A lower-body focused workout can burn calories and help you tone up.
With shapely glutes always being focused on in the media, I wanted to share with you some exercises that target this large and powerful muscle in the lower body. Magazines focus on the aesthetics of glutes, but I prefer to look at the muscles of the posterior chain from an improved strength and sports performance mindset. The hamstrings, calves and glutes are the powerhouse muscles for running and many other sports. Whatever your personal reason for wanting to strengthen your rear, adding a lower body focused routine to your schedule a few times a week will help you to get one step closer to accomplishing your goals.
Try these six exercises to improve your glutes:
I hope you enjoy my glute-focused lower body routine and choose to add some or all of these moves into your workout, two or three days a week.
If you want to add some running to your lower body program, remember that running fast or running uphill promotes muscle strength and can help to build up glute muscles, too. I recommend doing a fast running session once a week in an interval style, alternating at full speed for 15 seconds with a 30 second jog. Repeat this interval a total of 8 times, combined with a warm-up and cool-down for a balanced, glute-blasting workout. If your aim is to build muscle in this area, you must ensure that you combine your workouts with good overall nutrition, paying special attention to your protein consumption.
We all feel better when we are working toward achieving a body that both looks and performs at its best. As you strive to accomplish your body composition and body shape goals, remember that we all have different body types and our shape is created by a combination of genetics and lifestyle. Training and eating well can help you to manipulate your shape to some degree, but don’t get disappointed if your genetics prevent you from getting that magazine body (chances are the image you are striving for was photoshopped anyway).
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Senior Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.
How will you earn your #RebuildStrength?
If your skin is dull or flakey, has rough texture or an uneven tone, you should consider exfoliating. If it’s puffy, shiny and breaking out, you might be over-exfoliating.
I’m sure at some point in your life the importance of using a facial exfoliator became oh-so apparent. Perhaps your skin was looking dull or flakey, had rough texture or an uneven tone. No matter what the reason, I’m sure after that very first scrubbing you thought wow, why didn’t I do this sooner?
Exfoliation, or scrubbing the skin, is the process of polishing away the dead skin cells that build up on the surface. When you remove the dead cells, the newer skin beneath is instantly revealed. Your skin looks more radiant and definitely feels softer and smoother as a result. And quite frankly, you may just look a little bit younger and fresher after a good exfoliation. But, the question is, can something that looks and feels this good be bad for you? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. You can get too much of a good thing.
If you are exfoliating a bit too much, you will experience some subtle changes in your skin. These changes may be in your skin’s appearance or in how it feels. Redness, irritation, dry patches and tightness are all examples of what could happen when you over do it.
Here are a few other signs to look out for to determine if you are over exfoliating your skin:
You’re Breaking Out
Most people don’t equate skin breakouts with exfoliation. In fact, many people believe if they are breaking out they need to exfoliate to keep pores clear and free from clogging. But you can definitely experience breakouts if you’re scrubbing too frequently. When you scrub, you’re looking for that deep pore cleaning experience, but when you overdo it, you can end up with the opposite effect. You never want to compromise your healthy skin cells, as they are the ones that protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier. When you overdo it, you disrupt the moisture barrier, which can lead to hypersensitivity that can in turn lead to breakouts. And when this happens, there is no one to blame but yourself. Avoiding breakouts should be reason enough not to over scrub your skin.
Your Forehead Looks Like a Mirror
If you notice that your forehead is super shiny then you have probably over-exfoliated. Light has the ability to reflect off of over-exfoliated skin because the skin in those areas is very smooth and free from texture. Think of driving down a road in your car. On a normal day you can see the stones, cracks and bumps in the road. Now, drive down that same road in the rain. The road looks slick and smooth as glass. Same road, same forehead, just a different perspective due to how light is reflected. So, if your forehead is looking a bit shiny, stop exfoliating. Once the shininess goes away you can start to exfoliate again. Just be gentle.
You’re Looking Puffy
Believe it or not, if that reflection of yourself in the mirror is looking a bit puffy or swollen, then over-exfoliating may be the culprit. Excessive exfoliating can cause inflammation and even damage your skin’s natural lipid barrier. And, it doesn’t matter if you are using a physical exfoliator, one that contains granules and particles that physically slough off skin cells, or, if you are using a chemical exfoliator where specific ingredients break down the dead skin cells. If you are over-doing it you may notice you are looking puffy and swollen.
To get the results that you are looking for with your facial exfoliator, follow these tips:
Be sure to introduce a gentle facial scrub into your skin care regimen and exfoliate one to three times a week, as needed. Allow for a few days in between scrubbing so you don’t aggravate your skin and end up with a negative reaction. For some folks, once a week is sufficient. Only you know your skin. And keep in mind, it’s not just your face that benefits from a good exfoliation, your body will benefit too.
The benefits of exfoliating are amazing when you are gentle and diligent. Just remember to take care of your skin, as the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.
Written by Beauty Expert Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
Former track-and-field champion Jackie Joyner-Kersey once said, “It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” Regret will hardly be an issue for Herbalife-sponsored high jump, long jump and triple jump competitor Caterine Ibargüen, who prepares herself with such dedication that she recently qualified for the 2016 world games in Rio de Janeiro.
Rising to the Challenge
Born in Apartado, Colombia, Ibargüen started her sports career at the age of 12, instantly standing out in the 150-meter category. Driven to train in the jump categories, she won her first international high-jump title in 1999 at the age of 15, when she took third place at the South American Championship in Athletics. Ibargüen has been pushing her limits and winning titles ever since, the most prestigious one being her silver medal at the 2012 world games in London. She considers that event both the best and worst day of her life because even though she did her country proud, “I had my sights set on winning gold,” she says. In Rio, she will once again get a chance to win gold and have her best day. To do so, she’s putting her focus on nutrition.
Higher Levels of Nutrition
In her daily regimen, Ibargüen addresses her nutrition needs by taking Herbalife® products. “Nutrition is extremely important to me,” she says. “Assimilating it into my routine allows me to train harder and achieve better performance in competition.” Ibargüen takes Herbalife24® Formula 1 Sport prior to training, and Herbalife24® Hydrate and Herbalife24® Prolong during training. In the last 30 minutes of a workout, she uses Herbalife24® Rebuild. And, before bedtime, she uses Herbalife24® Restore.
Ibargüen points out that competing in the jump categories is particularly demanding and requires specialized nutrition. “My nutritional needs are highly focused in the areas of energy and weight maintenance,” she says. “Because the Herbalife24® line is designed specifically for athletes, it goes a long way toward meeting my needs.” Herbalife24® products are also an ideal choice for Ibargüen because they are tested by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International, an independent, accredited organization. The NSF Certified for Sport® marking on certain Herbalife® products ensures that they have been tested clean of athletic banned substances and verified that they meet label claims and contaminant test criteria.
The Sky’s the Limit
At the moment, Ibargüen is hard at work training for the 2016 world games in Rio de Janeiro, for which she recently qualified in the triple jump category. “I’m honored to be competing for my fans and my country at this incredible event,” she says. “I want to make everyone who has supported me proud.”
Caterine Ibargüen Achievements:
It takes the right nutrients to help support strong, healthy nails.
Just like your skin and hair, your fingernails are a window to the “world within” – the health of your skin, hair and nails are a reflection of what you put into your body. And, like any other living tissue, your fingernails rely on a steady supply of nutrients to help them to be strong and healthy. Fingernail Fundamentals
Your nails are made up of layers of protein, known as keratin, the same protein found in your hair. And, they tend to grow at a fixed rate, with some slight variations: men’s nails usually grow faster than women’s (except during pregnancy, when the pace often picks up); fingernails grow faster than toenails; the nails on your little fingers grow more slowly than the others; and nails usually grow faster in the summer than in the winter. Also, the hardness of your nails is largely determined by genetics.
Even though you can’t make your nails grow faster or make them harder, it’s important to provide them with the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy, that way, your nails may be able to grow longer since they may be less likely to crack or break.
Four Nutrients that Support Nail Health
Protein. Since your nails are composed primarily of protein, it should come as no surprise that you need adequate protein in your diet to support the health of your nails. Choose from a range of low-fat plant and animal sources: soy and other beans, eggs, dairy products, seafood, poultry and lean meats.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats can help keep your nails moisturized, keeping them from appearing dry and dull. Fish is the best source of these healthy fats, but you can also find omega-3s in walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds.
Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that’s vitally important in protein synthesis, so it helps your body manufacture the keratin protein in your nails. Oysters are the richest source of zinc, but you’ll also find it in other proteins – meat, fish, poultry, beans and yogurt – as well as nuts.
Magnesium. Magnesium is a multitasker mineral – it’s needed for literally hundreds of chemical reactions in your body and, like zinc, helps your body to manufacture the proteins found in your nails. Magnesium is easy to get because it’s so widespread in healthy foods. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, avocado, whole grains, yogurt and soymilk are all good sources of magnesium.
Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.
As you focus on your body composition goals, it’s important to avoid common training mistakes that can set you back.
The approach of summer is often a wonderful motivator to get people up, off the couch, and more disciplined with their nutrition plan. However, quite often the fact that the clock is ticking will make people start to cut corners with both their diet and training regimen. Quick fixes may seem like a good idea when you are short on time and want to see changes, but in the long term, cutting corners will set you back with your goals and negatively impact your health. Here are a few common mistakes that you can avoid with suggestions on what you can do instead:
Related Article: How to Achieve Better Gym Performance
Avoid single body part challenges: I see these types of challenges online all the time, but unfortunately, many will have you overworking one specific muscle group putting you at a high risk of injury. Doing squats every day is bad for your hips and knee joints. Doing sit-ups every day means that you stop using the muscle fibers in your abs and instead start using your lower back, which creates imbalances. Doing push-ups every day can cause micro tears in the shoulder complex. I can list many more examples that are a bad idea for your long-term muscle and joint health. I believe it’s best to avoid a challenge that focuses on one specific part of the body.
Do: Participate in fun challenges that involve multiple exercises and are set with a moderate number of repetitions and adequate rest. In order for your body to get the benefits associated with repetitive exercise, the reps and rest time must be taken into consideration and both have to make sense. Most of our muscles work in pairs and therefore all strength training should be balanced. If you are trying to add more exercise into your day, consider doing a short bodyweight circuit. One day, the focus can be lower body and the next day, upper body. Try to avoid overusing one specific muscle group on a daily basis.
Avoid lengthy gym sessions: Training in the gym for hours on end may not get you better results, because more is not always better. Spending an hour on the treadmill at a pace that is not challenging, or lifting incredibly lightweights for long amounts of time, will have little effect on your fitness level or overall strength. Not to mention the stress caused by devoting so much time to the gym and getting little in the way of results.
Do: Go to the gym with the approach of quality over quantity. Think about what your goal is and train specifically in a way that will encourage desired adaptation in the body. If gaining strength and building muscle is your goal, you must choose weights that challenge you. Choose a weight that you can lift 8-12 times before reaching fatigue. Rest, then repeat for 3 sets. Consider doing HIIT training for a cardio and strength combination, or work in a circuit to maximize your time in the gym.
Don’t crash diet: The approach of the summer brings light to the many crazy crash diets that deprive your body of essential nutrients. Drastically cutting your calories, especially as you start to exercise more, can make you feel tired and prevent you from training at your best. The weight that is lost from a deprivation style crash diet is often not sustainable long term because you can lose lean muscle mass in addition to fat.
Do: Start making more conscious and healthy choices, and control your portion size. The goal should be to provide your body with the right balance of nutrients to support your energy output and recovery needs. As your exercise duration or intensity increases, make sure that you are eating enough protein, consuming enough water and getting a good balance of carbohydrates to get the most out of your training sessions.
Getting in shape is a process, one that takes both time and dedication. Quick fixes often don’t last for long and my favorite saying is, “Get fit and healthy for a lifetime, not just for the six weeks of summer.” When you make living a healthily part of your everyday lifestyle, reaching your goals may take a little longer, but the results will last.
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.