Life by DailyBurn » Strength Training http://dailyburn.com/life A better you, for life. Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:19:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do In Front of Your TV http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/lower-body-exercises-leg-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/lower-body-exercises-leg-workout/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:15:36 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42984 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

[caption id="attachment_43002" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do Anywhere Photo: Pond5[/caption]

This workout comes to you from DailyBurn trainer Justin Rubin. You can find more no-equipment moves in his True Beginner program at DailyBurn.com.

Drop it like it’s hot? How about drop it like a squat? If you usually shy away from lower body exercises in favor of above the belt training, it’s time to wise up. Whether or not weight loss is your goal, you’ll get serious pay-off by training your lower half. Your quads, hamstrings and glutes are home to some of the biggest muscles in your body, and those muscles will torch calories both during and after your workout, thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), the process by which your body replenishes its oxygen stores.

Plus, working your lower body will pay off in about a million different ways. “Lower body strength, much like your core, is a foundation for all fitness,” says Justin Rubin, DailyBurn trainer for True Beginner. Challenging your legs and glutes will translate to better balance, strength and agility — all of which are important for day-to-day activities like racing up the stairs (without burning thighs) or even getting low on the dance floor.

RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day

Best of all, you don’t even need a pimped-out gym to get started. We asked Rubin to demonstrate four beginner-friendly moves that can be done pretty much anywhere. (Translation: No equipment required!) For a solid workout, repeat each exercise for one minute, doing as many reps as possible. Then recover for 30 seconds. Complete five rounds and you’ll start to feel the burn! If you want an extra challenge, try the optional towel modifications listed below each description to engage your upper body as well.

4 No-Equipment Lower Body Exercises

Lower Body Exercises: Back Lunges
1. Reverse Lunges
Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core

How to: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Shift your weight onto your left leg and step your right leg straight behind you (b). Lower directly downwards until your front and back knees are at 90-degree angles. Hold for one second (c). Next, engage your left thigh and push off your right leg, coming back to a neutral, standing position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for a minute.

Extra credit: Hold a towel taut between your hands. When you step back for a lunge, twist your upper body in the opposite direction of your back leg. (Example: Twist to the left when you step back with your right leg.)

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

Lower Body Exercises: Squats
2. Squats
Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings

How to: Begin with your feet under your hips, legs no wider than your shoulders. Your bodyweight should be in your heels and your arms should be relaxed by your sides (a). Keeping your chest upright and your shoulder blades pulled back, bend your knees and sink down, making sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes. Your arms should extend straight in front of you. Imagine you are touching your butt to a chair (b). Now, drive through your legs and squeeze your glutes to stand back up, letting your arms come down to your sides again (c). Repeat for one minute.

Extra credit: Hold a towel taut between your hands. As you squat down, bring your arms overhead, so your face is in between your biceps. When you drive upwards to stand back up, slowly let your arms come back to your sides. 

Lower Body Exercises: Side Lunge
3. 
Side Lunges
Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core

How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Take a wide step to the left, letting your left foot point diagonally away from you and keeping your right foot planted (b). Keeping your weight in your heels and your chest lifted upwards, turn your left foot and knee out slightly as you sink down into a lunge. Make sure your knees do not come over your toes (c). Next, push off with your left leg, engaging your inner thighs and glutes, and bring the leg back to the neutral starting position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for a minute.

Extra credit: Want to engage the muscles in your arms? Hold a towel taut between your hands, with your arms extended straight upwards. When you step to one side for a lunge, bring your arms down so the towel touches your outer thigh. Bring your arms upwards as you step in.

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

Lower Body Exercises: Curtsy Lunge
4. Curtsy Lunges
Targets: Glutes, quads, inner thighs

How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Shift your weight to your right side and step your left leg behind your right leg so your legs are crossed. If you imagine a clock underneath you, your left toes should be at roughly 4 o’clock (b). Bend both knees, not letting them come over your toes, and sink into the lunge, keeping your chest upright (c). Engage your quads and squeeze your glutes as you drive off your left leg, standing up and bringing it back to the starting position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for one minute.

Extra credit: When standing upright, hold the towel taut in front of your chest. As you step to each side for the curtsy lunge, extend your arms and bring them down so the towel is in front of your shin. Be sure to maintain good upper body posture. Once you drive off your back leg, bring your arms and towel back to your chest.

To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do In Front of Your TV appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

[caption id="attachment_43002" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do Anywhere Photo: Pond5[/caption] This workout comes to you from DailyBurn trainer Justin Rubin. You can find more no-equipment moves in his True Beginner program at DailyBurn.com. Drop it like it’s hot? How about drop it like a squat? If you usually shy away from lower body exercises in favor of above the belt training, it’s time to wise up. Whether or not weight loss is your goal, you’ll get serious pay-off by training your lower half. Your quads, hamstrings and glutes are home to some of the biggest muscles in your body, and those muscles will torch calories both during and after your workout, thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), the process by which your body replenishes its oxygen stores. Plus, working your lower body will pay off in about a million different ways. “Lower body strength, much like your core, is a foundation for all fitness,” says Justin Rubin, DailyBurn trainer for True Beginner. Challenging your legs and glutes will translate to better balance, strength and agility — all of which are important for day-to-day activities like racing up the stairs (without burning thighs) or even getting low on the dance floor. RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day Best of all, you don’t even need a pimped-out gym to get started. We asked Rubin to demonstrate four beginner-friendly moves that can be done pretty much anywhere. (Translation: No equipment required!) For a solid workout, repeat each exercise for one minute, doing as many reps as possible. Then recover for 30 seconds. Complete five rounds and you’ll start to feel the burn! If you want an extra challenge, try the optional towel modifications listed below each description to engage your upper body as well.

4 No-Equipment Lower Body Exercises

Lower Body Exercises: Back Lunges 1. Reverse Lunges Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core How to: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Shift your weight onto your left leg and step your right leg straight behind you (b). Lower directly downwards until your front and back knees are at 90-degree angles. Hold for one second (c). Next, engage your left thigh and push off your right leg, coming back to a neutral, standing position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for a minute. Extra credit: Hold a towel taut between your hands. When you step back for a lunge, twist your upper body in the opposite direction of your back leg. (Example: Twist to the left when you step back with your right leg.) RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners Lower Body Exercises: Squats 2. Squats Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings How to: Begin with your feet under your hips, legs no wider than your shoulders. Your bodyweight should be in your heels and your arms should be relaxed by your sides (a). Keeping your chest upright and your shoulder blades pulled back, bend your knees and sink down, making sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes. Your arms should extend straight in front of you. Imagine you are touching your butt to a chair (b). Now, drive through your legs and squeeze your glutes to stand back up, letting your arms come down to your sides again (c). Repeat for one minute. Extra credit: Hold a towel taut between your hands. As you squat down, bring your arms overhead, so your face is in between your biceps. When you drive upwards to stand back up, slowly let your arms come back to your sides.  Lower Body Exercises: Side Lunge 3. Side Lunges Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Take a wide step to the left, letting your left foot point diagonally away from you and keeping your right foot planted (b). Keeping your weight in your heels and your chest lifted upwards, turn your left foot and knee out slightly as you sink down into a lunge. Make sure your knees do not come over your toes (c). Next, push off with your left leg, engaging your inner thighs and glutes, and bring the leg back to the neutral starting position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for a minute. Extra credit: Want to engage the muscles in your arms? Hold a towel taut between your hands, with your arms extended straight upwards. When you step to one side for a lunge, bring your arms down so the towel touches your outer thigh. Bring your arms upwards as you step in. RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners Lower Body Exercises: Curtsy Lunge 4. Curtsy Lunges Targets: Glutes, quads, inner thighs How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips (a). Shift your weight to your right side and step your left leg behind your right leg so your legs are crossed. If you imagine a clock underneath you, your left toes should be at roughly 4 o’clock (b). Bend both knees, not letting them come over your toes, and sink into the lunge, keeping your chest upright (c). Engage your quads and squeeze your glutes as you drive off your left leg, standing up and bringing it back to the starting position (d). Repeat on the other side, alternating sides for one minute. Extra credit: When standing upright, hold the towel taut in front of your chest. As you step to each side for the curtsy lunge, extend your arms and bring them down so the towel is in front of your shin. Be sure to maintain good upper body posture. Once you drive off your back leg, bring your arms and towel back to your chest. To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner. Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post 4 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do In Front of Your TV appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-strength-training-exercises/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-strength-training-exercises/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2015 13:15:34 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=32635 The 7 Best Strength Exercises You're Not Doing

[caption id="attachment_43097" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 7 Best Strength Exercises Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Every exercise in your strength program has a purpose — to help you build strength and muscle, burn fat, and improve your fitness. While there’s a time and a place for nearly any exercise under the right circumstance, some movements are simply more effective than others. And it should be no surprise that the ones that build a foundation for skills that you’ll use in real life will be the most beneficial for improving your fitness and quality of life.

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises You're Not Doing, According to Trainers

So how does a lifter ensure they’re making all the right moves? If you’ve plateaued or just aren’t seeing the results you're banking on, it’s time to get back to basics with these seven moves. From increased strength, better core stability, greater athleticism, and improved overall health, these key exercises need to find their way into your routine.

[caption id="attachment_32693" align="alignnone" width="400"]Goblet Squat GIF: Scott Herman Fitness[/caption]

1. Goblet Squat

Squats are an exercise many people struggle to perform safely and effectively. Luckily, the goblet squat is a great progression from a bodyweight squat before squatting with a bar. Because the load is held in front, the core works double-time to keep you tall, while your legs work to control your movement down and stand back up.

How to: Hold a dumbbell with both hands underneath the “bell” at chest level, and set your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards (a). Push your butt back like you’re sitting in a chair and descend until your elbows reach the inside of your knees. (b). Keeping your heels flat, pressing jnto the floor, pause at the bottom of the squat, and return to a full standing position. If your heels rise push your hips further back and work on partial ranges of motion until mobility and form improve (c). Repeat for four sets of 8-10 reps.

RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day 

[caption id="attachment_32705" align="alignnone" width="400"]Pallof Press GIF: Tony Gentilcore[/caption]

2. Pallof Press

The Pallof press is one of those movements that looks confusing, but is actually incredibly simple and beneficial, says Mike Campbell, personal trainer and owner of Unleash Your Alpha. While you may not be hoisting heavy weight, the real challenge lies in resisting movement — in this case, rotation. That makes this an ‘anti-rotation’ movement, forcing you to engage through your entire core: obliques, abs, lower back, glutes and more. According to Campbell, the Paloff press will build great usable strength while adding athletic definition through the mid-section (in coordination with a sound diet).

How to: Stand perpendicular to a cable column with the column's arm set around shoulder height. Grab the handle with both hands and pull it in to the chest, maintaining tension on the cable. Feet should be shoulder-width apart, and the feet, knees, hips and shoulders all remain square and facing straight ahead throughout movement (a). Holding the chest high, squeeze through the stomach and press the handle away from the body, extending the arms straight while resisting any twisting or rotation (b). It's at this point the resistance will be highest. Continue to engage your core, and ensure you remain square and straight and resist the rotational force. Bring arms back in to the chest and repeat for three sets of 10 reps per side (c).

[caption id="attachment_32694" align="alignnone" width="400"]One Arm Dumbbell Row GIF: infosport[/caption]

3. Dumbbell Row

Most of us spend more time training the “mirror muscles” on the front of the body, and neglect what we can’t see, according to Campbell. But developing a strong back is key to balance things out, improve posture and avoid injury. The dumbbell row can help achieve all that, in addition building strong arms and a strong core. The main muscles being used are the lats, traps and rhomboids, which reinforce good posture by pulling your shoulders back and aiding the core in stabilizing your spine.

How to: Grab a dumbbell (20 pounds is plenty for most to start) and find a bench. Start with your left hand on the bench with left arm extended, while your right arm holds the dumbbell and right foot is on the ground (a). Retract your shoulders, brace your abs, and pull the weight up on the side of your body until the elbow passes the side of the body (b). Lower under control and repeat for three sets of 6-8 reps on each side (c).

[caption id="attachment_32695" align="alignnone" width="400"]Push Up GIF: DailyBurn[/caption]

4. Push-Up

The push-up might appear basic, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do. The functional movement is great for training the upper-body pushing muscles — the anterior deltoids, triceps and chest. It also requires you to engage your core and allows full range of motion in your shoulder blades, unlike the bench press.

How to: Start on your knees facing the floor with your hands at shoulder-width, planted directly under the shoulders. Assume a plank position by straightening your legs, supporting your weight with hands and feet (a). Squeeze your backside to keep your trunk engaged and lower your body slowly to the ground. The elbows should be slightly tucked — like arrows, rather than flared like the letter “T” (b). Descend until your chest is just above the ground and return to the starting position by fully extending your arms, and repeat (c). Note: If you can’t do five push-ups with good form, elevate your hands on a bench or chair to begin building up your strength. If push-ups are easy, try elevating your feet on a chair on adding a weight vest. Make sure you're able to perform three sets of 12 push-ups with your bodyweight before adding a vest or elevating your feet.

RELATED: 5 Advanced Push-Up Variations to Try Now

[caption id="attachment_32708" align="alignnone" width="400"]Split Squat GIF: Howcast Sports Fitness[/caption]

5. Split Squat

Traditional squats are great, but it’s important to incorporate single-leg movements to develop athleticism and minimize training imbalances. The split squat, a stationary lunge, does just that. The split stance requires you to balance with a narrow base of support, firing up stabilizing muscles of the hip and trunk while training your quads, glutes and hamstrings to perform the movement. In addition to building lower-body strength, the single-leg nature of the exercise helps improve balance and increase flexibility and stability in the hips.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Next, take a step forward with your right foot, and a large step backwards with your left foot — this is your starting position (a). Keep the front heel flat and descend into a lunge, bringing your back knee towards the floor. Stop just short of the knee touching the ground on the back leg with the front heel still flat on the ground (b). Pause for one second and return to standing. Perform 6-8 reps on your right leg, then 6-8 reps on your left leg, and repeat for three sets (c).

[caption id="attachment_32698" align="alignnone" width="400"]Lateral Squat GIF: Core Performance[/caption]

6. Lateral Squat

The lateral squat combines two movements: a lateral lunge and a squat. The difference? The lateral squat is stationary. It requires you to move side-to-side, providing a great stretch on the groin and inner thighs while training the hips, thighs and trunk to work together. Life isn’t strictly moving forwards and backwards. It’s best that your training isn’t either.

How to: Stand tall with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, heels flat on the ground and toes pointed forward. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips backwards, bending your left leg, and leaning to your left with your right foot angled out slightly (a). The left knee should be bent, left heel flat on the floor, and right leg extended with your weight over the left side of your body (b). This is one rep. Return to a standing position and descend doing the same movement on your right side to even things out (c). Perform six reps per leg for three sets.

RELATED: The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit?

[caption id="attachment_32697" align="alignnone" width="400"]Glute Bridge GIF: Scott Herman Fitness[/caption]

7. Hip Extension (Glute Bridges/Hip Thrusts)

One of the most important muscle groups for any trainee — athlete, weekend warrior, or newbie — is the glutes. Yet they are often neglected and underutilized from sitting for long periods each day. According to Campbell, “When we attempt movements from running to squatting without optimal hip movement we risk injury to our hips, knees and ankles. Getting glutes that not only switch on when they should but are strong is crucial, and that’s where this simple yet powerfully effective movement comes in.”

How to: Position the back of your shoulders across a stable bench, feet planted firmly on the ground, about six inches away from your butt (a). Squeezing the glutes, push through your heels to rise up into a bridge position with the hips fully extended. The shoulders down to the knees should be in line, with the knees bent at 90 degrees. Hold the position at the top, glutes, core and hamstrings engaged (b). Lower the hips down and repeat for three sets of eight reps (c). Beginners can continue with just bodyweight, whereas more advanced lifters can progress to rolling a barbell over the top of the hips for added difficulty.

With all these exercises, pay close attention to form and execution. Continue to add weight to each lift once you can complete two more reps than prescribed with your training weight. Keep it up and after a few workouts you’ll start to notice rapid gains in strength and overall fitness. Within a few weeks you’ll have these exercises mastered and be on your way to having a body that better serves you!

Originally posted October 2014. Updated August 2015.

The post The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
The 7 Best Strength Exercises You're Not Doing

[caption id="attachment_43097" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 7 Best Strength Exercises Photo: Pond5[/caption] Every exercise in your strength program has a purpose — to help you build strength and muscle, burn fat, and improve your fitness. While there’s a time and a place for nearly any exercise under the right circumstance, some movements are simply more effective than others. And it should be no surprise that the ones that build a foundation for skills that you’ll use in real life will be the most beneficial for improving your fitness and quality of life. RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises You're Not Doing, According to Trainers So how does a lifter ensure they’re making all the right moves? If you’ve plateaued or just aren’t seeing the results you're banking on, it’s time to get back to basics with these seven moves. From increased strength, better core stability, greater athleticism, and improved overall health, these key exercises need to find their way into your routine. [caption id="attachment_32693" align="alignnone" width="400"]Goblet Squat GIF: Scott Herman Fitness[/caption]

1. Goblet Squat

Squats are an exercise many people struggle to perform safely and effectively. Luckily, the goblet squat is a great progression from a bodyweight squat before squatting with a bar. Because the load is held in front, the core works double-time to keep you tall, while your legs work to control your movement down and stand back up. How to: Hold a dumbbell with both hands underneath the “bell” at chest level, and set your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outwards (a). Push your butt back like you’re sitting in a chair and descend until your elbows reach the inside of your knees. (b). Keeping your heels flat, pressing jnto the floor, pause at the bottom of the squat, and return to a full standing position. If your heels rise push your hips further back and work on partial ranges of motion until mobility and form improve (c). Repeat for four sets of 8-10 reps. RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day  [caption id="attachment_32705" align="alignnone" width="400"]Pallof Press GIF: Tony Gentilcore[/caption]

2. Pallof Press

The Pallof press is one of those movements that looks confusing, but is actually incredibly simple and beneficial, says Mike Campbell, personal trainer and owner of Unleash Your Alpha. While you may not be hoisting heavy weight, the real challenge lies in resisting movement — in this case, rotation. That makes this an ‘anti-rotation’ movement, forcing you to engage through your entire core: obliques, abs, lower back, glutes and more. According to Campbell, the Paloff press will build great usable strength while adding athletic definition through the mid-section (in coordination with a sound diet). How to: Stand perpendicular to a cable column with the column's arm set around shoulder height. Grab the handle with both hands and pull it in to the chest, maintaining tension on the cable. Feet should be shoulder-width apart, and the feet, knees, hips and shoulders all remain square and facing straight ahead throughout movement (a). Holding the chest high, squeeze through the stomach and press the handle away from the body, extending the arms straight while resisting any twisting or rotation (b). It's at this point the resistance will be highest. Continue to engage your core, and ensure you remain square and straight and resist the rotational force. Bring arms back in to the chest and repeat for three sets of 10 reps per side (c). [caption id="attachment_32694" align="alignnone" width="400"]One Arm Dumbbell Row GIF: infosport[/caption]

3. Dumbbell Row

Most of us spend more time training the “mirror muscles” on the front of the body, and neglect what we can’t see, according to Campbell. But developing a strong back is key to balance things out, improve posture and avoid injury. The dumbbell row can help achieve all that, in addition building strong arms and a strong core. The main muscles being used are the lats, traps and rhomboids, which reinforce good posture by pulling your shoulders back and aiding the core in stabilizing your spine. How to: Grab a dumbbell (20 pounds is plenty for most to start) and find a bench. Start with your left hand on the bench with left arm extended, while your right arm holds the dumbbell and right foot is on the ground (a). Retract your shoulders, brace your abs, and pull the weight up on the side of your body until the elbow passes the side of the body (b). Lower under control and repeat for three sets of 6-8 reps on each side (c). [caption id="attachment_32695" align="alignnone" width="400"]Push Up GIF: DailyBurn[/caption]

4. Push-Up

The push-up might appear basic, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do. The functional movement is great for training the upper-body pushing muscles — the anterior deltoids, triceps and chest. It also requires you to engage your core and allows full range of motion in your shoulder blades, unlike the bench press. How to: Start on your knees facing the floor with your hands at shoulder-width, planted directly under the shoulders. Assume a plank position by straightening your legs, supporting your weight with hands and feet (a). Squeeze your backside to keep your trunk engaged and lower your body slowly to the ground. The elbows should be slightly tucked — like arrows, rather than flared like the letter “T” (b). Descend until your chest is just above the ground and return to the starting position by fully extending your arms, and repeat (c). Note: If you can’t do five push-ups with good form, elevate your hands on a bench or chair to begin building up your strength. If push-ups are easy, try elevating your feet on a chair on adding a weight vest. Make sure you're able to perform three sets of 12 push-ups with your bodyweight before adding a vest or elevating your feet. RELATED: 5 Advanced Push-Up Variations to Try Now [caption id="attachment_32708" align="alignnone" width="400"]Split Squat GIF: Howcast Sports Fitness[/caption]

5. Split Squat

Traditional squats are great, but it’s important to incorporate single-leg movements to develop athleticism and minimize training imbalances. The split squat, a stationary lunge, does just that. The split stance requires you to balance with a narrow base of support, firing up stabilizing muscles of the hip and trunk while training your quads, glutes and hamstrings to perform the movement. In addition to building lower-body strength, the single-leg nature of the exercise helps improve balance and increase flexibility and stability in the hips. How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Next, take a step forward with your right foot, and a large step backwards with your left foot — this is your starting position (a). Keep the front heel flat and descend into a lunge, bringing your back knee towards the floor. Stop just short of the knee touching the ground on the back leg with the front heel still flat on the ground (b). Pause for one second and return to standing. Perform 6-8 reps on your right leg, then 6-8 reps on your left leg, and repeat for three sets (c). [caption id="attachment_32698" align="alignnone" width="400"]Lateral Squat GIF: Core Performance[/caption] 6. Lateral Squat The lateral squat combines two movements: a lateral lunge and a squat. The difference? The lateral squat is stationary. It requires you to move side-to-side, providing a great stretch on the groin and inner thighs while training the hips, thighs and trunk to work together. Life isn’t strictly moving forwards and backwards. It’s best that your training isn’t either. How to: Stand tall with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, heels flat on the ground and toes pointed forward. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips backwards, bending your left leg, and leaning to your left with your right foot angled out slightly (a). The left knee should be bent, left heel flat on the floor, and right leg extended with your weight over the left side of your body (b). This is one rep. Return to a standing position and descend doing the same movement on your right side to even things out (c). Perform six reps per leg for three sets. RELATED: The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit? [caption id="attachment_32697" align="alignnone" width="400"]Glute Bridge GIF: Scott Herman Fitness[/caption]

7. Hip Extension (Glute Bridges/Hip Thrusts)

One of the most important muscle groups for any trainee — athlete, weekend warrior, or newbie — is the glutes. Yet they are often neglected and underutilized from sitting for long periods each day. According to Campbell, “When we attempt movements from running to squatting without optimal hip movement we risk injury to our hips, knees and ankles. Getting glutes that not only switch on when they should but are strong is crucial, and that’s where this simple yet powerfully effective movement comes in.” How to: Position the back of your shoulders across a stable bench, feet planted firmly on the ground, about six inches away from your butt (a). Squeezing the glutes, push through your heels to rise up into a bridge position with the hips fully extended. The shoulders down to the knees should be in line, with the knees bent at 90 degrees. Hold the position at the top, glutes, core and hamstrings engaged (b). Lower the hips down and repeat for three sets of eight reps (c). Beginners can continue with just bodyweight, whereas more advanced lifters can progress to rolling a barbell over the top of the hips for added difficulty. With all these exercises, pay close attention to form and execution. Continue to add weight to each lift once you can complete two more reps than prescribed with your training weight. Keep it up and after a few workouts you’ll start to notice rapid gains in strength and overall fitness. Within a few weeks you’ll have these exercises mastered and be on your way to having a body that better serves you! Originally posted October 2014. Updated August 2015.

The post The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/stability-ball-exercises-ab-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/stability-ball-exercises-ab-workout/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:15:38 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42756 5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core

[caption id="attachment_42819" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core Photo: Pond5[/caption]

This workout comes to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Angela Rubin. You can find more no-equipment moves from DailyBurn’s elite trainers at DailyBurn.com.

When was the last time you used a stability ball at the gym? Sure, shiny new gadgets and machinery might look fun, but some machines can be more trouble than they’re worth. (We’re looking at you, seated crunch machine!)

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

The 90s called, and reminded us that the humble stability ball is actually an incredibly effective way to sculpt your way to a stronger core. Research shows that by performing basic moves like crunches on an unstable surface, you’ll increase muscle activity when compared to standard crunches. Talk about more bang for your buck!

But there’s plenty more where that came from — the Swiss ball is incredibly versatile. From planks to squats to glute bridges performed on the ball, you can work your midsection while challenging other important muscle groups.

Before going balls-to-the-wall, though, you’ll want to pick out the right size for you, says DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Angela Rubin, ISSA personal trainer and USAT Level 1 triathlon coach. Your legs should make a 90-degree angle when you sit on the ball with your feet flat on the ground. (So, go bigger or smaller as necessary.)

5 Stability Ball Exercises to Target Your Core

It’s no bouncy castle, but we guarantee you’ll come around to these five core moves from Rubin. Warm up your body with a minute of jumping jacks or jogging in place, then follow the GIFs below for a low-impact, beginner-friendly workout that will still challenge you in all the right ways.

Stability Ball Crunches

1. Stability Ball Crunches
How does the humble ball up the ante on the old standard? Doing a controlled crunch on this unstable surface boosts activation of the abdominals more than regular crunches, says Rubin.
How to: Sit on the stability ball and walk your feet forward so your shoulders, neck and thighs are parallel to the floor. With your neck relaxed, place your hands behind your head (a). Engage your core and lift your shoulder blades off the ball, pausing once your body reaches a 45-degree angle. Keep your gaze towards the sky or ceiling so you don’t put too much pressure on your neck (b). Pause, then gently lower your upper body back down. This movement isn’t about speed so the slower, the better (c). Repeat 10 times.

Stability Ball Y-T Extensions

2. Stability Ball Y-T Extensions
Tone your shoulders and core in one fell swoop by taking a cue from the alphabet and making “Y” and “T”s with your arms. By performing this move on a stability ball, you’ll work on range of motion more so than if you performed these laying on the floor, says Rubin.
How to: Lay your chest on a stability ball, with your legs extended straight behind you. Tuck your toes under your feet. Your body should be in a plank position and your head, a neutral position (a). Keep your core, glutes and back engaged, and have your arms hanging down from your shoulders but not touching the ground or the ball. Now raise your arms up and extend straight overhead, so your body makes a “Y”. Lower your arms (b). Next, raise your arms so they are extending straight out from your sides, so your body makes a “T.” Lower your arms (c). Repeat each letter 10 times.

RELATED: No Equipment? Try Cardio Sculpt on DailyBurn.com, Free for 30 Days

Stability Ball Roll-Out

3. Stability Ball Roll-Outs
Using an exercise ball for roll-outs can help engage smaller core muscles than traditional forms of exercise, says Rubin. Plus, we’d be lying if we said this wasn’t super challenging for those hamstrings, too.
How to: Start by kneeling on the ground with your toes tucked underneath your feet. The stability ball should be in front of you. Place your forearms on the ball so your arm makes a 90-degree angle (a). Push off from your toes and roll yourself forward, so you balanced on the ball in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels (b). Hold for one second, then bend your knees and slowly roll back to the original position (c). Repeat 10 times.

Stability Ball Glute Bridge

4. Stability Ball Glute Bridges
With your lower back balanced on the ball, you’ll need a stable core to perform this move, says Rubin. It packs a one-two punch by targeting your glutes and your core abs.
How to: Sit on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet forward and roll your back onto the ball so your shoulders and upper back are supported by the ball (a). Squeeze and lift your glutes off the floor. Your shoulders and back should still be resting on the ball while you hold for two seconds (b). Drop your hips to the floor, then squeeze and lift your glutes again (c). Repeat 10 times.

Stability Ball Squat

5. Stability Ball Squats
Drop it like a squat and you’ll work your quads, glutes and core. Rubin says that using the stability ball can help maintain proper form while also supporting your lower back.
How to: Stand with a stability ball in between a wall and your lower back. You should be facing away from the wall, standing tall with your shoulder blades pulled back. Lean against the ball and make sure your weight is in your heels (a). With your hands placed on your hips, slowly lower into a squat position until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and thighs are parallel to the ground (b). Next, squeeze your glutes, and engage your quads, hamstrings and core as you drive through your heels to standing (c). Repeat 10 times.

Want more beginner-friendly workouts? To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post 5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core

[caption id="attachment_42819" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core Photo: Pond5[/caption] This workout comes to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Angela Rubin. You can find more no-equipment moves from DailyBurn’s elite trainers at DailyBurn.com. When was the last time you used a stability ball at the gym? Sure, shiny new gadgets and machinery might look fun, but some machines can be more trouble than they’re worth. (We’re looking at you, seated crunch machine!) RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners The 90s called, and reminded us that the humble stability ball is actually an incredibly effective way to sculpt your way to a stronger core. Research shows that by performing basic moves like crunches on an unstable surface, you’ll increase muscle activity when compared to standard crunches. Talk about more bang for your buck! But there’s plenty more where that came from — the Swiss ball is incredibly versatile. From planks to squats to glute bridges performed on the ball, you can work your midsection while challenging other important muscle groups. Before going balls-to-the-wall, though, you’ll want to pick out the right size for you, says DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Angela Rubin, ISSA personal trainer and USAT Level 1 triathlon coach. Your legs should make a 90-degree angle when you sit on the ball with your feet flat on the ground. (So, go bigger or smaller as necessary.)

5 Stability Ball Exercises to Target Your Core

It’s no bouncy castle, but we guarantee you’ll come around to these five core moves from Rubin. Warm up your body with a minute of jumping jacks or jogging in place, then follow the GIFs below for a low-impact, beginner-friendly workout that will still challenge you in all the right ways. Stability Ball Crunches 1. Stability Ball Crunches How does the humble ball up the ante on the old standard? Doing a controlled crunch on this unstable surface boosts activation of the abdominals more than regular crunches, says Rubin. How to: Sit on the stability ball and walk your feet forward so your shoulders, neck and thighs are parallel to the floor. With your neck relaxed, place your hands behind your head (a). Engage your core and lift your shoulder blades off the ball, pausing once your body reaches a 45-degree angle. Keep your gaze towards the sky or ceiling so you don’t put too much pressure on your neck (b). Pause, then gently lower your upper body back down. This movement isn’t about speed so the slower, the better (c). Repeat 10 times. Stability Ball Y-T Extensions 2. Stability Ball Y-T Extensions Tone your shoulders and core in one fell swoop by taking a cue from the alphabet and making “Y” and “T”s with your arms. By performing this move on a stability ball, you’ll work on range of motion more so than if you performed these laying on the floor, says Rubin. How to: Lay your chest on a stability ball, with your legs extended straight behind you. Tuck your toes under your feet. Your body should be in a plank position and your head, a neutral position (a). Keep your core, glutes and back engaged, and have your arms hanging down from your shoulders but not touching the ground or the ball. Now raise your arms up and extend straight overhead, so your body makes a “Y”. Lower your arms (b). Next, raise your arms so they are extending straight out from your sides, so your body makes a “T.” Lower your arms (c). Repeat each letter 10 times. RELATED: No Equipment? Try Cardio Sculpt on DailyBurn.com, Free for 30 Days Stability Ball Roll-Out 3. Stability Ball Roll-Outs Using an exercise ball for roll-outs can help engage smaller core muscles than traditional forms of exercise, says Rubin. Plus, we’d be lying if we said this wasn’t super challenging for those hamstrings, too. How to: Start by kneeling on the ground with your toes tucked underneath your feet. The stability ball should be in front of you. Place your forearms on the ball so your arm makes a 90-degree angle (a). Push off from your toes and roll yourself forward, so you balanced on the ball in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels (b). Hold for one second, then bend your knees and slowly roll back to the original position (c). Repeat 10 times. Stability Ball Glute Bridge 4. Stability Ball Glute Bridges With your lower back balanced on the ball, you’ll need a stable core to perform this move, says Rubin. It packs a one-two punch by targeting your glutes and your core abs. How to: Sit on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet forward and roll your back onto the ball so your shoulders and upper back are supported by the ball (a). Squeeze and lift your glutes off the floor. Your shoulders and back should still be resting on the ball while you hold for two seconds (b). Drop your hips to the floor, then squeeze and lift your glutes again (c). Repeat 10 times. Stability Ball Squat 5. Stability Ball Squats Drop it like a squat and you’ll work your quads, glutes and core. Rubin says that using the stability ball can help maintain proper form while also supporting your lower back. How to: Stand with a stability ball in between a wall and your lower back. You should be facing away from the wall, standing tall with your shoulder blades pulled back. Lean against the ball and make sure your weight is in your heels (a). With your hands placed on your hips, slowly lower into a squat position until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and thighs are parallel to the ground (b). Next, squeeze your glutes, and engage your quads, hamstrings and core as you drive through your heels to standing (c). Repeat 10 times. Want more beginner-friendly workouts? To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner. Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post 5 Stability Ball Exercises for a Crazy Strong Core appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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Is Your Mobility Holding You Back? 5 Tests to Find Out http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/muscle-imbalances-functional-movement-screen/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/muscle-imbalances-functional-movement-screen/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 15:15:29 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=31972 Muscle Imbalances Functional Screen Test

[caption id="attachment_42542" align="alignnone" width="620"]Muscle Imbalances Functional Screen Test Photo: Pond5[/caption]

You probably wouldn’t pick sand as your top choice for the foundation of your dream house. It’s not sturdy for the long haul and could end in disaster down the road. Yet, according to certified athletic trainer Jason D’Amelio, MS, ATC-L, ART-C, many individuals are making a similar mistake every day in the gym. The dream house in this scenario is a healthy body and the sand is a metaphor for muscle imbalances.

"About 65 percent of injuries—both athletic and lifestyle-related—come from overuse."

Simply put, muscle imbalances occur when one muscle is stronger than its opposing muscle. For example, if you sit all day at a computer or overwork your mirror muscles (like the chest and abs), your shoulders are likely pulled forward creating a strength imbalance between the front of your body and the back. While these muscle imbalances may not be a problem at first, the real issue occurs over time. As D’Amelio explains, “Without a well-balanced foundation that focuses on stabilization and mobilization, you can strengthen as much as you want, but at some point, the foundation is going to break down.” In other words, unless you identify and fix whatever imbalances exist, you could be headed straight for injury.

RELATED: 5 Exercise Machines That Aren't Worth Your Time

According to strength coach Mark Verstegen, president and founder of EXOS and Core Performance, "About 65 percent of injuries — both athletic and lifestyle-related — come from overuse, which is repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances."

D’Amelio, who has worked with pro teams like the New York Yankees and the New York Giants, says identifying these imbalances early is key. Read on for the best strategies to get athletes of all levels moving in the right direction.

[caption id="attachment_26728" align="alignnone" width="620"]Muscle Imbalances Functional Movement Screen Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Move Right: The Functional Movement Screen

When an athlete comes into see D’Amelio for the first time, they might think they’re headed for a tough workout. In fact, they’re more likely to go through a series of bodyweight tests known as the Functional Movement Screen, developed by physical therapist Gray Cook. “With some of my new clients, I won’t even have them touch a weight or use any particular equipment until I can fully feel comfortable knowing we’ve corrected all movement dysfunctions,” he says.

To identify these improper movement patterns, therapists use the seven tests in the Functional Movement Screen (including deep squats and trunk stability push-ups), and grade participants on a scale of 0 (movement was painful) to 3 (perfect) for each one. The practitioner then totals up the grades for a composite score for the entire assessment. Some research has shown that the end score can be helpful in predicting injury rates on subjects ranging from children to professional football players, getting them one step closer to correcting potential issues before they manifest.

Ready to put your form to the test? D’Amelio highlights five of his favorite assessments from the Functional Movement Screen for diagnosing muscle imbalances and identifying injury risk. While these are great to practice at home, it’s always recommended to get assessed by a professional. The Functional Movement Screen requires a trained eye for spotting slight movement irregularities, and a certified coach or therapist will catch subtleties that other individuals will likely overlook.

RELATED: What Happens to Your Body When You Skip the Gym?

Test: Deep Squat

_Deep-Squat

How it’s done: This isn’t your traditional back squat. For the deep squat, athletes will hold a dowel rod locked out overhead (like in an overhead squat). Then, they’ll sit back on their heels and drop into a squat before pushing through their heels to stand back up. Ideally, the bar should remain locked out overhead throughout the entire move.

What to look out for: While the movement seems simple, a lot can go wrong with the deep squat. For one, many individuals have trouble keeping their knees over their ankles due to weaknesses or limitations in their hips, says D’Amelio. This causes their knees to cave in. Spinal alignment is another common flaw. Ideally, your spine will be in a neutral (flat back) position, not leaning forward or rounding. Poor spinal position can indicate a weak core or inflexibility in the hips. Finally, your feet can reveal a lot about your quality of movement. If your heels are coming off the ground, for instance, that could be a sign that your calves are too tight.

RELATED: The 5 Most Important Lifts to Master

Test: In-Line Lunge (or Split Squat)

In-Line Lunge

How it’s done: Prepare for a real challenge. This movement pattern puts hip, knee, ankle and foot stability to the test. It also reveals mobility, flexibility and any asymmetries (as it’s performed on both the right and left sides). Start by standing with the right foot forward and left directly behind it (about a shin’s length apart). The feet must be in line with one another meaning if you drew a line from the heel of the right foot it would run right into the toe of the left foot. From that position, hold a dowel rod behind the back so that it runs up and down along the spine (if the right foot is forward the left arm is on top). Next slowly descend into a lunge, dropping the back knee straight down towards the ground, and then return to the starting position. 

What to look out for: Many individuals don’t have adequate strength in their hips and quads to control their knee during a lunge. In that case, the front knee dives in or out rather than staying directly in line with the foot. Like the deep squat, this normally indicates a weakness in the hips and quads. Lack of ability to control the knee can lead to trouble in sports where athletes are continuously jumping and landing on their feet (basketball and volleyball for example). Another error is allowing the torso to fall forward. In that case, the dowel rod would tip forward as opposed to staying perpendicular to the ground. This could indicate several things including tightness in the hip, a weakness in the legs, or both.

Test: Rotational Stability

Rotational Stability

How it’s done: Spoiler alert: Core strength is essential for almost everything from running to just preventing back injuries. This assessment is the ultimate test to see how your midsection measures up. Starting on all fours, extend their right arm and right leg at the same time until both are parallel to the floor. From that position, bring the right knee and elbow back underneath their body and touch them together before returning to the extended position. After a few reps, repeat on the left side. 

What to look out for: It’s hard to believe that the toughest test of the Functional Movement Screen might occur on all fours. The Rotational Stability test is incredibly challenging for the core in particular. It’s common for individuals to lean too far to one side or rotate excessively while going through the movement to compensate for an asymmetry or weakness in the core.

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

Test: Hurdle Step Over

Hurdle Step Over

How it’s done: Unless you’re a track and field athlete (or a frequent mud runner), you probably haven’t cozied up to a hurdle in a while. Not to worry — these hurdles won’t require any jumping. But, they do provide a great assessment of symmetry between your right and left sides. Holding a dowel rod across the shoulders just like in a back squat, athletes will stand behind a hurdle set at knee height. From that position, they’ll raise one knee up, reach that foot over the hurdle, and touch their heel down on the other side. Then, they’ll slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. 

What to look out for: When D’Amelio puts his clients through this test, he’s evaluating two things in particular. First, iso-lateral strength, which indicates if your hips equally balanced. Individuals that are overly strong or weak on one side will likely wobble back and forth. This test also hones in on hip and ankle mobility. Those with movement restrictions won’t be able to lift their hip up high enough or point their toe while clearing the hurdle.

Test: Trunk Stability Push-Up

Stability Push Up

How it’s done: A push-up might be one of the most common exercises ever, but this particular variation is a bit different. Start lying on the ground like normal. But instead of placing your hands at shoulder height, men will start with their hands aligned with their forehead, and females with their hands directly under their chin. From there, participants simply push up while trying to maintain a flat back before dropping back down for another rep.

What to look out for: The trunk stability push-up measures a handful of attributes including upper-body strength. For one, the push-up should occur in one fluid movement. If the lower back dips down, it could be a sign of core weakness. Trained coaches can also watch how the shoulder blades move and how the shoulders are positioned to identify potential imbalances between the chest and upper back.

RELATED: 5 Mobility Training Tips from Kelly Starrett

What to Do Next

“Often, too much of the focus is on weight, and not enough focus is on movement quality.”

So, you’ve gone through all the tests and identified a few areas you need work on. Unfortunately, fixing these imbalances doesn’t happen overnight. They developed over years of improper movement. So, it might take a few months of well-focused training before you’re moving more optimally.

D’Amelio explains that part of the equation for fixing your movements is honing in on the right cues. While coaches won’t provide you with many instructions during the actual assessment since they want to see how you move naturally, you should come away with some specific pointers to keep in mind and you progress with your training. Simple cues like “Push your hips back when you squat” can go a long way in fixing your movement patterns.

At the gym, use what you have in front of you, D’Amelio adds. “Mirrors are there, not so you can check yourself out and see how good you look, but to give you biofeedback on performing the correct movement patterns.” Instead of flexing your muscles between sets, use the mirrors to see if your movement patterns are improving from the initial assessment.

The last part of fixing lingering dysfunctions might be the hardest point of all. It requires changing your entire mindset in the gym. As D’Amelio explains, “Often, too much of the focus is on weight, and not enough focus is on movement quality.” In order to improve your movement patterns and be injury-free for the long haul, you might have to take a hit to the ego and drop the weight for a few weeks while you refine your technique.

At the end of the day, it's all about being proactive in (and out) of the gym. Also known as "prehab," addressing common muscle or movement imbalances, such as the shoulders and hips, before they sideline you should be the goal, Verstegen says. 

Identifying muscular imbalances is tricky work. It takes a variety of assessments to really tease out what part or parts of the body aren’t functioning optimally. Fixing the issues can be even trickier, taking weeks or even months to fully correct. But, the struggle is worth it in the end. With a solid foundation, you’ll be stronger and less injury-prone than ever before.

Originally posted September 2014. Updated August 2015. 

The post Is Your Mobility Holding You Back? 5 Tests to Find Out appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Muscle Imbalances Functional Screen Test

[caption id="attachment_42542" align="alignnone" width="620"]Muscle Imbalances Functional Screen Test Photo: Pond5[/caption] You probably wouldn’t pick sand as your top choice for the foundation of your dream house. It’s not sturdy for the long haul and could end in disaster down the road. Yet, according to certified athletic trainer Jason D’Amelio, MS, ATC-L, ART-C, many individuals are making a similar mistake every day in the gym. The dream house in this scenario is a healthy body and the sand is a metaphor for muscle imbalances.
"About 65 percent of injuries—both athletic and lifestyle-related—come from overuse."
Simply put, muscle imbalances occur when one muscle is stronger than its opposing muscle. For example, if you sit all day at a computer or overwork your mirror muscles (like the chest and abs), your shoulders are likely pulled forward creating a strength imbalance between the front of your body and the back. While these muscle imbalances may not be a problem at first, the real issue occurs over time. As D’Amelio explains, “Without a well-balanced foundation that focuses on stabilization and mobilization, you can strengthen as much as you want, but at some point, the foundation is going to break down.” In other words, unless you identify and fix whatever imbalances exist, you could be headed straight for injury. RELATED: 5 Exercise Machines That Aren't Worth Your Time According to strength coach Mark Verstegen, president and founder of EXOS and Core Performance, "About 65 percent of injuries — both athletic and lifestyle-related — come from overuse, which is repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances." D’Amelio, who has worked with pro teams like the New York Yankees and the New York Giants, says identifying these imbalances early is key. Read on for the best strategies to get athletes of all levels moving in the right direction. [caption id="attachment_26728" align="alignnone" width="620"]Muscle Imbalances Functional Movement Screen Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Move Right: The Functional Movement Screen

When an athlete comes into see D’Amelio for the first time, they might think they’re headed for a tough workout. In fact, they’re more likely to go through a series of bodyweight tests known as the Functional Movement Screen, developed by physical therapist Gray Cook. “With some of my new clients, I won’t even have them touch a weight or use any particular equipment until I can fully feel comfortable knowing we’ve corrected all movement dysfunctions,” he says. To identify these improper movement patterns, therapists use the seven tests in the Functional Movement Screen (including deep squats and trunk stability push-ups), and grade participants on a scale of 0 (movement was painful) to 3 (perfect) for each one. The practitioner then totals up the grades for a composite score for the entire assessment. Some research has shown that the end score can be helpful in predicting injury rates on subjects ranging from children to professional football players, getting them one step closer to correcting potential issues before they manifest. Ready to put your form to the test? D’Amelio highlights five of his favorite assessments from the Functional Movement Screen for diagnosing muscle imbalances and identifying injury risk. While these are great to practice at home, it’s always recommended to get assessed by a professional. The Functional Movement Screen requires a trained eye for spotting slight movement irregularities, and a certified coach or therapist will catch subtleties that other individuals will likely overlook. RELATED: What Happens to Your Body When You Skip the Gym?

Test: Deep Squat

_Deep-Squat How it’s done: This isn’t your traditional back squat. For the deep squat, athletes will hold a dowel rod locked out overhead (like in an overhead squat). Then, they’ll sit back on their heels and drop into a squat before pushing through their heels to stand back up. Ideally, the bar should remain locked out overhead throughout the entire move. What to look out for: While the movement seems simple, a lot can go wrong with the deep squat. For one, many individuals have trouble keeping their knees over their ankles due to weaknesses or limitations in their hips, says D’Amelio. This causes their knees to cave in. Spinal alignment is another common flaw. Ideally, your spine will be in a neutral (flat back) position, not leaning forward or rounding. Poor spinal position can indicate a weak core or inflexibility in the hips. Finally, your feet can reveal a lot about your quality of movement. If your heels are coming off the ground, for instance, that could be a sign that your calves are too tight. RELATED: The 5 Most Important Lifts to Master

Test: In-Line Lunge (or Split Squat)

In-Line Lunge How it’s done: Prepare for a real challenge. This movement pattern puts hip, knee, ankle and foot stability to the test. It also reveals mobility, flexibility and any asymmetries (as it’s performed on both the right and left sides). Start by standing with the right foot forward and left directly behind it (about a shin’s length apart). The feet must be in line with one another meaning if you drew a line from the heel of the right foot it would run right into the toe of the left foot. From that position, hold a dowel rod behind the back so that it runs up and down along the spine (if the right foot is forward the left arm is on top). Next slowly descend into a lunge, dropping the back knee straight down towards the ground, and then return to the starting position.  What to look out for: Many individuals don’t have adequate strength in their hips and quads to control their knee during a lunge. In that case, the front knee dives in or out rather than staying directly in line with the foot. Like the deep squat, this normally indicates a weakness in the hips and quads. Lack of ability to control the knee can lead to trouble in sports where athletes are continuously jumping and landing on their feet (basketball and volleyball for example). Another error is allowing the torso to fall forward. In that case, the dowel rod would tip forward as opposed to staying perpendicular to the ground. This could indicate several things including tightness in the hip, a weakness in the legs, or both.

Test: Rotational Stability

Rotational Stability How it’s done: Spoiler alert: Core strength is essential for almost everything from running to just preventing back injuries. This assessment is the ultimate test to see how your midsection measures up. Starting on all fours, extend their right arm and right leg at the same time until both are parallel to the floor. From that position, bring the right knee and elbow back underneath their body and touch them together before returning to the extended position. After a few reps, repeat on the left side.  What to look out for: It’s hard to believe that the toughest test of the Functional Movement Screen might occur on all fours. The Rotational Stability test is incredibly challenging for the core in particular. It’s common for individuals to lean too far to one side or rotate excessively while going through the movement to compensate for an asymmetry or weakness in the core. RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

Test: Hurdle Step Over

Hurdle Step Over How it’s done: Unless you’re a track and field athlete (or a frequent mud runner), you probably haven’t cozied up to a hurdle in a while. Not to worry — these hurdles won’t require any jumping. But, they do provide a great assessment of symmetry between your right and left sides. Holding a dowel rod across the shoulders just like in a back squat, athletes will stand behind a hurdle set at knee height. From that position, they’ll raise one knee up, reach that foot over the hurdle, and touch their heel down on the other side. Then, they’ll slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.  What to look out for: When D’Amelio puts his clients through this test, he’s evaluating two things in particular. First, iso-lateral strength, which indicates if your hips equally balanced. Individuals that are overly strong or weak on one side will likely wobble back and forth. This test also hones in on hip and ankle mobility. Those with movement restrictions won’t be able to lift their hip up high enough or point their toe while clearing the hurdle.

Test: Trunk Stability Push-Up

Stability Push Up How it’s done: A push-up might be one of the most common exercises ever, but this particular variation is a bit different. Start lying on the ground like normal. But instead of placing your hands at shoulder height, men will start with their hands aligned with their forehead, and females with their hands directly under their chin. From there, participants simply push up while trying to maintain a flat back before dropping back down for another rep. What to look out for: The trunk stability push-up measures a handful of attributes including upper-body strength. For one, the push-up should occur in one fluid movement. If the lower back dips down, it could be a sign of core weakness. Trained coaches can also watch how the shoulder blades move and how the shoulders are positioned to identify potential imbalances between the chest and upper back. RELATED: 5 Mobility Training Tips from Kelly Starrett

What to Do Next

“Often, too much of the focus is on weight, and not enough focus is on movement quality.”
So, you’ve gone through all the tests and identified a few areas you need work on. Unfortunately, fixing these imbalances doesn’t happen overnight. They developed over years of improper movement. So, it might take a few months of well-focused training before you’re moving more optimally. D’Amelio explains that part of the equation for fixing your movements is honing in on the right cues. While coaches won’t provide you with many instructions during the actual assessment since they want to see how you move naturally, you should come away with some specific pointers to keep in mind and you progress with your training. Simple cues like “Push your hips back when you squat” can go a long way in fixing your movement patterns. At the gym, use what you have in front of you, D’Amelio adds. “Mirrors are there, not so you can check yourself out and see how good you look, but to give you biofeedback on performing the correct movement patterns.” Instead of flexing your muscles between sets, use the mirrors to see if your movement patterns are improving from the initial assessment. The last part of fixing lingering dysfunctions might be the hardest point of all. It requires changing your entire mindset in the gym. As D’Amelio explains, “Often, too much of the focus is on weight, and not enough focus is on movement quality.” In order to improve your movement patterns and be injury-free for the long haul, you might have to take a hit to the ego and drop the weight for a few weeks while you refine your technique. At the end of the day, it's all about being proactive in (and out) of the gym. Also known as "prehab," addressing common muscle or movement imbalances, such as the shoulders and hips, before they sideline you should be the goal, Verstegen says.  Identifying muscular imbalances is tricky work. It takes a variety of assessments to really tease out what part or parts of the body aren’t functioning optimally. Fixing the issues can be even trickier, taking weeks or even months to fully correct. But, the struggle is worth it in the end. With a solid foundation, you’ll be stronger and less injury-prone than ever before. Originally posted September 2014. Updated August 2015. 

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No More Sit-Ups: 7 New Moves to Work Your Abs http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-trx-abs-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-trx-abs-workout/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 13:15:53 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38025 TRX Abs Workout

[caption id="attachment_38321" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Abs Workout Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

On the surface, the TRX Suspension Trainer looks pretty unassuming. But these two adjustable straps may just be the best piece of equipment to strengthen your abs and core. “When we work our core on the TRX, it’s really challenging” says Shannon Colavecchio, who is an AFAA and ACE-certified personal trainer and certified in TRX Suspension Training and TRX RIP Trainer.

“With your hands or feet in the TRX, you only have two points of contact with the floor to help you stabilize your body, which means you have to recruit your core muscles,” says Colavecchio. Constant instability means those abdominal muscles are always on.

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

“What I really love about the TRX is that it engages so many muscles beyond just the specific one you’re working,” says Colavecchio. “It’s an efficient tool. You spend less time training, but you get more value from that training time,” she says. The owner of Badass Fitness Studio in Tallahassee, Florida also notes that TRX is accessible to people of all fitness levels. “I can have a class of 20 people ranging from pro football players to older women,” she says. “We can all work at our own level and progress, at our own pace. You can make the TRX work with you by making the exercise easier or harder — it’s all about changing the angle of your body.”

The 7 Best TRX Exercises to Work Your Abs

Tone up that six-pack to help improve core and back strength, as well as posture. Remember, form is key, especially on the TRX. “Just about every move requires that you be in a perfect plank position,” says Colavecchio. “You want a straight line from the neck all the way to the heels. Activate your glues, quads and hamstrings. If you are aware of this muscle engagement on the TRX, you’ll get so much more out of your workout.”

Colavecchio also recommends looking for modifications that will allow you to perform each move correctly and safely. “It takes some of the intensity away, but it allows you to perfect a move properly,” she says.

Activate those abs! Perform each of the seven exercises below in order with control. For those who are new to TRX, complete two rounds of 10 reps of each exercise. For those who are familiar with TRX training, complete two to three rounds of 15-20 reps of each exercise.

[caption id="attachment_38041" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Pikes Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

1. TRX Pikes
TRX pikes help you build a strong core by challenging your balance and stability, along with your abdominal muscles. “You can adjust the intensity of the exercise by how big your pike is,” advises Colavecchio. Plus, this is a great exercise to build strength for more advanced exercises such as handstands.

How to: Adjust the TRX straps to mid-calf length. Begin in a suspended plank position with your feet in the TRX loops, toes facing down and wrists directly underneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe (a). Pressing down through your palms, lift your hips up towards the ceiling by drawing your legs towards your chest until you look like an upside-down V, or as high as you can go (b). Slowly lower your legs and return to the starting position (c). Repeat.

RELATED: The 20-Minute TRX Workout [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

[caption id="attachment_38159" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Atomic Push-Ups Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

2. TRX Atomic Push-Ups
They don’t call these atomic push-ups for nothing. It’s essentially a push-up followed by a crunch. This exercise is not only great for the core, but it works your shoulders, chest and hip flexors, too. For beginners, you can modify this exercise by performing the push-up with your knees on the floor.

How to: Start in a suspended plank position just like in the pike exercise, shoulders over hands, feet in the TRX with toes pointing down (a). Bending your elbows to lower your upper body towards the floor, perform the downward half of a push-up. Then, press up to straighten your arms and return to suspended plank position (b). Once you've reached the top of the push-up, draw both knees in towards your chest, then extend legs fully back out to return to plank position (c). Repeat.

[caption id="attachment_38044" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Hamstring Runners Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

3. TRX Hamstring Runners
Hamstring runners look like a mountain climber except on your back. As its name implies, this is a great exercise to fire up those hamstrings. But, since your hips are raised throughout the movement, it’s also good for your glutes, lower back and core. To make this harder, move your feet away from the suspension point to add more resistance. To make it easier, bend both legs in towards your body at the same time.

How to: With the TRX straps at mid-calf length, lie on your back, facing your anchor and place your heels into the foot cradles. Rest your arms flat on the floor alongside your body, palms facing down. Pushing through your heels, lift your hips off the floor (a). Contract your right hamstring to draw that knee in towards your body slowly (b). As you return your leg to the starting position, begin to draw your left knee in towards your body for one rep (c). The TRX straps should remain taut throughout the exercise. Repeat.

RELATED: 6 Common TRX Exercise Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

[caption id="attachment_38045" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Side Planks Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

4. TRX Side Planks
Just like a regular side plank on the floor, this exercise engages your abdominal muscles, especially the obliques. “The challenge is that your feet are in the TRX — they aren’t on the floor to help you stabilize your body,” says Colavecchio. You can perform the side plank on your elbow (easier) or on your hand (harder).

How to: With the TRX straps at mid-calf, place both feet in the TRX loops and come into a suspended plank position, shoulders over hands, body in a straight line from head to toe (a). Slowly, roll onto your left side so that your left elbow is directly under your left shoulder, top leg will be in front of your bottom leg, core is engaged (b). [The heel of the front foot can touch the toe of the bottom foot.] Keeping your bottom hip lifted to help stabilize your body, reach your top arm towards the ceiling (c). Hold the side plank for 15 seconds (easier) or 30 seconds (harder). Switch sides.

[caption id="attachment_38046" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Oblique Crunches Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

5. TRX Oblique Crunches
Crunches on the TRX require you to engage not only your main abdominal muscles but also the small stabilizing muscles in your core. If you want to make this exercise harder, Colavecchio suggests performing the oblique crunch at a slow pace. If you’re still working on mastering the TRX crunch (drawing both knees in towards the chest at the same time), Colavecchio recommends that you perform a regular crunch instead.

How to: Start in a suspended plank position, shoulders directly over your hands, feet in the TRX loops, toes facing down and hands directly underneath your shoulders (a). Bend both knees at the same time and draw them together towards your left elbow. Extend both legs straight again to return to plank position (b). Draw both knees towards your right elbow. Extend both legs straight and return to plank position for one rep (c). Repeat.

[caption id="attachment_38047" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Double Leg Raises Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption]

6. TRX Double Leg Raises
If you want to target those stubborn lower abdominal muscles, try these double leg drops. To make the exercise harder, bring your heels as close to the ground as possible without actually touching the floor. To challenge yourself even more, Colavecchio suggests performing the move with straight legs instead of bent legs.

How to: Adjust the TRX straps so that they are mid-calf length. Lie down on your back with your chest underneath the anchor point, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Grab the TRX straps, one in each hand and hold them outside of your thighs, hands open, palms facing down on the straps. Keeping your lumbar (lower) spine flat on the ground, push your hands down on the straps, and slowly lift your legs, keeping your knees bent at 90 degrees, until your knees are stacked over your hips, shins parallel to the floor (a). Keep your knees still bent 90 degrees and lower both heels towards the floor (b). Tap the floor with your heels for one rep (c). Repeat.

RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day

[caption id="attachment_38048" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Body Saw Photo: Courtesy  ofTRX[/caption]

7. TRX Body Saw
While the body saw doesn’t look like a difficult exercise, the subtle movement will make your core burn. “It’s often the smaller movements on the TRX that are more challenging,” says Colavecchio. “The goal is to hold a perfect plank the whole time as you rock forward and backwards. You’ll feel your muscles working more when you slide back because you’re changing the center of gravity and that forces you to engage your core more.”

How to: Begin in a suspended forearm plank position, elbows directly underneath your shoulders, hands flat, firmly pressing into the ground, feet in the TRX loops, toes facing down. Engaging your core, rock forward about 2 to 3 inches so that your shoulders are slightly in front of your elbows (a). Then, slide backwards so that your shoulders are about 2 to 3 inches behind your elbows for one rep (b). Repeat.

Originally posted March 11, 2015. Updated August 2015.

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TRX Abs Workout

[caption id="attachment_38321" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Abs Workout Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] On the surface, the TRX Suspension Trainer looks pretty unassuming. But these two adjustable straps may just be the best piece of equipment to strengthen your abs and core. “When we work our core on the TRX, it’s really challenging” says Shannon Colavecchio, who is an AFAA and ACE-certified personal trainer and certified in TRX Suspension Training and TRX RIP Trainer. “With your hands or feet in the TRX, you only have two points of contact with the floor to help you stabilize your body, which means you have to recruit your core muscles,” says Colavecchio. Constant instability means those abdominal muscles are always on. RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners “What I really love about the TRX is that it engages so many muscles beyond just the specific one you’re working,” says Colavecchio. “It’s an efficient tool. You spend less time training, but you get more value from that training time,” she says. The owner of Badass Fitness Studio in Tallahassee, Florida also notes that TRX is accessible to people of all fitness levels. “I can have a class of 20 people ranging from pro football players to older women,” she says. “We can all work at our own level and progress, at our own pace. You can make the TRX work with you by making the exercise easier or harder — it’s all about changing the angle of your body.”

The 7 Best TRX Exercises to Work Your Abs

Tone up that six-pack to help improve core and back strength, as well as posture. Remember, form is key, especially on the TRX. “Just about every move requires that you be in a perfect plank position,” says Colavecchio. “You want a straight line from the neck all the way to the heels. Activate your glues, quads and hamstrings. If you are aware of this muscle engagement on the TRX, you’ll get so much more out of your workout.” Colavecchio also recommends looking for modifications that will allow you to perform each move correctly and safely. “It takes some of the intensity away, but it allows you to perfect a move properly,” she says. Activate those abs! Perform each of the seven exercises below in order with control. For those who are new to TRX, complete two rounds of 10 reps of each exercise. For those who are familiar with TRX training, complete two to three rounds of 15-20 reps of each exercise. [caption id="attachment_38041" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Pikes Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] 1. TRX Pikes TRX pikes help you build a strong core by challenging your balance and stability, along with your abdominal muscles. “You can adjust the intensity of the exercise by how big your pike is,” advises Colavecchio. Plus, this is a great exercise to build strength for more advanced exercises such as handstands. How to: Adjust the TRX straps to mid-calf length. Begin in a suspended plank position with your feet in the TRX loops, toes facing down and wrists directly underneath your shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe (a). Pressing down through your palms, lift your hips up towards the ceiling by drawing your legs towards your chest until you look like an upside-down V, or as high as you can go (b). Slowly lower your legs and return to the starting position (c). Repeat. RELATED: The 20-Minute TRX Workout [INFOGRAPHIC]   [caption id="attachment_38159" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Atomic Push-Ups Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] 2. TRX Atomic Push-Ups They don’t call these atomic push-ups for nothing. It’s essentially a push-up followed by a crunch. This exercise is not only great for the core, but it works your shoulders, chest and hip flexors, too. For beginners, you can modify this exercise by performing the push-up with your knees on the floor. How to: Start in a suspended plank position just like in the pike exercise, shoulders over hands, feet in the TRX with toes pointing down (a). Bending your elbows to lower your upper body towards the floor, perform the downward half of a push-up. Then, press up to straighten your arms and return to suspended plank position (b). Once you've reached the top of the push-up, draw both knees in towards your chest, then extend legs fully back out to return to plank position (c). Repeat. [caption id="attachment_38044" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Hamstring Runners Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] 3. TRX Hamstring Runners Hamstring runners look like a mountain climber except on your back. As its name implies, this is a great exercise to fire up those hamstrings. But, since your hips are raised throughout the movement, it’s also good for your glutes, lower back and core. To make this harder, move your feet away from the suspension point to add more resistance. To make it easier, bend both legs in towards your body at the same time. How to: With the TRX straps at mid-calf length, lie on your back, facing your anchor and place your heels into the foot cradles. Rest your arms flat on the floor alongside your body, palms facing down. Pushing through your heels, lift your hips off the floor (a). Contract your right hamstring to draw that knee in towards your body slowly (b). As you return your leg to the starting position, begin to draw your left knee in towards your body for one rep (c). The TRX straps should remain taut throughout the exercise. Repeat. RELATED: 6 Common TRX Exercise Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) [caption id="attachment_38045" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Side Planks Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] 4. TRX Side Planks Just like a regular side plank on the floor, this exercise engages your abdominal muscles, especially the obliques. “The challenge is that your feet are in the TRX — they aren’t on the floor to help you stabilize your body,” says Colavecchio. You can perform the side plank on your elbow (easier) or on your hand (harder). How to: With the TRX straps at mid-calf, place both feet in the TRX loops and come into a suspended plank position, shoulders over hands, body in a straight line from head to toe (a). Slowly, roll onto your left side so that your left elbow is directly under your left shoulder, top leg will be in front of your bottom leg, core is engaged (b). [The heel of the front foot can touch the toe of the bottom foot.] Keeping your bottom hip lifted to help stabilize your body, reach your top arm towards the ceiling (c). Hold the side plank for 15 seconds (easier) or 30 seconds (harder). Switch sides. [caption id="attachment_38046" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Oblique Crunches Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] 5. TRX Oblique Crunches Crunches on the TRX require you to engage not only your main abdominal muscles but also the small stabilizing muscles in your core. If you want to make this exercise harder, Colavecchio suggests performing the oblique crunch at a slow pace. If you’re still working on mastering the TRX crunch (drawing both knees in towards the chest at the same time), Colavecchio recommends that you perform a regular crunch instead. How to: Start in a suspended plank position, shoulders directly over your hands, feet in the TRX loops, toes facing down and hands directly underneath your shoulders (a). Bend both knees at the same time and draw them together towards your left elbow. Extend both legs straight again to return to plank position (b). Draw both knees towards your right elbow. Extend both legs straight and return to plank position for one rep (c). Repeat. [caption id="attachment_38047" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Double Leg Raises Photo: Courtesy of TRX[/caption] 6. TRX Double Leg Raises If you want to target those stubborn lower abdominal muscles, try these double leg drops. To make the exercise harder, bring your heels as close to the ground as possible without actually touching the floor. To challenge yourself even more, Colavecchio suggests performing the move with straight legs instead of bent legs. How to: Adjust the TRX straps so that they are mid-calf length. Lie down on your back with your chest underneath the anchor point, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Grab the TRX straps, one in each hand and hold them outside of your thighs, hands open, palms facing down on the straps. Keeping your lumbar (lower) spine flat on the ground, push your hands down on the straps, and slowly lift your legs, keeping your knees bent at 90 degrees, until your knees are stacked over your hips, shins parallel to the floor (a). Keep your knees still bent 90 degrees and lower both heels towards the floor (b). Tap the floor with your heels for one rep (c). Repeat. RELATED: 9 Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day [caption id="attachment_38048" align="alignnone" width="620"]TRX Body Saw Photo: Courtesy  ofTRX[/caption] 7. TRX Body Saw While the body saw doesn’t look like a difficult exercise, the subtle movement will make your core burn. “It’s often the smaller movements on the TRX that are more challenging,” says Colavecchio. “The goal is to hold a perfect plank the whole time as you rock forward and backwards. You’ll feel your muscles working more when you slide back because you’re changing the center of gravity and that forces you to engage your core more.” How to: Begin in a suspended forearm plank position, elbows directly underneath your shoulders, hands flat, firmly pressing into the ground, feet in the TRX loops, toes facing down. Engaging your core, rock forward about 2 to 3 inches so that your shoulders are slightly in front of your elbows (a). Then, slide backwards so that your shoulders are about 2 to 3 inches behind your elbows for one rep (b). Repeat. Originally posted March 11, 2015. Updated August 2015.

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The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit? http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/stomach-vacuum-exercise-trend/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/stomach-vacuum-exercise-trend/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:15:35 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42314 The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit?

[caption id="attachment_42317" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

We’re all guilty of sucking in our stomachs every now and then to look a little leaner. (C’mon, you know you’ve done it.) But now, an extreme version of this move — known as the stomach vacuum — is sweeping the web. A decades-old phenomenon that recently resurfaced, stomach vacuuming, which involves drawing in in your abs as hard as you can while standing or lying down, purportedly promises to help you sculpt a six pack with nary a single crunch, plank or Pilates move.

Popularized by brawny legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane, the move was originally used by bodybuilders during competition. While striking a pose, Schwarzenegger and his cohorts would pull their stomachs concave, showing off tiny waists and serious six-packs (or in some cases...16-pack). “You’re trying to give the appearance of a thin and lean physique,” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S, founder of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts.

RELATED: Eating Clay: Absurd New Health Trend or All-Natural Cleanse?

Fans of the stomach vacuum, which is typically held for 20 seconds to one minute, claim that it will activate your transverse abdominis — the deepest, hardest-to-reach layer of your abs that hide beneath your obliques. Plus, one older study circa 1999, suggested that isolating the transverse abdominis might help alleviate back pain, since it wraps around the spine, helping with overall stability. Yes, the stomach vacuum sounds like a dream — but is it legit?

To Stomach Vacuum, Or Not?

Here’s the problem. While Gentilcore says the concept of stomach vacuuming is sometimes useful in post-injury rehab, it’s nearly impossible to pull off without the help of a pro. That’s because it’s hard to know if you’re actually engaging your transverse abdominis, without someone to guide you through the move and watch your form. Plus, research from Dr. Stuart McGill, a spinal expert, solidified the notion that improving back health isn’t about targeting a single muscle, the way stomach vacuuming does, but rather about strengthening your core as a whole.

RELATED: Waist Training: Can You Cinch Your Waist Thin?

“For lower back health and spine health, it comes down to working [muscles together],” Gentilcore says. In other words, learning how to properly engage your entire core by practicing Pilates, or other ab-strengthening moves, like planks, is probably more effective. In fact, something as simple as bracing your core when lifting heavy objects can help, he says. “That will get everything to fire and stabilize, transverse abdominis included.”

We hate to break it to you, but sucking it in won’t give you those abs you’ve been dreaming of. “When people start talking about, ‘Oh I want to get a six-pack,’ isolating or vacuuming the transverse abdominis is really a waste of time in my opinion,” Gentilcore says. You’re better off sticking to regular movements you know are effective, he adds. “You’re working your core even during traditional exercises, like squats or overhead presses. You have to isolate that area in order to train it.”

So unless you’re prepping to bare (almost) all in a bodybuilding competition soon, leave the stomach vacuuming to The Governator.

The post The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit?

[caption id="attachment_42317" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit? Photo: Pond5[/caption] We’re all guilty of sucking in our stomachs every now and then to look a little leaner. (C’mon, you know you’ve done it.) But now, an extreme version of this move — known as the stomach vacuum — is sweeping the web. A decades-old phenomenon that recently resurfaced, stomach vacuuming, which involves drawing in in your abs as hard as you can while standing or lying down, purportedly promises to help you sculpt a six pack with nary a single crunch, plank or Pilates move. Popularized by brawny legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane, the move was originally used by bodybuilders during competition. While striking a pose, Schwarzenegger and his cohorts would pull their stomachs concave, showing off tiny waists and serious six-packs (or in some cases...16-pack). “You’re trying to give the appearance of a thin and lean physique,” says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S, founder of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. RELATED: Eating Clay: Absurd New Health Trend or All-Natural Cleanse? Fans of the stomach vacuum, which is typically held for 20 seconds to one minute, claim that it will activate your transverse abdominis — the deepest, hardest-to-reach layer of your abs that hide beneath your obliques. Plus, one older study circa 1999, suggested that isolating the transverse abdominis might help alleviate back pain, since it wraps around the spine, helping with overall stability. Yes, the stomach vacuum sounds like a dream — but is it legit?

To Stomach Vacuum, Or Not?

Here’s the problem. While Gentilcore says the concept of stomach vacuuming is sometimes useful in post-injury rehab, it’s nearly impossible to pull off without the help of a pro. That’s because it’s hard to know if you’re actually engaging your transverse abdominis, without someone to guide you through the move and watch your form. Plus, research from Dr. Stuart McGill, a spinal expert, solidified the notion that improving back health isn’t about targeting a single muscle, the way stomach vacuuming does, but rather about strengthening your core as a whole. RELATED: Waist Training: Can You Cinch Your Waist Thin? “For lower back health and spine health, it comes down to working [muscles together],” Gentilcore says. In other words, learning how to properly engage your entire core by practicing Pilates, or other ab-strengthening moves, like planks, is probably more effective. In fact, something as simple as bracing your core when lifting heavy objects can help, he says. “That will get everything to fire and stabilize, transverse abdominis included.” We hate to break it to you, but sucking it in won’t give you those abs you’ve been dreaming of. “When people start talking about, ‘Oh I want to get a six-pack,’ isolating or vacuuming the transverse abdominis is really a waste of time in my opinion,” Gentilcore says. You’re better off sticking to regular movements you know are effective, he adds. “You’re working your core even during traditional exercises, like squats or overhead presses. You have to isolate that area in order to train it.” So unless you’re prepping to bare (almost) all in a bodybuilding competition soon, leave the stomach vacuuming to The Governator.

The post The Stomach Vacuum Trend: Crazy or Legit? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/underrated-exercises-for-beginners/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/underrated-exercises-for-beginners/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 11:15:29 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42333 The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

[caption id="attachment_42473" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers Photo: Pond5[/caption]

The best exercise might be the one you aren’t doing. Switching up your usual workout routine will challenge your muscles in new ways and battle boredom, which could make you more motivated to work out in the first place. So if you catch yourself on the elliptical for hours on end — or doing crunches ‘til your neck gives out — we’re here to intervene.

To honor the forgotten, overlooked or unappreciated movements, we asked top trainers to weigh in on the best exercises that fly under the radar. Not only will these moves build strength, improve endurance and burn calories, they’ll keep you making progress toward your goals. Whether you’ve been working out for three days or 30 years, we bet you’ll learn a tip or two from the 15 exercises below (listed in order of beginner to more advanced).

RELATED: The 5 Muscle Groups Guys Are Guilty of Ignoring

The Most Underrated Exercises You’re Not Doing

https://instagram.com/p/56vTpfS-ku/?tagged=supermans

 1. The Superman
Targets: Hamstrings, abs, lower and upper back muscles
Superheroes might have a reputation for abs of steel, but the superman exercise is all about the back. And that’s a good thing, according to Jonathan Angelilli, fitness trainer and founder of TrainDeep, a holistic fitness system. “[Supermans] are way more important than crunches,” he says, because the exercise does a better job of promoting good posture and strengthening the muscles in your back.
How to Get Started: Check out this article on back exercises to prioritize your posterior.

[caption id="attachment_42476" align="alignnone" width="620"]Brisk Walk Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. The Brisk Walk
Targets: Cardio and endurance
Better health is literally just a few steps away. “Walking has been shown to have many of the same health benefits as running, such as reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improved cardiovascular health,” says Jen Sinkler, an author, personal trainer, former elite athlete and founder of Lift Weights Faster. A brisk walk won’t put undue stress on your body like running might, but taking some deep breaths while walking can help you “quiet a busy brain,” says Sinkler. “That’s a win for everyone, from newbie exerciser to veteran.”
How to Get Started: Hit the open road with this guide to urban hiking, with tips for making a walk through your hometown a little more epic.

https://instagram.com/p/4CVaaJQ_V7/

3. The Lateral Band Walk-Out
Targets: Glutes
Lateral band walks are about to become your glute go-to. “The exercise strengthens and targets the gluteus medius, or side of your butt, and does so without bulking. Instead, it helps chisel and tighten the booty and legs,” says Andrea Spier, trainer for DailyBurn Pilates. Best of all, you won’t need to spend hours hobbling around like a penguin to get results. Spier says you’ll feel the burn instantly once you start side stepping around. Keep it up for three sets of 10 reps and you’ll have a solid addition to any dynamic warm-up or lower-body routine.
How to Get Started: Check out this video for a demonstration of proper lateral band walk technique.

https://instagram.com/p/50HtL5O3zW/?tagged=deadbug

4. The Dead Bug
Targets: Core
No, there won’t be any insects harmed during this exercise. The Dead Bug is a core exercise performed on your back, where you want to engage your abs to resist extending your lumbar spine (or, arching your back) as you lower your legs to the floor. Translation: You’re keeping your back against the floor while raising and lowering your legs and arms. “There are enough variations that can challenge anyone ranging from a beginner to the most advanced trainee, yet very few people use it,” says Hunter Cook, a California-based trainer. He likes that it teaches athletes how to brace properly, a skill important for protecting the spine during heavy squats and deadlifts.
How to Get Started: Strengthen your core with the three variations in this video.

[caption id="attachment_36357" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rowing Machine Cardio Workouts_2 Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. The Rower
Targets: Quads, glutes, arms and back
Row, row, row your way fit. Anja Garcia, trainer for DailyBurn’s Inferno program, says working out on a rowing machine has helped take her athleticism to the next level. “You can change the intensity of the exercise by playing with your stroke rate, adding in sprints to really target cardio or keeping a steady cadence to work on strength and power,” she says.
How to Get Started: Try out these three rowing machine cardio workouts to boost strength and endurance.

[caption id="attachment_42384" align="alignnone" width="620"]Deadlift Photo: Pond5[/caption]

6. The Sumo Squat with Drag
Targets: Glutes, quads and inner thighs
Level up your bodyweight squats, no equipment necessary. By adding a “drag” at the end of a sumo squat, you’ll challenge your inner thighs, says Larysa Didio, a celebrity trainer and fitness writer. “It’s really hard to target the inner thighs while standing and this exercise successfully does it,” she says. So, skip those seated adduction machines and drop it like a squat, stat.
How to Get Started: Try this 10-minute strength workout from Prevention, with tips on how to perform the sumo squat with drag.

[caption id="attachment_15787" align="alignnone" width="640"]Switch Up Cardio Routine Photo: Pond5[/caption]

7. The Stairs
Targets: Glutes, hamstring, calves and core
Waiting for a treadmill can get old, fast. So why not ditch the gym and explore a new part of town by heading to an outdoor stairwell or stadium for your next cardio fix? By running or walking up and down stairs, you’ll rev your heart rate, improve coordination and develop lower body strength. “There’s so much variety in how you can use [stairs] and they’re everywhere!” says Dyan Tsiumis, instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City, who’s been hitting the steps to help get in shape for her first figure competition.
How to Get Started: To take your fitness level to new heights, try these stair workouts from our friends at Greatist, designed for beginner and advanced athletes.

[caption id="attachment_33302" align="alignnone" width="620"]MetCon Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

8. The Plyo Workout
Targets: Cardio and strength training
Harder, better, faster, stronger aren’t just song lyrics — they’re also benefits of plyometric training. “It’s all about efficiency,” says Leanne Shear, founder and head trainer at Uplift Studio in New York City. By incorporating jump squats, broad jumps or other plyo moves into your fitness routine, you’ll fire up muscle groups that you wouldn’t ordinarily work moving in just one plane of motion. Plus, developing explosive power that will make you a better all-around athlete? Priceless.
How to Get Started: Get sweating with this no-equipment ploymetric workout designed to maximize your burn.

https://instagram.com/p/5k5TudwC6O/?taken-by=kirastokesfit

9.The Single-Leg Deadlift
Targets: Core, glutes and hamstrings
While regular deadlifts are great for building strength, balancing on just one leg means your core has to stay engaged throughout the movement. Kira Stokes, an instructor at BFX Studio in New York City, is all about firing up the posterior chain with single-leg deadlifts. “Added bonus: This is a fantastic exercise for ankle and knee rehab,” says Stokes, since the movement can help strengthen and stabilize your joints. And best of all, she notes that the single-leg deadlift is a “no-excuse exercise,” meaning you can do it anytime with just your own bodyweight.
How to Get Started: Master the single-leg deadlift technique with this Girls Gone Strong guide, then try the workout at the end of the article.

[caption id="attachment_42486" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kettlebell Swing Photo: Pond5[/caption]

10. The Russian Kettlebell Swing
Targets: Glutes, lower back, hamstrings, shoulders and legs
Want to reap the benefits of kettlebell training but not sure where to start? Let us introduce you to the Russian kettlebell swing. “It has a low learning curve,” says Kellie Davis, celebrity trainer and co-founder of GetGlutes.com. “[It’s] a full-body workout wrapped into a single exercise,” she says, noting it strengthens your posterior chain while also revving your heart rate and testing your endurance.
How to Get Started: Brush up on your form by following along with DailyBurn trainer Cody Storey in this video on beginner-friendly kettlebell exercises.

[caption id="attachment_42376" align="alignnone" width="620"]Track Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

11. The Track Workout
Targets: Cardio and endurance
Slogging through miles on the treadmill is far from the only way to run. There are plenty of ways to mix it up — sprint drills, distance runs and nature hikes — so it’s appropriate for all levels and fitness goals. “Running never ceases to amaze and challenge me,” says Justin Rubin, trainer for DailyBurn’s True Beginner program. Lace up your sneakers and you’ll likely live longer than more sedentary people! Baby, you were born to run.
How to Get Started: Learn how to set yourself up for success with these 50 running resources for increasing speed and strength and fueling up the right way.

[caption id="attachment_29445" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Pond5 Photo: Pond5[/caption]

12. The Prowler Drive
Targets: Legs, core, back, hip extension
Push it, push it real good. The Prowler is that sled-like piece of equipment you’ve seen people shoving around gyms or CrossFit boxes. But it’s not just for bros chasing gains. Anyone can get started with the Prowler since there’s a quick learning curve, says Rob Sulaver, founder and CEO of Bandana Training. Unlike barbells, there’s no risk of falling weight once you run out of steam — push until you can’t push any more and the Prowler will simply come to a halt.
How to Get Started: For a demonstration of proper prowler technique, check out this video that breaks down how it’s done.

[caption id="attachment_42479" align="alignnone" width="620"]Back Squat Photo: Pond5[/caption]

13. The Weighted Back Squat
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, core, lower back and shoulders
Ladies and gentlemen of the gym, back squats are back. “A lot of women avoid this exercise in fear of growing their thighs and men skip it to focus on more vanity body parts like their chest and arms,” says Brett Hoebel, celebrity trainer and author of The 20-Minute Body. But the truth is, this full-body move can torch calories during and after your workout, while also helping you develop better mobility — which can lead to better performance for other workouts.
How to Get Started: Practice getting low with these tips on the back squat and other squat variations.

[caption id="attachment_39722" align="alignnone" width="620"]Deadlift Photo: Pond5[/caption]

14. The Deadlift
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and lower back
Think deadlifts are only for advanced lifters? Think again. “Men, women, young and old can all benefit from this move,” says Ben Booker, trainer for DailyBurn’s LTF program. The multi-joint exercise works your upper and lower body, plus it’s one of the safest lifts you can perform, since you can simply drop the weight if you can’t complete the lift. Once you learn how to hinge properly at the hips, you’ll develop strength that can carry over for picking up heavy groceries or moving furniture.
How to Get Started: Master this lift with these beginner-friendly tips from our friends at Fitocracy.

[caption id="attachment_42385" align="alignnone" width="620"]Thruster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

15: The Thruster
Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, shoulders, upper back, triceps
Want more bang for your buck with a barbell in hand? You get two-for-one with the thruster, which combines a front squat with a push press. “This full-body movement is very metabolically demanding and really gets the heart rate up,” says Eric Salvador, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in NYC. “The power that you generate from your legs in the squat propels the weight overhead where your abdominals, shoulders, upper back and triceps take over,” he says. This multi-joint movement isn’t for the faint of heart, though. “The thruster will literally floor you,” says Salvador, who became a believer in the exercise during “Fran,” a notoriously tough CrossFit workout.
How to Get Started: Experienced lifters can try “Jackie,” one of the CrossFit workouts you can do in under 12 minutes.

The post The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

[caption id="attachment_42473" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers Photo: Pond5[/caption] The best exercise might be the one you aren’t doing. Switching up your usual workout routine will challenge your muscles in new ways and battle boredom, which could make you more motivated to work out in the first place. So if you catch yourself on the elliptical for hours on end — or doing crunches ‘til your neck gives out — we’re here to intervene. To honor the forgotten, overlooked or unappreciated movements, we asked top trainers to weigh in on the best exercises that fly under the radar. Not only will these moves build strength, improve endurance and burn calories, they’ll keep you making progress toward your goals. Whether you’ve been working out for three days or 30 years, we bet you’ll learn a tip or two from the 15 exercises below (listed in order of beginner to more advanced). RELATED: The 5 Muscle Groups Guys Are Guilty of Ignoring

The Most Underrated Exercises You’re Not Doing

https://instagram.com/p/56vTpfS-ku/?tagged=supermans  1. The Superman Targets: Hamstrings, abs, lower and upper back muscles Superheroes might have a reputation for abs of steel, but the superman exercise is all about the back. And that’s a good thing, according to Jonathan Angelilli, fitness trainer and founder of TrainDeep, a holistic fitness system. “[Supermans] are way more important than crunches,” he says, because the exercise does a better job of promoting good posture and strengthening the muscles in your back. How to Get Started: Check out this article on back exercises to prioritize your posterior. [caption id="attachment_42476" align="alignnone" width="620"]Brisk Walk Photo: Pond5[/caption] 2. The Brisk Walk Targets: Cardio and endurance Better health is literally just a few steps away. “Walking has been shown to have many of the same health benefits as running, such as reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improved cardiovascular health,” says Jen Sinkler, an author, personal trainer, former elite athlete and founder of Lift Weights Faster. A brisk walk won’t put undue stress on your body like running might, but taking some deep breaths while walking can help you “quiet a busy brain,” says Sinkler. “That’s a win for everyone, from newbie exerciser to veteran.” How to Get Started: Hit the open road with this guide to urban hiking, with tips for making a walk through your hometown a little more epic. https://instagram.com/p/4CVaaJQ_V7/ 3. The Lateral Band Walk-Out Targets: Glutes Lateral band walks are about to become your glute go-to. “The exercise strengthens and targets the gluteus medius, or side of your butt, and does so without bulking. Instead, it helps chisel and tighten the booty and legs,” says Andrea Spier, trainer for DailyBurn Pilates. Best of all, you won’t need to spend hours hobbling around like a penguin to get results. Spier says you’ll feel the burn instantly once you start side stepping around. Keep it up for three sets of 10 reps and you’ll have a solid addition to any dynamic warm-up or lower-body routine. How to Get Started: Check out this video for a demonstration of proper lateral band walk technique. https://instagram.com/p/50HtL5O3zW/?tagged=deadbug 4. The Dead Bug Targets: Core No, there won’t be any insects harmed during this exercise. The Dead Bug is a core exercise performed on your back, where you want to engage your abs to resist extending your lumbar spine (or, arching your back) as you lower your legs to the floor. Translation: You’re keeping your back against the floor while raising and lowering your legs and arms. “There are enough variations that can challenge anyone ranging from a beginner to the most advanced trainee, yet very few people use it,” says Hunter Cook, a California-based trainer. He likes that it teaches athletes how to brace properly, a skill important for protecting the spine during heavy squats and deadlifts. How to Get Started: Strengthen your core with the three variations in this video. [caption id="attachment_36357" align="alignnone" width="620"]Rowing Machine Cardio Workouts_2 Photo: Pond5[/caption] 5. The Rower Targets: Quads, glutes, arms and back Row, row, row your way fit. Anja Garcia, trainer for DailyBurn’s Inferno program, says working out on a rowing machine has helped take her athleticism to the next level. “You can change the intensity of the exercise by playing with your stroke rate, adding in sprints to really target cardio or keeping a steady cadence to work on strength and power,” she says. How to Get Started: Try out these three rowing machine cardio workouts to boost strength and endurance. [caption id="attachment_42384" align="alignnone" width="620"]Deadlift Photo: Pond5[/caption] 6. The Sumo Squat with Drag Targets: Glutes, quads and inner thighs Level up your bodyweight squats, no equipment necessary. By adding a “drag” at the end of a sumo squat, you’ll challenge your inner thighs, says Larysa Didio, a celebrity trainer and fitness writer. “It’s really hard to target the inner thighs while standing and this exercise successfully does it,” she says. So, skip those seated adduction machines and drop it like a squat, stat. How to Get Started: Try this 10-minute strength workout from Prevention, with tips on how to perform the sumo squat with drag. [caption id="attachment_15787" align="alignnone" width="640"]Switch Up Cardio Routine Photo: Pond5[/caption] 7. The Stairs Targets: Glutes, hamstring, calves and core Waiting for a treadmill can get old, fast. So why not ditch the gym and explore a new part of town by heading to an outdoor stairwell or stadium for your next cardio fix? By running or walking up and down stairs, you’ll rev your heart rate, improve coordination and develop lower body strength. “There’s so much variety in how you can use [stairs] and they’re everywhere!” says Dyan Tsiumis, instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City, who’s been hitting the steps to help get in shape for her first figure competition. How to Get Started: To take your fitness level to new heights, try these stair workouts from our friends at Greatist, designed for beginner and advanced athletes. [caption id="attachment_33302" align="alignnone" width="620"]MetCon Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption] 8. The Plyo Workout Targets: Cardio and strength training Harder, better, faster, stronger aren’t just song lyrics — they’re also benefits of plyometric training. “It’s all about efficiency,” says Leanne Shear, founder and head trainer at Uplift Studio in New York City. By incorporating jump squats, broad jumps or other plyo moves into your fitness routine, you’ll fire up muscle groups that you wouldn’t ordinarily work moving in just one plane of motion. Plus, developing explosive power that will make you a better all-around athlete? Priceless. How to Get Started: Get sweating with this no-equipment ploymetric workout designed to maximize your burn. https://instagram.com/p/5k5TudwC6O/?taken-by=kirastokesfit 9.The Single-Leg Deadlift Targets: Core, glutes and hamstrings While regular deadlifts are great for building strength, balancing on just one leg means your core has to stay engaged throughout the movement. Kira Stokes, an instructor at BFX Studio in New York City, is all about firing up the posterior chain with single-leg deadlifts. “Added bonus: This is a fantastic exercise for ankle and knee rehab,” says Stokes, since the movement can help strengthen and stabilize your joints. And best of all, she notes that the single-leg deadlift is a “no-excuse exercise,” meaning you can do it anytime with just your own bodyweight. How to Get Started: Master the single-leg deadlift technique with this Girls Gone Strong guide, then try the workout at the end of the article. [caption id="attachment_42486" align="alignnone" width="620"]Kettlebell Swing Photo: Pond5[/caption] 10. The Russian Kettlebell Swing Targets: Glutes, lower back, hamstrings, shoulders and legs Want to reap the benefits of kettlebell training but not sure where to start? Let us introduce you to the Russian kettlebell swing. “It has a low learning curve,” says Kellie Davis, celebrity trainer and co-founder of GetGlutes.com. “[It’s] a full-body workout wrapped into a single exercise,” she says, noting it strengthens your posterior chain while also revving your heart rate and testing your endurance. How to Get Started: Brush up on your form by following along with DailyBurn trainer Cody Storey in this video on beginner-friendly kettlebell exercises. [caption id="attachment_42376" align="alignnone" width="620"]Track Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption] 11. The Track Workout Targets: Cardio and endurance Slogging through miles on the treadmill is far from the only way to run. There are plenty of ways to mix it up — sprint drills, distance runs and nature hikes — so it’s appropriate for all levels and fitness goals. “Running never ceases to amaze and challenge me,” says Justin Rubin, trainer for DailyBurn’s True Beginner program. Lace up your sneakers and you’ll likely live longer than more sedentary people! Baby, you were born to run. How to Get Started: Learn how to set yourself up for success with these 50 running resources for increasing speed and strength and fueling up the right way. [caption id="attachment_29445" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo: Pond5 Photo: Pond5[/caption] 12. The Prowler Drive Targets: Legs, core, back, hip extension Push it, push it real good. The Prowler is that sled-like piece of equipment you’ve seen people shoving around gyms or CrossFit boxes. But it’s not just for bros chasing gains. Anyone can get started with the Prowler since there’s a quick learning curve, says Rob Sulaver, founder and CEO of Bandana Training. Unlike barbells, there’s no risk of falling weight once you run out of steam — push until you can’t push any more and the Prowler will simply come to a halt. How to Get Started: For a demonstration of proper prowler technique, check out this video that breaks down how it’s done. [caption id="attachment_42479" align="alignnone" width="620"]Back Squat Photo: Pond5[/caption] 13. The Weighted Back Squat Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, core, lower back and shoulders Ladies and gentlemen of the gym, back squats are back. “A lot of women avoid this exercise in fear of growing their thighs and men skip it to focus on more vanity body parts like their chest and arms,” says Brett Hoebel, celebrity trainer and author of The 20-Minute Body. But the truth is, this full-body move can torch calories during and after your workout, while also helping you develop better mobility — which can lead to better performance for other workouts. How to Get Started: Practice getting low with these tips on the back squat and other squat variations. [caption id="attachment_39722" align="alignnone" width="620"]Deadlift Photo: Pond5[/caption] 14. The Deadlift Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads and lower back Think deadlifts are only for advanced lifters? Think again. “Men, women, young and old can all benefit from this move,” says Ben Booker, trainer for DailyBurn’s LTF program. The multi-joint exercise works your upper and lower body, plus it’s one of the safest lifts you can perform, since you can simply drop the weight if you can’t complete the lift. Once you learn how to hinge properly at the hips, you’ll develop strength that can carry over for picking up heavy groceries or moving furniture. How to Get Started: Master this lift with these beginner-friendly tips from our friends at Fitocracy. [caption id="attachment_42385" align="alignnone" width="620"]Thruster Photo: Pond5[/caption] 15: The Thruster Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, shoulders, upper back, triceps Want more bang for your buck with a barbell in hand? You get two-for-one with the thruster, which combines a front squat with a push press. “This full-body movement is very metabolically demanding and really gets the heart rate up,” says Eric Salvador, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in NYC. “The power that you generate from your legs in the squat propels the weight overhead where your abdominals, shoulders, upper back and triceps take over,” he says. This multi-joint movement isn’t for the faint of heart, though. “The thruster will literally floor you,” says Salvador, who became a believer in the exercise during “Fran,” a notoriously tough CrossFit workout. How to Get Started: Experienced lifters can try “Jackie,” one of the CrossFit workouts you can do in under 12 minutes.

The post The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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#MondayMotivation: Meet This 77-Year-Old Bodybuilder http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/monday-motivation-ernestine-shepherd-77-year-old-bodybuilder/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/monday-motivation-ernestine-shepherd-77-year-old-bodybuilder/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 18:15:52 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42422 Ernestine-Shepherd Oldest Bodybuilder

[caption id="attachment_42426" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ernestine Shepherd Oldest Bodybuilder Photo: via Prevention Magazine[/caption]

We’ve seen lots of success stories. But watching the unlikely 79-year-old bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd (age 77 when she filmed this video for Prevention magazine) crush her goals is nothing short of amazing. Could you imagine starting every day at 2:30 a.m., eating the same breakfast — egg whites, water and a handful of walnuts — and then heading out for a headlamp-lit run? Neither can we, but that’s just the typical morning routine of this Guinness record-breaking champion. Shepherd's been competing as a bodybuilder ever since she was 56 years old — when her sister suggested the idea to help her feel more comfortable in a bathing suit. (Basically, the ultimate proof that it’s never too late to start something.)

RELATED: Train to Win: 4 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

But it’s not just that she’s bench-pressing 150 pounds or running 80 miles per week as a septuagenarian that makes this story so motivating. What’s really so special about Shepard is how she’s affected those around her. Instead of training a select few gym rats with goals similar to her own, she started teaching a beginner-friendly fitness class designed for her entire community. With only 10 participants initially, the class soon grew so big she had a line out the door.

Don’t take our word for it, though: Check out a day in the life of Ernestine Shepherd. This eight-minute piece from Prevention magazine is more than just a touching profile — it could be the small nudge you need to get up and kick some butt.

RELATED: 19 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Becoming a Morning Person

And if weight lifting and long runs aren’t your thing, don’t worry. “It’s about finding what you love to do,” she says. We second that. On this Monday, and on every day of the week.

Ernestine Shepherd: The 77-Year-Old Bodybuilder

https://youtu.be/na6yl8yIZUI

Now we want to hear from you! Tell us how you get pumped up for the week and tweet us @dailyburn using #MondayMotivation.

The post #MondayMotivation: Meet This 77-Year-Old Bodybuilder appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Ernestine-Shepherd Oldest Bodybuilder

[caption id="attachment_42426" align="alignnone" width="620"]Ernestine Shepherd Oldest Bodybuilder Photo: via Prevention Magazine[/caption] We’ve seen lots of success stories. But watching the unlikely 79-year-old bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd (age 77 when she filmed this video for Prevention magazine) crush her goals is nothing short of amazing. Could you imagine starting every day at 2:30 a.m., eating the same breakfast — egg whites, water and a handful of walnuts — and then heading out for a headlamp-lit run? Neither can we, but that’s just the typical morning routine of this Guinness record-breaking champion. Shepherd's been competing as a bodybuilder ever since she was 56 years old — when her sister suggested the idea to help her feel more comfortable in a bathing suit. (Basically, the ultimate proof that it’s never too late to start something.) RELATED: Train to Win: 4 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal But it’s not just that she’s bench-pressing 150 pounds or running 80 miles per week as a septuagenarian that makes this story so motivating. What’s really so special about Shepard is how she’s affected those around her. Instead of training a select few gym rats with goals similar to her own, she started teaching a beginner-friendly fitness class designed for her entire community. With only 10 participants initially, the class soon grew so big she had a line out the door. Don’t take our word for it, though: Check out a day in the life of Ernestine Shepherd. This eight-minute piece from Prevention magazine is more than just a touching profile — it could be the small nudge you need to get up and kick some butt. RELATED: 19 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Becoming a Morning Person And if weight lifting and long runs aren’t your thing, don’t worry. “It’s about finding what you love to do,” she says. We second that. On this Monday, and on every day of the week.

Ernestine Shepherd: The 77-Year-Old Bodybuilder

https://youtu.be/na6yl8yIZUI Now we want to hear from you! Tell us how you get pumped up for the week and tweet us @dailyburn using #MondayMotivation.

The post #MondayMotivation: Meet This 77-Year-Old Bodybuilder appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
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Can’t Do a Push-Up? Here’s Where to Start http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-do-a-push-up-variations/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/how-to-do-a-push-up-variations/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42217 Here's Where to Start If You Can't Do a Push-Up

[caption id="attachment_42222" align="alignnone" width="620"]Can’t Do a Push-Up? Here’s Where to Start Photo: Pond5[/caption]

These exercises come to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Michelle Hobgood. You can find more no-equipment moves from our elite trainers at DailyBurn.com.

Avoiding push-ups like they’re the plague? We don’t blame you — the bodyweight exercise is daunting if you’re new to fitness. But if you’re reaching for any crazy excuse to skip this bootcamp favorite, you might be cheating yourself out of a seriously effective workout. 

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

The push-up is actually an ideal movement for beginners, says Michelle Hobgood, M.S., DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition coach. “It targets your chest, shoulders, triceps, core and legs,” she says. Translation: No muscle group goes untouched!

And truth is, there are plenty of ways to modify the movement to your skill level. You’re much better off completing a few sets of modified push-ups with proper technique than struggling through regular push-ups with incorrect form. By placing your hands on a wall or bench or bringing your knees to the floor, you’ll reduce the amount of bodyweight you’re pushing, making the movement the right amount of challenging. Everyone has to start somewhere, and we’ve got just the moves to help you work your way up to the standard push-up. Our motto: Stronger every day.

3 Beginner-Friendly Push-Up Modifications

If you can’t bust out perfect push-ups, one of these three modifications might be your best starting point, Hobgood says. Listed from easiest to hardest, it’s up to you which path you take!

RELATED: Taking the First Step With Fitness: DailyBurn True Beginner

hips-push-up2

1. Push-Up in Table Top

Not everyone can support their full body weight at first, and that’s OK. This variation will help lighten your load so you can effectively develop your upper body strength.

How to: Start on your hands and knees in table top position. With your arms straight, your shoulders should be over your wrists and your hips should be over your knees (a). Bend your elbows and lower your upper body slowly to the ground (b). When your nose reaches the floor, press up with your arms and return to the starting position (c). Perform three sets of 8-10 reps.

Coach says: You should start to feel the burn midway through the second set. If you are still struggling, Hobgood recommends performing the incline push-up (third option) on a wall. Breezing through your sets? Try the push-up on knees variation below.

knee-push-up-new

2. Push-Up on Knees

By putting some of your weight on your knees, you’ll be able to safely and effectively perform this beginner-friendly modification.

How to: Begin on your hands and knees in a modified plank position. Your arms should be straight, with your shoulders above your wrists. Rest your knees on the ground (preferably with a towel or mat beneath them), legs together, with your feet suspended in the air (a). Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, while maintaining a straight line from the crown of your head to your knees (b). Next, press upwards, engaging your chest and core (c). Complete three sets of 8-10 reps.

Coach says: You should feel challenged midway through set number two. If you’re hardly breaking a sweat, try the incline push-ups below.

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

wall-push-up

3. Incline Push-Up

Look ma, no knees! Find a sturdy box, chair or other elevated surface to perform this modification — the taller it is, the easier the movement will be (and vice versa).

How to: Start by placing your hands roughly shoulder-width apart on the box or elevated surface. Engage your core so your body forms a straight line from head to toe, and keep your legs together. Your arms should be straight but not locked (a). Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the box (b). Next, press upwards and engage your chest and core (c). Complete three sets of 8-10 reps.

Coach says: Not feeling the burn midway through the second set? If you’re breezing through but still can’t perform standard push-ups, increase to 15 reps per set or find a lower, more challenging surface for your incline push-ups.

Push-Ups: Assessing Your Progress

push-up-new

Standard Push-Up

Mastered the exercises above? It's time to try the real deal.

How to: Begin in a plank position with your arms straight. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Keep your core engaged and don’t let your hips sag (a). Next, slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor (b). Then, press upwards back to plank position (c). Complete three sets of 8-10 push-ups.

Coach says: If you’re struggling before the end of your second set, make note of how many push-ups you completed with solid form (so you have a number to beat next time!). Then, drop to your knees or do another modification above to finish off your reps.

Want more beginner-friendly workouts? To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post Can’t Do a Push-Up? Here’s Where to Start appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Here's Where to Start If You Can't Do a Push-Up

[caption id="attachment_42222" align="alignnone" width="620"]Can’t Do a Push-Up? Here’s Where to Start Photo: Pond5[/caption] These exercises come to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Michelle Hobgood. You can find more no-equipment moves from our elite trainers at DailyBurn.com. Avoiding push-ups like they’re the plague? We don’t blame you — the bodyweight exercise is daunting if you’re new to fitness. But if you’re reaching for any crazy excuse to skip this bootcamp favorite, you might be cheating yourself out of a seriously effective workout.  RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners The push-up is actually an ideal movement for beginners, says Michelle Hobgood, M.S., DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition coach. “It targets your chest, shoulders, triceps, core and legs,” she says. Translation: No muscle group goes untouched! And truth is, there are plenty of ways to modify the movement to your skill level. You’re much better off completing a few sets of modified push-ups with proper technique than struggling through regular push-ups with incorrect form. By placing your hands on a wall or bench or bringing your knees to the floor, you’ll reduce the amount of bodyweight you’re pushing, making the movement the right amount of challenging. Everyone has to start somewhere, and we’ve got just the moves to help you work your way up to the standard push-up. Our motto: Stronger every day.

3 Beginner-Friendly Push-Up Modifications

If you can’t bust out perfect push-ups, one of these three modifications might be your best starting point, Hobgood says. Listed from easiest to hardest, it’s up to you which path you take! RELATED: Taking the First Step With Fitness: DailyBurn True Beginner hips-push-up2

1. Push-Up in Table Top

Not everyone can support their full body weight at first, and that’s OK. This variation will help lighten your load so you can effectively develop your upper body strength. How to: Start on your hands and knees in table top position. With your arms straight, your shoulders should be over your wrists and your hips should be over your knees (a). Bend your elbows and lower your upper body slowly to the ground (b). When your nose reaches the floor, press up with your arms and return to the starting position (c). Perform three sets of 8-10 reps. Coach says: You should start to feel the burn midway through the second set. If you are still struggling, Hobgood recommends performing the incline push-up (third option) on a wall. Breezing through your sets? Try the push-up on knees variation below. knee-push-up-new

2. Push-Up on Knees

By putting some of your weight on your knees, you’ll be able to safely and effectively perform this beginner-friendly modification. How to: Begin on your hands and knees in a modified plank position. Your arms should be straight, with your shoulders above your wrists. Rest your knees on the ground (preferably with a towel or mat beneath them), legs together, with your feet suspended in the air (a). Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, while maintaining a straight line from the crown of your head to your knees (b). Next, press upwards, engaging your chest and core (c). Complete three sets of 8-10 reps. Coach says: You should feel challenged midway through set number two. If you’re hardly breaking a sweat, try the incline push-ups below. RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners wall-push-up

3. Incline Push-Up

Look ma, no knees! Find a sturdy box, chair or other elevated surface to perform this modification — the taller it is, the easier the movement will be (and vice versa). How to: Start by placing your hands roughly shoulder-width apart on the box or elevated surface. Engage your core so your body forms a straight line from head to toe, and keep your legs together. Your arms should be straight but not locked (a). Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the box (b). Next, press upwards and engage your chest and core (c). Complete three sets of 8-10 reps. Coach says: Not feeling the burn midway through the second set? If you’re breezing through but still can’t perform standard push-ups, increase to 15 reps per set or find a lower, more challenging surface for your incline push-ups.

Push-Ups: Assessing Your Progress

push-up-new

Standard Push-Up

Mastered the exercises above? It's time to try the real deal. How to: Begin in a plank position with your arms straight. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Keep your core engaged and don’t let your hips sag (a). Next, slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor (b). Then, press upwards back to plank position (c). Complete three sets of 8-10 push-ups. Coach says: If you’re struggling before the end of your second set, make note of how many push-ups you completed with solid form (so you have a number to beat next time!). Then, drop to your knees or do another modification above to finish off your reps. Want more beginner-friendly workouts? To try True Beginner free for 30 days, head to DailyBurn.com/truebeginner. Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post Can’t Do a Push-Up? Here’s Where to Start appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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4 Workouts to Get You in Surfing Shape http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/summer-surfing-workouts/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/summer-surfing-workouts/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 13:15:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=28764 Surfing Workouts

[caption id="attachment_42126" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Surfing-Inspired Workouts You Need to Try Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Admit it — you’ve dreamt of trading in your day job for the beach, spending your days as a chillaxed surf bum or babe playing in the waves. But while surfers appear low-key, their sport is anything but a laid-back affair. It’s a physically demanding activity that requires training in order to perform well.

RELATED: Bethany Hamilton: Soul Surfer and Inspiration

The Science of Surfing

Recent studies conducted at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand found that surfing requires a high-level of aerobic endurance as well as muscular power. Researchers followed 12 competitive surfers and learned that they spent the majority of their water time engaged in low-intensity paddling (54 percent). The remainder of their time was spent maintaining position in the water, high-intensity bouts of all-out paddling to catch a wave, riding a wave and post-ride recovery.

According to Adam Rosante, ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, celebrity trainer, wellness expert and surfer, to perform well in the water, surfers need three things — endurance, power and core balance. But here’s the tricky part: “Training for surfing is different to other sports being as we train on land to perform in the water,” says Wes Berg, pro surf trainer and professional Ironman triathlete. That means that our dry land workouts must be designed to translate to movements in the water.

So you want to be a surfer or maybe just look the part? Luckily, surf-specific training programs are more popular than ever. Not only will these tools, apps and workouts get you ready to ride the waves, they will help your body perform better in real-life situations and improve your coordination, strength and endurance.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Summer and Fall Wellness Retreats

[caption id="attachment_42111" align="alignnone" width="620"]Joel Parkinson Pro Surf Training App Photo: Courtesy of Pro Surf Training[/caption]

1. Pro Surf Training App

If you want to be a better surfer, try training like a World Champion. Joel Parkinson, 2012 ASP World Champ and currently in the number three spot on the World Tour, and his long-time trainer Berg have created the Pro Surf Training App, available for iPhone and Android devices. The workouts are based on Parkinson’s actual training program for the 10 unique stops on the ASP World Tour, each requiring a different fitness level depending on the location and types of waves. The duo took these regimens and combined them into 30 different programs with over 150 surf-specific exercises. Some of the moves include cable reverse wood chops, medicine ball slams and tosses, and squats while standing on a stability ball.

Their goal was to create an app that would make surfers of all levels and abilities fitter and stronger. The result? Workouts that prepare you for different wave types, from big barreling waves to waves that offer uber-long rides, while improving agility, power and functionality. “All the movements we do in the gym are done the same way as you would on the board so each exercise easily transfers to performance in the water,” says Berg.

Using everything from free weights, to exercise balls, to bodyweight exercises, the workouts include a lot of cross-pattern exercises, where your arms and/or legs cross from one side of the body to the other, to help surfers maintain their flexibility, range of motion and coordination — areas that surfers often neglect in their training. For example, Parkinson replicates many of his signatures turns, from huge powerful turns at the bottom of a wave to elegant, sweeping ones that almost look like a figure-eight, using a cable cross-over machine. The 40-minute to 1-hour workouts include a balance of cardio and strength training with high-intensity sessions that build core strength, leg power and balance without creating extra bulk.

RELATED: 11 Health Gadgets Experts Wish You'd Use

[caption id="attachment_42112" align="alignnone" width="620"]WaveShape Surfing App Adam Rosante Photo Courtesy of WaveShape[/caption]

2. WaveShape

When his pro surfer friends asked him to create a workout to improve performance in the ocean, Rosante was more than happy to help. In 2013, he developed WaveShape, a free online 45-minute high-intensity, full-body workout, in collaboration with the Calavera Surf Team. Surfing involves movement in multiple dimensions — front and back, side-to-side, and pivoting — and the program is designed to boost functional strength and endurance to execute these actions. While he expected maybe 300 people to sign-up, a few thousand joined in on the workouts from around the world. Now, he’s gearing up to launch WaveShape 2.0.

Rosante developed 12 brand new workouts that fall into one of three categories — endurance, power and core balance. The program is organized as a four-week challenge; the routines get progressively harder as the weeks go on. The “endurance” workouts involve bodyweight exercises performed for 30-second intervals followed by a short rest period. Think HIIT with squat jumps and surfies — a pop-up/burpee hybrid. The “power” workouts include moves like a cross-body clean and press and the paddle out, which simulates a paddling motion using a dumbbell and while holding a push-up position. These exercises help develop arm and leg strength you need to get out in the waves. The “core balance” workouts hit every single muscle in your abs, not only to help you better balance on the board but to generate explosive turns in the water. Sample moves include butterfly sit-ups and bird-dogs.

Bonus: The workouts are fast and efficient. All workouts range in length from seven minutes to 20 minutes.

RELATED: Why Your Fitness Tracker Isn't Making You Thinner — Yet

[caption id="attachment_42113" align="alignnone" width="620"]Surfing Workout Yoga Indo Board Photo Courtesy Indo Board[/caption]

3. Indo Board

Take a wooden board, a foam roller-like tube and two inflatable air cushions and you can recreate the feeling of surfing but on land. That’s what Hunter Joslin did when he made his first Indo Board. Now, it’s a versatile cross-training tool favored by professional surfers including Courtney Conlogue, currently in the number eight spot on the Women’s World Tour. The board lets you perform exercises “that are beneficial to the types of movements that we are doing in surfing” over and over again, says Joslin.

The most important movement patterns for surfers to work on, according to Joslin, are core stabilization and torso rotation, particularly for advanced surfers who are performing moves like a carving 360 turn. Performing standard exercises like squats, lunges and planks on the Indo Board forces you to work harder than you would on solid ground. To maintain balance, you must “incorporate the stabilizers in the ankles and knees, which are rarely engaged in traditional training forms,” says Joslin.

If stand-up paddleboard yoga is more your thing, you can work on your skills with the Indo Yoga Board. Compared to the traditional Indo Board, the Yoga Board has a longer wooden deck or platform as well as an added rocker on the bottom, like you’d find on a rocking chair, to create side-to-side instability. It will challenge even the most experienced water-born yogi.

RELATED: 5 Sun Safety Apps for Monitoring UV Index

[caption id="attachment_42118" align="alignnone" width="620"]SURFSet FItness Surfing Workout Photo Courtesy of SURFSET Fitness[/caption]

4. SURFSET Fitness

If you can’t surf on a regular basis, why not create a machine that lets you surf on land? That’s what Mike Hartwick and Bill Ninteau did, two of the brains behind SURFSET Fitness. Essentially, they placed a surfboard on top of inflatable stability disks. Now, SURFSET classes are available in 200 locations across seven countries.

SURFSET is a full body workout that mimics the mechanics required for surfing. The classes allow you to practice these movement patterns on a replica of a surfboard so they become ingrained into your muscle memory. The desired result? When you pop-up on your real board, your body will remember what to do. “The instability of the board means that you’re constantly engaging your core, and everything stems from there,” says Ninteau, including your proprioception or your body’s awareness of itself in space.

With summery tunes and surf movies projected on the studio wall, SURFSET transports you to the beach while you work through plyometrics and high-intensity intervals or challenge your core with Pilates and yoga-inspired moves. SURFSET is in the process of rolling out innovative programming updates to further challenge participants and make them more fit.

These workouts will prepare you for the physical demands of surfing. Now all you have to do is watch the surf report and hit the beach!

originally published June 2014. Updated August 2015. 

The post 4 Workouts to Get You in Surfing Shape appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Surfing Workouts

[caption id="attachment_42126" align="alignnone" width="620"]4 Surfing-Inspired Workouts You Need to Try Photo: Pond5[/caption] Admit it — you’ve dreamt of trading in your day job for the beach, spending your days as a chillaxed surf bum or babe playing in the waves. But while surfers appear low-key, their sport is anything but a laid-back affair. It’s a physically demanding activity that requires training in order to perform well. RELATED: Bethany Hamilton: Soul Surfer and Inspiration

The Science of Surfing

Recent studies conducted at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand found that surfing requires a high-level of aerobic endurance as well as muscular power. Researchers followed 12 competitive surfers and learned that they spent the majority of their water time engaged in low-intensity paddling (54 percent). The remainder of their time was spent maintaining position in the water, high-intensity bouts of all-out paddling to catch a wave, riding a wave and post-ride recovery. According to Adam Rosante, ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, celebrity trainer, wellness expert and surfer, to perform well in the water, surfers need three things — endurance, power and core balance. But here’s the tricky part: “Training for surfing is different to other sports being as we train on land to perform in the water,” says Wes Berg, pro surf trainer and professional Ironman triathlete. That means that our dry land workouts must be designed to translate to movements in the water. So you want to be a surfer or maybe just look the part? Luckily, surf-specific training programs are more popular than ever. Not only will these tools, apps and workouts get you ready to ride the waves, they will help your body perform better in real-life situations and improve your coordination, strength and endurance. RELATED: 10 Amazing Summer and Fall Wellness Retreats [caption id="attachment_42111" align="alignnone" width="620"]Joel Parkinson Pro Surf Training App Photo: Courtesy of Pro Surf Training[/caption]

1. Pro Surf Training App

If you want to be a better surfer, try training like a World Champion. Joel Parkinson, 2012 ASP World Champ and currently in the number three spot on the World Tour, and his long-time trainer Berg have created the Pro Surf Training App, available for iPhone and Android devices. The workouts are based on Parkinson’s actual training program for the 10 unique stops on the ASP World Tour, each requiring a different fitness level depending on the location and types of waves. The duo took these regimens and combined them into 30 different programs with over 150 surf-specific exercises. Some of the moves include cable reverse wood chops, medicine ball slams and tosses, and squats while standing on a stability ball. Their goal was to create an app that would make surfers of all levels and abilities fitter and stronger. The result? Workouts that prepare you for different wave types, from big barreling waves to waves that offer uber-long rides, while improving agility, power and functionality. “All the movements we do in the gym are done the same way as you would on the board so each exercise easily transfers to performance in the water,” says Berg. Using everything from free weights, to exercise balls, to bodyweight exercises, the workouts include a lot of cross-pattern exercises, where your arms and/or legs cross from one side of the body to the other, to help surfers maintain their flexibility, range of motion and coordination — areas that surfers often neglect in their training. For example, Parkinson replicates many of his signatures turns, from huge powerful turns at the bottom of a wave to elegant, sweeping ones that almost look like a figure-eight, using a cable cross-over machine. The 40-minute to 1-hour workouts include a balance of cardio and strength training with high-intensity sessions that build core strength, leg power and balance without creating extra bulk. RELATED: 11 Health Gadgets Experts Wish You'd Use [caption id="attachment_42112" align="alignnone" width="620"]WaveShape Surfing App Adam Rosante Photo Courtesy of WaveShape[/caption]

2. WaveShape

When his pro surfer friends asked him to create a workout to improve performance in the ocean, Rosante was more than happy to help. In 2013, he developed WaveShape, a free online 45-minute high-intensity, full-body workout, in collaboration with the Calavera Surf Team. Surfing involves movement in multiple dimensions — front and back, side-to-side, and pivoting — and the program is designed to boost functional strength and endurance to execute these actions. While he expected maybe 300 people to sign-up, a few thousand joined in on the workouts from around the world. Now, he’s gearing up to launch WaveShape 2.0. Rosante developed 12 brand new workouts that fall into one of three categories — endurance, power and core balance. The program is organized as a four-week challenge; the routines get progressively harder as the weeks go on. The “endurance” workouts involve bodyweight exercises performed for 30-second intervals followed by a short rest period. Think HIIT with squat jumps and surfies — a pop-up/burpee hybrid. The “power” workouts include moves like a cross-body clean and press and the paddle out, which simulates a paddling motion using a dumbbell and while holding a push-up position. These exercises help develop arm and leg strength you need to get out in the waves. The “core balance” workouts hit every single muscle in your abs, not only to help you better balance on the board but to generate explosive turns in the water. Sample moves include butterfly sit-ups and bird-dogs. Bonus: The workouts are fast and efficient. All workouts range in length from seven minutes to 20 minutes. RELATED: Why Your Fitness Tracker Isn't Making You Thinner — Yet [caption id="attachment_42113" align="alignnone" width="620"]Surfing Workout Yoga Indo Board Photo Courtesy Indo Board[/caption]

3. Indo Board

Take a wooden board, a foam roller-like tube and two inflatable air cushions and you can recreate the feeling of surfing but on land. That’s what Hunter Joslin did when he made his first Indo Board. Now, it’s a versatile cross-training tool favored by professional surfers including Courtney Conlogue, currently in the number eight spot on the Women’s World Tour. The board lets you perform exercises “that are beneficial to the types of movements that we are doing in surfing” over and over again, says Joslin. The most important movement patterns for surfers to work on, according to Joslin, are core stabilization and torso rotation, particularly for advanced surfers who are performing moves like a carving 360 turn. Performing standard exercises like squats, lunges and planks on the Indo Board forces you to work harder than you would on solid ground. To maintain balance, you must “incorporate the stabilizers in the ankles and knees, which are rarely engaged in traditional training forms,” says Joslin. If stand-up paddleboard yoga is more your thing, you can work on your skills with the Indo Yoga Board. Compared to the traditional Indo Board, the Yoga Board has a longer wooden deck or platform as well as an added rocker on the bottom, like you’d find on a rocking chair, to create side-to-side instability. It will challenge even the most experienced water-born yogi. RELATED: 5 Sun Safety Apps for Monitoring UV Index [caption id="attachment_42118" align="alignnone" width="620"]SURFSet FItness Surfing Workout Photo Courtesy of SURFSET Fitness[/caption]

4. SURFSET Fitness

If you can’t surf on a regular basis, why not create a machine that lets you surf on land? That’s what Mike Hartwick and Bill Ninteau did, two of the brains behind SURFSET Fitness. Essentially, they placed a surfboard on top of inflatable stability disks. Now, SURFSET classes are available in 200 locations across seven countries. SURFSET is a full body workout that mimics the mechanics required for surfing. The classes allow you to practice these movement patterns on a replica of a surfboard so they become ingrained into your muscle memory. The desired result? When you pop-up on your real board, your body will remember what to do. “The instability of the board means that you’re constantly engaging your core, and everything stems from there,” says Ninteau, including your proprioception or your body’s awareness of itself in space. With summery tunes and surf movies projected on the studio wall, SURFSET transports you to the beach while you work through plyometrics and high-intensity intervals or challenge your core with Pilates and yoga-inspired moves. SURFSET is in the process of rolling out innovative programming updates to further challenge participants and make them more fit. These workouts will prepare you for the physical demands of surfing. Now all you have to do is watch the surf report and hit the beach! originally published June 2014. Updated August 2015. 

The post 4 Workouts to Get You in Surfing Shape appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/oblique-exercises-ab-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/oblique-exercises-ab-workout/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 15:15:58 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41795 5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Core_2

[caption id="attachment_41876" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Core Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Chances are the center of your midsection gets a little more love than the rest. But if tighter abs are on your wish list, it’s time to address the rest of your core. It’s not uncommon to focus on what’s front and center: your rectus abdominal muscles, aka the “six-pack.” However, training your obliques (located on either side of the abdomen between your hip flexors and your lats), will translate to a sleeker midsection — not to mention a stronger, more stabilized core.

“Sports that involve any sort of twisting or balance control call on your obliques for strength and stability,” says Matthew Wert, M.D, an Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of Sports Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital. These key stabilizing muscles are also directly tied to your powerhouse. “They help athletes balance and are recruited in many sport-specific movements that allow the extremities to connect your power through your core,” adds Wert.

Think of your core as a tall building and your obliques as the strong, concrete pillars holding it up. Weak obliques equals a weak core foundation. By increasing oblique and abdominal strength, not only will you keep your “building” from falling down, you’ll become more explosive (without putting on unwanted added muscle bulk), Wert says, and address mobility issues too. Game on!

RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

The 5 Best Oblique Exercises

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

1. Bird Dog Crunches
How to: Start on all fours, placing your hands flat on the ground directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees beneath your hips with a flat back position (a). Engage your core and drive your right arm straight out from your shoulder, while your left leg drives straight back from your hip, keeping both parallel to the floor throughout the “reach” portion of this movement (b). Squeeze your right arm and left leg back to the original starting position and hold for split second before starting the second rep (c). Repeat this movement for 10 reps without setting your right arm or left back on the ground, then switch to the left arm/right leg combo. Complete 3-4 sets of 10 reps on each side with 30 seconds rest between each set.
Beginner modification: Reach with only your arm at first. Then as you become more comfortable, reach with just your leg before you graduate to the full movement.

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

2. Single-Leg Side Plank with Leg Raise
How to: With a mat or soft surface beneath you, lie down on your right side, stacking your feet, knees, hips and shoulders over one another in a straight line (a). Prop yourself up on your right elbow and engage your right oblique and hip flexor to maintain this rigid position. Reach your left arm straight up, directly over your shoulder (b). Next, lift your left leg straight up about 6-12 inches, while keeping your foot flexed directly forward. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, keeping your core rigid while working on “lengthening” your body throughout the entire movement (c). Repeat in the same sequence on your left side. Complete 3-4 sets of 10-15 second holds on each side with 30 seconds rest between each set.
Beginner Alternative: Try a simple side plank with the top hand placed on your hip. Then work on raising your arm directly above your head. Finally, try and hold your top leg at full extension for a split second. Continue to work in this format until you can extend your leg for 10-15 seconds on each side.

RELATED: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core for Summer

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

3. Spiderman Crunch
How to: Assume a push-up position, palms planted firmly on the ground. Maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your heels by engaging your core muscles (a). Lift your right leg a couple inches off the ground and bring your right knee towards your right elbow as you lower into a push-up (b). Return your right leg back to the ground as you push yourself back up, and repeat on the left side (c). Alternate legs for 3-4 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between each set.
Beginner Alternative: Start in the push-up position and alternate lifting your feet up off the ground a few inches with a straight leg and hold each rep for a few seconds. As you make progress, start to bend your knee slightly and bring it towards your elbow.

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

4. Side Plank Swipers
How to:
Start by lying on your right side, stacking your feet, knees, hips and shoulders over one another in a straight line (a). Prop yourself up on your right elbow; engage your right oblique and hip flexor to maintain this rigid position; stretch your left arm out past your head so it is in line with your body (b). Keeping your left arm straight, swipe it directly over your body towards your left hip and squeeze your left side as hard as you can while holding for a split second. Your right hip will drop slightly during this contraction phase, but try to keep the hips stacked over one another and off the ground throughout this movement (c). Reach back to the original starting position and repeat for 4 additional reps before switching to your left side (d). Do 3-4 sets of 5 reps per side with 30 seconds rest between each set.
Beginner Alternative: Work on a simple side plank hold while contracting the hips towards the floor and back up in a “side crunch.” Remember to try and keep the hips elevated off the floor the whole time. Then work on the arm extension portion by itself before combining the two into a full contraction.

RELATED: 7 Kick-Butt Burpee Variations You’ll Love to Hate

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs

5. Single-Leg Toe Touches
How to:
Lie down on your back with your legs flat against the floor and arms extended above your head (a). Lift your left leg up with your foot directly over your hip and a slight knee bend. Try to keep your left leg engaged in this position for the entire movement (b). Tuck your chin towards your chest, reach your right arm towards your left foot by contracting your core and hold for a split second (c). Return to the original starting position while keeping your foot and hand elevated off the ground and repeat for 4 additional reps before switching to your right leg and left arm (d). Complete 3-4 sets of 5 reps per side with 30 seconds rest between sets.
Beginner Alternative: Work from the same position on your back, but bend your knee at a 90-degree angle halfway towards your chest. Touch your elbow to the opposite knee. As you become more familiar with this movement, try to progress to the full range of motion by straightening your leg a little more each workout until your foot is directly over your hip.

For more no-equipment workouts you can do at home, head to DailyBurn.com to try it free for 30 days. 

The post 5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Core_2

[caption id="attachment_41876" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Core Photo: Pond5[/caption] Chances are the center of your midsection gets a little more love than the rest. But if tighter abs are on your wish list, it’s time to address the rest of your core. It’s not uncommon to focus on what’s front and center: your rectus abdominal muscles, aka the “six-pack.” However, training your obliques (located on either side of the abdomen between your hip flexors and your lats), will translate to a sleeker midsection — not to mention a stronger, more stabilized core. “Sports that involve any sort of twisting or balance control call on your obliques for strength and stability,” says Matthew Wert, M.D, an Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of Sports Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital. These key stabilizing muscles are also directly tied to your powerhouse. “They help athletes balance and are recruited in many sport-specific movements that allow the extremities to connect your power through your core,” adds Wert. Think of your core as a tall building and your obliques as the strong, concrete pillars holding it up. Weak obliques equals a weak core foundation. By increasing oblique and abdominal strength, not only will you keep your “building” from falling down, you’ll become more explosive (without putting on unwanted added muscle bulk), Wert says, and address mobility issues too. Game on! RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

The 5 Best Oblique Exercises

5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs 1. Bird Dog Crunches How to: Start on all fours, placing your hands flat on the ground directly beneath your shoulders, and your knees beneath your hips with a flat back position (a). Engage your core and drive your right arm straight out from your shoulder, while your left leg drives straight back from your hip, keeping both parallel to the floor throughout the “reach” portion of this movement (b). Squeeze your right arm and left leg back to the original starting position and hold for split second before starting the second rep (c). Repeat this movement for 10 reps without setting your right arm or left back on the ground, then switch to the left arm/right leg combo. Complete 3-4 sets of 10 reps on each side with 30 seconds rest between each set. Beginner modification: Reach with only your arm at first. Then as you become more comfortable, reach with just your leg before you graduate to the full movement. 5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs 2. Single-Leg Side Plank with Leg Raise How to: With a mat or soft surface beneath you, lie down on your right side, stacking your feet, knees, hips and shoulders over one another in a straight line (a). Prop yourself up on your right elbow and engage your right oblique and hip flexor to maintain this rigid position. Reach your left arm straight up, directly over your shoulder (b). Next, lift your left leg straight up about 6-12 inches, while keeping your foot flexed directly forward. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, keeping your core rigid while working on “lengthening” your body throughout the entire movement (c). Repeat in the same sequence on your left side. Complete 3-4 sets of 10-15 second holds on each side with 30 seconds rest between each set. Beginner Alternative: Try a simple side plank with the top hand placed on your hip. Then work on raising your arm directly above your head. Finally, try and hold your top leg at full extension for a split second. Continue to work in this format until you can extend your leg for 10-15 seconds on each side. RELATED: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core for Summer 5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs 3. Spiderman Crunch How to: Assume a push-up position, palms planted firmly on the ground. Maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your heels by engaging your core muscles (a). Lift your right leg a couple inches off the ground and bring your right knee towards your right elbow as you lower into a push-up (b). Return your right leg back to the ground as you push yourself back up, and repeat on the left side (c). Alternate legs for 3-4 sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds rest between each set. Beginner Alternative: Start in the push-up position and alternate lifting your feet up off the ground a few inches with a straight leg and hold each rep for a few seconds. As you make progress, start to bend your knee slightly and bring it towards your elbow. 5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs 4. Side Plank Swipers How to: Start by lying on your right side, stacking your feet, knees, hips and shoulders over one another in a straight line (a). Prop yourself up on your right elbow; engage your right oblique and hip flexor to maintain this rigid position; stretch your left arm out past your head so it is in line with your body (b). Keeping your left arm straight, swipe it directly over your body towards your left hip and squeeze your left side as hard as you can while holding for a split second. Your right hip will drop slightly during this contraction phase, but try to keep the hips stacked over one another and off the ground throughout this movement (c). Reach back to the original starting position and repeat for 4 additional reps before switching to your left side (d). Do 3-4 sets of 5 reps per side with 30 seconds rest between each set. Beginner Alternative: Work on a simple side plank hold while contracting the hips towards the floor and back up in a “side crunch.” Remember to try and keep the hips elevated off the floor the whole time. Then work on the arm extension portion by itself before combining the two into a full contraction. RELATED: 7 Kick-Butt Burpee Variations You’ll Love to Hate 5 Oblique Exercises to Sculpt Your Abs 5. Single-Leg Toe Touches How to: Lie down on your back with your legs flat against the floor and arms extended above your head (a). Lift your left leg up with your foot directly over your hip and a slight knee bend. Try to keep your left leg engaged in this position for the entire movement (b). Tuck your chin towards your chest, reach your right arm towards your left foot by contracting your core and hold for a split second (c). Return to the original starting position while keeping your foot and hand elevated off the ground and repeat for 4 additional reps before switching to your right leg and left arm (d). Complete 3-4 sets of 5 reps per side with 30 seconds rest between sets. Beginner Alternative: Work from the same position on your back, but bend your knee at a 90-degree angle halfway towards your chest. Touch your elbow to the opposite knee. As you become more familiar with this movement, try to progress to the full range of motion by straightening your leg a little more each workout until your foot is directly over your hip. For more no-equipment workouts you can do at home, head to DailyBurn.com to try it free for 30 days. 

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Do You Have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout? http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sweat-during-exercise-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sweat-during-exercise-workout/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41506 sweating-featured

[caption id="attachment_41562" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweat and Exercise Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Your recent workout left you sweating buckets — that means it was great, right? Not necessarily. “Sweat is not always a great indicator of how good your workout was,” says Jessica Matthews, the American Council on Exercise's Senior Adviser on Health and Fitness. Then there’s the common misconception that how much you sweat determines the amount of calories you’ve burned — which is not always the case.

RELATED: Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First?

First, a lesson on why you’re dripping (or staying pretty dry): “Sweating is one way your body prevents itself from overheating,” explains Matthews. When you exercise, your body literally heats up, stimulating your sweat response. Then, as sweat evaporates off your skin into the air, you cool yourself down.

But it’s important to remember that each person is unique. “Some people can be really sweaty even if they’re not being very physically active, [whereas] someone else can go to the gym for 60 minutes and look like they barely stepped out of the house,” explains Matthews.

And how much you sweat, or what’s referred to as your rate of sweat, is determined by a slew of factors including temperature, humidity, and even how fit you are. Generally, more physically fit people sweat sooner because their bodies’ thermoregulation — aka air conditioning — system turns on faster. But that’s not always the case: So don’t sweat not sweating just yet.

RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

Does Sweating More Help You Burn More Calories?

Because we often associate sweat with exercise, it’s easy to assume the two are related. “The truth is, no matter how much or little you sweat, it doesn’t always correlate to calories burned or how hard you’re working,” Matthews says.

Take a hot yoga class or an outdoor run on a scorching day, for example. Odds are, after you’ve finished, if you step on the scale you’ll notice you’re a few pounds down. Keep in mind that’s water weight — not fat — and is only a temporary loss. Once you rehydrate, you’ll gain it all back.

In one study, Colorado State University researchers found that in a 90-minute Bikram class, men burned around 460 calories, while women averaged 330. Far fewer than you’d think, right? That’s because heated classes are designed to improve muscle flexibility, not increase calorie burn. So while you may be sweating a lot more than you would in your typical power yoga class, you are likely burning less cals, since it’s a less rigorous form of yoga.

RELATED: The 5 Biggest Myths About Metabolism

What Really Matters With Calorie Burn

Matthews cites that duration and intensity are the two most important factors for boosting (or measuring) caloric burn. For aerobic exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine generally recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week. But they note that you need more time on top of that (150 to 250+ minutes) if you’re looking to lose weight.

For resistance workouts, Matthews says weight load is a good measure. Generally, to build muscle, you want to lift a heavy enough weight you can do eight to 15 reps — it should feel hard, but not entirely impossible.

But all this doesn’t mean you should forgo all workouts that don’t make you sweat. Take restorative yoga, for instance. You’re barely breaking a sweat, but you’re reaping quality, calming mind-body benefits. Plus, one study found restorative yoga can help you burn fat, too.

RELATED: Burn More Calories With DailyBurn’s Inferno HR Workout

So forget stressing about your sweat. Just keep moving. Remember: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s more often about upping the intensity, not doing everything you can to sweat more.

The post Do You Have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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sweating-featured

[caption id="attachment_41562" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweat and Exercise Photo: Pond5[/caption] Your recent workout left you sweating buckets — that means it was great, right? Not necessarily. “Sweat is not always a great indicator of how good your workout was,” says Jessica Matthews, the American Council on Exercise's Senior Adviser on Health and Fitness. Then there’s the common misconception that how much you sweat determines the amount of calories you’ve burned — which is not always the case. RELATED: Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First? First, a lesson on why you’re dripping (or staying pretty dry): “Sweating is one way your body prevents itself from overheating,” explains Matthews. When you exercise, your body literally heats up, stimulating your sweat response. Then, as sweat evaporates off your skin into the air, you cool yourself down. But it’s important to remember that each person is unique. “Some people can be really sweaty even if they’re not being very physically active, [whereas] someone else can go to the gym for 60 minutes and look like they barely stepped out of the house,” explains Matthews. And how much you sweat, or what’s referred to as your rate of sweat, is determined by a slew of factors including temperature, humidity, and even how fit you are. Generally, more physically fit people sweat sooner because their bodies’ thermoregulation — aka air conditioning — system turns on faster. But that’s not always the case: So don’t sweat not sweating just yet. RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs

Does Sweating More Help You Burn More Calories?

Because we often associate sweat with exercise, it’s easy to assume the two are related. “The truth is, no matter how much or little you sweat, it doesn’t always correlate to calories burned or how hard you’re working,” Matthews says. Take a hot yoga class or an outdoor run on a scorching day, for example. Odds are, after you’ve finished, if you step on the scale you’ll notice you’re a few pounds down. Keep in mind that’s water weight — not fat — and is only a temporary loss. Once you rehydrate, you’ll gain it all back. In one study, Colorado State University researchers found that in a 90-minute Bikram class, men burned around 460 calories, while women averaged 330. Far fewer than you’d think, right? That’s because heated classes are designed to improve muscle flexibility, not increase calorie burn. So while you may be sweating a lot more than you would in your typical power yoga class, you are likely burning less cals, since it’s a less rigorous form of yoga. RELATED: The 5 Biggest Myths About Metabolism

What Really Matters With Calorie Burn

Matthews cites that duration and intensity are the two most important factors for boosting (or measuring) caloric burn. For aerobic exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine generally recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week. But they note that you need more time on top of that (150 to 250+ minutes) if you’re looking to lose weight. For resistance workouts, Matthews says weight load is a good measure. Generally, to build muscle, you want to lift a heavy enough weight you can do eight to 15 reps — it should feel hard, but not entirely impossible. But all this doesn’t mean you should forgo all workouts that don’t make you sweat. Take restorative yoga, for instance. You’re barely breaking a sweat, but you’re reaping quality, calming mind-body benefits. Plus, one study found restorative yoga can help you burn fat, too. RELATED: Burn More Calories With DailyBurn’s Inferno HR Workout So forget stressing about your sweat. Just keep moving. Remember: If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s more often about upping the intensity, not doing everything you can to sweat more.

The post Do You Have to Sweat to Get a Good Workout? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Beyond Biceps: Why Men Should Lift Weights as They Age http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/news-exercises-prevent-osteoporosis-men-071615/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/news-exercises-prevent-osteoporosis-men-071615/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:30:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41607 Exercises-for-Osteoporosis-new

[caption id="attachment_41614" align="alignnone" width="620"]These-Exercises-Prevent-Osteoporosis Photo: Pond5[/caption]

If you think the rise of the “dad bod” is indication that older guys are off the hook when it comes to hitting the gym, think again. New research reveals yet another reason men should be motivated to pump some iron. According to a small study published in Bone, weekly weightlifting sessions or jumping exercises helped promote stronger bones in men who had low bone density.

RELATED: The 5 Muscle Groups Guys are Guilty of Ignoring

Although women are more commonly affected by osteoporosis — the weakening of the bones that can lead to more frequent fractures and bone breaks — men can also experience bone loss as they age. Roughly one in four men over 50 years old will break a bone due to low bone density, compared to one in two women over 50 years old. More than you’d think, right?

Power Moves to Fight Osteoporosis

While exercise is commonly recommended to men and women to prevent osteoporosis, not all forms of exercise promote healthy bone density. Researcher Pamela Hinton, Director of Graduate Studies in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri, and her colleagues published a study in 2008 that suggested men who participate in non-weight bearing exercises like running and cycling have clinically low bone density. “The [men] wanted to know, ‘What can we do about this?’” says Hinton. But since recommendations for such athletes didn’t exist, Hinton and her team sought to explore which workouts could, if at all, help boost bone density for otherwise healthy men.

In the follow-up study, published by Hinton and her colleagues, 38 healthy, active men (ages 25 to 60) with low bone mass density in the lumbar spine or hip completed a 12-month exercise intervention (as in, none of these men were working out prior) introducing them to weightlifting and jumping exercises. Bone density was measured before the study, after six months and at the end of the study, and pain and fatigue were recorded immediately after each training session.

Half of the participants performed three sessions of jumping exercises a week, including moves like single or double-leg squat jumps, hops, bounding, box jumps and plyometric lunges. The other half did a slew of resistance training exercises. Think: Squats, lunges, dead lifts, military presses and other weight-room moves, all of which are exercises specifically targeted the hip bone area.

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

Good news for those who believe in the medicinal powers of exercise: Both the jumping and strength groups saw increases in bone mass after just six months, and, furthermore, participants were able to maintain that bone mass when measured at the one-year mark. However, only the squatters saw bone density increase in their hips, which suggests that exercises that put a weight load on the hip joint are the best way to improve bone density in that region.

But it’s important to note that these results do not indicate that all kinds of weight lifting will help improve bone mass. Rather, targeted exercises made the training programs effective — the first group focused on their spine; the latter, their hip bones. 

The Case to Get Moving

[caption id="attachment_41613" align="alignnone" width="620"]These-Exercises-Prevent-Osteoporosis Photo: Pond5[/caption]

“We were really pleased that both exercise programs worked and that they didn’t cause the subjects pain or fatigue, because that makes it more likely its something people will do in real life,” says Hinton. You don’t even need to work out 24/7, either — this study demonstrated you only need to spend one to two hours per week in the gym to see results.

And more importantly, “individuals don't have to know they have osteoporosis to start lifting weights,” Hinton says.

RELATED: Strength Training for Beginners: Reps, Sets and Weights

So men, just in case you needed another kick in the butt to get yourself into the weight room, here it is. By squatting, jumping or lifting pronto — your dadbod and your bones will thank you. Besides, as Hinton says, you don’t need any equipment, so no excuses allowed.

The post Beyond Biceps: Why Men Should Lift Weights as They Age appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
Exercises-for-Osteoporosis-new

[caption id="attachment_41614" align="alignnone" width="620"]These-Exercises-Prevent-Osteoporosis Photo: Pond5[/caption] If you think the rise of the “dad bod” is indication that older guys are off the hook when it comes to hitting the gym, think again. New research reveals yet another reason men should be motivated to pump some iron. According to a small study published in Bone, weekly weightlifting sessions or jumping exercises helped promote stronger bones in men who had low bone density. RELATED: The 5 Muscle Groups Guys are Guilty of Ignoring Although women are more commonly affected by osteoporosis — the weakening of the bones that can lead to more frequent fractures and bone breaks — men can also experience bone loss as they age. Roughly one in four men over 50 years old will break a bone due to low bone density, compared to one in two women over 50 years old. More than you’d think, right?

Power Moves to Fight Osteoporosis

While exercise is commonly recommended to men and women to prevent osteoporosis, not all forms of exercise promote healthy bone density. Researcher Pamela Hinton, Director of Graduate Studies in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri, and her colleagues published a study in 2008 that suggested men who participate in non-weight bearing exercises like running and cycling have clinically low bone density. “The [men] wanted to know, ‘What can we do about this?’” says Hinton. But since recommendations for such athletes didn’t exist, Hinton and her team sought to explore which workouts could, if at all, help boost bone density for otherwise healthy men. In the follow-up study, published by Hinton and her colleagues, 38 healthy, active men (ages 25 to 60) with low bone mass density in the lumbar spine or hip completed a 12-month exercise intervention (as in, none of these men were working out prior) introducing them to weightlifting and jumping exercises. Bone density was measured before the study, after six months and at the end of the study, and pain and fatigue were recorded immediately after each training session. Half of the participants performed three sessions of jumping exercises a week, including moves like single or double-leg squat jumps, hops, bounding, box jumps and plyometric lunges. The other half did a slew of resistance training exercises. Think: Squats, lunges, dead lifts, military presses and other weight-room moves, all of which are exercises specifically targeted the hip bone area. RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners Good news for those who believe in the medicinal powers of exercise: Both the jumping and strength groups saw increases in bone mass after just six months, and, furthermore, participants were able to maintain that bone mass when measured at the one-year mark. However, only the squatters saw bone density increase in their hips, which suggests that exercises that put a weight load on the hip joint are the best way to improve bone density in that region. But it’s important to note that these results do not indicate that all kinds of weight lifting will help improve bone mass. Rather, targeted exercises made the training programs effective — the first group focused on their spine; the latter, their hip bones. 

The Case to Get Moving

[caption id="attachment_41613" align="alignnone" width="620"]These-Exercises-Prevent-Osteoporosis Photo: Pond5[/caption] “We were really pleased that both exercise programs worked and that they didn’t cause the subjects pain or fatigue, because that makes it more likely its something people will do in real life,” says Hinton. You don’t even need to work out 24/7, either — this study demonstrated you only need to spend one to two hours per week in the gym to see results. And more importantly, “individuals don't have to know they have osteoporosis to start lifting weights,” Hinton says. RELATED: Strength Training for Beginners: Reps, Sets and Weights So men, just in case you needed another kick in the butt to get yourself into the weight room, here it is. By squatting, jumping or lifting pronto — your dadbod and your bones will thank you. Besides, as Hinton says, you don’t need any equipment, so no excuses allowed.

The post Beyond Biceps: Why Men Should Lift Weights as They Age appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/butt-exercises-for-runners/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/butt-exercises-for-runners/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:15:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41421 6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing

[caption id="attachment_41434" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing Photo: Pond5[/caption]

This workout comes to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Leanne Weiner. You can find more no-equipment moves from DailyBurn’s elite trainers at DailyBurn.com.

Runners, whether you call it your booty, butt, gluteus maximus or rear, one thing is clear: You definitely don’t want to neglect your backside. “It’s basically the focal point of your body,” says DailyBurn coach Leanne Weiner, a personal trainer. Strong glutes don’t just look good in Nike shorts — they also help support your hips, spine and pelvis, she notes.

While runners might assume they hit their glutes just by being on the move, it’s going to take a little extra effort to make sure your booty is doing what it should. Your butt isn’t just one big muscle. In fact, it’s the largest muscle group in your entire body, made up of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. The maximus is responsible for hip extension, while the medius and minimus work to stabilize the body (especially when you’re standing on one leg).

RELATED: 8 Minutes to a Better Butt with Trainer Brett Hoebel

Runners might be particularly vulnerable to problems with their posterior, due to poor form, past injuries and the stress of pounding the pavement. And if you slack off on strength and mobility training, muscle weakness and tightness may gradually get worse. “Basically, some muscles are doing too much work while others are not doing their job at all,” Weiner says.

Lifestyle factors (like sitting at your desk all day) don’t help matters, either. Being seated puts your hips in a constant state of flexion, Weiner says. “Since our hip flexor muscles are working overtime, they form knots and become shortened. The gluteus maximus, which performs the complete opposite function, does very little and forgets how to work properly.”

RELATED: How to Improve Your Running Form from Head to Toe

That’s where strength training comes into play. By working your glutes, you can improve running form, efficiency, stride and speed — while also decreasing your risk of injury. Start with the reps prescribed below and as you get stronger, you can gradually increase your numbers. “All exercises should be performed at a controlled tempo, squeezing the glutes at the top of each move,” Weiner says. “Imagine you’re squeezing a million dollar check between your cheeks!”

6 Butt Exercises You Need in Your Routine

[caption id="attachment_41431" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

1. Single-Leg Sit-to-Stand
How to: Stand in front of a bench or chair, hands on hips (a). Lift your left leg a few inches off the ground, so you’re balancing on your right leg (b). Shifting your weight into your right heel and engaging your glutes, slowly lower your body until seated. (c). Still balancing on your right leg, rise back into standing position (d). Do three to five sets of 10 to 12 reps.

[caption id="attachment_41425" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

2. Air Squat
How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, hands on hips (a). Keeping your knees behind your toes, shift your weight into your heels and engage your glutes to lower your butt back and down towards the ground (b). As you lower your butt, bring your hands forward into prayer position in front of your chest (c). Squeeze your glutes to return to standing position, bringing hands back to hips (d). Repeat for three to five sets of 10 to 12 reps.

[caption id="attachment_41426" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

3. Straight Leg Clamshell
How to: Lie on a mat on your right side, right arm bent at the elbow to support your head, left hand on your hip (a). Bend your right knee to 90 degrees, keeping your left leg straight (b). Engaging your glutes, lift your left leg into the air, until it is at a 45-degree angle to your right leg (c). Lower back down, tapping the ground, then repeat (d). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

[caption id="attachment_41427" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

4. Single-Leg Touchdown
How to: Stand upright, left hand on hip, right arm straight (a). Lift your right foot a few inches off the ground, balancing on your left leg (b). Squeezing your glutes, hinge forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and reaching down towards the ground with your right hand (c). Continue to slowly lower until your hand touches the ground, then return to standing (d). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps. 

[caption id="attachment_41428" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

5. Glute Bridge
How to: Lie on your back on a mat, knees bent at 45 degrees, arms crossed against your chest (a). Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground, until your torso is in a straight line from knees to chest (b). Lower your hips and butt back to the ground, and repeat (c). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps. 

[caption id="attachment_41429" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption]

6. Donkey Kick
How to: Position your body in tabletop position hands under your shoulders, knees under hips, feet flexed (a). Pick your right leg up off the ground, keeping your knee bent, and push back as if kicking someone with your foot flexed (b). Lower your knee back down, without touching the ground, and repeat (c). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps.

For more no-equipment workouts you can do anywhere, head to DailyBurn.com and try it free for 30 days.

Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

The post 6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing

[caption id="attachment_41434" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing Photo: Pond5[/caption] This workout comes to you from DailyBurn Fitness/Nutrition Coach Leanne Weiner. You can find more no-equipment moves from DailyBurn’s elite trainers at DailyBurn.com. Runners, whether you call it your booty, butt, gluteus maximus or rear, one thing is clear: You definitely don’t want to neglect your backside. “It’s basically the focal point of your body,” says DailyBurn coach Leanne Weiner, a personal trainer. Strong glutes don’t just look good in Nike shorts — they also help support your hips, spine and pelvis, she notes. While runners might assume they hit their glutes just by being on the move, it’s going to take a little extra effort to make sure your booty is doing what it should. Your butt isn’t just one big muscle. In fact, it’s the largest muscle group in your entire body, made up of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. The maximus is responsible for hip extension, while the medius and minimus work to stabilize the body (especially when you’re standing on one leg). RELATED: 8 Minutes to a Better Butt with Trainer Brett Hoebel Runners might be particularly vulnerable to problems with their posterior, due to poor form, past injuries and the stress of pounding the pavement. And if you slack off on strength and mobility training, muscle weakness and tightness may gradually get worse. “Basically, some muscles are doing too much work while others are not doing their job at all,” Weiner says. Lifestyle factors (like sitting at your desk all day) don’t help matters, either. Being seated puts your hips in a constant state of flexion, Weiner says. “Since our hip flexor muscles are working overtime, they form knots and become shortened. The gluteus maximus, which performs the complete opposite function, does very little and forgets how to work properly.” RELATED: How to Improve Your Running Form from Head to Toe That’s where strength training comes into play. By working your glutes, you can improve running form, efficiency, stride and speed — while also decreasing your risk of injury. Start with the reps prescribed below and as you get stronger, you can gradually increase your numbers. “All exercises should be performed at a controlled tempo, squeezing the glutes at the top of each move,” Weiner says. “Imagine you’re squeezing a million dollar check between your cheeks!”

6 Butt Exercises You Need in Your Routine

[caption id="attachment_41431" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption] 1. Single-Leg Sit-to-Stand How to: Stand in front of a bench or chair, hands on hips (a). Lift your left leg a few inches off the ground, so you’re balancing on your right leg (b). Shifting your weight into your right heel and engaging your glutes, slowly lower your body until seated. (c). Still balancing on your right leg, rise back into standing position (d). Do three to five sets of 10 to 12 reps. [caption id="attachment_41425" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption] 2. Air Squat How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, hands on hips (a). Keeping your knees behind your toes, shift your weight into your heels and engage your glutes to lower your butt back and down towards the ground (b). As you lower your butt, bring your hands forward into prayer position in front of your chest (c). Squeeze your glutes to return to standing position, bringing hands back to hips (d). Repeat for three to five sets of 10 to 12 reps. [caption id="attachment_41426" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption] 3. Straight Leg Clamshell How to: Lie on a mat on your right side, right arm bent at the elbow to support your head, left hand on your hip (a). Bend your right knee to 90 degrees, keeping your left leg straight (b). Engaging your glutes, lift your left leg into the air, until it is at a 45-degree angle to your right leg (c). Lower back down, tapping the ground, then repeat (d). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps. [caption id="attachment_41427" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption] 4. Single-Leg Touchdown How to: Stand upright, left hand on hip, right arm straight (a). Lift your right foot a few inches off the ground, balancing on your left leg (b). Squeezing your glutes, hinge forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and reaching down towards the ground with your right hand (c). Continue to slowly lower until your hand touches the ground, then return to standing (d). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps.  [caption id="attachment_41428" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption] 5. Glute Bridge How to: Lie on your back on a mat, knees bent at 45 degrees, arms crossed against your chest (a). Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground, until your torso is in a straight line from knees to chest (b). Lower your hips and butt back to the ground, and repeat (c). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps.  [caption id="attachment_41429" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Butt Exercises Every Runner Should Be Doing GIF: DailyBurn.com[/caption] 6. Donkey Kick How to: Position your body in tabletop position hands under your shoulders, knees under hips, feet flexed (a). Pick your right leg up off the ground, keeping your knee bent, and push back as if kicking someone with your foot flexed (b). Lower your knee back down, without touching the ground, and repeat (c). Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps. For more no-equipment workouts you can do anywhere, head to DailyBurn.com and try it free for 30 days. Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by DailyBurn.

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The 20-Minute Tabata Workout You Need to Try http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/high-intensity-tabata-workout/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/high-intensity-tabata-workout/#comments Sat, 11 Jul 2015 11:15:12 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=18132 Tabata-workout_1

[caption id="attachment_41117" align="alignnone" width="620"]19 Ways to Get Workout Motivation Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Tired of slogging through long, slow jogs on the treadmill? Tabata may be just the answer. The popular high-intensity training protocol utilizes a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio — using 100 percent maximum effort during the work phase — to maximize fat loss. “It’s efficient — studies show that you can burn the same amount of calories as a long-distance run in a fraction of the time,” says Greg Johnson, CSCS, a Sacramento, CA based strength and conditioning coach. “This allows you to burn more fat while maintaining and gaining muscle mass.”

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

Want to see what Tabata is all about? Try the routine below. Perform 20 seconds on each move, then 10 seconds off, repeated for four consecutive minutes. Once you complete the first exercise, immediately move onto the next. When you finish the full cycle, rest for five minutes, and repeat as desired. Pro tip: It’s not easy to sustain 100 percent max effort, so work at the highest effort output level you’re able to in order to sustain the interval pace of four minutes per cycle.

[caption id="attachment_30784" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Tabata Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

The Tabata Workout

1. Medicine Ball Slam
Targets:
Full body, cardio
How to: Grab a soft medicine ball and raise it overhead as high as you can (a). Keeping your torso straight and core tight, throw the ball as hard as you can at the ground (b). Pick it up and repeat until 20 seconds have elapsed. Rest 10 seconds (c). Repeat this cycle until four minutes total, including work and rest time.

2. Half Jacks
Targets:
Full body, cardio
How to: Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides (a). Jump and split your feet apart as if performing a jumping jack, while simultaneously lifting your arms up to shoulder level (b). Return to the start position, and repeat as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds (c). Repeat this cycle until four minutes total have elapsed, including rest and work time.

RELATED: 3 HIIT Workouts to Take to the Beach

3. Burpee
Targets:
Full body, cardio
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Jump as high as you can, reaching your arms overhead (a). Land, then squat down, and shoot your legs out behind you to end up in a push-up position (b). Return to a standing position. Repeat as fast as possible for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds (c). Repeat this cycle until four minutes total have elapsed, including work and rest time.

4. Battle Ropes Alternating Underhand Wave
Targets:
Arms, cardio
How to: While holding the two ends your battle ropes looped around an anchored object, assume an athletic position by pushing the hips back with a slight bend in the knees, shoulder blades back and down and lower back straight (a). Moving minimally from the shoulders (all the motion should be in your elbows), rapidly alternate waves with your hands as fast as you can for 20 seconds (b). Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle for a total of four minutes, including both work and rest time.

RELATED: The Ultimate Battle Ropes Workout

5. Mountain Climbers
Targets:
Full body, cardio
How to: Get into a push-up position (a). Rapidly tuck one knee up under your chest while keeping your other leg extended (b). Repeat with the opposite leg. Switch back and forth, keeping your hips down and your back straight for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 (c). Repeat cycle for four minutes total, once again including both work and rest time.

For more quick and effective HIIT workouts, head to DailyBurn.com to try it free for 30 days. 

Originally posted September 2013. Updated July 2o15. 

The post The 20-Minute Tabata Workout You Need to Try appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Tabata-workout_1

[caption id="attachment_41117" align="alignnone" width="620"]19 Ways to Get Workout Motivation Photo: Pond5[/caption] Tired of slogging through long, slow jogs on the treadmill? Tabata may be just the answer. The popular high-intensity training protocol utilizes a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio — using 100 percent maximum effort during the work phase — to maximize fat loss. “It’s efficient — studies show that you can burn the same amount of calories as a long-distance run in a fraction of the time,” says Greg Johnson, CSCS, a Sacramento, CA based strength and conditioning coach. “This allows you to burn more fat while maintaining and gaining muscle mass.” RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners Want to see what Tabata is all about? Try the routine below. Perform 20 seconds on each move, then 10 seconds off, repeated for four consecutive minutes. Once you complete the first exercise, immediately move onto the next. When you finish the full cycle, rest for five minutes, and repeat as desired. Pro tip: It’s not easy to sustain 100 percent max effort, so work at the highest effort output level you’re able to in order to sustain the interval pace of four minutes per cycle. [caption id="attachment_30784" align="alignnone" width="620"]20-Minute Tabata Workout Photo: Pond5[/caption]

The Tabata Workout

1. Medicine Ball Slam Targets: Full body, cardio How to: Grab a soft medicine ball and raise it overhead as high as you can (a). Keeping your torso straight and core tight, throw the ball as hard as you can at the ground (b). Pick it up and repeat until 20 seconds have elapsed. Rest 10 seconds (c). Repeat this cycle until four minutes total, including work and rest time. 2. Half Jacks Targets: Full body, cardio How to: Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides (a). Jump and split your feet apart as if performing a jumping jack, while simultaneously lifting your arms up to shoulder level (b). Return to the start position, and repeat as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds (c). Repeat this cycle until four minutes total have elapsed, including rest and work time. RELATED: 3 HIIT Workouts to Take to the Beach 3. Burpee Targets: Full body, cardio How to: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Jump as high as you can, reaching your arms overhead (a). Land, then squat down, and shoot your legs out behind you to end up in a push-up position (b). Return to a standing position. Repeat as fast as possible for 20 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds (c). Repeat this cycle until four minutes total have elapsed, including work and rest time. 4. Battle Ropes Alternating Underhand Wave Targets: Arms, cardio How to: While holding the two ends your battle ropes looped around an anchored object, assume an athletic position by pushing the hips back with a slight bend in the knees, shoulder blades back and down and lower back straight (a). Moving minimally from the shoulders (all the motion should be in your elbows), rapidly alternate waves with your hands as fast as you can for 20 seconds (b). Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle for a total of four minutes, including both work and rest time. RELATED: The Ultimate Battle Ropes Workout 5. Mountain Climbers Targets: Full body, cardio How to: Get into a push-up position (a). Rapidly tuck one knee up under your chest while keeping your other leg extended (b). Repeat with the opposite leg. Switch back and forth, keeping your hips down and your back straight for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 (c). Repeat cycle for four minutes total, once again including both work and rest time. For more quick and effective HIIT workouts, head to DailyBurn.com to try it free for 30 days.  Originally posted September 2013. Updated July 2o15. 

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5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/strength-training-run-faster/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/strength-training-run-faster/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 11:15:07 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41244 5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster

[caption id="attachment_41257" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Jason Fitzgerald is a 2:39 marathoner, USA Track & Field certified coach, and the founder of Strength Running where runners go to get faster and prevent injuries.

There aren’t many runners who would turn down the opportunity to gain more speed. But anyone who’s ever trained for a PR knows that getting faster is easier said than done. To knock precious seconds off that mile time, you may need to incorporate some serious strength training into your routine. Yup, it’s time to move from the roads to the weight room.

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners

“Strength work increases stride power, helping you cover more ground with each step,” says Scott Jones, an exercise physiologist and host of the Athlete on Fire podcast. “This is when you really start to see your pace increase.” Jones is adamant about the importance of core strength for runners, saying, “If you want to get faster, you'll need a more powerful core.”

"Remember that strength training should complement your running, not detract from it."

How to Fit Weights Into Your Routine

But what type of strength training is best? And how can you squeeze it into your (already hectic) schedule? Well, if you’ve never done any strength training, start with bodyweight exercises and work progressively toward weighted movements. And yes, you will need to start lifting heavy. It’s the best way to improve efficiency and power, which will allow you to exert greater force in the push-off phase of your stride.

RELATED: 3 Quick and Easy Ways to Prevent Running Injuries

When it comes to scheduling strength training, always remember this essential rule: Keep your hard days hard and your easy days easy. In other words, don’t schedule an intense weight session on the same day as a recovery run. Plan to do your strength training on the same day as medium or high-intensity runs to maximize results.

If you’re strapped for time, don’t worry: You only need to do heavier weight sessions one to two times per week. Make these sessions short and focused. Remember that strength training should complement your running, not detract from it. If lifting leaves you so sore that it compromises your running workouts, reduce your intensity, frequency, or both.

5 Strength Training Moves to Amp Up Your Speed

Step away from the gym machines — you can avoid wasting time on exercises that are overly specific and don’t support your running. Instead, try these compound movements that target multiple muscle groups. Lifting with free weights better simulates functional, real world movements and will help maximize muscle recruitment.

RELATED: Bored of Running? 2 Goals Every Runner Needs

For the workout below, complete two to three sets with four to eight reps per set, and allow adequate rest (two to three minutes) between exercises. Keep the intensity high and the duration short: 30 minutes of heavier lifting once a week is plenty. Not such which dumbbells to grab? Always master your form with lighter weights before progressing to something heavier.

[caption id="attachment_41248" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Dumbbell Squats
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes straight ahead, dumbbell in each hand (a). With arms bent 90 degrees, hold dumbbells at shoulder-height (b). Sit back like there’s a chair behind you, until your thighs are parallel to the ground (c). Driving through your heels, return to the standing position, ensuring your lower back stays in a neutral position (d). Perform 10 reps.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Improve Your Squat

[caption id="attachment_41247" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Deadlifts
How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward (a). Squat down to grasp your barbell, hands shoulder-width apart (b). With your lower back in a neutral position (not rounded) and arms straight, drive through your heels and lift the bar straight up, clenching your glutes throughout the movement (c). Hinge at the hips with knees slightly bent to lower the bar to shin-level, maintaining a neutral back, shoulder and chest position (d). Perform 5-10 reps.

[caption id="attachment_41252" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

3. Bench Press
How to: Lie with your back on the bench, grabbing the bar with your palms facing away from you, grip slightly wider than your shoulders (a). Brace your abs while squeezing your glutes and shoulder blades to lift the bar off the rack (b). Slowly lower the bar to your chest, then raise it back to the starting position. Look straight up and use a spotter for safety. Keep the motion slow and controlled (c). Perform 4-8 reps.

[caption id="attachment_41250" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

4. Pull-Ups
How to: Start with your palms facing away from you, shoulder-width apart (a). Engaging your back, arms and core, pull yourself up toward the bar until your chest touches the bar (b). Lower yourself down to the starting position and repeat (c). For assisted pull-ups, use an exercise band to help propel you upward. Repeat for 4-8 reps (or however many you can complete with good form).

[caption id="attachment_41251" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5. Weighted Lunges
How to: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart (a). Step forward with your right leg, and lower your body down until your right knee is positioned over your ankle and your left knee kisses the ground (b). Always maintain a neutral spine and remain as stable as possible. Step back and repeat with the opposite leg (c). Perform 8-12 reps.

Once you have successfully made strength training a part of your schedule, don’t let yourself get too comfortable in your routine. Whether you’re lifting to prevent running injuries or to gain speed, be sure to challenge yourself over time. That PR you’re chasing will be so worth it.

The post 5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster

[caption id="attachment_41257" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] Jason Fitzgerald is a 2:39 marathoner, USA Track & Field certified coach, and the founder of Strength Running where runners go to get faster and prevent injuries. There aren’t many runners who would turn down the opportunity to gain more speed. But anyone who’s ever trained for a PR knows that getting faster is easier said than done. To knock precious seconds off that mile time, you may need to incorporate some serious strength training into your routine. Yup, it’s time to move from the roads to the weight room. RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises for Beginners “Strength work increases stride power, helping you cover more ground with each step,” says Scott Jones, an exercise physiologist and host of the Athlete on Fire podcast. “This is when you really start to see your pace increase.” Jones is adamant about the importance of core strength for runners, saying, “If you want to get faster, you'll need a more powerful core.”
"Remember that strength training should complement your running, not detract from it."

How to Fit Weights Into Your Routine

But what type of strength training is best? And how can you squeeze it into your (already hectic) schedule? Well, if you’ve never done any strength training, start with bodyweight exercises and work progressively toward weighted movements. And yes, you will need to start lifting heavy. It’s the best way to improve efficiency and power, which will allow you to exert greater force in the push-off phase of your stride. RELATED: 3 Quick and Easy Ways to Prevent Running Injuries When it comes to scheduling strength training, always remember this essential rule: Keep your hard days hard and your easy days easy. In other words, don’t schedule an intense weight session on the same day as a recovery run. Plan to do your strength training on the same day as medium or high-intensity runs to maximize results. If you’re strapped for time, don’t worry: You only need to do heavier weight sessions one to two times per week. Make these sessions short and focused. Remember that strength training should complement your running, not detract from it. If lifting leaves you so sore that it compromises your running workouts, reduce your intensity, frequency, or both.

5 Strength Training Moves to Amp Up Your Speed

Step away from the gym machines — you can avoid wasting time on exercises that are overly specific and don’t support your running. Instead, try these compound movements that target multiple muscle groups. Lifting with free weights better simulates functional, real world movements and will help maximize muscle recruitment. RELATED: Bored of Running? 2 Goals Every Runner Needs For the workout below, complete two to three sets with four to eight reps per set, and allow adequate rest (two to three minutes) between exercises. Keep the intensity high and the duration short: 30 minutes of heavier lifting once a week is plenty. Not such which dumbbells to grab? Always master your form with lighter weights before progressing to something heavier. [caption id="attachment_41248" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] 1. Dumbbell Squats How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes straight ahead, dumbbell in each hand (a). With arms bent 90 degrees, hold dumbbells at shoulder-height (b). Sit back like there’s a chair behind you, until your thighs are parallel to the ground (c). Driving through your heels, return to the standing position, ensuring your lower back stays in a neutral position (d). Perform 10 reps. RELATED: 7 Ways to Improve Your Squat [caption id="attachment_41247" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] 2. Deadlifts How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward (a). Squat down to grasp your barbell, hands shoulder-width apart (b). With your lower back in a neutral position (not rounded) and arms straight, drive through your heels and lift the bar straight up, clenching your glutes throughout the movement (c). Hinge at the hips with knees slightly bent to lower the bar to shin-level, maintaining a neutral back, shoulder and chest position (d). Perform 5-10 reps. [caption id="attachment_41252" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] 3. Bench Press How to: Lie with your back on the bench, grabbing the bar with your palms facing away from you, grip slightly wider than your shoulders (a). Brace your abs while squeezing your glutes and shoulder blades to lift the bar off the rack (b). Slowly lower the bar to your chest, then raise it back to the starting position. Look straight up and use a spotter for safety. Keep the motion slow and controlled (c). Perform 4-8 reps. [caption id="attachment_41250" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] 4. Pull-Ups How to: Start with your palms facing away from you, shoulder-width apart (a). Engaging your back, arms and core, pull yourself up toward the bar until your chest touches the bar (b). Lower yourself down to the starting position and repeat (c). For assisted pull-ups, use an exercise band to help propel you upward. Repeat for 4-8 reps (or however many you can complete with good form). [caption id="attachment_41251" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster Photo: Pond5[/caption] 5. Weighted Lunges How to: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart (a). Step forward with your right leg, and lower your body down until your right knee is positioned over your ankle and your left knee kisses the ground (b). Always maintain a neutral spine and remain as stable as possible. Step back and repeat with the opposite leg (c). Perform 8-12 reps. Once you have successfully made strength training a part of your schedule, don’t let yourself get too comfortable in your routine. Whether you’re lifting to prevent running injuries or to gain speed, be sure to challenge yourself over time. That PR you’re chasing will be so worth it.

The post 5 Strength Training Moves to Help You Run Faster appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Will a Post-Workout Beer Affect Muscle Growth? http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/post-workout-alcohol-muscle-growth/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/post-workout-alcohol-muscle-growth/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:15:07 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41044 Will a Post-Workout Beef Affect Your Muscle Growth?

[caption id="attachment_41047" align="alignnone" width="620"]Will a Post-Workout Beef Affect Your Muscle Growth? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Kamal Patel is the director of Examine.com, and is a nutrition researcher with an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University on hiatus from a PhD in nutrition. He has published peer-reviewed articles on vitamin D and calcium as well as a variety of clinical research topics.

Even the most dedicated athletes need time off to unwind. While partying usually results in nothing worse than a hangover, you may have also noticed that your Monday morning gym session feels harder after a weekend of indulging. While many people extol the virtues of the post-workout beer, it can be difficult to determine what effect alcohol actually has on muscles.

RELATED: Is Alcohol Killing Your Workout?

Some research shows that alcohol can impact your rate of muscle protein synthesis — the process by which muscles grow and repair. But could a post-workout drink (or two) really undo the effects of your reps and sets — or will it take way more than that to truly set you back? Read on to find out.

Breaking Down the Post-Workout Beer

Beer, like many sports drinks, contains carbohydrates and electrolytes. But does that mean it could replace a Gatorade? Not so fast.

Two relevant studies published on this topic compared liver protein synthesis rates — the detoxifying enzymes produced by the liver — among people consuming various quantities of alcohol. Scientists found that the rate of synthesis changed based on the amount of alcohol ingested. Protein synthesis was suppressed by 24 percent after people consumed 71 grams of pure alcohol, or approximately five beers. However, it was not suppressed after people consumed just 28 grams of alcohol, the amount found in about two standard beers.

RELATED: How Bad Is Booze, Really? 6 Crazy Facts About Drinking Alcohol

The most relevant human study to date found that for a 150-pound person, consuming the equivalent of about seven beers resulted in suppressed muscle protein synthesis. This occurred even if the alcohol was consumed after 25 grams of protein (see what 25 grams of protein looks like here). In other words, your post-happy hour munchies won’t help. Animal studies also provide supporting evidence; muscular protein synthesis rates in rats were suppressed after they received ethanol injections.

Overall, this evidence suggests drinking upwards of five beers in one sitting could impair workout recovery and muscle growth. There are no studies specifically investigating the impact of a single beer post-workout. But those who love a good post-gym drink will be happy to know evidence suggests drinking about two of your favorite brews won’t undo your hard work at the gym.

[caption id="attachment_41049" align="alignnone" width="620"]Will a Post-Workout Beef Affect Your Muscle Growth? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Alcohol and Testosterone

Testosterone is also important when it comes to building muscle — the more you naturally have, the easier it is to see gains. Low doses of alcohol (about two beers for a 150-pound person) have been shown to increase circulating testosterone by about 17 percent in both young men and premenopausal women. Unfortunately, this boost in testosterone is probably not enough to noticeably increase muscle growth.

RELATED: The Truth About Low Testosterone

On the other hand, heavier drinking (think: seven beers for a 150-pound individual) has been found to suppress testosterone. Furthermore, even moderate amounts of booze (about three to four beers) have been shown to mildly suppress testosterone when ingested daily for at least three weeks. And that could be enough to undo some of your efforts in the weight room.

The Big Picture

Beer lovers, rest easy. Though more research is needed, there is currently no evidence to suggest a post-workout beer or two can cause long-term harm. If a tall one is your go-to treat after a hard workout, you don’t need to worry about your testosterone levels or protein synthesis rates. Just make sure your one-beer reward doesn’t turn into a five-beer habit.

The post Will a Post-Workout Beer Affect Muscle Growth? appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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Will a Post-Workout Beef Affect Your Muscle Growth?

[caption id="attachment_41047" align="alignnone" width="620"]Will a Post-Workout Beef Affect Your Muscle Growth? Photo: Pond5[/caption] Kamal Patel is the director of Examine.com, and is a nutrition researcher with an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University on hiatus from a PhD in nutrition. He has published peer-reviewed articles on vitamin D and calcium as well as a variety of clinical research topics. Even the most dedicated athletes need time off to unwind. While partying usually results in nothing worse than a hangover, you may have also noticed that your Monday morning gym session feels harder after a weekend of indulging. While many people extol the virtues of the post-workout beer, it can be difficult to determine what effect alcohol actually has on muscles. RELATED: Is Alcohol Killing Your Workout? Some research shows that alcohol can impact your rate of muscle protein synthesis — the process by which muscles grow and repair. But could a post-workout drink (or two) really undo the effects of your reps and sets — or will it take way more than that to truly set you back? Read on to find out.

Breaking Down the Post-Workout Beer

Beer, like many sports drinks, contains carbohydrates and electrolytes. But does that mean it could replace a Gatorade? Not so fast. Two relevant studies published on this topic compared liver protein synthesis rates — the detoxifying enzymes produced by the liver — among people consuming various quantities of alcohol. Scientists found that the rate of synthesis changed based on the amount of alcohol ingested. Protein synthesis was suppressed by 24 percent after people consumed 71 grams of pure alcohol, or approximately five beers. However, it was not suppressed after people consumed just 28 grams of alcohol, the amount found in about two standard beers. RELATED: How Bad Is Booze, Really? 6 Crazy Facts About Drinking Alcohol The most relevant human study to date found that for a 150-pound person, consuming the equivalent of about seven beers resulted in suppressed muscle protein synthesis. This occurred even if the alcohol was consumed after 25 grams of protein (see what 25 grams of protein looks like here). In other words, your post-happy hour munchies won’t help. Animal studies also provide supporting evidence; muscular protein synthesis rates in rats were suppressed after they received ethanol injections. Overall, this evidence suggests drinking upwards of five beers in one sitting could impair workout recovery and muscle growth. There are no studies specifically investigating the impact of a single beer post-workout. But those who love a good post-gym drink will be happy to know evidence suggests drinking about two of your favorite brews won’t undo your hard work at the gym. [caption id="attachment_41049" align="alignnone" width="620"]Will a Post-Workout Beef Affect Your Muscle Growth? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Alcohol and Testosterone

Testosterone is also important when it comes to building muscle — the more you naturally have, the easier it is to see gains. Low doses of alcohol (about two beers for a 150-pound person) have been shown to increase circulating testosterone by about 17 percent in both young men and premenopausal women. Unfortunately, this boost in testosterone is probably not enough to noticeably increase muscle growth. RELATED: The Truth About Low Testosterone On the other hand, heavier drinking (think: seven beers for a 150-pound individual) has been found to suppress testosterone. Furthermore, even moderate amounts of booze (about three to four beers) have been shown to mildly suppress testosterone when ingested daily for at least three weeks. And that could be enough to undo some of your efforts in the weight room.

The Big Picture

Beer lovers, rest easy. Though more research is needed, there is currently no evidence to suggest a post-workout beer or two can cause long-term harm. If a tall one is your go-to treat after a hard workout, you don’t need to worry about your testosterone levels or protein synthesis rates. Just make sure your one-beer reward doesn’t turn into a five-beer habit.

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3 Sprint Workouts That’ll Torch Calories Fast http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sprint-workouts-burning-calories/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/sprint-workouts-burning-calories/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 11:15:10 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=41073 3 Sprint Workouts to Torch Calories Fast

[caption id="attachment_41170" align="alignnone" width="620"]3 Sprint Workouts to Torch Calories Fast Photo: Pond5[/caption]

If you have a love-hate relationship with running, we hear you. But if that’s because you think of slogging endless miles at a dirt-slow pace, it’s time to rethink your cardio. Longer isn’t always better. Going short and sweet (at top speed!) will not only save you precious time in the gym, it’ll get your body and brain working in a whole new way.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Get Fit in Half the Time

Train Smarter, Not Harder

“Sprint interval workouts allow you to effectively train for shorter periods of time, but at higher levels of fitness providing long-term benefits,” says Christopher Trigger, MD, CAQSM, a board certified physician in emergency and sports medicine and triathlete who uses sprint variations in his own training. In addition to raising your heart rate and working your muscles harder in less time, sprint intervals are a great way to push your lactate threshold, or VO2 max,” Trigger says. And when your lactate threshold increases, so does your body’s efficiency at ridding itself of the lactic acid that accumulates in your blood stream during exercise.

Want more lean muscle? “Sprinting has been shown to increase muscle hypertrophy,” aka muscle regeneration, says Trigger. Sprint training can also trigger the EPOC effect, in which your body ramps up production of fat burning cells even after you’ve left the track. In other words, speed work is the gift that keeps on giving.

RELATED: 3 HIIT Workouts to Take to the Beach

Sprint Ahead: The Workouts

If you want a lean, ripped physique this summer, then ditch the long runs and opt for all-out effort. Depending on your goals, there are three different styles of sprint training —conditioning, speed and agility. Mix and match the various approaches into your regularly scheduled workouts, or go full speed ahead with our week-long sprint series below. In this program, you’ll perform one workout below followed by a rest day. Be sure to start each workout with a dynamic warm-up and it’s off to the races!

Sprint Workout 1: Conditioning

The goal: Total conditioning. This should work on building your speed-strength, or the capacity to remain at 80%+ of all out speed for a set number of intervals. Each interval in the conditioning portion is a lactic acid burner; your lungs will be worked as hard as your muscles.

3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast

The workout: 8-12 x 200 meters with 2-3 minutes walk rest between sprints
Do the first couple of sprints at 60-80% max effort and then the remaining sprints at 85%+. Try for even pacing of all intervals starting with the 3rd set. If you feel good on the last set, try to run your fastest sprint. Remember, do not exert yourself too hard on the first couple rounds; starting out more slowly while finishing strong will ensure a fun workout, with the least risk of injury or overtraining.

Rest Day

Sprint Workout 2: Speed

The goal: Developing pure speed and power. Think game speed on any field of play; short, intense all-out bursts with full recovery.

3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast

The workout: 6-8 x 50 meters with 3 minutes rest between sprints
The first couple sprints should be around 60-90% max effort and then the remaining sets at 95%+. There should be a full recovery between each rep to ensure maximum speed and power on each sprint.

Rest Day

Sprint Workout 3: Agility Triangles

The goal: Ready-for-anything athleticism. Humans are phenomenal athletes by nature, but too often we run only in one straight line or around a track. Changing direction and running backwards are necessary to tap our true athletic potential, whether you’ve got your eye on a Tough Mudder or a company softball league.

The workout: 8-12 rounds with 30 seconds rest between sprints
Set a triangle of cones up to 10 meters apart from one another. Go into this workout easy on the first several reps before maintaining efforts at 80%+ of max effort.

Alternate each round between the two variations below:

3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast

Variation 1: Start at the first cone in a forward running direction. Sprint forward to the second cone, pivot as fast as possible into a backwards running position to the third cone, where you will pivot again as fast possible into a forward sprint toward the original starting position.

3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast

Variation 2: Start at the first cone in a backwards running position. Sprint backwards to the second cone, pivot as fast as possible into a forward sprint to the third cone, where you will pivot again as fast possible into a backward sprint toward the original starting position.

Rest Day

Still have more in the tank? Repeat the sprint series for 2-3 more weeks, and you’ll be on the fast-track to your best summer body yet.

The post 3 Sprint Workouts That’ll Torch Calories Fast appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
3 Sprint Workouts to Torch Calories Fast

[caption id="attachment_41170" align="alignnone" width="620"]3 Sprint Workouts to Torch Calories Fast Photo: Pond5[/caption] If you have a love-hate relationship with running, we hear you. But if that’s because you think of slogging endless miles at a dirt-slow pace, it’s time to rethink your cardio. Longer isn’t always better. Going short and sweet (at top speed!) will not only save you precious time in the gym, it’ll get your body and brain working in a whole new way. RELATED: 7 Ways to Get Fit in Half the Time

Train Smarter, Not Harder

“Sprint interval workouts allow you to effectively train for shorter periods of time, but at higher levels of fitness providing long-term benefits,” says Christopher Trigger, MD, CAQSM, a board certified physician in emergency and sports medicine and triathlete who uses sprint variations in his own training. In addition to raising your heart rate and working your muscles harder in less time, sprint intervals are a great way to push your lactate threshold, or VO2 max,” Trigger says. And when your lactate threshold increases, so does your body’s efficiency at ridding itself of the lactic acid that accumulates in your blood stream during exercise. Want more lean muscle? “Sprinting has been shown to increase muscle hypertrophy,” aka muscle regeneration, says Trigger. Sprint training can also trigger the EPOC effect, in which your body ramps up production of fat burning cells even after you’ve left the track. In other words, speed work is the gift that keeps on giving. RELATED: 3 HIIT Workouts to Take to the Beach

Sprint Ahead: The Workouts

If you want a lean, ripped physique this summer, then ditch the long runs and opt for all-out effort. Depending on your goals, there are three different styles of sprint training —conditioning, speed and agility. Mix and match the various approaches into your regularly scheduled workouts, or go full speed ahead with our week-long sprint series below. In this program, you’ll perform one workout below followed by a rest day. Be sure to start each workout with a dynamic warm-up and it’s off to the races!

Sprint Workout 1: Conditioning

The goal: Total conditioning. This should work on building your speed-strength, or the capacity to remain at 80%+ of all out speed for a set number of intervals. Each interval in the conditioning portion is a lactic acid burner; your lungs will be worked as hard as your muscles. 3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast The workout: 8-12 x 200 meters with 2-3 minutes walk rest between sprints Do the first couple of sprints at 60-80% max effort and then the remaining sprints at 85%+. Try for even pacing of all intervals starting with the 3rd set. If you feel good on the last set, try to run your fastest sprint. Remember, do not exert yourself too hard on the first couple rounds; starting out more slowly while finishing strong will ensure a fun workout, with the least risk of injury or overtraining.

Rest Day

Sprint Workout 2: Speed

The goal: Developing pure speed and power. Think game speed on any field of play; short, intense all-out bursts with full recovery. 3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast The workout: 6-8 x 50 meters with 3 minutes rest between sprints The first couple sprints should be around 60-90% max effort and then the remaining sets at 95%+. There should be a full recovery between each rep to ensure maximum speed and power on each sprint.

Rest Day

Sprint Workout 3: Agility Triangles

The goal: Ready-for-anything athleticism. Humans are phenomenal athletes by nature, but too often we run only in one straight line or around a track. Changing direction and running backwards are necessary to tap our true athletic potential, whether you’ve got your eye on a Tough Mudder or a company softball league. The workout: 8-12 rounds with 30 seconds rest between sprints Set a triangle of cones up to 10 meters apart from one another. Go into this workout easy on the first several reps before maintaining efforts at 80%+ of max effort. Alternate each round between the two variations below: 3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast Variation 1: Start at the first cone in a forward running direction. Sprint forward to the second cone, pivot as fast as possible into a backwards running position to the third cone, where you will pivot again as fast possible into a forward sprint toward the original starting position. 3 Sprint Workouts That'll Torch Calories Fast Variation 2: Start at the first cone in a backwards running position. Sprint backwards to the second cone, pivot as fast as possible into a forward sprint to the third cone, where you will pivot again as fast possible into a backward sprint toward the original starting position. Rest Day Still have more in the tank? Repeat the sprint series for 2-3 more weeks, and you’ll be on the fast-track to your best summer body yet.

The post 3 Sprint Workouts That’ll Torch Calories Fast appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

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3 HIIT Workouts to Take to the Beach http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hiit-workout-routine-beach-body/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/hiit-workout-routine-beach-body/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:15:58 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=28999 HIIT Workout Featured

[caption id="attachment_29071" align="alignnone" width="620"]HIIT Workout Main Image Photo: Pond5[/caption]

In honor of sunny days and warmer temperatures, now’s the perfect time to say so long to the weight room and take things outside. And why not head straight to the shore to work on your beach body? Apart from the beautiful views and mood boost from spending time in the sun, your muscles will have an extra challenge stabilizing you in the sand.

“Working out in the sand adds a ton of resistance to any exercise you’re doing,” says DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia, who loves getting her sweat on outside when she goes on vacation. And HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a natural choice for outdoor workouts because you can condition the whole body efficiently, without any equipment. This popular training method challenges your aerobic and anaerobic systems, meaning you’ll improve cardiovascular endurance and build strength at the same time. Plus, your muscles will work overtime blasting more calories than they would with just steady state cardio alone (also known as the afterburn effect).

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

Ready to soak up some sun and feel the right kind of burn? Try these three HIIT workouts designed by Garcia with the surf and the sand in mind. They’re short, sweet, and sure to leave you sweating! Now go on and HIIT the beach!

HIIT Workout: 10-Minute Tone Up

Ten minutes is all you need for a killer burn. Set up two towels 20 yards from one another and then HIIT it! Warm up with 30 seconds of skips and 30 seconds of walking lunges. Then, complete three rounds of the exercises below with 30 seconds of rest between each round.

10-Minute Beach HIIT Workout

Single-leg bounding: Drive the right knee up and leap off the left leg, pretending you are gliding through the air. Repeat on the other side. Try to get as high as possible.

Plank drag: Set up towels 20 yards apart. Start in a plank position with one towel under your toes. Drag your toes towards your hands by engaging your core, then walk your hands out again so you’re closer to the far towel.

Side shuffle: Shuffle laterally from one towel to the other, facing the same way as you go there and back.

Inchworm push-ups: Hinge at the waist, bend down and walk your hands away from your feet so you're in a plank position. Do one push-up, walk your feet towards  your hands and repeat.

Long jumps: Bend your knees and jump as far as you can towards the other towel! Keep jumping for the whole 30 seconds.

RELATED: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core for Summer

HIIT Workout: Tabata Bang!

Get off your towel and try some Tabata! Complete 10 alternating lunges, 10 squats and a 30-second plank hold to get warmed up. Then, alternate 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for each exercise in the circuit. Complete eight rounds.

HIIT Workout Tabata Bang

Surfer get-ups: Start on the ground in a low plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your belly touching the sand. Push up from the ground and jump into a squatting position with the right leg in front of the left, as if you're balancing on a surf board. Remember to squeeze your glutes and engage the core! Return to the original plank position and repeat with your left leg in front of the right for the surf stance.

Lateral plank: Assume a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Take two steps to the right while maintaining a plank, and perform a push-up. Repeat the process by moving back to the left. Perform another push-up and repeat.

Lunge jumps: With the right leg in front of the left, get into a lunge position so your knees are both at 90-degree angles. Use your core and quads to ump straight up, switching your legs in mid-air. Land with your left leg forward, then repeat.

Twisting mountain climbers: In a plank position, bring one knee to the opposite elbow. Quickly switch legs and twist the opposite knee to opposite elbow. Try to have your knee touch your elbow for every rep.

RELATED: 4 Workouts to Get You in Surfing Shape

HIIT Workout: Perfect 10 Circuits

Get strong and lean with this workout that will challenge your whole body. Use your abdominals to stabilize your core during the lunges and jump squats, and give it all you’ve got with the sprints at the end of each circuit. Complete five rounds total with 30 seconds of rest between rounds.

HIIT Workout Perfect 10 Circuits

Lateral lunges: Step right leg out into a lateral lunge with the left leg straight. As you stand up, drag the left leg back to standing while using the sand as resistance. Repeat movement on the other side.

180-degree jump squats: Squat and touch the ground, jump 180-degrees clockwise and touch the ground again. Repeat by jumping 180-degrees counter-clockwise. Two jumps equals one rep.

Down dog push-ups: Start in a down dog position. Walk your hands out to a full plank, perform a push-up and then walk your hands back to down dog.

Shuttle sprints: Place two towels about 20 yards apart, and using them as markers, start at one and sprint to the other. That’s one! Keep your speed up, sprinting back and forth five times (10 lengths total).

Can't get enough HIIT? For more full-length workouts from Anja Garcia, try out her Inferno or InfernoHR programs. 

Photos: Pond5

The post 3 HIIT Workouts to Take to the Beach appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
HIIT Workout Featured

[caption id="attachment_29071" align="alignnone" width="620"]HIIT Workout Main Image Photo: Pond5[/caption] In honor of sunny days and warmer temperatures, now’s the perfect time to say so long to the weight room and take things outside. And why not head straight to the shore to work on your beach body? Apart from the beautiful views and mood boost from spending time in the sun, your muscles will have an extra challenge stabilizing you in the sand. “Working out in the sand adds a ton of resistance to any exercise you’re doing,” says DailyBurn trainer Anja Garcia, who loves getting her sweat on outside when she goes on vacation. And HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a natural choice for outdoor workouts because you can condition the whole body efficiently, without any equipment. This popular training method challenges your aerobic and anaerobic systems, meaning you’ll improve cardiovascular endurance and build strength at the same time. Plus, your muscles will work overtime blasting more calories than they would with just steady state cardio alone (also known as the afterburn effect). RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners Ready to soak up some sun and feel the right kind of burn? Try these three HIIT workouts designed by Garcia with the surf and the sand in mind. They’re short, sweet, and sure to leave you sweating! Now go on and HIIT the beach!

HIIT Workout: 10-Minute Tone Up

Ten minutes is all you need for a killer burn. Set up two towels 20 yards from one another and then HIIT it! Warm up with 30 seconds of skips and 30 seconds of walking lunges. Then, complete three rounds of the exercises below with 30 seconds of rest between each round. 10-Minute Beach HIIT Workout Single-leg bounding: Drive the right knee up and leap off the left leg, pretending you are gliding through the air. Repeat on the other side. Try to get as high as possible. Plank drag: Set up towels 20 yards apart. Start in a plank position with one towel under your toes. Drag your toes towards your hands by engaging your core, then walk your hands out again so you’re closer to the far towel. Side shuffle: Shuffle laterally from one towel to the other, facing the same way as you go there and back. Inchworm push-ups: Hinge at the waist, bend down and walk your hands away from your feet so you're in a plank position. Do one push-up, walk your feet towards  your hands and repeat. Long jumps: Bend your knees and jump as far as you can towards the other towel! Keep jumping for the whole 30 seconds. RELATED: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core for Summer

HIIT Workout: Tabata Bang!

Get off your towel and try some Tabata! Complete 10 alternating lunges, 10 squats and a 30-second plank hold to get warmed up. Then, alternate 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest for each exercise in the circuit. Complete eight rounds. HIIT Workout Tabata Bang Surfer get-ups: Start on the ground in a low plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your belly touching the sand. Push up from the ground and jump into a squatting position with the right leg in front of the left, as if you're balancing on a surf board. Remember to squeeze your glutes and engage the core! Return to the original plank position and repeat with your left leg in front of the right for the surf stance. Lateral plank: Assume a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Take two steps to the right while maintaining a plank, and perform a push-up. Repeat the process by moving back to the left. Perform another push-up and repeat. Lunge jumps: With the right leg in front of the left, get into a lunge position so your knees are both at 90-degree angles. Use your core and quads to ump straight up, switching your legs in mid-air. Land with your left leg forward, then repeat. Twisting mountain climbers: In a plank position, bring one knee to the opposite elbow. Quickly switch legs and twist the opposite knee to opposite elbow. Try to have your knee touch your elbow for every rep. RELATED: 4 Workouts to Get You in Surfing Shape

HIIT Workout: Perfect 10 Circuits

Get strong and lean with this workout that will challenge your whole body. Use your abdominals to stabilize your core during the lunges and jump squats, and give it all you’ve got with the sprints at the end of each circuit. Complete five rounds total with 30 seconds of rest between rounds. HIIT Workout Perfect 10 Circuits Lateral lunges: Step right leg out into a lateral lunge with the left leg straight. As you stand up, drag the left leg back to standing while using the sand as resistance. Repeat movement on the other side. 180-degree jump squats: Squat and touch the ground, jump 180-degrees clockwise and touch the ground again. Repeat by jumping 180-degrees counter-clockwise. Two jumps equals one rep. Down dog push-ups: Start in a down dog position. Walk your hands out to a full plank, perform a push-up and then walk your hands back to down dog. Shuttle sprints: Place two towels about 20 yards apart, and using them as markers, start at one and sprint to the other. That’s one! Keep your speed up, sprinting back and forth five times (10 lengths total). Can't get enough HIIT? For more full-length workouts from Anja Garcia, try out her Inferno or InfernoHR programs.  Photos: Pond5

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The 20-Minute TRX Workout [INFOGRAPHIC] http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/trx-workout-infographic/ http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/trx-workout-infographic/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:15:04 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=25784 TRX Workout

Straight from the Navy SEALs, TRX has been shown to increase strength, balance, flexibility and stability, all in one portable, lightweight package. This 20-minute TRX workout, created by master trainer Garson Grant, will target the core, glutes, chest, hamstrings and back — all with just the TRX straps, your bodyweight, and some good old-fashioned gravity. Each move can be modified to make it more or less challenging — just play around with the angle of the body or the distance to the anchor to reduce or increase tension on the straps. Hang on — you're in for a serious workout!

RELATED: Ab Challenge: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core for Summer

Not sure how to perform a move? Scroll down below the infographic for detailed how-tos. 

The Total Body TRX Workout Infographic

TRX Exercise How-To's

1. TRX Balance Lunge
Start with arms by the sides (not extended), holding a TRX handle in each hand. (a) Descend one leg back into a lunge — the knee just hovering off the ground at roughly 90-degrees. Arms will naturally fall away from the body during the descent. (b) Bring the lunging foot back to meet the non-lunging foot. Pro tip: Rather than use the arms to pull yourself up, push into the front heel to return to standing. Complete 12-15 reps.

RELATED: 6 Common TRX Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

2. TRX High Row to External Rotation
For all those desk workers out there, this move is great for strengthening the back muscles that support good posture. Start in the end range of the external rotation (palms facing the wall), straps pulled back so they are on an even plane as the head, elbows forming a 90-degree angle. (a) Offset the feet (one foot in front of the other), and fall back slowly with control, allowing the wrists to realign with the arms. (b) Keeping the core engaged and the spine straight, pull the body back up to the external rotation. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

3. TRX Chest Press
Face away from the anchor point and lean into the straps like you’re about to complete a push-up, arms still fully extended. (a) Press the body toward the direction of the straps, descending with control. (b) Press back up to return to the start angled-plank position. The hands should stay a few inches from the body so the straps don’t scrape against the armpits or sides of the chest. Pro tip: To prevent the straps from scraping against the skin, try bringing your hands a little higher and further from the body. Complete 12-15 reps, or as many as you can complete with proper form.

RELATED: 5 BodyPump Strength Training Exercises for Beginners

4. TRX Plank (or Body Saws)
Begin with the knees on the ground, feet in the foot straps. (a) Press the body up into a plank position, forearms planted firmly on the ground, and hold for 30 seconds. Note: If 30 seconds feels pretty comfortable, challenge yourself with body saws. (a) Start in the plank position and shift your body back a few inches toward the anchor. (b) Return to starting position with control, maintaining a neutral spine.

5. TRX Knee Tuck
Start with the body in a shoulder plank position, palms flat on the ground, and feet in the foot straps (the straps should be perpendicular to the ground). (a) Bring the knees in to the chest, while engaging the core and keeping the feet side-by-side. (b) Return to start position and repeat for 12-15 reps. Note: This ab-torching move takes a lot of control. Make sure to maintain even tension on each foot strap to keep your legs from sawing back and forth.

RELATED: Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First?

6. TRX Hamstring Curl
Start by lying on the back, and placing your heels into foot straps. (a) Lift your hips up, maintaining a neutral neck and spine, legs straight. The straps should be at 180-degrees. This is your start position. (b) Maintaining total-body control, drag your heels toward your butt, hold for a beat, and then return to the start position. Throughout the whole move, press the heels down into the foot cradles so there’s no slack in the straps. To make this move more challenging, raise the hips a couple inches higher. Complete 12-15 reps.

7. TRX Pec Stretch
Congrats, this is your rest! Take this 30 seconds to catch your breath and rev up for the next circuit. Standing tall, face away from the anchor, with a strap in each hand. (a) Hold the arms out like a “T” but make sure they are stretched out horizontally, rather than behind you (perpendicular to the body), which can be damaging to the shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds, maintaining tension in the straps.

Ready to take these basic moves to the next level? Try our Advanced TRX Workout, and don't miss these 6 Tips for Better TRX Workouts. Your body will thank you! 

Originally posted April 7, 2014. Updated June 2015. 

Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. In some cases, you might come across an affiliate link on our site, which means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

The post The 20-Minute TRX Workout [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on Life by DailyBurn.

]]>
TRX Workout

Straight from the Navy SEALs, TRX has been shown to increase strength, balance, flexibility and stability, all in one portable, lightweight package. This 20-minute TRX workout, created by master trainer Garson Grant, will target the core, glutes, chest, hamstrings and back — all with just the TRX straps, your bodyweight, and some good old-fashioned gravity. Each move can be modified to make it more or less challenging — just play around with the angle of the body or the distance to the anchor to reduce or increase tension on the straps. Hang on — you're in for a serious workout! RELATED: Ab Challenge: 5 Planks to Sculpt Your Core for Summer Not sure how to perform a move? Scroll down below the infographic for detailed how-tos.  The Total Body TRX Workout Infographic

TRX Exercise How-To's

1. TRX Balance Lunge Start with arms by the sides (not extended), holding a TRX handle in each hand. (a) Descend one leg back into a lunge — the knee just hovering off the ground at roughly 90-degrees. Arms will naturally fall away from the body during the descent. (b) Bring the lunging foot back to meet the non-lunging foot. Pro tip: Rather than use the arms to pull yourself up, push into the front heel to return to standing. Complete 12-15 reps. RELATED: 6 Common TRX Mistakes (and How to Fix Them) 2. TRX High Row to External Rotation For all those desk workers out there, this move is great for strengthening the back muscles that support good posture. Start in the end range of the external rotation (palms facing the wall), straps pulled back so they are on an even plane as the head, elbows forming a 90-degree angle. (a) Offset the feet (one foot in front of the other), and fall back slowly with control, allowing the wrists to realign with the arms. (b) Keeping the core engaged and the spine straight, pull the body back up to the external rotation. Repeat for 12-15 reps. 3. TRX Chest Press Face away from the anchor point and lean into the straps like you’re about to complete a push-up, arms still fully extended. (a) Press the body toward the direction of the straps, descending with control. (b) Press back up to return to the start angled-plank position. The hands should stay a few inches from the body so the straps don’t scrape against the armpits or sides of the chest. Pro tip: To prevent the straps from scraping against the skin, try bringing your hands a little higher and further from the body. Complete 12-15 reps, or as many as you can complete with proper form. RELATED: 5 BodyPump Strength Training Exercises for Beginners 4. TRX Plank (or Body Saws) Begin with the knees on the ground, feet in the foot straps. (a) Press the body up into a plank position, forearms planted firmly on the ground, and hold for 30 seconds. Note: If 30 seconds feels pretty comfortable, challenge yourself with body saws. (a) Start in the plank position and shift your body back a few inches toward the anchor. (b) Return to starting position with control, maintaining a neutral spine. 5. TRX Knee Tuck Start with the body in a shoulder plank position, palms flat on the ground, and feet in the foot straps (the straps should be perpendicular to the ground). (a) Bring the knees in to the chest, while engaging the core and keeping the feet side-by-side. (b) Return to start position and repeat for 12-15 reps. Note: This ab-torching move takes a lot of control. Make sure to maintain even tension on each foot strap to keep your legs from sawing back and forth. RELATED: Is It Better to Do Cardio or Strength Training First? 6. TRX Hamstring Curl Start by lying on the back, and placing your heels into foot straps. (a) Lift your hips up, maintaining a neutral neck and spine, legs straight. The straps should be at 180-degrees. This is your start position. (b) Maintaining total-body control, drag your heels toward your butt, hold for a beat, and then return to the start position. Throughout the whole move, press the heels down into the foot cradles so there’s no slack in the straps. To make this move more challenging, raise the hips a couple inches higher. Complete 12-15 reps. 7. TRX Pec Stretch Congrats, this is your rest! Take this 30 seconds to catch your breath and rev up for the next circuit. Standing tall, face away from the anchor, with a strap in each hand. (a) Hold the arms out like a “T” but make sure they are stretched out horizontally, rather than behind you (perpendicular to the body), which can be damaging to the shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds, maintaining tension in the straps. Ready to take these basic moves to the next level? Try our Advanced TRX Workout, and don't miss these 6 Tips for Better TRX Workouts. Your body will thank you!  Originally posted April 7, 2014. Updated June 2015.  Disclosure: All products featured on our site are hand-picked by our editorial team in the hopes of getting you closer to your health and fitness goals. We only recommend products we love and believe that you will, too. In some cases, you might come across an affiliate link on our site, which means we receive a small commission should you decide to make a purchase.

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