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There seems to be much confusion amongst trainers and trainees as to whether squats should be performed all the way down or just half way.

They Dont Know Squat!

They Dont Know Squat!There seems to be much confusion amongst trainers and trainees as to whether squats should be performed all the way down or just half way. In most gyms today, a common instruction during squats, deadlifts, and lunges (as taught by many personal training organizations) is not to allow the knees to travel beyond the toes. Doing so will ultimately cause the destruction of your knees! I do not agree. There are certain instances where partial range of motion (ROM) is indicated, but for the most part, I teach people the full squat for the following reasons:* It is the most primitive movement pattern known to man; our ancestors used to perform many daily functions (i.e. harvesting, gathering, hunting, cooking, eating, etc.) in a full squat position.* Also, in case anyone hasn't noticed, we spend 40 weeks in the fetal position (which is basically a full squat) prior to entering this world - do we come out with bad knees?* We should strive to train in full ROM for each and every exercise. The squat is no exception.* Every exercise produces stress around a joint - the body then adapts to this stress.* Cocontraction of the quadriceps, hamstrings and gastrocnemius maintains integrity around the knee joint.* Sheering and compressive forces do occur around the knee joint (as opposed to only sheering forces that occur in some open kinetic chain lower body exercises, such as the leg extension); however, the large contact area of the patella with the femoral groove (as knee flexion increases during the full squat) helps to dissipate compressive forces.* Therefore, not only is the squat - as a closed chain exercise - considered a natural movement pattern with high functional carryover, but it is also a safe exercise if performed correctly (and that includes full ROM!)* Drawer tests are performed at a knee angle of 90 degrees because there is a greater amount of laxity in the knee joint at that specific angle. So, does it make sense to only go down half way where you are most vulnerable especially when greater loads can be used (because you are much stronger in this partial ROM?)* According to Ironman contributor, George Turner, the fulcrum moves to the knee joint in a parallel squat as opposed to the muscle belly of the quadriceps in a full squat.* Think about it, if you constantly trained in a limited ROM, the likelihood of injury increases if one day you happen to squat beyond your trained ROM.* Partial squats performed on a regular basis will decrease flexibility.* There is a low incidence of lower back pain and knee injury in Aboriginal and Oriental societies which perform full squats on a regular basis.* Even Olympic weight lifters who practice full squats have quite healthy knees compared to other athletes.* Although you may find some research that indicates full squats as potentially harmful to the knees, only one study has ever proved this to be true. However, it was performed on a skeleton - the same results do not hold true with surrounding connective tissue. On the other hand, numerous studies show the benefits of full squats.Unfortunately, many personal training certification courses are teaching half squats as a safe version suitable for all individuals and this has now become written in stone. God forbid that you deviate from this golden rule to do something that our bodies are meant to do! Read this carefully: squatting should be performed in a full ROM where the hamstrings make contact with the calves (so that no light can be seen passing through your legs at the bottom position.) It is okay for your knees to travel beyond the toes (just do not relax the knees in the bottom position.) In other words, keep the legs tight and try to stay as upright as possible throughout the exercise. So, next time some fitness instructor approaches you in the gym and advises not to go deep while squatting tell him/her that they don't know squat!About the Author Keith Londrie II is a recognized expert with respect to muscle building. Please stop by his web site to learn more aboutthe subject. http://building-muscle-information.info/Keith E. Londrie IIinfoserve @ mchsi.comhttp://building-muscle-information.info/

An Air Purifier May Keep the Allergies Away

An Air Purifier May Keep the Allergies Away

Air purifiers convert dirty air into fresh and clean air, and also free the air from pollutants and contaminants. They are very beneficial for people suffering from allergies and can help alleviate asthma. Allergy inducing particles within the air may come as dust, pollen, pet dander or mold spores.There are numerous air purifier brands and manufacturers worldwide. It becomes too tough for a customer to pick the air purifier of ones choice from the huge range available. The best idea is to do some research online. Thanks to the online reviewers, there are some good air purifier comparisons and reviews on the Internet.A decent air purifier review will honestly depict the pros and cons of a specific air purifier. Therefore, going through numerous air purifier reviews will help you make a good decision before buying an air purifier.There are a large number of air purifiers including Oreck Super Air 8, Sharper Image Ionic Breeze GP, Friedrich C-90A, Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Quadra, Blueair 601, Bionaire BAP1300 Quietech HEPA, Honeywell HEPA 50250, Hunter Quietflo 30400, Vornado AQ535, Hunter HEPAtech 30375 etc. Oreck Super Air 8 is a good quiet machine, quite effective at clearing the air of a number of pollutants, allergens, and irritants. Its efficient, covers a large area and quite inexpensive having a strong warranty.Sharper Image Ionic Breeze GP is a good home air purifier having a germicidal UV lamp. Ultraviolet radiation is capable of combating many pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Its quiet and quite effective in air purification, with a 5-year warranty. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America awarded it with a Consumer Product seal as its "proven to reduce airborne allergens and irritants including dust mite allergen, pet dander and cigarette smoke".Friedrich C-90A is good, efficient but a little noisy and bit costly also. Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Quadra is also good at removing pollutants and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also awarded it with a Consumer Product seal.Blueair 601 using activated carbon technology is particularly effective in removing odors and gases. Its considerably cheap with 10 Year Overall Warranty.Bionaire BAP1300 Quietech HEPA is a powerful air purifier, a bit noisy and requires a regular filter change. It has a 5-year warranty.Honeywell HEPA 50250 is good and effective in small rooms. Its price line is good with a 5-year warranty. Hunter HEPAtech 30375 is a good device having an ionizer that can be controlled independently. Recently, there has been a controversy that ionizing "air purifiers" produce ozone (O3 poisonous allotrope of oxygen) that can worsen asthma and decrease lung function. Some critics feel that air purifiers are over hyped devices that cant completely clean the air and protect against secondhand smoke.

Gestational Diabetes Risk

Gestational Diabetes Risk

Men - What You Do On A Daily Basis Affects Your Sperm Maturation ProcessWhile a woman is born with all the eggs she'll ever have, men produce sperm on a continual basis. Therefore, what a man does on a daily basis can affect the sperm maturation process.Smoking, drinking, drugs, stress, poor nutrition and lack of exercise all can contribute to poor sperm quality. And, it was recently discovered, a man's sperm quality begins to decline around the age of 25.There are five main factors that contribute to overall sperm quality. They include sperm motility, speed, count, concentration and morphology (shape and size).A weakness in any of these areas can affect the chances of conception.MotilitySperm motility is a term that describes sperm's ability to move in an active fashion: in other words, are the sperm "strong swimmers?" In healthy sperm, typically more than 50% are active with over 25% moving forcefully in one direction. Motility enables the sperm to travel through the cervical canal, into the uterus and the fallopian tubes and, finally, to penetrate the egg.SpeedThe forward movement of sperm called progressive motility, forward progression or rapid linear progression. There are also several different ways to classify forward movement.According to the World Health Organization (1999), in a healthy male, greater than 25% of sperm will exhibit progressive motility. It is thought that these are the sperm with the best chance of successfully fertilizing an egg. Rapid linear progression showed a greater than 60 % improvement after four months of treatment with acupuncture, herbal medicine and supplements.Sperm CountSperm count refers to the number of sperm in the fluid that is ejaculated (semen). There are over 40 million sperm in a normal ejaculate. A total count below 40 million may indicate decreased fertility.With the Berkley Center's unique protocol of acupuncture, herbal medicine and supplements, count increased more than 14 % after four months of treatment.ConcentrationConcentration is a measure of the number of sperm cells in a milliliter of semen. Normal concentration is at least 20 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen.With the Berkley Center's unique protocol combining acupuncture, herbal medicine and the appropriate supplements, concentration improved after four months of treatment.Morphology (shape and size)A healthy sperm cell will have a shape similar to a tadpole. The sperm's oval head contains the genetic material, the center provides energy and the tail propels the sperm forward.Using the strict criteria put forth by the World Health Organization (1999), studies of Assisted Reproductive Technology programs show lower pregnancy rates with less than 15% normal forms. Furthermore, experts believe that abnormally shaped sperm cannot fertilize an egg.SubfertilityThe term, subfertility, refers to couples that are unable to achieve conception after a year of unprotected intercourse (or 6 months if the woman is over age 35). It is different from infertility. A subfertile couple merely has lower odds of conceiving during any given month than fertile couples.Statistics at a glanceHuman reproduction is surprisingly inefficient and quite complex -- the likelihood of pregnancy within any given month is believed to be only 25 percent among fertile couples. 1 out of 12 couples have subfertility. Male-related factors account for 40 percent of subfertility. Female-related factors account for another 40 percent and a combination of male- and female-related factors account for about 20 percent. About 90% of all subfertility can be traced to specific causes that can be treated. Typical causes of male subfertilitySperm production problems Blockages in the sperm's delivery system Injuries to the testicles Low or high hormone production Anatomical problems Varicocele (varicose veins around the testicle) Past illnesses/infections/various diseases Certain medications Sperm qualitySperm quality is a contributing factor for 40 percent of couples experiencing infertility. There are five main factors that contribute to sperm quality:Motility: The ability to move in an active fashion. In healthy sperm, typically more than 50% are active with over 25% moving forcefully in one direction. Motility is what enables a sperm to travel up the cervical canal, into the uterus and the fallopian tubes and, finally, penetrate the egg. Speed: Progressive motility. In a healthy male, greater than 25% of sperm will exhibit progressive motility. It is thought that these are the sperm with the best chance of successfully fertilizing an egg. Count: The number of sperm in the fluid that is ejaculated (semen). There are over 40 million sperm in a normal ejaculate. A total count below 40 million may indicate decreased fertility. Concentration: A measure of the number of sperm cells in a milliliter of semen. Normal concentration is at least 20 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen. Morphology: The shape and size of the sperm. A healthy sperm cell will have a shape similar to a tadpole. The sperm's oval head contains the genetic material, the center provides energy and the tail propels the sperm forward. Using the strict criteria put forth by the World Health Organization (1999), studies show lower pregnancy rates with less than 15% normal forms. Furthermore, experts believe that abnormally shaped sperm cannot fertilize an egg.Motility, speed and morphology appear to be the most important factors to assess the fertilizing capability of sperm. Despite a low sperm count, many men with high-quality (viable and highly mobile) sperm may still be fertile.

Pregnancy and Back Pain

Pregnancy and Back Pain

The Aches and Pains of Pregnancy It is an unfortunate but inevitable fact that a majority of pregnant women will experience back pain at some point in their pregnancy. There are many remedies that can relieve the aches and discomfort of pregnancy, while preventing it from becoming a long-lasting predicament.Women with pre-existing "back pain" prior to pregnancy have an easier time adjusting to the discomfort as the pregnancy develops. Proper medical advice and treatment can prevent back pain from becoming a complication when labor occurs.Causes of Pregnancy Back Pain Two categories of back pain during pregnancy are caused by:1.) Strained ligaments, muscles, discs and joints caused by poor posture, incorrect lifting methods, weak or taut muscles, or injury, this type of back pain can occur with people even before pregnancy. Symptoms worsen at the end of the day or after standing for long periods of time, due to muscle fatigue and stretched ligaments from the combined weight of both the body and the baby. A minority of pregnant women may experience symptoms of sciatica during the course of their pregnancy. This stems from inflammation or back pressure which causes pain in the sciatic nerve. Other symptoms include tingling, weakness, backaches, and pain traveling down one leg. There is a common misconception that it is the babys weight that puts pressure on a nerve, however sciatica is a disorder which may occur whether the pregnancy exists or not.2.) Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) this back pain is pregnancy-related and may need to be treated differently from standard back pain. A majority of pregnant women who experience back pain during pregnancy suffer from this ailment.Pain symptoms located around the area of the pubic bone may signal the onset of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). It is advised to consult a qualified physiotherapist well-versed in the area of womens health to make a correct diagnosis for these conditions.Preventing Back PainBy making sure the body is fit and healthy before getting pregnant can help prevent back pain. Even if pregnancy has already occurred, keeping fit is still possible through exercise specially tailored for pregnant women (refer to antenatal fitness portion). These exercises can lower the risks of developing pregnancy-related [*_*]. Women unaccustomed to exercise are advised to take it slow.Keeping a moderate exercise regimen, having the correct posture, refraining from lifting heavy objects, and taking good care of the back can ensure the prevention of pregnancy-related [*_*]. If lifting is unavoidable, knees should be bent, the back kept straight, and the object held close to the body as possible.Ways to Alleviate Back Pain1.) Taking care of the back 2.) Massage particularly when performed on the lower back, massage can result in considerable relief for tired and aching muscles. One relaxing method is to lean over the back of a chair or lie on one side while the muscles on both sides of the lower spine are massaged. Massage performed by a massage therapist, a midwife, or a physiotherapist may further relieve [*_*].3.) Heat and water taking a warm and soothing bath, using a hot pack, or even a warm water shower can alleviate symptoms of [*_*].4.) Wearing a support belt a maternity or support belt can help hold up the babys weight, easing the strain on the stomach and back muscles.5.) Using a support pillow sleeping on one side with a wedged-shaped pillow beneath the tummy can lessen [*_*].6.) Strength and stability exercises exercises involving the pelvis and lower abdominals can strengthen back and stomach muscles to help support the babys weight. One example of a simple and safe abdominal exercise involves getting down on the floor on the hands and knees, making sure the back is in a level position. While breathing in and out, the belly button is pulled in towards the spine and the back held immobile for 5 to 10 seconds. The stomach muscles are then allowed to relax after each contraction.7.) Having a good posture this helps particularly if pain symptoms are centred on the tailbone, or coccyx. Slouching should be avoided, and the back should be arched whenever possible. It is advisable use a cushion or a cushioned ring to make sitting more comfortable.8.) Aqua-natal classes according to research, these water exercises can significantly decrease pregnancy-related [*_*].

Chocolate-- The Newest Health Food?

There are now even more reasons for chocolate lovers to rejoice! As more amazing research news comes in about chocolate, the substance is moving from a bad-for-you candy to an important health food. Those of us who had always continued to indulge in occasional chocolate treats can stop feeling guilty and now easily justify our cravings.You may have already heard that chocolate contains beneficial flavonoids and antioxidents. Flavonoids are naturally-occurring compounds found in plant foods that are full of recognized health benefits. There are more than 4,000 flavonoid compounds, which are a subgroup of a large class called polyphenols. Phenols are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease by helping prevent atherosclerosis. The flavanols in chocolate appear to help the body use nitric oxide, which is crucial for healthy blood flow and blood pressure, which means that chocolate might help reduce hypertension as well.Red wine is know for its high phenol content, but an average bar of dark chocolate contains more phenols than 8 ounces of red wine. Scientists at Cornell University and Seoul National University examined the cancer-fighting antioxidant content of hot cocoa, red wine, and tea, and found that cocoa had nearly double the antioxidants of red wine and four to five times more than tea.Holland's National Institute of Public Health and Environment found that dark chocolate contains 53.5 mg of catechins per 100 grams. (Catechins are the powerful antioxidants that fight against cancer and help prevent heart disease). By contrast, a cup of black tea contains only about 14 mg of catechins and green tea has about 30 mg of catechins.A study at University of California Davis found that participants who ate chocolate showed a reduction in platelet activity. This means that chocolate has an anti-clotting, blood-thinning effect that can be compared to aspirin.A Harvard University study of 8,000, with an average age of 65, revealed that those who consumed chocolate lived almost a year longer than those who did not. Those who ate one to three candy bars per month had a 36 percent lower risk of death (compared to the people who ate no candy), while those who ate three or more candy bars per week had a 16 percent lower risk.A study of older men in The Netherlands, known for its chocolate, showed that those who ate the most chocolate, an equivalent of one-third of a chocolate bar every day, had lower blood pressure and a 50 percent lower risk of death. The researchers also noted the men eating the most cocoa products were not heavier or bigger eaters than the men who ate less cocoa.And it's not just dark chocolate that is the only healthy type of chocolate. Most studies talk about the benefits of dark chocolate, but some of the most recent news about chocolate includes good news for milk chocolate lovers, who have been left out in the past.The Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia did a study that shows that milk chocolate seems to boost brainpower. The groups in the test consumed, on different occasions, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, carob and nothing. Then they were tested for cognitive performance including memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem solving.According to Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, "Composite scores for verbal and visual memory were significantly higher for milk chocolate than the other conditions." The study also found that consumption of milk and dark chocolate was associated with improved impulse control and reaction time. It seems that by consuming chocolate you get stimulating effects from substances found in chocolate, such as theobromine and phenylethylamine, which then lead to increased mental performance.Chocolate really does make you feel good, too. It is known to stimulate the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the "runner's high" a jogger feels after running several miles. Chocolate also contains a neurotransmitter, serotonin that acts as an anti-depressant. Studies in England show that even the aroma of chocolate gives a bout of euphoria and will help lift the spirits.And now people are looking at chocolate for skin care. According to Marlies Spinale, director of Tru Spa, "Like many other antioxidants, cocoa polyphenols are thought to offer the skin protection from free-radical damage caused by sun, pollution, stress, alcohol consumption and other factors. I believe that we will hear more about the benefits of chocolate in skin care."Some people have been avoiding chocolate because one of the main ingredients of chocolate is cocoa butter. It was thought that it was an unhealthy fat, but actually cocoa butter is not unhealthy. It is made up of the beneficial fatty acids-- oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are healthy forms of saturated fat. Plus chocolate contains vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E, as well as potassium, sodium, and iron.So go ahead and indulge in a little chocolate, in moderation of course. I would recommend that you try to find organic chocolate, and stick with darker chocolate because it has more chocolate flavonoids and less sugar. (Sugar weakens the immune system; so don't consume sugar if you are ill.) And a little bit of milk chocolate is alright when you need an occasional milk chocolate brainpower boost, such as before a test. All you students take note!Chocolate as a health food-- can life get any better?By Dianne Ronnow, 2006 Mohave Publishing.If you need a little extra help losing weight, I have good news for you. I found an excellent safe diet aid that really helped me lose weight, burn fat, and get my metabolism going!

Information you need when buying Generic Cialis.

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Summary

There seems to be much confusion amongst trainers and trainees as to whether squats should be performed all the way down or just half way.