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10 Fitness Tips

1) Don’t work your abdominal muscles every day.  Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.

2)  Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain.

3)  If you’re under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you’re over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer. 

4)  Keep your weight workouts under 50-60 minutes. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a testosterone-blocking, muscle-wasting effect. 

5)  Use dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and machines—in that order. The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups. Progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.

6)  Avoid tight calfs. Flexible ankles are important for everything above them. To increase your ankle flexibility, do this: Sit on the floor with your shoes off. Extend your legs in front of you, heels on the floor. Point your toes straight out as far as possible, then flex them toward your shins as far as you can. Repeat for 1 minute. 

7)  When doing lat pulldowns, don’t wrap your thumb around the bar. Instead, place it on top, alongside your index finger. This decreases the involvement of your arm muscles, so you’ll work your back harder. Works for pullups, too. 

8)   If you don’t like an exercise, maybe you should start doing it. Get someone to help you find an alternative exercise but work that body part.

9) If you hurt your right arm, don’t stop exercising your left arm. There is a cross-over effect where people who trained only one arm for 2 weeks managed to increase arm strength in their nonexercising arm up to 10 percent. The reason: Exercising one arm stimulates the muscle nerve fibers in the opposite arm. That’s the cross over effect and it works on every area of the body.

10)   Re-test yourself often. Every 4 weeks, measure a variable—waist size, arm size, body fat, bench press strength—something that equates to your end goal. It’ll show you the tangible results of your trainingand that translates into motivation. 

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