Zesty White Bean Chili

This zesty white bean turkey chili can be made plant-based too! It’s super simple, easy, healthy, and protein-packed! All you have to do is put everything in a slow cooker and let it cook! Then you have lunch, dinner, or meal prep for you and your family.

 

Zesty White Bean Chili
  • 2 Cans Great Northern Beans
  • 2 10-12 oz bags of frozen corn
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • 32 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 16 ounces ground turkey, meat, or meat alternative (optional)
Directions
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or coat with olive oil
  2. Add frozen corn,  can of tomatoes, can of chilis, broth, and all seasonings to slow cooker pot.
  3. Rinse and drain 1 can of beans and add to the pot.
  4. Puree the second can of beans in a blender and add to the pot. Stir all the ingredients until combined.
  5. Cook on high for about 3 hours and enjoy.
  6. Optional: Cook ground meat on the stove done and add to your soup for added protein!
  7. Serve with chips or over rice with avocado, green onions, or cheese.

Tried this recipe and liked it? Let us know on social media @vasafitness.

 

The post Zesty White Bean Chili appeared first on VASA Fitness.

Original source: https://vasafitness.com/2021/01/zesty-white-bean-chili/

At-Home Workout Equipment For The Whole Family

At-Home Workout Equipment For The Whole Family

When it comes to working out, it can be nice to find time for your whole family to get involved. Not only will your little ones be able to get their wiggles out, but you will get that much-needed self-care time scheduled into your busy day. Here is the best home workout equipment that your whole family can use to make this time of day something to look forward to!

Yoga Mat

We adore the yoga mat. It is affordable, versatile, and can be used at any age. Yes, any age. While you might look at this mat as a place to go and gain some time in self-introspection and self-compassion, you can use this piece of equipment for more than just yoga and mindfulness—yoga, pilates, pushups, squats, planks, and more can all be done here. Plus, it is a piece that says, “your workout is here.” So, if you have a little one who wants to crawl over to your space, you could make it a game for them to stay on their mat or try some balancing without having their toes hit the floor beside it. There are plenty of yoga poses that your whole family will enjoy, too. 

Jump Rope

Jump ropes are just plain fun. For you, for us, and your little ones. Plus, they are quite the calorie-blaster. According to Calories Burned HQ, jumping rope can burn a whopping 15-20 calories per minute. Yeah, we are sweating too. And your family, from 1st-grade on, can join in on the fun. You can switch it up by doing a normal jump, skipping, double-jumping, and a ton of other fun family workout routines. It will never get boring (or too easy). Did we mention you can take your rope anywhere? 

Trampoline

Staying on the jump train. A trampoline is a fun way to stay active with the entire family. It’s funny to think that lots of our favorite childhood pastimes can follow us our whole lives and become some of our best workouts. So, as your kid is jumping and bouncing on the trampoline, you can work on toning your body through circuit training. Like a jump rope, there are tons of options to enjoy, and these workouts are incredibly fun to do! We think a trampoline is a wonderful piece of home workout equipment for kids, teens, and beyond.

Bodyweight

Running, hiking, walking, pushups, squats, burpees, oh my! All of these things have one thing in common, and that is they only take y-o-u. So, as you think about your whole family’s health, why not opt for something with no-equipment needed? We have an extensive collection of bodyweight workouts on our blog and on iChuze Fitness that can help you create a healthy, active time with your whole family.

iChuze Fitness

Not only does iChuze have bodyweight workouts, though, if you need to meditate, spend some time alone, or train with equipment you already have, we are here for you! Moms, dads, kiddos, and beyond all love our energetic instructors and easy-to-follow workout videos. You can dance, lift, stretch, or meditate all with a click, click, click. Grab a free 7-day trial here and see what iChuze Fitness has to offer!

If you are looking for a gym that treats your family like family, check out all our locations. Some locations have a Kids Club where you can drop your child off with our team and go workout knowing that your kid is learning and growing while you do. We also have tons of amenities where you can enjoy bodyweight workouts, lifting, and more—or just spend a little quiet time in the sauna. Whatever you need, we are here for you.

The post At-Home Workout Equipment For The Whole Family appeared first on Chuze Fitness.

13 Best Chest Exercises and Workouts for Men

The best chest exercises and workout to make your chest pop! 

The chest is one of the most noticeable muscle groups, whether you’re shirtless on a beach or suited up and dressed to impress for the boardroom meeting. 

A powerful-looking chest immediately projects strength, confidence, and masculinity. 

A muscular chest is the pinnacle of a powerful-looking upper body.

It’s no surprise guys want chiseled muscular-looking pec muscles and women want to touch and put their heads on them. 

In fact, according to MuscleandFitness.com, women show stronger attraction toward men with a figure consistent with the ideal hunting physique: 

  • strong shoulders
  • narrow waists

 and you guess it right, broad chests and shoulders.

 “A solid chest, not man boobs or muscle boobs that rival our own, just chiseled pecs.” 

They’re the pinnacle of chest craftsmanship and the embodiment of physical glamour. 

And there are no better power tools for sculpting chiseled pecs and a strong chest than the 10 best chest workouts that follow. 

Here’s a look at the top 10 Best Chest Exercises for building strength and size. 

Similar Content:

Understanding Your Chest Muscles

Do you want a killer pec deck?

Then you need to know your chest muscles. Before we get to the training program, let’s look at these muscles.

Any trainer will tell you the best way to get muscle gain, and maximal strength is to focus on that area during your workout routine.

The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are your main chest muscles and run under the breasts of women.

You may hear a personal trainer talk about upper pecs, middle, and lower pecs.

This isn’t physically accurate, but again, it’s a way for your trainer to get you to mentally focus on the right muscle groups during a workout for muscle activation.

Muscles of the Chest

Chest muscle diagram

Pectoralis Major 

This is your key to a muscular chest. It’s one of the largest muscles in your body.

It’s a big fan-shaped muscle that originates from your collarbone, the sternum, the ribs, and the external oblique abs muscle. 

It runs from the upper to the lower chest region and attaches at the rear of your humerus. 

This muscle has two muscle heads. 

The clavicular head is the upper chest muscle and essential for shoulder flexion, horizontal abduction, and internal rotation. 

The sternal head is the middle and lower chest area and is responsible for shoulder extension, horizontal abduction, and internal rotation. 

Pectoralis Minor 

This muscle is located under the pectoralis major and runs up and down your upper rib cage and attaches to your shoulder blade. 

It is responsible for pulling your shoulder forward and down (1).

Muscles of the Upper Torso

Other muscles contribute to your upper body strength. 

Supplement workouts for a stronger chest with exercises that hit these, you’ll get that powerful physique you want.

Trapezius (traps)

Your trapezius muscle covers your neck, upper back, and shoulders. Traps move your head and neck, and you need them for shrugging, twisting your arms, and making sure you have good posture. 

Rhomboids 

Your upper back has two rhomboid muscles on each side that move your shoulder blades. (In fact, if you have a shoulder injury, these might be the culprit.) 

Serratus Anterior

this set of muscles wrap around your ribs and connect beneath your shoulder blades. 

These muscles give you scapular stability, which means they help you lock your shoulder blades in a place like you would in the plank position or when you hold weights in front of you (2).

Deltoid

Your delts are part of your shoulder muscles, and since they are in charge of all arm rotation, any weight training you do to build chest strength will likely involve these muscles as well. 

Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

These are the most massive muscles in your back and go from shoulder to waist. There are other great articles on this site for building big back muscles, which you should check out. 

It’s no good to have huge upper chest muscles and a weak back. Fortunately, a training program of the exercises below will help build your total upper body strength. 

A Note On Training:

Sure, you want a colossal chest and more upper body strength. 

But that doesn’t mean you hit the gym on Monday and grab the heaviest weight you can and start throwing it around. 

Want to look like a powerlifter? Then train like one. Understand the concept of progressive overload. 

To build muscle, you need the proper form, so start with lighter weight. 

If you can hit 12 reps easily with perfect form, then go up.

The workouts below will let you increase repetitions or add weight to build muscle continually. 

On the other hand, if you keep using the same weight, you will eventually plateau, so expect to add weight over time. 

10 Best Chest Exercises for Men

Best pecs exercises

Here’s a look at the top 10-Best Chest Exercises to build your strength and size.

Please note that while most of these exercises are beginner-friendly, more challenging moves such as barbell presses should be considered an advanced workout.

It requires additional muscular strength and endurance to perform the move correctly.

1. Pushup

A pushup is the closest thing to a perfect exercise, and it’s a phenomenal classic exercise for your chest.

It’s a perfect home chest workout because all you need is your body weight. And it is a great exercise to build your chest size.

To do it perfectly and with proper form, you engage every muscle group in your body.

This includes your pectoralis muscles, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and core.

It’s the only bodyweight training chest move on this list, and there is a reason it is a staple in an upper-body exercise regimen.

So, how do you do a pushup with the proper technique?

  1. Get down on all fours in a high plank position on a mat. Place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than your shoulders. 
  2. Extend your legs behind you, feet shoulder-width apart. Contract your glutes and brace your abdominals as if you were about to be punched in the gut. 
  3. Maintain these contractions in both your upper and lower body for the duration of this move. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head. 
  4. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Your upper back muscles should pull back as if you were doing a row. 
  5. Pause 1-2 seconds at the bottom, then push yourself back to the top as quickly as possible. Complete 15-20 total reps. You can also go for higher reps if you can maintain good form. 

Trainer Tip: If you are a beginner and having a hard time keeping your body in a straight line during a standard push up lower your knees to the ground to make it a little easier. 

However, a better bet might be an incline pushup. In this push-up variation, placing your hands on a box or bench gives you a different angle that’s closer to a full range of motion, plus it’s useful for targeting your lower pecs. 

Trainer Tip #2: Want to hit your biceps too? Try alternating sets of standard pushups with a close-stance set, and move your hands in closer together. 

2. Decline Pushup

These are an effective chest workout for hitting the upper chest and shoulders. 

Elevating your feet takes this bodyweight exercise to the next level. Fo this push-up variation, you’ll need a workout bench or a step, box, or stability ball to put your feet on. 

The height should depend on your upper body strength and fitness level. 

  1. Assume a plank position with the balls of your feet on an elevated surface. Tighten your core and tighten your glutes. 
  2. Your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head. Without letting your hips sag. In one motion, take a deep breath and exhale to lower your body until your chest almost touches your mat. 
  3. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Continue for 15 repetitions for 2 to 3 sets. 

Bench Press

Bodybuilders love bench press exercise for good reasons. There’s no better chest exercise for building muscle and strength.

Want to build your chest muscles like a bodybuilder? You are going to need to bench press.

This exercise targets the pectoral muscles, shoulders, and triceps, and it’s a good way to create strength and size in your chest.

Trainer tip: you have two options here, the barbell bench press and the dumbbell bench press. Both can be done with heavy weight.

However, to reduce the risk of injury, have a spotter nearby when you use the barbell. If you are a solo lifter, stick with dumbbells.

While a barbell will let you move a heavy load, there is another advantage to dumbbell chest exercises.

The instability of the weight will force you to stabilize using your core muscles, which means it is still an effective exercise, even if you are moving less weight.

Note: You’ll need a workout bench if you’re doing this exercise at home.

3. Dumbbell Bench Press

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench with a pair of dumbbells. Rest a dumbbell on each knee. Roll onto your back as you bring the weights outside your shoulders with an overhand grip. 
  2. Push the weights directly above your chest until your arms are extended, palms forward. Bend your elbows to slowly lower the weights until your upper arms are slightly below parallel to the floor. 
  3. Pause, and then push them back up to the starting position. Push the dumbbells together without letting them touch. 

With neither chest exercises, good form is key to get results and avoid injuring yourself. 

4. Barbell Bench Press 

Using a bar lets you move heavier weight than a dumbbell chest workout, but it becomes an isolation exercise working your pecs only. Each lifter’s hand position will be slightly different, but for most, somewhat wider than shoulders is ideal. 

  1. Lie flat on your back on a bench with the bar in the rack above you. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip. Your hands should either be just wider than shoulder-width or go wide grip and put your index finger on the ring. 
  2. Unrack the bar and breathe in as you lower the bar until it just touches the middle of your chest around your nipples. 
  3. Pause, and explosively push the barbell back up as you exhale. 

Trainer Tip: Want to change up your bench press?

Use a neutral grip on your dumbbell bench press to hit inner pecs and triceps. Try a reverse grip bench press to target your upper pecs.

Incline Chest Press 

Performing the incline press targets the upper chest (the clavicular portion of the pectoralis major).

Other muscle groups affected are the deltoids (shoulders) and the triceps.

If you want a huge chest, plain and simple – work that muscle—which resides high on your chest and gives your pecs extra pop. The incline bench press is one of the best exercises to do.

Like the bench press, you have two options, the incline dumbbell press, and the barbell chest press.

You can use heavy dumbbells if you are training solo. Or, reduce the risk of injury and have a spotter nearby when you use the barbell.

5. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 

  1. Lie on an incline bench with the backrest set at a 45-degree angle. 
  2. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight, and your palms turned toward your legs. 
  3. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells to chest level. 
  4. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then push them back up to the starting position. 

6. Incline Bench Press with a Barbell 

  1. For a barbell press, lie on an incline bench with the backrest set at a 30-40 degree angle. Grab the bar in an overhand grip. 
  2. Your feet should be flat on the floor about hip-width apart, with your lower back pressed against the bench. 
  3. Unrack the bar and hold it overhead, arms extended. Inhale and lower the weight to your upper chest at your collarbone. 
  4. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then push them back up to the starting position.

7. Dumbbell Decline Bench Press

Yes, more home workouts with dumbbells!

This dumbbell press chest exercise is performed on a decline bench. 

The decline bench press primarily builds muscle mass in the lower part of your pectorals. It also works your triceps and anterior deltoid muscles. 

  1. To do a decline press, lie on a decline bench with your shins hooked beneath the leg support. 
  2. Hold a pair of dumbbells shoulder-width apart. Your wrists should face your feet, and the weights should be just outside your shoulders. Tighten your shoulder blades. 
  3. Exhale and push the weights up until your arms are extended, and the weights nearly touch. Pause at the top of the movement. 
  4. Lower the dumbbells to your chest, pause, and then push them back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Continue for 10 to 12 repetitions for 2 to 3 sets. 

Trainer tip: If you do not have a weight bench, you can do this workout on the floor without losing much range of motion.

Lay on a mat with your feet hip-width apart. Contract your glutes into a glute bridge and hold this position while you complete the chest presses.

Chest Fly

The chest fly is a great isolation exercise for the chest.

It stimulates the entire region of the chest and pumps blood into the area.

It also works the shoulders and triceps muscles, but not to the extent that the bench press does.

Here we have two variations of this chest workout, the dumbbell flye and the cable fly (also called a cable flye.)

8. Dumbbell Chest Fly 

The dumbbell fly (aka dumbbell flye) builds a big chest by working the muscle fibers attached to your sternum. 

If you are into the aesthetics of a big chest, these fibers are what creates that chest separation between your pecs. 

  1. Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Your head, shoulders, and hips should be in contact with the bench, with feet flat on the floor and your spine neutral. 
  2. This is the same ‘3 points of contact’ position used in the bench press. If your feet cannot touch the ground without extending your back, use a box or step to raise your feet. 
  3. The dumbbells should be positioned directly above the shoulders with knuckles facing upwards when gripping the dumbbell and palms inwards. With arms outstretched, slightly bend your elbows and bring the weights out and down to the sides of the chest. 
  4. Raise the dumbbells back up to the center while exhaling. Keep the palms facing inwards, and elbows slightly bent throughout the movement. Hands should be over the elbows and in line with the mid-chest. That’s one rep. 
  5. Complete 10 to 12 for 2-3 sets. When you have finished your last rep, sit up and move dumbbells to your thighs, then down to the floor. 

9. Cable Machine Chest Fly

For a cable flye, set the pulleys on the cable machine to chest height. 

  1. Grab the handles and raise your arms out to the side of your body, palms facing forward. 
  2. Step forward to create tension on the cables and stand with one foot in front of the other, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. 
  3. Pull the handles towards each other in a wide arc, keeping your arms extended and at shoulder level, until your hands’ touch. 
  4. Slowly return to the starting position. Make sure to switch which foot you have forward for each set. 

Trainer tip: if you are working out at home and don’t have an adjustable bench, a good alternative is to rest your shoulders and upper back on a stability ball. 

This is great for building core strength. Keep your feet planted on the floor and use light weights. You can also use a resistance band attached to the doorframe at chest level in place of a cable machine for a cable flye. 

10. Cable Crossover

The cable crossover is one of the best chest workouts a lifter can use to superset a chest fly or press routine. 

As opposed to free weights, the cable machine lets you adjust the pulleys, so it is a great way to create muscle growth in different areas of your chest. 

  1. Set the pulleys to above shoulder height or their highest setting. Grab the handles and raise your arms out to the side of your body. 
  2. Step forward to create tension on the cables, and so you can feel a slight pull in your chest area. 
  3. Stand with one foot in front of the other, leaning forward slightly so the weight on your front foot. 
  4. Pull the handles towards each other in a wide arc, keeping your arms extended, crossing one forearm over the other. Keep constant tension of the cable. 
  5. Slowly return to the starting position. Make sure to switch which arm is on top: right arm up, left arm down, then left arm up, right arm down. 

Trainer Tip: This isolation exercise is also a great way to fatigue your muscles at the end of your chest workout routine. For maximum hypertrophy and chest development, you want to fully fatigue the muscles you want to build. 

11. Dumbbell Squeeze Press

The dumbbell squeeze press is similar to the flat bench press. However, this strength training movement builds your pec deck by taking it to the next level. 

This dumbbell chest workout can be done on laying a bench or on a mat on the floor. 

  1. Hold dumbbells in front of your chest, one in each hand with the palms of your hands facing each other and arms extended. 
  2. Squeeze the dumbells as hard as you can. This is the top of the movement. 
  3. Keep squeezing them together as you lower the weights to your chest and the bottom of the movement. 

12. Dumbbell Pullover

Dumbbell pullovers are one of the classic dumbbell chest workouts beloved by powerlifters. This single-joint movement is a great exercise to work both your pecs and your lats. 

  1. Lie faceup on a flat bench and grasp a dumbbell with both hands directly over your chest, arms perpendicular to the floor. 
  2. Place your feet flat for stability and press your back into the bench. You won’t need much weight to start. 
  3. Slowly lower the weight in an arch over your head with straight arms. When your elbows come to ear level, reverse the move and return to the start. That’s one rep. 
  4. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions for 2-3 sets. Make sure to pull evenly with both arms. 

Trainer Tip: Greater range of motion isn’t necessarily better. Everyone’s shoulder condition is different and unique. This also applies to weight. Extra weight isn’t always better or a sign of better performance. 

Heavier loads may lead to shoulder strain. Instead, work on making slow and controlled movements. 

13. Chest Dip

Dips are one of my favorite exercises for chest training. 

But they can also be troublesome and hard on your shoulders. 

But a simple form tweak will allow you to redistribute your weight so that your torso leans forward as you lower your body, placing more of the stress on your chest (good!) and less of it on your shoulder joints (bad!). 

Even if you don’t find the classic dip causes you shoulder pain, you’re better off doing this variation—known as the incline dip—regardless. 

It’ll help protect your shoulders while making your pecs pop. 

  1. Grasp the parallel bars of a dip station and lift yourself so your arms are completely straight. 
  2. Raise your thighs in front of you until they’re parallel to the floor, and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle (almost as if you’re sitting in a chair). Hold them this way for the entire exercise. 
  3. Keeping your elbows tucked close to your body, slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. (Allow your torso to lean forward.) 
  4. Pause, then push back up to the starting position.

Trainer tip: If you are trying to build strength, do chest dips at body weight with a lower rep range. For muscle growth, increase your rep range and consider adding weight. 

There you have it. You just learn the absolutely best chest exercises. Pick or two to implement in your next chest workout day.

Best Chest Workout Frequently Asked Questions 

Chest workouts
What Is the Best Exercise for the Chest?

A press movement like the bench press with heavier loads will give you the most muscle activation for your chest. 

Go for 3 sets of 3-5 reps of a weight that is close to your 1 rep max. You want rest periods of 3-4 minutes in between sets.

However, the best chest workout will contain a mix of chest exercises that press, lift, and pull. 

You want a training program that hits every major muscle group plus the smaller muscles, for a well rounded, chiseled look women will love.

How Fast Will I See My Chest Size Increases?

Progress takes time. Staying consistent and including these chest workouts in your fitness routine is the most effective way to build your chest muscles. 

To get the best results, you need a solid training program that mixes up your movement pattern. 

Supplement days with a heavier weight with lower weight days. Superset isolation movements like a standard bench press with exercises that hit every major muscle group. 

If you work the same muscles every day, you run a risk of injury, or you will hit a plateau. 

Neither of these is what you want! Alternate with back exercise sessions and arm days for a complete upper torso look. 

How Can I Build My Chest at Home?

You can build a powerful chest regimen that can be done at home, combining bodyweight variations with dumbbell exercises. 

Get yourself a set of dumbbells, some decent kettlebells, a resistance band, and a mat, and you will have most of what you need to make serious muscle gains. 

How Many Workouts Should I Do on a Chest Day?

Lifters should stick to 2 to 3 nonconsecutive chest day workouts, with sessions being between 30-45 minutes. 

If you are lifting heavy weight, three days of rest is ideal. So, train heavy on Mondays and again on Thursdays, for example. 

And don’t forget the days of rest. The only way your muscle fibers can rebuild is through rest. 

Best Chest Workout

Perform each exercise for the prescribed number of reps, then rest 30-60 seconds and repeat the exercise for 1 to 4 times before moving on to the next. 

Chest workouts for men

Last Word

You don’t need a fancy training program and a bunch of expensive supplements and stimulants to have a bigger chest.

You need reliable training techniques and bar, cable, and dumbbell exercises that provide progressive overload.

All of the chest workouts on this list will give you that. Plus, working your chest muscles will help your upper body look more complete, and you’ll also be stronger and more built.

So, look through these chest exercises and start adding them to your chest days.

While a lot of guys tend to solely focus on the chest, be sure to do a workout program for different muscles on other days. Resistance training that targets other muscle groups can lead to a faster metabolism and more fat loss.

Furthermore, it’ll build strength in your entire body and lead to improvements in everyday activities.

With that, you can hit your fitness goal faster and be tank top ready in no time. Not to mention, it’ll lead to the loss of man boobs! Now go get ready for international chest day!

Talk to a certified strength coach or personal trainer for help at the gym.

You may also like:

  1. “Pectoralis Muscle | Definition, Location, Function, & Facts.” Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com/science/pectoralis-muscle.
  2. “Anatomy, Thorax, Serratus Anterior Muscles – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, 10 July 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531457/.

14-Day Boiled Egg Diet Plan & Menu to Lose 24 Pounds

There are many diet plans on the market that claim to help you lose weight fast.

Additionally, many of these diets promise significant differences in weight by merely eating specific types of foods.

The 14-day egg diet sometimes referred to as the boiled egg diet, egg diet, or high egg diet is one such weight loss plan. 

As the name implies, this diet revolves around eating hard-boiled eggs and other lean proteins, non-starchy vegetables, and low carb fruits. 

Ultimately, the 14-day egg diet promises that you can lose up to 25 pounds in 2 weeks by following this structured meal plan. 

Are these claims too good to be true? This article will take a deep dive into the egg diet plan and discuss the pros and cons of this weight loss program. 

What Is the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet?

14-day boiled egg diet review

The 14-day hard-boiled egg diet is a 2-wk diet based on the 2018 book by Arielle Chandler titled “The Boiled Egg Diet: The Easy, Fast Way to Weight Loss! Lose Up to 25 Pounds in 2 Short Weeks!”

As the title suggests, this low-calorie, low-carb diet helps dieters lose up to 25 pounds or 11 kg in two weeks. 

The book also claims that a combination of hardboiled eggs and metabolism-boosting low carb vegetables and lean proteins will help “melt away” pounds and body fat in a short period of time. 

The diet plan primarily involves increasing your egg intake, along with other protein sources and low carb fruits and veggies.

Additionally, the book offers a 1-wk meal plan, recipes, and a list of approved foods to help you get started.

Other variations of the high-egg diet also exist, including a version published in Vogue during the 1970s. 

Are Hard-Boiled Eggs Good for Weight Loss?

Eggs pack a large amount of nutrition inside their thin shells. In fact, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse and could even be considered a so-called “superfood.” 

They are a high-quality protein source, meaning that they contain all of the essential amino acids needed to build body structures and muscle mass in the right ratios. 

In addition to being a good source of protein, eggs are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin A, phosphorus, selenium, and certain B-vitamins, including B12, B6, folate, and riboflavin (1). 

They also contain a decent amount of calcium, zinc, vitamin D, and iron (1). Most of these nutrients are found in the egg yolks, while the egg whites contain mainly protein. 

Additionally, eggs are a source of many trace minerals and antioxidants that may be beneficial for health.

For example, eggs are an excellent source of choline (1).

Choline is an essential nutrient that is often grouped with B-vitamins and plays an important role in brain function.

There is also preliminary research that suggests choline may be involved in metabolism (2). 

A small 2014 study found that female athletes who took choline supplements for 1-wk before a competition had lower body mass indexes (BMI) and leptin levels compared to the control group (2). Leptin is a hormone that lowers appetite and regulates body fat. 

Furthermore, eggs not only contain healthy nutrients, but they are also low in calories.

One large boiled egg offers approximately 71 calories, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 0.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams fiber (1).

This nutrition profile could make eggs a useful tool for weight loss. 

First, eggs are an incredibly filling food, possibly due to their protein content. Studies have consistently shown that eating eggs at meals increases fullness and may reduce calorie intake later in the day compared to baseline levels.

Additionally, many studies have shown that having eggs for breakfast may produce more significant differences in weight loss than breakfasts of similar calorie composition (3-5). 

Several studies of overweight adults found that eating eggs in place of bagels at breakfast increased feelings of satiety among participants and caused them to consume less energy (aka calories) over the following 24 to 36 hours (3, 4). 

In a similar study among healthy overweight adults, participants assigned to the egg group for breakfast had a 65% greater weight loss and a 61% higher reduction in BMI after 8 weeks compared to participants in the bagel group (5).

This led the researchers to theorize that egg breakfasts may enhance weight loss when combined with a calorie restriction (5). 

Based on these results, eating eggs for breakfast may help you feel fuller and unintentionally lower your total calorie intake compared to baseline.

Please keep in mind that these are the potential benefits of eating eggs as part of a varied menu along with other healthy lifestyle choices.

It is not a list of the potential benefits of the egg diet plan.

There are no clinical trials or systematic reviews that examine the impact of high-egg versus low-egg diets on weight loss or health benefits. 

Effect of Egg Consumption on Cholesterol

Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past due to their high content of dietary cholesterol.

It was once thought that eating a diet high in cholesterol could increase risk factors for heart disease.

However, current research and systematic reviews have shown no clear link between dietary cholesterol and increased cardiovascular risk factors, such as elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood pressure (6, 7). 

For example, one current study consisting of 28,024 participants found that eating 7+ eggs per wk was not associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease or cardiovascular disease mortality when compared to the low-egg group (egg intake of <1 egg per week) (8).

In a different clinical trial, 140 participants with type 2 diabetes (t2d) were assigned to a high-egg group (egg intake of 2 eggs per day) or a low-egg group (less than 2 eggs per week) for three months to examine the effect of egg consumption on cholesterol levels.

The researchers found no significant differences between the high-egg group and the low-egg group in terms of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, or glycemic control (9).

Therefore, while eggs are high in cholesterol, egg consumption does not appear to cause significant differences in cholesterol compared to baseline levels for most individuals. 

However, it is important to note that you will be eating more eggs on this diet than the average daily intake.

Therefore, you may want to seek professional advice from your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting the 14-day egg diet plan, especially if you have a history of heart disease, type 2 diabetes (t2d), hypercholesterolemia, high cholesterol, or elevated LDL cholesterol or triglycerides. 

How the Egg Diet Works

As previously mentioned, there are multiple versions of the high egg diet.

While none of the egg diets are considered balanced, certain types of this restrictive diet are more unbalanced than others.

Some popular versions of the high egg diet include:

  • The Traditional Hardboiled Egg Diet
  • The Egg and Grapefruit Diet
  • The Keto Egg Diet
  • The Egg Only Diet

The Traditional Diet

According to the 14-day hard-boiled egg diet book, this is the most popular version of the high egg diet, and you won’t be eating eggs exclusively on this plan.

Instead, it is a similar diet approach to the Atkins diet, and it focuses on limiting the number of carbs you eat. 

On this version of the high egg diet, you consume 2-3 eggs for breakfast along with non-starchy vegetables or a piece of fruit.

For lunch and dinner, you eat another serving of eggs or a small portion of lean protein from another food source like chicken or fish. 

You can also have low-carb vegetables and 1-2 servings of low sugar fruits on this plan. 

The Egg and Grapefruit Diet

This version is similar to the traditional diet with one significant difference: it includes half of a grapefruit at meals along with the eggs or lean protein.

Additionally, grapefruit is the only type of fruit allowed on the egg and grapefruit diet. 

Like the traditional egg diet, your overall carbohydrate intake on this high-egg diet is highly restricted. 

Other than grapefruit as the only fruit, the rest of the plan is the same as the traditional version.

The more significant restriction and lack of freedom on this egg diet plan make it less popular, and it doesn’t work for the average person. 

The Keto Egg Diet

This is the keto variation of the diet. On this egg diet plan, you consume eggs cooked in keto diet-friendly butter and cheese.

Proponents of the keto egg diet claim that this combination of eggs, butter, and cheese helps the body to produce ketones, thereby assisting with ketosis.

It is particularly popular among keto dieters looking to break through a weight loss plateau.

In general, the recommended ratio is one egg to one tablespoon of fat (aka butter or cheese). 

The Egg Only Diet

As the name suggests, this variation of the egg diet includes only eggs and plenty of water every day for up to two weeks.

Since this eating plan relies on eggs as your only food source, it lacks variety and can result in deficiencies. 

Also, because there is no fiber in eggs, egg dieters may experience constipation and digestive issues. 

While none of these high-egg diets are balanced, this version is an incredibly unhealthy weight loss program and should not be attempted in the first place.

The Traditional Egg-Diet Plan Pros and Cons

While there are multiple versions of the egg diet, this article will mostly review the traditional egg diet plan. 

Potential Benefits 

As previously mentioned, eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent addition to most dietary patterns.

Besides consuming more whole eggs, this diet plan also encourages many healthy foods that most people don’t consume in adequate amounts, including veggies and certain fruits.

These real, whole foods contain nutrients and antioxidants that may have health benefits.

The hard-boiled egg diet also limits the intake of added sugar and processed foods, which have been shown to impact health.

Research has consistently found that processed foods are associated with an increased risk of weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes (t2d), inflammation and oxidative stress, and cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and insulin resistance (10-12). 

Additionally, this approach provides a structured eating plan that the average person may find helpful.

Furthermore, since it is only two weeks, many individuals may find the egg diet plan less daunting than a long-term diet and may be more likely to complete the program.

However, it is important to mention that other diet methods, such as the DASH diet, also teach healthy eating habits but are not nearly as restrictive as the egg diet. 

Potential Drawbacks

Highly Restrictive and Unbalanced

One major drawback of the 14-day egg diet is that it lacks variety and is nutritionally unbalanced.

Due to the extensive calorie restriction and a limited variety of foods, most people will not consume enough vitamins, minerals, and calories while following this eating plan.

Additionally, this diet plan advocates eliminating many healthy foods, including whole grains, starchy veggies, and certain fruits.

In fact, the hard-boiled egg plan has been accused of being a fad diet because it eliminates entire food groups.

Anytime you remove whole food groups from the menu, you may be susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

For example, whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, soluble fiber, and b-complex vitamins. At the same time, starchy vegetables and fruits are sources of antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamin C. 

Too Low Calorie for Long-Term Sustainability

Overall, the 14-day egg diet does not offer enough calories for the average person.

While temporarily following a low-calorie diet may be safe for well-nourished adults, it is not recommended and is likely not effective for long-term weight loss.

Additionally, very low-calorie diet plans can have adverse effects on the human body if followed for multiple weeks. 

Research has shown that prolonged low-calorie intake can cause decreased bone density, impaired immune function, and disruption of the menstrual cycle (13-15).

Furthermore, consistently low energy intake may also cause a decrease in metabolism (16).

When you do not consume enough calories over a long period, your body may respond by slowing the metabolic rate in an attempt to conserve energy. 

Not an Effective Way to Lose Weight for Long-Term Success

The 14-day egg diet is a short-term weight loss plan designed to last for only two weeks. One of the problems with these rapid weight loss programs is that you may regain the weight once you stop following the menu plan. 

This rapid weight gain that typically occurs after a diet can be disheartening and may lead individuals to try similar diets, which provide similar, short-term results.

The cycle of dieting, gaining weight, and dieting again is sometimes referred to as yo-yo dieting.

Research has linked yo-yo dieting to potential health problems, including increased appetite, greater weight gain over time, and increased body weight and fat (17-19).

Questionable Claims

According to the book, the hard-boiled egg diet offers a number of benefits, including decreased appetite and increased metabolism.

However, there is limited rationale to suggest that eating specific types of foods will result in significant differences in weight loss without also being combined with healthy lifestyle changes.

There is some evidence that a high-protein diet may result in greater satiety and fullness after a meal, thereby lowering appetite (20).

However, it is important to note that the hard-boiled egg diet is too low in calories for most people, meaning that you will likely feel hungry despite the high protein intake.

Additionally, dietary fiber may also increase fullness after a meal. However, eggs contain zero grams of fiber, and this plan eliminates whole grains, which are an excellent source of filling, soluble fiber.

There is also some evidence that coffee and green tea may contain compounds that marginally boost metabolic rate (21-23).

Overall, this may have a small impact on your calories burned but will likely not result in significant differences in weight without other healthy habits. 

Potential Adverse Effects

You may experience digestive distress, especially during the first week of the egg diet plan, or if you previously ate a low-egg diet.

This may include gas, nausea, bloating, constipation, stomach cramps, and bad breath, which are common side effects of high protein foods.

As you might imagine, additional adverse effects of the 14-day egg diet plan are hunger, fatigue, and lack of energy.

Any diet that advocates for such a small amount of calories without snacks between meals will result in hunger and discomfort.

Additionally, diets that offer little variety will also likely cause food cravings. While 14 days on the egg diet plan is possible, eating the same foods every day is monotonous and boring and could lead egg dieters to abandon the program.

Furthermore, this plan is very low in calories without much food variety, which may leave individuals overly hungry and prone to binge eating.

Finally, it should go without saying that you should avoid the egg diet if you have an egg allergy or intolerance. 

Hard-Boiled Egg Diet Plan Food List

In general, this diet consists of hardboiled eggs, lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, and low carb fruits in moderation. 

Below is a list of foods that are encouraged on the egg diet. Remember that there are multiple variations of the egg diet, and different sources may have varying recommendations. 

Foods to Eat

 Foods to include as part of the high-egg diet:

  • Eggs: egg yolks and whites (preferably hardboiled)
  • Lean proteins: skinless poultry, fish, and lean cuts of lamb, beef, and pork
  • Non-starchy vegetables: spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, collard greens, mustard greens, mushrooms, and tomatoes
  • Limited amounts of low carb-fruits: lemons, limes, citrus fruit (such as grapefruit and oranges), watermelon, cantaloupes, and berries 
  • Fats and oils: coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and mayonnaise
  • Beverages: water, clear light, sparkling water, diet soda, unsweetened tea, and black coffee
  • Herbs, spices, seeds, and nuts: chia seeds, garlic, basil, turmeric, pepper, rosemary, and oregano

Some variations of the diet also allow non-fat or low-fat dairy products, such as unflavored Greek yogurt and yogurts, skim milk, and low-fat cheese. 

Non-caloric beverages and drinks, including plenty of water and unsweetened green tea or black coffee, are encouraged on this plan.

 The book also suggests meal bread, such as rye bread made with nuts and seeds instead of regular bread.

However, it is necessary to practice portion control if following this suggestion, as rye bread may have too many carbs for this low carb diet.

Foods to Avoid

The boiled egg diet limits most high carb foods, including starchy vegetables, grains, cereals, and many fruits.

Highly processed foods are also not allowed during the 2-wk period. This includes pre-made and frozen meals, fast food, packaged foods, sweets, bakery desserts, and other processed foods.

Additionally, sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice, are off-limits while following this diet plan.

Here are some foods to avoid on the Traditional Egg Diet Plan:

  • Starchy veggies: potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, corn, and peas
  • High-sugar fruits: bananas, pineapples, mangoes, 100% fruit juices, and dried fruit
  • Grains and whole grains: bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, buckwheat, and barley
  • Processed foods: fried food, bacon, fast food, chips, pretzels, cookies, sweets, foods high in sodium, and pre-made or convenience meals.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, juice, sweet tea, sports drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty meats

What to Expect for the 14 Days

Following the boiled egg diet requires a strict but straightforward routine. 

Here are some of the additional rules and recommendations:

  • No snacking
  • Eat only 3 meals per day
  • Drink plenty of water – aim for 6 to 8 cups a day as a general rule of thumb
  • Avoid alcohol and junk food
  • Consume enough fiber: This eating plan is notably low on dietary fiber. Therefore, it is crucial to emphasize high fiber foods, such as leafy green veggies and chia seeds.
  • Keep sweeteners and sweet foods to 3 servings a day (a serving of fruit counts as one “sweet” on this plan)
  • Exercise is not required, but light exercise is recommended 
  • Get plenty of quality sleep

Overall, the egg diet is restrictive and limiting. For that reason, it is not intended to be followed for more than two weeks at a time.

Prolonged periods on the boiled egg diet could result in nutritional deficiencies. 

According to the book, light physical activity is encouraged for more significant differences in weight loss. However, the boiled egg diet does not provide enough calories for strenuous exercise or high activity levels.

Examples of light exercise include speed walking, light biking, and gentle aerobics. Shorter bursts of exercise are preferred over longer physical activity sessions.

If you are working out while on the egg diet plan, the book suggests 15-20 minutes of exercise once or twice a day. 

The Boiled Egg Diet Plan—Week One 

Hard Boiled Egg Diet Pan and Menu

Monday

  • Breakfast—2 or 3 boiled eggs and an orange
  • Lunch—Cobb salad minus the bacon
  • Dinner—Baked salmon with broccoli or other greens

Tuesday

  • Breakfast—2 eggs and grapefruit
  • Lunch—1 egg and cucumber and dill salad
  • Dinner—Sirloin steak and kale

Wednesday

  • Breakfast—2 boiled eggs and a small apple
  • Lunch—Steak salad
  • Dinner—Egg curry and leafy green veggies

Thursday 

  • Breakfast—2 eggs and a pear
  • Lunch—1 egg, watermelon, and feta cheese
  • Dinner—Baked chicken and cabbage

Friday

  • Breakfast—2 eggs
  • Lunch—Avocado egg salad and 1 slice rye bread
  • Dinner—Grilled herb pork chops and asparagus

Saturday

  • Breakfast—1 scotch egg and an apple
  • Lunch—2 deviled eggs and beet salad
  • Dinner- Lemon chicken and cabbage

Sunday

  • Breakfast—2 eggs and 1 slice meal bread
  • Lunch—2 eggs
  • Dinner—Tuna and mustard greens

The Boiled Egg Diet Plan—Week Two

Repeat a similar menu to the first week. 

Is the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet Good for You?

Overall, the high egg diet is only masquerading as a healthy diet. While this diet plan contains many healthy foods, it is not the best way to lose weight or improve your health.

This is because the boiled-egg diet is extremely restrictive and too low-calorie for most people.

While this program may help with short-term weight loss, the weight will likely return soon after you stop dieting. 

Furthermore, outside of a handful of studies about high protein breakfasts and weight loss, there is no evidence to suggest that eggs have any magical power, other than the fact that they are a low calorie, nutritious food. 

Additionally, most of the research about the health benefits of eggs looks at including eggs as part of a healthy diet. There is no evidence that eating a large quantity of eggs will increase these benefits.

In fact, consuming a low-calorie diet that consists mostly of eggs can displace other, nutritious foods from your diet. 

Ultimately, this egg diet appears to be another fad and may not be the best approach for long-term weight loss. 

Instead of following the hard-boiled egg diet, try adding more eggs to your meals and snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle change.
If you previously ate a low-egg diet, try adding a few eggs to your meal plans per week.

Currently, the American Heart Association’s stance is that one whole egg (or two egg whites) per day can be part of a healthy diet.

Is the Hard-Boiled Egg Diet Good for You?

Overall, the high egg diet is only masquerading as a healthy diet. While this diet plan contains many healthy foods, it is not the best way to lose weight or improve your health.

This is because the boiled-egg diet is extremely restrictive and too low-calorie for most people.

While this program may help with short-term weight loss, the weight will likely return soon after you stop dieting. 

Furthermore, outside of a handful of studies about high protein breakfasts and weight loss, there is no evidence to suggest that eggs have any magical power, other than the fact that they are a low calorie, nutritious food. 

Additionally, most of the research about the health benefits of eggs look at including eggs as part of a healthy diet. There is no evidence that eating a large quantity of eggs will increase these benefits. 

In fact, consuming a low-calorie diet that consists mostly of eggs can displace other, nutritious foods from your diet. 

Ultimately, this egg diet appears to be another fad and may not be the best approach for long-term weight loss. 

Instead of following the hard-boiled egg diet, try adding more eggs to your meals and snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle change.

If you previously ate a low-egg diet, try adding a few eggs to your meal plans per week.

Currently, the American Heart Association’s stance is that one whole egg (or two egg whites) per day can be part of a healthy diet.

Last Word

The bottom line is that the 14-day egg diet is a highly restrictive, low-calorie, low-carb diet that may result in weight loss, but only in the short-term.

Ultimately, this diet plan is too strict and low in calories to be a good thing for long-term weight management.

Instead of following the 2-wk egg diet, try eating more eggs as part of a healthy, sustainable dietary approach.

Some tips for a healthy diet include eating plenty of fruits and veggies, practicing mindful eating, limiting sugar and processed foods, and choosing lean proteins, including but not limited to eggs.

(This post is solely for general informational purposes only. Any dietary changes may cause adverse changes to your health and weight management and should be undertaken at your own risk.

Consult your doctor before starting any new diet. Decisions of any kind related to your diet and weight loss should be made with a licensed dietitian and health practitioner.) 

  1. “FoodData Central Search Results” FoodData Central, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/ Agricultural Research Service, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748967/nutrients
  2. Elsawy, Gehan et al. “Effect of choline supplementation on rapid weight loss and biochemical variables among female taekwondo and judo athletes.” Journal of human kinetics vol. 40 77-82. 9 Apr. 2014, doi:10.2478/hukin-2014-0009
  3. Vander Wal, Jillon S et al. “Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition vol. 24,6 (2005): 510-5. doi:10.1080/07315724.2005.10719497 
  4. Ratliff, Joseph et al. “Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men.” Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.) vol. 30,2 (2010): 96-103. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2010.01.002 
  5. Vander Wal, J S et al. “Egg breakfast enhances weight loss.” International journal of obesity (2005) vol. 32,10 (2008): 1545-51. doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.130
  6. Rong, Ying et al. “Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 346 e8539. 7 Jan. 2013, doi:10.1136/bmj.e853
  7. Hu, F B et al. “A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women.” JAMA vol. 281,15 (1999): 1387-94. doi:10.1001/jama.281.15.1387
  8.  Xu, Lin et al. “Egg consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study and meta-analyses.” European journal of nutrition vol. 58,2 (2019): 785-796. doi:10.1007/s00394-018-1692-3
  9. Fuller, Nicholas R et al. “The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study-a 3-mo randomized controlled trial.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 101,4 (2015): 705-13. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.096925
  10.  Poti, Jennifer M et al. “Ultra-processed Food Intake and Obesity: What Really Matters for Health-Processing or Nutrient Content?.” Current obesity reports vol. 6,4 (2017): 420-431. doi:10.1007/s13679-017-0285-4
  11.  Srour, Bernard et al. “Ultra-processed food intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study (NutriNet-Santé).” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 365 l1451. 29 May. 2019, doi:10.1136/bmj.l1451
  12. Marti, Amelia. “Ultra-Processed Foods Are Not “Real Food” but Really Affect Your Health.” Nutrients vol. 11,8 1902. 15 Aug. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11081902
  13. Tsai, M-L et al. “Changes of mucosal immunity and antioxidation activity in elite male Taiwanese taekwondo athletes associated with intensive training and rapid weight loss.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 45,9 (2011): 729-34. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.062497
  14. Williams, Nancy I et al. “Magnitude of daily energy deficit predicts frequency but not severity of menstrual disturbances associated with exercise and caloric restriction.” American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism vol. 308,1 (2015): E29-39. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00386.2013
  15.  Villareal, Dennis T et al. “Effect of Two-Year Caloric Restriction on Bone Metabolism and Bone Mineral Density in Non-Obese Younger Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research vol. 31,1 (2016): 40-51. doi:10.1002/jbmr.2701 
  16. Fothergill, Erin et al. “Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) vol. 24,8 (2016): 1612-19 doi:10.1002/oby.2153
  17. Dulloo, A G, and J-P Montani. “Pathways from dieting to weight regain, to obesity and to the metabolic syndrome: an overview.” Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity vol.16 Suppl 1 (2015): 1-6. doi:10.1111/obr.1225
  18. Mackie, Grace M et al. “Does weight cycling promote obesity and metabolic risk factors?.” Obesity research & clinical practice vol. 11,2 (2017): 131-139. doi:10.1016/j.orcp.2016.10.284
  19. Dulloo, A G et al. “How dieting makes the lean fatter: from a perspective of body composition autoregulation through adipostats and proteinstats awaiting discovery.” Obesity reviews :an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity vol. 16 Suppl1 (2015): 25-35. doi:10.1111/obr.12253
  20. Weigle, David S et al. “A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 82,1 (2005): 41-8. doi:10.1093/ajcn.82.1.41
  21. Diepvens, Kristel et al. “Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea.” American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology vol. 292,1 (2007): R77-85. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00832.2005
  22. Dulloo, A G et al. “Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 49,1 (1989): 44-50. doi:10.1093/ajcn/49.1.44
  23. Koot, P, and P Deurenberg. “Comparison of changes in energy expenditure and body temperatures after caffeine consumption.” Annals of nutrition & metabolism vol. 39,3 (1995): 135-42. doi:10.1159/000177854

How to Do a Clamshell Exercise: Trainer Tips

When you think of clams, do you think of the mollusk?

Maybe sitting on a bed of lettuce?

Served on a tray, a foam container, or maybe even in plastic bags by the beach?

Clamshell packaging jokes aside, the clamshell exercise, also known as clams, is a curious exercise that targets your glutes, hip abductors, and pelvis. 

The name comes from the position of your legs resembling a clamshell.

Your legs stack on top of each other and hinge open like the top shell or lid of a clam.

It’s an effective exercise that strengthens your hip muscles by moving your lower extremities. 

The best thing about this exercise is that it can be completed with little to no equipment.

There are also many variations and progressions that you can work your way up to! 

Let’s cover which muscles are worked in the movement, how to perform the basic exercise, and 3 progressively challenging variations. 

Also included are some helpful tips, a study that tested 4 progressions of clamshells, and lastly, clams and runners.

What Muscles Does Clamshell Work?

Your glutes are made up of 3 muscles on each side of your body.

From largest to smallest, they are your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. 

While they do work together, each one also serves its own purpose.

The gluteus maximus is probably the most well known.

It’s the largest muscle in your body and aids in hip extension, abduction, and external rotation of the leg. 

External rotation is when you turn your toes out. 

The gluteus medius is the external rotator of the hip and the main abductor. 

Abduction is a movement away from the midline of your body. 

The minimus is responsible for the internal rotation (when your toes turn in), abduction, and inward rotation of the thigh (1).

The clamshell exercise targets and strengthens both the gluteus medius and the gluteus maximus. 

These gluteus muscles are responsible not only for hip stabilization but for power and balance. 

They also protect your lower back and knees (2).

The clamshell can be prescribed for many injuries such as IT Band Syndrome, Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome, and Osteoarthritis. 

It can also aid in gait correction, knee or ankle sprains, and low back pain (3).

Note: If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, consult a clinician prior to starting a new exercise.

How to Perform the Basic Clamshell Exercise

Let’s learn how to perform the basic clamshell exercise! 

The instructions below start on the right side. Once completed, switch to the left and perform the same number of reps. It’s important to stay even on both sides!

  1. Start

    Start by laying on your right side and making sure your hips are stacked on top of each other. This can be performed either on an exercise mat or the floor.

  2. Extend Your Bottom Arm

    Stretch your right arm out along the mat. This is to support your head. Make sure to keep your neck neutral to avoid strain.

  3. Bend Your Knees

    Bend your knees to 45-degree angles and stack your top leg, your right, on top of the bottom, your left.

  4. Engage Your Core

    Pull your belly button towards your spine as you engage your core. This is to stabilize your spine and pelvis. Use your left hand for control. You can place it on the ground in front of you or on top of your left side.

  5. Hips and Feet

    Keep your hips, pelvis, and upper body stationary throughout the entire movement. Your feet also remain together as you lift your top knee as high as you can without losing form. On this side, it’s an external rotation of the left femur. Your right leg should stay firmly on the floor.

  6. Return

    Pause at the top. Return your left knee to the starting position on top of your right.

Complete for 20 reps and switch sides, laying on your left side. 

Lift your right leg for 20 repetitions. 

Clamshell Exercise with a Resistance Band

Want to amp it up and really feel the burn in your glutes and hamstrings? Add a resistance band around your thighs.

Choose a lighter band to start, work your way up to heavier resistance.

This is very important! For safety, do not place the band around your knees. You want the band to sit comfortably just above. 

  1. Again, start by laying on your right side, stacking your hips, either on a mat or the floor. Stretch your right arm out to support your head.
  2. Bend your knees at 45-degree angles and stack them on top of each other. Place a resistance band around the lower part of your thighs, right above the knees. 
  3. Pull your belly button towards your spine as you engage your core to stabilize your spine and pelvis. Use your left hand for control. 
  4. Keep your lower and upper body stationary. Your feet remain together as you lift your left knee as high as you can without losing form. It’s that external rotation of the left femur mentioned before. Your right leg stays firmly on the floor. 
  5. Pause at the top. Return your left leg to the starting position. 

Complete for 20 repetitions. Switch sides, laying on your left side with your right leg opening. 

Reverse Clamshell

Want to target your smaller internal rotators? Try the reverse clam!

  1. Begin on your right side, stretching your right arm out in front of you for your head. Use the same alignment markers as the basic exercise. Stack your knees at 45-degree angles. Engage your abdominals. 
  2. Instead of keeping your feet together and lifting your knees, it’s the opposite. Your feet are finding movement in this variation. Rotate your top foot out and toward the ceiling. Your knees stay together throughout the entire exercise.
  3. Repeat for 20 reps. Switch sides, laying on the left, the right foot finding movement.

If this is uncomfortable or brings discomfort on either knee from the stacking and/or rotating, add a foam roller, durable styrofoam, or a blanket as a cushion. 

Side Plank Clamshell

Let’s kick it up to 11 in this even more challenging progression!

  1. Start by laying on your right side. Bring your forearm parallel to the front of your exercise mat. Your elbow should be directly below your shoulder, fingers spread wide.
  2. Bend your knees at 45-degree angles and stack them on top of each other. 
  3. Pull your belly button towards your spine as you engage your core to stabilize your spine and pelvis. Use your left hand for control. 
  4. Press through your right forearm and right shin while lifting up your hips. There should be a straight line from the top of your head to your knees. Hold.
  5. Keep your lower and upper body stationary. Your feet remain together as you lift your left knee as high as you can without losing form. Your right shin stays firmly on the floor.
  6. Pause at the top. Return the left knee down.
  7. Repeat for 20 reps. Switch sides and complete on the left side, lifting the right knee.

Clamshell Exercise Tips

  • Engage your core! Keeping this muscle group active will protect your spine and provide much-needed stability, especially in the side plank variation.
  • Keep your cervical spine neutral. You want to avoid any strain in the neck.
  • Only rotate from your hips, not your lower back.
  • To fully understand the proper form and how it should feel in your body, you can perform this exercise with your back against a wall. 
  • Don’t forget to breathe!
  • Start with a lighter resistance band and work your way up.
  • Practice foam rolling to warm up prior to exercising.
  • In addition to working your lower extremities, add a dumbbell in your top hand, mimicking the movement of your top leg for an added arm workout!

Clams and Rehabilitation 

The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy published an article titled Electromyographic Analysis of Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus During Rehabilitation Exercises.

The purpose of the study was to determine which exercises recruit the glute muscles most effectively. (4) 

The study took place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee (United States/U.S.) with 26 university students as the participants.

Surface EMG electrodes were placed on the participant’s gluteus muscles, specifically the medius and Maximus to measure the maximal voluntary muscle contraction (MVIC) during 18 various exercises.

4 progressions of the clamshell exercise were tested. 

  • Basic Clamshell
  • Reverse Clamshell
  • Basic Clam with your top rotating leg floating over the bottom leg, foot to the ceiling
  • Basic Clam with the leg floating and hip extended, foot to the ceiling

5 of the exercises produced greater than 70% MVIC.

Progression 4 of the clam exercise registered at 77% MVIC. (Full instructions below if you’d like to try it yourself!)

So what does this mean?

The higher the percentage of MVIC correlates to muscle hypertrophy.

Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle cell size. The higher the MVIC also means the higher the potential to strengthen those glute muscles. 

This is great information for physical therapists and clinicians to know!

Progression 4 of the MVIC study

  1. Set up in the standard clamshell position by laying on your right side. Keep the same anatomical cues as above. Your right arm is extended, knees stacked at 45-degrees, etc. 
  2. Raise the top leg parallel to the ground. Fully extend through the hip. To check your alignment, use your left hand to reach down and make sure there’s a straight line from your torso to your left thigh. From the view above, the left leg will be floating and positioned behind the right leg. 
  3. Maintain the knee height as you internally rotate at the hip, bringing your foot toward the ceiling. Repeat for 20 reps. Switch sides.

Clams and Runners

Runners often experience knee pain. According to The Physical Therapy Advisor, the common root cause is hip weakness. 

One of the best ways to treat the pain is to strengthen the gluteus medius, tensor fascia lata, and other deep hip rotators (5).

If you are experiencing knee pain, please consult an appropriate clinician to address your specific needs.

The Final Take

The clamshell exercise is named so because it mimics the opening and closing of a clam shell. Your legs, of course, resembling said shell. 

The exercise focuses on your lower body, specifically hip abduction, and strengthens not only your glute muscles (medius and Maximus) but your pelvic muscles! It can be used in rehab for many common injuries. 

This movement is one of those exercise staples that can be performed virtually anywhere with minimal equipment.

Master the basic clamshell exercise before progressing through any of the 4 variations covered here, especially progression 4 with the 77% MVIC. 

How to Do the Donkey Kicks Exercise Properly

The donkey kick or bent-leg kickback is a simple but sneaky butt exercise that will set your glutes on fire! 

Basically, you get down on the ground in all fours and you kick your leg back and up.

The right story of how this exercise got its name is that you’re kicking your leg back, just like a donkey!

As straightforward as it sounds, this exercise will literally kick your butt! It’s one of my favorites booty-shaping buttocks exercises.

You can feel all of your gluteal muscles working.

The donkey kick is a great exercise to target your glutes, hips, and lower back muscle groups all in one tiny little package.

This movement helps strengthen your abs, obliques, and shoulders.

It’s great for not only sculpting your glutes but creating stability in your torso and shoulders.

Keeping everything else stationary while your leg is moving can be a challenge!

Let’s cover the benefits, muscles used, a suggested warm-up routine, and the importance of proper form.

Then you’ll learn the basic donkey and anatomical cues to ensure you have the correct form.

Followed by 4 variations, tips, and a list of more exercises to target your butt.

Exercise Benefits

Squats aren’t the only exercise you can do to tone your glutes!

These kicks are also very similar to the fire hydrant exercise however donkey kicks focus mainly on glute activation rather than inner thighs, quads, and hamstrings.

Donkey kick workouts are great for firming and strengthening your glutes muscles. It also hits your hips flexors as you stretch and extend the moving leg up. 

By holding your body still in the tabletop position, you are also strengthening your core and shoulders. 

Primary Muscles: 

  • Primary Muscles: Gluteus maximus, hip flexors
  • Secondary Muscles: Abs, obliques

Warm-up

Warming up your body prior to any workout is imperative.

By warming up, you are not only raising your body temperature but you’re sending blood to the muscles you want to activate during the exercise (1).

It can also help avoid muscle soreness and reduce your chance of injury. Both equally important in your overall health. 

Warm-up right before your workout. Try getting your heart rate up with some jumping jacks or any cardio of your choice!

Then, you want to target the large muscle groups used in the activities you plan on doing.

For donkeys, you want to warm up your glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, and torso. Also, focus on your hip flexors. 

Stealing some moves from yoga, start with a forward fold of your choice.

This can be performing either standing or seated. It will really get into the backs of the legs. Take a few shoulder rolls.

Next, consider moving through the standard vinyasa sequence. This series moves with your breath. One breath, one movement.

Starting in your standing forward fold, step back to downward-facing dog. Inhale forward to plank.

Exhale lowering into chaturanga. Make sure you keep your elbows close to your body. This will really wake up your shoulders.

Move through your upward-facing dog before returning to the down dog.

Donkeys can also be used as a warm-up for your handstand practice.

If you’ve ever practiced handstand pike, you’ll understand the importance of strong glutes to control the movement of your legs.

Sets and Reps

In general, for reps and sets of donkey kicks, start with 10 – 15 repetitions per side for 2 – 3 sets. 

If you are new to this particular exercise, start with fewer repetitions and sets until you master the proper form. 

Proper form is imperative for any exercise. It helps avoid injuries. By using the proper form you get the most out of every movement in your exercise of choice. 

You can reach your goals faster and stop wasting energy.

Every movement you make will count towards your goal. It also helps you breathe more effectively (2).

A good rule of thumb is that you are typically exerting force on your exhales.

Once you’ve got the proper form down, and you are ready for a challenge, then you can add resistance by using a dumbbell or resistance band. Instructions for both exercises below. 

How to Do the Donkey Kicks With Proper Form

Donkey kicks exercise

The set up:

  1. Start in a tabletop position. It’s recommended to use an exercise mat. If you have sensitive knees, you can place a blanket under your stationary knee. 
  2. Create a stable base. Your wrists are directly under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and press firmly into the mat. Your knees are directly under your hips.
  3. Focus on maintaining a straight spine. You want a straight line from the top of your head to your tailbone. Keep a neutral cervical spine and your gaze down. You don’t want to crunch your ribs, elongate your torso. Engage your abdominals. Your upper body stays stagnate throughout the duration of the exercise.
  4. On an exhale, without rounding your back and keeping a 90-degree angle in your right leg, lift the right knee back until your right thigh is parallel with the ground and the sole of your right foot is facing the ceiling. Lift only as high as you can while keeping your hips neutral. If one hip starts to lift, do not lift your foot higher. Keep your other knee bent and firmly on the ground. Press through your fingertips for stability. 
  5. Inhale returns to the starting position. Complete 10 – 12 reps for 2 – 3 sets. Repeat on the left side.

Let’s cover some fun variations and progressions of this exercise!

Dumbbell Donkey Kick

  1. Start in a tabletop position. Check your alignment so your wrists are under your shoulders, knees under your hips. Gaze down. See above for the full set up.
  2. Place a dumbbell in the crook of your right knee. Squeeze, trapping the weight between your calf and hamstring. Use your fingertips for control.
  3. Continue squeezing and with control, on an exhale, lift the right leg into the kick. 
  4. Inhale, returning back to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition. Continue for 10 – 12 reps for 2 – 3 sets. 
  5. Switch sides and repeat with the dumbbell snug in the left knee pit. 

Only use as much weight as you can without compromising your form. As with adding any weight to an exercise, start light and work your way up to a heavier load.

Donkey Kick Exercise with a Resistance Band

This is also known as the banded donkey.

  1. Loop the resistance band around the knees. Start in your tabletop position, checking your posture, torso the same as above. Gaze down, fingertips spread. See above for the full set up.
  2. Adjust the band so that it is resting right under your knee caps and flat against your body. You don’t want any twists.
  3. On an exhale, kick your left leg up, bending through the hip flexor. Feel the stretch in the hamstring. Inhale, returning to the starting position. Use control as you kick heel.
  4. Complete for 10 – 12 reps for 2 – 3 sets. 
  5. Switch legs, looping the resistance band around your left thigh and sole of the right foot.

Start with a lighter band and work your way up to heavier resistance.

Option: you can also hold the resistance band in your hands instead of looping it around your quads. 

Straight Leg Donkey with Half Circle

This variation will target the full range of motion in your hips.

  1. Begin in the starting position, checking your alignment. See above for the set up with full anatomical cues.
  2. Lift your right knee off the ground. In one motion, kick your foot back as you straighten your leg, lifting your right heel towards the ceiling. Once fully extended, point your toe. Your pelvis stays neutral and parallels with the ground.
  3. With control, kick your leg out to the right side, drawing half a circle with your toes. Once your toes reach the ground, return your knee back to the starting position.
  4. This is 1 repetition. Complete 10 – 12 for 2 – 3 sets. Repeat on the left side.

Make sure to warm up with some hip openers prior to executing this variation.

Smith Machine Donkey

Want to add even more resistance? Try the exercise on a Smith Machine.

  1. Set the Smith Machine bar at a height appropriate for your body.
  2. Begin in the starting position, using the anatomical cues outlined in the basic donkey above. Have the arch of your right foot on the underside of the bar, your thigh is parallel to the ground. 
  3. Engaging your glute, push the bar up with your foot, extending your knee. Keep control as you lower back down.
  4. Complete 10 – 12 for 2 – 3 sets. Repeat on the left side.

Personal Trainer Tips

Donkey kicks can be performed on your forearms! Ensure your elbows are directly under your shoulders for proper alignment.

Distribute the weight evenly and keep yourself balanced throughout the movement. Spread your fingertips wide.

Press through your fingertips for stability.

Focus on your breath, moving with your inhales and exhales. 

Don’t gaze around. Keep a neutral cervical spine with your gaze on the ground in front of you. 

Search a reliable video platform for examples of these exercises.

Calories Burned 

The number of calories you’ll burn during any exercise will depend on many factors including but not limited to your weight and how long you do this exercise. It’s important to focus on raising your heart rate when concerned with the number of calories burned.

Other lower body exercises for the butt:

These kicks aren’t the only exercise you can do to tone your booty. Consider adding these to your workout as well!

  • Squat
  • Fire hydrant
  • Lunge
  • Glute Bridge
  • Step-up
  • Jumps
  • Pike Handstand

The Takeaway

Channel your inner donkey in this simple but very effective booty sculpting exercise you can do virtually anywhere.

Warm-up with a little yoga prior! Start with a forward fold or two. A vinyasa flow is everything you need in one tiny little package.

Flow-through a plank, chaturanga, down dog, and an upward facing dog. Donkeys can be used as a warm-up themselves for a pike handstand!

Always use the proper form and the appropriate number of sets and reps for your fitness level.

Master the basic donkey before moving onto the 4 variations covered. When using additional weight, remember to start lighter first and work your way up to a heavier load.

For effective butt exercises, check out this list of butt workouts to try. 

Search your favorite reliable video platform or high-quality live sites for examples or social videos of the exercises mentioned above.

Kids Club News: January 2021

Hello Kids Club Families!

Our January newsletter is all about celebrating with your family. We have included some fun crafts to celebrate a different holiday everyday this month! 

We would love to see how your family celebrates this month. Share your fun with us on Instagram #ChuzeFamily.

With all of our love,
The Chuze Fitness Kids Club Team

If your local Kids Club remains closed, not to worry! You won’t be charged Kids Club dues until we’re up and running again.

January Craft Calendar

Family Workouts

Use your imagination and the space you have to have some fun with movement as a family.

  • Walk like a crab
  • Waddle like duck
  • Hop like a bunny
  • Leap like a frog
  • Stomp like an elephant
  • Crawl like a tiger
  • Walk like a Gorilla
  • Jump like a starfish
  • Slither like a snake
  • Fly like an owl

Don’t forget to check out our Free Family Workouts at Chuze On Demand!

Snack Time!

Fairy Bread

What You Need

Preparation

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread.
  • Coat the entire buttered side of each slice with sprinkles.
  • Enjoy!

 

The Hulk Chuze Blends Smoothie

National Green Juice day is January 26th. Celebrate with us from home as a family with this Chuze Blends original recipe!

What You Need

  • 6-8 oz Almond Milk (Or other favorite milk)
  • ½ Banana
  • 5 pieces of pineapple
  • small handful of spinach and or Kale
  • ¼ avocado
  • squeeze of lemon Juice
  • ice
  • Blender

Preparation

  • Gather all the ingredients
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender
  • Add a handful of ice
  • Blend until nice and smooth.
  • Enjoy!

Family Jokes

Q: Why didn’t the duck pay for the lip balm?

A: He wanted to put it on his bill. 

Q: What do bumblebees chew?

A: Bumble Gum. 

Knock, Knock…

Who’s there?

Tank.

Tank Who?

You’re welcome.

 

Family Fun At Home Ideas

  1. Hide-n-seek in the dark with glow sticks or flashlights.
  2. Make your own pizza night
  3. Family Fort with your favorite books. We love to turn Family fort night into an indoor camping adventure!
  4. Family Workout: Join us on January 6th at 6pm PST for a live-streamed Family Workout with Chuze’s very own Group X instructor, Xanny, and her family on iChuze Fitness! Sign-up for a FREE 7-day trial to join Xanny’s live-streamed workout and get access to tons of additional workouts, meditations, self-care videos and more!
  5. Lego Challenge. Build different scenes within a given time frame.
  6. Play a card game. Pull out the deck of cards and you have so many options.
  7. Have a themed dinner night. We love the polka dot theme for Friday, January 22nd.
  8. Have a Dance Party! The Kids Club team loves to Dance! Check out our Chuze Happiness Playlist on Spotify!
  9. Self-Care for the family! Have a spa day at home!
  10. Recycled Crafts: rummaging through your recycling and getting out the craft supplies and seeing who can come up with the best upcycled craft!

 

Family Fun Outdoors

  • Find a new trail and enjoy a hike as a family.
  • Neighborhood clean up. Enjoy a family walk around your neighborhood and bring an empty garbage bag and the entire family can get involved with the clean up.
  • Draw with chalk on the sidewalk. We love fun pictures for our neighbors to enjoy on their walks!
  • Build a snowman (if you live in Colorado). Maybe a sandcastle for our California families!
  • Fly a kite!
  • Take a Nature Walk. Make a list of the things you want your children to find and head out to explore!
  • Cloud/star Gazing. Lay on a blanket outside and try to figure out what shapes the stars or clouds make.
  • Go Geocaching!
  • Have a Hula Hoop Contest
  • Set up a relay race or obstacle course outside.

The post Kids Club News: January 2021 appeared first on Chuze Fitness.

A Letter of Gratitude from our CEO

Greetings Valued VASA Fitness Members,

This year our fitness community has been put to the test. We could have never foreseen that a global pandemic would challenge us in so many ways. But, together we’ve made it through to the end of 2020 and we are confident that a bright future in 2021 is just on the horizon! We want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who stayed with us through our closures and the many changes we’ve had to make to the way we operate in order to keep you safe. We know we haven’t been perfect, but we’ve worked really hard to navigate the ever-changing circumstances and continue to provide a place for our communities to stay healthy. One bright spot from this year is that we have learned a lot and know that we can work together through anything that comes our way in the future.

We also want to welcome all of our new members who have recently joined our community – we hope you are enjoying your experience thus far! We think you’ll continue to find that VASA is an amazing place not just for fitness, but also a place of belonging where people care about each other and have mutual respect and responsibility for each other’s health and safety.

On behalf of all of us at VASA Fitness, please allow me to extend my personal and genuine appreciation to each and every one of you for your support. We hope we’ve been able to support you in some way too over the past year.

Happy holidays to you and your families. Please stay safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing you at the club in the new year!

With Gratitude,

Rich Nelsen CEO, VASA Fitness

The post A Letter of Gratitude from our CEO appeared first on VASA Fitness.

Original source: https://vasafitness.com/2020/12/a-letter-of-gratitude-from-our-ceo/

How to Do a Lying Tricep Extension: Expert Tips

The Lying Tricep Extension is a fun, strength building exercise that goes by quite a few names.

It can also be called the French Extension or French Press. The most dramatic yet aptly titled is the “Skull Crusher”. 

Intimidated? Don’t be! 

This article will cover everything you need to know and more to properly practice this exercise.

The great thing about this effective move is that there are many variations for every fitness level. It is important to find one that works best for you personally.

This exercise can be completed with a barbell or dumbbells.

Adding weight is useful for building mass or increasing the number of calories burned.

The skull crusher can be performed on a weight bench or a cable machine. Both options are covered below.

So let’s get into it, fitness enthusiasts! 

We will cover how your triceps work, what the muscles are used for, 3 popular variations, mistakes to avoid, and alternatives you can add to your workout!

How Do Triceps Work?

Tricep muscles

Before we learn how the triceps work, where exactly are they located? The short answer is that your triceps are the muscles along the back of your arms. 

The long answer is that the muscle originates below the scapula (your shoulder blades) socket and 2 areas of the humerus.

Your humerus is your upper arm bone. There are 3 different heads, the long head, the medial head, and the lateral head. 

The muscle extends down and attaches to your ulna, which is located in your forearm. 

So how does it work? Your triceps extend your forearm from the elbow joint. Your biceps, located lateral from the triceps, work in opposition.

Think of the extension and flexion in bicep curls. When one muscle extends, the other relaxes.

To put it plainly, your biceps are the flexors and your triceps are the extenders. 

Check it out in your own body! Lift your right arm overhead as if going into an overhead extension.

Wrap your left fingers around your arm. Specifically, have your thumb on the back of your arm, the other 4 on the top of the arm. 

Bend and straighten your arm, moving through the full range of motion. You can feel your muscles hard at work, switching from extension and flexion. Cool, right?

What Is the Tricep Muscle Used For?

As we’ve covered above, the triceps muscle extends the forearm. It also stabilizes the shoulder.

In the shoulder joint, it holds the head of the humerus (your upper arm bone) in the correct position.

The heads of the triceps each have their own duties. The lateral head is activated in movements requiring high-intensity force.

The medial head is used for low force, precise movements (1).

According to exrx.net, the shoulder needs to be externally rotated for the long head to assist in shoulder adduction (2).

Each head also has a different pattern during various shoulder elevations.

For example, the long head contributes more at shoulder elevation while the medial head kicks in when the shoulder is elevated over 90 degrees (3).

3 Lying Triceps Extensions

There are 3 variations of the basic lying tricep extension utilizing different pieces of equipment all on a flat bench. For the more advanced, you can use an inclined or declined bench, however, master the flat bench first.

Start with 10 – 15 reps for 2 – 3 sets.

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells of the weight of your choice and fitness level.
  2. Lie on a flat bench, face-up with a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms over your chest, directly over the shoulders.
  3. Bend at the elbows as you inhale, lowering the dumbbells until they are above your shoulders.
  4. Pause for 1 second. Exhale and squeeze your triceps, returning to the starting position. 

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension

Similar to the dumbbell tricep extension, the movement can be completed with a barbell. 

  1. Again, lie on a flat bench, face-up. Using a narrow overhand grip on the barbell, extend your arms. The barbell should be over your forehead. 
  2. Inhale as you lower the bar, bending at the elbow until the bar goes slightly over your head.
  3. On your exhale, extend your arms by flexing your triceps. Don’t lock your elbows.

It’s a good idea to keep a spotter on hand!

Cable Lying Triceps Extension 

  1. Set up your weight bench in front of a low pulley using the straight bar attachment, head closest to the handles. Hold the attachment, palms facing forward. 
  2. Extend your arms. Slowly lower the weight back with your forearms on an inhale. The bar will rest just above the forehead. 

Engage your triceps as you reextend your arms back to the starting position on an exhale.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Loose Grip

First off, make sure you keep a firm grip on your free weights. You don’t want to drop the weight on your face or head.

It’s called a “skull crusher” for a reason. Jokes aside, keep this in mind whenever using weights near or around your head for any exercise.

Lowering Weight Too Close to Your Face

Keeping the focus on your head, do not lower toward your face.

The weight should smoothly travel behind your head. Conversely, be careful not to hit the back of your head when returning to the starting position. 

Unstable Elbows

Next, pay attention to your elbows. They should stay close to the body to engage the targeted muscles.

Moving the Weight too Fast

As with any workout, take your time. Exercise professionals will tell you, proper form is imperative to any great exercise.

Keep control throughout the entire tricep extension. If at any point, you start to lose control or form, stop immediately.

If you’re using additional weight, consider lowering the total load to something more manageable. Again, have a spotter on hand to assist.

Too Much Weight

Lastly, for the best results, this triceps workout should be done with a lower weight and more repetitions, especially if you’re a beginner.

You want to avoid stress in the elbows while keeping proper form and control. If you’re interested in building mass, start low and work up to the heavier weight.

Avoid this workout if you’ve had an elbow injury or pain. Same with your wrists.

If in pain, seek a qualified healthcare professional or medical groups from certifying organizations for approval or adjustments.

See below for alternative exercises you can try instead! 

Other effective tricep exercises

Diamond pushups 

  1. Start in a standard plank position with your spine straight, core muscles engaged. There should be a straight line from the tip of your head to your heels.
  2. Create a diamond shape with your hands. Your thumbs and index fingers will be touching. This is similar to the narrow grip.
  3. Lower your chest to roughly 6 inches from the floor. Your elbows should be pointing back towards your feet, not out to the sides. 
  4. Press back up to the starting position. 

Close-Grip Bench Press

  1. Lie face-up on a weight bench holding the barbell with a close grip, hands roughly shoulder-width apart. Consider a spotter for safety, especially if you’re lifting heavier weight loads.
  2. Inhale as you slowly bring the bar down towards your chest, keeping your elbows in.
  3. Exhale and push the bar back up using your tricep muscles. That is 1 bench press or rep.

Triceps Bench Dips

  1. Sitting on the edge of a chair or flat bench, grip the edge of the seat by your hips, fingers pointed towards your feet.
  2. Keep your feet hip-width distance. You have 2 options with your legs. You can either keep them bent at 90 degrees or extend your legs in front of you. Chin stays up.
  3. Press through your hands and lift your body, sliding forward enough that your glutes are no longer on the bench or seat.
  4. Lower your glutes until your elbows are between a 45 to a 90-degree angle. Press back up to the starting position. 

Overhead Triceps Extension

The overhead triceps extension is an exercise that can be completed either seated or standing. When sitting, it’s known as a seated tricep press.

  1. Grip a dumbbell, medicine ball, or kettlebell firmly in both hands overhead, arms extended. 
  2. With an upright torso on an inhale, lower the weight behind your head toward your shoulder blades, keeping your biceps close to your ears. 
  3. Exhale, returning back to the starting position.

Tricep Kickback 

As a personal trainer, the tricep kickback is one of my favorite upper body exercises. It also a great exercise to target the long head of the triceps. 

This can be completed as a bodyweight exercise until the proper form is mastered. 

  1. Once comfortable with the movement, hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. With a slight bend your knees, engage your abs, and hinge forward at the hips. Lower your torso until it is almost parallel to the ground. 
  2. Your upper arms stay close to your body as you engage your triceps and straighten your arms behind you. Only move your forearms. Pause and return. 

You can also work one arm at a time. Make sure you complete the same number of reps on each side. 

If you need additional back support, try this movement on a flat bench.

Have your right shin resting on the bench, the left leg extended, foot firmly planted into the ground. Your right hand is on the bench, directly under your shoulder. Perform the kickback with your left arm. Repeat on the opposite side. 

Takeaway 

Your tricep is in the muscle group located at the back of your upper arm and is responsible for the extension of the arm, among other things listed above. You have 3 tricep heads, each with their own duties as well. 

There are many variations of the lying tricep extension aka skullcrushers, 3 were covered here as well as many other options such as the overhead triceps extension or tricep kickbacks. 

Add one of these to your workout or superset today! 

Note that these exercises are for educational purposes. Seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider or a c.s.c.s. prior to starting any new workout plan.

For free content, useful tools such as fitness assessment calculators, an enormous library of workout photos, and comprehensive exercise libraries check out exrx.net. For continued development of exrx.net, periodic donations are appreciated.

  1. Https://Exrx.net/Muscles/TricepsBrachii.
  2. “Triceps Brachii.” Physiopedia, www.physio-pedia.com/Triceps_brachii.
  3. Triceps, www.meddean.luc.edu/lumen/MedEd/GrossAnatomy/dissector/mml/tric.htm.

What is Foundation Training in Fitness?

What is Foundation Training in Fitness?

The human body was designed to move, run, walk, squat, lift, push, and jump. To survive, we had to have the strength and mobility to perform our daily functions. That is to say—we had to have a foundation for building the skills required to live. 

But now, we don’t need to be fit to survive. Over the last few hundred years, we’ve created a new way of life for ourselves, one revolving around enterprise, productivity, and the power of the mind. This incredible world we have built has a significant downside. We tend to neglect our physical bodies because our minds are so much more powerful now that we’ve automated and outsourced the activities we used to perform for survival. 

As a result, our bodies are suffering. We have aches and pains, and we injure quite easily. We’ve accidentally overlooked some muscles in favor of others. Many have been forgotten entirely. 

While this sounds a little sad to hear, there is always a silver lining: we can train our bodies to support those daily functions that we have stopped focusing on! 

There are many ways to strengthen your body to get it running at an optimal level, and in this article, we’re going to focus specifically on foundation fitness training. What is it? Where did it come from? Who is it for? 

Keep reading to find out. 

What is Foundation Training? 

Foundation training is a style of exercise created in 2007 by Eric Goodman, a chiropractor in training looking for a solution to his back problems. He set out to find an antidote for the pains of modern life, especially sitting in front of the computer or cell phone while our backs grow weaker by the day.

Specifically, Foundation training emphasizes the posterior chain: the muscles up the backs of our legs and around our spine. We used to have to use these muscles all the time, but now that we’re more stationary in our day-to-day activities, these muscles have suffered the most. 

This group’s primary muscles are glutes, calves, hamstrings, latissimus dorsi, and erector spinae. Developing this group of muscles is absolutely essential if you want to move smoothly and without injury. 

Foundation training does an amazing job of emphasizing concentric, eccentric, and isometric exercise. This means that it emphasizes movements that contract your muscles, movements that lengthen your muscles, and movements that you hold to strengthen those muscles. Utilizing a combination of these movements add to not only strength but also mobility and overall function. 

Who is it for?

One of the most amazing aspects of foundation training and foundation movement is that it can help absolutely anyone. 

When it comes to athlete performance, foundation strength training can provide muscle efficiency, longevity to keep you in the game, and a new path to recovering from injuries. For those who are just looking to feel a little better in their day-to-day lives, foundation training can simply be a way to approach any activity with less pain

How do I do it?

Fortunately for those who love incorporating at-home workouts into our routines, foundation training is all about bodyweight. 

At the root of foundation training is a hinging motion. After all, being able to bend over and grab things is one of the most essential human movements. We’re made to pick up food, firewood, babies—you name it—so starting here makes perfect sense. This is where a lot of the movement will come from, which might be difficult at first but will make more and more sense to your body over time. 

12-Minute Foundation Training

Fortunately, this type of exercise was made famous by the 12-minute foundation training video, which was a quick workout developed for Lance Armstrong to support his body after the end of his cycling career, which was imbalanced because of the nature of cycling. The video is still available online for you to follow along. 

In case you’re curious about what to expect, the key position of foundation training has your weight in your heels, your chest up, hips back, knees bent, and arms out in front of you. If you’re already a yoga enthusiast, this looks a little bit like a chair pose—the major movements of foundation training stem from there. 

Foundation strength training is a fantastic opportunity for us to take our performance to the next level. It’s a step into fitness for those looking for a place to start, a recovery method for those that need some extra support, and an excellent supplement for the fitness buffs out there who hope to protect themselves from future injury. 

There is a space for everyone in functional fitness training, so give the video a watch, consider giving these exercises a try (and give it at least two weeks of practice while these muscles build before you decide whether or not you like it), and enjoy a new opportunity to support your body! You can try a functional training workout at any of our locations. Stop in and take a tour today!

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