Do These 8 Underrated Exercises

They may not be fancy, but these exercises do the body good. So why are you ignoring them?

You go the gym, do the same routine day in and day out, and go home But is your routine pushing your body to be its best or are you sticking by a certain set of exercises just because you’re comfortable with them? Read on to find eight exercises that you – along with half the people in your gym – may be neglecting.

Bridges

They seem so basic, because they are. Resting on your forearms and toes, you hold your stomach tight in order to cause your body to levitate a few inches off the ground, keeping your back straight. Thanks to these stripped down, basic exercises, your body gets the basic results you want – a stronger, more supportive core.

Deadlifts

Though pictures of competitive body builders may leap in your head when thinking of deadlifts, you may be surprised that the average Joe or Jo should also be performing this underrated exercise. Why? Because you perform it one way or another almost every day. Whether picking up your child during playtime, grabbing a bag of 35-pound dog food from the bottom shelf, dead lifts are part of life. Getting better at them at the gym only makes sense.

Horizontal Pull-Ups

This one may be neglected because it’s not as available as others. Or at least it doesn’t seem to be available. To perform this, you have to find a bar relatively close to the ground. Hanging underneath it with your body extended out and feet resting on the floor, pull yourself up to the bar repeatedly. While essentially the same motion as push-ups or bench pressing, horizontal pull-ups push your body in slightly different ways and more closely mimic movements necessary for climbing and other activities.

Push-Ups

Always the underdog, push-ups are the essence of basic exercise, working out the chest, biceps, and triceps. In fact, if performed correctly, you’ll be forced to tighten your core muscles during each repetition, which adds to the shape and strength of your six-pack abdominal muscles.

Running

You probably don’t see a lot of body builders on the treadmill. That’s because they run at home. One of the most vital pieces to a complete workout regimen, running consistently improves your cardiovascular health, increases your stamina, and helps tone and shape your muscles.

Squats

Toss some weight on a rack and bend at the knees until you lower yourself toward the ground as far as possible. Return to your starting position and repeat – but do it all with precision and proper mechanics. You’ll feel the burn in your legs, but squats actually work quite a few other muscles and should therefore not be neglected in your routine.

Stretches

Often overlooked as an unnecessary part of working out, stretching is anything but unnecessary. In fact, if you want to get bigger and stronger and maintain your range of motion, the only way to do it is through stretching whatever body part you’re planning to exercise. There are stretches for every muscle, from the thighs to the calves to the biceps to the neck. With a little stretching, you give your body a chance to warm up and prevent yourself from potential injury.

Swimming

It offers a full-body workout that tests your stamina and strength. You’ve known it for years, but you still don’t take advantage of it. What kind of swimming should you get started with? Any kind of swimming will work, and swimming freestyle laps at a moderate pace is a great way to break your body into swimming shape.

And the Downside

Now that you know what exercises deserves a spot in your routine, you may be curious about some of the exercises out there that get too much credit.

The following are a few of the most overrated exercises that you may be doing with a little too much frequency:

  • lunges: they’re great in moderation, but it’s not uncommon to overdo lunges and wind up with knee problems down the road
  • bench press: very useful in defining the chest and arms, the bench press belongs in your routine; just be careful not to start and end every routine with it
  • sit-ups: yes, they strengthen your abdominal muscles, but you’ll never have a six-pack unless you eat right and get enough cardio to burn off the layer of fat covering up you abs
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Banish Flabby Arms

Think it’s impossible to turn your saggy underarms into sleek, toned arms? Time to change your thinking and tone up your triceps!

Do you dread wearing sleeveless evening gowns? Wish your swimsuit covered your arms down to your elbow? Fear waving to family and friends when they’re leaving town? Then it’s time for you to get rid of those flabby underarms! To make it happen, you’ve got to do five things.

Number One: Know the Muscle

The muscles that are causing your underarm sag are your triceps. So while doing exercises that strengthen other parts of the arm are helpful for your overall health, they aren’t going to give your underarm the upper lift you seek. Rather, you’re going to have to go after the muscle that is causing the sag – your triceps. But before you do that, you’ve got to consider something else that is more basic than overcoming flabby arms.

Muscles come and go; flab lasts
Bill Vaughan

Number Two: Remember Your Body Is the Spot

When you have fat stored in your arms, you can’t simply make it disappear with a few magic exercises. You’re going to have to tone up the rest of your body as well. Along with triceps-specific exercises, get plenty of cardio in your routine. This will get you sweating and help you burn fat from your head to your toes.

Without this full-body burn, your spot-specific exercises will reap very little visible benefit for your triceps. So before you spend hours in the gym, working out your underarms, you should spend half an hour on the treadmill or the Stairmaster.

Number Three: Feel the Burn

If you stop working out when you start to sweat or begin to feel a little fatigued, you aren’t giving your triceps the full workout they need. In order to push your triceps to the position and shape you want, you’re going to have to work them harder than ever. That doesn’t mean you should work your body to exhaustion every day. Like every other body part, your triceps need some days off between being worked out.

Good exercises that are tailored specifically for your triceps include the following:

  • push-ups with your hands close together or touching
  • bench press with your hands close together
  • overhead cable extensions
  • weighted dips
  • dumbbell triceps presses

Number Four: Go under the Knife

For some people, reducing the sag under the arms isn’t as easy as hitting the gym. After losing lots of weight, some people are left with excess skin on various parts of their bodies – including the under arm. In the event you find yourself with skin hanging off your underarms that isn’t covering fat and won’t go away, you may need to have the extra skin surgically removed. This is a relatively fast and easy procedure that helps you show off the new body you worked so hard for through your weight loss efforts. But don’t use surgery as an easy way to trim your arms. Surgery should only be used when medically necessary and there is no other way to trim up your triceps. And once you undergo surgery, you have to be careful to avoid regaining the flabby arms you have removed.

Number Five: Never Give Up

It may take some time to cut away the flab under your arm, but if you keep yourself focused and really want sleek arms, it’s worth the effort. So know what you want, push yourself to reach it, and never give up. With perseverance and plenty of hard work, you’ll have the arms you’ve always wanted!

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