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5 Exercises You Love to Hate, but Should Do Anyway

There are three benefits to hiring a personal trainer. The first is accountability. Having someone waiting on you helps insure you get to the gym. The second is structure. We have enough to think about, letting someone else put together the workout is a huge time saver. The third is having someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you do the exercises you hate.

Even the most devoted exerciser has at least one exercise they love to hate. We hate it when we’re doing it, but we love the way we feel or look afterwards. I did an informal poll of my clients and came up with the five exercises they love to hate (and why we should all do them anyway).

plank
Burpees (aka squat thrusts): I don’t think one client likes burpees. I like them because they are efficient. If you want to get to your heart rate up and work multiple muscle groups (core, arm, shoulders and quads) then the burpee is the quickest way to do it. A burpee can also be modified for almost every fitness level.

Squats: I get groans every time I mention squats. That means there are a lot of groans because we do some form of a squat at every workout. Squats are a part of daily life (think about every time you get up out of the chair). If you want to stay independent and function for your whole life squats need to be part of your workout routine.
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Saturday Morning Drill: Stretches for Runners

Stretching: Possibly the secret weapon for any successful athlete, especially runners. The trick is knowing when to stretch and how to stretch. It’s also important to know some stretches are better for runners than others, and even if you have just a little bit of time you can make a big difference in your performance with a few specific moves. 

Hanna Rosov, ACSM, HFS, and owner of Zeal Fitness in Wichita, Kansas, works with many runners and lent some insight on proper stretching routines for those who run often. “There are a couple different kinds of stretching that are appropriate at different times,” said Rosov. “Dynamic stretching works best as a warm up prior to running. It tells the muscles ‘get ready we’re going to do something.’”

Dynamic stretching looks different than traditional floor moves, as they’re typically active movements that can be safely done before a workout or run without expending too much energy. “Dynamic stretching doesn’t use a lot of energy; you are putting your muscles through a range of motion while gradually increasing heart rate,” said Rosov.
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Saturday Morning Drills: 30-Minute Stairs Total Body Workout

One of the biggest excuses for not working out is the lack of time. By the time you get your gym bag together, drive to the gym, park, walk inside, say hi to your friends, do your workout, and head home again, you’ve taken up a good hour or two of your day. Because I know how valuable each individual’s time is, I developed this quick and easy access workout that can take only 10-30 minutes of your time. You’ll be getting your sweat on for that entire duration, not spending half of it driving.

All you need today is a staircase. It doesn’t matter how many steps it has because you can make do with whatever you’ve got – in your house, front porch, or stadium. Combining these exercises will give you a total body workout. The key to reaching success is to go as long as you can without any breaks (think Crossfit). My suggestion is to do one set of each exercise until you’ve completed all seven and call that round one. Try to do 3-5 rounds all together for the total workout, and only take breaks in between each round. Each exercise should be done for 10-15 reps. Once you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, start timing yourself and try to beat your time as each round progresses. Good luck!

Stair Laps: This one’s pretty self explanatory. We’re going to start with a few stair laps as our warm up to get that heart rate up, the legs stretched out and the blood pumping. For a stair case that is about 20 steps long, do 5 laps (down and back is one). Start off with an easy pace, and then pick it up after each lap.
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Saturday Morning Drill: Lower Body Blitz

It’s the weekend – time to relax, unwind and blow off some steam from a long work week, right? What better way to de-stress than with exercise? Today we have a simple, 7-move workout that requires no equipment and tones and tightens your entire lower body. Get ready for classics like deep squats and side kicks, as well as a few new moves like the “runner’s start” and standing split kicks.

So get your workout gear on and do this workout, no matter if you’re at home, outside or spending time at a friend’s house. If you have 10-15 minutes, you have time to whip your lower body into shape. Let’s get started! And afterwards, don’t forget to check out these 5 tips to survive the weekend.

View Saturday Morning Drills: The Lower Body Blitz Slideshow



Saturday Morning Drill: How to Get Cameron Diaz’s Sexy Legs

Every human body is different; different in many ways, in fact. But the difference I’m referring to here is the way our individual bodies store fat. Some bodies store fat from the waist up while others store it from the waist down. This is why we’re all a different shape and have to target different body parts for toning.

Last Saturday we worked on those abdominals to help tighten up your core. This Saturday, we’re focusing on those legs. The exciting part about this week’s workout is we’ve got the scoop on what Hollywood superstar Cameron Diaz does to keep her legs in red carpet shape. Look at those gams!

It’s not hard to tell that Diaz takes very good care of her body. One of her favorite ways to workout is Crossfit. Though some of her workouts may be more advanced than the average person, there are some moves she incorporates into her routine that anyone can do, anywhere and at anytime.
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