Monday, August 21, 2006

Some Swiss Ball Chest Exercises

The Swiss Ball can be used to train muscle groups. Here are some exercise for the chest. Vary the size of the Swiss Ball to work different muscle fibers and to get off a plateau. Swiss Balls are great in that they cause more muscle fibers to be engaged for balance and stability, and incorporate a good amount of abdominal and back muslces for balance and stability. Ladies, do not be afraid to do chest exercises. Once again, you will have to do a lot and eat a much higher than average mount of protein to grow huge pectoral mucles!

1. Raise your elbows to shoulder level. Let your palms face each other as you hold the Swiss Ball. Extend your arms. Do not lock your elbows. Bring the Swiss Ball to your chest. Do ten sets of ten repetitions. Stretch the chest after five sets by holding your hands behind your back as high as you can.

2. Repeat 2, and throw the ball back and forth with a partner or against a wall.

3. Do Swiss Ball push-ups. Use the push-up blog. This time, keep a Swiss Ball under your ankles.

4. Repeat 3. This time, put the Swiss Ball under the palms of your hands. Your arms should be shoulder-width apart.

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Carbohydrates in food are digested. They are degraded into glucose. As blood glucose rises after a meal. The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin. This causes the liver cells to stimulate glycogen synthase, as well as other hormones. Glycogen is formed. Glycogen is made of about 30,000 glucose units.

After a meal has been digested and glucose levels begin to fall, insulin secretion is reduced. Glycogen synthesis stops. About four hours after a meal, the enzyme glycogen phosphorylase begins cause glycogen to be broken down to be converted to glucose for fuel.

The pancreatic hormone glucagon counteracts insulin. When blood glucose levels fall, it is secreted in increasing amounts. It stimulates glycogen breakdown to glucose when insulin levels are high.

Muscle cell glycogen seems to be an immediate reserve source of available glucose for muscle cells. Muscle cells cannot pass glucose into the blood, so the glycogen they store internally is destined for internal use and is not shared with other cells.

The body usually cannot hold more than about 2,000 kilocalories of glycogen. Marathon runners commonly experience a phenomenon referred to as "hitting the wall" around the 20th mile (32nd kilometer) of a marathon. This calculation is based on an average of 100 kilocalories used per mile, varying by the size of the runner and the race course. When experiencing glycogen debt, runners many times experience fatigue.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult a physician before taking part in an exercise plan, sport, physical therapy, or massage.

Some of the information from this blog was obtained from:

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Sunday, August 20, 2006


Massage helps to increase circulation, alleviate stress, and soothe muscles. It has proven beneficial to many chronic conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, and bursitis. It is good for athletes, and for sedentary people.

People often take their bodies to new limits when they exercise. This may involve tearing down muscle fibers. They need to recover for a day or two after exercise, and then build up stronger than ever. Trigger points in muscles and tendons are stress points that may cause muscle soreness and decreased flexibility. They cause pain when pressed, and which may radiate pain to a larger area. They are thought by some to be small areas of spasm.

Trigger points may be caused by mental, emotional or physical stress, such as repeated exercise on a muscle or exercise at a higher-than-normal level or weight or repetition. Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax. This causes chronically tight (hypertonic) muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness. This predisposes you to injuries, especially muscle pulls and tears. Blood flow through tight muscles is poor also causes pain. There are several sports massage techniques.

Traditional Western or Swedish massage is currently the most common approach used for conditioning programs. It can be supplemented by other massage therapy approaches including deep tissue, trigger point work, and acupressure. The use of one or more of the following techniques can occur:

Deep Swedish Massage: muscle-specific applications of the standard effleurage, petrissage, vibration, and tapotement techniques;

Compression Massage: rhythmic compression into muscles used to create a deep hypremia and softening effect in the tissues. It is generally used as a warm-up for deeper, more specific massage work;

Cross-Fiber Massage: friction techniques applied in a general manner to create a stretching and broadening effect in large muscle groups; or on site-specific muscle and connective tissue, deep transverse friction applied to reduce adhesions and to help create strong, flexible repair during the healing process;

Trigger Point or Tender Point Massage: combined positioning and specific finger or thumb pressure into trigger or tender points in muscle and connective tissue, to reduce the hypersensitivity, muscle spasms and referred pain patterns that characterize the point; and

Lymphatic Massage: stimulation of specialized lymphatic-drainage pathways, which improves the body's removal of edemas and effusion.

Regular sports massage can: reduce mental and emotional stress levels; reduce pain; reduce the chance of injury; improve range of motion and muscle flexibility; shorten recovery time between workouts; maximize the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow; and enhance elimination of metabolic by-products of exercise.

Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult a physician before taking part in an exercise plan, sport, physical therapy, or massage.

Some of the information from this blog was obtainedfrom: and

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Breathing is very important. For all of the exercises in the blog, the breathing instructions are to inhale when a muscle is stressed or weight is lifted and to exhale upon release of muscle force, pressure or weight.

Oxygen is used by muscles to contract. Oxygen is needed to release energy from ATP. Often people do not breathe deeply. When we breathe, oxygen passes from our nose or mouth, into our trachea, then into our bronchi, then bronchioles, then alveoli ducts, and then into the alveoli sacs at the end. These sacs are filled with capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, that exchange oxygen. It is best to breathe in through the nose where germs and dust are extracted in mucus and small hairs.

As you can see, air does not simply go from our nose to our blood. If we do not breathe in a strong, deep manner, we will get less oxygen into our blood. This is especially true if we are sick and our lungs are congested. The muscles will have less oxygen and less energy. Our exercise performance and the benefit we get out of it will suffer. I did not even mention that oxygen needed for other important reactions of the body will not be there.

Some yoga classes feature breathing exercises geared to strengthening your diaphragm and to training you to breathe in a healthy fashion. The diaphragm is a muscle which separates the thoracic part of the body, that holds the heart and lungs, from the abdominal part that holds the stomach, liver, intestines, spleen and gall bladder, among other organs. These yoga exercises focus on using the diaphragm to breath. Then inhaling, the diaphragm moves down and the tummy expands. When exhaling, the diaphragm moves up and the tummy shrinks.

Here is an exercise that you can do at least one time a week:

Stand, sit in a chair or assume the cross-legged yoga pose with the ankles as you feel comfortable. Breathe in and out rapidly using your diaphragm consciously and having your tummy move in and out as far as you can. Do this for ten sets of ten repetitions. After a month or at least four times of doing this, do two sets of 50 repetitions.

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Disclaimer: None of the information in this blog is intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult a physician before taking part in an exercise plan, sport, physical therapy, or massage.