What Your Squat Form Says About You (Hint: It’s Probably Not Good)

Like personality types, there are many different variations of squat form — and many prove what not to do when performing a squat. The good news is, how you perform a squat, especially if you’re not doing it right, can clue you into specific muscular imbalances, which you can then correct, leading to a stronger you. Below, three common squat-form mistakes and what they can tell you about where you need to build strength and flexibility. Read more »

6 Mistakes That Are Sabotaging Your Fitness Results

You put your time in at the gym and eat right. You strength train and do cardio. But still, you’re not seeing results. You’ve been at it for months and yet it seems the scale doesn’t budge and your muscles won’t change. It’s frustrating and defeating when you’re putting the time and the effort in but not seeing any changes. Don’t give up hope and throw in the towel yet because, chances are, there’s a way to turn things around. Below, the top six workout mistakes that keep people from getting stronger, explained. Read more »

One Thing You Should Look at (But Probably Don’t) When Trying to Get Fit

Workout DVDs, “As Seen on TV” workout equipment, gym memberships: These are all things millions of people try every year in an effort to become more fit. But what if improving your own health simply came down to spending more time with other people who are in good health? As entrepreneur Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Since Rohn was an entrepreneur and was mostly interested in helping others become more successful, the point he was trying to make was, if you spend time with more successful people, you will also become more successful. On the other hand, if you hang out with people who are negative, they could have a negative impact on your life. This theory can be applied to almost all aspects of life — including your fitness levels. Read more »

5 Habits of Fit People That You Should Copy

If you’ve ever seen the cover of a fitness magazine, I’m sure you’ve seen headlines that are very similar to “(insert fit celebrity) Reveals Her Top 5 Fitness Secrets!” It’s intriguing to the reader because the celebrity must know something the reader doesn’t if she’s in such good shape. But if you stop and think about it, you find yourself wondering: Are fit people really keeping secrets, whispered only among a select few, about how to stay in shape?

Of course not. In fact, their “secrets” have probably been under your nose the whole time. It boils down to this: People who are fit just have better habits than people who aren’t as fit. I’m sure you’ve noticed what these habits are, but maybe you’ve never really understood them well enough to try them out for yourself. Consider this your challenge: Try incorporating these five habits of fit people into your daily routine, and if you stick with it, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll see a significant change.  Read more »

Expert Advice: The 3 Key Ingredients to Lose Weight Without Losing Muscle

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Shutterstock

The weight-loss industry has us believing that losing weight fast is a goal worth achieving, but all weight loss isn’t created equal. With fast weight loss comes even quicker muscle loss, which can be detrimental to your health and fitness goals, since muscle is necessary for burning calories. Moreover, weight loss occurs as a result of consistent action over time. What you should be thinking about, instead of losing weight fast, is losing weight without sacrificing muscle. Below, the three key ingredients to help you lose weight without losing muscle mass.

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Expert Advice: You’re Only As Strong As Your Weakest Muscle Group

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Shutterstock

If you’re a regular gym goer, it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of thinking about each muscle in isolation, and working them that way. But this approach causes muscle imbalances: When demands placed on one muscle are too heavy to bear, another less suitable muscle will take over to support the weight. In some situations, the opposing muscle compensates and becomes stronger than its counterpart, meanwhile your weaker muscles remain weak.

One way to prevent muscle imbalances — and get better results when you work out while also preventing long-term injury — is to think of the body as a system with complementary muscle groups. And complementary muscles are often involved in the same movements so it makes sense to work them together.

But before you try that, it’s important to know the muscle groups that are often weaker. These are some of the most common areas of muscle weakness. Check them out, and take note. After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest muscle group.

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How to Convince Yourself to Work Out When You Really (Really!) Don’t Want To

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Shutterstock

Finding the motivation to exercise isn’t always easy. Of course, everyone wants to look good, but sometimes the promise of a tighter behind or flatter stomach isn’t enough to get you out the door. When external factors aren’t pulling their weight to keep you moving, call on a few of these other benefits of regular exercise.

A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity showed that many of these health-related outcomes were major motivating factors for those who were successful with sticking to an exercise program.

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6 Realistic Things to Expect When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

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Shutterstock

Warning: You are not going to find a six-step plan for losing weight and getting in shape in this post. There are plenty of other articles online that tackle these topics. (You should feel free to read them, but remember to absorb some of the information with caution: Consider the source and take any blanket, one-size-fits-all statements with a grain of salt.)

I’m here to tell you that weight loss is not all about what foods you eat or what exercises you do. Understanding the mental and physical hurdles you’re going to face during your weight-loss journey can be critical to the success of your program. So without going into too much detail about how to lose weight, we’re going to discuss what you should realistically expect while you’re on your weight-loss journey.

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Why Your Desk Job Is Causing You So Much Pain (And How to Fix It)

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Shutterstock

It’s a fact that most of us sit at a computer for our jobs. In fact, I’m willing to bet most (if not all) of you reading this article are sitting right now. And as we all know by now, studies overwhelmingly show that sitting all day at a desk isn’t good for you. Not only is sitting all day responsible for things like high blood pressure and heart disease, it’s also responsible for a lot of the pain you may be experiencing.

These pains are most likely due to muscular imbalances in your body. Muscle imbalances are very common and are a big cause of daily aches and pains and overuse injuries. Common symptoms are muscle tightness, limited range of motion, low back aches and knee pain. Sitting all day can cause tight hamstrings, pectoral muscles and hip flexors, which is a recipe for back pain and bad posture.

Here’s why.

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4 Reasons You Should Exercise First Thing in the Morning (And How to Get It Done)

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Shutterstock

Imagine this: It’s 5:15 p.m. and you’re getting psyched to leave work, hit the gym and tackle a good workout. You’re about to walk out of the office when you hear your name called. It’s your boss, he needs to have a quick meeting right now. Before you know it, it’s 6 p.m. and you’re supposed to help with dinner tonight, plus there’s traffic to deal with. Maybe today will be your off day (just like yesterday, and the day before).

Here’s a thought: If you’d worked out in the morning, this wouldn’t be your third off day in a row. But how do you become one of those crazy-dedicated people who heads to the gym before the sun comes up? It’s really not as hard as you might think. Here are four reasons you should be exercising first thing in the morning and a few ways to accomplish it.

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