Whether to aid in the execution of your exercises or to simply have a suitable platform to perform yoga and stretching, choosing a gym mat is an important decision.
When choosing a gym mat that fits your needs the best, three primary characteristics should be considered before purchasing. Those three characteristics are comfort, size, and durability. Of course, price is not to be forgotten as well, however, identifying your budget is up to you!
While you consider these three characteristics, it will also help to know the primary purpose or intent of the gym mat. In other words, what types of activities do you plan to perform on it and at what frequencies?
The last thing you want when exercising is the distraction of discomfort, especially if you plan to train on your gym mat regularly. Comfortability typically derives from both the level of thickness and the material it’s made of.
Related to comfort, the durability of your gym mat is also important, especially when you consider the amount you plan to use it. You don’t want to invest in a gym mat that will only deteriorate after a short time, ultimately requiring the reinvestment of another gym mat.
When choosing a gym mat, ensure that the size when fully rolled out will fit your body size comfortably. Choosing a size will also largely depend on what activities you intend to use it for.
A goblet squat is a great lower-body exercise the requires you to hold a weight infront of your chest to perform the squat. The benefits of a goblet squat are vast, making it great for both beginners and experts alike.
While goblet squats can be executed without heels elevated, heel elevated goblet squats prove to be much more effective for quad activation, posture, and ease of execution for those with less ankle mobility.
1. Heel-Elevated Bodyweight Goblet Squat
A great entry-level movement for those not yet prepared to introduce weights to the workout.
2. Heel-Elevated Banded Goblet Squat
For those still not prepared to introduce weights still looking to increase the difficulty level, heels elevated goblet squat with a resistance band is a great option.
3. Heel-Elevated Kettlebell Goblet Squat
If you want to introduce weights to the goblet squat, using a kettlebell or dumbbell is the likely option.
4. Heel-Elevated Goblet Split Squat
To increase the difficulty level, perform it unilaterally, otherwise known as a goblet split squat.
5. Heel-Elevated Landmine Goblet Squat
Finally, the heels elevated goblet squat using a landmine is another variation of a weighted goblet squat.
Eager to build lean abs but unsure where to start?
Then, you’ve come to the right place! The secret to building lean abs lies not only in the ab workouts you perform but also in the cardiovascular exercise you do and the diet that you follow.
In this article, however, we’ll be focusing on the exercises the help build lean abs and how you can curate them into a lean abs workout. What follows will be an outline of the top 5 exercises YOU can do to build lean abs that you’ve always dreamed of.
Top 5 Abdominal Exercises for Building Lean Abs
Before diving into the details, it’s important to mention the necessity of a few things when performing a given workout…
First, you must prioritize warming up before jumping into the workout to prime the body for action and reduce the risk of injury. Second, ensure that you’re executing each exercise properly, not only to get the most out of the workout but to avoid injury.
The following lean abs workout can be adjusted for your current ability and fitness levels; for more intensity, increase reps and vice versa.
1. The Classic Crunch
2. Lying Leg Raises
3. Static Plank
- Begin face down with your forearms and toes on the ground, and your hips elevated.
4. Russian Oblique Twist
5. Mountain Climbers
There you have it! Five ab exercises to incorporate into your next lean abs workout!
Whether you’re a stranger to the gym or you’re an experienced lifter, you’re likely familiar with the abundance of available exercise equipment on the market. Again, if you’re a member of a corporate gym, you know what we’re talking about.
The same is true when speaking of barbells; the options are truly endless! From straight bars, trap bars, thick bars, axle bars, Swiss bars, and EZ curl bars, there’s no shortage of options.
As you become familiar with these types of barbells through research or practice, you begin to experience the differences between each, with some better than others for evident reasons.
In short, you also learn what truly makes a barbell effective and what factors make it not so effective. That’s where the EZ bar curl comes into play!
What is an EZ Curl Bar?
If you’ve ever seen a shortened barbell that’s variably bent in nature, it was likely the EZ Curl bar that you’ve witnessed. In short, an EZ curl bar is just that; a squiggly, zig-zag-like bar designed ergonomically for optimal comfort during exercises such as bicep curls (i.e. EZ bar curls) and tricep skull crushers, among other movements.
While there are several variations and brands of the EZ curl bar, each offering a slightly different thickness and weight, the standard is much the same; to make exercises more ergonomically comfortable, especially for novice lifters.
Because of its unique shape, the relief many feel in both their wrists and forearms during training is evident, making for a very popular piece of equipment in the gym.
With all of that being said, the benefits and advantages of the EZ curl bar are vast, suitable for both the novice and experienced lifter alike. So, the next time you’re in the gym and you come across an EZ curl bar, be sure to give it a go; it might just become your new favourite piece of equipment!
The Advantages of Using an EZ Curl Bar
As prefaced above, the benefits and advantages of an EZ curl bar, especially during EZ bar curls and tricep skull crushers, are vast, making for an optimal piece of equipment, no matter the workout.
While the traditional barbell is straight and rigid, the EZ curl bar is much more versatile, which is why many have made the shift towards its use. The following are several advantages to using an EZ curl bar:
Comfortability Due to its Ergonomically Sound Design
It can’t be overemphasized the importance of ergonomics when lifting. Not only does a comfortable and ergonomic grip reduce the risk of injury and strain but it also makes for a much more comfortable and effective experience during any given exercise.
That’s why the EZ curl bar is so comfortable. Thanks to its unusual zig-zag-like design, users can achieve a much more desirable thus comfortable position during exercises such as the EZ bar curl, skull crushers, and the like.
With wrists in a safe position, and by avoiding positions of external rotation you would otherwise experience using a straight barbell, lifters can achieve the results they want in the most comfortable way possible.
Practical and Convenient Size
If you’re no stranger to the gym, you’re familiar with the size of a standard barbell. Not only does it weigh 45 pounds but it also spans nearly seven feet in length. For obvious reasons, its size can make desirable movements less convenient in an enclosed space or smaller sized gym area.
The EZ curl bar, on the other hand, weighs in at a fraction of the weight of a standard barbell, and at half the length. This, in short, makes it a much more practical piece of equipment, ideal for both conventional gym workouts as well as at-home workouts.
For an all-around versatile and accessible piece of equipment, opt for the EZ curl bar!
Greater Muscle Activation and Isolation
Recent studies have shown that EZ curl bars are much more effective at muscle activation, especially during movements like the EZ bar curl. This is likely because the design of the bar places the user in an ideal position to activate such a muscle.
Ultimately, the EZ curl bar allows users to achieve a much more complete workout, hitting all heads of the muscle without any extra effort on the part of the lifter. If you’re looking to maximize your gains in the gym, especially for your biceps and triceps, the EZ curl bar is the mechanism for YOU!
For all the reasons discussed above is why it makes for an extremely accessible piece of exercise equipment for the novice lifter of the group. That’s not to say it’s not incredible for the experienced lifter as well…
It simply proves that because of its comfort, ergonomic design, size, and ability to achieve optimal muscular activation without any additional effort or knowledge of technique on behalf of the lifter, the EZ curl bar is the ultimate beginner’s tool.
With such a low barrier to entry for usage, there’s no excuse not to try it!
Grip Variations of an EZ Curl Bar
Thanks to the variable design of the EZ curl bar, there are several different grip options for you to try, each offering its unique advantages and target points depending on the exercise.
The Following are the Various EZ Curl Bar Grips:
While we won’t go into detail about each grip variation, it’s important to define the difference between pronated and supinated grip.
Simply put, a pronated grip involves placing your hands in a position whereby your palms are facing up, ultimately achieving an “underhand” grip. Contrastingly, a supinated grip involves placing your hands in a position whereby your palms are facing down, ultimately achieving an “overhand” grip.
Using the EZ bar curl (i.e. bicep curl) as an example, a pronated grip would achieve a completely targeted bicep curl. On the other hand, a supinated grip would achieve more of a forearm-targeted curl, targeting less of the bicep as a whole.
Outside of the pronation and supination options, the EZ curl bar also allows you to take on three different grip lengths; standard, narrow, and wide. For reasons obvious enough that we won’t elaborate on, each grip length targets the muscle differently, with each optimal for certain exercises and less optimal for others.
Capable Exercises Using an EZ Curl Bar
As mentioned before, the EZ curl bar is an extremely versatile piece of equipment, offering its user the ability to execute several types of exercises and variations of those exercises.
The Following are Several Effective Exercises Using an EZ Curl Bar:
To learn more, be sure to check out our other blog posts!
With exercise becoming increasingly popular, the costs of gym memberships to increase. Especially with the current COVID pandemic, many gyms have closed down meaning that home gyms have become extremely popular. Just because you aren’t a gym junkie doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider making a home gym. A home gym is beneficial for all, anyone that lives with you whether that’s your family or your spouse, and even beneficial for those that live around you who can pop in for a workout every now and then. In this article, I go through a couple of benefits about home gyms, and why you should consider having one for yourself.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL ANYWHERE!
One of the worst things about working out is convincing yourself to go. You have to find your gym attire, you have to make sure you don’t forget any of your lifting equipment, you have to remember your water bottle, towel, and the list goes on and on. Once you’ve got all your stuff, you have to drive to the gym. If you’re lucky, the gym is less than 5 minutes away from you, but it’s more likely that your gym is a 5 to 15-minute drive for most people. Once you get to the gym, you realise you’ve forgot your headphones, so now your workout is going to suck. Is that all too familiar? With a home gym, you don’t have to do any of this. You can just walk downstairs and get started, and hey if you forgot anything, just go upstairs and grab it!
DON’T HAVE TO SHARE EQUIPMENT OR WAIT AROUND
One awesome thing about working out from home is that you never have to worry about sharing your equipment. This can be one of the most frustrating things, especially when you’re trying to get through your workouts quickly. I have recently had the chance to buy the Gr8flex multi training gym equipment, and this makes it even easier for me to work out as I can do everything on my own.
NO MORE MONTHLY COSTS!
Yes, you don’t have as much access to all the equipment. This isn’t a really huge problem though because all of your costs to make your home gym are fixed. You buy the equipment once, and you can use it without ever having to pay a cent for it again. The crazy thing is, you can build an incredibly awesome gym without ever having to pay a cent and you can build an extremely good physique. Believe me, I’ve done it!
THE HOME GYM IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE
During the COVID pandemic of 2020/21, we saw that gyms closed. This made home gym equipment raise in prices. People take it for granted that gyms are open and available so they assume they will always stay that way. This isn’t always the case, and 2020 and 2021 taught us that. Having a home gym at your place means that it’s ALWAYS available. Pandemic or not, nothing can stop you – well, injury can, but stay safe! I hope these benefits were useful! Thanks for reading through my article.