The impending autumn means one thing and one thing only for many people – the kickoff of football season. Millions will sit on bleachers and couches to watch the football players play their sport, cheering on their athleticism and strength.
But what about the dedicated athletes on the sidelines? Few people recognize it, and it’s been a point of contention for years, but the cheerleaders supporting the team are working just as hard as the players on the field.
“Football has historically been viewed as a very ‘manly sport,'” remarked our guest editor Dempsey Marks, a fitness expert and yoga trainer who founded DepmseyFit.com, about what separates football and cheerleading in people’s minds. “The sport itself is associated with toughness, pain, and even violence. And primarily football is played by men. [The sport] glorifies aggressive behavior, which society associates with men and masculinity.”
“Cheerleading has evolved from simple movements and cheers to a highly athletic undertaking, which requires strength, coordination, agility, and skill,” she added. (more…)
By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com
Planning on taking your workout outdoors this summer? Great idea! I’ve always been a big fan of exercising outdoors. The changing scenery can be stimulating, the breezes are refreshing and being out in nature is mood boosting.
But before you head outside, make sure to take the proper precautions so you don’t get burned. Here are four things I do before every outdoor workout:
Plan ahead. If I know it’s going to be a particularly hot or humid day, I plan my workouts for early morning or early evening. That way, I can avoid being outside during the warmest part of the day—between 10 am and 4 pm. If you can only exercise during these times you have a few options:
- Do something in the shade, like a hike or bike ride on a tree-lined route.
You know that feeling when you’re caught between wanting to do your regular thing and the desire to try something new? If so, Shape Magazine’s 15 upcoming fitness trends are perfect for you. Most of these trends take something we know and love and combine it with something a little different. For example, the fitness class “Groove” has all the elements of a dance-based workout, but instead of doing the same intricate movements as everyone else, you’re invited to move however the music makes you.
This fitness with a twist trend carries over to fitness props too. A lot of classes are using ho-hum props in new ways or using brand new props to fill a void. Here are 5 we can’t wait to try:
The Ugi Ball
A relative newcomer to the fitness world, the Ugi ball is used as a kind of blend between a medicine ball and a physio ball, and is a great tool for a full-body workout. It’s used as part of a 30-minute routine combining strength, cardio, and core training.
There are good ideas in fitness—things like interval training and kettlebells—and then there are… interesting ideas. Gadgets, fitness styles, and overall trends that seem a little strange from the start. Maybe the advertising was bad, maybe the spokesperson didn’t do a great job conveying the goal of the product, maybe the idea just seemed totally bogus. Yet, somehow these wacky trends caught on, at least for a while.
Here’s a look back at a few silly trends that have come and gone in past years and decades. (Aka, more reasons to be glad straightforward workouts like indoor cycling and cross fit are popular today!)
The Shake Weight
More than two million Shake Weights were sold its first year on the market, though I will never understand the appeal of it. It looks like a spoof on exercise equipment, rather than a good idea. (No wonder “Saturday Night Live” had so much fun covering it!) Hilarious.
We’re not just talking Olympic-style lifting…we’re talking what real Olympians actually do for their cross-training workouts. When not on the ice or hitting the slopes, these fierce females stay in top shape with some of their favorite activities like dance, yoga, and biking.
We also learned some fun facts about each athlete: Can you guess who’s fluent in German and which lady loves her Xbox?
Ashley Wagner – Women’s Figure Skating
Ashley stays graceful, strong, and lean with her routine of dance and yoga.
Cross Training: Dance, yoga, hiking and swimming in both the pool and ocean
Fun Fact: She’s fluent in German. Guten tag!
Tamara Grand, a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and author of the popular health and fitness blog fitknitchick.com, knows a bit about helping women build muscle and lose fat.
Her brand new book, Ultimate Booty Workouts, not only describes a 12-week workout program for strengthening legs, butt and core, but also highlights the health benefits of strength training, dispels myths about women and weight lifting, and provides innovative suggestions for starting and sticking with a new exercise program.
Here’s an excerpt from her book:
Next to abs, butts are women’s favorite thing to complain about. Too big, too flabby, too flat, too little definition, too dimpled, not enough lift. Everybody wants Beyonce’s booty, but few know what to do to get it. The good news? Glue training is not rocket science. Combine targeted strength-training exercises with fat-melting cardio techniques and proper nutrition and you’ll be on your way to the booty of your dreams in a mere 10 to 12 weeks.
This pregnancy workout, designed by pre and postnatal exercise specialist, Sara Haley, alternates between cardio and sculpting moves to provide a total body toning session for the mommy-to-be. The exercises are a preview to Synergy, one of the six workouts on Sara Haley’s Daily Sweat Pregnancy Program called “Expecting More.” Perform these five moves—that help prepare you for life with baby—in a circuit (one after another). Rest and repeat two to three times through, depending on your time and energy level.
Sara Haley is a certified ACE and AFAA international fitness expert who has traveled the globe teaching master classes and educating other fitness instructors and trainers. She has an impressive celebrity client list, is a Teacher Trainer for the Willpower Method and worked for seven years as a Reebok Global Master Trainer. Sara helped develop programs for JUKARI, the branded workout series between Reebok and Cirque du Soleil, and created and starred in numerous Reebok DVD programs. Armed with over 20 years of fitness and dance training, Sara currently teaches for the prestigious Equinox health clubs, trains high profile clients, consults for numerous international publications, and continues to develop her own workout program, The Daily Sweat.
SweatBox Workout: Sneak Peek of Sara Haley’s Sweat Unlimited DVD
Top 10 Cardio Exercises
Fizzy Jalapeno Cherry Limeades
The bathroom is not at the top of the list when you think of places to exercise. In fact, it’s probably not on the
list at all. But maybe it’s time for that to change.
We all visit the bathroom, and a fast workout while
you’re in “the loo” can be the perfect way to break up your day. We’ve come up with a list of five simple moves you can do in the bathroom to fit in a quick workout and boost your energy. Pick one or all and get moving during your next bathroom break, even if for just 5 minutes. This, of course, will work best if you’re in a private bathroom, that is, unless you want to lead a class of bathroom exercisers with your coworkers! (more…)
Nine weeks ago supermodel Gisele Bundchen gave birth to her daughter, Vivian Lake Brady. The gorgeous model debuted her post-baby body in a black bikini on a recent vacation to Hawaii, as reported by People Magazine. Gisele has given birth to two children, yet she remains in tip top shape even within weeks of giving birth.
How does the Brazilian model get her body back in shape post baby? According to Shape, the supermodel is loyal to a strict kung fu workout routine. Gisele has been completing 90 minutes of kung fu three times a week for the past four years.
Yao Li, Gisele’s kung fu instructor, explained that, “Practicing kung fu improves muscle tone and flexibility in the lower body. Blocking drills and hand techniques do the same for the upper body, especially the shoulders and arms.” (more…)
It’s January, and you know what that means. It’s diet season and everyone’s out to be successful with their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or to just simply become healthier, it’s easier said than done. For a lot people, getting started is the hardest part. Knowing what to start with may be even more difficult.
For this week’s Saturday Morning Drill, we’ve put together a simple beginners workout that can be done anywhere at any time by using nothing but your own body weight. This is a total body workout that will really get your heart beating, the blood flowing and the muscles working. But don’t worry, it’s definitely bearable. The last thing we want to do is discourage you on the first workout!
This workout is divided into four sections. You’ll start with a type of cardiovascular exercise to get your heart rate up and follow it (without rest) with a strength training exercise. Between each section, rest for one to two minutes. Practice this every day for your first week and see if you can work your way up to doing the workout multiple times in a row.
Beginners Guide to Resistance Training
Saturday Morning Drills: Post-Workout Stressing
Absolute Beginners Fitness: 3 in 1 Kettlebell
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.