In England at least, gyms are back open, so some of you can stop relying on press-ups and floor presses to build your chest. Hurrah. But now you’re back in the gym, don’t just replace your tired old chest exercises with more tired old chest exercises, or, at the very least, learn a couple of new moves to keep your workouts fresh.
To help you out, our fitness editor, Andrew Tracey, has selected five alternative chest exercises to add to your chest-day arsenal and get your pecs seriously pumped. You’ll find the moves below. As with all workouts, technique is key, so check out the video above to see Tracey performing the moves as they were intended.
Before you hurry off to watch, just one word of warning. When it comes to your chest, smashing out fast reps is unlikely to deliver the muscle-building stimulus your chest requires. A study published in The Journal of Physiology found that slow, controlled lifts performed to fatigue resulted in greater rates of muscle growth than the same movement performed rapidly. So go slow, go steady, and go for huge pecs.
5 of the Best (Alternative) Exercises for a Bigger Chest
We’re not advising you to ditch the bench press, and if you want an extensive guide to building your chest, we’ve put that together for you too, but here are five alternative exercises to add to your chest-day routine.
- Dumbbell Squeeze Press
- Incline Press to Fly
- Banded Crossovers
- Guillotine Press
- Incline Dumbbell Press
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The holidays can be a great time to spice up your workout routine, according to health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour.
Mansour suggested investing in a few things to switch up your at home workout including a vibrating foam roller and a pilates ring.
The pilates ring can be used to tone multiple areas of your body and the roller can help massage your muscles before and after a workout to increase blood flow.
If you’re trying to be mindful about what you eat, Mansour also suggested a few easy swaps.
Skip some of the calories for an extra serving of vegetables by swapping pasta noodles for zucchini noodles.
Try some alternative flours such as almond or coconut in your holiday baking, Mansour suggested.
Or, to cut down on sugar, you can sub out sugar for apple sauce or honey, she said.
And if you are looking to treat yourself to some new athleisure wear this holiday season, Mansour shared some fashion trends.
Opt for leggings with cropped look or cut-outs as well as workout shirts with back cut-outs, she said. All the pieces are great for running laps and running errands.
Mansour has a whole host of other health and fitness tips available on her website.
LONG ISLAND, NY — A Long Island school nurse spent the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic educating students on how to stay healthy and prevent spreading the virus — but now after contracting COVID-19 herself, she is hoping to spread more awareness about the effects of the virus.
Cheryl Williams first started feeling symptoms of the disease in early April. The week before, her husband started feeling symptoms and eventually got sick himself. Williams thought she had isolated her husband soon after he got sick, but eventually the coronavirus spread to her and her two children.
At first, she just started feeling some muscle pain but didn’t think too much of it. Soon after Williams, who has asthma, started feeling an asthmatic cough and experienced gastrointestinal issues. She also had a fever for 12 days and lost her sense of taste and smell.
Williams took a COVID-19 test a few days after she first felt symptoms and it came back positive. For two weeks, she said she was feeling “extremely” ill. She used several natural remedies to help with her symptoms, including eating foods with lots of garlic and ginger to control her nausea and steam to clear her lungs. She also used chest physiotherapy to improve her breathing.
“I felt like there were days I wasn’t going to make it,” Williams told Patch.
Fast-forward six months later. While Williams no longer has the coronavirus, she is still feeling lasting effects. She says she and her oldest son are experiencing extreme fatigue to this day.
But Williams, who is also an author, is not letting that stop her from educating others and sharing her story. In those months she was not working due to schools being closed, she wrote about it and made YouTube videos.
“I wanted to give these people a voice, because there’s so much pent-up stress and frustration with this virus and how it affects us,” she said. “I know people will think I’m crazy but there are benefits [to the pandemic] and I think that yes, there were situations where we will pulled apart because of the whole pandemic but there’s situations where we come together and if we focus on coming together because we do need each other to get through this and empower each other.”
Williams said she still feels a lot of people are taking the pandemic too lightly.
“Even before I became a school nurse, I worked in a hospital setting and in a nursing home, so I know how contagious and how crazy these viruses can be. It’s so unpredictable,” she said. “One thing I learned is that COVID-19 is something that we should not sleep on, never take lightly.”
Now that she is back to work, she is back to educating and helping students and staff around her to practice healthy habits such as hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing, constantly.
“I’m always grateful for life but after this pandemic … there were days I didn’t even think I
Footballer Marcus Rashford has highlighted a string of businesses across the country who are handing out free school meals during the October half term after MPs voted against extending the scheme during the holiday.
Rashford, who is spearheading a campaign to end child food poverty, said he was “blown away” by news of businesses stepping up to fill the voucher scheme during half-term, saying: “This is the England I know”.
The England star shared posts from businesses across the UK who have announced they will provide free meals for those who need them, and urged people to add the hashtag #endchildfoodpoverty to their tweets so he could promote them.
Blown away by news of local businesses stepping up to fill the voucher scheme deficit during the October half term. Selflessness, kindness, togetherness, this is the England I know 🏴
Add #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY to your tweets so I can track them. I will share as many as I can ♥️
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) October 22, 2020
They include pubs, cafes, restaurants and tapas bars, as well as sandwich bars and coffee shops and also local councils, with offers ranging from hot meals to packed lunches, food parcels and sandwiches and treats.
Just a few highlighted by Rashford include: Baker’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant in Bolton, Taste Sandwich Bar in Liverpool, Pabna Restaurant in Leek, Staffordshire, Whitley Bait Sandwich and Coffee Bar in Whitley Bay, Astoria Bar and Restaurant in Urmston, Manchester and Bowring Park Cafe in Shropshire.
Many of the establishments had shared their disappointment at the government’s decision through social media posts, and urged parents or carers who would struggle without the free school meal scheme to get in touch.
They also reminded people that any requests would be handled with discretion and they could get in touch privately.
We will be providing a free hot baked potato with beans, fruit, snack & drink to the children of any families that may be feeling the pinch this half term.
— Minikin Paint a Pot Art Cafe (@minikinartcafe) October 22, 2020
Ruhel Pabna, media spokesman for Pabna Restaurant in Leek, said: “At Pabna we are a family restaurant run by a family of father and four sons. When we employ our staff we treat them like our own family, therefore the customers become our family too.
“We believe we are fortunate in this pandemic, and have been brought up in a manner where we should help others feel privileged if they already aren’t.
“We want to make sure nobody sleeps sad or hungry without food, therefore we feel it’s important to make sure everyone has a hot dinner at night.
“Marcus Rashford highlighting the issues shows we are not individuals in this world, we are a family as one. And in times like this we must stick as one.”
We’re giving every pupil in need
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Maryland is preparing to roll out a coronavirus vaccine as soon one is authorized, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday. Though the hype for an immunization is swirling, the governor reminds Marylanders that vaccinating the entire state will take some time.
Hogan’s draft plan calls for a two-step rollout of a potential coronavirus shot. A person’s job and living situation would determine when they get an immunization, he says.
“In anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine, Maryland stands ready to order, distribute, and administer it effectively and rapidly as soon as a vaccine becomes available,” Hogan said in a press release sharing the state’s proposal.
Hogan submitted a tentative strategy to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for approval last week. It is not yet finalized, and it is merely an overview of what the vaccination period could look like.
Health care and essential workers would get the immunization first, according to Hogan’s suggestion. Staff members and residents of nursing homes would also be eligible for the shot in the first phase.
“The State of Maryland’s plan for this historic undertaking will immediately make the vaccine available to Marylanders at highest risk of developing complications from COVID-19 as well as our critical frontline health care workers and essential workers in public safety and education,” Hogan added.
The Maryland Department of Health would track several key metrics to evaluate the state’s vaccination progress, according to the proposition. The state would create an immunization dashboard to keep an eye on:
Percent of Phase 1 population vaccinated
Percent and number of residents and staff at long-term care facilities vaccinated
Determination of an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state for the Phase 1 population
Percent and number of Phase 1 population pre-registered
Once Maryland makes substantial progress in these areas and after the CDC approves, the state will offer the coronavirus shot to the general public. This could take a while though.
Vaccines must be stored at low temperatures, meaning high-tech equipment is necessary to chill the immunization during shipping. This specialization could slow the process down.
Furthermore, patients will need two doses of the shot, doubling the amount of product that needs to pass through a competitive shipping market. The doses will be separated by 21 to 28 days, adding time to the process.
The state hopes to sort out some of these logistics beforehand by pre-registering vaccine distributors and receivers. Maryland will handle ordering and scheduling in advance through a state database called ImmuNet.
“From provider recruitment and enrollment to vaccine storage and reminders about second doses, MDH has taken a very calculated approach to ensure the logistics, operations, and execution of this plan are thorough and efficient,” said Acting Deputy Secretary of Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan.
Hogan’s plan could only start if a company finalizes an immunization, gets the proper authorization and mass produces millions of doses. Scientists are not there yet, but it is a competitive race to the finish line.
Olivia Newton-John continually uses her platform to advocate for cancer research and now she is taking it a step further with the launch of her new foundation.
The four-time Grammy Award-winning singer and actress, who is currently battling breast cancer for the third time, launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation this month to fund research for treatments and therapies to cure cancer.
The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and again in 2013. She revealed in 2018 that the disease returned and metastasized to her spine.
In a recent interview with “Good Morning America,” the actress, 72, revealed she is “feeling really good” and spoke about what led her to launch this new charity.
“I feel really positive and very excited about bringing this foundation and a lot of knowledge to people, and funding research to find out lots of answers — to find kinder treatments for cancer,” she shared.
“The inspiration has been a long one because I’ve been on this cancer journey for 28 years,” she added. “I’m a thriver of three times going through this process.”
MORE: Olivia Newton-John gives optimistic update on breast cancer diagnosis
Having gone through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she said she now is interested in funding treatments that aren’t as taxing to the body. “I’ve always thought, ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could create kinder therapies that help boost the body’s immune system instead of knocking us down?'” she said.
Newton-John is an outspoken advocate for plant medicine and says that’s largely due to the influence of her husband, John Easterling. She affectionately calls him “Amazon John” because he spent several years in the Amazon rain forest learning about this type of medicine.
“I’m very lucky that I have him in my corner, and teaching me about the plants and the herbs,” she said. “He grows cannabis for me and I take tinctures that have helped me greatly.”
Ongoing efforts are being made to research what role cannabis may play in the future. “While some like Newton-John find relief of cancer-related pain and nausea from cannabis, it has not clinically proven to be the best choice,” according to health expert Dr. Imran Ali, a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.
Newton-John says she believes there is a significant lack of progress in research for these treatments.
“There are lots of ideas on how we can help people with cancer and treat cancer, but there’s been no real science behind the studies,” she explained. “So the idea is to raise money to fund the research on the other kinds of things that are kinder, including a lot of plant medicine.”
Newton-John is dedicating the foundation to all forms of cancer treatments — not just breast cancer research — because she dreams of one day “realizing a world beyond cancer.”
“That’s everything that drives me forward,” she said. “To think that we could help people to