Ask any professional how they became good at their martial arts skills and they will tell you practice. Ask them what they practiced and you will most likely hear the fundamentals or the basics.I once interviewed 13 great martial artists. The thing that struck me was that every one of them talked about how their earliest instructor was a traditionalist and had them study the basics. In other words, what made them great was the fact that they spent time on the fundamentals.Now the sad part of this was that half of them were not teaching the knowledge they claimed made them good. They were into the flash and the short cuts. While this is fine for them, its not fine for their students. Remember a shortcut is only part of a motion, but most motions are made up of many parts which can lead to shortcuts. Shortcuts lead nowhere. When a master takes a shortcut they look good, but when a student learns only shortcuts they look poorly trained.Practice your fundamentals and I promise you the fun stuff will be better, faster and functional. Fundamentals are stances and forms. If you are taught quality forms, then they are worth it. If the forms are just made up, it can teach you bad habits in training that are hard to overcome. There are no excuses, if you want to master your art and your body then these should be perfect.Stances: horse, bow, front, cat, high back and low back. They should be low and comfortable so you are able to move in different directions while staying level. Also, the lower you are in your stance, the more stable you will be.Kicks: front side, back and round kick. These should be controlled and very smooth. Blocks: high rising, downward, outside block, front punch, back hand and vertical fist. If these are perfect your training can start!The list above works all your major muscle groups as well all major defense and offensive directions. If you just had those basics perfect you could master most any art. Regardless of whether they use those motions are not. The reason is simple, once you master your body you can make it do anything. A new style of martial arts is like learning a new dance. It can be challenging, but not impossible.If you are interested in learning more about how martial arts can help you and your children, please contact one of my three locations in Bellevue, Lynnwood or Kent, Washington at 800-508-6141 or email@example.com to set up a free 2 week trail orientation. Also, please see our web pages at www.kungfutemple.com and www.martialarts-instruction.comSincerely,Robert JonesMaster Instructor6th Degree Black BeltOwner, the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts
Weight benches are a central part of any weight training program. Not only are many weight training benches of the sturdiest and highest quality available, but they're offered at the most competitive prices online too. The utility bench is unequaled in design and craftsmanship. The seat pads adjust independently to achieve precise angles and the bench accepts a wide variety of attachments for individual customizing for the many different exercises you can perform and to accomadate the varying sizes of people. This is one of the best pieces of home fitness equipment you can purchase and is the best work out for body maintenance.A good Weight Bench is one of the most effective tools in the Building Foundation for a Strength Training Program. Home "fitness equipment" is not like Weight Benches you can get in Sporting Goods or Department Stores with their inherent flimsy unstable Designs. Olympic Weight Benches and Standard Weight Benches are constructed from Industrial Grade Heavy Duty Steel and many offer Flat, Incline, Decline and Shoulder Pressing adjustability with leg press attachment as well. Olympic Weight Benches are suitable for Advanced Bench Pressing or for a Beginner Weight Lifter to Build Complete Functional Upper Body Strength and is a key element is self improvement both physically and mentally.Whether it's a treadmill costing thousands, or a hand grip for $30, both of these devices are classified as fitness equipment. So you see, it's a big arena, with lots of products. In fact, fitness equipment overlaps several other markets including sports, entertainment, and healthcare. So when you visit a large, fitness equipment store you'll find everything from rubber floor tiles to dvds, not just the obvious fitness equipment you see at the gym. But searching through the many online fitness stores available, you are sure to only find fitness equipment that is related exactly to what you are searching for.
Whether you want to tone and define weak arms so that you can wear something sleeveless with confidence or you want to increase muscle mass, working the muscles in the front and back of the upper arms will help you get there.Most people new to bodybuilding pay a lot of attention to building big arms, sometimes to the point of overtraining. Don't forget, the arm muscles are brought into play during most exercises aimed at other body parts so care must be taken not to overdo things.Having said that, the arms are complex body parts in their own right and deserve a properly focused exercise program. In basic terms the arm consists of three main muscle groups:1. Biceps brachii - two muscles at the front upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulders.2. Triceps brachii - three muscles at the rear upper arm that run from the elbow to the shoulder.3. Forearm - several smaller muscles that run from the elbow to the wrist.We're really stuck on wanting to look good and that's alright, but it's really one goal of the arm exercise benefits. "Exercise is a body tune-up, and if we're keeping our body exercised, we're keeping it tuned just like a car." When working the arms, be sure to balance the body.We tend to make the mistake of exercising only our show muscles. And that is actually an imbalanced program. We pay too much attention to the muscles in front of our body and not enough attention to the back of the body.On the most basic level, this doesn't build the whole muscle.The reality is, if you want big arms, you've got to work both sides of the arms. When someone flexes their biceps, it's the whole arm that's working. The triceps are a part of that.You should vary your grip and width when performing not only these exercises, but all others. Why? Consider the barbell curl as an example. Most guys tend to use a wider grip, which works the short head of the biceps on the inside of the arm, while forgoing a narrow grip, where the biceps' long head is emphasized. When someone who does this places his hands on his hips, the long head on the outside of his arm is usually small and disproportionate compared to the inner arm. By using the same grip or width all the time, you create an imbalance in size and strength.
What are you trying to get out of your exercise program? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to put on muscle mass? Are you training for a sport or an athletic contest of some kind?Okay, now that youve answered the question of why you are exercising to begin with, you are now ready to ask yourself what type of exercise program you will need to get involved with in order to accomplish that goal. If you answered aerobics, weight training, yoga, flexibility exercises, martial arts, or pretty much any other form of exercise that you can imagine, then congratulations are in order! Youve just answered the question, What the heck is an exercise modality?Simply put, an "exercise modality" is a system or form of exercise that is designed to elicit a very specific response from the body of the individual who is engaging in the exercise. In the case of aerobics, most people are trying to get their body to shed excess bodyfat and to increase their level of cardiovascular endurance. Weight or resistance training exercisers are usually trying to grow or tone their muscles to make them stronger, bigger, or more attractive. People who practice Yoga are usually after a stronger mind/body connection in order to gain more energy or awareness.The possibilities are endless. There are so many exercise modalities out there that even trying to name them all would be a waste of time. Even as this article is written, and even as you the reader take in its information, someone somewhere is probably coming up with a new exercise modality. So why even try to learn them? Why should you care about "exercise modalities" ? Simply put, because you need to practice them! No, that doesnt mean that you have to be able to run a marathon, bench press 400 lbs, balance on your pinky toe, and dance a jig all at the same timeThe point is not that you have to become proficient in any specific exercise modality. You do need to learn about different types of training, though. No matter how effective your present exercise program is, one of two things is either already happening, or is going to happen eventually:1) Your body is adapting to the stimulus provided by your chosen exercise modality, and you are not seeing the same results from it that you saw in the beginning.2) The exercise modality that you have chosen is lacking in one or more of the measurements of good health: strength, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, agility, balance, tensile strength of bones, tendons, and ligaments, basic survival skills such as starting and limit strength, swimming capabilities, or a heightened level of neuromuscular coordination. As you can see, simply being able to run through a circuit of weight machines at the gym and then jumping into an aerobics class is not sufficient for a level of health and fitness that is both complete, as well as sustainable over the long-term.Despite what you may think, there will never be a time in your life when it is appropriate or healthy for you to back off and give up on exercise or proper nutrition. From today until the day when you leave this Earth, you will need the high quality of life that is provided by the proper level of "health and fitness" . In order to ensure that your health and fitness program does not allow your body to adapt to a certain stimulus, as well as to ensure that your program includes activity in each of the measurable levels of health and fitness, you must practice different exercise modalities on a regular basis.Dont scoff at Pilates because you think it is for wimps. Those of you in the aerobics room dont look at the weight lifters as if they are a bunch of cavemen who know nothing about true fitness. Those of you in the Yoga frame of mind, open up your mind to the fact that Yoga alone is not going to maintain your level of health and your quality of life from now until the end. Martial artists step out of the Dojo and pick up some dumbbells or balance on an exercise ball once in awhile.There is no single exercise modality that is perfect for everyone, all the time. Yes, there are certain modalities that work better for certain people, but that doesnt mean that you should never check out new activities and experiences. Close-mindedness has never resulted in positive results in the entire history of our planet. Its not going to start now. Open your mind to new possibilities and you will open yourself to new experiences and a higher quality of life itself.Who knows? You might even enjoy it!
Jonathan Clements writes the very popular "Getting Going" column for the WSJ that covers all sorts of personal finance issues including retirement, financial planning, saving, investments, and spending patterns among many others. It's a basic "how to" column on managing your finances. He is a most practical and sensible writer and widely read. He doesn't venture into the health and fitness arena that often but when he does he brings his normal no nonsense approach to the issues and is direct and blunt about the realities of how your lifestyle, fitness level and health will affect your finances in retirement. Essentially, he saying that those that exercise and maintain good health are going to have a longer retirement and need to plan their retirement savings accordingly. However, those that don't practice good health routines may not live as long but their retirement may be just as costly because of their additional health and long term care costs.Money quote:"Yes, if your family history and your own health suggest you will live to a ripe old age, you should save enough to carry yourself through 25 or 30 years of retirement, and maybe more.But if you are overweight, never exercise or smoke a pack a day, you could still need a fair amount saved for retirement. True, your retirement may be relatively short.But it could prove mighty expensive. There's an increased risk you will suffer a debilitating illness or struggle with your mobility, and thus you may get hit with long-term-care costs -- possibly the biggest expense that retirees face."This article is sponsored by: http://www.getfitsource.com