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How to Get The Most From Your Home Workouts
By: Rick DeToma

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A recent study found that home workouts may do even more good than workouts at a gym. This is good news for people who are time crunched and find it's too much trouble to make it to a health club.

So how do you get the most from your home workouts? Follow these suggestions:

1. Have A Plan. Know exactly what it is you want to accomplish and how you intend to get there. Plan out the exercises and the amount of reps and weight you will use. If time is a factor, make sure the volume of your workout fits the alloted time. If you can only squeeze in 10-15 minutes, then make the most of it. Use compound moves for the large muscle groups. Use an exercise log and refer back to it. It's a great way to track your progress.

2. Have What You Need. Make sure you have available any equipment you intend to use and that you know how to use it. If you have never used resistance tubes, then practice with them in advance so you get a sense of the tension they provide. If you plan to use a stability ball, make sure you have the right size for your height. See a chart here.

3. Know How to Do Things Right. Make sure you are familiar with the exercises you plan to include in your home workout. Do some research and completely understand any new exercises you intend to do. Form is very important. Proper form will keep you from injuring yourself.

4. Mix Things Up. Don't stick with one workout for ever. Your body will quickly adapt to any form of exercise if you stay with it for too long. Make sure in your planning stage that you build in variety through new exercises, a different exercise order, different rep scheme or try supersets or a circuit.

5. Get Support. Work with a personal trainer to learn what you should do and how you should do it. A recent study showed that people who worked with a trainer worked harder and met their goals faster than those who did not.

Just because you are doing a home workout does not mean that it can't be as tough or tougher than people who travel to a gym. Once you know where you are going and how you intend to get there, the rest is up to you. Follow your plan, give it 100% effort, eat right, and you'll be on your way to a fit body.

About the Author

About the Author:
Rick DeToma is a fitness coach, and trainer who specializes in home workouts. Contact Rick for a no obligation telephone fitness assessment at:

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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