Squats are an important part of any workout, not only building leg muscles but also quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. They also provide an anabolic aspect to your workout, improving overall muscle building.
If you have realized how important squats are in your workout, you may be surprised to learn that adding box squats can not only bring added benefits to your workout routine but it could also improve your squatting technique overall.
What Are Box Squats?
A box squat is a weight-lifting technique with a box or bench placed behind you. The goal is to aim for a box height for a parallel squat, but you can train with a box that is higher or lower depending on your training. With the weight across your shoulders, you lower yourself to a sitting position until you are seated on the box, pause and then lift yourself up again without bouncing.
Benefits of Box Squats
Box squats offer significant benefits in a workout. The biggest benefit is that it can actually improve your squatting technique. Often, people squat by initiating the knees and not the hips which can overload the quads and increasing the chance of injury. By forcing yourself to “sit back” on the bench, you put more pressure on your hips, relieving the pressure on your knees.
With a box squat, you also tend to take a wider than shoulder stance while holding the bar lower and your knees over your toes. This further increases the stress on glutes, hamstrings and your lower back.
Pausing on the box also forces you to rise from a dead stop rather than “bouncing,” increasing posterior chain power.
Athletes also tend to cheat depth in squats as their weight level rises so a box squat keeps you from doing that. Box squats force you to tighten your body in order to come off the box, getting more benefits from the lift.
How to Box Squat
Begin a box squat by standing in a power rack with the box behind you. Step under the bar and place it across your shoulders then squeeze your shoulder blades together, rotating your elbows forward as if you were bending the bar across your shoulders. Create a tight arch in your lower back, lift the bar and step back, your head facing forward. Push your knees and butt out, then start to lower your body. Sit back until your butt is seated on the bench, shins perpendicular to the ground. Pause, relax your hip flexors and then, with your weight on your heels, push your feet and knees out, pushing upward. Lead the movement with our head, continuing up until you reach your starting position.
Box squats can increase the value of your leg workout but can also improve your squat technique overall. The key is to learn how to do the box squat correctly and to continue using free squatting in order to get a good overall workout. Learn more workout techniques by subscribing to my YouTube channel.
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What is Hypertrophy?By RunThaCity — 4 years ago
So, you want a sculpted, muscular physique? First, ask yourself what your prime motivation for this is, because if it’s solely for aesthetic purposes, this could be mentally unhealthy – body image is a complicated thing, as is the social pressure on it.
That said, if healthy and self-confidence is your main motivation, what’s wrong with looking good while living a healthy lifestyle? The thing is, people oversimplify the human body when they consider the effects and implications of exercise. Well, that’s not really surprising, the “why and how” of this is only guaranteed knowledge if you’re either a fitness professional, a medical professional, or a biologist.
Unfortunately, to get the most out of your exercise and diet regimen, and most efficiently achieve that swole look, you kind of need to understand it. Specifically in this case, you need to understand anaerobic respiration, basic metabolism, and the concept of hypertrophy.
While it may sound like a bonus prize better than first place, hypertrophy is a biological/medical phenomenon wherein muscles are stressed in various way (and to an extent, damaged), thus increasing the density and cross section of muscle present.
Proper exercise intended for body building and muscle gain, induces hypertrophy. Here’s the thing though, hypertrophy, and the things that induce it, will hurt. You will experience fatigue, soreness, cramps and just general aches and pains from it.
Well, the old saying goes, no pain no gain, right? We’ll talk in a minute about how this is induced, but let’s talk about the two scientific phenomena taking place during hypertrophy, and how it results in increased muscle volume and density.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in what’s known as sarcoplasm. This is a fluid volume inside muscles, that gives it that kind of “jelly” fluidic nature while relaxed. This creates muscular bulk, but being noncontractile, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy doesn’t increase strength per se. It is however necessary for the function and tensile power of your muscular tissue.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy is the increase of myofibrils, which are the thread-like contractile components which actually do the mechanical work. The increase of these is the increase in actual physical strength.
It is important to achieve the proper balance of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophies, though generally, the body manages that on its own. However, if you see increasing muscle mass, but the expected strength increase intended to come along with it isn’t present, you may need to see a dietitian or even a physician, because something may be wrong.
Before we go over the ways to stimulate this, I want to again emphasize that some of this can be dangerous if you don’t do it properly. Consult your physician, and use your best judgment with this. Seriously, stressing your body can be dangerous!
Progressive Tension Overload
This sounds fancy and complex, but in all reality, it’s just what any good lifting regimen does – increase what you can and do lift over time, stressing your muscles and causing them to grow. Some of the best are curls, deadlifts, squats, military presses and bench presses. While the more dramatic increase in reps and lifts you can do will be logarithmically proportional to the resulting hypertrophy, this is where the being careful I talked about comes into play.
It’s commonly said that you have to break muscles to make muscles. This is actually completely true. This is also why constructive exercise is painful – you’re breaking the myofibrils and losing some of your sarcoplasm by overexerting your muscles.
When the body takes damage, it will reactively begin building more tissue to replace what was lost, or to bridge gaps formed by strain. While some tissues don’t heal gracefully (hence scarred skin, and misshapen bones that weren’t set right), muscle is very good at healing itself in an effective and constructive way.
On top of tension stress/breakage, there’s also metabolic stress. This is where anaerobic versus aerobic respiration comes into play. Anaerobic respiration involves little to no exercise (where aerobic is very oxygen-heavy). Most lifts and similar exercises are anaerobic, and since anaerobic respiration is less efficient and more stressful, muscles are strained by it, causing them to “double up” to better handle the stress of it all.
On a side note, anaerobic respiration produces lactic acid, which causes that really sore feeling you get from an effective work out, where a burning sensation comes from broken muscle.
You can make induction of hypertrophy safer by reducing the physical extremeness of it with supplements that let muscles rebuild faster, and stimulate muscle growth naturally.
You may have heard some bad things about creatine, but seriously, it’s all bunk. Creatine has been clinically proven to be harmless, and effective. Creatine will help boost sarcoplasmic hypertrophy as well as stimulate more effective respiration all around. It also abates the soreness of lactic acid production, which quite nice.
Muscle has to have raw materials to build with, and that means protein. Protein powders are an excellent way to deliver this rich nutrient to your body, while eliminating fats and other undesired things that come from animal protein.
To learn more about hypertrophy, and the science behind supplements and exercises, subscribe to my YouTube channel today!Post Views: 6,434
Born Tough Gym Wear and Fitness AttireBy RunThaCity — 4 years ago
There are scores of workout and fitness attire merchants out there. You could probably name a number of them right off the top of your head. Some of these manufacturers and designers make workout clothing that is, frankly, not making the cut. Or its too expensive and restrictive to really make purchasing it worthwhile.
But if you’re looking for a new style for the gym that looks sharp without weighing you down or getting in the way of your movement, then you should check out Born Tough.
About Born Tough
Born Tough (BT) is a new brand. A new style. These are people who are making clothing for the modern day warrior, from the recreational runners to the elite athletes. As long as you want functional clothing for your functional fitness, then you are ready to make a switch to clothing that accelerates your training instead of holding you back.
This brand is going to be direct competition for other brands like GymShark and VQFit.
Born Tough makes minimalist exercise gear that tackles the old-age concept that sportswear should be baggy, disproportional or, on the other hand, clingy and uncomfortable. The clothing is designed for all body types and fits like a second skin. This allows both men and women to bend, twist, dance, jump, and run without needing to think about how they look. Born Tough clothing is stylish yet subdued, so you look ready for the gym, coffee, lounging, or travel all the time.
What makes Born Tough clothing a clear competitor in today’s market, however, is not just the look and feel. The designers have paid extreme attention to the details, including the need for technology. A lot of exercise clothing continues to ignore pockets deep enough for cell phones and mp3 players, headphone wires, and the like. Born Tough clothing integrates these features into their designs, so you can keep your important tech close without getting literally wrapped up in it.
A Look At Born Tough Products
Born Tough is just getting started, but they have already accumulated an array of merchandise for men and women that can fill your wardrobe.
I checked out the Born Tough Core Fit Short Sleeve, made with BT’s signature “Swift fabric,” which makes it lightweight and breathable for intense workouts in the gym. I tried it on and the fit is perfect. There’s nothing I would change about the construction, styling, or sizing. The shirt has an overlay, so it looks seamless. Additionally, the extended scallop hem prevents any embarrassing bunches or riding up from happening as you do your squats and other lower body exercises. Twists and turns couldn’t make this shirt ride up either.
Here’s a glimpse at the features of the Core Fit t-shirt:
- True to size
- 93% cotton and 7% modal spandex
- Flatlock seams
- Extended scallop hem
- 3M reflective logo on the back
- Ideal for a base layer
- Stretchable, breathable, and lightweight
- Minimalist design
- 30-day money back guarantee on all products
Presently, there’s more for men than for women. Men can look at a number of tops, bottoms, sleepwear, hoodies, and sweatshirts. Women have hoodies and sweatpants that come as a track set or separately. The inventory is growing, though, so there is bound to be more options for women in the future.
You can also get free shipping and free returns, too.
New brands who try to reshape the face of the fitness apparel industry always bring some excitement to the table, but Born Tough is already making a statement. The quality of the gear, the decent price, and the attention to detail are three things that make these products a smart purchase.
You don’t want miss what this company has in store.
Looking for more info and tips on fitness apparel? Then head over to my YouTube channel and hit the subscribe button. There’s plenty of videos for you to get and stay informed about what’s new in fitness.Post Views: 6,695
Over 100 Motivational Fitness Quotes With ImagesBy RunThaCity — 5 years ago
Are you looking for the perfect motivation quote, meme, or image? Click to find the perfect one for your day! Feel free to download, share, etc!!Post Views: 16,749
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