What is the point of these exercises? (#GETFIT500 Weeks 1-2)

#GETFIT500 Weeks 1-2 Exercise Benefits

If you are wondering what makes these exercises for Weeks 1-2 really cool and which muscles are sore and why, then keep on reading below! 🙂

Benefits of Burpees

  • Strength Training: Burpees are a great exercise in order to build and strengthen muscles. Some of the muscles worked during a burpee include trapezoids, lower back, pectorals, deltoids, triceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, quadriceps, and abdominals.
  • Aerobic Exercise: Doing burpees for 15 to 30 minutes constitutes a full cardio workout. This exercise will keep the heart rate up at a maximum rate.
  • Flexibility: Burpees provide an increase in flexibility in areas of the body such as the back, hips, legs, and core.
  • Weight Loss: Burpees are a great fat burner and can be used effectively to lose excess weight. Since most muscles of the body are used during a burpee, some say that they stress the body into producing higher levels of testosterone, which is useful in building more lean muscle and dropping excess body fat.
  • Cardiovascular Endurance: Burpees are useful for reducing muscle fatigue for long athletic events, as they improve cardiovascular endurance.
  • Tone Muscles: Because the burpees work numerous muscles and areas of the body, muscle tone becomes much improved with frequent exercising, creating a better looking appearance.
  • Time Efficient, Inexpensive & Convenient: The burpee is a very convenient exercise; it requires no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Also, this exercise is not time consuming and does not require going to a gym or getting out any equipment.

Benefits of Squats

  • Total lower body workout: They effectively work most of the major muscle groups of the butt, hips and thighs. Squats are also a versatile exercise. They can be done in almost any location, with or without the use of weights or equipment.
  • Tones the Legs: Squat exercises thoroughly engage the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles, which helps to tone and strengthen the legs. Slowing the motion down makes the workout that much more intense.
  • Lifts the Butt: Doing squats give the glutes a powerful workout, helping to tighten and lift the butt. To increase this effect, give your glutes an extra squeeze when returning to a standing position.
  • Strengthens the Core: Squats engage the core muscles of the body. Abdominal and back muscles are needed to keep balance during the movement. The result is a tighter, flatter abdomen and a stronger lower back.  Make a conscious effort to hold in your abdominal muscles while squatting down to increase this effect.
  • Increases Flexibility:  Doing squats increase joint flexibility. The ankles, knees, hips and lower back are all utilized in the squatting motion. Be sure to maintain proper form to avoid injury. If you feel any pain in these areas, stop doing the exercises until the pain is gone.
  • Upper Body Workout : Adding weights to your squat routine engages the muscles of the upper body, essentially giving you a full body workout in one exercise. You can accomplish this with the use of a barbell, dumbbells or a weighted vest. When adding weights to your routine, start with lighter ones and build as your strength increases.

Benefits of Lunges

  • Better Balance: Lunges are unilateral exercises, meaning that they train one side of your body independently from the other. Training one side at a time vastly improves your balance and coordination.
  • Be More Functional: This compound leg exercise is hailed by many as the ultimate lower body “functional” exercise. Although the true definition of a functional exercise is hotly debated fitness topic, it is essentially an exercises that directly improves your performance of natural, everyday movements. Lunges, no doubt fall into the functional category because – think about it – you’re training the movement of walking (albeit by taking huge steps)!
  • Superior Symmetry: Possibly the best benefit of the lunge exercise is that you can “even out” strength and muscular imbalances by bringing your weak side up to par with your stronger side. In effect, this can improve your strength on other bilateral leg exercises because you eliminate the “weak link” that would otherwise hold back your progress.
  • Increased Hip Flexor Flexibility: The lunge technique forces you to stretch your hip flexor muscles, which are chronically tight for many individuals in today’s increasingly sedentary world.
  • Improved Glute Activation: Most lifters cannot fully utilize their gluteal muscles because they are inhibited by overactive hip flexors and spinal erectors. However, these overactive muscles are neutralized when performing lunges (with proper form). The result is that your body is in a position where you’re able to isolate and activate the glutes.
  • Better Core Stability: With lunges, you have to work hard to keep your torso upright – without using spinal extension to compensate for poor pelvic position – as you lunge up and down. It’s easier said than done.

Benefits of Walk Out (Inchworm) Pushups

  • Total Body Workout: Abdominal muscles, arms, back, chest and  shoulder muscles are all targeted in this integrated workout

Benefits of Dumbbell/Band Rows

  • Latissimus Dorsi: Lead with your elbow when you perform the bent-over dumbbell row to maximize shoulder extension. By creating as much shoulder extension as possible, you emphasize the work done by your latissimus dorsi muscles. Located on the sides of your back, your latissimus dorsi, or lats, are the primary muscles targeted in this exercise.
  • Middle Trapezius and Rhomboids: The middle trapezius and rhomboid muscles — located across and between your shoulder blades, respectively — draw your shoulder blades together in a movement called retraction. Keeping your shoulder blades retracted gives your arm and back muscles a solid base from which to generate force. Pulling your shoulders back also increases shoulder girdle stability, which may help reduce your risk of suffering a shoulder injury when performing this exercise.
  • Biceps Brachii:  Located on the front of your upper arm, your biceps brachii — biceps for short — flexes your elbow. Because your biceps are considerably smaller and weaker than your lats, many exercisers find that this is the first muscle to feel fatigued when performing bent-over dumbbell rows. Although the biceps are strongly involved in this exercise, their role is secondary to the lats.
  • Erector Spinae:  Bent-over dumbbell rows are commonly performed using one arm at a time so your free arm can be placed on an exercise bench to provide support. This reduces the load placed on the back but does not alleviate it completely. The muscles responsible for keeping your spine correctly aligned are your erector spinae. This group of eight muscles runs from the base of your pelvis to the back of your skull and works hard to maintain optimal posture while you work out. Rounding your back places an unnecessary and potentially injurious strain on these muscles and the underlying spinal structures. To minimize your risk, focus on keeping your lower back slightly arched and your chest held high.

Benefits of Jack Knife Abs

  • This variation on a standard crunch will not only tone your abs but will strengthen your lower back, legs and give you the benefits of a quick cardio workout too. Interestingly the jack knife has the added advantage of hitting your lower abs a lot more than traditional sit-ups, making it a great way of adding some variety to your core routine.

Sources:

  1. http://www.3fatchicks.com/health-benefits-of-burpees/
  2. http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/exercises/the-benefits-of-squat-exercises.html#b
  3. http://www.myweightlifting.com/benefits-of-lunges/
  4. http://www.livestrong.com/article/516149-muscles-involved-in-bent-over-dumbbell-rows/
  5. http://fitnessbloggers.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/exercise-of-the-month-jack-knife-crunches/
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