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Do You Know Yoga Practices Can Train Up Your Core Too? Here’s How.

Do You Know Yoga Practices Can Train Up Your Core Too? Here’s How.

Dolphin-Plank

    1. Dolphin Plank

    Even yogis love elbow planks, but we call them something else. An elbow plank by any other name will still work your abs.

    • From Downward Facing Dog, inhale and shift your weight forward coming into plank position (top of a push-up). Exhale as you lower onto your forearms so that your shoulders are stacked directly above your elbows and your body is parallel with the floor.
    • Dolphin Plank is an intense pose, so if you can’t hold for five breaths, lower one or both knees to the floor.

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    Intense-East

      2. Intense East

      Do you know by just simply facing your belly up to the sky can help work on your abs too? Pulling your low abs up and in while arching your spine makes this pose feel easier.

      • From a seated position with your legs extended straight out in front of you, place your hands behind your hips about six to eight inches, with your fingers pointing toward your toes. As you inhale, press into your hands and feet firmly, lifting your hips into the air. Lift them as high as you can so your spine is in a long line. Slowly release your head back, looking behind you, and open through your throat.
      • Stay here in Intense East pose for five deep breaths, then lower your hips to the floor.
      Camel

        3. Camel

        • Stand on your shins with your knees hips-width distance apart.
        • Lean back, and place your hands on your heels, arching back and allowing the head to fall between the shoulder blades.
        • Continue to press the hips forward to engage the abs, thighs, and tush, enjoying this pose for five breaths.

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        Warrior-3

          4. Warrior 3

          Balancing on one leg really challenges your core! If you’re not using your abs to stabilize in this pose, you’ll likely tip over. Here’s how to find your inner warrior.

          • Stand with your feet together. Inhale as you extend your arms out wide in T position or straight overhead for a more advanced variation.
          • Exhale as you bend forward at your hips, lifting your right leg straight behind you coming into Warrior 3. Draw your navel toward your spine, and hold for five breaths. Then come to stand, lower your right leg, and repeat with the left leg lifted for another five.

          Balancing-Star

            5. Balancing Star

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            This pose is similar to a side plank but in a more balanced way that trains up both your core and arms. Your obliques will certainly feel the challenge while you balance in this starry pose.

            • Begin in Downward Facing Dog, and step both feet together. Move your right hand to the left about six inches so it’s at the upper center of your mat. Step your right foot forward two inches, and plant the sole of your right foot firmly on the mat, so your toes are pointing away from you. Inhale as you roll open to your right side, and lift your left hand off the mat. Raise your left leg up into the air.
            • Gaze at your lifted hand, and hold Balancing Star for five breaths. Keeping your core engaged will help you stay balanced. Repeat this pose on the other side.

            Boat

              6. Boat

              Boat pose is the go-to move for abs in yoga. It really challenges all four layers of your abdominals, similar to the Balance Point in Pilates. Get ready for some smooth sailing.

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              • Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Bend your knees, and lift your legs off the floor, bringing your knees in toward your chest with your shins parallel to the floor. Sit up as tall as you can, and take a breath in as you slowly begin to straighten your legs. Your legs don’t need to be straight since the action of keeping your spine long and drawing your belly in is what works your abs here.
              • Hold Boat pose for five breaths.

              Crow

                7. Crow

                Do you know that a crow requires core strength more than arm?It’s really about your core! Thinking of this as an ab exercise can help you hone in on the balance needed to maintain this pose.

                • Begin in a squat, placing your hands shoulder-width distance apart on the mat. Spread your fingers as wide as you can, creating a strong, stable base. Straighten your legs slightly, placing your knees as high up onto your triceps (back of your arms) as possible. Slowly shift weight into your palms and lift your feet off the ground.
                • Stay here for five breaths gazing at the floor in front of you.

                yoga a2
                  Reference: popsugar.com

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                  Last Updated on September 4, 2020

                  How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

                  How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

                  There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and desperation around how to lose fat and gain muscle. We applaud body transformation pictures we see on Instagram, Facebook, and magazine covers but are never able to replicate the results ourselves.

                  Well, that mystery is over because I will tell you exactly how to achieve those results in this article.

                  The journey to getting there is straightforward but not easy. Most people give up too early in the game, when they stop making visible progress.

                  Keep reading to learn how to utilize your metabolism and the laws of muscle building to lose fat and gain muscle fast.

                  Skyrocket Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

                  Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time is one of the biggest misunderstandings of body transformations because they are opposite metabolic processes.

                  To lose fat, you must have calorie deficits each day, and to gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus, but you cannot do both at the same time.

                  When you look at pictures, it looks like it can be done simultaneously, but what is actually happening is a change in fat and muscle percentages.

                  If your weight stays the same through your journey, and you lose body fat, your percent of lean muscle mass automatically goes up by default. You didn’t gain any muscle, but your fat and muscle ratio percentages have shifted.

                  Calculating Your Calories to Lose Fat

                  There are many good calorie calculators out there that will give you an estimate on how much to eat to start losing fat for weight loss. You usually need to cut about 10 to 15% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories to start the process.

                  You can find a visual explanation of TDEE below[1]:

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                  Use TDEE to learn how to lose fat and gain muscle.

                    Remember that the calculators are just an estimate. It’s up to you to track your measurements and to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

                    Metabolism calculators take into account four different ways your body burns calories to come up with your TDEE, or how many calories you burn in a day:

                    • Resting metabolic rate
                    • Thermic effect of food
                    • Thermic effect of activity
                    • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

                    Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

                    This is your baseline metabolism at rest, or how many calories your body needs to survive if you spent the entire day lying in bed awake.

                    RMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of your total daily energy expenditure. Your RMR is mostly determined by how much you weigh.

                    A heavier person has a higher RMR than a lighter person, even if the lighter person has a higher lean muscle mass, because the metabolism of muscle only contributes to about 20% of your total RMR energy expenditure[2].

                    Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

                    You’ve heard that to lose weight and gain muscle, you should be eating lots of protein. This is true for a number of reasons:

                    • Lowers your intake of other types of foods, like processed carbs.
                    • Increases satiety, so you continue to feel fuller, longer.
                    • The building blocks for your muscles are found in protein.

                    About 30% of the calories from protein intake are burned off during the digestion process, which includes absorption and waste removal of it. Eating more protein as opposed to other macros increases the amount of calories burned during digestion. That’s why you feel fuller with a higher protein diet.

                    Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

                    The calories burned in TEA are relatively minor in your entire TDEE equation. TEA is any calories burned during official exercise, like going to the gym, doing an aerobics class, or going for a run. It covers any exercise you do outside of your normal activities.

                    Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

                    The calories burned in NEAT is the big game changer for most people and can vary up to 2000 calories burned per day between people with identical RMRs[3].

                    For the majority of us, when we’re done with our workouts for the day, we don’t do much else for movement. We spend about an hour in the gym, and instead of using the other 15 hours awake as an opportunity to move and burn more calories, we spend it sitting.

                    This is how there can be such a big difference between the amount of calories burned between two people who have the same RMR.

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                    Outside of your gym workout, any additional body movements count towards burning additional calories. The quickest way to add this to your day is to make everything you do as inconvenient for yourself as possible.

                    Examples of inconvenient activities that count towards NEAT include:

                    • Taking the stairs versus the elevator
                    • Parking farther away
                    • Getting up to change the TV channel versus using the remote
                    • Pacing and walking while on a phone call instead of sitting down

                    Increasing your NEAT goes a long way to helping your burn calories faster, leading to quicker fat loss. For more ideas on how to make life a little more inconvenient to up your activity level, check out this article.

                    The Laws of Building Muscle

                    Congrats on reaching the stage where you want to tone and get some definition! Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle isn’t an easy process, so if you’ve taken it on, that’s a huge step.

                    To build muscle, first you want to increase your calorie intake.

                    Based on your TDEE, you want to add about 10% more calories as a starting point. This is enough calories to build muscle, and any excess can lead to fat storage if you’re not training hard enough or aren’t active enough.

                    Again, be sure to track your measurements and adjust your calories if necessary.

                    Second, follow a muscle-building program that you can sustain for at least 3 to 6 months.

                    Consistency is key with building muscles because they need to be stimulated and broken down on a regular basis in order to build back up. You want to strength train at least twice a week for at least an hour each time to start getting results.

                    Of course, more often is better but requires better planning and a more complicated body parts training plan. So, start simple if you’re a novice. It’s not necessary to train 6 times a week unless you’re training for a competition.

                    Progressive Overload

                    Muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. You need to gradually and consistently increase the amount of load and volume you are lifting.

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                    Load means the amount of weight you’re lifting during weight training. Up to a certain point, it becomes unrealistic to keep adding pounds to each exercise every week, at which point you need to switch exercises and work on your weaker points to break that plateau.

                    However, the goal with load is to keep increasing the amount of weight you lift.

                    Increasing the volume you do is another method to progressive overload. Volume means the total number of reps for that specific exercise. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps, it means you’ve done a total of 36 reps.

                    But increasing volume doesn’t mean doing super high reps of 20+ unless you’re training your muscle for endurance versus strength.

                    You want to use a challenging weight and be able to lift more of it each week through increased reps and sets.

                    Here is a visual explanation of how you can engage in progressive overload[4]:

                    PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS by @jmaxfitness - Visit the link in my bio to claim your free 1-week muscle bu… | Muscle, Gain muscle, Weight training workouts

                      Training Intensity

                      Paying attention to what you’re doing is required if you want to lose fat and build muscle because you want to build and improve the mind-muscle connection to optimize growth.

                      A healthy mind-body connection means you’re able to better feel your muscles working during each lift.

                      You know you’ve picked the right weight when the last 2 to 3 reps of your intended rep range is challenging. On occasion, you want to push past the burn and muscle fatigue for the last reps.

                      This little bit of pushing past the discomfort is the difference between an average body and a body with more definition. Lifting almost to failure increases muscle recruitment, metabolic stress, and anabolic recruitment to grow muscles.

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                      Proper Recovery

                      This is the most overlooked aspect of building muscles. We focus too much on pre/post workout meals, macro tweaking, and supplements, forgetting that we already have the ultimate tool for recovery: our own body.

                      For best recovery practices, allow at least a day, but no more than 3 days of rest between workouts that stress the same muscle group. Overtraining results in diminished exercise capacity, possible injury, and illness.

                      Remember, muscles are broken down in the gym and built outside of it during recovery.

                      Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and be mindful of your stress levels to optimize recovery time. A lack of sleep and excess stress will spike cortisol levels, leading to hunger cravings, decrease regulation of burning fat, and cause faster aging.

                      You can learn how to lower your stress levels fast here.

                      Stop Program Hopping

                      Every day, there is new workout, new exercise, new program on a website, in a magazine, or in your social media feed. No wonder we’re tempted to try a little bit of everything!

                      Frequent program hopping stops you from getting any results.

                      When you change programs too often, you don’t make progress on each exercise. It becomes hard to gauge whether you’re getting stronger or even getting results because you’re not allowing enough time for your body to adapt.

                      Strength is a skill that needs to be built and developed by practicing it consistently. If you’re changing the skill set too often, you won’t know if you’re improving, and, therefore, cutting yourself short of future muscle gains.

                      Conclusion

                      The steps to losing fat and gaining muscle are simple, but the journey to get there is not.

                      Tracking and measuring your calories is the quickest way to lose fat, along with increasing your activity level outside of the gym. Having a stronger, more toned body can be yours when you follow the laws of building muscles consistently.

                      Applying these methods will guarantee that you get the results you’re after!

                      More on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

                      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Cheat Day Design: What is TDEE?
                      [2] International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Determinants of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man: effects of body composition, age, sex, ethnicity and glucose tolerance in 916 subjects
                      [3] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Variability in energy expenditure and its components
                      [4] J Max Fitness: PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS

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