Bra bulge. Muffin top. Love handles. Whatever you call it, that puffy extra layer of fat cushioning your upper and lower back can be maddening. Like belly fat, back fat can be hard for women to lose. But just as doing a gazillion sit ups won’t magically melt away the mound on your midsection, there’s no single exercise or diet secret that’s going to zap the flab on your back. So how can you reshape your rear side and finally rid yourself of those t-shirt ripples?
Athletes tend to be focused on meeting goals, crossing finish lines and winning the game. They’re driven, motivated, hardworking individuals who press boundaries to reap rewards. All the physical activity often hits their bodies hard, causing issues from achy muscles to blisters to dehydration. They have special skincare needs, too, and may need to care for their complexions a bit differently than others.
I knew after my first “trial run” with CrossFit that I would have to go back for more…
For those of you who don’t know, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that combines weightlifting, gymnastics, functional movement and endurance training. The workouts are extremely fast-paced, often lasting only 15 to 20 minutes. Since its inception in 2000, CrossFit has spread like a virus, dominating the exercise industry and culminating in the competition now watched by millions every year, the “CrossFit Games.”
If mixed martial arts (MMA) is your thing, a half hour to 45 minute-long jog first thing in the morning may be part of your routine. This training technique, with a history rooted in old-school boxing, is popular—but it can put a lot of stress on joints and muscles, ultimately hindering your performance. To keep your body in stress-free shape, try sprint training. Just what it sounds like, sprint training involves short, intense bursts of activity for effective cardio conditioning.
Even if you’ve built huge biceps and a rock-hard chest, if your shoulders are lagging in size, you’re not going to look as big as you could. In fact, if you’re serious about body sculpting, you’ll want to put in the effort to create the broadest, thickest shoulders your body can carry. Strength aside, it will make your waist look smaller and your physique look more impressive overall. So how do you go about getting the shoulders of a true champ? We’ve got the perfect training routine to help you make it happen.
Remember the days when bending down to touch your toes was as easy as…that? Now that you’re older, moving your body in certain ways may be trickier, especially if you’re not active or haven’t spent much time stretching over the years. I grew up involved in cheerleading and gymnastics, so bending and stretching was a part of my normal routine. But today, flexibility is something I work on maintaining—not because I’m still cheering sports teams from the sidelines, but because staying flexible is good for my health.
Gaining lean muscle mass may be THE reason you’re putting in all that time at the gym. If so, you already know: achieving a muscular physique isn’t easy. Many factors will come into play in determining the eventual outcome of your success, and you’ll probably need to make more than a few changes along the way. One of these is paying more attention to form—and to your repetition ranges.
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