Something tells me these models aren't SPANX's target audience...
For years, people have been wanting a quick and easy way to look slimmer. There have been diet drugs, powders, shakes, shoes; anything that promises to help you shed pounds and look thinner. Of course, there is always the tried-and-true method of exercising to become thinner and healthier, but many people still fall for the fads and quick-fixes.
One of the newer quick-fixes is as easy as putting on a pair of pants and a shirt. SPANX Active Wear (see image) offers a wide variety of body-shaping fitness clothing to help women feel more confident in their own skin. The SPANX fabric helps conceal trouble spots like muffin-tops and cellulite, while also using back seams that “improve your rear view.” In addition to the traditional pants and tank-tops, SPANX also offers a bodysuit to flatten your stomach and other pieces that flatten your thighs and butt.
So you can now buy SPANX clothing made specifically for the gym. I can get behind anything that encourages women to hit the gym, but pants with names like “Slim-X Bagel-Busters” have many people wondering if it is sending the wrong message. Don’t get me started on the “Wrap & Go,” which for a whopping $68 is specifically designed to hide your butt at the gym. What about doing some squats, SPANX?
A new sports bra will be made available in October that claims to “eliminate the bounce” for women with larger chests, who are often on the look out for that very thing. The new sports bra comes from the British lingerie company Panache, who specializes in bras for cup sizes D and higher.
Finding an effective sports bra that keeps bouncing to a minimum can be very difficult. High impact exercise can be jarring and in some cases dangerous to the body if you are a woman working out without proper support.
Panache enlisted their head designer Clare Fallon to create a sports bra that encapsulates each breast separately, which creators say works as effectively as “two hands holding the breasts.” Available in sizes D through H, this new sports bra is said to reduce movement from every angle. During the research process, the amount of breast bounce was reduced by 83 percent in a model wearing a size 32E while working out on a treadmill.
One of the most common complaints I hear from beginner exercisers is that their knees, wrists or necks feel uncomfortable — or even painful — during common moves like push-ups, planks and ab work. When you’re just starting a new workout program, there’s already enough things to deal with, from making room in your schedule for exercise to properly hydrating to having the right form to delayed onset muscle soreness. The last thing you need is extra discomfort, right? Right!
The company Do or Die Fitness recently sent me their new fitness wedges for just this problem. Made of soft yet supportive latex-free foam, the wrist wedges, neck circle and knee donuts are a new exerciser’s BFF. All of the supports reduce discomfort and stress on your joints by improving your ergonomics. I was especially a fan of the knee donuts. Whether it’s being in table-top position in yoga that’s uncomfortable or doing a modified push-up that puts too much pressure on your knees, these little donuts do wonders. The wrist wedges were also easy to use, even including a little diagram of where your hand goes, so that you use them correctly. The neck circle was my least favorite of the three, but it wasn’t because it didn’t work — it did its job. I just feel like, for neck support, you could easily use a towel, pillow or something else that’s soft you have around the house. (more…)
Usually when people pick out a pair of shoes, they go for two things: the right size and a look that they like. While this may work for a sexy pair of heels or some casual sneaks to wear with jeans, when it comes to fitness shoes, they aren’t a fashion statement: they are a piece of fitness equipment.
Just like when you invest in equipment for your home gym, everyone’s needs are different. Someone who works out in a gym is going to need different shoes than someone who prefers to run trails in the sunshine, or someone who prefers a game of pick up basketball is going to have different needs than someone who taking a Zumba class.
There are a lot of different kinds of shoes you can choose to workout in, but choosing the right type can mean the difference between a comfortable, effective workout, or pain and overuse injuries.
Zumba Wear Gym Shoes on Amazon.com, $108.99
Zumba is taking over the world. It’s cheap, fun, easy and you don’t need much to join in on the Latin dance fitness craze except your body, whatever sense of rhythm you have, and the right shoes.
You don’t need those fancy high heels you may be picturing, however. Your regular gym shoes are just fine, but if you really want proper Zumba foot attire, there are a few things you should consider when picking out a new pair of kicks.
There are three basic elements to look at when purchasing any type of shoe: shock absorption, ankle support, and material and sole flexibility. Well, four, cause they have to look good, too, but that’s a given. These three elements become even more important when looking for shoes for a specific activity, which today is a kick-butt Zumba class.
If there is one advantage overweight people have over those of a normal weight when it comes to fitness, it’s that the more you weigh, the more calories you burn doing the same amount of work. Ask yourself: What is easier? Walking up a flight of stairs, or walking up a flight of stairs with a refrigerator strapped to your back?
While toting household appliances may be a bit extreme, you can get the same benefits of adding weight to your body for a more intense workout by using a weighted vest- a piece of fitness equipment designed for just such results. Unfortunately, most people either haven’t heard of them, or think they are just for hardcore athletes, when in actuality, they are great for even the fitness beginner.
Different types of weight vests are made for different activities. Some vests have a sleek design, like this one from Altus Athletic, which are less restrictive of movement and made for sports and activities that require more range of motion in the arm, such as throwing a ball or swinging a golf club. Other vests, like this one from GoFit, have broader shoulders, which is more comfortable for walking and running. Cardio becomes more taxing on the body when you must propel more weight, and your leg muscles will become stronger and more toned, especially when traveling uphill, than if you were walking with your own body weight alone.
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There are a number of tools to help you live the Biggest Loser lifestyle at home. The brand has extended itself to books, DVDs, frozen food and a meal delivery service, kitchen appliances, and more. Less than 200 people have ever been able to set foot on the coveted ranch and train in the country’s most famous gym, but that doesn’t mean the millions of other people watching from home can’t train the way they do.
In April 2011, Cybex and Biggest Loser will unveil the first-ever piece of Biggest Loser-branded fitness equipment. The Biggest Loser Arc Trainer is a first-of-its-kind piece of aerobic equipment made for residential use and mirrors the Cybex Arc Trainer used on the ranch. Condense your home gym into one piece of equipment, as the Biggest Loser Arc Trainer combines all the benefits of a ski machine, stepper and elliptical trainer for an all-in-one aerobic workout with a serious calorie burning affect. In fact, according to university research, the Biggest Loser Arc Trainer burns 16 percent more calories than an elliptical. As crunched as we all are for time, who doesn’t want to get more out of their standard workout? (more…)
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could slip a weight onto your arm, walk around with it all day, and when you took it off at night, you would have burned more calories and built more muscle than you could have possibly imagined? Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, evidently, it is.
Body Togs are weighted “sleeves” that you can wear on your arms and legs. They are compact, comfortable, and fit easily underneath your clothes. Since they increase the amount of weight that you are carrying on your body, they cause you to expend more energy than you normally would, resulting in you burning more calories and losing more weight. As you lose internal weight, you keep this external weight, which will keep your daily caloric burn at an increased level. According to the creator, if you use the Body Togs for 10 hours each day, you will supposedly burn as many calories as if you had run for two miles.
Who says yoga mats have to follow a convention? While some yoga aficionados eschew the mat altogether, Mandala offers a round yoga mat. The circle has a six-foot diameter that allows your practice to flow in all directions without ever leaving the mat.
The circular brain-child of yoga instructor Desiree Kleemann, the Mandala mat is made in such a way that no material is wasted, and manufacturing scarps are recycled in a variety of ways. The word mandala derives from the Sanskrit work for ‘disk,’ but the term also refers to a geometric representation of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist religions, and is often used as a meditation object.
“Doing yoga on the circular mat makes it easier to transition between poses,” says Michele Foley at FitSugar who observed a fellow practitioner using a circular mat. “My classmate never had to change the placement of her mat, or position herself differently to avoid being on the floor.”
Are wrist straps or ankle braces necessary for your workouts? There has been a lot of controversy over the years about wearing supportive gear during exercise.
If you have an injury or are trying to prevent further injury, then it’s a “no brainer” to wear supportive gear. Supportive gear is designed to support and protect, but what is it doing to the muscles or other parts of your body?
When you wear wrist straps or ankle braces, the body learns to lean on the assistance and doesn’t have to work as hard. For instance, when you wear wrist straps, your grip strength is lessened by the straps, as the strap holds the majority of the weight, and therefore the gripping muscles and other normally recruited muscles are being used less. On the other hand, straps allow you to lift more weight and perform more repetitions, so whether or not you use them depends on what your goal is. (Plus, if you are worried about your grip strength, you should be doing grip strengthening exercises on a weekly basis anyway). (more…)