Category Archives for "Malewellness"

TRX training is the future of functional training!

TRX training is the future of functional training

Tea vs coffee, cats vs dogs, Batman vs Superman! I’m sure you have your preferences based on various beliefs, experiences and opinions. TRX Suspension training vs weight training is a discussion in the fitness and sports industry. Furthermore there is an ongoing debate of the value of stable versus unstable surface training. In theory exercise on an unstable surface would detract from building strength. Finally TRX training builds strength by doing exercises that workout the whole body. It offers the following opportunities to upgrade your training:

  • Improving your agility and speed
  • Better Core Workouts
  • Introducing more Diverse exercises and training

Improving your agility and speed

A 2014 study analysed TRX suspension training and weight training. They looked at how they compared in building muscle strength and power. No significant difference was found in improving strength and power levels. But TRX training activates and targets muscles that weight training generally miss. An example is the serratus anterior muscle which are located over your ribs between your lats and abs. Finally the study found that TRX training is most effective in improving speed and jumping ability. It creates unique challenges due to the coordinated and integrated body movements. TRX training creates unique, proprioceptive challenges that reinforce muscle firing sequences and motor patterns. These transfer directly into movements commonly found in sport and life. As a result TRX training demands coordinated and integrated body movement to develop speed and agility.

Better Core Workouts with TRX Training

The research was conclusive that TRX training provides the best core workouts. Four suspension training exercises were tested. These were hip abduction in plank, hamstring curl, chest press and 45° row. Core muscle activity was higher compared to to doing similar weight training exercises. Therefore doing exercises on unstable support surfaces requires activation of more core muscles. You are working muscles groups synergistically, rather than in isolation.

Introducing more Diverse exercises and training

TRX training offers great diversity ensuring your training doesn’t become boring. You make adjustments to increase the intensity of all your exercises. Changing the position of your feet or hands introduces a new set of challenges. TRX training takes care of all the neglected muscle groups your regular training misses. TRX exercises are more functional than lifting weights or using machines. Consequently TRX training prevents more sports injuries compared to weight training. This is because you are exercising groups of muscles rather than isolating individual ones. Finally unlike gyms, TRX suspension training equipment is portable and scalable. It allows for more flexibility about when and where you want to workout.

​Many TRX training exercises can be adapted to ensure you are challenged. TRX training equipment allows you to adjust the straps to calibrate resistance. These adjustments has seen traditional exercises evolve into multi-muscle workouts. These exercises use your body weight different in angles to engage more muscle groups. Focusing on your balance strengthens and grows many more muscles throughout the body.

Studies show that TRX training is disrupting the sports and fitness industry. The equipment invented by a former Navy SEAL has turned into a multi-million dollar business. This revolutionary fitness device is the future of functional training for everyone. TRX training is for you if you are looking for more training options. You will gain both core endurance and muscular strength. Finally you will enhance the diversity of your training.

​Do you think you would add TRX workouts to your regular training program? Male-wellness appreciates your comments, feedback and questions on this topic or any others.

6 Beginner Yoga poses for Men

beginner yoga poses for men

Starting something new for the first time can be intimidating. For most men heading to a yoga class would be an uncomfortable experience. Yoga has a reputation as a practice just for woman and most classes you visit will reflect this. Doing beginner yoga poses for men at home before attending a class will help relax you. Below are 6 beginner yoga poses for men which are a great introduction to the practice. Start by holding each pose for 1-2 minutes while focusing on breathing deeply and smoothly. I would recommend doing them at home 2 or 3 times a week.

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward facing dog is one of the most important beginner yoga poses for men. It is a staple of many of the popular yoga styles and is part of the Sun Salutation sequence. The pose will strengthen your shoulders, back, hips, hamstrings, calves, hands and wrists. Its brings the attention to all of those tight areas that usually challenge men. Internally the downward dog improves heart circulation, furthermore helping to reduce stress. As a result it is hugely beneficial if you have high blood pressure.

How to do it: Start with your palms down on the floor shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Curl your toes, lift your hips to the ceiling and form an upside-down “V,” with back flat. Press down through palms and elongate from the hands to the hipbone. Finally to bring more length to your spine, add a slight bend in your knees which will encourage more full-body circulation.

Upward Facing Dog -  Urdhvamukha shvanasana

beginner yoga poses for men upward Facing Dog

Man doing Upward Facing Dog

One of the more physically demanding beginner yoga poses for men. It is great for warming up the muscles as this stretch and will get your blood flowing. The focus of the posture is to open your chest and also strengthen the back and arms. Highly recommended if you sit behind a desk or a car wheel for far too many hours. In addition the pose has benefits if you have breathing difficulties. Also the Up Dog aligns the spine and invigorates the kidneys and nervous system.

How to do it: Lie face-down on the floor with your thumbs under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor. Tuck your hips downward as you squeeze your glutes. Finally keeping your shoulders down, push up and lift your chest off the ground. Relax and repeat. Focus on pushing through the hands as this lengthens the body and brings the wrists, elbows, and shoulders into alignment. Avoid collapsing weight onto the wrists as this can be painful and will negatively impact the chest, neck and shoulders.

Crescent Lunge - Anjaneyasana

This is a dynamic pose that stretches and strengthens the lower and upper body, while creating stability and balance. Regular runners will appreciate this beginner yoga pose for men as it refines subtle strength and balance, especially in the core and the legs. When you do the crescent lunge correctly you will experience expansion in the front of the body which increases energy and reduces fatigue.

How to do it: From down dog, place one foot forward between your hands, stacking the front knee over the front ankle, feet hip distance apart—basically in a low lunge. Keep your back knee solid but always with a slight micro-bend, and keep the ball of the back foot on the floor. Finally press your back heel toward the wall behind you keeping the heel lifted enough so as not to injure the Achilles tendon.

Warrior 1 - Virabhadrasana

​This is an awesome pose as it develops concentration and balance. It is a essential beginners yoga pose for men as it improves circulation and respiration and energises the entire body. It helps build the muscle around the thighs and knees providing more stability and protection to sensitive joints.

How to do it: Stand with your legs three to four feet apart. Turn out your right foot 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Keeping your shoulders down, extend your arms to the sides with your palms down. Lunge into your right knee 90 degrees; keep your knee over your foot and don’t let it go past your toes. Aim your focus over your hand for as long as you like then switch sides. 

You may have some difficulty in lining up the front heel with the arch of the back foot. If you feel unbalanced, widen your stance or raise the back heel. Challenge yourself by holding this pose for 10-15 breaths, your shoulders will definitely feel the burn!

Bridge pose - Bandha Sarvangasana

beginner yoga poses for men bridge pose

Man in bridge pose

If you experience shallow breathing it can make some physical activities more challenging. As a beginners yoga pose for men, Bridge done on regular basis can make a huge difference. The pose will open the upper body and reduce the tightness you have around the torso. Bridge is also fantastic for the hips and opening the pelvis, helping to undo some of the damage caused by sitting too much. Bridge pose is an ideal warm-up for more intense back-bends as it builds core and lower body strength. It lengthens and strengthens the spine, energises the body, and stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems.

How to do it: How to: Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides. With your knees bent, press your feet into the floor as you lift your hips. In addition clasp your hands under your lower back and press your arms down for support. Finally lift your hips until they are parallel to the floor as you bring your chest to your chin. It is important to roll the shoulders back but not to overstretch the neck so lift the tops of the shoulders slightly toward the ears and push the inner shoulder blades away from the spine. Please do not perform this pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury.

Yoga Squat - Malasana

You can actually do squats away from the gym as there are many benefits, physically and internally. Even though it is a beginners yoga pose for men, yoga squat represents the epitome of balance and strength. It incorporates stretching while providing focus to your breathing. Furthermore doing it  regularly you will experience internal change, purifying and relaxing the entire body. You will work the the quadriceps, hamstring, glutes, and calf muscles of the legs as well as strengthening the lower back and core. 

The yoga squat done properly and consistently will rehabilitate the flexibility in legs and knees and offer relief if you have lower back pain. It also provides stimulation of the abdominal internal organs, sex glands and purify the spleen.

How to do it: Stand with your feet parallel and slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees and lower your seat toward the floor. Keep going until your hips are lower than your knees, and keep your spine vertical. If your heels come off the floor, likely from tight Achilles tendons, place a rolled-up blanket or towel under them for support. Finally straighten your spine upward and relax your shoulders. Hold for eight full breaths. 

Squatting can be difficult to begin with and if this is the case you can use the following option: Sit on the front edge of a chair seat, thighs forming a right angle to your torso, heels on the floor slightly ahead of your knees. Lean your torso forward between the thighs. Place one hand on the floor between the toes if you cannot balance with both hands up. Place a folded blanket under your heels if they do not touch the floor.

Please try these beginner yoga poses for men and let us know how you find them. Male-wellness appreciates your comments, feedback and questions on this topic or any others.