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Your Ultimate Guide to Occlusion Training via Blood Flow Restriction

If you want to know if Occlusion training, otherwise known as blood flow restriction training, can help you build muscle faster, then you've come to the right place.

Blood flow restriction training is a bit of a hot topic in the bodybuilding community. Along with it sounding scientific, some are saying introducing blood flow restricting bands may be one of the most revolutionary developments in weight training of the 21st century.

What is occlusion training? Here is a brief definition:
Occlusion training, or blood flow restriction training, can be defined as the training of muscle(s) while limiting blood flow to these muscles. This is typically done by performing high intensity, low weight, lifts while using some form of tourniquet or band to limit blood supply to limb being trained.

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How much does a trap bar weigh

How much does a trap bar weigh? And how to do hex bar deadlifts!

I remember the good ol’days when a barbell was your only choice for squats deadlift and bench. How things have changed, google anything fitness related and you will find rigorous strength training courses, be inundated with dietary advice and receive a generous helping of “bro-science.” Well, it turns out that some of the shiny new toys our modern gyms have to offer might be worth a second look.

It just so happens to be the case that for most of your weightlifting requirements, a trap bar is an excellent tool for the job. You may have seen one in your gym, or you might have heard someone talk about how easy it is to perform a balanced deadlift or shoulder raise with them.

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Hack Squat vs Squat

Hack Squats Vs Normal Squats – Which should you be doing in 2018?

The Squat is one of the three exercises in the strength sport of powerlifting, beside deadlifts and benchpress, mainly strengthening your leg and buttock muscles. And Hack Squat and Squat are two of the most effective variations of it.

There are many controversial opinions between professionals as well as gymers about which one is more beneficial. Unfortunately, if you look for a round on several gym blogs, you will surely be in disorder because there’s definitely no right or wrong answer to this question.

The only solution is a complete comparison between Squats with Hack Squats so that you can choose the more suitable exercise for your workouts. This confrontation includes the differences in muscles targeted, pros and cons and how-to-do.

Before entering the showdown, let’s have a brief overview on two types of squats in order to discriminate them without mistakes.

These squats are usually performed with a barbell kept on the upper-back shoulders to move up and down your core. The hack squats are executed on a machine tilted 45 degrees to the floor by using your legs to move the weight held on your shoulders.


Things To Consider: Hack Squats Vs. Squats

Muscles Worked

Squats are a full body exercise which targets primarily the muscles of thighs, hips and buttock, quadriceps and hamstrings as well as the muscles in the lower back. They also help trainees build up abdominal muscles and develop core strength.

Back Squat

Squat

Hack Squat

Hack Squat - strengthsensei.com

On the other hand, Hack squats are a multi-jointed exercise mainly training the quadriceps muscles on the front of your thigh and the gluteus maximus.

Pros And Cons

Hack Squats

The hack squats is a superb method thanks to its supportive equipment if you are faced with unbalanced problem of your leg muscles. The hack machine provides you the balance and stability to protect your lower back from injuries, which the freestanding squat rack cannot.

Moreover, it permits trainees to adopt a smaller stance while making the motions without the tension in imbalance.

  • It is extremely appropriate for the beginners to perform until the body is strong, balanced and stable enough to practice with the more difficult squat variations.
  • The risk of tensions in your lower back is reduced less than in squats, but still definitely exists.
Hack Squat

However, your posture isn’t natural as your body is fixed based on the structure of the machine. With that said, your back is moved in a sloping position instead of vertically, your head and neck may be forced into a narrow space some machines have.

  • You may choose heavy weight for your strong legs. However, your shoulders might be unbearable when you push up the weight. Either low bar or high bar, it can cause serious tension problem.
  • The sudden drop might be a problem that folds your legs immediately and causes serious injuries for the legs if you cannot control the speed and grasp the handle firmly when moving down.

Squats

Squats are a whole body workout since this exercise tones up not only your quads, hamstrings, and calves but also your biceps, triceps and chest. Therefore, your body is totally trained to burn off calories and decrease body fat.

  • Your abdominal muscles are called upon simultaneously when performing this exercise, which helps you build up your abs and obtain a six-pack.
  • Squats remain the flexibility of your body as you get older by increasing the leg strength - the determinant factor of flexibility.
  • If you ensure to maintain a balance of the weight on both sides of your body, you will avoid several injuries partly. 
  • 90% of most gym traumas stems from weak stabilizer muscles.
Back Squat

But ...

  • Squatting heavily on a consistent base would create a higher level of stress on your knees and lower back, which makes them liable to traumas.
  • Your lumber spine safety is significantly considered despite an incorrect position of your back and an inappropriate weight. Many gymers have to suffer back injuries when they practice with a too curved posture.

Variations

There are also many variations of hack squats you can practice such as: barbell hack squats, hack squats with Smith machine. And about these of back squats, front squats, Sumo squats or overhead squats are also ideal alternatives to challenge yourself.

Don’t forget to consider carefully related your gymnastic goals!


How To Do Hack Squats 

  • Put your back of the torso on the back pad and your shoulders under the shoulder pads. Keep your head straight forward and back on the pad during the exercise.
  • Examine the safety and weight of the bars and then unbolt.
  • Straighten your legs without locking knees. Put your feet at shoulder width apart and your toes a little outwards.
  • Gradually descend by curving the knees until the point in which the upper legs are under parallel to the ground. Breathe in when performing.
  • Gradually ascend mainly with your heels in control while straightening your legs and return to the starting position. Breathe out when performing.
  • Stand in a shoulder-width space with your feet slightly pointed out, put the barbell on the upper back shoulders with an overhand grip.
  • Slowly descend by curving your knees and pushing your hips back until the bottom of squat and then keep this posture for 3-5 seconds. Inhale when performing these actions.
  • Slowly push the barbell up and return to starting position as you exhale.

Hack Squats Vs. Squats – The Winner Is?

As mentioned at the beginning, it is really difficult to find out an exact answer for this showdown since it significantly depends on your physiques, exercise goals and efforts.

These superlative squat exercises have their different pros and cons, so the key strategy is how to take advantage of the benefits and minimize the weaknesses to obtain the achievement expected.

Hungry For More Squatting Info?

If you want to read more about squats then we here at Fitness Purity have you covered! Take a look at:

The benefits of Front Squats vs Back Squats, and how to do them correctly - This article is essential info for those wanting to venture into the land of front squats.  We discuss the form and common beginner mistakes, as well as pros and cons of both exercises before determining which one would be added in your fitness journey.

Should You Use Knee Sleeves for Squats?   We review the five best options and explain when you need to switch to a knee wrap instead.

Thanks for reading, and before you go, please leave a comment below to discuss which one is your favorite. 


How To Do Front Squats

The benefits of Front Squats vs Back Squats, and how to do them correctly

As we all know, to have an overall stunning physique, you need to also workout on below-the-belt muscles, aka the legs and buttocks. Alongside traditional back squats for leg gains, we have it's less famous sibling, the front squat; an exercise that requires the bar to be in front you instead of on your back.

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Neutral Grip Pull Ups

How to Conquer Neutral Grip Pull Ups

There’s no getting around the fact that - if you desire a muscular and stronger back, your workout needs to include pull ups, as this is THE exercise for a perfectly V-shape back.

We have all seen those giant ripped dudes perform this exercise at the gym and many of us wish that we could do the same. Honestly, I used to think that doing it was nearly impossible for me since I was just not able to lift my own bodyweight when I started working out.

However, I really was fascinated by the great benefits the exercise brings, so I tried and tried and then found out that through techniques like assisted pull ups, negatives and reverse push ups I was able to conquer this daunting exercise.

Read on to find out more...

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Upside Down Situps

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises – Including Upside Down Sit Ups

Body weight training provides you with a highly efficient endurance and strength workout that's guaranteed to improve your fitness and core strength.

However, the movements in body weight ab workouts are far more challenging than the typical crunches.

These types of exercises, especially upside down sit ups, are capable of giving your abs size and definition, a surefire way to achieving that six-pack.

So, in this article, we will list down all of the body weight ab exercises you’ll need to gain more muscles in your midsection.

Body Weight Training Versus Weight Machines

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises: Upside Down Sit Ups As A Must-Have

One of the common culprits that keep people from weightlifting, especially women, is free from weight lifting. People are scared to get injured and often in too much of a hurry to rack and unrack a barbell.

They prefer weight machines and equipment, and in some cases, these may provide you with all the benefits as that of the bodyweight workouts.

They both build endurance and strength. However, with weight machines, you need to invest in purchasing them or sign up for the gym.

Also, a lot of people do not have any idea how to use them. That’s why they have to get a trainer to give them a crash course on using the equipment.

​A belief also points out that weight machines give off a narrow range of motion. Also, it only targets a particular muscle group. But, for bodyweight exercises, you can work on a couple of muscle groups simultaneously, in all directions you want.

​For beginners in strength training, bodyweight workouts are also very accessible, modifiable, and convenient.

They do not require any gym membership or machine to perform. What you need is just your body and enough room to move around. Moreover, these exercises are easy enough to execute, so a lot of people can do them with friends, instead of trainers.

​Bodyweight core workouts also lessen the risk of developing injuries. In comparison to using gym machines, utilizing your body also allows you to work the smaller, less commonly targeted muscles.

A lot of women are scared that weightlifting can alter their body composition in a manner that it makes them more muscular. They are afraid to bulk up when they focus more on strength training, instead of burning fat and calories.

But, it is just a myth. The female body becomes leaner, stronger, and more toned when adding weightlifting to a routine typically dominated by cardiovascular exercises. If you need further convincing, check out this article. 

Working your muscles will burn fat even after you have left the gym, while cardio does not.

You need your core for stability

For you to understand why some exercises are more worthy of your time and effort than others, you need to consider the purpose your abs serve in your body.

The primary purpose of your abs is to act as stabilizer muscles.

​In fact, they keep your torso in line while you walk, stand, lie down, or sit down. Think of your abdominal muscles as a link that binds your legs and your upper body.

​The best metaphor I can think off which describes a strong core is a well-built bridge. Do you feel secure and confident while crossing it?

Well, performing bodyweight ab workouts will provide you with a midsection that is as sturdy as a modern bridge.

Bodyweight Ab Exercises You Have To Try

Here is a list of the bodyweight ab workouts that are worthwhile to include in your exercise routine:

Plank

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises: Upside Down Sit Ups As A Must-Have

The plank is an excellent exercise for newbies. But, for pros, it can be boring to lie on your elbows for minutes without moving. It is a shame because it can be a great foundation for the other workouts in your routine.

For instance, when you do a front lever or a dragon flag, you are activating the same core muscles which can be targeted with greater ease by doing the plank.

The workout starts off with you holding the initial position of a push-up. But, you place your weight on your elbows instead of your palms. You have to retain a horizontal position when you execute the plank.

That way, you will transfer the force to your abs to keep your body aligned properly. Although you have to hold the plank while balancing your toes and elbows, you can modify the exercise in various ways.

For beginners, you may begin on your knees instead of your toes. On the other hand, advanced athletes can lift up your leg or arm, or both.

So, for individuals who don’t have arm and shoulder strength, they may find it hard to hold the plank position. For people who lack core strength, the elbow plank can be quite challenging.

As the angle of your body gets near to becoming parallel with the floor, it also becomes tougher for your muscles to stabilize its form. Also, when you bend your elbows, it will stress your arms and shoulders.​

Upside Down Sit ups

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises: Upside Down Sit Ups As A Must-Have

The workout is usually known as the hanging leg raises. Experts often call this as the peak of ab fitness and training. What you have to do to perform upside down sit ups is to grab the bar and hang on there.

Then, dangle your feet and crunch as you draw your knees. Your hips should be close to your chest. You have to feel that you are burning calories as you move.

You have to presume that you are emphasizing a rock-hard abdomen. But, you are also working on your hip flexors.

​Additionally, you have to keep your body stable. Then, let your abdominal muscles do all of the work by lifting your legs when executing a hanging leg raise.

​But, you need to remember that the emphasis on your core is exhausting, especially when you grip hard enough on the bar. You have to include your hanging sit-ups to your complete core training routine.

​But, you do not have to depend on the workout as an ab exercise.

​To perform this movement, you have to begin with a bent-knee. Furthermore, you have to move toward straightening your legs slowly. Then, bring your toes all the way up to the bar eventually. Also, you should extend your knees completely.

L-sit

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises: Upside Down Sit Ups As A Must-Have

For intermediate to pro level, they incorporate this to gymnastics frequently. Like the plank, you have to maintain a fixed position for a specified period. But, it is still possible to execute a plank with a severe form.

​But, by doing so, it is most likely to perform the L-sit in a wrong manner too. To perform the L-sit, you have to start by sitting on the floor.

​Then, extend your legs right in front of you. Put your palms on the ground right out of your hips. You have to clutch your abs as you lift your legs and hips off the ground as you push your hands.

​Moreover, you have to point your elbows behind you as you hug your triceps toward your lats. The movement work on not only your abs but also another group of muscles. You may begin by letting your knees bent.

Then, work towards straightening your legs fully. Newbies may find it easier to practice this workout while elevated on bars or handles. That way, they will support their body while lifting the legs in the initial position.​

Front Lever

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises: Upside Down Sit Ups As A Must-Have

The exercise is a more advanced way to work on your whole upper body. Also, it is a great workout for your abdominal muscles. The idea here is to hang your body from an overhead bar.

​Then, pull your legs and trunk into a horizontal position, so you are parallel to the floor. You should maintain a smooth movement. But, do not think that this is too easy for you.

​The first level is a goal you have to work on over time. That way, you will have a slow yet smooth progression.

Dragon Flag

5 Of The Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises: Upside Down Sit Ups As A Must-Have

It is a well-known mark of the modern martial artist Bruce Lee; the dragon flag has become a popular training method for athletes for a strong core. You have to perform the dragon flag lying face-up on the ground or a bench.

​Then, your hands should grab the sturdy object behind your head for assistance. The goal of this movement is to lift your whole body up, following a straight line. Then, you have to stack it vertically right over your shoulders.

​From that position, you have to lower down your body as you maintain a straight line from your trunks through your toes. Repeat the entire process up and down for the next reps.

Conclusion

Whether you are still a strength training beginner or an advanced trainee, there are always a few challenges to face to strengthen your core.

​But, you have to keep your workout routine fresh and fun by doing the exercises above. Remember that when you stabilize your torso, you are also working on your abs.

​It means that the progress you create on your abs training will be more efficient with the help of the list of workouts mentioned above.

They are pretty much everything you’ll ever need for strong abdominal muscles, and the six pack you have always wanted. For a more hardcore training, you can even experiment and modify each one of them for unique variations.

How To Do Dumbbell Rows

How To Do Dumbbell Rows Like A Pro

The dumbbell row is one of indispensable exercises to target the upper-body muscles always practiced by professionals; however, unfortunately, it usually is ignored by many gymers.

To be completely honest, although it’s considered too “easy” and perhaps boring, this exercise is a great tool for the beginners or experienced gymmers. Trust me you will be astonished because of surprising results it brings to you.

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How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Sauna

How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Sauna?

The word "sauna" is actually derived from Finnish, as it had been used a long time ago by ancient Finns as a form of bath. The Finns used these so-called "sweat baths" to reinvigorate their minds and detoxify their bodies.

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Abs Everyday

3 Powerful Training Routines For A Bonanza Of Abs Everyday

Ab workout routines have always been a hot topic among fitness orientated people, because everybody wants that sexy six-pack. Ironically, the most desirable physical trait, having a six-pack, is also the toughest one to get.

However, questions like how to build a six-pack and how long does it take to develop one are completely out of this article scopes; follow the link to a different article to find your answers.

In this article we are going to try and help you pick the low hanging fruit, by working on your upper abdominals, these are far easier to show off than the lower abs!

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How To Do A Kip Up

How To Do A Kip Up With 5 Progressive Exercises

Nowaday, new training methods are being developed with every passing second around the globe. Additionally, static exercises are not so popular anymore. People tend to shift their focus on movements that incorporate flexibility and overall coordination of their bodies.

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