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Thread: Exercises for strengthening the body

  1. #1 Exercises for strengthening the body 
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    what are some good exercises to help someone build their strength?
    if you have your own story or examples of exercises, please do share. by story I mean your development in your own exercises. for example; you started at doing 10 push ups, 5 sit-ups, and 5 leg lifts for 3 sets. now your rep is 35, 20, 20.

    what lessons have you learned? what is right and what is wrong?


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  3. #2  
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    This is a difficult question because you need to play to your strengths because everybody is different. It is probably an urban myth to say that exercise can make you stronger. Having a good attitude towards health and fitness is far more valuable in the long term than any exercise routine or gym membership. You must avoid things that do harm - sitting too long in a chair, smoking, drinking excessive alcohol.
    Having said that I find that my favourite exercises have always been simple floor exercises.
    This one in particular is worth perfecting - the plank posture in yoga which can be done in various ways.
    Beginning Yoga Poses : Yoga Plank Pose - YouTube
    Assume this position for a few seconds before attempting press ups. It can also be done in a supine postition: Lie face up on the floor. Now raise the body on the arms with the arms level with the shoulders. Extend the body further down until the feet are flat on the floor and throw the head back until the whole body is in a line at an angle of about 30 degrees. Hold for a few seconds and then do reverse push ups.


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  4. #3  
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    If you really want to push yourself to the limit then I recommend the wheel pose.
    10 Reasons to Love Wheel Pose
    Wish I could do it that well! It takes time.
    Then you won't need all those press-ups, squat thrusts, sit-ups, star jumps, or whatever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    If you really want to push yourself to the limit then I recommend the wheel pose.
    10 Reasons to Love Wheel Pose
    Wish I could do it that well! It takes time.
    Then you won't need all those press-ups, squat thrusts, sit-ups, star jumps, or whatever.
    I did this all the time for wrestling, but never knew the benefits. thanks for adding this.
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  6. #5  
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    I do ashtanga yoga, which combines bodyweight strength and balance with flexibility training, so you don't have to take out extra time for stretching: Ashtanga Yoga: The Primary Series - John Scott - YouTube (This guy is world famous; I can do 1/100th of what he can do. What is in the video is actually not the primary series. The full primary series takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours.)

    I would like to add weight training, which I also used to do along with yoga until recently, but it is taking me a long time to learn the primary series (you actually have to memorise the order of poses - sometimes I have to check a sheet of paper - and perfect them) so I haven't had time for anything else.

    Edit: If you can teach yourself to jump back into plank pose from standing, you will also get a little bit of cardio out of it.
    Last edited by Alec Bing; December 31st, 2013 at 12:02 PM.
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    I use the P90X videos and haven't really found a reason to stop. They're not great if you want to bulk up or whatever, but they make you stronger and improve your tone. Decent cardio, too.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  8. #7  
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    Forum advice on this is not likely to be very helpful.

    My suggestion is to join a gym, even if only for a week. At the gym, pay a fitness guru for a session. Get your level of fitness tested. Talk to the guru and tell him exactly what you are trying to achieve, and get his instructions of what exercises you need to do to achieve that goal. Then do it.

    You may do what I did, and quit the gym, continuing your exercises at home. Or you may find it better to remain a member and work out there. That is your choice, but expert advice cannot be beaten.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Forum advice on this is not likely to be very helpful.

    My suggestion is to join a gym, even if only for a week. At the gym, pay a fitness guru for a session. Get your level of fitness tested. Talk to the guru and tell him exactly what you are trying to achieve, and get his instructions of what exercises you need to do to achieve that goal. Then do it.

    You may do what I did, and quit the gym, continuing your exercises at home. Or you may find it better to remain a member and work out there. That is your choice, but expert advice cannot be beaten.
    Been there, done that. horrible experience. Most gyms locally require contracts to participate in anything. first year is something close to 50 $ US per month. The cheap joints were 19 $, but most have closed. non-profits stopped existing decades ago. trainers sucked, only focused on controlling me instead of giving what I payed them for. huge loss of money, even after telling them what I wanted.

    gyms work best for those with characteristics that match that system and style. I'd never recommend it. This is because of my past though. Not only w/ bad experiences at gyms, but having practiced with wrestlers and for soccer. I need big open spaces to stretch, relax, and breath. So gyms, I must stress, are person to person bases.

    Thank you for mentioning gyms though. trainers working in your corner are great.

    One thing to say about trainers, there are different kinds teaching different systems of work outs.

    What advice might you give for someone looking at trainers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I use the P90X videos and haven't really found a reason to stop. They're not great if you want to bulk up or whatever, but they make you stronger and improve your tone. Decent cardio, too.
    Heard about it. I like some of its stuff, but it is set for loosing weight and toning. This brings up a good point. the importance in knowing both what a person wants in an exercise, and knowing what each exercise does or is meant for.

    What happens after the 90 days, assuming you completed the program? What happens next?
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    I've been doing it for 3 years. It doesn't stop being effective after 90 days. They just promise noticeable results in 90 days.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    The first step is to carefully define your goal. Then get the advice. If you do not use a trainer and go to the internet, be careful that the web site is reputable. There are plenty of crap sites. Plenty of good ones too, which will give you all the information you need.
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  13. #12  
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    Advice:

    1. Compete with yourself, not other people. For example, if lifting the same weight as people around you throws your body out of alignment, lift lighter weights.

    2. Don't put any pressure on your joints. It's OK to have very sore muscles, but if you feel pain in your elbows, knees, wrists or ankles, you are doing the exercise wrong (find someone who can show you how to do it correctly) and you will end up with injuries.

    3. Understand the difference between good and bad pain. It's hard for me to explain, but as a general rule, I think constant, achy pain is good; sharp, sudden pain is bad.

    4. Stretch. Don't be one of those huge, bulky people who is so inflexible that someone can knock you down just by throwing you off balance.

    5. Even though I don't like gyms, I do agree with getting someone who knows what they're doing to make sure your form is correct when you first start. I've seen people working out whose form is so bad that all I can think is that they're going to have so much back trouble that it won't be long before they'll barely be able to stand.

    6. Use your muscles in every day life. Instead of sitting in a chair, sit on the floor and stand up without using your hands to develop your abs. Carry your groceries from the shop instead of using a car. On that note, walk and take the stairs when you can to build up your leg muscles.
    Last edited by Alec Bing; January 1st, 2014 at 06:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I've been doing it for 3 years. It doesn't stop being effective after 90 days. They just promise noticeable results in 90 days.
    Oh, so the program is not designed for 90 days? Okay.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    If you really want to push yourself to the limit then I recommend the wheel pose.
    10 Reasons to Love Wheel Pose
    Wish I could do it that well! It takes time.
    Then you won't need all those press-ups, squat thrusts, sit-ups, star jumps, or whatever.
    This actually requires more flexibility than strength. I can do it and people who are much stronger than me and can lift much more than me have trouble. You need loose shoulders and a flexible spine.

    Sorry, but you can't simply do one exercise and expect that to keep you strong and in shape. You need to do a variety of exercises and combine quick movements from one position to another with longer, static ones where you hold the position. You also throw yourself out of balance if you don't do complementary exercises. For example, in ashtanga, traditionally after wheel pose (which you do twice and only hold for five long breaths each time), you do a seated forward bend with your legs straight out and curve your back so you are looking at your belly. This way you move your spine in both directions.



    5. As you stretch in wheel pose, you remove fat buildup from your oblique area. When practiced regularly, you may notice a slimming effect.
    This is nonsense. You can't control where your body loses fat. That is based on genes and hormones. You can build up muscle in certain areas so they appear tighter, but if you are genetically programmed to store fat in your rear, for example, the last place you are going to lose weight is your rear.
    Last edited by Alec Bing; January 2nd, 2014 at 07:34 AM.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I've been doing it for 3 years. It doesn't stop being effective after 90 days. They just promise noticeable results in 90 days.
    Oh, so the program is not designed for 90 days? Okay.
    It comes with several different discs each with different types of activities on them. You rotate through them in different ways.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  17. #16  
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    There are obviously more poses to help with strength and flexibility than the two I have mentioned (plank and wheel). I can do well over 50 yoga poses but I would only recommend a few that can help with body strength. Our bodies are weakened by sitting around too long in chairs. This can lead to bad backs. So what is the antidote? The answer is the chair posture which solved any problem I used to have with weakness in the lower back.
    How to Avoid Yoga Injuries : Yoga Chair Pose - YouTube
    People who start lifting weights for strength can find that they twang muscles in the lower back. Avoid any exercise routine which leads to injury.
    Skeptic: Sorry but there is no such thing as a gym guru - just some guy who gets paid money for bringing new business to the gym.
    You need to create your own exercise routine at home to suit your own ability and keep it up for the rest of your life. In other words, you need to be independent of the gym.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post


    You can't control where your body loses fat. That is based on genes and hormones. You can build up muscle in certain areas so they appear tighter, but if you are genetically programmed to store fat in your rear, for example, the last place you are going to lose weight is your rear.
    Well said, Alec.

    Good to see someone who actually knows what he its talking about.

    Ox

    Yes, there are actually gym guru's. These are people who have studied for years and have the qualifications to prove it. You are smart to listen to them.

    However, the key is to define your goal, and then get expert advice on how to achieve it. Asking on a forum is like asking medical advice. For that, you go to a doctor. For fitness advice, you go to an expert.
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  19. #18  
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    Interval training on the track twice a week ( running into lactic acid ) Then weights three times a week doing super sets. That is about it.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    what are some good exercises to help someone build their strength?
    if you have your own story or examples of exercises, please do share. by story I mean your development in your own exercises. for example; you started at doing 10 push ups, 5 sit-ups, and 5 leg lifts for 3 sets. now your rep is 35, 20, 20.

    what lessons have you learned? what is right and what is wrong?
    oh man thats easy. You can do whatever you like. there are literally hundreds of workout plans to choose from Ive seen everything from p90x/t25/insanity to "jedi" workout. Surprisingly they are all effective. Some a bit more effective than others but they all work just fine.

    The main problem with most people is motivation. They dont have the will power or discipline to stick to an exercise/diet regimen.

    Its much easier to eat dominos takeout while watching soap opera's than it is to have a light salad and go out for a jog.

    Whole books have been devoted to the subject of it. What they all boils down to is proper diet and exercise. There is no magic pill or secret formula thats pretty much it.

    If your going for weight loss, more cardio. For muscle mass weight training. Sculpted body you need cardio to get rid of the excess then weights to tone the muscles.

    edit: you dont need equipment or lots of space either if you dont have any. Trust me immates get a 4X6 cell & nasty food and ive seen some ripped prisoners before. They also have absolutly nothing else to do so that helps with the will power.

    If your set on spending money however. I would suggest learning some martial arts. Great skill to pick up and loose weight at the same time. Otherwise, a gym is ideal for whatever your goal might be, add in a proper diet and you will be on your way. expect approx 1lb per week weight loss. This is "a healthy" goal 2lb max.
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  21. #20  
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    GR

    As I have said before, fitness and health is one thing. Losing weight is another. While it is easy to lose weight, it is really, really difficult to keep it off. Only 5% of those who try are still succeeding 5 years later. 60% after 5 years weigh more than the control group in the trial. For this reason, I am seriously opposed to weight loss recommendations. Most of the time, if people try to lose weight, they are condemning themselves to extra weight and poorer health after 5 years, regardless of how much weight they might lose initially.

    Recommending a balanced diet and exercises to achieve better fiteness and health, tough, are good. These are achievable, and can be maintained reasonably easily.
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  22. #21  
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    skeptic. This goes back to the willpower & motivation issues.

    if you go on a diet & hit the gym for a few months, drop 10-20lbs for bikini season then soon as summer is over go right back to being a couch potato while eating cupcakes all day. Yeah, your not going to keep the weight off, it will come back.

    Its called yo-yo dieting & it will cause you to balloon up way worse than when you started.

    If however, you went outside and jogged say a mile every day, & eat right you will loose weight. if you continue to do that you will keep loosing till you plateau & you will keep it off. For as long as you keep eating right & jogging you wont put the weight back on.
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  23. #22  
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    To GR

    I do not disagree with you in principle. It is the reality that hurts!

    The reality is that 95% of those who set out to lose weight will not keep it off. You talk of yo yo dieting, which is the reality for 95%. The reason might be poor willpower, but the reason does not matter. The reality is that trying to lose weight will harm the health of 95% of those who try. That 95% do the yo yo, and the yo yo is severely damaging to heart muscle and other aspects of health.

    If you tell someone to lose weight, the odds are 19 to 1 that you are doing them a serious disservice.
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  24. #23  
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    I use pscho-aerobics myself, I just think about the exercises and I grow stronger.
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  25. #24  
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    i agree with you completely skeptic. Most everyone i know of wants to "loose weight" or "get in shape" but when it comes down to brass tacks, they never do anything about it.
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  26. #25  
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    Training has to become part of your life style, if not, you will fail.
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  27. #26  
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    I know jogging can release the pressure but I haven't done it any more since I have a job.
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  28. #27  
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    I think it takes about a month to form habits. So if you change your lifestyle to more healthy with exercise & diet. It will be rough for the first month but after that it will become habitual.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alec Bing View Post
    Advice:

    1. Compete with yourself, not other people. For example, if lifting the same weight as people around you throws your body out of alignment, lift lighter weights.

    2. Don't put any pressure on your joints. It's OK to have very sore muscles, but if you feel pain in your elbows, knees, wrists or ankles, you are doing the exercise wrong (find someone who can show you how to do it correctly) and you will end up with injuries.

    3. Understand the difference between good and bad pain. It's hard for me to explain, but as a general rule, I think constant, achy pain is good; sharp, sudden pain is bad.

    4. Stretch. Don't be one of those huge, bulky people who is so inflexible that someone can knock you down just by throwing you off balance.

    5. Even though I don't like gyms, I do agree with getting someone who knows what they're doing to make sure your form is correct when you first start. I've seen people working out whose form is so bad that all I can think is that they're going to have so much back trouble that it won't be long before they'll barely be able to stand.

    6. Use your muscles in every day life. Instead of sitting in a chair, sit on the floor and stand up without using your hands to develop your abs. Carry your groceries from the shop instead of using a car. On that note, walk and take the stairs when you can to build up your leg muscles.
    Thanks for sharing these useful tips.
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  30. #29  
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    If you really want to build strength then build with stone.
    Stone fences, stone walls, stone fireplaces, even stone patios.
    Remember to keep your back straight when lifting.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    If you really want to build strength then build with stone.
    Stone fences, stone walls, stone fireplaces, even stone patios.
    Remember to keep your back straight when lifting.
    Ah, the old caveman approach. I prefer the iron age.
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