7 DIY Knee Strengthening Exercises

Knee strengthening is important to help keep your knee joints healthy and stable. There are several exercises that can help strengthen the area, and relieve discomfort. Many of them can be done without needing to go to a gym. Here are some of the best knee strengthening exercises that you can do at home:

How To Strengthen Your Knees

Quad clenches

  • Lie flat on your back or sit up straight. Your knee and legs should be straight, as well.
  • Tighten the quads (the muscles on the front of your thigh) by slowly pushing your knee down. You will feel the clenching on your thigh muscles.
  • Hold this position for three seconds, before going back to the start position.
  • Repeat up to 20 repetitions, every three to four hours.

Straight knee raise

  • Lie flat on your back, with one of your leg straight and the other bent.
  • Pull your toes inwards, and clench the muscle on the front of your thigh to lock your knee.
  • Lift the foot up to six inches high, and hold this for three to five seconds before slowly lowering your leg down.
  • Your knee should remain straight the entire time.
  • Repeat 20 times, twice daily.

Kick backs

  • Stand up straight, and grab something stable, such as a table or a chair.
  • Lift your foot as far as possible towards your glutes. You knee will bend during the movement.
  • Hold the position for up to five seconds, and then go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this 25 times, twice daily.

Hamstring clenches

  • Sit on a chair, and place your heel against the furniture’s leg. Your feet should be firm on the floor.
  • Press the heel backwards into the chair’s leg, so you will feel the back of your thigh clenching. Hold this for five seconds.
  • Do this for 20 times, twice daily.

Buttock Clenches

  • Sit up or lie down
  • Clench your glutes and hold for three seconds
  • Repeat 20 times, every three to four hours

Heel raises

  • Stand with your feet apart. Hold onto something for balance, if necessary.
  • Lift your heels as high as you can. Hold for three to five seconds, and then lower yourself down.
  • Repeat 30 times, twice daily

Single-leg stand

  • Stand near a chair or wall for balance
  • Slowly lift one leg up and hold the position for as long as you can. Keep the other leg stable as you perform the movement.
  • Do this five minutes, twice daily.

10 Tips For Setting Up An Epic Home Gym

10 Tips For Setting Up An Epic Home Gym1-min

Many people feel overwhelmed with their life priorities that made staying fit became impossible to achieve. One way to stay active is to set up your own home gym. Once you have it, you no longer have to sign-up for the costly gym memberships. Building a home gym is surprisingly easy.

Epic Home Gym Setup

1. Decide whether you need a home gym

A home gym, on one hand, seems like a great idea. On the other hand, make sure that you use it. Most people think about how much money and time they would save when they have a home gym. However, they also need to consider whether they will be motivated enough to workout at home.

2. Know your fitness goals

The exercise equipment that you should buy will depend on your fitness goals. Cardio alone cannot help you become fit. You will need resistance training, too.

3. Determine how much space you need

Space is a major deciding factor when it comes to setting up your home gym. You can either use a spare bedroom, your basement, or the garage. You will also want to consider the flooring and proper ventilation.

4. Set your budget

Setting up your home gym can be pricey, but only if you let it. There are plenty of fitness equipment available today that you can choose from. You need to set a budget and determine the equipment that you need to purchase. You will essentially need a cardio machine, some free weights, an exercise mat, and a bench.

5. Find a reliable supplier

Search the Web for reliable suppliers. Do not be afraid to bargain shop. This part can be time consuming, but you need to be patient. You should also consider checking out forums for recommendations and product reviews.

6. Watch how-to video demos

Setting up a home gym can be overwhelming and confusing. There are plenty of how-to videos online that you can watch, so you will gain tips and tricks. Some videos will even provide you with a list of tools and materials that you will use. Do not be afraid to ask questions and seek advice.

7. Hire a personal trainer

You will need to hire a personal trainer if you have no prior training, or you want to train for a competition. The main thing that you need to keep in mind is that exercising with bad form is the fastest way to get seriously injured.

8. Consider using jumping ropes as cardio alternative

If you have no budget for a good cardio machine, a jumping rope can be a great alternative. It is not recommended, however, for people with joint problems.

9. Use a good home gym flooring

You need to protect both your joints and your flooring. You may need a few layers of plywood or an appropriate carpet. Rubber mats are recommended, too.

10. Don’t forget the extra items

You should not forget the extra items that can improve your home gym experience. These items include the right pair of shoes, chalk for better grip and callus prevention, and a dip belt.

Interval Training On Treadmills

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, has become increasing popular as one of the best fat burning workouts. This type of workout uses bursts of speed with short rests in between. It alleviates the boredom that most people feel once they step on the treadmill. Incorporating HIIT into your treadmill workouts would surely increase the amount of fat that you burn in a very short time.


Why You Need to Do HIIT

HIIT sessions have plenty of benefits to offer, especially if you have a busy schedule. Your metabolic rate and heart rate increase as you complete the sets. This effect allows your body to burn more calories than doing steady cardio workouts. Studies have shown that HIIT burns up to nine times more fat than the usual cardio exercise. This type of workout also keeps your metabolism up for more than 24 hours after each session, which means you will continue burning fat even after your workout.

In addition, HIIT helps your body to burn fat while maintaining muscle. The overall duration is typically 10 minutes or more per session. You can do this workout after your weight training to torch the unwanted fat and enjoy a six-pack abs in no time.


The Workout

This treadmill workout is just one of the many variations of HIIT that you can incorporate into your routine. You only need 10 minutes to complete this session. Begin with a light jog for about three minutes before doing this workout. After the session, walk for three minutes to cool down. Take note that the 10-minute HIIT does not include the warm-up and cool down portions, so allot about 20 minutes for this routine.

Beginners should complete 20 seconds of work with a 40-second recovery for 10 sets. The more experienced ones should do the intermediate level workout, where they would have to do 30 seconds of work with a 30-second recovery for 10 sets. Advanced-level individuals should complete 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of recovery in between for 10 sets.

If you find the advanced level workout easy, then you can increase the incline for added variation, or follow the same workout on your stationary bike. Make sure to maintain proper form as you do the sets to prevent injury.


More Important Tips

The ideal work-to-rest ratio for HIIT sessions is to implement a recovery duration that is 50 percent of the working time. This gap should allow you to have ample recovery to perform the next set at maximum effort. If you are still gasping after the allotted recovery time, then you can further lengthen your rest periods.

It is also advisable to do this workout after your resistance training as it will shift your body to fat-burning mode much faster. However, you must remember that this workout should be incorporated into your strength training only during your lean phase, and not when you are beginning to bulk up.  It is also not ideal to do HIIT after a hard leg workout.


High intensity interval training requires you to work at your maximum effort for a short amount of time. Aside from the treadmill, you can also do this workout on a stationary bike, a rower, a cross trainer, or the stairs. Do not do this workout if you have been sedentary and have only started exercising as you will increase your risk of getting injured. If you really want to try it out, it will be best to approach a fitness trainer to guide you. You can also grab your friends and do this workout as a group, so it will be more enjoyable.

3 Killer Rowing Machine Workouts

A rowing machine will not strain your joints

If you are looking for an intense endurance challenge, then you should consider trying a rowing workout. Rowing is one of the best workouts you can do for cardio. You do not need to join a rowing team, or even ride a boat to row across the water to achieve this exercise. A rowing machine can engage your back, legs, arms, and core during an indoor training session. The best part of this exercise is that it will not strain your joints, which means people of all sizes and ages can use this fitness equipment.


What to Know About Rowing

Most people think that rowing workouts require only upper body strength. This type of exercise actually involves your legs and hips more as they do most of the work to create power during a stroke. You start a rowing stroke by driving from your legs, engaging your core muscles, and then follow through with your strong arms.

The first step before starting a rowing workout is to familiarize yourself with how the equipment works. Beginners are advised to do three things first once they sit down on a rowing machine. First, you need to adjust the foot straps and make sure that they go across the balls of your feet. Placing them too high would limit your stroking power, and an improper leg position will result in an inefficient form.

The next thing to do is to check your damper setting, which is a lever that controls the flywheel. Setting it high will make you feel like you are rowing a heavy boat, while setting it to zero will require less energy per stroke. You can compare the damper setting to the bike gears, where you need to make adjustments in order to achieve your target resistance.

Lastly, you need to understand the machine’s monitor as it displays your workout progress. With so many metrics, it is important for you to limit yourself to the essentials. The two numbers that you need to focus on are stroke rate and watts.


Warming Up

You need to wake up your muscles before rowing. This means making simple, partial movements, and then work towards completing a full rowing motion.Always keep your legs and back straight, and shoulders should remain relaxed.

Start warming up from your arms, and then to your back and legs for a few minutes. Once you have warmed up a bit, you can now do a complete stroke, with your knees fully bent. Do this for four more minutes before starting your routine.


The Workouts

These three workout sessions will kickstart your rowing obsession. Depending on your rowing machine, these workouts have been pre-programmed in some models. Simply select your desired routine from the menu, and you can begin your workout anytime.


High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Sprint Workout (30 seconds work, 30 seconds recovery)

High Intensity Interval Trainings, or HIIT, are perfect workouts for those who are always short on time. This interval rowing workout will give you a quick sweat fix. You can improve your strength, stamina, and explosive power in just 20 minutes. The whole workout session, however, will still include a few minutes of warming up and cooling down. Keep your rowing stroke rate between 26 and 32, and you can burn around 300 calories in total. Always stay in control of how fast your legs move.


Lean Leapfrog Workout (1 minute work, 1 minute recovery)

This workout allows you to compete against yourself during aggressive bursts. Most rowing workouts are aerobic, but this one was designed to be anaerobic. You will need to exhaust your muscles to produce lactate, leaving you with a burning feeling.

This anaerobic workout session will also help you improve your endurance and power output as you will be forced to maximize the strength of your legs. Pay close attention to your stroke rate, and keep your meters rowed for every interval. This challenge takes 40 minutes to complete, and will help you burn about 700 calories.

Woman exercising on row machine in fitness studio

Pyramid Power Row Workout (1 minute work, 1 minute recovery)

This intermediate-level rowing workout will help boost your endurance and rowing consistency. You need to maintain the same pace for each interval. You can set your rowing machine to show data in time-per-500-meters on the display. The challenge to be consistent will make you burn roughly 450 calories.


Maintain Proper Form All the Time

The rowing machine can be intimidating, but it is an effective way to burn fat. Once you get the hang of it, you will be surprised at how fit you have become in just a short period of time. However, it is crucial to maintain proper form throughout the workout session. Improper form can lead to serious back injuries, so it is best to be careful all the time.

11 Lean Leg Exercises You Can Do From Home

how to lose leg fat

If you're looking to lose weight and tone up your legs, we've got 11 fantastic leg workout options that you can do at home, or of course, in the gym.

Yes, it is possible to love the way your legs look! Let's take a look at the 11 best leg exercise options.​

1) Forward leg lift - Works the upper leg

Source: www.sheknows.com

To do it: Start with putting your back against a chair, ballet barre, banister, kitchen counter or stairway. Anywhere you can find balance. Extend one of your legs and lower and lift while pointing your toes. Do it 20 times. Switch legs.

Find out more here 

2) Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing - Works thighs with some upper body also


To do it: Grab one kettlebell and grip it using an overhand stance. Put in front at arm’s length in the middle of your waist. Bend your knees and hips until you form a 45 degree position to the floor. Keeping your arm straight and thrusting your hips, swing the kettlebell. Straighten your knees and swing the ball up to your chest area as you go up in a standing position. Repeat 20 times.

You can also do the exercise two handed, holding the kettlebell with both hands. Find out more here

3) Barbell Back Squat With Calf Raise - Tone those thighs and calf muscles!


To do it: Put the high bar behind your neck on your traps while putting your thumbs on the gripping bar. Your must be put at a shoulder width. Squat until you hit the bottom, push your knees out till you are standing and raise your feet’s balls while contracting your calves. Return to your original position and repeat 20 times.

Find out more here

4) Lateral Lunge Slide - Great for inner and outer thighs, hamstrings and calf muscles!


To do it: Put your feet together as you stand, arm stretched in front of your chest. Put your right foot’s ball on a towel, plate or a disc. Begin sliding your left foot to the side as you sit on your right leg. Keep both heels on the floor, back straight chest up and toes facing forward. The leg that is moving should be extended fully and stationary leg’s thigh should be to the ground parallel with the knee at the exercises’ end.

Read more here


5) Leg rolls - Great whole-leg exercise


To do it: Lie on your left side and place your other arm on the floor to help you balance and support yourself. Raise your left leg at hip level. Pretend that your leg is inside a barrel. Use your toes and trace it. Do 60 and switch legs.

Read more here

6) Stiff-Legged Dead Lift - lower back and hamstrings


To do it: Stand with knees slightly bent and shoulder and feet width apart. Hold at least a 5lb dumbbell or more depending on what you can carry. Put it in a position in front of your thighs. Shoulders back, heads up, push hips back as you inhale. Your weight should be on your heels. Lower the upper body as you slide the dumbbells down your thighs. Slowly go back to your original position. Do 20 times.

Read more here

7) Glute Bridge - buttocks

Source: sassyfitgirl.com

To do it: Lie and put your back on a mat. Bend your knee and put your feet flat on the floor. Gently pull your core and keep your abdominals engage. Lift your hip towards the ceiling while pressing your heels for stability. Return to your original position. Repeat 40-60 times.

Read more here. 

8) Rotation lunge - Fantastic for thighs & abdominals!

Source: http://www.amazingfitnesstips.com/

To do it: Start with your hip feet width apart and stretch your arms. Put one foot in a lunge position and bend both knees. Rotate your torso and arms over the lead leg. Stand up and rotate back to the neutral position. Do the same thing on the opposite leg. Do 20 times.

Read more here

9) Snowboarder’s Jump - Upper legs


To do it: Put your legs hip width apart, lower your seat, back straight and touch the ground using one arm. Jump 180 degrees and land on the opposite side. Repeat and jump again. Do 20 times.

Read more here

10) Kickoff with Cardio - all-over fat burning!


To do it: Your body needs cardio exercise on a daily basis to help you get leaner legs. Aim for at least 20 minutes of exercise and get your legs and heart pumping. Good options are cycling, walking and running that will require your legs to work hard. Exercises such as kickboxing, skating and dancing will help you burn fat.

Read more here 

11) Sumo Squat - Upper leg toning exercise


To do it: Hold a big dumbbell with both hands. Step your feet around a double hip width apart. Turn your toes in between 40 and 85 degrees. Keep your spine neutral and drop your hips. Lower till your upper thighs are in a parallel position. Squeeze your glutes while extending your legs while returning to the neutral position.

Read more here 


Summing Up

There you have it, 11 fantastic exercises for strengthening and toning your legs​. What's left to do now? Well, it's time to get moving and try some of these for yourself!

26 Ways To Lose Weight in 2016 (without crash diets or crazy exercise routines)


This year, embark on a new healthier lifestyle without any drastic dieting or extreme workouts. By slightly altering what you do everyday, you can successfully lose weight without too much stress. Feel good and look great with these simple and easy to follow tips:


1. The bulk of your carbs for the day should be eaten at breakfast.

big breakfast

source: www.essentialsurrey.co.uk

This will give you enough energy and help you eat less carbs throughout the day.

2. Use smaller plates.

small and large plate

source: www.zulily.com

Your portion sizes will automatically be smaller.

3. Shop with cash whenever you can.

australian dollars

source: www.start-a-new-life-in-australia.com

Especially when you’re eating out, the temptation to splurge and get a second or third serving is stronger when you know you’re paying with a credit card.

4. Eliminate unhealthy food from your diet little by little.

source: www.buzzfeed.com

Going cold turkey just doesn’t work for some people. You can stick to your diet better if you start by slowly removing one unhealthy food at a time.

5. Figure out your cravings.


source: blog.freepeople.com

Substitute your craving with a healthier option. If you seem to be yearning for a bag of salty chips, grab some less-salt pretzel sticks instead.

6. Surround yourself with people who have the same goal.

exercise in sports club

You’ll be more motivated to press on if you’re around people who encourage you.

7. Make drinking more water a habit.

Glass of water

Water doesn’t just ease your thirst, it cleanses your system. Train yourself to drink water after a certain activity you do throughout the day.


8. Do some of your work standing up instead of sitting down.

working while standing

source: www.simplifiedbuilding.com

Get a standing desk if you can. If not, stand up whenever you’re making calls or walk over to your colleague’s station if you need to speak with him.

9. Reorganize your fridge and pantry.

freezer organized

source: www.gofeminin.de

Take stock of all the food you have and remove most, if not all, foods with too much fat, salt or sugar

10. Arm yourself with some healthy snacks.

Dietary foods

Buy only healthy snacks for your home and keep some more healthy snacks in your office bag

11. Limit your sugar intake per day.

Once you start consuming more sugar, you’ll keep wanting more. Cut down your sweets to one or two in a day and once you’re used to that, make it even less.

12. Drinking a glass of water before you eat aids your digestion.

pitcher of water

Also, half of the time what we interpret as hunger pangs is actually thirst.

13. Write down what you eat.

meal planner

source: www.getfitwithnikki.com

Just as a budget helps you take note of your expenses, a food journal helps you monitor what you eat and how often.

14. Get your energy boost from green tea.

green tea

source: www.womenshealthmag.com

Ditch the soda and added sugar. Green tea is a healthier source of caffeine plus it has some other stimulants.

15. Get an accountability partner.

Sports women running

Share your progress on your weight and any successes or challenges in changing your habits.


16. Keep calm and carry on.

Pretty young woman doing plank

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not losing weight as quickly as you’d like. Worrying about it won’t help.

17. Follow an eating schedule so you can eat your meals regularly.

sample meal schedule

source: www.healthy-eating-spot.com

Irregular eating patterns contribute to weight gain. Choose an eating schedule: the usual three meals a day or smaller but more frequent meals spaced throughout your day.

18. Get a move on, even when you’re sitting.

chair situp

source: www.shape.com

There are some exercises you can do at the office including while you’re sitting down.

19. If you’re counting your calories, choose food, not drinks.

Happy family

Chewing your food, not drinking its juice, will help you feel satisfied longer.

20. Replace some of your proteins and carbs with vegetables.


Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals but have significantly lesser calories.

21. Don’t miss the most important meal of the day.

good breakfast

source: www.buzzfeed.com

Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast tend to eat more throughout the day.

22. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

chew food

The faster you eat, the longer it takes for your body to notice when you’re already full.

23. Be picky with your salad, not all salads are healthy.

vegetable salad

Look for high-calorie and fatty ingredients hiding in your salad and remove them or cut down the serving size.

24. Going up and down the stairs is good exercise.

going up the stairs

source: www.gofitmomstl.blogspot.com

Never mind the elevator or escalator. Taking the stairs is good for you.

25. Go to bed earlier.


Getting more sleep is good for your body and helps you avoid late-night snacking.

26. Find some other relaxing activity at the end of your day aside from eating.

source: www.refinery29.com

Try a long, soothing bath, a massage, reading or meditation.


25 Best Fitness Blogs To Follow (Updated)

Top fitness blogs 2017

Are you into fitness or looking for some motivation to get on the right path to better health? With so many fitness bloggers online today it is tough to know which fitness blogs to follow and which ones are best ignored.... The last thing you want to do is follow along with incorrect advice. That being said, here is a list of the top fitness blogs to follow in 2017 and beyond!

Last Updated - 22nd January 2017

Top Fitness Blogs 2017

1. Steve Kamb - Nerd Fitness

Epic Quest of Awesome, Lot's of Motivation
My two favorite posts:
Boss Battle
Superpower rundown.

2. Breaking Muscle

Complete Wellness & Peak Performance
My two favorite posts:
Rowing Efficiency improvement
Dragon Flag Yoga

3. Faya Nilsson - Fitness On Toast

Swedish Fitness Blogger
My Two Favorite Posts:
Staying Hydrated
Top 5 escapes

4. Zoë Harcombe

Author, researcher, blogger (obesity/nutrition)
My two favorite posts:
Low Carb Weight Loss

5. Laura Fountain - Lazy Girl Running

Marathon and ultra runner
My two favorite posts:
The Underground
Energy Balls

6. Marks Sisson - Mark's Daily Apple

Daily Fitness and Motivation Tips
My two favorite posts:
Insulin Sensitivity Improvement
9 Calorie Myths

7. Jenn Mitchell - Comeback Momma

Making a fitness comeback
My two favorite posts:
Accessorize Fitness
Yoga for Beginners

8. Cathe Friedrich

World Renowned Trainer
My two favorite posts:
Prevent Injuries, best way
How long will you live?

9. NikkiFitness

37-year-old fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout
My two favorite posts:
Anti-aging by walking
Resolution Kickstart Plan

10. Dorothy Beal - Mile Posts

Has overcome OCD, Oral Allergy Syndrome, and Gilberts Syndrome to become an accomplished runner and blogger
My favorite post:
Playlist for your workout

11. Carla Birnberg

Unapologeticaly herself, fitness guru
My two favorite posts:
Sleep deprivation test
All you can eat buffet myths

12. Adam Bornstein - Born Fitness

Epic Fitness Trainer
My two favorite posts:
Lose weight while you sleep
Carbs and Fats education

13. Neghar Fonooni - Eat Lift and Be Happy

Writer, coach, lover of life. Empowering women to live
My two favorite posts:
Pull up tips
Yoga Flow Explained

14. Nia Shanks - Lift Like A Girl

Awesome fitness Podcast!
My two favorite posts:
Sign up for her newsletter
Lift Like a girl Podcast

15. Jessi Kneeland - Remodel Fitness

Founder & CEO of Remodel Fitness
My two favorite posts:
Life's Purpose
Guts Glory, lift Weights

16. Tony Gentilcore

Co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance
My two favorite posts:
Talent Matters
Conquer Trigger Foods

17. Fit Bottomed Girls

Keeping a lid on the junk in the trunk
My two favorite posts:
Ultimate 80's work out song
Kettleball, the basics

18. Mark Bittman

Writer, New York Times; author, How to Cook Everything
My two favorite posts:
Mystery of Cardoons
Perfect Pasta

19. Mind Body Green

#revitalizing the way people eat, move, and live.
My two favorite posts:
US Best and Worst Well Being
Sequence your metabolism

20. Katie - Wellness Mama

live more naturally through practical tips
My two favorite posts:
Coconut Oil, 101 uses
Balance your hormones

21. Daily Cup of Yoga

All Yoga all the time
My two favorite posts:
Urban ways to live yoga
You are what you yoga

22. Yoni Freedhoff - Weighty Matters

Obesity MD/Ottawa U. Prof./Dad//Speaker/Author
My two favorite posts:
SCHOOL evidence
Cadbury Mcflurry, what??

23. Lauren Fleshman - Ask Lauren Fleshman

NCAA Athlete turned fitness advice blogger
My two favorite posts:
Work full time and running pro viable
Goal Chasin!

24. Bredna - Sugar-Free Mom

Sugar free eating for this family
My two favorite posts:
Sugar Free vs. Low Carb
Low Carb recipe for the ages

25. Sarah - Bumfuzzled Jane

Growing up advice with Fitness tips
My two favorite posts:
More powerful handstands
Why Reading books will help

See Also:
Those are my favorites, what are your favorites? Or if you have one we should be following, leave it in the comments below!