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.
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.
Actress and former Sports Illustrated cover model Brooklyn Decker has to be in swimsuit shape year round, but most of us only start to think bikini when the weather starts heating up. You can use Decker’s fat-burning secrets to shape up fast and feel confident on the beach this summer.
Decker has always been very vocal about her health and fitness, admitting that while she is blessed with good genes, she really has to work to keep her body in top form. Busy just like any Hollywood actress, Decker fits in dancing, running, and kayaking as exercise. Married to tennis star Andy Roddick, Decker has an athlete’s mentality, focusing on how strong she feels as opposed to how thin she looks.
“She is very coordinated and likes to push,” says her trainer Jade Alexis, who also worked with Decker to produce a workout DVD for Elle Magazine. “Brooklyn works hard and has fun while she’s at it.”
How can we learn from Decker’s routine? Alexis reveals that the secret to a strong, lean and feminine physique starts with a balanced, healthy diet.
So, you kind of love ‘The Hunger Games.’ Then you’re exactly like me. After my initial resistance to the first book, I dug right in and tore through the entire trilogy. I guess that makes me a Hunger Games addict. Guilty as charged.
Like most Hunger Games fans, I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the first movie later this month. And besides camping out at the premiere and cooking up this collection of delicious and healthy Hunger Games recipes inspired by the series, I also plan to put on my best Katniss Everdeen impression by doing some hardcore training leading up to the big release. (more…)
If the dreary weather has you chomping at the bit to plan a sun soaked Spring Break, you may want to start planning your bikini bod as well. If the eating over the holidays and low energy from the winter blues have left you self conscious about your saddlebags, leave the “leg work” to us.
The butt/thigh area is a big trouble zone for many, and despite what most think, squats and lunges are not enough to get rid of your saddlebags. While these exercises work you forward and backward, making them great for the hammies and quads, to hit the saddlebag area you have to work on an angle.
The following exercises will shrink your saddlebags, and these are personally some of my favorites to do because you can perform them laying on the ground, surfing the ‘net or watching TV. Not that I’m recommending that, it would probably be more professional to tell you to concentrate on your working muscles, breathing deeply and watching your form closely. So do that.
Maria Menounos is a woman of her word, and hosted Extra donning a New York Giants bikini in the wintery streets of NYC on Monday after she bet fellow correspondent AJ Calloway that the New England Patriots would win this year’s Super Bowl.
The sight of Menounos in the tiny bikini hosting next to a bundled up Mario Lopez, however, could be enough to make any Pats fan cheer for Giants colors. Menounos looked amazing, showing off her slim and toned body, showing that just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you should let your workout routine slip.
Menounos has never been shy about her love of fitness and that she got into shape on her own. In an interview with Fitness Magazine, Menounos opened up about gaining weight in college, reaching a size 14, and how she took it off all by herself.
“I did it on my own, when I was dirt-poor,” she says. “And I’ve kept it off for nine years.”
Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
Want to know my favorite piece of exercise equipment? I’ll give you a few hints.
It’s filled with air.
You guessed it-the stability ball!
Sometimes called a fitness ball or a Swiss ball, a stability ball is an extremely versatile and inexpensive piece of exercise equipment. It can allow you to do a variety of exercises by subbing for a weight bench, by keeping you off the ground and your back if that causes you discomfort or by adding a new challenge to an old exercise by engaging more core and stabilizer muscles.
Most people are actually intimidated by the stability ball. That comes from not knowing what to do with it or seeing people doing really dumb things with it on YouTube. But most stability ball exercises are easy to learn. If you workout at home and your budget is limited, the stability ball should be the first piece of equipment you purchase. You will be able to get a great workout with just your own body and the ball. Add a pair of dumbbells and the possibilities are endless.
Exercise isn’t always pretty. While it can make you look and feel like a million bucks, healthy eating and intense exercise can bring about side effects that are less than comfortable and less than glamorous. If you are an avid runner, you may be familiar with digestional cramping brought on by exercise. Gas, bloating and cramping can be made worse by what you eat before you set out for your workout. What you eat can also effect your energy, the effectiveness of your workout and the, ahem, air quality for fellow gym go-ers.
Here are 6 foods that, while mostly healthy, should not be eaten before exercise for a more comfortable workout.
Hummus– Beans and bean based foods like hummus can create a lot of gas and bloating in your system. While beans, beans, they’re good for the heart, avoid clearing out the cardio room 10 minutes into your treadmill session by saving them for later.
Green bananas and raw veggies– As long as you are ditching the healthy hummus dip, avoid the raw veggies you eat with it as the 1-2 gas punch to your gut will leave you doubled over in pain. Raw veggies and under ripe fruit, like green bananas, up the gas factor in your stomach. While cooked veggies can still make you a little gassy and should be saved for after exercise, ripe bananas make a great pre-workout snack. Green bananas are tough to digest, but ripe, soft bananas are perfect.
Blame it on Kim Kardashian, although I would like to think people are actually realizing that a high, tight butt is the ultimate sign of a fit, healthy person, but butt enhancement surgeries have claimed the top spot as 2011’s top cosmetic procedure.
Big butts have long been praised by men as a sexy asset, while women have strived for tiny, tight rear ends for years. Now, it seems women are starting to get the message that big butts are in, and are willing to go under the knife to get one. There are two types of big rears, however: the dimply, flat and wide butt that comes with a sedentary lifestyle and high BMI and the round, pert rear that looks awesome in your favorite pair of yoga pants. While surgery may get you the latter by injecting fat into strategic areas, the only way to get a butt you can be proud of is to put in the work.
The glutes are terribly, horribly, outrageously overlooked in most people’s fitness routines. Many think that your butt is the shape it is meant to be, and you just have to deal with it. Not so. Your glutes are completely under your control, and if you want a firm, tight butt, with no crease below your buns and upper thigh, you gotta work for it, and cardio isn’t going to do jack to get any results.
By putting in just a little effort and focusing on the muscles that give you a more shapely backside, you will be shocked how quickly you see your butt lift and round out. While traditional squats and lunges will hit them a bit, really focus on the glutes with these easy to do exercises you can perform anywhere.
Lisa Johnson is a fitness blogger at LisaJohnsonFitness.com. She has been teaching Pilates since 1998 and owns Modern Pilates in Brookline, MA. She can frequently be found on Twitter @LisaJohnson.
I’m standing between an adorable blonde wearing red, sparkly boy shorts and a lanky brunette with a gorgeous, flowing ponytail and a tank top that says “Survivor.” I’m feeling the very awkward duckling.
I grab the tall, shiny pole with my hand and yank my t-shirt sleeve up over my shoulder so I can show more skin. This isn’t to be sexy; skin is stickier than cotton and it will help me to stay up longer. I take two big steps, my other hand grabs the pole, feet go in the air, and I whiz around once, twice, and then land my two feet almost gracefully. Success! I give out a little squeal because I finally did it on the tenth try.
“Good,” smiles Star, my instructor/torturer, as she nods approvingly. “Next time, step bigger.”
I’m bruised, I’m sweaty, my hands hurt from gripping the pole so hard, and I know my shoulders and legs are going to feel it tomorrow. And I’m only halfway through my first Pole Fitness class not sure I’m going to make it.