vendredi 25 octobre 2013

Understanding Body Muscles for Fitness

Muscles are what make the body look "together", no matter the body type or body shape. They are the very reason we have shape and dexterity, as well as skill and grace in our physical movement. In most cases it takes an injury before we notice the presence of muscles in some of the most obscure and seemingly unimportant parts of our bodies.
Understanding the muscles in the body is the key to improving your fitness level, as well as help keeping injuries at bay. Here are a few muscles (and their nicknames) that should help you improve your exercise and bodybuilding routine:
Rectus Abdominis: we love to call them abs! These are the stomach muscles that hold the organs in place. Give these muscles a thorough workout and they will deliver that dream six pack. Sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, knee raises will get these muscles going.
Pectoralis Major: often referred to as pecs, these muscles keep the shoulder bones, chest and arms linked. Working those pecs could easily double the chest size; and that alone is enough to keep troublemakers at bay. Pec workouts include push-ups, cable crossovers, bench presses, dips and more.
Latissimus Dorsi: are also called lats. These back muscles connect your shoulder, spine and arms, forming a V like shape. When developed, the enhanced V shape physique is sure to get the proud owner a lot of attention. Some good workouts for lats include chin-ups, seated rows, pull-downs and pull-backs using a resistance band
Trapezius: better known as traps, this muscle extends the neck, down the spine to the mid-back, and then back to the shoulder blades. When over developed, these muscles thicken and widen the neck, making it appear short. They also serve as breathing muscles and have a tendency to knot up, due to stress. Good workouts for traps include dumbbell shrugs, upright rows and lateral raises.
Gluteus maximus: otherwise known as glutes are none other than your buttock muscles. They are more than just decorative. They are in fact responsible for body posture and stability. For a shapely well-toned gluteus, recommended exercises include squats, lunges and kickbacks.
Quadriceps Femoris: also known as quads. They are found in the front of the upper leg (thighs). High resistance workouts such as squats, running, biking will help thicken and strengthen these upper leg muscles.
Hamstrings: also known as hams, are back leg muscles which run from the hip joint to the knee joint. They support lifting of heavy objects as well as movement of hips and knees, enabling the body to walk, run, jump and cycle. Hamstring injuries are common and can be avoided through regular exercise e.g. leg curls, leg deadlifts and glute ham raises
Regular exercise promotes growth, strength, endurance and flexibility of muscles. As a result, the body is less likely to feel weak and tired or suffer injury in the case of a fall or when engaging in physically demanding work.
It's important to be aware that not every kind of exercise will have the same impact on the body. For example, endurance exercises (i.e. long distance trekking, running, swimming, cycling) are great for developing stamina but not ideal if seeking to develop a heavy muscular body.
Bodybuilding exercises require high resistance, (e.g. lifting heavy weights, cycling uphill, sprints) which cause the muscles to contract as hard as they possibly can, and subsequently increase size of muscle cells.
Intense workouts demand attention from the rest of the body - the heart quickens to supply more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and even the digestive system saves up extra energy for your muscles to use. This is why healthy eating is extremely essential for exercise and body building. A severe shortage of nutrition in the body can lead to muscle loss and breakdown.
For great resources on fitness, fat burning foods, healthy diet recipes and good eating habits visit healthy eating at this link Sian Jay is a keen health and fitness advocate, with years of experience in the body building industry.

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