17 May 2010

9 fitness rules you should break

Get lean and toned by swapping these overrated fitness strategies for smarter alternatives.

Get lean and toned by swapping these overrated fitness strategies for smarter alternatives. BY STEVE MAZZUCCHI.

Unlike wine, cheese and Clive Owen,  workout strategies don’t get better with age. That’s because each year, fitness researchers release thousands of studies that challenge conventional thinking – or at least shed light on ways to tweak it.

We’ve identified nine stale fitness approaches and sifted through the latest research to come up with surprising updates that will land you a scorching body ASAP.

“Spreading your hands a few centimetres further out stresses more of the inner portion of your biceps; bringing your hands in a few centimetres builds more of the outer part,” says personal trainer Steve Lischin.

Switch up your position after every set for balanced strength and overall tone.

Crunches for a flat tummy

Turns out Pilates abdominal exercises are superior to crunches for sculpting your midsection and uncovering those abs, according to a study at Auburn University Montgomery. An exercise called “the teaser” is especially effective.

It activates 39 % more of your rectus abdominus muscle (that’s your six-pack) and 266% more of your external obliques (your love handles).

To do it: lie face-up on a mat. Lift your legs so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your knees are bent 90 degrees. Raise your hands toward the ceiling.

Lift your torso and straighten your legs, so your body forms a V. Hold for one second, then roll back down, keeping your legs raised. Do eight to 10 reps.

Squats equal a perfect bum


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