The Four Exercises To Reduce Lower Back Pain And Strengthen Core

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Low-back pain is a potentially debilitating issue that affects most active people at some point in their lives. One major downside of having low-back pain is how difficult it is to exercise and achieve your fitness goals, such as finally getting that flat tummy you’ve always wanted. Luckily, there is one exercise that can reduce low-back pain while simultaneously flattening your stomach — the plank

Because the plank exercise requires minimal movement while contracting all layers of the abdominal fascia, it is an excellent way to strengthen the core, which, in turn, helps reduce low-back pain. As the deep abdominal muscles become stronger, your mid-section tightens. When done properly, the plank not only uses the deep abdominal muscles, it also recruits the hip, shoulder and upper-back muscles.

HOW TO DO AN EFFECTIVE PLANK:

  1. Hold the elbows directly under the shoulders and place the wrists in line with the elbows.
  2. Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck (like you’re holding an egg between your chin and your throat).
  3. In this position, brace your abdominals—contract them like expecting a punch in the stomach, squeeze your gluteal (tailbone) and thigh muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
  4. Hold a plank at least 20 to 30 seconds. (When using correct form, it is not necessary to hold it for longer than this amount of time.)
  5. Rest for approximately one minute and repeat three to five more times.
  6. Start doing the plank using the elbows and toes (feel free to drop to your knees if necessary) and progress up to a high plank when you feel you have developed the necessary strength.

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING THE PLANK:

  • Allowing the hips, head or shoulders to drop
  • Holding both hands together (creating internal rotation and instability at the shoulder joint)
  • Holding your breath
  • Trying to hold the contraction too long—it is more preferable to hold optimal alignment for a shorter period of time than to hold a poor position for an extended period of time.

PLANK WITH HIP FLEXION/EXTENSION

  1. Start in a standard high-plank position.
  2. Raise the right leg approximately 6 to 8 inches, hold for five seconds and then alternate legs. Start with three to four repetitions and gradually increase over time.
  3. To increase the level of difficulty, raise the right and then bring the right knee up to the outside of the right elbow; return to the starting position. Alternate legs for three to five repetitions.

PLANK WITH THORACIC SPINE ROTATION

  1. Start in a standard high-plank position.
  2. Press the right hand into the ground, rotate both feet and hips to the left while raising the left arm off of the ground. Rotate the left arm down, then repeat the move to the other side, pushing the left hand into the ground and rotating the right arm up.
  3. Repeat for three to six repetitions on each side.

SIDE PLANK WITH FULL EXTENSION

  1. The first level of progression is to perform the side plank with the elbow directly under the shoulder. It is important to make sure the body is properly aligned and to enhance stability by contracting the abdominals (like preparing for a punch) and squeezing the glutes (butt) and thighs while pressing both legs together. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and alternate sides.
  2. From a side -ying position, press the right hand into the ground, and fully extend the arm while pushing both legs together and keeping the side of the right foot pressed into the ground. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and alternate sides.

PLANK-UP

  1. Start in a standard high-plank position.
  2. Drop the right arm down to the right elbow, then drop your left arm down to the left elbow; hold for three seconds. Return to the starting position by placing first the right hand and then the left hand on the ground. Repeat for three to five repetitions.

All structures require a strong foundation for optimal stability, and the human body is no exception. Improving strength of the deep abdominal muscles helps establish a solid foundation for the human structure. To enhance core strength, reduce low-back pain and flatten the stomach, it is important to use exercises, such as the plank, that co-contract all layers of abdominal fascia at the same time. For specific advice on how to do these exercises or any others, sign up for one on one private boxing sessions with Malibu Boxing.

The Best and Worst Exercises for Bad Knees

Exercise may be the best medicine for chronic achy knees.

"Strengthening the muscles around the joint protects you from injury by decreasing stress on the knee," says Willibald Nagler, MD, chairman of rehabilitation medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Campus in New York City.

"Never bend your legs to a point where your knees stick out past your toes."

But you must use good form and technique.

The First Commandment

Never bend your legs to a point where your knees stick out past your toes. That puts a lot of pressure under the kneecap. This not only applies to the following exercises but also when you're stretching or doing aerobic activities such as step aerobics.

Except where stated, do 10 to 12 repetitions of each of the following, two or three times a week.

Best Exercises to Do

Partial Squats

Stand about 12 inches away from the front of a chair with your feet about hip width apart and your toes forward. Bending at the hips, slowly lower yourself halfway down to the chair. Keep your abs tight, and check that your knees stay behind your toes.

Step-ups

Using an aerobic step bench or a staircase, step up onto the step with your right foot. Tap your left foot on the top of the step, and then lower. As you step up, your knee should be directly over your ankle. Repeat with your left foot.

Side-lying Leg Lifts

Wearing ankle weights above the knee, lie on your left side, legs straight and together, with your left arm supporting your head. Keeping your right foot flexed and your body straight, slowly lift your right leg to about shoulder height, then slowly lower. Repeat with your left leg.

Inner-thigh Leg Lifts

Wearing ankle weights above the knee, lie on your left side, slightly back on your butt. Bend your right leg and place it behind your left leg with your right foot flat on the floor and your left leg straight. Support your head with your left arm. Slowly lift your left leg about 3 to 5 inches, then lower. Repeat with your right leg.

Calf Raises

Using a chair or wall for balance, stand with your feet about hip width apart, toes straight ahead. Slowly lift your heels off the floor, rising up onto your toes. Hold, then slowly lower.

Straight-Leg Raises

Sit with your back against a wall, left leg straight and right leg bent with your foot flat on the floor. Slowly raise your left leg straight up about 12 inches off the floor. Hold, then slowly lower. Repeat with your right leg.

Short-Arc Knee Extensions

In the same starting position as the straight-leg raises, put a ball (about the size of a basketball) under your left knee so that your leg is bent. Slowly straighten your leg. Hold, then slowly lower. Repeat with your right leg.

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with your left leg flat on the floor. Loop a towel or rope around your right foot and pull your leg as far as comfortable toward your chest, while keeping a slight bend at the knee. Keep your back pressed to the floor throughout the stretch. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and then release. Repeat three or four times with each leg. Do this stretch five or six times a week.

Worst Exercises—Avoid These

A few of the following exercises can be done safely if you have chronic knee problems; they're on this list because they're more likely to be done improperly. The exercises above are safer, while still giving you similar results.

Full-arc knee extensions

Lunges

Deep squats

Hurdler's stretches

AUTHOR: MICHELE @ ACTIVE.COM

This Year's Goal: You Want It! And You're Going To Go All Out To Have It.

You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma: which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work... is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. and don't settle. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.

You’re going to have some ups and you’re going to have some downs. 

Most people give up on themselves easily. You know the human spirit is powerful? There is nothing as powerful – it’s hard to kill the human spirit! Anybody can feel good when they have their health, their bills are paid, they have happy relationships. Anybody can be positive then. Anybody can have a larger vision then. Anybody can have faith under those kinds of circumstances.

The real challenge of growth - mentally, emotionally and spiritually - comes when you get knocked down. It takes courage to act. Part of being hungry when you've been defeated. It takes courage... to start over again.

Fear kills dreams. 

Fear kills hope. Fear... put people in the hospital. Fear can age you... can hold you back from doing something that you know within yourself that you are capable of doing, but it will paralyze you!

"Behind Every Principle Is A Promise"

At the end of your feelings is nothing, but at the end of every principle is a promise. Behind your little feelings, it might be absolutely nothing at the end of your little feelings. But behind every principle is a promise. And some of you in your life, the reason why you're not at your goal right now, because you're just all about your feelings. You're all on your feelings, you don’t feel like waking up – so, who does?

Everyday you say 'no' to your dreams, you might be pushing your dreams back a whole six months, a whole year! That one single day, that one day you didn’t get up could have pushed your stuff back I don’t know how long.

Don't allow your emotions to control you. We are emotional, but you want to begin to discipline your emotion. If you don't discipline and contain your emotions, they will use you.

You want it! And you’re going to go all out to have it.

It’s not going to be easy, when you want to change. It’s not easy. If it were in fact easy, everybody would do it. But if you’re serious, you’ll go all out.

I'm in control here. I’m not going to let this get me down, I’m not going to let this destroy me. I'm coming back! And I'll be stronger and better because of it! You have got to make a declaration. That this is what you stand for! You're standing up for your dreams, you're standing up for peace of mind, you're standing up for health... 

Take full responsibility for your life. Accept where you are and the responsibility that you’re going to take yourself where you want to go. You can decide that I am going to live each day as if it were my last!

Live your life with passion! With some drive.

Decide that you're going to push yourself. The last chapter to your life has not been written yet, and it doesn’t matter about what happened yesterday. It doesn’t matter about what happens to you, what matters is: ‘what are you going to do about it?’

This year I will make this goal become a reality. I won’t talk about it anymore.

I can... I can!... I CAN!

To persevere I think is important for everybody. Don't give up, don't give in. There's always an answer to everything.

Home Boxing Workout - Sculpt A Knockout Body And Punch Off The Pounds

4 Round - Home Boxing Workout

Maybe you're not the fighting type, but here are some facts that will get you in the ring: Boxing blasts around 600 calories an hour while sculpting your arms, shoulders, core, and legs. And since nailing the punch sequences requires extreme focus, boxing is an excellent way to train your mind and body at once.

How it works: After the brief warm-up, do each round back to back with little or no rest in between. Repeat the full circuit (all 4 rounds) 1-3 times total.

Warm-Up: Jump Rope

3 minutes

Get your blood pumping with this traditional boxer's warm-up. Use a real jump rope if you have one handy, but if not, just imagine you're holding one.

 

Round 1: Jab, Cross, Jab, Bob and Weave

Reps: 10 per side

Stand with your right foot forward, arms in "guard" position (elbows bent, hands in fists on either side of your chin). Throw a right jab (quickly punch your right arm forward, rotating your fist down, without locking out your elbow), a left cross (punch your left arm forward, rotating your left hip into the punch and lifting your left heel off the floor), and then repeat a right jab. Bring arms back to guard, and quickly bob and weave from left to right by lowering into a squat as you circle your body from the back (lower left) to the front (lower right) (as if tracing a letter "U" with your upper body). Return to start. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps in a row as quickly as you can, and then switch your stance and do 10 reps on the other side.

Round 1: Boxer Pushups

Reps: 10

Start in full plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders, abs in tight. Lower your body until your chest is just a few inches above the floor. Press halfway up, then lower back to hover above from the floor. Press all the way back up to full plank. That's one rep.

Do 10 in a row with proper form, being careful not to let your hips sag or your back arch during the movement. Drop to your knees if it's too challenging.

Round 2: Double Jab, Cross, Jab, Cover

Reps: 10 per side

Stand with your right foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a double jab with your left arm by quickly doing two jabs in a row. Next, throw a right cross punch, then repeat a single jab on the left. Quickly "cover" (imagine you are trying to protect your torso from your opponent's punches) by twisting your upper body (hips stay still) and bringing your right elbow to your belly button. Immediately reverse to the left, and then repeat one more time to the right (the pace of this move is very quick, try counting "1, 2, 3" as you do it to keep your tempo up). Return to start. That's one rep.

Repeat 10 times in a row as quickly as you can, and then switch your stance and do 10 reps on the other side.

Round 2: Boxer Pushups

Reps: 10

Repeat the same movement you did during round one. If your form starts to fall apart, drop to your knees to complete the set.

Round 3: Jab, Cross, Hook, Bob and Weave

Reps: 10 per side

This combo is very similar to round one, except you'll add a new knockout punch: the hook. Start standing with your right foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a right jab, left cross, and then a right hook by keeping your elbow bent at 90 degrees and pivoting your right heel up as you rotate your right hip forward to power the punch (think of your fist swinging around the side of your opponent's face). Bring arms back to guard and quickly bob and weave from left to right, lowering into a squat as you circle your body from the back to the front. Return to start. That's one rep.

Repeat 10 times in a row as quickly as you can, and then switch your stance and do 10 reps on the other side.

Round 3: Boxer Bicycle Crunches

Reps: 20

Lie face-up with your knees bent into your chest, arms on guard. Lift your head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground and then perform a bicycle crunch by twisting your left shoulder toward your right knee, left leg extends out straight and parallel to (but not touching) the ground. Repeat to the other side. That's one rep.

Do 20 reps in a row (head stays lifted the entire time) as quickly as you can. Keep your belly button pulled in tight to your spine and your chin in towards your chest to maximize your belly burn and avoid neck strain.

Round 4: Jab, Cross, Upper, Cover

Reps: 10 per side

This combo introduces the fourth and final punch: the uppercut. Stand with your right foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a right jab, a left cross punch, then a right uppercut (bend your elbow into your body, rotate your right hip and heel, and imagine punching up and under your opponent's chin). Next, quickly repeat the cover move from round two by twisting your upper body and elbows to your left, right, and left (quickly counting "1, 2, 3" as you do it). Return to start. That's one rep.

Repeat 10 times in a row as quickly as you can, and then switch your stance and do 10 reps on the other side.

Round 4: Boxer Bicycle Crunches

Reps: 20

Do another set of boxer bicycle crunches, moving as quickly as you can with perfect form.

Cardio Finisher: Criss-Cross Jump Rope

3 to 5 minutes

To burn off any remaining energy (and calories!), grab your jump rope—real or imaginary—and do up to 5 minutes of criss-cross style jumping.

Finally, wind down with a few dynamic stretches.

AUTHOR: JESSICA SMITH @ SHAPE FITNESS

Boxing Workout of Victoria's Secret Model: Adriana Lima

Train Like An Angel

We absolutely had to feature this video from the Victoria's Secret video series Train Like An Angel: Adriana Lima.

Supermodel Adriana Lima and Angel trainer Michael Olajide walk us through the workout:

Areo Box Upper Body Cardio - 30 Mins

Areo Box Upper Body Cardio - 30 Mins

Intro Combo:

  1. Jab
  2. Jab
  3. Cross
  4. Uppercut
  5. Cross
  6. Hook
  7. Cross

Jumprope Cardio :

  • Basic Jump Warm Up - 3 Min (knees slightly bend on impact)
  • Alternate High & Low Intensity - 2-3 Mins (knees straighter and shoulders tighten)
  • The Crossover -
    1. Cross Hands Across Body (keep hands down low)
    2. Keep Hands across the body and squeeze abs tight
  • rossover + Double Turns - 
    1. ross & Explode Up with a two turns of the rope (Double Turn)
    2. Double It Up - Crossover + Double Turn + Double Turn
    3. Non-Stop Double Turns
  • Side Open - (slow squat - side - open) - increase speed

Thank You Adriana Lima & Victoria's Secret

Your Why Has To Be Greater

From Mateusz M, Transcript:

You can write anything down if you want to, be brave enough to write every one of your goals down, but I'm going to tell you something.  Life is going to hit you in your mouth and you gotta do me a huge favor, your why has to be greater than that knockdown.

Buster Douglas got knocked down. Nobody ever got knocked down by Mike Tyson and ever got back up.

It was almost a ten count, he was stumbling... 4... 3... 2... 1 [Ding Ding] saved by the bell. And goes to his corner, and the whole world is like 'yep that's it'. Once he comes back out, that's it, Mike is just gonna hammer him. And exactly that, Mike Tyson come out like - I got him. I got this kid up against to rope.

"You can't give up, you can't give in."

Listen to me, many of you right now, life's got you up against the rope. You can't give up, you can't give in. Listen to me, if it was be easy everybody would do it. And if life has you backed up, I need you to do it, what Buster Douglas did.

Buster Douglas start fighting back!

And the world was shocked! Goliath has been knocked down, "what happened?" And they went to Buster Douglas, and they asked Buster Douglas simply, "what happened?" And Buster Douglas said, "Listen to me, it's really simple. Before my mother died. She told the whole world that I was going to beat Mike Tyson. And two days before the fight, my mother died." 

Buster Douglas had a decision to make. When his mother died, he could have died with his mother or make a decision, 'I can wake up... and I can live for mom' and he knocked Mike Tyson down. Simply because his why was greater than that punch. His why was greater than defeat! His why was greater than his and tribulation. And I'm telling you. 

If you don't know what your why is and your why isn't strong, your gonna get knocked down every single day!

11 Most Common Myths On Fitness, Exercises And Workouts

1. When You Stop Working Out, Muscles Will Turn Into Fat

It’s the most typical workout myth in the world. Muscle has never and will never turn into fat and neither does fat turn into muscle. During weight training, more energy is required, hence a bigger appetite. When a person stops working out, the need for extra energy stops as well. But because the stomach size has increased due to a bigger appetite, the need to feel full has become a habit. Those extra calories that were once used as fuel while training is now stored as fat. It may seem like the bulk of muscle has turned into fat, but the truth is that the body became fatter due to eating more than previously needed.

Be it protein or carbohydrates, both turns into fat when not used. Cutting back on training requires you to cut back on food consumption as well.

2. Food Eaten After 8 At Night Will Turn Into Body Fat

Not entirely true. For people who workout during the later part of a day, it is important to eat accordingly. Whenever there is a need for the body to repair and rebuild, fuel is needed and the body most actively repairs during during sleep. However, it is more important to eat healthier foods during the later part of a day like lean meat, unsaturated fats, vegetables and fruits to avoid the risk of unwanted fat deposits. Give the body at least 2 hours to digest the food before going to bed.

3. Six Pack Abs Equal Six Hundred Sit Ups And Crunches Daily

Everyone has six pack abs. Abdominal exercises do not lead to clearly visible six pack abs but fat reduction does. The first place that fat goes to in the body, is the last place fat comes off (tummy for men and hips, butt, and thighs for women). Spot reduction of fat has never and will never work. A whole-body workout like cardio boxing is a great example of a fat reduction workout.

A six pack abs is a definite want for any man working out for it is a social muscle. Ab exercises will definitely strengthen and tone the abs but does not rid the fat. A better use of time would be to spend it on interval cardio sessions and making sure that proper food is fed to the body.

I actually have a personal digital body fat analyzer that I use from time to time that gives me a rough idea of my body’s current state. Accuracy may not be as good as a DXA but it’s good enough for me. You can easily get one at less than $US 10 from online auction sites like ebay.

4. Stretching And Warm Up Isn’t Necessary

I hit the gym everyday. And everyday I’ll take up 10 minutes to stretch and warm up my body from head to toe. It is necessary to avoid sprains and injuries. Even after a good day’s workout, I stretch. It greatly reduces the severity of DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, which will be pretty much appreciated the morning after.

5. Supplements Will Boost Muscle Growth And Strength In No Time

There are only 2 ways to make the most gains in mass and might.

  • A good training program.
  • A well planned out diet.

Time and energy should be focused on the 2 methods mentioned above rather than on supplements that claim to be able to bring out the Arnold in you. Some supplements may have serious and irreversible side effects if taken wrongly. For example, steroids taken wrongly may lead to a loss of appetite, constipation, intestinal irritation, vomiting, nose bleeding, headaches, increased aggression and even liver cancer. It’s way better to attain the results we want naturally. Think safe, think long term. Our body’s health should not be taken lightly.

6. Your Body Weakens With Age

It’s all in the mind. Think old and you’ll look old and act old. The fact is, exercise doesn’t only improve your physique and rejuvenates your spirit, but also gives you a healthy perspective on people and the world around. 

With regular exercise, training and a low-fat diet, you’ll gain increased energy levels, leaner body mass and an optimum body fat percentage. With the big 90 around the corner, people still do experience renewed strength, increased mobility, stronger bones and greater flexibility by exercising.

7. The Longer Time I Spend At The Gym, The Fitter I Become

It's different for each person, but for me, it’s no longer than 30 minutes 5 times a week with a 15 minute warmup and 15 core exercise and stretching at the end of the workout. The focus here is on efficiency and effectiveness that works every muscle in your body. An average bodybuilder does not spend more than 1 hour working out. People who just don’t have the time to workout that much will lose interest and motivation to exercise, if the myth were true. The point is, any exercise, at all, done correctly is better than none.

8. If I Don’t Feel Pain In The Morning, I Didn’t Work Out Hard Enough

When we exercise or lift weights, our muscle fibers will tear a little. Muscle soreness is expected, but normally heals within a week. Anything more than a week is an indication of over working out. Committing to a fitness program will eventually lead the muscle into getting used to it. Changing a fitness program regularly will ensure that all muscles are worked on and experiencing growth.

However, what happens in the gym is only meant to PROMOTE muscle growth. The REAL process begins only when a person is RECOVERING. Pain should not be used as a measurement of a workout session’s effectiveness. Some soreness, yes, but not pain. Always remember to stretch before and after. Get enough rest and work on different muscle groups on different days. Rest a day if the muscles are still sore.

9. Avoid Drinking Water When Your Body Is Over Heated

An average human body’s water content is 60% for men and 55% for women. In my body, 86 out of 143 pounds are water. If the body’s water content drops 5%, it’s already considered dehydration. An hour of vigorous exercise is enough to drain a quart (~1 liter). Drinking before, during and after is pretty important.

During exercise, muscles generate heat that will cause a rise in body temperature. This heat is doused by water when it is carried in the bloodstream and pushed to the surface as bullets of sweat. It continues to drain water from the body until it is replenished. Thirst is already a sign of dehydration. Drinking water keeps the muscles oiled and the body productive. Here's how much water should you drink.

10. The Prime Time For Exercising And Working Out Is In The Mornings

Correction. The best time to exercise is the time that works with the individual’s body clock and fits their busy days. People working out in the morning are more likely to stick to their fitness plans as they are able to get it in before the various demands of life compete for their time.

Many, many people believe that the best way to lose fat is to start pushing your body right after waking up in the mornings, on an empty stomach. I say no. Exercise is meant for toning the muscle and burning fat. Inability to draw energy from the main source will only force the body to go to other sources of energy, which are your muscles and fat. More muscles are used up as fuel as their composition is much simpler compared to fat.

11. It Is Okay To Cover A Week’s Worth Of Workout During The Weekend

It’s much better spreading a workout all over the week instead of pounding the body during weekends. A weekend warrior will lose out on other health benefits. Blood pressure and glucose levels are temporarily lowered during each exercise, which are beneficial in the long run. Exercising regularly also keeps a person’s appetite consistent.

 

Water: Staying Safely Hydrated

Water: How much should you drink every day?

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.

How much water should you drink each day? It's a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?

Everyone has heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day." That's about 1.9 liters, which isn't that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the "8 by 8" rule isn't supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it's easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total.

Factors that influence water needs

You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.
  • Intense exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it's best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you're finished exercising.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. You may also need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters ) of fluids a day.

Beyond the tap: Other sources of water

You don't need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are 90 percent or more water by weight.

In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is still your best bet because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Staying safely hydrated

Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow — and measures about 6.3 cups (1.5 liters) or more a day if you were to keep track — your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you're concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that's right for you.

To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to:

  • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise

Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

AUTHOR: STAFF @ MAYO CLINIC

Train Like a Boxer: 10 Exercises to Get You in Fighting Shape

I’ve always loved the sport of boxing.

When I was younger, I punched a few holes in the wall (sorry, mom and dad), and pretty soon afterwards my parents bought me a punching bag (which is all I always wanted anyway, guess I should have brought that up sooner).

I had no idea what I was doing then when I tried to punch the damn thing—all I knew was that boxers were always in incredible shape and really badass, and I wanted to be just like them.

Fast forward a few years later, I got my personal training certification and got a job at a gym in New York City solely based on the fact that it had a boxing ring and an awesome, incredibly badass trainer. I started taking lessons right away, and quickly learned all my hooks, jabs, and undercuts. I fell even deeper in love with the sport.

There’s something so satisfying, so primal in a way, of punching something (or someone) as hard as humanly possible.

And there’s no doubt about it—being in the ring is exhausting. You have to be able to outlast your opponent until the bitter end, so there’s no option but to be as fit as possible. Heck, even just a few rounds on a punching bag will leave you sweaty and breathless.

But whether or not you have any desire to punch anything, it’s hard to avoid the reality that boxers are in some of the best shape of any athletes. Never bulky, boxers tend to have a lean, athletic look based on being incredibly strong, well-conditioned, and full of passion and fire.

Because when you train like a fighter, you’ll build the strength, crazy endurance, and core power so that if you wanted to punch someone round after round, you could.

Here are 10 exercises you can do to get in fighting shape:

Jump rope

Jumping rope is one of the classic boxing exercises, because it helps build a lean, strong body, aids in coordination, agility, and footwork, and boosts endurance like nearly no other exercise does. Plus, since jump ropes are so portable, you can literally do it anywhere.

Here are some jump rope variations you can try:

  • Single jumps
  • High knees
  • Double jumps
  • Figure eights

Burpees

Burpees are pretty much the best exercise ever, and will increase your strength and endurance like no other exercise will. Plus, all that getting up and down is helpful in the ring (if you ever get knocked down, that is).

How to do it:

  1. Get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Kick your feet back into a push up position and lower body to the floor.
  3. Return your feet back to the squat position as fast as possible.
  4. Immediately jump up into the air as high as you can.
  5. Add a little clap for pizazz!

Sit ups

Boxers need a strong core to give them the strength to keep throwing punches, and sit ups are one of the classic exercises to build up core strength in the ring.

How to do it:

  1. Lay on the floor with your legs spread in a butterfly setup.
  2. Stretch your arms in front of you.
  3. Use your abs to pull yourself off of the floor.
  4. Touch your feet with your hands, making sure to keep your chest forward.
  5. Lower back down and repeat.

Tip: Try different variations of the sit up, such as throwing punches at the top of a sit up to build even more core strength and endurance.

Shadow boxing

It may seem wimpy if you’ve never tried it, but shadow boxing is one of the best ways to practice your movement and footwork as a boxer. Plus, it’s more tiring that you might imagine.

Push ups

Push ups are awesome and will also give you strong arms, shoulders, chest and core muscles. Plus, they require no equipment whatsoever, so you have no excuse not to do them!

How to do it:

  1. Start in a push up position, with your shoulders directly over your hands.
  2. Tighten your abs, glutes and thighs.
  3. Lower yourself down so that your chest touches the floor.
  4. Push yourself back up into the starting position and repeat.

Beginner Modification:

  1. Start in a push up position with your knees on the floor.
  2. Tighten your abs, glutes and thighs.
  3. Lower yourself down so that your chest touches the floor.
  4. Push yourself back up into the starting position and repeat.

Chin ups/pull ups

Not only are chin ups and pull ups totally badass, they’ll build up your arm, chest, back, shoulder and core strength like no other. Can’t do a single one yet? Learn how to start doing chin ups and pull ups.

How to do it:

  1. Start from a dead hang with straight elbows, palms facing you for chin ups, palms facing away for pull ups
  2. Keeping your chest up and your shoulders back, squeeze your glutes and cross your feet
  3. Pull yourself up so that your chin rests over the bar
  4. Lower down and repeat.

Squats

Squats will strengthen your legs and glutes so you can bob, weave, and slip (typical boxing defenses) all day long. A strong lower body is just as—or maybe more—important than a strong upper body during a fight.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Pull your shoulders back and engage your abs.
  3. Push your butt & hips back as if you were sitting in a chair.
  4. Keep your weight on your heels.
  5. Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, raising your arms up as you lower down.
  6. Repeat.

Tip: for an extra challenge, try Sandbag squats or Kettlebell front squats. Or, if you have access to a barbell and weights, feel free to use that too.

Shoulder presses

Fighters need strong shoulders if they want to be able to keep punching round after round. And shoulder presses will help build up shoulder strength and endurance.

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight (preferred to sitting) holding a sandbag, dumbbells, or a barbell at your waist.
  2. Raise the sandbag (or other weights) up to your shoulders, keeping your shoulders pulled back and your abs tight.
  3. Straighten your arms at a moderate pace.
  4. Lower back down to your shoulders and repeat.

Walking lunges

Not only will walking lunges build strength in your legs, glutes and core muscles, they’ll also help with balance and flexibility—key requirements for any fighter.

How to do it:

  1. Start in a lunge position with your knees touching or almost touching the floor.
  2. Without pausing, alternate legs, bringing your opposite leg forward into a lunge position.
  3. Continue alternating legs while moving forward.
  4. For an added challenge, hold something heavy.

Knees to elbows

Though sit ups are awesome because you can do them anywhere with no equipment, knees to elbows will give you an even stronger core. And they’ll help you build up to even cooler abs exercises, such as toes to knees, windshield wipers.

How to do it:

  1. Grip the pull up bar with your palms facing away from you, arms shoulder-width apart.
  2. Adding a slight swing, bring your knees up to your chest, touching your elbows if possible.
  3. Lower down and repeat.

AUTHOR: KRISTA @ 12 MINUTE ATHLETE

Avoiding High Cortisol Levels, Depression, Heart Disease, Obesity and Interference With Memory And Learning

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone released during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress. Cortisol prepares the body for physical danger by releasing glucose into the bloodstream, improving the brain’s use of glucose, and increasing the availability of tissue repairing substances. Cortisol also curbs bodily functions that are not essential in emergency situations, such as the immune, digestive and reproductive systems. Prolonged high cortisol can be detrimental to almost all of the body’s processes and can have serious consequences such as heart disease, obesity, depression, and interference with cognitive abilities such as memory and learning.

Severe cases of prolonged high cortisol, such as in major depression, can cause neurotoxicity and brain damage. The condition known as hyper-cortisolemia can destroy cells in the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebellum. Prolonged untreated cases of stress and depression can lead to the onset of more serious conditions such as incurable depression and bipolar disorder. While anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications are treatments commonly recommended by medical doctors, here are some ways to attempt to lower cortisol levels naturally.

Identify Cortisol Triggers

The first step in reducing cortisol is identifying the particular stressors in your life that are triggering the release of cortisol so that you can eliminate them. Among some common triggers are lack of adequate sleep, over exercising, and dieting.

Consume Protein at Each Meal

The longer you go without food the more your glycogen reserves get depleted, and protein helps to build these reserves. Incorporate protein into each meal. Eat breakfast that contains protein, as your brain is particularly depleted of its glycogen reserves after sleeping.  Also, inadequate protein intake can disturb sleep which can lead to a spike in cortisol.

Eat Healthy

Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can cause spikes in insulin production and evoke a stress response. Eat balanced meals consisting of protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats like olive oil and flax seed oil. Diets rich in complex carbohydrates keep cortisol levels lower than low carb diets. Don’t buy into fad diets and don’t let food and eating become a source of stress.

Eat Often

Cortisol levels begin to rise after 5 hours without food. Aim to eat 5 or 6 times daily. Do not diet or overly restrict calories or certain foods. Researchers at Yale University and the University of British Columbia found that women with high levels of “cognitive dietary restraint” (putting a lot of mental energy into restricting certain foods) had significantly higher cortisol levels, bigger appetites, increased consumption of sweets, more negative moods, and higher body-fat levels – even despite getting more exercise.

Drink Water

Dehydration can induce a stress response and spike cortisol levels. Drink water first thing in the morning, as you become dehydrated during sleep. Try not to drink water an hour before bedtime in order to prevent waking up to go to the bathroom which interrupts sleep.

Exercise Moderately 

Exercise helps build muscle mass and increase the brain’s output of serotonin and dopamine, brain chemicals that reduce anxiety and depression. But minimize Prolonged Physical Activity. After an hour of exercise your body’s testosterone levels decline and cortisol begins to rise. Keep workouts to under an hour and do not train more than 2 days in a row.

Avoid Stimulants

Do not consume caffeine-containing coffee, tea, green tea, energy drinks, appetite suppressants, or medications such as Excedrin and Midol. Caffeine directly stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and interferes with sleep. Avoid herbal stimulants such as ma muang, guarana, synaphrine (zhi shi), yohimbe, quebracho, coleus, and of course ephedrine and amphetamines.

Improve Your Sleep

Ensure a regular sleep pattern: be in bed before 10:30pm and wake up at the same time every day. Avoid exposure to light for a two hour period before bedtime, particularly blue light emitted by electronics such as TVs, laptops, iPads, and blackberries. If evening electronics are necessary, use a blue light filter on the screen. If sleep aids are necessary, take natural forms such as chamomile tea and melatonin. Melatonin can help you sleep deeper and lengthen the sleep cycle. For assistance waking, try a light box that simulates the sun rise instead of a jarring alarm clock.

Stress Reducing Supplements Shown to Lower Cortisol

Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in muscle cells and it preserves muscle by reducing cortisol levels. In addition, it offers other properties such as an increase in muscle cell volume, increased protein synthesis, enhanced immune function, and increased glycogen replenishment after a workout. Take 5 grams 3 times daily, including before and after working out.

Vitamin C

It has been reported that vitamin C exerts a subtle cortisol-reducing effect on the human body. Vitamin C is water soluble so there is little risk in taking large doses. Take 1 gram (1000 mg), 3 times a day, preferably with breakfast, lunch and dinner (should be meals 1, 3, and 5).

Magnesium

The body’s hormonal stress response causes an outpouring of magnesium from cells into the blood. The higher the stress level, the greater the magnesium loss. The lower your magnesium level is initially, the more reactive you will be to stress (the higher your level of hormones adrenalin and cortisol in stressful situations), which causes greater loss of magnesium from cells. Soaking in a bath of Epsom salts may help. The best dietary supplements are the acid salts of magnesium like magnesium chloride, citrate, gluconate or glycinate.

L-Theanine

An amino acid derivative commonly found almost exclusively in green tea, theanine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and induce relaxation without causing drowsiness. Theanine has psychoactive properties and has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress.

B Complex

B vitamins have been shown to directly affect neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Evidence suggests that B-vitamins are important in the balance and metabolism of neuro-toxic chemicals that have been linked to anxiety and depression related conditions. B vitamins maintains the adrenal glands and get used up during the “fight or flight” response and when converting food into energy for the body.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3’s have a calming effect on the central nervous system and have been proven effective at reducing cortisol levels. Researchers in France investigated the effects of fish oil, which contains the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, on mental stress in men and found that fish oil significantly reduce cortisol levels after undergoing a mental stress test that measured blood levels of epinephrine and cortisol (among others).

Phosphatidylserine (PS)

PS is a cortisol blocker that drives nutrients into and remove toxins from your cells. It may be useful in preventing short-term memory loss, age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Stress Reducing Lifestyle Choices

Change Your Stress Response 

The mind can exert a direct influence on the immune system. “The brain has the capacity to modulate peripheral physiology,” says Dr. Richard J. Davidson, director of the University of Wisconsin’s Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, “and it modulates it in ways that may be consequential for health.” Research has shown that humans can “think” themselves in or out of stress and therefore, their state of health.

Examine circumstances in your daily life that elevate heart rate, blood pressure and tension and try to be conscious that these physical responses are unnecessary to alleviate the circumstance at hand. Practice patience, deep breathing, and an outlook of acceptance and surrender. Relinquish the need to control other people and circumstances. View adversity as an opportunity for learning and growth. Books such as Stillness Speaks and the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle discuss new methods of thinking that can de-clutter the mind and encourage stillness, peace and what he calls “the joy of Being.”

Change Your Outlook

Try allocating 10 minutes each day to either think, discuss, or write down the things and people in your life you are grateful for. Give compliments. Radiate positivity in order to attract positive and supportive people in your life.

Seek Emotional Support

Emotional pain can induce chronic daily stress – the most damaging form. Do not repress or bury emotions, unresolved emotions can resurface as nightmare or manifest into physical illness. Talk therapy with a counselor or psychotherapist, as well as maintaining close personal relationships is important. End stressful relationships and don’t engage in gossip or other negative conversations.

Get Outside

Recently, the antidepressant effect of high-density negative air ions has been observed in patients with chronic depression. Patients can promote their exposure by spending more time where negative air ions are found naturally – in humid, vegetated environments and at the seashore. Negative air ions are lower in urban environments and heated or air conditioned interiors. Studies have reported that access to green space within a mile of one’s residence is associated with improved mental health. Large population studies show that those with the least green space within one mile of home have a 25% greater risk of depression and a 30% higher risk of an anxiety disorder.

Get Organized

Manage time by carefully scheduling each task, chore, meeting, and appointment. De-clutter your office and home environment. Do not procrastinate!

Schedule Time For Relaxation

Incorporate activities such as meditation, massage, and yoga into your daily routine to encourage a regular pattern of de-cluttering the mind. If you have problems keeping commitments to leisure activities, it may take formally scheduling them into your workday, signing up with a friend, or paying for classes in advance.

Reduce your Morning Commute

Studies show higher cortisol levels in people with longer morning commutes. Using public transportation instead of driving can reduce stress induced by traffic jams. Other habits that may help make your commute more fun include carpooling, music, and choosing a slightly longer but less congested route.

AUTHOR: URBAN CLINIC @ URBANCLINIC.NET

The Best Ways To Prepare Before I Go To A Boxing Gym

Boxing is a tough, rigorous and physically demanding sport. Like any other sport, you wouldn't simply step into the ring and expect to compete. The training program alone at serious boxing gyms requires you to possess a certain level fitness, with proficiency in several key areas. Before you go to a boxing gym, prepare yourself by developing endurance, agility, strength and quickness. These attributes will allow you to focus on the basics of boxing during your first session rather than playing fitness catch-up.

Might as Well Jump

One of the most important physical attributes that you need to develop before training at a boxing gym is agility and coordination, especially combining the motions of your upper body with those of your lower body. Jumping rope is one of the exercises that boxers use to achieve that coordination. When you go to a boxing gym, you'll jump rope frequently and at a high rate of speed. Practice with a jump rope every day to get familiar with the exercise. Work your way up to three minutes of continuous jumping. Do six three-minute sessions, resting no more than one minute between sessions.

Go the Distance

To build endurance, boxers do “road work” - long distance running. You can increase your mileage gradually and at the same time periodically elevate your heart rate by performing basic intervals. Begin by jogging at a comfortable pace for two minutes, then sprint for 40 seconds. Jog for another two minutes, then sprint for another 40 seconds. Continue this pattern for 20 minutes if possible. If you cannot do 20 minutes of intervals, scale back to 10 minutes. If 20 minutes is too easy, extend the total time. Do these intervals three to four times each week. To avoid injury, increase your total mileage by no more than 10 percent per week.

Stay Strong

To develop power, you must develop strength. Many boxers take a balanced approach to strength training, blending body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups - performed at high intensity - with weightlifting exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses and lat pull-downs. Begin a strength-training program several weeks before you head to a boxing gym. Train three days per week, using a full-body routine - working out all of your major muscle groups in each session. Space your lifting workouts so there is at least one rest day in between sessions.

Sleight of Hand

Shadowboxing is one of the simplest ways to develop familiarity with the basic mechanics of punching with speed. Position a lamp behind you, shut off all other lights in the room and let the lamp cast your shadow on the wall in front of you. Practice punching against your shadow, keeping your punches tight and efficient. Practice pushing off the ground with your feet as you throw your punches, transferring that power from your lower body up through your back, shoulders, arms and fists, as fast as you can. Do this twice a day every day. Over a few weeks, you should develop increased hand speed that will help you transition to work with the speed bag and heavy bag at the boxing gym.

AUTHOR: BOBBY @ LIVESTRONG

Boxing Workouts With Lifting

Boxing demands a high level of cardiovascular capacity, but excelling also requires strength. While strategy, footwork and overall fitness are important for boxing, you often will need to be able to overpower your opponents. Incorporating weightlifting into your workouts to prepare for boxing matches can be quite effective. Boxing workouts differ significantly from workouts for bodybuilding and other activities, so you may have to try new techniques and exercises. Always exercise with proper supervision.

Legs

All of your power for punching begins with your legs. The muscles of your legs help you push off of the ground and provide force, so you should prioritize exercises for your legs. Weightlifting exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and leg presses can help you build strength in your legs to help you move quickly around the ring and apply more force to your punches. As a boxer, you may also wish to do jump squats and jumping rope to improve foot speed and agility.

Core

Your core - namely, your abdominal muscles, back muscles and hip flexors - play several roles in boxing. Your core muscles help to transfer power from your lower body to your upper body, promoting stronger punches. Additionally, strong abdominal muscles will help cushion your midsection against punches and help promote balance and stability, both of which are important for boxing. You can work your core muscles with exercises such as weighted crunches, bridges, lying leg lifts and planks. Although many traditional workout plans don't include weighted abdominal exercises, these are important to build maximal strength for boxing.

Arms

Your arm strength influences punching power. Working your biceps and triceps will help you tone your arms and deliver more force when you strike. Perform barbell and dumbbell curls, triceps pushdowns and the military press. To meet the needs of boxing, include plyometric exercises, which consist of explosive movements. These type of exercises mimic the explosive power you need for boxing. Plyometric exercises such as explosive pushups and overhead medicine ball throws can help strengthen your arms.

guy-punching-bag-malibu-boxing-heavy-bag.jpg

Chest and Shoulders

Your chest muscles help coordinate and connect the motion of your shoulders and back muscles. A strong chest will allow you to get the most power into your punches. Your shoulders help rotate your arms and offer force for punches. Performing exercises such as dumbbell flys, bench presses and pushups will help strengthen your chest muscles. Military presses and shrugs will help work your shoulders. While many of these exercises are used in a wide range of training plans, you can make your workout routine more specific to boxing by including drop sets - where you perform a set of an exercise normally, then reduce the weight by 20 percent and perform another set without taking a break. This demanding setup will prepare you to give your all for the entire duration of a round when boxing.

Back

Your back muscles assist your core in coordinating power across your entire body. Your back muscles are important for punch recovery, as they draw your arm back after you extend it to deliver a blow to your opponent. Stronger back muscles will allow you to pull your arms back more quickly to deliver more punches in less time. You can perform exercises such as dumbbell rows, deadlifts and cable rows to assist your boxing performance. The rowing motion directly translates to the motion you perform during punch recovery.

Repetition Ranges

For boxing, you'll want to not only increase your strength but also your endurance. You can focus on those traits by choosing particular repetition ranges for your exercises. Performing sets of 12 to 16 repetitions will help promote muscular endurance, while sets of four to eight repetitions will help you build strength.

AUTHOR: BRIAN @ WOMAN.THENEST.COM

Warm-Up Exercises for Boxing

Boxing is an intense sport that requires maximum effort from its participants. To get your body ready for boxing, you should always warm up before training or a fight. A boxer's warm-up should be general so that it prepares the muscles and organs for the bout, but also specific for practicing the skills needed in the ring.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a familiar exercise to most boxers. Jumping rope will raise your core temperature, elevate your heart and breathing rate and get you ready for more strenuous warm-up exercises to follow. Start jumping rope with your feet together before progressing on to an alternating heel to toe action and running on the spot with high knees. Finish off by two rope turns per jump - an exercise called, "double unders". Continue jumping rope for 5 to 10 minutes before moving on to the next part of your warm-up.

Boxers will typically jump rope for about 10-15 minutes (3 rounds continuous without rest) as warm-up before their boxing workouts. If you can’t do 3 rounds, start with 3 minutes as your goal, then work your way up.
— ExpertBoxing

Duck Under/Step Over

Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Imagine there is a hip-high barrier immediately to your left. Raise your left leg and step over the imaginary barrier and immediately follow with your right leg. Next, move to your right and duck under the barrier. Try to get as low to the ground as you can and duck your head. Repeat this over/under maneuver for 5 to 10 reps before reversing direction.

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing provides you with the opportunity to practice your boxing skills before throwing any punches against an opponent. Start off by throwing single jabs and crosses before adding hooks and uppercuts, building up to throwing multiple punch combinations. Practice your footwork while throwing combinations as though you were attacking, evading and counterpunching a real opponent. Try to increase the speed of your punches.

Pad Work

Finish your boxing warm-up by throwing combinations of punches into hook and jab pads held by your trainer or sparring partner. Start by making light contact with the pads and increase the speed and power of your punches over a few minutes. To sharpen your reactions, have your partner throw light noncontact punches toward you to evade. Only perform enough pad work to finish your warm-up and avoid doing so much that you begin to fatigue before the bout begins.

AUTHOR: PATRICK @ LIVESTRONG

Boxing in Malibu, Calabasas, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, Brentwood and Venice

We're Expanding Our In-Home Personal Training and Private Boxing Sessions!

Thank you to all of our wonderful clients for helping us to expand across Los Angeles from Malibu Boxing to Calabasas Boxing, Beverly Hills Boxing, Santa Monica Boxing, Hollywood Boxing, Culver City Boxing, Brentwood Boxing and now Venice Boxing!

In order to thank our clients for the continued support, we'd like to reward you with one free boxing session for every person you refer that purchases a private boxing session or in-home personal training.

Don't know much about Boxing? Too busy to get to the gym? No Problem...

We come to you!

In Malibu everything is top notch. Now you can also receive top notch personal training. The best part is we come to you. There's no longer an excuse to not get in the best shape of your life. Malibu Boxing can come to your home, office, out on the bluffs, the beach, or anywhere you feel like getting a great workout. If you're a surfer Malibu Boxing will get you in better shape to hit the waves. For an affordable rate, you'll get a professional trainer come right to your door. All sessions are 1 hour.

Why Boxing?

Boxing can simply be a means of getting yourself into great shape, and it may even be the single most effective way to get fit. It incorporates all aspects of fitness including muscular strength, muscular endurance, speed and coordination, and will allow you to feel better about yourself in a number of other ways, including inspiring confidence, giving you more determination, focus and patience. Whether you're a doctor, lawyer or stay at home mom, anybody can benefit from boxing training.

Getting Lean!

Boxing workouts allow you to burn off 450 to 1000 calories in one hour. It also helps maintain your heart rate at an optimal fat burning rate. When done consistently (5 times per week) you should see results after 3-6 weeks depending on your diet and current activity level. 3-6 weeks at 5 times per week seem daunting? Don't worry, our expert trainers will help motivate and keep you accountable!

The Workout!

Boxing training will use innovative variations of power punches, defense and a blend of fitness and aerobic exercises. You will learn the proper execution of defensive moves and punch combinations for a more intensive workout that can help you become stronger and more confident.

The combinations and boxing techniques will be dictated by our expert boxing trainers. You will perform the blocks, punches and techniques all on the hand pads as your trainer serves as an imaginary opponent.

Finally the last 10-15 min of the workout will use more conventional exercises to once again target muscle toning, fat melting and core strengthening.

Get Started Today!

Excited to get started?! Sign-up for your first private boxing lesson with our expert boxing trainers!

Boxing Gear, Technique, Combinations and Workout

Intro

We all hate it. No one looks forward to doing cardio. I have tried a lot of different Cardio exercise and I like boxing the most. Boxing provides you with a full body workout that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and those calories burning. I suggest reading this article if you are tired of the normal type of cardio workouts such as running on the treadmill.

In this article I will describe to you every thing you need to know to get started boxing for fitness.

Gear

Before you start burning those calories there are some things you are going to need to purchase. You can order these by contacting Malibu Boxing or go to your local sporting goods store.

Jump Rope: Jumping rope is a good way to burn some calories. In this workout you will be using the jump rope for warming up and cooling down.

Note: I use a 2 LB Weighted jump rope made of solid rubber with padded handles. There are also Cotton and Speed Ropes.

Wraps: These are long cloth wraps that cover your knuckles, to prevent scrapes and bruises during heavy bag work. Most importantly, they tighten your fist to support your knuckles and wrists while hitting the bag or mitts.

Note: Get the Mexican style with the Velcro, because they are longer and are easy to take off.

Boxing Gloves: These gloves are separate from bag gloves and are used in sparing or mitt work outs. Medium - 14 oz. Large - 16 oz. Professional boxers that fight in the ring always wear 8 oz. or 10 oz. gloves. But since there are so many different sizes of fighters and so many different weight classes these fighters will need different sizes of gloves. I use Large -16 oz. gloves.

Heavy bag: A bag made of canvas, vinyl or leather. They are filled with soft or hard filling.

Bag Gloves: These gloves are different from the gloves you see on a boxer when they are in the ring. Bag gloves have just enough padding to protect your hands as you hit the heavy bag. They come in various weights and styles.

Note: I wear 12-ounce leather gloves with a wide Velcro strap. I purchased the most expensive gloves because they make me feel safer.

Technique

Next to having the proper gear, technique is the most important thing in boxing. Whether you're boxing for sport or for fitness you should be in the proper stance and execute good punches.

Note: These instructions are for a right-handed person. If you are left handed then just flip the directions.

Standing: Stand in front of an imaginary opponent, position yourself sideways so you present a shoulder to your target. Your leading shoulder is the opposite of your preferred hand. Lead with your left shoulder if you are right handed. Spread your feet to shoulder width apart. Now tuck your elbows in close to your sides and raise your forearms up straight. This is the way you should stand when in front of a heavy bag.

Note: Don't stand like you have a stick up your butt. Be loose but stable. A push from any direction should not cause you to stumble.

Jab: This is your most important punch; you'll be using this more than any other. Your fist should be held in relaxed, palms in, position. The jab is thrown directly from the chin with your leading hand.

It should be thrown quickly and should make a "SNAP!" Sound when hitting the heavy bag.

S. Right (A.K.A. Cross): This is my favorite punch because it packs a lot of power. A twisted torso and a pivoting right foot power the straight right. You should feel your back get into this one. It should be thrown straight from the chin without a wind-up or dip of the shoulder.

Hook: This is the most difficult punch to learn. It is an inside power punch. It works better when you're close to your opponent. Start with a weight transfer to your left side. Then from the guard position the left elbow is brought up ... Parallel to the floor, so the arm forms a sort of hook (90 degree angle). At the same time the fist should be rotated with the palm inside (facing you). Almost as if you're holding a coffee mug.

Uppercut: The uppercut power is coming from your legs and torso. It is not a wind-up punch. From your guard position, dip your left shoulder so your elbow nears your hip. At the same time rotate the fist palm up (or facing you). Without cocking the arm back or winding up, propel the punch with the left side of your body.

Combinations

A good boxing offense includes an arsenal of punches that can be effectively thrown in combination with one another. Punches are assigned numbers in combinations.

  1. Jab
  2. Straight Right (a.k.a. Cross)
  3. Left Hook
  4. Right Hook
  5. Left Uppercut
  6. Right Uppercut

1-1 and 1-1-1: The double jab and the triple jab. These are jabs that are thrown one after the other in order to maximize power.

1-2: The jab followed by a straight right. Your goal should be to land a clean jab at your opponent's head to lift the chin so you can rock it with the hard right hand.

1-2-3: Just add the left hook to the 1-2 combo. This is a very natural flow of punches.

2-3-2: This is one of the power-punching combos. It is a straight right then a left hook followed by another straight right.

3-2-2: This is the last power combination that you will learn. A left hook followed by a straight right and finally another straight right.

Note: remember to maintain proper form and return to your guard after every punch. As one of your punches lands, You should be weighted perfectly to throw the next one.

The Workout

OK, now that you have your gear and you know the boxing techniques, we can get to burning those calories. The workout will last about 30 minutes. 10 minutes of jump roping for warm-up and cool-down, 15 minutes of boxing and 5 minutes of rest

Warm up: Start with 5 minutes of jump roping.

Round 1 "3 minutes": OK, this is the first round. We're going to just get the feel of the bag. Work around the bag using the 1-1 and 1-1-1 combinations.

Rest "1 minute":

Round 2 "3 minutes": Are you tired yet? Now start using the 1-2 combo. When you hit the bag using your straight right you should hear the back go WAP!

Rest 2 "1 minute":

Round 3 "3 minutes": OK, you should really be burning those calories now. You should be moving at all times. Start with the 1-2-3. The left hook maybe hard to do at first, but stick with it.

Rest 3 "1 minute": If you're not sweating and your heart beat isn't up then get moving. Remember you should be moving when you're not punching.

Round 4 "1 minute": 2-3-2. OK start using this combination.

Rest 4 "1 minute": Anytime you are resting you should be using the time to drink some water.

Round 5 "3 Minutes": OK this is the last round. Give it your all! Use the 3-2-2 combo.

Cool down: 5 minutes of jump rope.

Enjoy!

For More Workouts, Sign Up for One-On-One Boxing with a Malibu Boxing Trainer.

AUTHOR: LOUIS MOORE III @ BodyBuilding

Best Fat Burning Cardio - Boxing Workouts

When I started strength training two years ago, I realized that if I want to burn fat and develop my stamina, I need cardio as well. I tried several activities such as running, cycling, etc. but I enjoyed none of them. Then I tried a cardio boxing workout, and I knew that is what I want.

I felt the burning in my entire body, I sweated brutally, and I enjoyed performing the combinations. Since that time I have bag or shadow boxing workouts at least twice a week, and I’m thinking about starting cardio kickboxing workouts. It is my favorite sport now.

I have learned all the punches, many combos, blocking, footwork and the best is that it forces me to do other cardio activities such as running and jump roping to be better at boxing.

I’m sure that boxing is one of the main reasons why I have lost almost 50 pounds, and my condition is better than ever before. I believe boxing exercises among the most powerful ways to burn calories.

How to start?

Firstly, you need to learn how to throw the punches correctly. These are the jab, cross, uppercuts and hooks. Once you are familiar with the punches you can start practicing the basic combos. You also need to learn the right standing position and some basic footwork.

What do you need?

For beginners shadow boxing is enough to start, so there is no need to buy any equipment, maybe a jump rope. Jump roping is an excellent way to boost your heart rate. It is a perfect activity to develop your cardiovascular system and to warm up.

If you want more then you need to invest in a bag, bag gloves and hand wraps. Heavy bag workout routines are simply killer! They boost your stamina and cardiovascular system. They burn fat efficiently and strengthen all the muscles. I strongly recommend investing in these things. They are not so expensive but you can have the most efficient boxing exercises at home.

Is boxing a good cardio workout?

Of course! Just think about the boxers. They have great looking lean body. They can move and punch for 8 or even 12 rounds. There is no better proof than that.

It works your lower and upper body. It is especially great for shoulders and legs. Because your torso has to rotate a lot, it works your core and helps to get rid of belly fat around your abs and hips. Boxing for exercise is an all in one training and it even helps to get rid of stress.

Sign Up For A Boxing Session to Try It Out.

Conclusion

There is no question that boxing as cardio is exceptionally efficient. It helps to burn calories fast, tone and strengthen various muscle groups at once, develop stamina and it is even good against stress. Sign up for a cardio boxing workout above and you will see what I’m talking about.

Author: James @ FitBodyBuzz