By Gerren Liles, AcaciaTV trainer
I’ve got the moves to chisel and sculpt your legs to perfection. Now that the weather’s warm, get ready to show off your gorgeous gams in a short skirt by doing 1-3 sets of each of these 4 exercises, 2-3 times a week.
ALL OUT LUNGES
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Step your right foot back about a stride’s length then bend both knees until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Immediately stand back up and swing your right leg forward a stride’s length, bending both knees as soon as your foot touches down.
Next, jump up in the air and switch leg positions, bending both knees again as soon as your feet touch back down. Use your arms throughout to both power and balance your movements.
Repeat 8-15 times. (more…)
Strength training is a progressive thing: as you progress and grow stronger, the intensity and resistance of your exercises will evolve to continue to challenge you and keep those results coming. There are very specific variables that effect how hard an exercise is that you can use to increase that intensity incrementally. You can’t always just add more weight, so here are four other ways to ramp up the results of your body weight workouts.
Change the angle: The steeper the angle of your body toward your exercising muscles, the harder the exercise will be. Example: elevate your feet during push-ups to make them tougher, or place your hands on a stair to decrease the angle for an easier modification of a standard pushup.
Decrease the stability: Reducing your contact with the floor instantly works more muscles groups to keep you balanced. You can do this by lifting one foot or hand off the ground, or getting off the floor completely with an unstable surface like a bosu, a balance board, or a stability ball. (more…)
Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys its membership of fitness professionals (myself included) to identify the top trends in fitness. The 2015 list was recently published with, in my opinion, only a few surprises.
What did surprise me on this list? Outdoor activities are #12! I see and hear a lot about running in fitness circles, but not much else. Most popular classes and activities take place in some sort of gym, be it a commercial one or the budget home gym you created in the spare bedroom. I would love to see more people get off the spin bike and on the bike path. Hiking is a new love of mine and, unlike the treadmill, it does wonders for your body and soul. Boot camps are last on the ACSM list at #20. They are still very popular in the Midwest so I am curious what group fitness trend will be taking their place. What are you seeing where you live?
Agree or disagree, here are five “big” fitness trends you can look forward to in the coming year.
1. Body weight training and High Intensity Interval Training came in #1 and #2, respectively, on the ACSM list. This worries me for two reasons. One, the high rate of injury that goes along with beginners starting at too high of intensity as well as over-training, and two, the level of burnout that often follows. I think body weight exercises are great. They can be some of the most challenging exercises you can do, but if proper form isn’t developed before adding the explosive intensity of popular programs like Insanity or P90X you may be asking for trouble.
After watching Kira Stoke’s video on primal animal movements for strength training, I couldn’t resist trying it for myself in this week’s Saturday Drill. This workout can be done anywhere at any time. And though you won’t be using any equipment, your own body weight in these positions will likely leave you more worked up and sweaty than a standard workout at the gym.
Though this workout can be physically demanding if done properly, it could also be a fun one to try with the kids. The key to success in these movements is to literally think and act like an animal would. If you feel silly, you’re probably doing it right.
Some of the animals we’ll be mimicking are gorillas, panthers, ducks, lizards and even seals. By using nothing but your own body weight, you’ll be working on core and upper body strength. Some of the benefits these movements include increased endurance, flexibility, power, posture and balance.
Try this workout at home in a long hallway or in a big open space. You want to be able to walk, waddle, crawl and hop from one end of the room to the other without obstruction. The amount of times you perform each exercise should be based on your current endurance and strength levels. For beginners, I recommend doing each movement 1-2 times. Going from one end of the room and back would count as one set. For those more advanced, try performing each movement at least three times. All but one movement require moving forward or backward.
Many of us look forward to the weekend for several reasons, whether we have big plans or are just ready for some rest. If you’re like me, you have a hard time getting yourself to the gym on Saturday mornings when there are so many other things you’d rather be doing (like sleeping in).
When you finally do get up and around, there are a lot of workouts you can do right in your own home without any equipment other than your own body weight. These exercises are a great switch up from your regular gym routine and can benefit your body no matter how intense your normal workouts may be.
For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill, we’ve come up with several body weight and plyometric exercises that will get your blood pumping, sweat dripping and help strengthen your upper body and core. Among the many benefits of plyometric workouts are muscle development, speed, agility, endurance, coordination and fat loss. Let’s get started.