Q: The place ought to I place my palms once I’m doing crunches? I’ve at all times put them behind my head, however I’ve been experiencing neck ache just lately and I believe it is likely to be from the crunches.
Based mostly on what you’re saying, your ache very effectively could also be from the crunches. Sadly, many health professionals proceed to show folks to position their palms behind their heads whereas performing this train. It’s a method that may have detrimental penalties. Right here’s why:
When the palms are clasped behind the pinnacle throughout spinal flexion (a crunch), there’s a reflexive tendency to tug on the sternocleidomastoid muscle groups of the neck. That is very true as a set turns into harder and also you’re struggling to finish the previous couple of reps. Along with considerably rising the potential for a neck pressure, this additionally introduces momentum into the motion, thereby reducing its effectiveness in creating your abs.
For greatest outcomes, it’s advisable to maintain your palms folded throughout your chest or, instead, make fists and hold them at your ears. This can be sure that the motion takes place completely at the focus – your abs, not your neck. When you have weak neck muscle groups, it’s greatest to make use of a tool like an ab curler or one of many many ab machines out there in your native fitness center. These items present a cushioned help to your head. Regardless, supporting your neck together with your palms will solely serve to exacerbate neck issues and impede outcomes.
Q: I hate my calves. They’re like sticks they usually make my thighs look larger than they really are. Assist!
Your plight is comprehensible. For most individuals, the calves are very tough to develop. There are two major causes for this. First, the calves are used greater than another muscle groups within the physique. They’re energetic each time you stand, to not point out stroll, run, or do any cellular exercise, and subsequently are usually extra immune to train. What’s extra, the soleus muscle, one of many two major muscle groups that make up the calves (the opposite is the gastrocnemius, or gastroc, for brief) is made up virtually completely of slow-twitch fibers. Gradual-twitch fibers are endurance-based fibers which have little or no potential for development (versus fast-twitch fibers, that are strength-related and develop readily).
That mentioned, you’ll be able to enhance the looks of your calves in the event you’re prepared to place within the effort and apply some good previous train science. Right here’s how: The calves will be selectively focused through the use of two various kinds of actions. As a result of the gastroc crosses the knee joint, it’s positioned in a totally stretched place throughout workout routines the place the legs are saved straight, thereby maximizing stimulation of the muscle. Thus, standing calf raises, donkey calf raises, and toe presses are glorious decisions for focusing on this muscle. For the reason that fiber composition of the gastroc is about half fast-twitch/half slow-twitch, a rep vary of 8 to 10 per set is right for maximizing hypertrophy (muscle development).
The soleus, alternatively, doesn’t cross the knee joint. Subsequently, it may be focused by workout routines during which the knees are bent. Any kind of seated calf motion will do the trick right here. Due to its endurance-based fiber composition, a better rep vary is usually mandatory to actually fatigue this muscle. Purpose for a spread of 15 to twenty reps per set.
Three to 4 units of an train for every muscle can be excellent. Carry out this routine a few instances per week, taking at the very least 48 hours of relaxation between classes, and it is best to begin seeing these sticks flip into diamonds earlier than lengthy.