Easy exercises that I used to do when I got back into working out regularly

 

 

Easy exercises that I used to do when I got back into working out regularly

 

Okay, I must confess. There was a time I got a little off track from my workout program. There were family commitments to attend to, and I got stuck with overtime at work. This caused me to slack off on my exercise routine, and eventually, there was no routine to speak of any longer.

I felt I had a good routine going up until all the unexpected things happened. At first, it was just a few missed workouts and then all of a sudden, the routine just didn’t exist at all. I panicked because finding a motivation boost wasn’t easy.

 

Starting all over again

What I did was to start with something easy. I did not attempt to get back on track where I had left off, for that would’ve been foolish. I did not want to go big with a vigorous weight session, so I did the sensible thing: I got outdoors and did light jogging plus brisk walking. It was a way to get myself moving.

Because I felt good after that despite its smallness, it succeeded at getting me to push on and get back to pursuing my healthy habits.

 

Committing to small pockets of exercise time

Because long workouts felt too much, I just decided to dedicate five minutes to working out each day. This was a lot less daunting compared to doing a full workout. You know what? Once I was up and going, it eventually became more effortless to keep going. Five minutes was enough to make me see where I could end up.

 

Then I got serious with a comeback workout

My comeback workout consisted of 12 weeks in total. For the first week till the fourth, there were 12 to 15 repetitions. On day one, I did cable pulldowns, cable rows, side lateral and front dumbbell raises, along with bent-over rear deltoid rows.

On day 2, I did triceps extensions and close-grip bench extensions. There were also barbell squats and lying leg curls along with dumbbell calf raises. Day 3 was about hammer curls and EZ-Bar Preacher curls. I also did incline bench presses and dumbbell flies.

Weeks 5 till 8 involved 8 to 10 reps of the exercises. Day 1 was for barbell rows and pull-ups along with seated dumbbell presses, cable seated rear lateral raises and side lateral raises. Day 2, I dedicated to barbell lunges, barbell calf raises and standing leg curls.

I worked on my biceps through triceps pushdowns and bench dips. For day 3, dumbbell flies and dips were for my chest, close-grip barbell shrugs worked for my tarps, and concentration curls plus chin ups were for my biceps.

From weeks nine till 12, there were 4 to 6 reps, with day one consisting of bent-over dumbbell rows and weighted pull ups for my back; side lateral raises, barbell military presses and bent-over rear deltoid rows for my shoulders.

 

On day 2, I did lying triceps extensions and triceps dips, along with stiff legged deadlifts, dumbbell calf raises and barbell squats for my legs. Day 3 consisted of hammer curls and barbell curls, dumbbell shrugs and dumbbell flies and weighted dips.
That comeback workout got me going because I was doing it all for myself and not anyone else. What do you know, I am back in ‘fighting’ form with my regular workout routine. I just decided to be more consistent with my workout routine so I can enjoy my music more.

 

 

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Self-defense techniques women should know

 

The Women’s March was all over the news in January, so it got me thinking about self-defense techniques that every female should be aware of. The first thing I have to point out is that prevention is always better than combat, so if you’re ever in a tricky situation, if you can get out of it without using violence, that would be ideal.

One of the main pieces of advice I can give you is to try to force your attacker to go into an area where there are many people. If you can and have somebody to talk to, be sure to tell them that you feel threatened before something bad happens. If escape isn’t possible at all, you have to shout loudly and push back at the attacker as visibly as possible, particularly if you’re in the middle of a crowd. However, if you are all alone, there are some other things you can do. In fact, shouting might be a bad idea if the offender finds you vulnerable and can take advantage of your vulnerability.

 

Hitting the right body areas

The position and state of your attacker should determine the most vulnerable areas on his or her body. Some of the first bodily regions I can think of, in this sense, are the eyes, the nose, the mouth, the groin, and the knees. Most of the anatomical parts in the head area are somewhat, but you might want to go for the eyes if you have the opportunity as they’re particularly sensitive and can momentarily affect your attacker’s sight. What this means is that he or she will not have the opportunity to see where you’re going, therefore giving you the chance to escape.

If you’ve ever been to some self-defense classes or you’re simply in good shape, you might want also want to consider the side of the neck. Some people might not think of this region as a good target, but the fact of the matter is that it really is because both the jugular vein and the carotid artery go through this area. The least thing you could do is stun your offender so that he or she gives you some time to run.

 

Use everything you can

If you’re walking home in the dark and have no pepper spray or anything other that might cause some damage to your attacker, it might be a good idea to hold a key between your fingers so that you can stick them into his or her eyes. Tossing some sand into one’s eyes can cause a serious drawback and even give you the chance to call 911. The main point here is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have the time, I would advise you to join a self-defense class in your area.

 

 

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Decided to buy my own pair of punching gloves

Punching gloves come in a broad range of sizes and weights these days, and so I found it particularly difficult to get the perfect pair until I went online and did a bit of research on my own. Rest assured, there are many websites that can help you as I’ve seen that people go to extreme lengths to put together long and sometimes very detailed buyer’s guides that can help you choose the right product.

Image: dek23.com

In my experience, the first thing you have to do is look at yourself. Not necessarily in the mirror. Consider your weight, how tall you are, and your skills before you go out and buy the first pair that you see. Believe it or not, brands matter a whole deal, because the ones that have been on the market for a decent amount of time know how to develop their products in such a way so that they fail to disappoint the user. I do sparring, which is to say that I don’t train for competitions and such. The whole purpose of my workout routine is to hit the bag at home and go to the studio whenever I have the time. Because of my job, I can’t always devote several hours per week for the training sessions, which is why I try to make the most on my own. Although I thought it would be difficult to stick to a training routine in the first place, I found that hitting the heavy bag every two days or so is actually an easy thing to do.

 

Image: dickssportinggoods.com

Sparring gloves are different from bag or training ones, which is why I had to get two separate pairs. One I’ll use when training with another person at the studio and the other I’ll use on my own. Initially, I thought of getting a pair of training gloves because technically, they would work well under both circumstances. However, I’ve noticed that they haven’t been constructed with the needs of the person wearing them and the ones of the opponent in mind. I have no intention injuring my opponent when I practice at the studio, so that’s why I eventually chose a sparring pair, as well. What I can say about the latter is that they’re considerably bigger than the ones I use on a regular basis, in that they have way more padding and, therefore, they offer more protection.

 

The next thing I did was contemplate the popular brands out there. From what I learned by doing a bit of research, some of the critically acclaimed manufacturers in this field are Everlast, Title, and Rival. I tried out several products to make sure that I got the best size. Of course, I’m a victim of sales and discounts as much as anyone else, so I decided to order two Everlast pairs online, from Amazon. I couldn’t be more satisfied with both of them, so I guess you could say I am an Everlast endorser. For now, I haven’t tried other products manufactured by the same company, but I’m always looking to see what they’re about to release.

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Experimenting with kick boxing training

When you’re just beginning to learn kick boxing, the only precaution you need to take is to stay out of someone else’s reach. Shadow boxing or finding your fighting stance in front of the mirror are hardly dangerous situations. This is why, by the time you get to the actual kicking and punching part, you may forget that this is a semi-contact sport with a high rate of injury infliction possibility, if practiced carelessly.

 

Injuries aren’t necessarily caused by an opponent, as I got to learn on my own skin. Apparently, they can appear anytime you hit parts of your body on hard objects. And in kickboxing training, that is pretty much all that you do. Protecting your body should be the first of your concerns whichever your sport or practice of choice might be. In kickboxing, you might keep your head out of serious blows, but the hands, feet, elbows and knees are bound to be used and thus, easily hurt.

 

Like I mentioned above, I’ve got over-confident while I was doing my beginner’s practice and when I finally started practicing on a heavy bag, I suffered the consequences of my stupidity and for quite some time.

 

I was alone in the gym when I thought some music will help me concentrate better and maybe create an impulse to increase the power of my strikes, and I was right. I got so worked up because of the rhythm, that I started punching harder and harder, even though after a while my fists started to hurt pretty bad. I did get to wrap my wrists before I started the practice, but that only helped with keeping the wrists in place. By the time I finished, I could barely feel my fingers and pain began to install deeper and deeper into my hands. The injuries I suffered that day kept me away from the gym and this sport for months, not to mention that in the first two weeks, I couldn’t really use my hands but for the simplest tasks, and with major discomfort.

 

This is the main reason I decided to write this post: to prevent anyone practicing or who contemplates the idea of starting to practice kickboxing that wearing gloves is essential. I’ve heard other fighters, especially teens, saying that wearing gloves is a sign of weakness. I’ve come to realise wearing protective equipment is a sign of wisdom. Gloves, wraps, knee pads, they don’t exist for avoiding pain, but for protecting the integrity of the body, the very body you need in order to do what you love. Kickboxing is a sport with an aggressive side to it, and where there’s aggressiveness, there’s always a good chance that somebody gets hurt. Heavy bags are specially designed to return the resistance a human body would, but sometimes they can be even stronger. Constantly punching them doesn’t weaken them like it would a human body. I know from my own experience how one can get lost in this activity and keep on doing it for hours. Having a glove to protect your fist will make sure you can do so without permanently damaging your hand.

If you’d like to try out kickboxing for yourself, here are two videos that might help:

 

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Music I listen to when working out

 

 

As you probably know by now if you’ve taken the time to read some of my past posts, I’m all about living healthy and exercising. I would really like to go to the gym on a regular basis but I find that, for me, human interaction is occasionally difficult. Basically, what this means is that I kind of cringe at the idea of talking to a trainer or to somebody else who’s using a machine near me. Take it easy, this doesn’t make me a freak as I normally don’t behave like this. However, if I’ve had a particularly rough day, I’m not into talking.

Somehow, I correlate working out with the idea of listening to music. I know most people do this and I regularly do it as well, when I go out to jog. The fact is that most of the music that you’ll hear in some gyms is absolutely horrible. I don’t normally listen to house music or whatever this dance-type genre seems to be nowadays, and although I like hip-hop and r’n’b, I do have my preferences. I prefer dancing to Beyonce than listening to a song written and played by Kanye, for example.

If you like working out all by yourself and have found it hard to create a playlist of songs that can get you all pumped up and wanting to blow off some steam, I can help. Take “Lose My Breath” by Destiny’s Child. If you can keep up with the rhythm of this song, you’re good to go. I found it a bit hard to do so, in the beginning, when I wasn’t in the best shape of my life.

Another fun tune to listen to when exercising is “Fergalicious” by Fergie. Now, I’m about to move on to another genre completely. Have you heard about La Roux? My favorite song of hers is “Bulletproof”. I can’t stop dancing for thirty minutes at a time if I put it on repeat.

Other singers that are great at making you move are Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Beastie Boys, Salt-n-Pepa, Outkast, and the list could go on forever. Where I’m going at is that the greatest drawback of going to the gym is that you have to listen to somebody else’s playlist. I can’t believe how frustrating this can be. I used to go to a gym where everything and everybody was nice. The place was boasting with machines, the interior design was amazing, the trainers were polite and considerate, and so I didn’t have anything against the gym, other than the horrible music. Plus, it was so loud that I couldn’t hear the one on my phone.

My point is that you should try to take some time on a Sunday or whenever you have a day off to try to create a playlist like this one.

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