Mix Fitness's Blog


Blog has moved to new address

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on March 29, 2010

Hello Blog Followers,

The Mix Fitness blog has a new address:

http://mixfitness.net/blog

Please continue reading at the new website!  All new entries will be posted there.  Thank you!

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Upper Abs vs. Lower Abs

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on March 8, 2010
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How many times have you heard someone say, “You’re working your upper abs when you do crunches?”  It leads you to believe your “lower abs” are doing nothing during a crunch, right?  It also sounds like you have two separate muscles.  Well, that statement is a misnomer.

You don’t have “upper” or “lower” abdominal muscles.  You have one long muscle called the rectus abdominis.  It’s the same muscle that is nicknamed the “6-pack.”  This muscle runs from your ribs to your pubic bone.  Take a look at the picture.  Locate the belly button.  Do you see the dark lines just to the right and left of the belly button?  That outlines the rectus abdominis muscle.  Notice how the outline starts just below the pecs (chest muscles) and continues past the belly button into the crotch.  (Sorry, but that’s how low this muscle goes!)  

Now, lay on your back to prepare to feel for yourself the inaccuracy of the above statement.  Place one hand behind your head and the other on your stomach, a couple inches below the belly button.  Do a few crunches.  Can you feel the rectus abdominis contracting under your hand?

When you do crunches, your entire muscle contracts.  Similarly, when you do reverse crunches – typically to target the “lower abs” – the entire muscle contracts.  Yes, the upper fibers will fatigue after several reps of crunches.  But, know that the whole muscle was worked.

I’m being nit-picky about the usage of the phrase…I know.  But, this phrase has led to misconceptions.  Next time you hear it, realize what he really means is, “When you do crunches, you’re working your rectus abdominis completely, but you’ll feel it more in the upper portion.”

How Much Should You Weigh?

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on February 23, 2010
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Many of us have a preconceived idea of how much we should weigh.  What prompts us to arrive at that number?  Do you want to lose “x” amount of weight so you can weigh what you weighed in college?  Or, have you arbitrarily assigned yourself a number?  Because there isn’t an ideal number, we’re left to decide for ourselves.  Using body mass index (BMI) gives you a general guideline for how much you should weigh.

BMI is not without it’s faults, but it is a simple method to determine body mass based on weight and height.  Physicians use the number as a risk factor for developing obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  BMI is classified the following ways:

Underweight:  <18.5
Normal weight:  18.5 – 24.9
Overweight:  25 – 29.9
Obesity:  >30

Click here to discover your BMI using the American Council on Exercise (ACE) web-based BMI calculator.

If you fall outside of the “normal weight” category, don’t fret.  Losing as little as five pounds could improve your score.  Dr. Cedric Bryant, ACE’s Chief Science Officer, states, “The key point to keep in mind is that to determine their ideal body weights, individuals should not rely solely on a bathroom scale, height-weight tables, BMI or even percent body-fat measurements. Sound nutrition and exercise science principles, along with common sense, mandate that individuals should avoid setting “hard and fast” body-weight goals. Rather, they should strive for achieving a level of body weight that is compatible with a healthy lifestyle (e.g., sensible eating, regular exercise).”

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