Hanging Raises Options

One group of ab exercises that have proved a challenge for me since I started doing them at age 55 are hanging raises.

I’m looking to improve my form on these, I really don’t do them anywhere near often enough and I’ve set myself a target to do them top notch by the time I’m 70!

Here you see a set of knee raises, straight(-ish) leg raises, twisting knee raises and finishing with a couple of wipers.  It’s the latest video on my YouTube Channel – click here.

 

Chris tests joint and bone health supplement from Neo G

One area that concerns a lot of people over the age of 50 is the health of bones and joints. As we get older, these areas are liable to deteriorate in strength and function, and a combination of exercise and correct nutrition is considered desirable to ensure these areas remain as healthy as they can be as the years go by. Many people don’t get sufficient nutrients in their diet, and for them a daily supplement to focus on joint and bone health is ideal. Indeed, even if you think your nutrition is spot on, still take a nutritional supplement just to make sure.
 
I’ve recently been sent a supply of a product that addresses these areas, and the manufacturers have contracted me to sample, use it for a period, and to give my comments. The company is Neo G, based near Harrogate, and they are well known suppliers of products in the health and well-being sector, with a further particular emphasis on sports and performance. Probably they are best known for medical-grade orthopaedic supports to apply to various parts of the body, and it is good to see them expand more into nutritional supplementation – particularly in this area of joint and bone health for the over 50’s.
 
The product is called Daily Defence and is available in both general and specific over 50’s formulations. The over 50 variant has the same ingredients as the general one, but with the one change of double the amount of calcium per dose.
There are five active ingredients, many of which will be familiar to those already taking supplementation for bone and joint health.
 
• Calcium – There is 240mg in each 20ml dose of the over 50’s product, and 120mg in the general formulation – that’s 30% and 15% of your Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) respectively. Well known for promoting health in teeth and bones, this is a particularly important supplement for helping to prevent bone wasting conditions such as brittle bones and osteoporosis – hence the double measure in the over 50’s product, I assume. I’ve been cutting down my dairy products of late, so this extra boost of calcium is very welcome.
 
• Copper – The 0.26mg in each dose is 26% of the Nutrient Reference Value for this trace element. It is known for helping to maintain the connective tissues in the body, such as tendons and ligaments, as well assisting in the absorption of iron. A lesser known benefit is that copper reduces histamine levels, which can help alleviate allergies.
 
• Glucosamine Sulphate – This is a compound that occurs naturally in the body, with its main effect being the growth of cartilage by serving as a building block in its production. It is thought that a reduced level of Glucosamine Sulphate is a major causative factor in osteoarthritis, and to add to this, natural production of it by the body decreases notably with age. Hence it is good to add as a supplement, and the 1gram included in each dose of Daily Defence is in line with general understanding on supplement volumes.
 
• Chondroitin Sulphate – This is another naturally occurring substance, found throughout the cartilage, collagen and connective tissues. It has the specific function of attracting water into these tissues, thus preserving them and aiding their flexibility. Similar to Glucosamine Sulphate, production by the body declines with age, and again it is believed that a deficiency can lead to osteoarthritis.
 
• Vitamin D – A key function of this vitamin is to assist and promote the absorption by the body of calcium and phosphorus. It is known as the Sunshine vitamin as the suns UV rays help create it in the body – but a more reliable source is supplementation. The amount of 200 iu of Vitamin D provided in each serving is spot on for the NRV.
 
As you pour it into the cap, the initial thought is that it is much more viscous than expected – it is thick, and pours slowly. There are many ingredients, and it makes sense to shake the bottle thoroughly to ensure you get the correct amount of each in your poured measure.
 
The taste actually reflects the colour; I would say that the colour is somewhere between coffee and butterscotch, and the taste goes along with that. I know some people say the taste is like lemon – but I’m sticking with the butterscotch/ coffee flavour I detected. It is sweet but not annoyingly so, and the aftertaste is pleasant. This contrasts with some other products in the same field which have a distinct ‘medicine’ taste and I was looking for something to wash my mouth out after – not so with this Neo G product. In fact, one problem may be that you like the taste so much it may be tough to restrict yourself to the single daily dose!
 
Because it is so thick, it is important to try to ensure you don’t leave any in the cap – the 20ml dose means the full 20. And you need to wash out the cap before using it again tomorrow.
 
If you, like me, are over 50 and concerned about keeping your joints healthy, then taking a non-drug product that supplements your diet in this area is probably wise. And of the various products available, this ’50 Plus Joint Health’ liquid from Neo G ticks all the boxes for me.
 
Check out the Neo G site – click here – for more. And If you too want to give it a go, it’s available in the UK now at Boots.

Fitness inspiration and adherence – PODCAST with Matt Lovett and Chris

Fit Happens Podcast 2

Top trainer Matt Lovett of aps Fitness joins me on my MarlowFM radio show to discuss fitness inspiration and how to help people adhere to a specific fitness strategy or plan.

We hear so many stories of those with good intentions but not staying the course – hear how Matt helps address this with his clients.

Many thanks to MarlowFM for permission to use this show as a podcast.

Top biceps exercise

Here’s one of my favourite exercises, I just filmed it while away at Golds Gym in Venice Beach.

See the full video by clicking here.

You’ll see the mirror in the video. Having that positioned with the incline angle is perfect to check form and range of movement.

If you have a wide cable machine at your gym, you probably don’t have the angled mirror, but still give it a go – you’ll love it, I’m sure!

 

Trying different exercises from a new supplier

Many thanks to the guys at Primal Strength who invited me to try out some of their equipment at BodyPower.

View the full video by clicking here.

This is a new supplier to me, none of the gyms I regularly use have their kit.

So, although the movements were familiar, there were slight changes in angle or feel in most of the products. Nothing at all weird, just slightly different to my usual options. They provide good equipment, absolutely nothing I didn’t like, I recommend the kit based on my experiences, and wish them much success.

Thanks again to the team there for inviting me.

Full Chest workout

Here is my full chest workout, based on the ABC7 System that I use myself and recommend to others.

There are seven exercises shown, with options for each depending on equipment availability.

Full video – press here.

For the full details of this, my workout C, on the Workout tab of this site – and the full System is available on the Shop tab.

Thanks to Golds Gym in Venice Beach for the location and facilities for the video.

Great dumbbell exercise for biceps – and forearms

One of my top arm exercises is the Cross-Body Hammer Curl. It’s on my group of biceps exercises, but it’s also considered a forearm movement as it works the brachioradialis – the muscle on the top edge of the upper forearm. This is exercise A42 in my ABC7 System.

This is often the final exercise for me, and that was the case today – so I’m pretty drained, and the grimacing in the video here isn’t acting!

New twisting obliques exercise

An area of the body that is sometimes missed in training is the obliques, or side abs.

These muscles do two motions – twisting the upper body and leaning the upper body sideways, both with lower body locked solid.

This machine is for the first of these movements, but rather than lock the lower body, it locks the upper body – while twisting the lower part. The effect on the body is the same.

See the video example here.

A key point is to lock the upper body – and this is done by pressing the chest into the pads – then ensuring there is no movement across the chest during the exercise.

The seat has different positions depending on flexibility and range of movement, try to use the maximum position or build up to it over time.

It’s always one side at a time, don’t be tempted to go further than one-side-max to central and then return. Going further uses momentum, and detracts from the value of the exercise.

There is a kneeling version of this machine – which is actually more common in the UK – but it has the slight drawback that the knees can move on their pad, which can introduce a little reduction in range of movement.

This is exercise M39 in my ABC7 System.

 

The greatest diet ever!!

I’ve discovered this great new diet that I really want to recommend to everyone today. Discovered by the Dutch diet institute ‘Het Lapri Loof’, you can lose masses of bodyweight with just a simple gym exercise. One problem is that it can reappear suddenly, so its important to keep alert!

See it in action in a short video by clicking here.

 

 

A Blue Golds day for legs

My favourite isolation exercises for the upper legs are – without doubt – leg extensions and prone curls (for quads and hamstrings respectively).

And at Golds Venice, they have two of the most vintage machines in existence for these exercises – far larger than today’s equivalent; an idea of the age is that the linkages to the weight stack is by chain. These both date to the original founding and location of Golds from 1965 and I love the vintage feel.

Click here for the video.

Why a Blue Golds day? They are both blue and I specifically wore blue to match – OCD or what?