Thursday Training

 

“Funny Thursday Memes 2017.” Sweety Text Messages – Best Love and Funny SMS for Everyone, 1 Feb. 2018, sweetytextmessages.com/funny-thursday-memes.html.

Thursday is the one day you have freedom to mix up your working routine. Usually, I like to do abs and shoulders, but you can add cardio too. Personally, cardio is the one aspect I dread, so I rarely do it. But, this workout guide is for you to take and add the exercises you want. I will mainly focus on the shoulder aspect of the workout, because abs and shoulders are too much to squeeze together. Plus, abs can be done during any workout, but shoulder techniques need their own day. So, let’s dive into this regimen.

Shoulders

This is one muscle which you need to not only build, but tone as well. To get both of these results, we need to use a variation of light weight and heavy weight. I prefer to use free weights for shoulders, but machines can work too.

My go-to exercise is the shoulder press.  I start off by picking a weight which is easy to lift, but is not too light. This is important because it warms up your muscles, so you won’t strain it when you go to the maximum weight you can lift.

“Dumbbell VS Barbell Shoulder Press – Proper Technique & Benefits.” Fitness and Power, 31 Aug. 2017, www.fitnessandpower.com/training/bodybuilding-exercises/shoulder-exercises/dumbbell-vs-barbell-shoulder-press-proper-technique-benefits.

With the starter weight, you have to do 8-10 reps, reducing the reps as you increase the weight. Make sure to keep your back straight. You can do this exercise on a flat bench (in the picture to the left) or you can adjust the bench so it’s at a 90 degree angle to help keep your form. When you bring your arms down, your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle as well. If you bend them lower than that, you are increasing your chances of a muscle strain. On the other hand, if you don’t bring them down enough, you won’t see the best results.

 

Shoulder presses can also be done standing up with a bar. The form is the same, your back should be straight and aligned with the rest of your body. When using the bar, you would put it in front of your body, above your chest. There is a machine for this as well. If you’re just starting out, the machine may help with keeping the correct form.

“5 Unique Shrugs to Get You Yoked.” Muscle & Fitness, www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/back-exercises/5-unique-shrugs-get-you-yoked.

Another simple exercise is the “shoulder shrug”. You can do this by taking heavy free weights and having your arms straight down. All you have to do is shrug! Just remember to keep your back straight. This is a good method to utilize pause reps. When you lift your shoulders up, hold it for 3 seconds, before putting it back down. This keeps your muscle tightened in this position, it increases your strength, even though it may burn… A LOT. In this technique, along with all shoulder workouts you have to vary the weight throughout your reps. You should always increase your weights, whether it is a heavy or light lifting day. I also recommend that you pick which days you will be lifting for strength (heavy lifting), or for toning (light days). I don’t like to put mix heavy and light lifting into one day because your muscles tend to get fatigued very fast and it will cause you to lift less weight when you are trying to push your strength.

These are my essential shoulder lifts. Once you understand the form, they are simple and fun to do. As always, feel free to add your own twist to these routines. Find exercises which are strenuous (in a good way), but still enjoyable.

Lunging into Leg Day

“Hump Day! T-Shirt.” SnorgTees, www.snorgtees.com/hump-day.

It’s HUMP DAY! Wednesdays aren’t usually people’s favorite day of the week, however it is my favorite because it means it’s leg day!

Let’s jump right in. I usually start with leg presses. I push myself to my limits. If your legs aren’t shaking by the time you finish, then you’re doing it wrong. I usually start off with a comfortable/light weight and do a rep of 8. Then I increase the weight. The increments you go up by depends on you, but just make sure it’s a gradual increase. Decrease the reps as the weight gets harder and harder to push. To reach your maximum PR (personal record), you just lift the weight just one time, if it seems extremely heavy. Once you go as heavy as you can, decrease the weight by the same increment and increase the reps. Personally, by the time I get back to the initial weight, I like to do at least 10 reps. But, if your legs seem close to breaking by then, you can do 8 instead. This exercise works on a variety of leg muscles, including your quads and glutes.

“Incline Leg Press Exercise Instructions and Video.” Weight Training Guide, 17 Jan. 2017, weighttraining.guide/exercises/incline-leg-press/.

 

(Fahmi)E, Muhammad, and Instructables. “Finding Nemo Boat!” Instructables.com, Instructables, 20 Sept. 2017, www.instructables.com/id/Finding-Nemo-Boat/.

Although this workout does work on your glutes (butt), it is still important to work out those muscles separately to get gains. This is where the infamous squat comes in. Squatting isolates the glute muscle, which aids its growth. It is a simple sit down, stand up motion, but proper technique is required to perform this exercise to get the best results. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and when you bend down your butt should be parallel or even lower than your knees. Also, your knees should not go too forward (beyond where your feet are). Your back needs to be straight and leaning over to prevent injuries.

Mehdi. “How to Squat with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide.” StrongLifts, 30 July 2017, stronglifts.com/squat/.

There are many ways to do a squat with or without weight. There are jumping squats, where every time you bend down you have to jump up. Or, you have your traditional squat which focuses solely on the form I mentioned above. However, when you use the squat rack, there are only two ways to perform it and it all depends on the placement of the bar. If you put the bar in front of you/on your upper chest and cross your arms to hold it in place, it is called a front squat. The front squat focuses more on the quads than glutes.

“Barbell Front Squat Exercise Instructions and Video.” Weight Training Guide, 11 Feb. 2017, weighttraining.guide/exercises/barbell-front-squat/.

On the other hand, if you put the bar behind your head (on your shoulders), then that is a back squat. Either way, any of these squats will produce results as long as you have good form. It is all up to what you prefer and what feels comfortable.

Since we want to touch on all of the main muscle groups during our leg day routine, we can’t leave out our calves. You can work on calves with any of these exercises, however there is one machine that I prefer to use to strengthen the muscle even more. It is the standing calf press. This machine puts the weight’s pressure on your shoulders and you have to push up the weight up by lifting your heels and stimulating the calf. There is a bar at the bottom, that you stand on. You should make sure that only the balls of your feet is on the bar, and your heels are hanging off; resting parallel or even below your toes. This is necessary in order to properly lift the weight with just your calf muscle.

“Machine Standing Calf Rise.” Weight Training Guide, weighttraining.guide/exercises/machine-standing-calf-raise/.

There are many other options to work on these same muscle groups, but these resemble my personal routine. Sometimes at the end of the workout, completing some cardio and stretching the muscles is a good way to cool down and prevent cramps. Leg day is great, but the recovery days after are always dreaded. So, if you have trouble walking up and down stairs or just in general; don’t worry, it’s normal.