It’s Not Just About the Food
It’s one thing to overhaul your diet, whether it be for New Year’s resolution or for ‘health’ reasons, but its another thing entirely to expect that is all there is to weight loss, a nice physique and great health. You can eat healthy, and according to one’s physiology, you may indeed lose weight, but it’s not the whole picture.
While attitudes may be favourably changing for the idea of the terms vegan and healthy,fit or muscular coexisting, it’s kind of common sense that eating vegan foods on the couch or at your desk all day will not build muscles or tone your body! But we also know that people can be overweight or even skinny regardless if they are vegan or not. For this reason, we want to emphasize that physical exercise is an integral part of the equation. Regardless of your reasons for being vegan or just plant based, you need to add in a physical component to get that tone and build muscle, and here we have an easy and quick way to start!
Six Simple Exercises for Optimal Results
HHI teamed up with local vegan fitness coach and internet celebrity Jordan David of @Consciousmuscle to bring you six simple exercises that everyone can incorporate into their workout routine. Each exercise can be great for seasoned athletes to those looking to start their fitness program for the first time. Jordan came to HHI to demonstrate and tell us about how to execute each move for optimal results.
The “it’s OK to be basic” Squat
Your basic squat can incorporate several equipment variations including barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebells. You can also vary this squat as a back or front squat (depending on where the weight is held). Here we are demonstrating a front squat with a dumbbell.
Tips for Form: Make sure to keep knees in line with your toes and emphasize keeping a straight back through the motion. Remember the primary purpose of this exercise is to engage your quads, however, it is a full body compound movement.
The Stiff Leg Dead Lift
For creating a tight and toned mid to lower portion of the body, try The Stiff Leg Dead Lift. This compound movement is primarily designed to engage your hamstrings, lower back, and core.
Tip for Form: Keep your feet flat, and make sure your back is straight with shoulders back and chest out.
The First Lady Triceps Extension
Achieving those perfect “wing free” arms can be a challenge, especially for those who have gained and lost weight or have only concentrated their efforts on other muscles of the arm such as the bicep. This movement is designed to engage triceps which are the largest portion of your arm. Because the triceps account for so much muscle it should not be neglected in terms of performance or aesthetics.
Tips for Form: Keep your back straight to stabilize you’re core, and while completing the range of motion make sure not to lock out your elbows, as it will take tension off the muscle/fiber.
The All-Around-Tone Bent Rows
Generally when trying to achieve a slimmer or more toned physique individuals may focus on the muscles they can easily view in the mirror and often neglect ones not as easily seen. Bent rows are designed to engage your upper back, while also strengthening your lower back and core.
Tips for Form: Make sure to use manageable weight as form is essential. As with the squat and stiff leg dead lift, keep the lower back straight and core engaged.
The Perfect Pecs Flat Bench Press
Try saying that name three times fast, and then try this simple press with either dumbbells, barbells, cables, or a fitness machine. This motion is used primarily to engage your chest and secondarily your triceps.
Tips for Form: Keep your feet flat, and make sure to keep chest contracted through the range of motion. When concluding the motion bring the dumbbells down to the starting point just prior to locking elbows out, as this takes tension of the pectorals.
The Vanishing Gut – Hanging Knee Raises
This motion can be completed either hanging as demonstrated or lying (back side down) on a flat surface. This exercise will engage the core with emphasis on the lower portion of abdomen.
Tips for Form: Bring knees up in a controlled manor to emphasize contraction on the core. On the way down make sure to keep your movement slow and controlled for optimal time under tension.
Jordan David is a certified ISSA trainer who for the past 7 years has been helping individuals achieve their desired physique through a vegan diet and personal training.
~ Source: HHI Hippocrates Health Institute