We’ve all done it—drank from a questionable carton of milk, mowed down on the remains of old yogurt, and even dared cook meat that had been in the freezer for a few months (well 6 to be exact).
You’re not alone and you’re not necessarily wrong to try to salvage food instead of throwing it away when it’s expired it’s “best before” due date.
Yes, there are several foods you can consume safely past the expiry date on their packaging…
With the amount of chemicals and beverage additives in carbonated drinks, it shouldn’t surprise you that they last a really long time. Just to give you a perspective of the shelf life—diet pop is good up to 4 months past the shelf life expiry date while regular-surgery soda can stand up for 9 months past it’s due date.
2. Processed Cereal
If there’s a pending apocalypse, you should really stock up on boxed cereal…as long as you don’t mind a little less crunch in your bowl. In fact, despite getting a bit stale and losing flavor, processed cereals will last 6 months past their due date—especially if you do what I do and use an elastic to seal them from open air.
You might be surprised that I’d include a dairy product on this list. However, butter, unlike most other dairy products freezes quite well for months at a time. So if you have an unopened package of butter approaching its due date, pop it in the freezer and take it out and thaw it for baking. Just be sure to use the whole block after thawing.
4. Cow Beef
You might be too frightened to trifle with consuming raw beef past the due date (and I don’t blame you one bit). However, if it’s cooked through, you can pop it in the fridge and consume it 5 days past the due date. Just be sure to cook it completely, no medium rare cuts.
5. Hard Cheese
I never finished all of my old nippy cheddar before the expiry date. Then before I know it, little green patches are forming on my favorite snack. However, I’ve learned if I anticipate not mowing down on the whole block before the expiry date, I still have 4 weeks until it spoils completely.
I would never suggest cooking raw chicken breasts or legs past their due date. However, freezing that package prior to its “best before” date is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I’ve safely frozen a package of almost expired chicken thighs, only to thaw and cook them in my crock pot a year later.
7. Potato Chips
They might lose a bit of that oh-so-flavorful crunch, but chips are so full of chemicals and additives for processing that you can eat those months after the “best before” date on the bag. Just don’t serve them to guests.
What do you mean there no pork on your fork after the expiry date? You really don’t have to let that fine cut of pork loin or a whole pork roast go in the trash. As long as it’s cooked completely prior to expiry, you can safely eat it 3 days past its “best before” packaging date.
I know if you looked in my fridge right now, you’d find a jar or two of expired mayonnaise. That’s because my kids always push it to the back of the fridge and I go buy a new one thinking that we’re out. However, I’ve learned that opened jar is go to use 3 to 4 months after it’s expired—as long as it’s always been stored at the right temperature (i.e., never left out on the counter).
10. Dill Pickles
The same goes for your favorite yet forgotten jar of dill pickles. As a general rule, if the product is preserved and stored in salt and acidic liquid, such as vinegar and brine, you can pick a pickle past its due date.
Source: Emily Lockhart | Activebeat.com
Every week, a new Amazing Core Fitness Challenge gives you an opportunity to test your athletic ability and win a set of Amazing Core Fitness Resistance Loop Bands. Take the challenge and enter to win a Set of bands by tweeting your results with #AmazingCoreFitness.
How long can you hold a basic Plank? Test the limits of your core and shoulder strength for your chance to win a Set of Amazing Core Fitness Resistance Loop Bands.
Perform a Plank by holding your body in the Push-Up position with your hands and feet touching the ground and your body completely straight. You can rest on either your hands or your forearms, but make sure your hips never dip.
Hold a Plank for as long as you can while maintaining good form.
How Do You STACK Up?
Rookie: Under 60 seconds
- Complete the challenge by Feb. 28, 2014
- Follow Amazing Core Fitness on Twitter (@amazingcorefit)
- Tweet your results and include #AmazingCoreFitness
We’ll announce the winner in next week’s Amazing Core Fitness Challenge.
Not an All-Star yet? Get better by incorporating the following exercises into your training:
- Concentrated Bicycle Row
- Turkish Get-Up
- Push-Ups followed by Plank
If I had to single out one body part my female clients and followers are most concerned about, it would have to be the butt. A great butt is toned, rounded, sculpted, hard and lifted.
Here are some of the best butt exercises to get you ready for bikini season.
You don’t have to do all of them all the time. Mix them up and do as many as possible. The most important thing to remember with fitness is to have fun. Getting fit should never feel like a chore. The best part? You’ll notice changes straight away, especially if you eat right. Enjoy watching your body transform. Put in the effort, and the results will speak for themselves.
7. The Bridge
- Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor (keep your feet directly underneath your knees).
- Raise your hips off the floor until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Squeeze your butt and tighten your core and abs.
- Hold the position for as long as you can, ensuring your body doesn’t sag (aim for a strong hold of 20 seconds).
- Lower your hips to the floor, rest for 10 seconds and repeat. Go for 10 repetitions.
6. The Plank
- Start in the push-up position.
- Bend your elbows and rest on your forearms.
- Keep your elbows directly underneath your shoulders.
- Keep your body in a straight line for as long as possible (aim for 2 minutes).
- Once mastered, you can lift one leg off the floor and hold for an additional 2 minutes.
- Once mastered, you can also lift one arm and one leg off the floor and hold for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Glute Kickbacks
- Get on your hands and knees, making sure your back is parallel to the floor.
- Kick one leg back (similar motion to a horse kick).
- When your leg is fully extended, hold the position for 1-2 seconds before lowering it back to the starting position.
- Repeat the same motion with the opposite leg.
- Aim for 10 repetitions per leg.
- Advanced athletes can use the Smith Machine for increased resistance.
4. Walking Lunges With Hands Up
- Stand upright with your hands raised above your head holding a five-pound weight plate (increase the weight as you get stronger).
- Take one step forward (slightly longer than a normal walking step), making sure your heel lands first, followed by the front of your foot.
- As you land, bend your front knee to about 90 degrees or until your back knee almost touches the floor.
- Keep your back as straight as possible.
- Straighten your front leg, bring your back leg forward and take another step forward.
- Aim for 10 Lunges on each leg.
3. Elliptical Trainer
- For best results, keep your center of gravity low (knees bent).
- Targets the glutes and calves predominantly.
- Use interval training (alternating one minute medium pace and one minute fast pace) for a total of 15-20 minutes.
- Progressively increase resistance to desired level.
2. Barbell Squats
- Always start with a light weight and add more as you increase strength.
- Make sure the bar is centered on the squat rack.
- Always use clips to keep the weight locked on the bar.
- Use a weight belt if attempting heavy Squats.
- Enter the squat rack and grip the bar with an overhand grip (slightly wider than shoulder-width).
- Position the bar on the back of your shoulders.
- Position your feet flat on the floor and slightly wider than a normal stance.
- Straighten your legs, lift the bar off the squat rack and take a step back.
- Bend your knees slowly to begin the Squat, making sure your back is straight.
- Lower your body until your upper legs are parallel to the floor.
- Stand back up to complete the Squat.
- Aim for 10-12 repetitions.
1. Rock Climbing/Hiking
These outdoor activities (indoor rock climbing is OK as well) are the best butt-shaping exercises you can do. They target all areas of the butt and legs and improve core strength and cardiovascular endurance. Perform these activities regularly and you’ll build tight, lean legs and a sculpted butt in no time. One 30-minute session per week is all you need (of course you can go for as long as you like).
Remember to keep hydrated and be safe at all times. Let people know where you are going and how long you intend to be gone. Pack a whistle and a flashlight and wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Get out there and make it happen. Your butt depends on it.
Source: Paul “P.J.” James
Every Wednesday, Amazing Core Fitness brings you a new Exercise of the Week to challenge your strength, speed, conditioning or flexibility—or all of the above.
Med Ball Horizontal Throws build explosive back power, which is a difficult physical attribute to develop.
The exercise mirrors a plyometric movement. Your muscles must decelerate a heavy ball, store the energy and explosively throw it.
In particular, this move works your lats, which are the largest muscle group in your upper body. Strong lats will improve any skill where you’re driving your arms down, such as throwing or grappling. They also contribute to gains in other upper-body exercises, such as the Bench Press.
In addition to helping you become more powerful, the move also improves:
Shoulder Stability. Your shoulder muscles must engage to stabilize your joints while you move, which increases shoulder durability when performing explosive movements such as throwing.
Workout I.Q. This movement is commonly performed in the gym, so do it to stand out among your teammates in the weight room and on the field.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Have a partner stand about 6 feet in front of you.
- When your partner tosses the med ball, catch it 1 to 2 feet over your face.
- Let the ball’s momentum carry it over your head until it touches the ground.
- Immediately throw the med ball back to your partner as forcefully as possible.
- Repeat for the specified number of reps (see below).
Common Mistakes and Fixes
Mistake: Catching the med ball too far in front, causing you to use your chest instead of decelerating with your back. This changes the movement into an Explosive Med Ball Press/Horizontal Throw hybrid.
Fix: Tell your partner not to throw the ball in a large arc. Catch the ball over your face so that its momentum can carry it smoothly overhead.
Mistake: Pressing the med ball when throwing it to your partner, which again turns it into a chest exercise.
Fix: Keep your arms straight and release the med ball directly over your face as if hurling it to your partner.
Mistake: Throwing the med ball back to your partner in an arc trajectory, which takes away the power component.
Fix: Aim the med ball at your partner’s waist and throw it as hard as you can.
Applying It to Your Workout
The Med Ball Horizontal Throw is designed to increase explosive back power. So it’s best to perform near the beginning of your workout before your muscles fatigue. You can also take advantage of its plyometric component by incorporating it into a PAP complex. To do this, perform a heavy back strength exercise, such as Weighted Pull-Ups, and follow immediately with the Med Ball Horizontal Throw.
- Power — Sets/Reps: 3-5×4-6 with a heavy med ball
- PAP Complex — Sets/Reps: 3-5×2-6 following 5 reps of a heavy back exercise.
You enter a crowded weight room after school and all the barbells are in use. You’ve got two choices: delay your workout and wait for the next available barbell, or be proactive (and creative) and perform a plate workout. After all, who said weight plates are functional only when they’re attached to bars?
Here is a challenging, short but intense full-body workout using plates of various weights to boost overall sports performance by strengthening muscles and promoting growth, and enhancing muscular endurance and balance. The workout can be completed within 30 minutes, because you’re not wasting time changing plates or fastening them to bars or searching for safety clips between sets.
Work out with plates for diversity—not just when barbells are unavailable—for a refreshing alternative to your regular training program.
- Hydrate before, during and after your workout.
- Un-rack the plates needed for your workout and place them near you for easy access.
- Perform dynamic upper- and lower-body warm-up using light plates (e.g., Arm Circles and Walking Lunges with a pair of 5-pound plates).
- End with static upper- and lower-body cool-down stretches to improve flexibility and range of motion.
- Water bottle
- Single plates: 45 pounds, 25 pounds
- Pairs: 35 pounds, 10 pounds, 5 pounds, 2 1/2 pounds.
Arm Circles and Walking Lunges (5-Pound Plates)
- Hold a plate in each hand and raise them to shoulder level with your arms extended.
- Do slow clockwise arm circles while performing Walking Lunges around the perimeter of the weight room.
- Without resting, replace 5-pound plates with 2 1/2-pound plates and do counterclockwise Arm Circles and Lunges around the weight room.
- After the warm-up, immediately start your workout, performing either the Suitcase Walk or Farmer’s Walk.
Suitcase Walk (45-Pound Plate)
Great exercise for building forearms and upper-body size and strengthening core.
- Hold the plate in your right hand and walk around the weight room perimeter.
- Halfway around the room, transfer the plate to your left hand.
- Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
- After two sets, rest for 30 seconds, hydrate and go on to the next exercise.
Alternative: Farmer’s Walk (35-Pound Plates)
Holding a 35-pound plate in each hand, walk around the weight room twice, non-stop. Your arms, shoulders and back will really be burning. Suitcase and Farmer’s Walks also are wonderful for grip strength. Rest 30 for seconds and hydrate before the next exercise.
Step-Ups and Overhead Presses (25-Pound Plate)
- Hold the plate at chest level and place your right foot atop a bench.
- Explosively press the plate overhead while pushing down on your right foot.
- Return the plate to the starting chest position during descent and do as many reps of Overhead Presses/Right Foot Step-Ups you can for 30 seconds.
- Rest 15 seconds and switch to Left Foot Step-Ups/Overhead Presses for 30 seconds.
- Rest 60 seconds and hydrate before doing the next exercise.
Alternative: Steering Wheel and Stationary Bulgarian Squat (25-Pound Plate)
- To perform the Steering Wheel and stationary Bulgarian Split Squat movement instead, face away from a bench and place your right toe on the bench.
- Hold the 25-pound plate with both hands at chest level with your arms extended away from your chest.
- Bend your right knee and left knee and hold the position while pretending to steer the plate like the steering wheel of a car, rotating the plate for 30 seconds.
- Rest 30 seconds and switch to your left toe on the bench and repeat the movement for 30 seconds.
Single-Leg Cross Rows (25-Pound Plate)
- Hold the plate in your right hand while standing on your left leg with your right foot off the floor.
- Bend both knees while bringing the plate down across your body toward your left ankle.
- Pause one second and pull the plate back up toward your waist.
- Perform 9 more reps.
- Without resting, do 10 Single-Leg Rows on your right leg while holding the plate in your left hand.
- Rest 15 seconds between sets.
Stationary Wall Squat and Press-Outs (10-Pound Plates)
- Hold a 10-pound plate in each hand at chest level with your back against a wall.
- Lower into a Squat and hold the position.
- Explosively press the plates away from your chest, hold for one second.
- Slowly bring the plates back to the start position in two seconds.
- Do as many Press-Outs as you can in 30 seconds while remaining in the squat position.
- Rest 30 seconds and perform another set.
Source: Jim Carpentier
There are plenty of diets out there that you may be contemplating. You may recognize the names of certain diets and know a little bit about them, but do you know which ones are safe and effective and which ones are completely bogus?
Of course, when most people hear the word “diet” they think of a quick fix or something temporary. Really, the term diet is just what you eat. Some diets are more intense than others, and many of the most extreme diets are downright dangerous.
Let’s take a look at the most unhealthy diets out there that you should avoid.
On this diet, you’re only allowed to eat vegetables, fruits and lots of cabbage soup. While fruits and vegetables are certainly good for you (and we should all be eating more of them), you can’t get all of the nutrients your body needs on produce alone. Plus, do you really want to eat cabbage soup all day, every day? Most likely you’ll grow tired of cabbage soup and veggies and you’ll start craving your old favorites, reverting back to your previous eating habits.
2. Baby Food Diet
Although this diet of only pureed foods (mainly vegetables and fruits) isn’t terrible, it’s not meant for adults and isn’t sustainable. You don’t get to chew or enjoy different textures of food, and you can forget about ever dining out or going to parties with friends or family.
3. HCG Diet
This pairs a dangerously-low-calorie diet (500 calories/day) with human choriogonadotropin hormone shots, which aren’t FDA-approved for weight-loss.
4. The Paleo Diet
This focuses on eating how many people envision cavemen once ate, with lots of red meat and no “post-agriculture” foods. Studies have shown it doesn’t lead to weight loss, isn’t good for your heart and is difficult to follow. However, eating truly Paleo–mainly wild plants and lean sources of meat–could be a healthy weight-loss strategy.
5. The Grapefruit Diet
This is centered on a bogus belief that grapefruit has some miracle “fat-burning” compound. Any weight loss experienced on this diet is caused by its low-calorie level.
6. Cleansing and “Detox” Diets
There is no scientific research to back up these diets. Your body is perfectly-equipped to rid itself of so-called toxins and other metabolic by-products because you have kidneys and a liver.
7. The Dukan Diet
This plan allows 100 specific foods eaten in four stages. The problem is that there is no evidence proving it works and it’s extremely restrictive with needless, puzzling rules.
8. The Blood-Type Diet
You can only eat foods based on your blood type. There is absolutely no scientific data showing this eating pattern is effective.
9. Very-Low-Calorie Diet or Fasting
When you cut calories to extremely low levels, your body feels like it’s being starved (technically, it is) and your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. When you return to your previous caloric intake level, your metabolism doesn’t fully recover, causing weight gain because you then need fewer maintenance calories (yo-yo dieting). Plus, during fasts or very-low-calorie diets, you’re losing a lot of water and muscle in addition to fat, but will gain back mostly fat.
The Bottom Line
A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of foods eaten slowly and in moderation. A healthy diet doesn’t forbid certain foods, even those high-calorie foods people crave. No food should be off-limits completely, but it’s important to remember there are “always” foods, “sometimes” foods and “special occasion” foods, and all can be included in your healthy eating plan.
Any diets that completely eliminate or prohibit certain foods or entire food groups altogether generally aren’t healthy (or even safe) and aren’t effective for long-term weight loss or health. Restricting foods, especially those that are very tempting to begin with, leads people to binge-eat those foods later because they feel deprived.
All Photos via AP
For the sixth time in Super Bowl history, the NFL’s best offense (i.e., the team that scored the most points over the course of the season) will challenge the league’s best defense (i.e., the team that allowed the fewest points). This kind of glorious matchup between the best D and the best O happened first in Super Bowl XIII, and it’s only happened five times since, including the game coming up on Sunday night.
Is the old saying, “offense wins games, but defense wins championships,” really true?
Yup, it is empirically proven that the best defense trumps the best offense 80% of the time when the two fight for the Lombardi Trophy. After hours of research, we know the history, and we’re here to tell you who will win Super Bowl XLVIII.
Check out past Super Bowls in which the number one offense faced the number one defense.
Super Bowl XIII
Steelers vs. Cowboys
This was the only time in Super Bowl history when two quarterbacks with two Super Bowl rings [Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach] went head to head to win a third.
It was a true battle of the All Stars. Fourteen players, along with both coaches, the Steelers’ Chuck Noll and the Cowboys’ Tom Landry, were later voted into the Hall of Fame.
Like their QBs, both teams were fighting to be the first to win three Super Bowls. In the end, the Steelers “Steel Curtain” defense, which allowed opponents only 195 points all season, was victorious over the Cowboys best offense in the league, 35-31.
Offense: 0, Defense: 1
Super Bowl XIX
Dolphins vs. 49ers
It was only Dan Marino’s second year in the league, and he broke almost every passing record in the books: most completions in a season, first quarterback to throw for over 5,000 yards, most games throwing for at least 300 yards, most games with 400 yards, most touchdown passes, most games with 4 or more touchdown passes, and most consecutive games with at least 4 touchdown passes.
Sounds a lot like Peyton Manning’s crazy list of QB accomplishments.
Despite the best efforts of superstar quarterback Dan Marino, the Dolphins were defeated by the 49ers’ incredible defensive line, 38-16.
Offense: 0, Defense: 2
Super Bowl XXIV
Broncos vs. 49ers
The 49ers entered the game having already won three Super Bowls, while the Broncos walked in with two previous Super Bowl losses. This top defense vs. top offense matchup went a little differently as a result.
The Broncos tough defense held their own, but Denver QB John Elway ran the offense into the ground. Elway went 10 for 26 with two interceptions, making it virtually impossible for his defensive unit to keep the team alive.
On the flip side, the 49ers had two-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana running the show. The Niners whipped the Broncs 55-10, and Montana was awarded his third Super Bowl ring.
Offense: 1, Defense: 2
Super Bowl XXV
Bills vs. Giants
The Giants number one defense was part of coach Bill Parcells’ strategy for success. His team dominated on defense and his offense could sustain exceptionally long drives. The defense did its job, and the offense adopted the “you can’t win if you don’t have the ball” mentality.
On the other side of the field, the favored Bills top scoring offense had nine Pro Bowl players and top rated QB Jim Kelly. They had racked up 95 points in their two playoff games prior to the Super Bowl, their “no-huddle” offense having left other defenses confused and rushed.
When the two teams faced off in the regular season, the Bills won 17-13, but New York won the big one, 20-19.
Offense: 1, Defense: 3
Super Bowl XXXVII
Raiders vs. Buccaneers
The Oakland Raiders, like all of the best offenses in the past, were favored to win. They were the first franchise to appear in the Super Bowl in four different decades (60s, 70s, 80s and 2000s).
Because Coach Jon Gruden had been with the Raiders from 1998 to 2001 and had moved to Tampa Bay for the 2002 season, this notable game was dubbed the “Gruden Bowl.”
The Bucs’ number one defense came out strong, sacking Raiders QB Rich Gannon five times. They also made five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns.
Dexter Jackson led the Buccaneers to a 48-21 victory over the Raiders, becoming only the second safety to be named Super Bowl MVP.
Offense: 1, Defense: 4
Super Bowl XLVIII Preview
Broncos vs. Seahawks
The Broncos are favored to win because of their incredible offense, led by Peyton Manning. They scored 606 points this season, the most in league history, and Manning crushed the record for most touchdown passes.
However, the underdog Seahawks dominant defense gave up an average of only 14.4 points per game, the lowest in the league.
Something has to give.
We expect history to repeat itself on Sunday when the Seahawks face off against the Broncos at MetLife Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII. Seattle’s top defense will beat Denver’s top offense, making them the fifth top defense to take out a top offense in Super Bowl history.
MVP: Marshawn Lynch.
You read it here first.
Offense: 1, Defense: 5
Souce: Annie Koeblitz | Stack.com
“Steak, please,” I said as I closed my menu. “Medium. I’ll take the sweet potatoes and veggies as my sides.”
I settled into a seat across from two of my friends, both of whom ordered a non-red meat dish. As soon as the waiter left, they launched into a tirade about how “red meat was bad for me,” and that they “couldn’t believe I’d eat something like that.”
“Don’t you write about health and fitness for a living?” one of them said, aghast. “How can you order something so bad for you?”
Quite easily, actually. Because for every concerned neighbor and family member who tells you that meat is “bad for you,” there’s a scientific study—or a scientist—who will tell you that perception is bullhooey.
“[The idea that red meat is bad] has been overhyped,” says Joy Dubost, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “A 3-ounce serving of lean beef packs around 150 calories, which is the same as a skinless chicken breast.”
Talk to Dubost, or many nutritionists like her, and they’ll go on (like she did during a recent telephone conversation) about the health benefits of eating a moderate amount of red meat. Dubost said, “That 3-ounce serving delivers a number of micronutrients. You get over 40 percent of your daily value of B12, which helps maintain nerve tissue, and selenium, a powerful protector against oxidative damage and infection. You’re getting about 35 percent of your daily value of zinc, important for growth and development. You’re getting around 25 percent of the daily value of B6, needed for red blood cell formation. Iron, important in transferring oxygen to blood cells, you’re getting about 12 percent of the daily value. [And] phosphorus, a structural element of bones and teeth, you’re getting about 10 percent.”
Generally, Dubost says, a skinless, boneless chicken breast does not supply the same amount of those micronutrients.
“But red meat is so fatty!”
Yes, it can be—if you’re buying the super-processed stuff, like most deli meats. But if you shop wisely, you’ll find 19 cuts of beef that are considered lean, meaning they contain less than 10 grams of fat per serving. The leanest of those cuts actually packs just one more gram of fat than the “lean” chicken breast my friends so proudly ate across the table from me.
Even if you eat a more marbled cut of red meat, you probably won’t ingest as much fat as you think. “There has been a lot of [discussion] about how a diet high in beef can drive up your saturated fat and total fat intake,” Dubost says. “Beef contributes, generally speaking, on average less than 10 percent of saturated fat and total fat in the diet. If you focus on just the lean cuts, that figure will be even lower.”
This doesn’t mean you should make all of your protein sources slices of steak. It does mean that if you’ve been chowing down on chicken breast at every meal, you’re probably not getting all of the nutrients you could be getting. Look for ways to include different cuts of lean poultry, meat and fish in your diet. It will keep your taste buds interested and your muscles growing.
“It’s all about portion size and variety,” Dubost says. “Red meat can be part of a healthy diet, especially for young athletes, for whom it’s so important to keep refueling and building muscle.”
Dubost’s comments made my steak taste even more delicious.
Source: Sam DeHority
Kettlebell shoulder exercises are great for improving your sport-specific performance. Kettlebell (KB) training originated in Russia many years ago, gaining popularity in the United States only in the last decade.
Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells are designed with the majority of the weight at the bottom and a unique handle on top, which allows you to use two hands simultaneously in various positions. Since the KB mass is centered away from the handle, you can position the bulk of the weight farther away from your hands and body, altering your center of gravity. This adds up to more calories burned, greater strength gains and more functional movement improvements.
Most sports require some form of shoulder strength, but most average people have shoulder weakness. They don’t make enough use of their deltoid muscles, rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, which lift the arm above the head.
Although shoulder size may be genetic, shoulder strength is not. Just because your shoulders look big does not mean they are strong. If you improve shoulder strength and power, you will notice gains in performance.
Below are six kettlebell exercises that will help increase strength and movement.
Elite Kettlebell Shoulder Exercises
1. KB Arm Swing
- Start in a squat position with a slight forward bend.
- Grab the KB between your legs.
- Perform a powerful upward movement, backward hip extension and back extension thrust.
- Use your arms as a “swing” to pull the KB to chin height.
- Keep your arms relatively straight while maintaining the swinging movement through all repetitions.
- Focuses: legs, core, anterior deltoids.
- Sets/Reps: 3 x 15
2. Single-Arm KB Snatch
- In a deep squat, with the KB between your legs, explode upward (almost trying to jump).
- Perform a pulling movement with your arm—like pulling the cord of a lawnmower from between your legs.
- Follow by trying to “punch” the ceiling.
- The KB should point straight up with your body positioned upright underneath the weight.
- Reset. Repeat.
- Focuses: legs, core, rotator cuff, scapula stabilizers, posterior deltoids.
- Sets/Reps: 3 x 8-10
3. KB One-Arm High Pull
- Swing the KB between your legs.
- Quickly reverse the action with a rapid hip and knee extension.
- Simultaneously pull the KB in, ensuring it doesn’t go anywhere near your head.
- As you pull the KB toward you, make a right angle with your arm.
- Keep your elbow as high as the KB and avoid hyperextending your shoulder (i.e., do not pull it back too far).
- Crush grip the handle at all times.
- Exhale during the upward phase, inhale as you lower the KB back between your legs.
- Focuses: legs, core, middle deltoid, trapezius.
- Sets/Reps: 3 x 8-10
4. Lawnmower Pulls
- Start in a squat position with one KB in front of or beside your opposite foot.
- Move upward, rotate your core and lift the KB across and up like starting a lawnmower. The KB should be pointed out, straight in hand.
- Reset. Repeat.
- Focuses: legs, core, obliques, rotator cuff, posterior deltoids.
- Sets/Reps: 3 x 10
5. Shoulder Press
- Perform this movement either while standing or seated.
- Perform like a regular Shoulder Press, except do not let the KB rotate and rest against your wrist. It should be pointing up throughout all repetitions.
- Focuses: anterior and middle deltoids.
- Sets/Reps: 3 x 6-8
6. Bent Rows/Bent Reverse Flys
- Start in the Bent Row Position—knees slightly bent, forward bend at hips and back just above parallel to floor.
- Alternate performing Rows and Reverse Flys.
- Focuses: posterior deltoids, external rotators, mid and lower traps.
- Sets/Reps: 3 x 6-8
Source: Patrick Mendez | Stack.com