that cotton blend shapewear would be a better option.
  • Watch out for skin irritation: Skin irritation is the most common problem that can occur with shapewear, especially if you have sensitive skin and you wear the garment for a long time. Skin irritation can cause chafing and turn your skin red and itchy. Health Essentials recommends you take a break from wearing the garment if it is irritating your skin. You can try a larger size or another brand after your skin clears up. Keep your shapewear clean with frequent laundering.
  • Size really matters: When you are buying shapewear, never choose a small size. This might lead to bulges, fat spills and discomfort. If it’s too tight around the lower body, it can restrict blood flow to the legs. Likewise, if you buy a size bigger than your actual size, shapewear would lose its purpose and will not hide those pesky bulges or lumps. So make sure you choose the right size when you shop for shapewear. One rule of thumb: “It if makes a mark, it’s too tight”(health.clevelandclinic.org).
  • Pregnancy and Shapewear: If you’re pregnant, you can ask your doctor about using special maternity shapewear. Wearing maternity shapewear daily is fine for women if they are comfortable. It might help some women with varicose veins, which can be uncomfortable when standing, and also provide support to lift the uterus off the cervix and ease pain.

Use common sense when buying shapewear. Stop wearing the garments if they irritate your skin, and don’t wear them for extremely long periods of time or sleep in them.

Gym-free Exercises and Strategies That Can Help You Stay Fit

gym-free-exercises-and-strategies-that-can-help-you-stay-fit
You have to exercise, or at some point you’ll just break down.” – Barack Obama

According to a study published in ResearchGate, lack of exercise is a primary cause of most chronic diseases. Experts say that physical inactivity is as deadly as smoking. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to join a gym or health club. Work schedules and family responsibilities may not let you spend hours in a gym. Instead, you can schedule an exercise program at home and involve in activities that can keep you fit and healthy.

Work out at home

You don’t have to sacrifice your workout if you don’t go to the gym. Set some goals, just like losing 20 pounds and then design an effective workout program at home to reach this goal. Strength and cardio exercises can be done at home or in a park. There are a variety of gym-free workouts such as jumping jacks, lunges, planks, high knees, push-ups, triceps dips, sit-ups, abdominal exercises and strength-building workouts that will give you great results. Do each exercise for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat them two or three times. When planned properly, a full body workout can be just as effective for gaining strength, building muscle, or burning fat. Find an exercise partner who is really serious about getting their workout as you are. Household chores like cleaning the house and gardening are also good exercise that can burn calories.

Walk whenever you can

Walking is good exercise. It helps you to stay fit even without actually feeling like you’re exercising. Walk whenever you can – walk to the grocery store instead of driving or choosing home delivery. At work, you can schedule walking meetings with your team, though it won’t work if with large groups.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Even a little change in your everyday habits can make a huge impact and keep you fit. Even if you are in a shopping mall or a restaurant, try to use the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.  Consider elevators only for long distances, such as if you have to reach the tenth floor.

Also, avoid sitting continuously for a long time like more than 30 minutes a time, as it can lead to serious health issues. Set an alarm to remind you to get up and do some stretches at least once an hour.

Follow a healthy diet

Make sure to stick to a balanced diet. Along with regular exercise, develop smart eating habits. Cut intake of sugary, fatty and processed foods, and follow a healthy eating plan with a balance of protein, whole grains, vegetables and fruit.

8 Tips to Get an Attractive Beach-Ready Body

8 Tips to Get an Attractive Beach-Ready BodySummer is when people spend most of their time outdoors, especially soaking up the sun on the beach. For women, being beach-ready means a perfect bikini body, while men aspire to get a chiseled physique. But these goals cannot be achieved overnight – you need to start your fitness plan well in advance of summer and stay focused on achieving your goals. Here are 8 tips to help :

  • Identify your problem areas and set your goals: Before you develop your plan for a beach ready body, evaluate yourself and identify the problem areas you need to focus on. For instance, batwings make many women shy from wearing sleeveless dresses and swimsuits. If underarm fat is your concern, concentrate on how to slim down this area. After identifying your problem areas, determine the right diet and exercise that will works best for you. If you want to lose weight, workout and make some dietary changes. To tone up the muscles, keep your calorie intake the same and focus on exercise.
  • Opt for morning workouts: Though you can exercise any time of the day, exercising early in the morning is best. time Exercising early in the morning before eating anything will help you burn fat and lose weight more quickly, as your body is more likely to tap fat stores for energy. Morning workouts also boost metabolism and free up the rest of the day.
  • Exercise regularly: To get a beach-ready body, do full body workouts regularly. Exercise is one of the best ways to lose some pounds, relieve stress, and fight fatigue and anxiety. To get your body beach ready in a month, do at least 30 minutes of exercise early in the morning and 40 minutes in the evening. Effective workouts that can build up the strength in your abs before you move on to more advanced exercise include: Static Abdominal Crunch, Static Opposite Arm/Leg Plank, Plank, Static Crunch and Hold, Static V-Sit, Static V-Sit on Bosu Ball and Static One-Legged V-Sit.
  • Do cardio: The most efficient way to burn fat, look lean and get chiseled abs is to perform moderate-intensity cardio on an empty stomach. You can alternate walking and running or walk at a steep incline on the treadmill. Do cardio as often as you can, ideally 5-7 days per week.
  • Eat natural foods: To trim down and tone your body, stick to a healthy diet. Don’t skip meals and eat a substantial amount of fresh, healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed, fried and junk food which is low in nutrition and high in calories such as fat and sugar. A healthy diet would include lean meat, eggs, low fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, oats, long-grain rice, and whole-wheat carbs.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol is high in calories and doesn’t provide any nutritional benefits. So go easy on the alcohol. Carbonated mixers and sodas have a lot of sugar and fat which can lead to weight gain.
  • Hydrate: It’s a myth that drinking lots of water makes you bloated. In fact, dehydration can cause water retention and give you a puffy look. Drinking lots of water will help keep you full between meals (avoiding the need for unhealthy snacking), clear up your skin, and improve your energy level.
  • Get a good night sleep: Sleeping for at least 6 to 8 hours can speed up your metabolism. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for maximum muscle recovery.

When it comes to healthy weight loss and body building, consistency is the key. So stay motivated and focus on your goals. However, if you find that these methods don’t work, you can opt to get body contouring done. Leading plastic surgery practices offer a slew of procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck, arm lift, and more to help men and women restore the body to a healthier, attractive state.

8 Tips for Safe and Effective Stretches

tips-safe-and-effective-stretchesA key element of fitness, stretching gets your muscles ready for a workout and improve flexibility. Flexibility is related to muscle tension and length, and is a component of mobility, which is the degree to which you can move a joint through its full range of motion. As we age, maintaining mobility and performing basic movements becomes difficult because our muscles become shorter and tend to lose their elasticity. Stretching exercises increase flexibility of the joints and help older adults remain active and independent. They also offer many other benefits which enhance quality of life and promote healthy aging. Stretching can also often relieve a stiff neck, back pain, and sore knees.

A good stretch is long, slow and relaxed. A safe and effective stretch will maximize flexibility while reducing your risk of injuries. Here are 8 tips for safe stretches:

  1. Warm up your muscles first: This is the first and must-do step of stretching. Stretching cold muscles may result in injury so always do a brief warm-up, such as jogging in place, brisk walking, riding a stationary bike or doing less-vigorous rehearsals of the sport or exercise you are going to perform. This will help increase the heart rate and blood flow and raise the temperature of muscles, ligaments and tendons. Muscles stretch more easily when they are warm. Other effective first steps include moist heat packs or a warm shower.
  2. Stretch safely: Vigorous stretching is not recommended. Stretch only to the point of mild tension, never to the point of pain. If you feel any pain, stop immediately and reset your position and then try again. Static stretching, in which you stretch through a muscle’s full range of movement until you feel resistance but not pain, is probably the safest type.
  3. Stretch opposing muscles: While stretching you might notice that one side of your body often is tighter than other. If so, try to stretch opposing muscles to balance this. Work opposing muscle groups each time you stretch – if you start by stretching the muscles in the back of your thigh, then follow by stretching the muscles at the front.
  4. Get advice to avoid injury: It’s always better to check with your doctor before performing stretching. By doing so, you can get advice on how to stretch properly or how to stretch if you have had a previous injury.
  5. Breathe normally: Breathing normally while performing stretching is very important, as this type of exercises doesn’t require you to hold your breath or any other special breathing exercises.
  6. Perform stretching routinely: To benefit from stretching, make sure you stretch frequently. Regular stretching improves your balance, strength and flexibility.A session should last 10 to 20 minutes, with each static stretch held for at least 10 seconds (working up to 20 to 30 seconds) and usually repeated about four times (http://www.berkeleywellness.com).
  7. Posture: Posture matters whether you’re sitting, standing, or moving. So pay attention to good posture and form. This will improve flexibility and reduce risk of injury when stretching tight muscles.
  8. Stretch after workouts: Similar to warming up at beginning of any workout, it’s also better to warm up at the end of the session. After a workout, the muscles are left in a shortened state. Stretching brings them back to their normal resting length and promotes recovery.

Stretching is a crucial part of a workout plan and serves as a mental and physical warm-up routine before exercise. Stretching properly before and after you work out will prevent injury, loosen up problem tight areas before injuries occur, and improve posture.

Top Wellness Trends You May Witness in 2019

Wellness Trends2018 marked the year of self-appreciation and it was the year of #selfcare – the hash tag that clocked up over 10 million posts on Instagram and this year, 2019, it looks as if this holistic mindset will continue to evolve. In an article in StyleBlueprint, professionals from different industries pointed out that personalization is the main trend everyone would follow, as it’s better to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of those around us. By understanding the emerging trends and following the guidelines provided by experts, you can keep abreast with popular trends and enjoy an overall sense of wellbeing.

Here are some trends people will focus on in the year 2019, according to the above-mentioned article.

Nutrition Trends

  • Ketogenic Diet and Veganism
    • The “Keto Diet” has been announced as the most searched diet in Google’s 2018 Year in Search and is currently the most popular weight loss trend. The diet is a high fat, moderate protein, very low carbohydrate diet that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source. You can eat seafood (salmon, sardines, mackerel and other fatty fish), low-carb vegetables, cheese, avocados, meat and poultry, eggs, coconut oil, plain greek yogurt and cottage cheese, olive oil, nuts and seeds, berries, butter and cream, unsweetened coffee and tea, dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
    • Veganism is refraining from eating animal products that include eggs and dairy. In an article posted in worldin2019.economist.com, correspondent John Parker declared that 2019 would be the “year of the Vegan”.

Self Care Trends

  • Ayurveda and Personalized Wellness
    • Ayurveda is the science of life which has been around for thousands of years as India’s unique form of medicine. Ayurveda uses food, herbs, spices, lifestyle choices, times of day and seasons to help you find balance in mind, body and soul. And now, this ancient Indian healing approach has become the new trend as it encompasses various practices to help us feel well, including yoga and eating styles, depending on our body type.
    • Personalized wellness is focused on an individual’s mental and physical wellness rather than just diets and weight loss. According to Elizabeth Moore, CEO of Triluna, a wellness company, “as mental health continues to be an increased focus in the wellness world, we hope that this continues to influence our culture’s move towards more intuitive eating practices and holistic approaches to health.”

Fitness Trends

  • Weight-based Workouts, Restore/Recover, and HIIT
    • Ankle/wrist weights as well as weighted bars are becoming increasingly popular in New York and LA, which means weight-based workouts are the trend for 2019. Not only men, women are also embracing adding weights of all levels into their workouts and are witnessing increased strength, tone and other general health improvements. Combining weight-based workouts alongside other cross training is the best combination.
    • People are focusing more on the recovery aspect of performance for both physical and mental reasons. It is believed that if you don’t take the time to recover properly, then you can’t perform your best at anything – workouts, work or relationships.
    • Another wellness trend that could be at the forefront in 2019 is High-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is one of the most time-efficient ways to exercise and comes with several benefits such as burning fat, speeding up metabolism, less time required and so on. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology suggests that performing high-intensity interval or sprinting exercise for a few minutes may be as beneficial as exercising at a moderate-intensity level for longer periods (www.news-medical.net).

Beauty Trends

  • Customized Skincare

    According to Brielle Brenner, a hair and makeup artist, customization of skincare may become a mainstream trend in 2019. This started as a small trend over the last year where more direct to consumer (or Instagram advertised) beauty companies were providing people the option to get advice on what their personal skincare should be, and products were being organized and/or customized accordingly. Personalization becomes important because each and every person is unique, and our skin and our needs are also extremely unique. Combining the right products and customizing some of the main components could help transform your skin health for the better.

Apart from all these trends, from this year onwards, it’s best to realize that the ordinary things we do on a daily basis – such as gratitude, spending time with your family, having down time, unplugging from technology, laughing and having purpose and meaning in your life – could have an extraordinary positive effect on our health.

Ultimate Thigh Workout for Stronger, Shapely Legs

Thigh WorkoutFat can accumulate in various parts of body such as thighs, arms, and abdomen and so on due to bad food habits, lack of activity, or hormonal issues. The thighs are one of those areas where fat accumulates and persists. Though liposuction can provide the solution, it is recommended only if diet and exercise fail to provide the desired outcomes. So, if you want slimmer thighs, first try a proper thigh workout and make sure it’s one that will work effectively for thigh muscles.

A prevention.com article recommends an ultimate thigh workout plan that can strengthen and define every part of the lower body, leaving no muscle untouched. Some of these exercises use your bodyweight for resistance. However, as you gain strength and develop more muscles, it’s important to add resistance so that your muscles become larger. In addition to basic exercises to tone the thighs such as squats, lunges, and calf raises, try these eight moves to achieve stronger, slimmer legs. Make sure you perform two sets of 10 to 12 repeats for each exercise, resting for one minute between sets.

  • Active Warrior II: Start this workout in a low Warrior II position with one arm reaching out in front of you, and the other behind you. Your feet should be about 4 feet apart with your front leg bent at 90 degrees, your back leg straight and back foot angled. From this position, drive into the heel of the front foot, pressing your body up and straightening the front leg. Lower back down to the position, where the front thigh parallel to the floor, to complete one repetition and continue on both sides for 20 reps.
  • Side Leap: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your knees and toes slightly turned out. Make sure that your body lowered down slightly in a shallow squat. Now, take a very large leap to your right side landing on your right foot, allowing the left foot to tap the floor for balance. Immediately leap toward the left side in the same way. Repeat in the alternate direction, loading every leg muscle, working the core and using your arm muscles for serious athletic tone.
  • The Flamingo Balance: This exercise is a full lower body workout that utilizes many muscle groups. Start by holding a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your left hand on your hip. Lean forward slightly, lifting your left foot behind you to about hip height. At the same, bring your right arm forward. Turn your palm to face the ceiling and do a biceps curl. Touch your toes back down briefly, and be sure to keep your left leg straight while bending your right knee. Switch sides and repeat this workout for 12 reps.
  • Criss Cross Power Jacks: One of the greatest way to start your inner thigh workout regimen. Stand straight with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart, shoulders relaxed, core engaged, and knees bent a little. Jump, cross your legs and land softly on the ground. Jump again and open your legs and land softly on your feet with your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Do this workout 3 set of 30 reps.
  • Bench Step-Up: This workout indulges weights where the move start by holding dumbbells at your sides, step up onto a sturdy bench with your right leg. Press into your right heel as you step up fully onto the bench with your left leg trailing behind. Then step back off the bench. Repeat all reps on the right leg before switching to the left.
  • Sweeping Mountain Climbers: this workout being a variation of the mountain climber suit the purpose of working out the inner thighs. Start by assuming a plank position, keep the core engaged, and put two folded towels underneath your toes. Without lifting your foot off the floor, sweep the right foot and bring it close to your chest and sweep it back to the starting position. Sweep the left foot and bring it close to your chest and sweep it back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
  • Frog Jump: A fun and effective workout for your inner thighs. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out, and shoulders pinched back. Push your buttocks out and lower your body until you can touch the floor with your palms. Once you have touched the floor, jump up and land softly on the floor in a partial squat pose.
  • Sprint Intervals: This workout is a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that helps builds endurance, increase your anaerobic threshold and burn more calories and fat both during and after your workout. Start this workout by walking for 5 minutes to warm up on a treadmill or outdoors and then run as fast as you can for 2 minutes. Return to walking for 2 minutes and repeat this cycle 8 times.

How to Build Muscle without Lifting Weights

Build MuscleWeightlifting is an effective and quick method to build muscle. It creates micro-tears in the muscle and the muscle then repairs itself becoming stronger, which means you build more muscle. But this is not the only option to build muscle. Performing proper bodyweight exercises will help build muscle mass in all body areas. Apart from helping to build and sculpt muscles, bodyweight training can also help you improve functional strength for everyday life.

Here are bodyweight training exercises that fitness experts recommend to build muscle mass:

  • Push-Ups: Doing push-ups can build muscle size and strength in the chest, shoulders and triceps. Start with regular pushups, and then change to pushups with your feet elevated. Keep your hands closer together to work the triceps and shoulder muscles. Widen your hands to work the chest.
  • Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups: Also referred to as “the upper body squat”, the combination of pull-ups and chin-ups help build the back, forearms and biceps muscles. Pull-ups are performed with your palms facing away from you whereas chin-ups are performed with your palms facing you.
    • To perform a pull-up, start with your arms all the ways down until they are fully extended, then pull up. Continue for 10 total repetitions and then pause at the top of the bar for three to five seconds.
    • To perform a chin-up, keep your arms in a fully extended position, hands about shoulder width apart, chest up, and your shoulders back and tight. Pull yourself up toward the barbell, clearing the bar with your chin and lower yourself in a controlled motion, and repeat the process.
    • If you find hard to perform a pull-up then you can do a negative pull-up, where you have to jump above the bar and try to lower yourself slowly and in control until you’re at the bottom of the movement. This is a great way to build some strength that will prepare you for the real deal.
  • Dips: This effective compound exercise helps lift your entire body weight and build upper body mass and strength. You need either a dip bar or two chairs to perform this exercise. Start by first raising yourself on two dip bars with straight arms. Lower your body until your shoulders is below your elbows and pushes yourself up until your arms are straight again. Dips work your chest, shoulders, back and arm muscles.
  • Burpees: This tough exercise trains virtually every muscle in the body, including the core, chest, and legs. To begin, get in a crouched position with your knees bent, your feet on the ground and your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Kick your feet backward into a pushup position, perform one pushup, jump back into the original crouched position, and then jump upward, reaching as high as you can with your arms.
  • Squats: This exercise mainly builds leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, and also creates an anabolic environment which promotes body-wide muscle building. To perform a squat, start by standing with your feet just over shoulder width apart and keep your back in a neutral position. Keep your knees centered over your feet and slowly bend your knees, hips and ankles, lowering until you reach a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position and breathe in as you lower yourself and breathe out as you return to the starting position.

Best Exercises to Tone the Thighs

Exercises to Tone the ThighsEven if you are healthy, it can be difficult to achieve a toned and sculpted appearance. Though liposuction provides the solution, it is recommended only if diet and exercise fail to provide the desired outcomes. The thighs are one of the areas where fat gets stored easily. They are a big muscle and if you want slimmer thighs, you have to work at it. Some specific workouts can help you achieve sleek, toned thighs. Basic exercises to tone the thighs include squats, lunges, and calf raises. Trying new types of workouts can make things more enjoyable.

Here are some of the best upper-leg-exercises for stronger, longer and leaner thighs:

  • Lunge Back Kick: Stand facing forward with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and keep your back flat. Inhale as you lunge, and keep the front knee aligned with the ankle. Breathe out as you kick back and squeeze the glutes. The main role of the inner thigh muscle is to flex and extend the thigh bone. When you do a forward lunge followed by a back kick, you force the inner thigh muscles to move through their full range of motion.
  • Gate Swings: This move helps get the lower body in shape and is a great cardio that tone your glutes, core muscles, and both the outer and inner thighs. Start in a sumo squat position with your feet in a wide in a second-position stance with your toes pointed slightly outward and your thighs parallel to the floor. Jump up crossing your legs and jump again to uncross them. Return to the starting position by pressing your hips back and bending your knees.
  • The Flamingo Balance: This full lower body workout utilizes many major muscle groups, the gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings, and other hip flexor muscles. Start the exercise by holding a dumbbell in your right hand and with your left hand on your hip. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lean forward and lift your left foot behind you to around hip height. Bring your right arm forward with your palm facing the ceiling and complete a biceps curl. Touch your toes back down to the floor briefly and repeat for 12 reps. Switch sides and do about 12 repetitions.
  • Side Shuffle Switch: This fast-paced move involves your inner-thigh muscles to help you quickly switch directions and gets your heart rate up to kill body fat. Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides. Take three quick steps to the side (right, left, right) to ‘shuffle’ to your right. Then lift your left knee up while swinging your right arm forward. Immediately reverse your shuffle (left, right, left). Repeat 20 times in a row as fast as you can, changing sides.
  • Cross Jacks: This is a perfect exercise to start any strength-training workout. It can tone your arms and legs while getting your heart rate up. It effectively targets the inner thighs muscles and helps to trim down the body fat by burning more calories.
  • Three-way Lunge: This workout is a calisthenics, free weights and plyometrics exercise that mainly targets the butt, quads, inner thighs, and hamstrings. To perform this exercise, you have to step in three different directions. Begin with a step forward, keeping your hands on your hips or holding weights or resistance bands, bending downward while keeping your torso straight, then moving back to your starting position. The second part of the lunge is a step to the side, 90 degrees out from your body. The final part of the exercise is a step backward, repeating the same lowering and raising movement. After you perform all three steps, repeat the exercise with the opposite leg.

Before you start any exercise, discuss it with your physician. This is especially important if you are over 55 or you have any spine-related issues.