Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heart Rate Tip: Jump Rope: 05/24/2012

Add a Rope

To increase the amount of energy that you are exhorting during weight training add little bits of cardio in between your weight sets. Some forms of cardio that are great for this type of training are: burpees, jumping rope, mountain climbers, cycle sprints, running (sprinting), jumping jacks, and many many many more. The idea behind adding cardio is to maintain an increase heart rate to improve cardiovascular health, increase the amount of calories burned during the workout, and to increase your exercise post-oxygen consumption rate which will also increase your post-exercise fat burn. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Featured Workout: Chest Home Workout: 5/23/2012

From the people that brought us 8 Minute Abs, here is a video for training your chest at home. This workout is perfect for those wanting to add body weight exercises into their training regimen. Resistance training has many aspects and it is necessary to keep your body guessing by breaking up your routine and adding new and challenging exercises to your program. Give this a try the next time that you want to work on your chest.

Here is what the creator has to say about their workout:
The "Chest workout Home edition" was designed to provide an easy and fun professional workout for everyone. These exercises are designed to tone main pectoral muscles (upper, major and minor pectoral muscles) and you can workout wherever you want: at home, in the park, on the beach or at the gym.
No special equipment is required for this workout: if you don't have a bench for elevated push-ups, use any elevated surface (chair, box, etc.).

Chest Workout LEVEL 2: .

Download our chest workout application for iPhone & iPod on iTunes

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Featured App of the Week: QuitNow!: 05/22/2012


Everyone knows that smoking is a bad habit. And, everyone one that smokes knows that they need to kick the habit. And, many smokers want to quit smoking, but have a great deal of difficulty trying to kick the habit. Research has shown that having a journal to log difficulties, urges, and progress can increase success in changing a habit. Well, QuitNow! just might be the app for you if you are looking to start the quitting process. This app costs $2.99 at both Google Play and the iTunes App Store, but there is a free version out there if you are fine with adds and limited features.  

What the developer says about their app:

Let your Android help you quit smoking!
* This is a "Pro" version, before you by this app, please try the FREE version first.
Are you quitting smoking? Want to quit? Let this application help you!
- Days without smoking
- Cigarettes not smoked
- Money saved
- Time saved
- 9 Aspects of your health that you will see gradually improved
- Tips for quitting
- Facts about snuff
- 30 Achievements to unlock and share with your friends!
- Widget to see your progress
- Gallery
- Share your progress
- Facebook and Twitter integration
Available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Greek and Polish.

This app can be found at Google Play and the  iTunes App Store

So, be honest. Do you smoke? If yes, then start the road to a healthier you by quitting.

Do you know someone that smokes? If yes, be annoying and inform your smoking buddy about this app. Who knows they might be one of the million smokers who actually wish to quit smoking, but needs all the assistance that they can get.

This app can be found at Google Play and the  iTunes App Store

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tips for Changing Up Your Routine: 05/19/2012

It's Not You, It's Your Routine

Ever feel like your just not firming up, or loosing the weight. You workout 4 - 6 days each week for at least 45 minutes to an hour each session. Sometimes you may even break a sweat. You are starting to feel that what ever you are doing is not working, and you are about to give up on working out. Well don't give up on your workout because you feel that your workout gave up on you. Instead, maybe you should examine your workout and then see what you can do to make it work for you. 

Revitalize your workout with these tips:
  1. Add a new exercise to your routine
  2. Completely revamp your program
  3. Sweat.... if your aren't sweating than you are not working hard enough; sweating = working
  4. Add wind sprints to the end of your workout - wind sprints are intervals of a moderate / high intensity cardiovascular exercises; jogging / sprinting
  5. Look at your diet; eat natural whole foods rather than processed foods
  6. Try developing at least three different resistance programs for three days a week
  7. Change your routine at least every two months
  8. Get sore.... if your workout isn't making you sore (don't confuse sore with painful) you are most likely not stressing your body enough to develop those changes that you are craving. 
  9. Add body weight interval training
  10. Add body weight exercises... remember that your body is a gym
  11. Eat a small carbo / protein rich pre-exercise meal
  12. Finish with a  small carbo / protein rich pre-exercise meal to replenish nutrients that might have been lost and to promote protein synthesis
  13. Don't become besties with the elliptical, change up your cardio
  14. Learn to run
  15. Keep moving in between exercises by adding planks, bridges, or even light cario like a jump rope for 30 - 60 seconds
  16. Overall, if you are bored with it: CHANGE IT! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Workout Tip: Dynamic Stretching, a Perfect Warm-up: 05/17/2012

Dynamic Stretching as a Lower Body Warm-up

I think that it is common knowledge that a warm-up should take place just before a training session. You probably already have performed these exercises before not even knowing that they are stretching you out. But guess what they did, and you were. What you might not know is that static stretching before a dynamic, speed or power training session might actually inhibit any progress that might be made during your training by over stretching your muscles. So instead of spending time doing static stretches before your workout try doing some dynamic stretches. Here are just a few dynamic stretching exercises that you can add too your routine as a warm-up.

The Scorpion

  1. Lay on your stomach with your  arms out stretched
  2. Take one leg and swing it over your other leg so that your foot touches the ground
  3. Return to neutral and repeat with the other leg.
  4. Tip: use full range of motion
  5. Sets: 3 - 5,  Reps: 30 - 45 seconds

High Legs
  1. Those in ballet do these nearly every day
  2. Stand in one spot with your arms outstretched
  3. Kick one leg out and up as high as possible keeping your knee straight
  4. Reach out with the opposite arm and try to touch your foot with your hand
  5. Return to neutral
  6. Repeat on the other side
  7. Sets: 3 - 5,  Reps: 30 - 45 seconds  

High Knees
  1. Like jogging in place
  2. Make sure that you use your full range of motion in both your arms and your legs
  3. This can be performed as a loco-motor or in place 
  4. Sets: 3 - 5,  Reps: 30 - 45 seconds

Butt Kick
  1. This can be done in place or as a loco-motor
  2. Kick your heel up toward your rear end
  3. Use your full range of motion in your knees and arms to get the most out of this exercise
  4. Sets: 3 - 5,  Reps: 30 - 45 seconds

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Featured Warm-up: Lower Muscle Activator: 5/16/2012

Ultimate Lower Body Warm-Up

When performing power lifts it is important to make sure that the muscle groups that will be activated are warmed up properly. Warming up poorly or not at all can increase your chances for injury, and nobody enjoys getting hurt. This warm up was developed by Jack (last name unknown) and Scott Herman. This warm up can be performed nearly anywhere, so it is a very convenient and effective warm-up.

Equipment needed:

Band Holds 
Band Chops 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Featured App of the week: Fitness Buddy: 05/15/2012

Everyone needs a fitness buddy. Someone who will be there for workout tips, training ideas, and even technique pointers. Fitness Buddy features up to 1700 exercises and come at a price that is pretty low, $0.99 at both Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

Hear is what the developer says about their app:

Find out why gym goers are switching over to Fitness Buddy! With 1700+ unique exercises at your disposal, Fitness Buddy will revolutionize your training regimen. With this app, you will find the workout tracking process simple and easy in order to sustain your motivation and enforce your commitment to your fitness goals.
✔ 1700+ unique exercises!
✔ 1000+ HD videos
✔ Comprehensive exercises for all major equipments including barbell, ez curl bar, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, medicine ball, machines, and stability balls
✔ Exercise categorization (core, lower body, chest, shoulders, back, arms, cardio)
✔ 4000+ exercise photos and animations (retina display resolution)
✔ Detailed exercise instructions and muscle categorizations
✔ Capabilities to add your own custom exercises and favorite exercises
User-friendly interface
✔ Quick and simple workout tracking
✔ Search bar to quickly find your favorite exercises
75+ workout routines
✔ Diverse repertoire of exercise routines including workouts for women
✔ Routines specific to your goals (build big chest, tone butt, lose weight, and more!)
✔ Routines specific to your equipment (resistance bands, kettlebells, bodyweight only, etc)
✔ Build your own workout routines
Body metrics tracking
✔ Track your body weight and metrics (chest, arms, thighs, etc)
✔ Graph your body progress
Excellent Support
✔ Quick email responses
✔ Frequent updates
And many other features for you to enhance your workout experience. You won’t be disappointed when you train hard with Fitness Buddy.

This app can be purchased for $0.99 at Google Play and the iTunes App Store

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Exercises for Back Health: 05/12/2012

Keep that Back Healthy

The back is probably one of the most injured parts of the human body, and many times there is not a good reason for why it is injured. Unlike ankle sprains and torn ACLs, individuals usually can't say what happened to cause their back pain. Here are just a few exercises that can help in maintaining back range of motion, spinal alignment, and help stretch out the back.

This is a great chart featuring the muscles of the back

The Prone Arm Raise

1. lay on your stomach and keep your legs and hips relaxed
2. place your arms up above your head
3. raise one arm off of the floor and then lower it
4. raise the other arm and then lower it
5. your upper back should remain as still as possible

The Old Horse and Cat

1. start on all fours
2. lead with your extremities, in this case your extremities are your head and tail bone
3. lift your head and tail bone up to the sky sinking your middle and lower back
4. return to neutral
5. drop your head and tail bone down to the floor creating an arch in your middle and lower back
6. return to neutral

Prone Back Extension

1. Lay on your stomach with your arms by your side and your palms facing down
2. lift your head and arch at your lower back lifting your chest of of the floor by a few inches
3. lower back down to the starting position

The Muslim into the Cobra

1. start on all fours
2. lead with your rear and pull yourself back onto your ankles, leave your hands where you started and lower your head
3. again lead with your rear and push yourself back up to all fours
4. drop your hips toward the ground creating an arch in your lower back.
5. Push your chest up to the sky and relax your head
6. lead again with your legs and rear and pull back onto all fours

Wag the Tail

1. start on all fours
2. shift your weight to the right side and bring your right hips toward your right shoulder
3. come back to neutral
4. shift your weight to the left side and bring your left hips toward your left shoulder
5. return to neutral  

Preforming several reps and sets of each exercise can aid in the maintenance of strength, ROM, and injury prevention for the upper, middle , and lower back. Don't be afraid to hold a position for several seconds before moving on to the next step. Remember, good health isn't a race. Take these exercises at a pace that is comfortable for you. Good luck in keeping your back healthy, and here's to your health.

For more exercises please visit NISMAT
All images are from 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Floor Wipers: 05/11/2011

Exercise of the Day: Floor Wipers 05/11/2012

Everyone is looking for that perfect abdominal exercise that will do everything. Well, my friends, a perfect exercise really doesn't exist. However, there are some abdominal exercises that can work multiple areas at one time. Some are traditional abdominal exercises and some are functional. Today's exercise is a combination of both, and will leave you feeling accomplished and worked.

Floor Wipers

Floor Wipers is an advance exercise and you should have a partner to assist you if you are new to the exercise,  have any shoulder issues, or are unable to perform a bench press with weights. 

*****At no point in this exercise should you arch your back or press your back into the ground to perform the exercise. Keep your back in a neutral position.

This exercise will focus on:

  • Shoulder joint stabilization
  • Trunk and core stabilization
  • Core strength and motion in multiple planes
  • Hip flexors

Equipment needed:
  • Olympic weight lifting bar
  • Weight plates (45 is the desired lbs unless you are using Olympic Rubber Plates due to relative size, if using lower weighted metal weights than use blocks to life the weights of the ground)
  • Platform (aerobic steppers or blocks), if desired

  • Place desired weights on Olympic bar
  • Secure the plates with a weight clamp
  • Place bar with weight on blocks, if desired (desired for those with shoulder issues or concerned about safety)
  • Get underneath the bar

How to do the exercise:
  • Once under the bar place arms in a comfortable shoulder width position to lift the bar off of the floor or blocks
    • You can also have a partner place the bar into your hands once your are on the floor
  • Neutral position is with the bar place directly over your shoulders with your hands placed slightly outside the shoulders and the bar parallel to the ground
  • Bring both feet to one of the weight plates
  • Return to neutral
  • Bring both feet to the other weight plate
  • Return to neutral
  • Congrats, you have performed one repetition
  • When finished lower the weights to the floor or blocks
  • Get out from under the bar
    • If you are lifting the bar from the floor you can roll the bar back past your head with your head turned to either side.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Featured Workout: Abdominal Obliteration: 5/10/2012

Abdominal Obliteration

We all want a four pack or a six pack, but what most don't realize is that you have to have a combination of diet, cardio, and of course abdominal training. Here is a great exercise session created by Scott Herman that you can add to help you get that abdominal definition that you are wishing for. It is a quick workout that uses the 2-2-4 (concentric-isometric-eccentric) contraction tempo method that is great for training eccentrically and isometrically. This workout will target your rectus abdominis, transverse, and oblique muscle groups.

Abs pull down
bosu ball crunch
suspended leg raises
standing oblique cable press
stomach vacuum

2 supersets
2 sets per superset
12 reps per exercise (using the 2-2-4 tempo)
60 sec max rest in between sets
followed by 4 sets of 30 sec holds for the stomach vacuum  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Featured App of the Week: You are Your Own Gym: 5/08/2012

Yes, humans are technically their own gym. Here is an app to help you release your personal gym in a way that will progress your exercise sessions from simple to difficult. The app is called You are Your Own Gym and costs $1.99. This is the perfect app for people on the go, that travel, or simply wish to workout at home and need some ideas that are more inventive than push-ups, pull-ups, or burpees.  

Here is what the developer has to say about the app:

Finally, the bible of bodyweight exercises can be kept in the palm of your hand!
Based on the best selling book by Mark Lauren, the bodyweight exercises in this app have been used to create society’s leanest, strongest, most confident people. Mark honed his program for a decade while preparing nearly a thousand soldiers for the extreme demands of the most elite levels of the U.S. Special Operations.
Use this mobile companion to reference over 120 different body weight exercises and over 320 variations of varying difficulty!
Need to spice up your workouts? Mark Lauren's proven training techniques are now available to you in the form of timers for Tabatas, Supersets, Stappers, Interval Sets, and Ladders. Let Mark Lauren guide you through workouts and tell you exactly when to workout and when to rest. Get into shape with as little as 30 minutes a day!

The app can be found at Google Play and at iTunes

Friday, May 4, 2012

Featured Exercise: The Monkey: 5/4/2011

The Monkey

The Monkey is an exercise that I developed for my SilverSneakers classes. It is a simple exercise that attacks the biceps, wrist flexors and extenders, a little bit of triceps, and the deltoilds. It can be done seated and standing. 


Starting position

Curl your wrists up towards your body, bend your elbows, and raise your dumbbells up towards your armpits. Return to starting position.

Once back in starting position move into wrist extension to jump start a side lateral raise. 

Perform a side lateral raise. You can modify this exercise to be a front raise, overhead raise, or any other favorite overhead exercise.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CrossFit: Featured Girl "Barbara": 05/01/2012

Hey, it is May day. So why not start the month off right with one of CrossFit's most endearing ladies. BARBARA! CrossFit has exploded all across the counrty. The main reason is that people who workout at CrossFit gyms and/or use the method on their own see amazing results. They become leaner, stronger, and shed pounds of fat from their body. Those that see the best result stick with the program and don't give up. With CrossFit quitting is not an option, but you must give 100% and do the best that you can.


Do five rounds for time and rest for 3 minutes in between rounds

20 pull-ups
30 push-ups
40 sit-ups
50 squats

Have a great time.

Tips: Take it at your own speed. This is not a race (unless you are trying to beat your previous best). Watch your technique to reduce your chance of injury. Stay hydrated and fuel up 30 - 60 min before your workout session to make sure that you will have the energy to survive Barbara.