Medicine balls have been around forever and are among one of the oldest forms of strength and endurance training. In ancient Greece, medicine balls were made from animal skins sewn together and stuffed with sand. They were used for rehabilitation and injury prevention. Today, medicine balls are usually round and made of rubber or leather, but they do come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials.
Medicine balls generally range from two to 25 pounds, and are typically used for standard plyometric weight training, which is characterized by fast powerful movements and muscle contractions to increase speed, power, strength, and flexibility.
Medicine balls are very durable and can be used just about anywhere. Athletes commonly use them for explosive training (quick and powerful movements) by throwing them to the ground or off a sturdy wall. The medicine ball is also a great way to modify and add enjoyment to any weight training exercise or workout. (more…)
Pilates is a method of exercise developed by German born Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century as a means to heal his own body, which was ridden with illness. He learned that by integrating the breath, mind and body by what is referred to as “contrology,” participants could improve their state of health.
The original Pilates workout consisted of 34 exercises designed to target the core muscle groups, otherwise known as the body’s powerhouse. These exercises range from beginner to advanced and were practiced as a set series. Classic Pilates follows the original routine, while the modern version of Pilates allows for modifications to adapt to a variety of ages, abilities and needs. In addition, Pilates exercises have evolved to incorporate the use of equipment such as the Reformer and Pilates Cadillac.
Whether a beginner or advanced practitioner of the classic or modern Pilates method on the mat or on a machine, the benefits of this mind-body activity are extensive.
As many of you know, the Women’s and Men’s U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey teams lost to Canada during the finals of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The women’s team lost two to nothing capturing the silver medal for the second time ever. The men’s team lost a heart-breaker in overtime three to two, thus capturing the silver medal as well.
There is more to hockey than just suiting up and playing. Physical conditioning is a huge aspect of the game. Ice hockey takes a toll on the body, thus making it extremely important to be in great physical shape. Hockey requires a great deal of stamina, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Upper body, core strength and endurance are important for the handling of the puck, shooting of the puck, checking an opponent, and fighting (several fights break out during hockey games). (more…)
There are often people in the world who inspire me to work harder, run faster, and keep training – even though the sofa calls my name. Catherine of Her Bad Mother is one such person. Having two small children hasn’t stopped her from training to run her first half marathon (while training to run a full marathon!). She’s running to raise funds for research for Muscular Dystrophy.
Listen as she gives us her best tips for those just starting off – those of us who might be overwhelmed at the idea of running 13.1 miles – never mind 26.2.
Marathon schmarathon. When 26.2 becomes routine, one goes searching for a distance that appears more challenging. So how about a 50 mile foot race? The JFK 50 is America’s oldest 50 miler. At 5:00 a.m. on November 21 I started my journey in the dark somewhere in Maryland. At 4:30 p.m. that day, somewhere 50 miles further away, I collected my medal for completing the ultra endurance race. It was amazing.
Wondering if a 50 miler is in your future? Read on to find out more what it’s all about and decide if you’d like to add it to your bucket list. (more…)
Are you having trouble with endurance during your workout? Maybe you aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. The key is an antioxidant called quercetin.
A new study examined 12 healthy college students who were not regular exercisers. They were given quercetin supplements for seven days. What the researchers found was that the antioxidant appeared to boost exercise endurance, where a separate 7-day period without supplements did not. (more…)
While my folks were visiting LA for the 4th of July I took them horseback riding in the Santa Monica Mountains. We rode trails by the infamous “Hollywood” sign and the views were absolutely breath taking. After our three hour adventure through the mountains my legs, butt, and back were tight and I could tell that I was going to be sore a few days later.
So, I have put together a pre-horseback riding workout routine for you (just in case you get the wild hair to ride as well). Today the focus is on a leg workout and I recommend performing three sets of 20 repetitions at a medium weight. (more…)
I moved to California a little over a month ago and have picked up the hobby of surfing. Surfing requires an extreme amount of core strength, stability, and balance as well as upper and lower body strength. If you have never been surfing, I totally recommend it. It is a great way to get away from the stresses of the world and to enjoy nature at its best.
Of course, safety is a big issue, but if you take a lesson or play it safe you will be more than fine. I also recommend starting with a long board then upgrading to a shorter one once you get better.
Below is a total body workout that I have put together to strengthen the muscles and parts of the body necessary to concur the sport of surfing. I have incorporated several core movements as well as upper and lower body exercises. (more…)
Well, it’s definitely summer time and that means golf season is in full affect. Golf originated in Scotland in the 12th century and has been very popular ever since. I strongly believe that golf is a game of mental toughness, natural ability or skill, and a little bit of luck. I play once or twice a year so I am definitely no expert, but I have trained my share of golfers and have had great success with them. (more…)
Tennis is a rather popular summer sport. The game of tennis was founded by a couple of friends back in the 1800s in the United Kingdom. The world’s first tennis club was founded in 1872 in England and the tennis market and popularity has grown ever since.
The sport of tennis is not only fun, but it provides several health benefits as well. One of which, according to Dr. Jack Groppel, is that people who play at least three hours of tennis a week cut their chances of death from any cause or health risk in half. I don’t know about you, but I am going to start playing a little more tennis according to that statistic.
Another benefit is that competitive tennis burns more calories than aerobics such as in-line skating or cycling. Lastly, according to Dr. Jim Gavin, tennis outperforms other sports in developing positive personal characteristics such as self-esteem and self-worth. (more…)
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