About two weeks ago I discussed doing joint mobility drills first thing in the morning. Specifically I chose Steve Maxwell’s Daily Dozen as my main morning drill. Well, it’s two weeks on and this is what I’ve found:

  • I have been able to pinpoint problem areas with my flexibility, e.g. left hip, hamstrings, and lower back. By focusing on these exercises a little longer I have started to make improvements – especially on the hamstrings. If you never stretch, or are quite sedentary you’ll never notice your flexibility weak points. The skeleto-muscular system is a network of interlinked components, so one tight bit can affect other parts of your body. Ironing out your flexibility issues can really increase your overall well being
  • These exercises are a great segue into intense exercise first thing in the morning. I have never enjoyed working out first thing in the morning because I feel too stiff and uncoordinated. I did the first 8 exercises of the daily dozen, plus a couple of slow squats, which covers most body parts and gets the blood pumping to all corners. After this, I feel much more equipped to take on an intense kettlebell set without straining something!

I have more to write, but need to get moving! Once again I recommend trying joint mobility exercises first thing in the morning. At the very least you’ll feel a bit more relaxed and ready to take on the day.

Update:

Steve Maxwell just released 3 video courses of routines similar to the Daily Dozen. There is a video for each skill level: beginner, intermediate and advance. I have bought them just now, and will post my experience ASAP! In the meantime, check them out here.

Maxwell Joint Mobility Sample Video:

The other day I came across an article by Mr Steve Maxwell of MaxerciseThe Maxwell Daily Dozen. This is a series of relatively simple mobility exercises to span the whole body. There are actually 14, but the last 2 are for days where you have more time.

After only 2 sessions with this, I am noticing a significant difference in my overall feelings of agility and looseness, particular in my lower back. Granted, this is a marked difference considering I’ve been lax on the mobility and stretching side of things.

This is also why I addressed this posts to the “Desk Jockeys” out there. Seasoned athletes or strength training devotees will definitely benefit from these exercises but will not notice the difference as much as someone who sits on their butt 8-12 hours a day. These exercises will get your circulation moving, and the last couple of exercises will also tax your muscles. The whole thing is low impact, so almost anyone could try these TODAY! So how about trying them now!?

I have been doing this first thing in the morning, and I can HIGHLY recommend it as a fantastic way to get your day moving. Get up, put your coffee on, and get started. Grab the coffee, and keep going! Mr Maxwell does not mention how many reps you should be doing per exercise. I looked it up, and found that Mike Mahler also recommends The Maxwell Daily Dozen and suggests doing each exercise 10 times. I am not going to disagree, but I will add that on work days, perhaps 5 reps is enough to keep the entire exercise time down to about 15 minutes. On weekends, go nuts and do 10.

Remember to do the breathing like Steve says, as holding your breath can be dangerous when stretching to your limit. The proper breathing will probably take a while to get down, but at least make sure you’re breathing naturally and calmly. A nice side benefit of this routine is that, since it is fully body, it will show you where you hold tension, or are particularly tight. You can then work on those problem areas separately later on.

For beginners, I can quote Scott Sonnon’s advice, ‘Move to the tension, not through the tension.’ In other words, do not force the stretch where you are experiencing resistance. Instead, push the stretch just until you feel the tension. Speaking of Sonnon, if this routine gets you going, you could also try the Intuflow DVD, which has 4, progressively more difficult joint mobility routines. In fact some of the Daily Dozen exercises are similar to those in the Beginner section of Intuflow.

If you feel lethargic, stiff, and low on energy, you should definitely try this routine every morning. Take 15 minutes instead of checking your email or Facebook or whatever and do this. Anything is better than nothing. You don’t need to hit the gym, pool, or running track. Start with mobility exercises and feel the difference!

So try it next time you get the chance: The Maxwell Daily Dozen

Having big biceps or huge guns is the dream of many, if not all men. When you have huge biceps you can be sure to make girls swoon and other men envious.

While keeping in mind that not all of us are blessed with huge arm genes, there is a way to achieve the best you can with what nature gave you. Here are some basic pointers to consider when you train so you can achieve biceps that will make you look like a greek god when sleeveless.

Big Biceps

Triceps Matter Just as Much

The biceps are the most visible muscles in your arms, the ones that you want to make grow. However, we have to take into account that they only make up a 1/3 of your arm, most of your arms are made up of the triceps. The key here is to focus just as much on training your triceps as you do your biceps. Training your triceps as an afterthought after blasting your biceps is not going to help you achieve the amazing arms you are imagining.

Heavier Weights, But Sometimes Less Is More

The reason you lift weights is to trigger a growth response. For your arms you need to lift heavier weights with more reps than you are used to in order to make your muscles grow. Focus mainly on heavy training with 6-8 reps throwing in an occasional few weeks of lighter training to keep it varied and your muscles from plateauing. Do not over do your bicep training, we all know this scenario: lets go to the gym, locate ourselves in front of the mirror and blast the living day lights out of our biceps ya… why just do 3 sets when we can do 10? because sometimes less is more, all you want to achieve is to out do your last workout. No point doing this just to pump your muscle up at the gym only to have it deflate later on.

Keep It Varied

Make changes to your work out routine, it need not even be anything drastic, just by changing the order you do your exercises in will help. Try out different machines at the gym or use a hammer curl bar instead of a standard bar. If you are really serious about developing your arms learn the anatomy your body and implement exercises that target specific sections of each muscle in order to gain maximum growth.

Strength Training is Vital to Huge Amazing Biceps

Do not ignore strength training, doing pull ups, chin ups, rowing and working out your overall torso, your shoulders, chest and back will provide a great benefit for you biceps you can be assured of that. Do not just train your biceps in isolation because if you do your arm muscles will always be fatigued and you will not find any growth there, not only that but if you train your entire torso you are benefiting your overall look.

Great biceps and an amazing body all over. He does not skimp on the strength training.

Great biceps and an amazing body all over. He does not skimp on the strength training.

Eat Eat Eat, Sleep Sleep Sleep

You also have to look at other aspects of your lifestyle and make sure that you are eating plenty, try to consume a bit more calories than you burn in order to promote muscle growth. Get lots of sleep so your body can rebuild itself. Your body releases growth hormones when you sleep which you need to develop the biceps of your dreams so SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP.