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4 Best Beginner Exercises To Do At Home

4 Best Beginner Exercises To Do At Home

You can start getting fit today! Here are four easy beginner exercises you can do at home and continue to do as your fitness level advances. While this is directed toward beginners, these exercises are good for anyone — especially busy people. When you can’t make it to the gym or you are traveling, all you need is a little space to expend maximum effort. You don’t need to let a lack of time be an excuse for neglecting your fitness.

Taking that first step toward a strong body needn’t be hard. Here are some simple beginner exercises that can begin to strengthen and build your body.

Take this challenge. Do each of these exercises three to four days a week for a month. You will be amazed at how much stronger your entire body feels, and you will be ready to take on new fitness challenges. I won a few fitness awards as a US Marine, and I always found that consistency and simplicity won the day. Overdoing it, complicated routines, etc. always seemed to get in my way. But when I was consistent and simple, I stuck with it and continually improved. You can experience the same results.

Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, use the time you have three to four days a week and you will see results. These results will motivate you to increase your effort and expand your knowledge, breadth, and level of fitness.

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Pushups

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    Health Benefits: Chest, biceps, and core strength. Beginner to advanced.

    Simple Steps: Start with your hands facing forward on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and chest a few inches above the ground. Keep your body straight, resting on your toes and hands. Push up to a full arm extension then release back down to a few inches above the ground. Repeat. Keep your head looking down or slightly forward. Do at least 3 sets. If necessary, you can rest your weight on your knees instead of your toes to make it easier. Start with 5 to 10 repetitions for each set and build up from there.

    Planks

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    Sports woman doing plank exercise in fitness gym

      Health Benefits: Core strength. Beginner to advanced.

      Simple steps: Place your elbows under your shoulders with your hands directly out. Keep your head looking down or slightly forward and your body straight. Hold for as long as you can, until you can’t keep your body straight, then stop. Do this 3 times. You might start with only 15 to 30 seconds. Work your way up to 2 minutes or longer.

      Burpees

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        Health Benefits: Total body exercise, strength, and cardiovascular. Beginner to advanced.

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        Simple steps: Start from a standing position with arms at your sides. Bend your knees and lower to the ground until your hands are touching. Kick your legs back and move into a pushup position, then kick your legs forward and jump up. Repeat. Start slowly and do for a minute. Increase your speed and the amount of time as you advance. Shoot for 5 to 10 minutes of burpees.

        Jumping Rope

        fitness, sport, people, exercising and lifestyle concept - man and woman skipping with jump rope outdoors

          Health benefits: Cardiovascular, core strength, arm strength, leg strength, overall body fitness.

          Simple steps: Buy a jump rope, go to back to your childhood skills and jump! Keep your head looking forward and your hands about waste height. Start with small goals, say a minute without stopping, then build up to 10 minutes or more.

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          Fitness starts today!

          Exercise is addictive once you make it a habit. Building the habit is more important than what you do or how long you do it. Most habits take three months to establish, so if you are beginner, start your habit by committing yourself to three to four days a week. The amount of time doesn’t matter — do whatever you can fit in, even if it is only five minutes of the above exercises. Once you build this routine into a habit and you begin to feel the results, increasing the amount and type of exercises you do will be easy. And if even these simple exercises seem overwhelming, remember the simplest thing that is guaranteed to get your fitness moving forward: go outside for a walk!

          For more simple exercises that you can even do at your office, check out this link!

          Featured photo credit: vadymvdrobot via stock.adobe.com

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          Last Updated on November 11, 2018

          How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

          How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

          There’s a common misconception that building muscle occurs entirely in the gym from exercise and lifting weights. In this article, we are going to debunk this notion that weight lifting and gym exercise yields 100%, or even 90% for that matter, of muscle building results.

          So how to gain muscle fast in a healthy way?

          Yes working-out is a critical aspect of developing muscle, however it should not be the focal point. Building muscle occurs primarily outside of the gym by way of diet/eating habits, and sleep regimen.

          How Is Muscle Developed?

          Muscle is developed from damaging the tissue during exercise, and facilitating the most optimal circumstances for repair and growth of those same tissues. This means you will not only need to exercise, but you should focus on carbohydrates around your exercises, and adequate rest and recovery between workouts.

          If your focus is building muscle and not losing weight, focusing on a high-carb diet with carb loading around the workout days will yield great results. Yes, you absolutely can lose fat and build muscle following a low-carb diet, but you’ll make faster progress if you follow a high-carb diet instead. Now don’t take that as a green-light to stuff your face with pasta, bread, and all sorts of other carb-heavy foods.

          Let’s examine Glycogen – a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in humans. Muscle glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that’s stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is the primary source of fuel during exercise, and low glycogen levels decreases your ability to gain strength and muscle. The best way to maintain high levels of muscle glycogen is to eat a high-carb diet, with around 1 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.

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          The time of ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement on muscle glycogen storage post exercise was examined in a study with twelve male cyclists that exercised continuously for 70 min on a cycle ergometer at 68% VO2max, interrupted by six 2-min intervals at 88% VO2max, on two separate occasions. The results suggest that delaying the ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement post-exercise will result in a reduced rate of muscle glycogen storage.

          How to Gain Muscle Fast?

          If you want to gain muscle as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, then you want high muscle glycogen levels. Here’s a few effective approaches to building muscle:

          Muscle Growth and Glycogen Levels

          The primary driver of gaining muscle and its growth is progressive tension overload, which involves exposing your muscles to increasingly greater levels of tension over time. The most effective way to achieve this is to get as strong as possible on heavy compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, over head press, bent over barbell rows..etc).

          When you keep glycogen levels high, you’re going to gain strength faster, which means gaining muscle faster, too. Having higher levels of muscle glycogen will more than likely help you build muscle faster.

          Maintaining high muscle glycogen levels also improves post-workout genetic signaling relating to muscle growth and repair.

          Muscle Recovery and Glycogen Levels

          Not only do higher muscle glycogen levels yield quicker strength gains, it will also improve recovery between workouts.

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          On the contrary, low muscle glycogen levels are associated with overtraining, and even increasingly popular low-carb diets, which deplete muscle glycogen. Low glycogen levels also increase cortisol and reduce testosterone levels in athletes, which is a key component needed for building muscle.

          Those on a low-carb diets also have reduced insulin levels. Insulin, in addition to helping store nutrients, also has powerful anti-catabolic properties. Basically insulin decreases the rate at which muscle proteins are broken down, which in turn creates a more anabolic environment conducive to muscle growth and development.

          Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) and Testosterone

          Fasting is not just a beneficial way to manage your weight, caloric intake, and start shredding as I have indicated in previous articles. Some research shows that fasting can be a source of strength enhancement and increases in testosterone stimulation.

          As humans age metabolism slows and testosterone production decreases, this simply means that the body will no longer be able to work as efficiently as it did in earlier years. This is one of the primary reasons why you should take more care to your diet.

          Research has shown that intermittent fasting can enhance the ability to secrete growth hormone in the body.[1] This is one of the primary reasons why IF is one of the preferred dietary habits of bodybuilders and strength athletes such as myself, whom will utilize an approach that emphasizes fasting phases (2 of 7 days of the week for example).

          Research has also shown that IF can increase the bodies ability to signal luteinizing hormone.[2] In non-obese men, an intermittent fasting testosterone study showed that IF increased LH (luteinizing hormone – a testosterone precursor hormone) up to 67% and overall testosterone 180%.

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          Luteinizing hormone is one that works in both men and women to enhance our ability to be sexually active and productive. In women, luteinizing hormone can trigger ovulation, and in men, works to stimulate testosterone.

          Intermittent fasting also increases levels of a hormone called adiponectin. This increase in adiponectin during the fast helps improve insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is so effective, in fact, that it’s been shown to reverse insulin resistance in mice.

          Gaining Muscle and Macro Nutrients – Protein!

          Something that absolutely cannot go overlooked is the protein consumption. Personally, I believe protein should be primarily consumed in food, however if looking to gain muscle, it can often be quite difficult to hit daily macro nutrient requirements.

          If one is to build muscle consistently a general rule of thumb is to aim for 1-1.5grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis. So as a 200lb man I would be needing to consume 200grams – 250grams of protein per day. I would aim for the higher consumption on days when very active and training.

          As I’m sure you’re aware, it can often be quite difficult to consume that much protein, especially in food! It’s in these cases where supplementing protein isn’t a bad idea and I have discussed in great detail the different types of protein in previous articles.

          Generally speaking, I lean towards Whey Protein Isolate, or non-dairy options such as Hemp Protein, or Pea Protein. As of late I have been waking up every morning and consuming one scoop of Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Bovines from grass-fed beef. Collagen peptides are highly bioavailable and act as building blocks; renewing bodily tissues such as skin, bones and joints.[3]

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          Collagen peptides may act as a messenger to the cells and trigger the synthesis and reorganization of new collagen fibers, thereby supporting tissue structure. Consuming protein such as Collagen in the morning is beneficial as the stomachs acids are needed to optimally break-down and absorb protein.

          Though this has been a topic of great debate, I also firmly believe adequate carbohydrates are required to build muscle, especially if you are exercising/training often. With all the low-carb movements floating around the internet, there’s lots of misinformation. Muscle-building requires energy which is typically through an increased intake of carbohydrates.

          Yes to gain mass, you have to ensure you’re consuming enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue damaged from training; but also consider carbohydrates because gaining size requires filling your muscles with glycogen as we discussed earlier in this article.

          Conclusion

          If you’re serious about gaining muscle fast the healthy way, it requires commitment and consistency. You will need to exercise and I highly suggest you download MyFitnessPal to track progress, set goals, and maintain diet.

          It’s also motivational because you can find like-minded people in the fitness community, or encourage your friends to download the app as well and follow each other. I personally did this when I was losing weight and gaining muscle, and it was a blast to see my own progress and that of people I care about.

          As always I’m not just here to write about the steps you need to take, I’m also here to help! You can message me anytime or email me with any questions you may have. I’m more than happy to assist with your muscle building and weight loss goals!

          Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via how to gain muscle fast

          Reference

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