The Most Effective Leg Exercises

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Leg exercises should be a key part of any workout routine. But, many people avoid them because they can be very demanding. Yet, everyone wants great legs!

While there is no absolute best leg exercises, here are a few of the most effective ones.

Squats

Squats are often called the king of all leg exercises, and it is justified. According to owner of Explosively Fit Strength Training Gym Danny O’Dell, full-depth back squats will increase the muscle mass in your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes.

They will also help to strengthen joints and tendons ,boost your metabolism and release endorphins.

Split Squats and Lunges

People tend to underestimate the effectiveness of the single-leg exercises like lunges, pistol squats and step-ups. But, according to many physical therapists, those types of exercises help boost muscle growth and can help prevent future injury.

Glute Ham Raise

This is not an exercise you are going to see being performed at your local gym. But it should be a core part of your workout routine.  Kneel on the seat of a lat pull down and face away from the weight stack, with your ankles secured under the pad. Bend forward from your knees and descend toward the floor. Go Slow and squeeze your glutes and hamstrings as hard as you possibly can. This will pack on some serious muscle.

Calf Raises

For a stunning set of legs, this is the go to exercise for most women, but men really should not overlook it. Training your calf muscles, can be tough using just your body weight, but that is the best way to get started. As you get better, try adding free weights or use machines as you can.

Image: Maria Ly

References

Bodybuilding Universe: Tom Platz Talks Squatting

Precision Nutrition; Deadlifting with Eric Cressey; Myles Kantor

Brian Mac; Conditioning: The King of exercises: the Squat; Danny O’Dell

How You Can Make Vitamin Water

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There are recipes and tips and videos and how to’s and even e Books you can buy and download that will teach you the secret and mystical way to make vitamin and flavored waters.

It isn’t hard, there is not big grand secret. In fact, most people have already done this at one time or another.

Ingredients

Water

Just plain old water or whatever kind of water you want to use.

Fruit

Any type you happen to like. You can use fresh or even frozen will do just fine.

Herbs

Herbs are an amazing way to add a little something extra, but they do need to be fresh.

Put your ingredient together, let steep for however long it takes (that will depend on whatever it was you are using as flavoring). Then drink.

Now the real trick is knowing what to put in your water to produce the results that you want.

If you are looking for a pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon, then you want something that has some stimulating properties.

So maybe a fruit and an herb from the mint family. Like lemon and mint or Pineapple and basil. Something to replenish you after a workout? Then you may want something with a little more substance, like fruit, ginger and honey.

If you know how to get the most out of your fruit or the herb you are using, you will have mastered the art of flavoring your water. Fruits are easy, just cut up and put in the water. Herbs on the other hand will need to be smashed with a spoon or chopped to release the flavors.

Make up your own combinations and enjoy!

Image: D. Sharon Pruitt

 

 

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda Home Remedies

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Everyone knows that most household products contain chemicals that can be harmful, not to mention pricey. But, what many people don’t know is that they can actually make many of the every day products they use. Two of the easiest ingredients to work with are Baking soda and lemon juice, both of which are staples in most households.

By themselves, they each can tackle a great number of tasks, but when you combine them you have a super duo that can tackle some of your trickiest problems.

 Whiten Your Teeth at Home

Many commercial teeth whiteners can actually strip the enamel right off of your teeth, which can lead to significant damage. A safer alternative would be to just make your own whitening tooth paste at home.

Take a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and then add lemon juice until the mixture starts to foam and bubble up. Then using cotton swabs, paint the mixture on your teeth, let it set for about one minute, then brush your teeth like you normally would. Make sure you don’t leave this mix on your teeth for more than a minute, because it can eat away at the enamel if left on too long. Use no more than once a week until the desired whiteness is achieved then once every couple of months to maintain the whiteness.

 DIY Deodorant

Most commercial deodorants contain aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s. Even though more research is needed before it can be called an actual cause, it never hurts to be cautious. So, why not just make your own deodorant.

Just take Baking soda and pat it onto your armpit. Corn starch works too, but not as well). Baking soda naturally absorbs sour-smell-producing acids. After you have dabbed on the baking soda spritz a little lemon juice over the baking soda to help balance your pH levels. You will be fresh smelling and clean all day.

 Tummy Troubles

According to the Mayo Clinic, many people feel that their digestive tract is in need of some additional help.

Drinking the juice of one lemon or more every day provides digestive aid, according to Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman who is the author of “The Fat Flush Diet.”

Another recommendation is to mix 1 teaspoon of baking power and 8 ounces of water and drink every 2 hours to “alkalize your system,” according to Rebecca Wood, author of the award-winning book, “The Splendid Grain.”

But, you should check with your health practitioner to make sure that baking soda, which is also called sodium bicarbonate, is safe for you.

 Sparkling Cleaning Ideas

Separately, lemons and baking soda both are amazing and useful household cleaning products. Many people will leave a box of Baking Soda open in their refrigerator to eliminate odors. A lemon cut in half and dipped into salt is the best way to polish copper. But, when you combine these two products, that bubbly paste you create is a powerhouse of cleaning that will make quick work of everything from greasy appliances to polishing and removing stains from time ravaged baking sheets.
Wipe on, let set a few minutes then wipe off.

Image:Daniella Segura

References

Alzheimer’s Society: Aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease

R. Wood: Detox Diet

Mrs. Clean: Removing Deodorant Stains

“The Fat Flush Foods”; Ann Louise Gettleman, MS, CNS,; 2004

Doctor Oz: Naturally White Teeth, Part Two