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  1. #1
    Member ZacHastings is on a distinguished road
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    "Off" Day Exercises

    Hey guys -

    I'm currently on a 3 day a week routine (Mon - Back & Bi's, Wed - Chest & Tri's, Fri - Leg's & Shoulders). I don't do cardio on workout days, but have started doing 30 minutes of cardio on "off" days. So my question is, if I were to do just one single exercise on those off days, what would give me the most bang for my buck. Or, is it better to just leave the days alone with just cardio?

    Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2
    Experienced Member utefaninutah is on a distinguished road utefaninutah's Avatar
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    On my off days I like to do a couple of light lifts of whatever I'm doing the next day. So Tues is Biceps, Back for me so on Monday I might do a drop set of bicep curls, some rows, and some lat pulldowns. I feel like it loosens me up a little bit and keeps my muscles working. It's important to remember that these are "rest" days not free days, so if you're sore let your body recover, and if you do lift, keep it light.
    Anthony-Gamertag Sabathian Beast-theuglydragon@gmail.com

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  3. #3
    Moderator OptikaNET is on a distinguished road OptikaNET's Avatar
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    Work on your core... it will help you with your form on other days, improve your posture, flatten your belly and help prevent injuries such as back problems (by improving your core stability).

  4. #4
    Experienced Member utefaninutah is on a distinguished road utefaninutah's Avatar
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    @OptikaNET I second that! Didn't even hit me to say it, but work your core for sure. I try to every day.
    Anthony-Gamertag Sabathian Beast-theuglydragon@gmail.com

    "The best activities for your health are pumping and humping." --Arnold Schwarzenegger

  5. #5
    Member ZacHastings is on a distinguished road
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    Thumbs up

    Great advice guys! Thanks! I didn't even think of my core, shame on me! I do abs at the end of every workout but abs don't necessarily mean core. I'm going to look up some good core moves (probably some yoga/Pilates) but since I've got you guys here, any core favorites you use? (and can I possibly use the word "core" any more in that paragraph?!)

  6. #6
    Moderator OptikaNET is on a distinguished road OptikaNET's Avatar
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    I really feel that Jefit should have more core exercises in its database, but you can't go wrong with the plank. There are various ways of doing it too... plank on elbows, in press up position, on one leg, on one leg with opposite arm raised, side plank (referered to as side bridge in Jefit's database), plank on stability ball etc.

    Incidentally, any time in the gym that you find yourself sitting around between reps or resting because you are tired, sit on a stability ball and rotate your hips in a circle one way and the other. Great for core strength and makes use of lag time in the gym (and stops you feeling guilty for not working harder!), the only disadvantage is that it doesn't look very masculine!!!

    Kind Regards
    Dave

  7. #7
    Moderator OptikaNET is on a distinguished road OptikaNET's Avatar
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    Try to work abs and core on different days. Gives each a day's rest...

  8. #8
    Moderator Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptikaNET View Post
    Try to work abs and core on different days. Gives each a day's rest...
    Can you explain what you definition of core and abs are?
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  9. #9
    Moderator OptikaNET is on a distinguished road OptikaNET's Avatar
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    Well, the definitions are a little fuzzy and there are crossovers, but...

    Abs exercises work the Rectis Abdominis muscles and the Obliques. Core exercises work the Transversus muscles which is the sheet of muscle that lies underneath the Rectis Abdominis and whose fibres run at 90 degrees to the abdominals.

    The abdominals are involved in curling the upper part of the chest to the hip (and vice versa), the Obliques are involved in twisting the trunk. The Transversus muscles pull the stomach inward and act to stabilise the trunk during exercise. This is why abdominals exercises may give you a firm stomach but won't give you a flat stomach whereas the Transversus muscles can because their fibres run forward and backward instead of up and down or left to right.

    All the core exercises I can think of tend to by Isomorphic contractions and can't really be done with weight.

    Abdominals exercises are often included with core exercises in "Core" or "Pilates" classes, but they are not really "core" at all, although they are important stability muscles all the same.

    A final note, when working abdominals, don't forget to work their antagonists - the Erector Spinae (lower back - the ridges either side of your spine just above the buttocks). These are very important stabilising muscles and can help prevent back troubles later in life if properly exercised. Working abs without working the lower back can cause a mismatch in strength which will pull the spine out of alignment and lead to lower back pain and slipped disks...

    Kind Regards
    Dave

    PS. Muscle name spellings may be inaccurate, but the names are correct.

  10. #10
    Moderator Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation is a jewel in the rough Deviation's Avatar
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    I'm no expert on kinesiology/physiology, but traverse abdominis is part of the "ab" group (given the name).

    Seems like if you want to hit the muscles you mentioned, you could hit them all with squats & deadlifts. They are not isolated, but it would hit each of the ones you mention with a single exercise. Not saying that ab exercises have no place. Just stating that "core" & "abs" usually end up being worked together in most exercise sets.

    My $.02 on the subject.
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