Tag Archives: martial arts

Miss USA 2014 is a 4th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo

Erin Brady relinquished her crown last night.

At the Louisiana Civic Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Miss USA competition went in the favor of Miss Nevada. Nia Sanchez, age 24, took home the gorgeous crown last night, a first time beauty pageant win for her state. Congratulations, Nevada (and Miss Nevada)!

Miss USA 2014

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The Hottest Trainers in America Share Their Favorite Fitness Moves!

On Shape.com last week, we were introduced to two of our favorite fitness lists of all time: The 50 hottest male personal trainers of 2014 and the 50 hottest female personal trainers of 2014. (Is it getting hot in here?!) Shape searched high and low across the country to find these fit and talented trainers and now readers get to vote for number one.

Of course, these hot and hard bodies are a lot more than just eye-candy. They’re highly trained fitness pros who could whip you (and me!) into shape in no time. In fact, why not get started right now? We got in touch with a couple of these featured trainers find out their favorite moves. Here’s what we found:

Dyson Salleh; Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan (see above) is a 33-year-old personal trainer in New York City. (You might recognize him from the pages of Men’s Health and Men’s Journal, among other magazines.) Per Shape.com, the married model and certified strength and conditioning specialist is definitely of the belief that working out together is super sexy. Uh, us too! (more…)

3 Yoga Poses That Boost Mood and Energy

It is easy to feel lazy or lethargic in the heat of summer. Some days the thought of dragging yourself to the gym or the yoga studio is the last thing you want to do, even though you know it will make you feel better. If your youthful enthusiasm is wavering and your upbeat mood is suffering, you might find that just a few minutes of doing the right thing is all you need to get your energy back.

The following are three yoga and martial arts inspired exercises that are sure to bring your mood from drab to dynamite, plus give you a youthful and positive frame of mind.

Mountain Pose

This yoga pose can be practiced anywhere, and at anytime of day.

Stand tall, raise your arms up overhead, and take several powerful deep breaths. The fresh oxygen that will be coursing through your veins will refresh your brain. Standing in this pose energizes your core, your arms, and your legs, so take advantage of it whenever you can. (more…)

Muay Thai vs. Capoeira: Choose the Best Martial Art for You

Muay Thai

If you watched The Biggest Loser last season, you may have noticed that the emphasis in the gym was on martial arts. With trainer Cara Castronova‘s background as a 2 time Golden Gloves boxing champion and trainer Brett Hoebel‘s emphasis on Capoeira, as well as many past BL contestants who ha vediscovered a love of Muay Thai boxing, the exercise workouts were definitely not typical. What was the reason that these two completely different forms of martial arts were chosen?

At first glance, these two forms of martial arts have almost nothing in common. Muay Thai is an ancient form of combat fighting that utilizes all of the limbs, plus elbows and knees, in striking. Commonly called The Art of Eight Limbs, this stand up form of martial arts combines elements of boxing as well as stand up clinch techniques, as opposed to boxing which uses two (hands) and other forms of martial arts which utilize four (hands and feet).

Most competitive forms of marital arts place an emphasis on conditioning, and Muay Thai is no exception. Designed to help increase endurance for ring competition, most Muay Thai classes incorporate shadowboxing, jumping rope, running and often weight training. A cornerstone of Muay Thai training is working pad rounds, in which a student works one on one with a coach in hitting specially designed pads, called focus mitts. The focus mitts are created to absorb impact and help a fighter learn to hit correctly without harming their training partner.

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Biggest Loser Brings Bas Rutten and Mixed Martial Arts to the Fitness Forefront

Biggest Loser’s new trainers have introduced the masses to a new way to stay fit: fighting. New trainers Golden Gloves winner Cara Castronuova and Brett Hoebel have truly brought out the fight in each of their team members and it shows. While many thought that the only way to drop double digit numbers each week was with Bob and Jillian’s state of the art technologically advanced equipment inside the Biggest Loser gym, Cara and Brett have shown all you need to get a killer workout is a few ropes and a boxing gloves.

Fighting isn’t a new fitness fad, and you might catch a jab to the face for calling it so, but it is growing in popularity in the mainstream fitness community. Last night’s episode of Biggest Loser even featured Bas Rutten’s Elite MMA Gym, and for most, MMA is a term you aren’t familiar with- but should be.

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Brett Hoebel is the New Biggest Loser Trainer

Brett Hoebel Fired from Biggest Loser in Week 14

The curiosity has finally been satisfied – Brett Hoebel is the new Biggest Loser trainer. For weeks Biggest Loser fans have been peering at silhouettes and the back side of his head, but now, we can introduce you to him.

Listen now to our exclusive interview to learn more about Brett and his new job as a “Loser” trainer!

Brett is a world renowned fitness expert, named one of the top trainers in New York state and the founder of Hoebel Fitness. He credits his fitness DVD program, RevAbs, a part of the Beachbody Brands which also produces P90X, with helping him finally land the gig, a job he repeatedly refers to as “an honor.” As well, “a lot of hard work and determination” and a chance to teach Jillian Michaels, who is currently in her final season with the show, Capoeira were all part of getting him on the show. His other fitness brand is called reVamp. (more…)

Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo Spawns Cardio-Kickboxing Craze

Tae Bo creator Billy Blanks

Tae Bo is an aerobic exercise routine created by Billy Blanks in 1976, but didn’t really become popular until the 1990s. During the 1990s, it was the first successful “cardio-boxing” routine to take over commercially with over 1.5 million copies of Blanks’ DVDs sold.

The combination of dance and mixture of martial arts and boxing took the world by surprise. After the craze of Tae Bo; health and fitness clubs started offering cardio-kickboxing classes (similar to Tae Bo) to their members. Cardio kickboxing has been extremely popular ever since, because with its mix of intense cardio and fun moves, it’s hard not to see results.  An hour of Tae Bo or cardio-kickboxing will burn between 600 and 800 calories. Check below to see the benefits of these two aerobic programs.   (more…)

Beginner’s Guide to Muay Thai

Muay Thai, the “Art of Eight Limbs,” is one of the deadliest forms of martial arts. It’s called the Art of Eight Limbs because it incorporates striking with hands, elbows, knees and shins to knock your opponent out or strike them into submission. Boxing, for instance, uses two points of contact (both hands) and many other forms of martial arts use only hands and feet.

Muay Thai was developed in Southeast Asia, but it has spread across the world with the popularity of mixed martial arts on television. Muay Thai is the stand up base for MMA fighting. It was once called the martial art of the kings because of the fact that in 1914 the sons of King Sen Muajng Ma fought until their death for the throne of their father.

Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning, designed to promote a high level of fitness necessary for endurance in the ring. In fact, the most important aspect in training in Muay Thai is extensive endurance. Cardio, strength, muscle gain and definition, plus fat loss are crucial to a fighter’s survival. Training regimens include running, shadowboxing, jump rope, medicine ball, weight training, and exercises to strengthen different areas of the body, including abdominals.

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Karate Kids Fitness Program for Home

Have you taken your kids to see the “Karate Kid” remake with Jaden Smith? Did you leave the theater enthused and excited about martial arts training? Once you looked into it, though, were you put off by the expense and the commitment? Maybe you just can’t fit in one more activity after school. The Karate Kids Home Fitness program may be just what you are looking for.

First created in 2001, Karate Kids Home Fitness is one of the country’s largest fitness programs for children. It was designed by a decorated martial arts practitioner and instructor Robert Tallack, a three time World Martial Arts Championship winner.

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Jaden Smith’s Karate Kid Training Program

Jaden Smith, star of the new movie “Karate Kid,” trained every day for four months in order to learn kung fu, the martial art performed in the film. Wu Gang, the stunt coordinator of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, was hired to be the fight coordinator for the remake of the 1984 original. Wu worked 11-year-old Jaden at such a level of intensity that he cried at one point. Many of the training scenes included in the film are actual sessions that Smith experienced.

With a focus on stretching, front kicks and upper blocks, Smith has been quick to point out that the training was real and consisted of grueling, intense training. Training sessions ran from five to eight hours many days.

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