THE BEST GYM BRAS
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THE BEST GYM BRAS

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THE BEST GYM BRAS
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From circuits to boxing, stepper to free weights, a good sports bra helps banish the bounce. Emma Lewis helps you find the perfect one for your needs

Call it a design flaw, but our breasts don’t come with enough in-built support to let us jump up and down in complete comfort. The Cooper’s ligaments, which give structure to our breasts, have their work cut out in a HIIT class. In fact, our boobs move an average of 10cm in several directions during higher-impact activities*. That’s why a supportive sports bra is a must to help you avoid breast pain and keep the tissue healthy.

Where to start when researching which one to buy though? We asked Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, professor of biomechanics and head of the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth. ‘Don’t assume that if you’re moving at lower speeds, your breast movement is less than when you’re moving at higher speeds,’ she says. ‘Power walking or jogging, or something with a lot of up and down movement, can actually produce more breast movement than running really fast.’ Interesting.

So, unless you’re heading for a low-impact class such as yoga or Pilates, or doing weights or stretch sessions, it’s safest to go big on support. ‘I’d recommend an encapsulation bra [one that separates the breasts into separate cups] or one with a mixture of compression and encapsulation,’ she says. ‘These offer more support than pure compression versions [think crop-tops that hold the breasts against your chest], which have to stretch over your shoulders when you put them on.’

Fit is foremost

Next up is fit. Don’t assume you’re always the same cup size. ‘Make sure you understand the cross-grade system,’ says Wakefield-Scurr. ‘If, for example, a size 34D in the bra you try fits in the cup but the under band’s too big, go for a 32 band, but up the cup to an E. This will give you the same amount of material for the cup as the D did, as the band is now smaller.’ Find one cup that fits better than the other? ‘If you’re one of the 97 percent of women who have one breast larger than the other, try shortening the strap more on the smaller side if there’s less than a cup size indifference. For bigger differences, look for companies that offer bras with adjustable cups,’ adds Wakefield-Scurr.

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The University of Portsmouth’s research group has a few more things to look out for. The underband gives 80 percent of the support and should fit firmly but not affect your breathing or make flesh bulge over it. If it rides up at the back, it’s too big. Meanwhile, shoulder straps should give support without being so tight they dig into the skin. If there’s an underwire, it shouldn’t press into the soft breast tissue. And with encapsulation bras, the center part should sit on your breast bone. If it gapes away from your chest, go for bigger cup size.

So, when you think you’ve found a comfy bra where the cups, underband, and straps fit well, it’s time to do the ultimate test to see how much jiggle you’ll get. ‘Look in the mirror as you do star jumps!’ says Wakefield-Scurr.

SHOCK ABSORBER INFINITY POWER BRA, £50

A great combo of top-notch support and freedom of movement for the shoulders (thanks to the slim, Y-shaped, adjustable back strap) makes this good-looking bra a workout must-have. It comes up high at the front to preserve your modesty while you are lower for that deadlift, while the structured shape, loads of compression, and wide, adjustable underband give this hybrid encapsulation/compression bra impressive support for high-impact activities, too. The zip front means it’s easy to take on and off and the breathable molded cups also give it a bit of shape, while the bra’s material helps keep sweat under control. While next-of-skin comfort isn’t quite as good as some bras, its performance is what serious gym-goers are looking for. Put it on and go get ’em! Sizes 30A to 40F.

LULULEMON WUNDER TRAIN LONG-LINE BRA, £58

This stylish bra top combines superior coverage with a flatteringly feminine look, fantastic next-to-skin comfort and faff-free use. A great option for those who do the rounds of the gym floor or lower-impact classes, the racerback style plus Lycra-containing fabric allows for a large range of movement. The really wide underband gives great support for small to medium boobs as you lift those weights or pedal on the stationary bike. The Everlux fabric wicks moisture impressively and the (non-adjustable) bra comes with optional, removable cups and in UK clothes sizes 6 to 18.

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ANITA DYNAMIX STAR, £55

Racerback styles can require acts of contortion to get them on and off, but not this one, thanks to its “open-wide back” that’s perforated to keep you cool. If comfort’s a priority and you major on lower-impact activities, this good-looking, lightweight, Red Dot design winner is a great bet. Somehow the front-adjustable straps with super-soft padding don’t dig in at the neck as some racerbacks can. Meanwhile, the thin material on the cups is pre-shaped so there are no seams, and the internal terry cloth fabric is a joy. Three-way stretch in the adjustable underband helps you move freely, but I wouldn’t wear this one for really high-impact activities. Sizes 32A to 40G.

M&S EXTRA HIGH IMPACT BRA, £25

The latest version of M&S’s bestselling sports bra with zip front looks great and now comes in bigger cup sizes, too. It’s easy to put on and take off, thanks to the front opening, and luckily, as there’s no way to adjust it, it had a really snug fit, with a nicely supportive underband. It copes well with high-impact exercises, thanks to its combo of encapsulation and compression, while moisture-wicking Cool Comfort technology helps keep sweat at bay. This great-value bra comes in sizes 32A-42H and would suit those who want the look of a compression bra with more support. Some people might like a bit of adjustability though.

NEW BALANCE PACE BRA PRINTED 3.0, £23

Are you always rushing to the gym? Just throw on this great-value compression bra and you’re good to go! It’s pretty comfy and scores well in the style department as well, looking good enough to be worn solo. The “stabilized front straps to minimize vertical movement” meant it performed better than your average compression bra for higher-impact activity, too. The slim, mesh, T-shaped back strap and DRYx fast-drying material elsewhere helps sweat evaporate to keep you cool, and you get a wide range of movement through the arms and shoulders, making it a great choice for general gym sessions and classes. Sizes run from XS to XL

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How the Best 24 Hour Fitness Membership Deals

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How the Best 24 Hour Fitness Membership Deals
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Joining a gym isn’t just about getting in shape, the community aspect of it is equally important. Luckily, you’ll get both when you sign up for a 24 Hour Fitness membership. Locations have reopened across the country, making it the perfect time to become a member.

For tips on how to get the best 24 Hour Fitness membership cost, we did the hard work and rounded up some discounts you can’t miss out on.

How Much Does 24-Hour Fitness Membership Cost?

The cost of a 24 Hour Fitness membership will vary based on the location, your membership tier, and level of access to other clubs.

Here’s an idea of what membership prices look like for Los Angeles locations:

  • National access (Platinum) to all clubs in the U.S. will be around $44.99/month plus taxes.
  • Regional access (Gold) to clubs only in a 50-mile radius will be around $29.99/month plus taxes

Usually, the first and last month’s membership dues are also paid at registration.

If you opt to pay for an annual membership upfront or commit to 12 months (paid monthly), you can save significantly on your membership.

 A 24 Hrs FITNESS MEMBERSHIP COSTS HOW MUCH?

substitutes for 24-Hour Fitness

Although 24 Hrs Fitness is a fantastic mid-range gym choice, it isn’t my top pick.

If you want a bigger facility, more equipment, and comparable or better amenities, I would also suggest looking at LA Fitness.

Check out Lifetime Gym as an alternative if you’re looking for another 24-hour option to think about.

Both are on par with 24-Hour Fitness in terms of quality, but they each offer a few unique benefits and drawbacks that you could find appealing. Don’t feel as though your only choice is 24HF because of your budget!

How much does a subscription to 24-Hour Fitness cost?

You must first select your access level, either One Club or Many. The average monthly fee for one Club access is $46.99. Your monthly payment for Multiple Club Admission will be about $51.99.

24 Hrs FITNESS DEAL AT COSTCO?

Costco’s special price for the 1-Year Limited-Term is $399.99, and the two years Limited-Term is $699.99. (Costco special). The Keep Fitness All-Club Ultra-Sport Monthly Payment is $94.99 per month while the Keep Fit Best Extreme Loyalty Reward Monthly Payment costs $44.99 per month for access to several clubs. The Keep Fit Only those Ultra-Sport Loyalty Premium has a monthly cost of $74.99.

Discounts & Deals for 24-Hour Fitness

A “Buddy Pass” from 24 hour fitness prices enables you to visit the gym with a friend, member of your family, and/or children. You must bring a companion who is both at least 12 years old and supervised by a parent, or who is at least 18 years old.

The gym also offers some profitable promotions to entice clients. The fact that 24 Hour Gym is offering 45% savings on the payments of some memberships is a noteworthy offer. For individuals who are interested in acquiring a membership, a free 3-day visitor ticket is also available.

MEMBERSHIP

Anyone can contact a nearby gym and fill out an application there to join. You can also buy a membership online for a club that is located within 50 kilometers of your home. If you select a club that is more than 60 kilometers from your house, an error warning will appear and you won’t be able to complete the membership procedure.

To find the closest gyms to your house, use the interactive Club Finder portion of the 24 Hrs Fitness website. To ensure that the gym you’re going to has the tools you need, you may also search for gyms by amenity.

Gym Member Ship Fees Careers

We are purpose-driven: our mission is to inspire a healthier nation by helping more people in more places live healthier lives. This is made possible by the passionate people of gymmembershipfees.com, who work hard to be more than just a gym for our members and the communities we serve. Head over to our careers board to see all current vacancies.

 

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30 MINUTE DUMBBELL WORKOUT: BURN FAT AND BUILD MUSCLE!

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30 MINUTE DUMBBELL WORKOUT
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Got shaping up on your agenda? Burn fat and build muscle with this 30-minute dumbbell workout from online fitness coach Nicki Petitt…

When it comes to workout equipment, you can’t go wrong with a pair of dumbbells. Not only are they portable, affordable, and easy to store, but they’re also a great way to lose fat. There’s a seemingly endless number of exercises you can do with a set of dumbbells – choose the right ones, put them into a circuit format and you’ll have a highly effective workout for fat burning.

Try this 30-minute dumbbell workout circuit from online fitness coach Nicki Petitt (@nickipetitt). Do each exercise for 40 seconds, take 20 seconds of rest, then move on to the next one. Repeat three times and reap the body-boosting rewards.

GLUTE BRIDGES

Works the glutes, quads and hamstrings.

  • Lie on the floor with your feet flat and knees at 90°.
  • Hold a dumbbell horizontally against your hips.
  • Drive through your heels, pushing hips to the ceiling and squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Return to the floor and repeat.

PLANK DRAG

Works the core and shoulder muscles.

  • Start in a high plank position, with your shoulders directly over your wrists and feet a little more than shoulder-width apart.
  • Place a dumbbell just behind your right hand.
  • Brace your core and reach with your left hand to drag the dumbbell underneath you from right to left.
  • Place your right hand back on the floor and repeat using the left hand, dragging from left to right. Continue alternating.
  • Keep your back flat throughout the move. Don’t let your hips rock or rise in the air.
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GOBLET SQUAT

Works the lower body, building strength and stability.

  • Holding one dumbbell at chest-height in both hands, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing outwards slightly.
  • Bend at your hips and knees, keeping your back straight and looking forward.
  • Keeping your weight over your heels, sit in the squat position for a second, then push through your heels to return back up to standing. Repeat the sequence.
  • To make this move harder, add four pulses to the bottom of the squat

RUSSIAN DUMBBELL SWING

Builds muscular endurance and strong glutes.

  • Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, place a dumbbell slightly in front of you on the floor.
  • Hinge at the hips, keeping your back flat (think about pushing your bottom towards the wall behind you) to grasp the dumbbell and pull it back between your legs. This is the start of the movement. Don’t bend your knees into a squat.
  • Drive your hips forward to send the dumbbell up to shoulder height. Your arms should be relaxed and the swing should be generated from your hips and not your arms.
  • Control the weight back down between your legs, then repeat.

WEIGHTED REVERSE LUNGE

Works the lower body and increases ankle and foot flexibility.

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your sides.
  • Brace your core and lunge your right leg backwards, keeping your front knee behind your front toes, your chest up and eyes forward.
  • Ensure your back knee is an inch or two off the floor, your core engaged and hips stable.
  • Return your leg back to standing, with feet shoulder-width apart. Repeat on your left leg. To make the move harder, add four pulses to the bottom of the lunge.
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DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS

Works the pectorals and deltoids.

  • Lying on the floor with your feet flat, hold one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward.
  • Pushing your upper back into the ground and, bracing your core, exhale as you drive your arms upwards towards the sky.
  • Inhale as you lower the weights down, then repeat.

BENT OVER ROW

Builds strength in the upper back

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Brace your core, retract your shoulders and hinge at the hips into a bent over position.
  • With your palms facing inwards, row your elbows back to core-level, squeezing between your shoulderblades as you row.
  • Control the weights as you lower them back to the start, then repeat.

DUMBBELL THRUSTER

Works the body, especially the legs, glutes and arms

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, held snugly to your chest.
  • Drop your hips back and lower into a squat, bracing your core.
  • At the bottom of the squat, drive the dumbbells upwards by straightening your arms as you push through your heels to standing. Your biceps should be by your ears.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. Return to a squat and repeat the entire sequence.
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BEST FOODS TO FUEL YOUR WORKOUT

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BEST FOODS TO FUEL YOUR WORKOUT
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Nutrition plays a vital role in improving your fitness, so ensure you’re eating the right foods to complement your exercise routine. Here are some of the best foods to give you energy for your workout and ensure you get the most from your exercise routine.

Carbohydrates (glucose) are the quickest and easiest form of energy for your body. They are either broken down into glycogen (for instant energy) or glucagon (stored energy). Glycogen can only be stored for 24 hours so it is important that you load your body with complex/‘good’ carbs (like brown rice and wholegrains) at every meal, and in particular before endurance events like a long run or cycle. Try not to load your body with refined sugar (e.g. white rice and pasta), as your body has no need for sugar when it’s pushed to the limit. It will also burn off too quickly and leave you feeling more tired.

If you are going for a high-intensity gym session, make sure you have eaten an energy-filled snack (30-60 minutes) or meal (at least two hours) before your workout. This could be a low-GI option like wholegrain cereal with milk or, for a faster-releasing option, try three fig rolls or have a sports drink as they are specially formulated to provide the right balance.

Fat is also a necessary fuel, as it is the most energy-dense nutrient and provides many of the body’s tissues and organs, including the heart, with most of their energy. Good examples include oily fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and some meat and dairy.

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The importance of water during exercise

During your workout, it is important to stay hydrated – not just to replace the loss through sweating, but also to maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes so that your body performs at its optimum. Good hydration reduces the risk of muscle damage, supports the immune system, aids recovery, and ensures you get the most from your workout.

Foods for exercise recovery

It is just as important to refuel after a workout, as your glycogen stores are depleted, and workouts can actually break down your muscle tissue. So, after exercise, you need to rebuild your fuel stores and provide your body with the right nutrients to repair damaged muscle fibers. Eat the wrong foods and you’ll feel sluggish and tired for the rest of the day. Eat the right foods and you’ll have more energy, feel stronger and recover faster.

When it comes to post-workout refueling there is some debate about whether you should eat immediately after exercise, but this is more from a weight-management perspective. From a training perspective, you should make use of what is known as ‘the golden hour’ after exercise and get some carbs back into your body as soon as possible. The quicker you can get carbohydrates, protein, and fluid into your body after your workout, the quicker your body will recover from the stresses and strains you’ve put it through.

The golden hour is the time when the muscles absorb the most nutrients and when the enzymes responsible for making them are most active, which leaves you just a few hours to reload your muscle glycogen. In fact, carbohydrate is converted into glycogen some one-and-a-half times faster than normal straight after exercise. If you work out daily, a speedy recovery is crucial, so have a carbohydrate-rich drink or snack as soon as possible after your workout, ideally within 30 minutes. Bananas, cereal bars, rice cakes or brown bread are perfect foods to eat following a workout.

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Protein for exercise recovery

Protein is also important for recovery, particularly when it comes to weight training, as it helps muscles to repair and grow. Milk has been shown to be effective after a workout, as well as lean white meats, fish, soya, beans, and pulses. Whatever you decide to eat post-workout, these foods will provide you with sufficient levels of protein to help your muscles after a weight-bearing session.

Getting your nutritional balance right is essential for improving your stamina, speed, performance, and recovery, so don’t underestimate its importance.

• Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is required for tissue repair and helps boost the immune system.

• Potassium is needed for nerve and muscle function.

• Calcium is good for bone health and muscle function.

• B vitamins are important as they are required for the conversion of food into energy. B3, B6, and B12 are especially important in the storage of glycogen.

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