Blockbuster movie season has officially begun. Though there are many, many reasons to see the following films, these action-packed summer movies feature some of the hottest celebrities in the world. If you use A-listers as your guiding light at the gym, see how can you combine your workout with your favorite new movie.
The secret? Almost all of these stars rely on strength training to get trim, lean, toned arms, legs, booties, and bellies. Strength training is not only one of the biggest trends in fitness this year, it’s one of the very best things you can do for your body. Yes, even women. Even two days of weights a week will make a difference in how you feel and look. If you need inspiration to get started, this list has a lot of muscle.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Everyone has been talking about Age of Ultron lately, and why shouldn’t they be? The sequel to 2012’s The Avengers has certainly earned its buzz. Wondering how you can get in superhero shape yourself? Grab a kettleball and wield it like Loki’s hammer. I mean–try not to hurt anyone or yourself–but your arms will thank you later.
Turkish Get Up Full-Body Kettlebell Workout
The buddy-comedy Hot Pursuit stars two of the hottest actresses in the world: Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. It would be stellar to have either of their bodies, but to match their workouts, you’re going to want to focus on your squats. It is safe to say that both sexy ladies have very nice backsides. Work those glutes, guys.
Lower Body Blitz Workout (more…)
I love squats because they are functional and efficient. Squats strengthen the muscles that keep us mobile and independent. Every time we sit in a chair or use the bathroom we are squatting. When we can no longer do those things on our own we are in trouble.
So imagine the challenge for those who cannot do squats as a form of exercise. I encounter people all the time who can’t perform a squat, because of injury or chronic conditions, include squats as part of their exercise program. It can be a frustrating situation for both client and personal trainer. While this does present a unique challenge it doesn’t mean they have to resign themselves to a lower body workout of machine driven exercises like the leg extension.
Machines can have their place in a strength training program; however, some of them do put the body in an unnatural position. They don’t mimic real world movements. We live in a 3D world and are meant to move in multiple planes. Strength training is most effective for most people with movements that mimic real life motions. Also many clients have limited equipment at home. By necessity, programs must be designed that utilize simple tools like resistance bands and their own body weight.
If squats are painful or have been forbidden by your doctor, there are still many exercise options for your lower body. Try this workout combination for an effective leg workout sans squats. Do 2-3 sets of each exercise, 10 – 12 repetitions per set. (more…)
We need 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It’s a great goal but it can feel unattainable for many people. If you’re new to exercise, jumping from zero to 30 minutes EVERY DAY can feel as daunting as being asked to run a marathon. This is especially true if you have no idea where to start or what to do for those 30 minutes.
Even for experienced exercisers there are days with back-to-back meetings or when the alarm doesn’t go off – again. Exercise can get pushed off the plate to balance out the daily demands on our time. With the holidays upon us, time for workouts becomes even more precious and scarce then usual. Rookie or pro, we can all fall into the “all or nothing” trap.
By the time I drive to the gym, I’ll just have to turn around and come right back. If I can’t get my whole workout in why even bother?
I can’t walk on the treadmill for FIVE minutes, how am I supposed to do 30? Where am I even going to find 30 minutes in my day?
New Book Preview: What You Can, When You Can
If the “all or nothing” mentality is holding you back from getting your daily workout, I’ve got good news for you. The latest research says our minimum dose of exercise may be lower than we once thought. A recent study in the journal Lancet looked at exercise patterns and life expectancy of over 400,000 men and women. They found that as little as 15 minutes a day provided health benefits and reduced all cause mortality. (more…)
I don’t like crunches. They hurt my neck. No matter how hard I focus on keeping my eyes up and my chin off my chest, I still feel my neck is getting more of a workout than my abs.
That’s why crunches don’t appear often in my (or my clients’) workouts. I don’t ignore the core however. It is the foundation of our body and functional movement. I just choose to train it other ways.
There are plenty of non-crunch techniques to help you develop your core. If you have low back issues or simply don’t want a pain in the neck, try one of these ways to build a strong and stable core.
1. Planks: I love ab holds and high planks, but they can get boring after awhile. Once a client can maintain an ab hold for 60 seconds, I move on to more challenging plank variations. To take your plank to the next level, try one of these.
- Stability ball plank: Place your forearms on a stability ball and toes on the ground. Hold for up to 90 seconds.
- Plank slides: I love Valslides for core work! Place one Valslide under each hand while in high plank position. Alternating pushing arms forward and back, about 6 inches away from your body, for 12 reps per side.
- Body Saw: Take your plank to a new level by keeping your forearms on the ground but place your feet in suspension trainers that are hanging about 10 – 12 inches from the ground. Move forward and back for 10-15 repetitions. (more…)
When we think of cardio, running is often the first thing that comes to mind. Running is a great form of exercise, however, it isn’t the right solution for everyone. From beginners who haven’t built a base of strength yet to those with arthritis, high impact movements like running aren’t a good fit.
Cardio, by definition, actually means “from the heart.” Therefore, from an exercise perspective, it is anything that gets your heart rate up. This means there are plenty of low- or no-impact activities you can do to accomplish this goal. Make cardio easier on your knees while still benefiting your heart with these five moves.
Walking is a great form of cardio that we already know how to do, but you have to do it briskly or find a way to push yourself. The heart is a muscle and, like your biceps, gets stronger only with challenge. Make your walk more challenging by increasing the incline on the treadmill or wearing a weighted vest on your outdoor walks.
Dance lets you sweat and de-stress. Have you seen the transformations on Dancing with the Stars? If ballroom isn’t your thing, try a hip-hop or swing class. You can always crank up your favorite tunes and get crazy in your living room. (more…)
Simplicity is a beautiful thing. Phong Tran, fitness specialist and master at designing accessible workouts, has provided us with her latest breezy creation, the Full Body Outdoor Summer Workout. Using only a kettlebell and your motor skills, this four-step regimen is designed to tighten your entire body. It strengthens nearly every major muscle group and can be done from the privacy of your home. This straightforward workout requires no gym membership or mastery of complicated exercise equipment. Phong has cobbled together the ideal summer workout where legs, glutes, abs, and arms will all be toned, leaving you in perfect bikini-wearing condition.
Side Lunge into Shoulder Press—Do 15 reps, switch sides, repeat.
Keep posture neutral. Bend leg into side lunge, keep other leg straight. Then raise ball into shoulder press. Hold the ball tight for better control and breathe out on the way up. (more…)
According to MayoClinic.com, the number one reason people don’t exercise on a regular basis is lack of time. I hear the same thing from clients.
But lack of time also tops my list of excuses for not exercising that are crap.
Our world is a busy one. I run my own business, so I get it. Yet, have you ever asked yourself how much time you waste on Facebook, reality TV or complaining you don’t have time to exercise? In the time you spent complaining you could have done something!
To start many of my clients off, I give them exercise homework that takes 5 minutes or less. A Cornell University study found that just 5 minutes of exercise per day can result in fitness gains and improve our self image. It can go a long way toward forming the habit of being active and chances are once you get going you’ll want to do more than those 5 minutes. (more…)
One of the most popular fitness trends of 2012 was the CrossFit phenomenon. Dedicated gyms gave followers a place to perfect their WOD (workout of the day) while finding motivation from like-minded men and women. CrossFit is not going out with the old but will be very much a part of this new year. If you’ve thought about joining the craze, let us be your guide.
What is CrossFit?
In the year 2000, Greg Glassman created a workout program that has become known as CrossFit. This program is a short workout that involves high intensity functional movements for the entire body. The idea is to push one’s self as hard as possible for a short amount of time, sometimes even less than 20 minutes.
CrossFit involves many dynamic exercises such as plyometric jumps, Olympic lifts, sprinting, rowing, jump rope, flipping tires, body weight exercises, weightlifting and even climbing a rope to the top of a ceiling. If you’ve been to a bootcamp, it looks very similar. In terms of weight lifting, we aren’t just talking about your average dumbbell, but other non-traditional weight lifting equipment. Some of these might include sand bags, kettlebells, water-filled containers, and suspension systems.
The goal during this very high intensity workout is to perform a certain number or repetitions in a certain amount of time. Some athletes who take CrossFit classes are even scored and ranked in order to encourage competition and to track progress. For those who are more advanced, some will even compete against one another in person and then post their results on the CrossFit website. (more…)
We’re only a few days out from the biggest shopping day of the year. That’s right, Black Friday is just two days away. Have you made your shopping list?
You probably never thought about the calories you burn during your Black Friday extravaganzas, but you should because it can actually be a beneficial workout to help burn off your Thanksgiving indulgences. A 140-pound person can burn up to 226 calories just by standing for three hours, and some of those door-buster lines will no doubt last that long. That same person can burn up to about 982 calories when shopping for five hours (this includes the average estimated standing time as well). Needless to say, going out on Black Friday could be a way to help burn off the estimated 3,000 calories we consume on Thanksgiving Day.
To reduce your chances of holiday weight gain even further, we combed through the Black Friday ads and found impressive deals on fitness gear, kitchen appliances, and more that will help you stay on track with you health and fitness goals.
Aspire Yoga Products: 25% off at Sports Authority. We’re giving away a yoga prize pack valued at $240!
Wieder 3-Piece Kettlebell Kit: Found at Sears for only $29, which saves you $20.
BodyFit Medicine Balls: BodyFit will be 50% off at Sports Authority
Sodastream Geness Soda Maker: With the purchase of this item at Target you will receive a $20 gift card. The flavors, which are sold individually, are also on sale for buy two flavors get one free. (more…)
For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill we’re diving into something a bit different. We’re switching things up and confusing those muscles by incorporating a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are a handle-style weight typically made of cast-iron that ranges in weight between 5-105 pounds. They can be found at most major retailers for a reasonably low price, usually between $10-$15. In addition to being affordable and easy to store, they’re also the perfect tool for strength, flexibility and ballistic training, and can also incorporated into cardiovascular activity as well.
Among its many benefits, kettlebell training can aid with core stability, balance, coordination, blood circulation, muscle tone and fat loss, and can also help increase energy levels, improve sleep and boost self esteem. Sign us up!
It’s pretty common for females to be intimidated by weight training, but kettlebells are a great option for performing exercises comfortably in your very own home. They’re also great for switching things up and confusing your muscles. Your body can easily get used to a particular exercise if you perform it on a consistent basis. When this happens your workout isn’t as beneficial as it was the first few times you performed it, leaving you with less-than-desirable results.
NOTE: Please be sure to carefully follow the instructions for this routine. Performing a kettlebell exercise incorrectly can cause injury. If you’re unsure about how to perform an exercise correctly, do not attempt it before asking a personal trainer at your local gym in order to avoid risk of injury.