Check any fitness blog and between articles on the best high protein nutrition bars and secrets for the perfect workout, and you’ll probably see dozens of entries about squats. In the past few years, squats have become an incredibly popular exercise in the fitness world, thanks to their ability to engage multiple parts of the body and give them a strenuous and effective workout.
Squatting is a movement that puts many of your muscles to work. Incorporating weights into the exercise makes it even more effective. Regular squatting improves your fitness and mobility, and can help counter many of the musculo-skeletal problems our sedentary society has caused, including back problems and weakened glutes.
In fact, the ability to do a squat is a good indicator of your physical fitness. People who can perform a full depth squat with their own bodyweight are generally in good shape.
The Quick Guide to Squatting
It’s important to do squats properly, as bad form can result in you not getting the full benefit of the exercise, or may even cause injury. There are several variations to the squat, but here’s a quick guide to properly executing basic squats:
- Begin by facing the bar. Grab it firmly, and then place it on your upper back by ducking under the bar.
- Un-rack the weight by moving your feet under the bar, and then straightening your legs. Now step back with straight legs, and lock your hips and knees.
- Now squat. Take a deep breath and move downward, pushing out your knees while moving your hips backward. You’ll need to keep your lower back neutral while doing this.
- Keep squatting downward until your hips are below your knees.
- Once you’ve achieved proper depth, move upward. Be sure to breathe, and keep your knees out and your chest up as you ascend.
Exercise experts counsel doing squats three times a week, with a day’s rest between each session. Beginners should start with a single set of 15 to 20 reps. Overtime, increase the number of sets to two or three. When you’ve mastered the basic squat, you can try more complex variations of the squat using dumbbells.
What You’ve Accomplished
Feel the results of your work after a good squat session? If executed properly, a squat workout has engaged a variety of muscles, including those in your thighs, calves, lower back, abs, and arms. Squats are also helpful for getting blood pumping to your heart and providing this all-important muscle with a good workout.
As any trainer will tell you, exercise alone isn’t enough to realize the fitness gains you desire. Good nutrition is also a key component of getting into shape. Protein is an important part of a fitness enthusiast’s meal plan, as it helps rebuild muscle after a workout. Deficiencies in protein increase your risk of injury, and also can weaken your immune system.
Promax Nutrition provides top quality nutritional bars. Promax Nutrition bars have a variety of great flavors and are a great nutritional supplement for body-builders and casual exercise enthusiasts alike.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so skimping on it simply isn’t an option. To stay in good health and to get into optimal shape, eating a good breakfast each day is a must.
This can be difficult if you have to hit the ground running each day – getting kids to school or clocking in early at work. Luckily, there are many great options for a quick and healthy breakfast, including nutritional bars and shakes and more traditional fare.
For the on-the-go breakfaster, consider these quick and healthy ideas:
- Smoothies – Smoothies are full of great nutrients and are easy to make. There are also hundreds of options for smoothies, so you’ll never get tired of them. By making your smoothies using fruits and vegetables, you can ensure that you get all of the vitamins and other nutrients you’ll need.
- Healthy cereals – Cereal doesn’t require any cooking and can easily be put in a travel-ready container. Eschew the sugary cereal products for healthy grain cereals. Add a little flavor by adding fruit or nuts to the cereal or have a little yogurt.
- Muffins – Not all muffins are healthy, but there are some that are very nutritionally sound. Do your research and come up with a muffin recipe that’s both good and good for you. Wheat germ muffins are an excellent source of vitamin E.
- Strawberries – Fresh strawberries can be eaten alone or used to top cereal. They’re an excellent plant-based source of protein and they also taste fantastic. Strawberries go well with bananas, another nutrient rich breakfast option.
- Yogurt – A great-tasting and convenient breakfast option, yogurt is quite healthy and has a lot of great nutrients. Add walnuts or other nuts for even more nutritional benefits.
- Shakes – Protein shakes are easy to make, highly portable, and won’t make a mess in your car. They’re great for an early morning energy boost and provide a tasty breakfast option.
- Vegan chia bread – This delicious, all-natural option is a great on-the-go breakfast food. Add some healthy protein by spreading a little peanut butter on the bread for a healthy breakfast.
- Protein energy bars – The very same bars you eat to recover after a workout also make an excellent early morning breakfast option. Convenient and easy to eat in the car or office, protein energy bars make a fantastically delicious and healthy breakfast option.
Eating breakfast is important to maintaining your metabolism and having sufficient energy for the day. One of the most important things you can do when preparing a quick breakfast is to ensure that you get a little protein with your meal. Protein is critical for healthy immune system function, healing and muscle development, among other functions. If you’re an exercise enthusiast, you know that not getting enough protein can hinder your efforts to build muscle size and strength.
Promax Nutrition provides top quality vegetarian protein workout bars to exercise enthusiasts. Sold in a variety of flavors and formulations, Promax Nutrition’s energy bars are a smart supplement for anyone’s diet, particularly people working to get in shape.
Summer might be beginning to wind down, but you’ve still got plenty of time to plan yourself a vacation if you’ve been putting it off. Take that PTO and find somewhere beautiful to hang out for a week or two. But if relaxing on the beach with a G&T isn’t really your style, then check out some of these summer travel spots. You get a gorgeous destination, and you can actually spend time getting in shape and recharging your mental batteries. Because let’s be honest, you’d rather head home with some toned muscles than a hangover.
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Have you been dying to learn how to surf? Or are you already an expert and just want to find a new spot to hit the waves? Lucero Surf gives you 4 hours of private lessons a day, and you don’t even have to worry about bringing your own equipment—everything is included. We dare you to come back from your vacation not looking bronzed and toned after spending it surfing in Costa Rica.
The Appalachian Trail
You’ve probably heard one of your more outdoorsy acquaintances talking about that time after college when they hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. The entire trail is 2,190 miles long, so no, you probably don’t have time to do the whole thing unless you plan on quitting your job or haven’t taken a vacation day in years. Regardless, there are plenty of stunning hikes that you can take for a few days, and because the trail runs through 14 states and 8 national forests, you’ll be getting one-of-a-kind adventure wherever you hike.
Gauley River, West Virginia
If white water rafting is your thing, then you definitely want to check out the Gauley River. It offers a 35-mile stretch of Class V+ challenges with more than 100 rapids ranked as some of the most technically difficult in the country. But don’t worry if you aren’t an expert, you can take a ride on the more laidback Upper New River and still get a great experience.
Grand Teton National Park
This is one of the premier alpine-climbing destinations in the United States, and you’ll be able to rock climb in cool, beautiful weather, with unbelievable scenery all around you. And if you get tired of climbing, well, you are in one of our most treasured national parks. Take some time to hike and explore while you can. Rock climbing is a workout like none other, and you’ll come back feeling fit and refreshed.
So don’t waste anymore time this summer. Make some reservations, book a flight and get yourself to one of these scenic destinations for a totally unique workout. And don’t forget to bring along some of your favorite Promax bars for refueling after a tough day!
We’ve all been tempted to use the excuse that we worked all day to avoid going to the gym. It’s tempting because work can really be mentally exhausting, and the hours of sitting seem like they actually make you more tired than a workout. But what if there were some ways you could stay fit while at work? Now, we’re not suggesting that these will replace your regular workout routine, but many of them are simply good habits to get into, and others can help supplement your fitness on a day when you know you won’t make it to the gym.
- Cut Your Commute
If you can bike or walk to work, well, lucky you. That’s not always practical for everyone, although it is a great way to stay fit. However, think about giving yourself some extra time in the morning and parking farther away from your building. The walk will help wake you up on the way in.
- Take The Stairs
Same concept. Unless you’re running late and work on the 16th floor, take the stairs as much as possible. You have to get your exercise in where you can, and stairs are actually perfect for this. There’s a reason they have a machine called a StairMaster at your gym.
3. Print Documents At The Furthest Printer
Are you noticing a theme? Sitting down all day is not exactly great for your body, so doing whatever you can to get up and be active is essential. Print those documents on the other side of the office and then go fetch them.
- Seated Leg Lifts
Bring your legs up straight under your desk and then tighten your leg muscles and hold for ten seconds. It won’t interfere with your work, and they actually feel really good after an hour of sitting.
- Glute Scrunches
You’re doing the same thing, but with your glutes. Tighten them together, hold for ten seconds and then release. You can do this one on the down low pretty much anytime you’re sitting.
- Bring Your Lunch
Yes, we know that everyone’s going out to lunch, so if you want to spend time networking then don’t do this every day, but bringing your lunch is the best way to ensure you’re getting a healthy meal. Your burrito bowl is not actually “healthy” when you eat a portion that large. Sorry to break it to you.
- Lunchtime Workout
Speaking of lunch, you can use it as an opportunity to get more walking in, and even something more challenging. Walk to where you’re grabbing lunch, but throw in some lunges along the way. Yes, you will look silly. No, you shouldn’t care.
- Desk Pushups
Maybe sneak these in when no one’s looking. Stand up, lean against your desk with your arms extended, and slowly bend your arms until your chest is nearly touching the desk. Then bring it back out. Do ten reps.
- Wall Squats
Find a quiet room that’s not in use, and lean up against the wall. Slowly squat down with your feet out in front of you until your knees are at 90 degrees and you back is flat against the wall. Hold this for as long as you can.
- Water, Water, Everywhere
Stay hydrated while you’re at work. It can be easy to forget to drink enough water when you’re staring at spreadsheets. Plus, you can get up from your chair to hit the water cooler (and the bathroom), which is never a bad thing.
And if you’re feeling tired or sluggish, grab a Promax protein bar to help you refuel without unnecessary carbs and sugars that will only leave you crashing a couple hours later. Check out our selection and pick the one that’s perfect for you!
Planning on jumping right into the most strenuous part of your workout routine the minute you hit the gym floor? Think again. Failing to properly warm up before exercising can make injury more likely and can also reduce the effectiveness of your workout.
Warming-up before exercise is just as important as every other aspect of your exercise plan, such as doing the right exercises and using nutritional bars and protein supplements to enhance muscle-building. Exercise experts suggest the following workouts to ensure a safe and effective workout:
Increase Your Heart Rate
Pumping up your heart rate helps prepare your muscles for exercises and activates your nervous system. Before your workout, briefly jog, or run on the treadmill or bike. Jumping jacks or skipping rope can also help get your blood pumping at a faster rate.
Dynamic stretching can help prepare you for a workout. Make continuous motions to stretch your muscles and prepare them for a workout. Some suggested exercises include: moving your arms in circles, toe touches, and kicking your legs forward. You should avoid static stretches, as these stretches are detrimental to exercise performance.
Try a Few Lunges
Rotating lunges are great warm-up activities because they help to build balance and stability. To perform a rotating lunge, stand with your feet spread hip-width apart. Hold an object at chest level, and then take a big step forward with your left leg.
Bend your left knee and move downward until your thigh is more or less parallel to the floor. Next, hold and turn your torso to the right for a few seconds while keeping the object you’re holding in front of your chest. Then rotate back to the center and stand up again. Next, repeat this exercise with your right foot.
For Squat Enthusiasts
Pre-squat warm-up – Squats have become incredibly popular in recent years as they are great for building muscle and burning fat. However, there is a risk of injury involved that a proper warm-up can mitigate. If you’re planning to do squats, perform a kneeling glute mobilization warm-up. This movement helps to increase mobility in your hips.
To perform the kneeling glute mobilization:
- Get on your hands and knees, and keep your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Cross one ankle behind the opposite knee, pushing the knee of the crossed ankle/leg into the ground.
- Gradually ease your rear back to your heels. While doing this, keep your arms straight and your abs tight.
- Sit back until you feel that the glute on your crossed ankle side has been stretched. Once it has, return to the starting position.
By getting a good warm-up in before you exercise, you maximize your potential gains from your workout and reduce your chance of injury. It’s well worth the investment of 5-15 minutes.
Promax Nutrition provides exercise enthusiasts with health fuel to build bigger, stronger muscles. Promax Nutrition’s wide range of protein bars and snacks provide targeted nutritional support to men and women building better bodies.
Working out during the hotter summer months can make you want to retreat to the indoors and avoid going outside until fall. However, with some minor adjustments, you can maintain your routines and stay fit. If you are going to train outdoors, you will want to avoid the hottest parts of the day, which are from around 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
It is recommended to work out early in the morning before heading off to work. Not only is it much cooler outside, your body will have increased energy and higher cognitive functioning throughout the day. If you are unable to get to your routines at this time, consider doing them in the evening after the sun has started to set.
If you are a night owl, you could even get in your workout routines in the evening, when it is much cooler. Just remember to wear reflective, brightly colored, or white clothing, and carry a flashlight to make it easier for motorists to see you.
One viable alternative for summertime workouts is to spend more time swimming and in the pool. There are plenty of water-type physical fitness exercises you can perform to help maintain and improve your abilities.
Regardless of the outdoor routines you prefer, remember to slather on the sunscreen and reapply frequently to protect your skin. You should also wear a baseball cap to shade your eyes, and UV protectant sunglasses. Take time to rehydrate yourself while working out by drinking plenty of water. Most people suggest drinking a small amount every fifteen minutes.
If you simply cannot handle the heat of the outdoors, look for a gym or fitness center in your area that offers short-term summer memberships. These facilities offer the comforts of air conditioning and access to a wide array of equipment you can use to ensure your entire body gets the attention it needs.
If you are finding it hard to stay motivated, even with these various options, try implementing these tips:
- Start listening to music to liven up your mood and motivate you to exercise.
- Take time out to reward yourself for reaching fitness goals. Schedule a massage, go shopping, have a “cheat” day, or anything else you like.
- Set easy-to-obtain goals. During the summer months, you will want to adjust your short-term and long-term goals. It can be harder to set higher demands on your body and, if you fall short, you can be discouraged and lose your motivation. For instance, if a short-term goal is to shed 10 pounds in a month, you might want to adjust this to losing a minimum of a pound a week for 10 weeks.
- Don’t punish yourself if you skip working out for a day or two. If it is simply too hot outside, and you need to stay indoors, avoid feeling guilty about it. Instead, do some pushups, sit ups, or house cleaning to get in some physical activity.
After intensive workouts during the summer and throughout the rest of the year, remember to refuel your body with workout and sports nutrition bars from Promax Nutrition. Order yours today online, or call us at (888) 728-8962 for further help in selecting the right bars to fit your needs.
We’ve all heard the stories of boxers trying to make weight or pro athletes coming to camp out of shape—they have to lose some weight in a hurry, so they put on a sweat suit or plastic trash bags and start running. But is it true that exercising in hotter temperatures will help you lose more weight? It may certainly feel like you’re sweating enough that you should be losing weight, but that’s not always a great indicator of a successful workout. So what’s the deal with exercising in the heat?
The way your body burns calories depends on a number of different variables, but it is true that working out in the heat is different from working out when it’s cold or mild outside.
- You will actually burn more calories if you work out in the heat rather than in cold weather. That’s because your body is working extra hard to keep itself cool, and it needs more energy to do that. However, this doesn’t mean that running in the hottest temperature possible, or putting on a trash bag will actually give you the weight loss you’re looking for. That’s because when your body is pushed hard in the extreme temperatures, you’re burning more carbohydrates than fat.
- In fact, it appears that moderate to warm temperatures are best to work out in if you want to lose weight. The reason being that you can actually sustain a longer workout under those conditions. Yes, you might be sweating buckets and feel like you put in a ton of work when it’s extremely hot out, but that’s mainly due to the fact that your body is working so hard to pump blood to the skin and help you sweat. Working out in moderate temperatures means you can keep your body in a fat burning state for a longer amount of time.
- Running or working out in more moderate temperatures also lessens the likelihood of overheating or dehydration—two things that will stop any workout in its tracks, as well as put you in danger. Even the weight you lose while working out in the heat is probably not going to stay off very long. That’s because you’ve most likely lost a lot of water, not fat. If the scale reads that you’ve lost a pound after a workout in the heat, remember that you’ve been sweating, and that you would have to burn 3,500 calories to actually lose a pound during a workout.
Simply put, there isn’t an easy way to lose those pounds—it all comes down to regular exercise and your diet. The only thing you’ll be losing in an extreme-heat workout is fluid, which can be dangerous.
So stick with your normal workout regimen, go for runs in the morning or evening when it’s cooler, and make sure you always refuel your body with the water and protein it needs after a hard workout.
Everyone knows that guys who lift a lot of weights are always talking about protein. It helps build muscle and quickens recovery time, so there actually is a reason these guys make protein sound as essential as water to their everyday lifestyle. But not everyone is throwing around serious weights every day, and not everyone wants to get huge muscles. There are plenty of different workout routines out there, and as you might have already guessed, they all require a modified diet to be effective. Check out some of the more popular workout regimens and their respective diets.
Training for endurance events like a marathon, ironman, or a long bicycle race means you are going to need a lot of energy. As with any diet, you should be getting your calories from a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but you’ll be focusing more on carbohydrates. That’s because carbs are the perfect fuel for endurance trainers. They’re easily digestible and your body can use them quickly, staving off early fatigue and providing energy. Make sure that you get your carbs from healthy sources like whole wheat bread, legumes, nuts, or vegetables, and avoid white bread, sugary cereals, cakes, or refined potato products. And keep in mind that you’ll still need a healthy amount of fat and protein in your diet.
As we mentioned before, protein is king if you’re looking to pack on muscle. That means you’re going to want to up your intake of lean protein, while still avoiding bad carbs and sugary snacks or drinks. That means lean beef, skinless chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, and yes, your whey protein supplement. But there’s no need to go overboard, because while protein is extremely important for muscle growth, your body can only utilize so much of it for protein synthesis. So a protein supplement after your workout is great, but there’s no need to be adding that 40-50g protein shake to a diet that’s already full of protein.
Sprinters have to walk a fine line, keeping their bodies in peak physical shape without adding on the muscle mass that weightlifters are looking for. Still, they do need to prioritize protein in their diet. That’s because unlike long distance runners, sprinters don’t need large quantities of carbohydrates in their diet. It’s also recommended that you get these carbs from clean sources like vegetables, sweet potatoes, or whole grain bread and oatmeal. And remember that the carbs will give you an energy boost, so look to time the majority of your carb intake around training or events.
Remember that no matter what you’re training for, a healthy diet will always have some balance to it. Your body needs calories from a variety of different sources, and you won’t see the results you want if you’re cutting carbs or fat out of your diet altogether. That being said, the best way to help your body recover after a tough day of training is with a supplement like our protein bars. They’ve got all the protein and nutrition your body is looking for!
When you were a kid, did your mom ever scold you for eating between meals? Her heart may have been in the right place, but it turns out she was wrong: Not only will snacking not spoil your meal, it’s also an important part of staying healthy and losing weight.
Snacking Keeps Blood Sugar Balanced
Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level is an incredibly important part of staying healthy. Three to five hours after eating, blood sugar levels take a dive, slowing down our metabolism. When our blood sugar undergoes constant dips and spikes, it increases our chances of developing serious health problems like insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
One of the best ways to keep your blood sugar steady? Snacking, especially if you eat a consistent amount of carbs.
Snacking Prevents Overeating
We all sometimes get hungry between meals. When we don’t slake our hunger with a little snack before mealtime, those hunger pangs are more likely to make us overeat. If you’re feeling bad about grabbing a snack a couple of hours before lunch or dinner, don’t – instead, grab something rich in carbs like fruit or whole grains, and combine it with nuts, dairy, or other protein-rich foods. Not only do these food contain important nutrients, they’re also the most filling.
Snacking Helps Us Lose Weight
It may sound counterintuitive, but snacking is one of the best ways to start losing weight. Specifically, moving from a schedule of a couple of big meals to one with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps us keep our intake and output consistent, and makes it less likely that we’ll overeat. The trick is to keep your meals small, and space them out consistently throughout the day.
Snacking Improves Mood and Helps Us Focus
Remember what we said earlier about blood sugar drops and slowed down metabolisms? After your body burns through the food you’ve ingested, the body reacts by slowing down, which leads to crankiness, tiredness, and an inability to concentrate. Grabbing a snack between meals will keep your energy levels up and prevent the onset of foul moods that affect productivity and make the day seem longer.
A Few Tips for Snacking
Snacking may be good for us, but that doesn’t mean that every type of snack is healthy. Candy bars and other sugary snacks should be avoided as much as possible; not only do they pack on the pounds, they also burn up quickly, leaving you more hungry and cranky than you were before you grabbed a snack.
The best in-between meal snacks are ones that are rich in protein and amino acids (cheese, meat, tofu), carbohydrates (fruit, honey, whole grains, vegetables), and/or omega-3 fatty acids (fish, yogurt).
If you’re looking for the perfect, healthy snack to keep your energy up and help you lose weight, Promax Nutrition bars are the perfect choice available in many different flavors and varieties, including lower sugar. Learn more by looking through our website today.
Summertime, and the living’s easy. That is, unless you’re still trying to get that beach body ready. Then you may be panicking a little and pushing yourself to workout more and eat right. But don’t freak out, because even if you’re not quite ready to yank that shirt off, you’ve still got a lot of time left to get yourself in shape. It is already summer, though, so we thought we’d bring you some summer themed workouts that are as at home on the beach as they are in the air-conditioned gym.
Both workouts are high-intensity workouts that you can take outside, and even onto the beach. Get tanned and toned at the same time while you push yourself. For the first, do 10 reps of each exercise, with three sets each. Make sure you rest for 30 seconds in between each exercise.
First, do a set of lateral lunges. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, step to your right, putting your weight on your right leg, squatting to a ninety-degree angle at the right knee. Keep your left leg straight. Then push off to come back to center and complete the rep. If you are on the beach, you can drag your foot through the sand to increase the resistance you get.
180 Degree Jump Squats
Squat down like you normally would, but as you push off, jump and turn your body 180 degrees. Repeat that by jumping back the other way on your next squat. Two of them equals one rep.
Choose whatever variation of pushups you’d like to use for this routine, or you can switch it up each time you come to the pushup portion of the workout. Change your grip from wide to narrow, or do raised leg pushups for an extra challenge.
For your last exercise, place two markers about twenty yards apart, and sprint between them. Sprint back and forth between them five times to get in the ten reps.
You can try this next workout at the beach, as well. All you need to do is bring along a jump rope! Complete the circuit four times, and rest for one minute at the end of each circuit.
Get yourself in an upright pushup position, and then quickly bring your right leg forward so that your knee is near your chest. Return it and do the same with your left leg. That’s one rep. Try to do at least thirty.
Again, choose your variation, and aim for at least twenty.
The most common plank—place your forearms on the ground in front of you, and straighten your back so that your toes and forearms are the only part of you touching the ground. Engage your core and hold for one minute.
Now finish up with a minute of jumping rope, and then take your minute rest before starting up with the mountain climbers again.
Check out our blog for more great tips on how to stay fit and ready for swimsuit season!
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