Category Archives: Conditioning

YOU AND YOUR TRAINER: IT’S A WIN WIN PARTNERSHIP

traintwo  This week on the blog, instead of writing about fitness and fashion, I feel compelled to write about fitness and how it relates to me personally. In sharing this with you it is my hope that you will see exercise and your relationship with your trainer as so much more than just a means to getting into a pair of pants or ready for a family reunion.

Life is not always sunshine and roses – you know that. A lifetime of ups and downs can sometimes leave you feeling beaten up and , sad and maybe like you have no sense of control. I know this has been the case for me, but as far as I can look back the one thing that has kept me from giving up has been exercise.   In all seriousness, no matter what the crisis was, working out has always made me a stronger person physically and mentally and I always felt better after a workout. I felt so adamant about this that I was always encouraging friends, relatives etc. to use exercise as a tool to not only look better but to feel better.   It eventually became clear to me that this was the career for me and frankly, I’m very good at what I do…. because I BELIEVE in what I do. As a trainer I want the best for my clients, I want them to succeed. I leave them feeling great and am happy for them ; high-fives all around! If they are having a bad day, working out with me will be a bright spot because they did something good for themselves and for that hour were in control of their life. When life is chaotic, that bit of control can be just enough to help someone get through the day. In fact, I believe in the exercise-client-trainer relationship so much I hired my own trainer. When I am finished working out with my trainer I feel accomplished, happy and….sweaty!!! All good things! And one of the best realizations is that There is a bond between trainer and client. Each person wants to do the best for the other. An inner strength can pop out of nowhere because you want to do your best and succeed, and that goes for both parties. Working out brings confidence and confidence can get you through a bevy of stressful situations, as I know all too well.

Time to get a little personal, and I’m not doing this to generate sympathy, I’m sharing this because my workouts, my trainer and that little slice of control has been THE thing that has helped me to keep my head up. This year has left me with 2 deceased dogs, a loss of a home and, oh yeah, a soon to be ex- husband….he somehow landed at the end of this sentence (wink wink) . I never saw this coming and there were many times I thought “How can I even work and encourage and be enthusiastic for my clients? How can I function without knowing where I will live and what will become of my life?” The truth is that my clients were the reason I got through it! My clients were my biggest supporters who made me feel important and worthy – I was helping them and that in turn helped me. And the decision to move my body every day, even when I didn’t want to get out of bed, helped me to make sense of what was happening. I was able to see the bigger picture. I took my tired self and started hiking again and getting stronger. A fire was lit and I made it work. I can thank my trainer and my clients for that (and of course my wonderful friends and colleagues). This is a work in progress, but I know for a fact that exercise will keep me on the right track. We have all faced adversity and will continue to do so, but the moral of this story is that if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will be able to conquer the obstacles and that the best medicine is to take care of yourself by moving your body every single day. When you have a trainer in your corner you know that there is always going to be someone who does believe in you. When life is hitting you hard don’t run in the other direction, instead run through the obstacles! Keep moving and your head will clear and you will be able to make decisions. Speaking of running, we will talk sports bras soon !! HA And don’t forget to high-five your trainer!!!

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6 Must Include Total Body Medicine Ball Exercises

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

In our exploration of multiple pieces of equipment to use while adopting a more #Functional approach to training, medicine ball exercises are an excellent resource. Available in varying sizes and weights, these weighted spheres can help improve muscular power and sports performance. Medicine balls can be thrown and caught making for explosive movements that can improve overall athletic ability.

When choosing the correct medicine ball weight, pick a ball that is heavy enough to slow the motion, but not so heavy that control, accuracy, or range of motion loose control. Set a goal of 10 to 15 reps—or as many as you can do with good form.

Below are @fitnesspropelled 6 total body #MedicineBall exercises.

1) Squat with overhead press

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Stand with feet together shoulder width apart, holding a medicine ball in front of the chest in both hands. Lower down to a squat and on the return to a standing position reach the medicine ball straight overhead into a military press. Repeat.

2) Lunge with a twist

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  • Engage your core, standing hip width apart with shoulders relaxed. Holding a medicine ball a few inches in front of the chest, step forward into a lunge with the right leg. Extended arms, reach the medicine ball to the right, rotating the torso at the same time. Maintain the lunge and return to center. Come to standing, then lunge with the other leg (and rotate to the left this time).

3) Rolling push-ups

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  • Start into #High-plank with a medicine ball under one hand, and lower the chest toward the floor to perform a push-up. Return to #high-plank and roll the ball to the other hand. Repeat.

4) Wall Pass

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  • Find the nearest med ball-safe wall. Stand about 3 to 4 feet in front of it, holding a medicine ball with both hands. Get into an athletic stance, with a slight bend in the knees, and the core engaged. Bring the ball to the chest, and firmly throw it at the wall and catch the ball on its return. Repeat at a steady, yet quick pace.

5) Triceps extensions

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  • Stand in a comfortable stance, with the core engaged. Hold a medicine ball in both hands with the arms extended overhead, inner arms grazing the ears Bend the elbows, lowering the ball behind the head until the arms form a 45-degree angle. Squeeze the triceps to straighten the arms, bringing the ball back to the starting position. Repeat.

6) Roman twists

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  • Sit on a gym mat holding a medicine ball in both hands. To start hold the medicine ball out in front of you with straight arms. Twist the torso to the left and then to the right, reaching and planting the medicine ball on the floor toward each hips side. Repeat.

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References:

25 Must-Try Medicine Ball Exercises – BY NICOLE MCDERMOTThttp://greatist.com/fitness/25-must-try-medicine-ball-exercises

Include these 5 Functional VIPR Exercises into Your Workouts

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Exercising options and varieties have never been more full of options. Creating new and diversified exercise programs are becoming the norm as people are consistently seeking new ways to achieve their optimum levels of fitness. With all these options, comes exploration, so in this article let’s do a quick exploration on what #ViPR training is. #ViPR (“Vitality, performance and reconditioning”) is that rare thing: a seemingly faddy piece of equipment that actually works. “With the #ViPR, every exercise can become a core exercise, a balance exercise and an agility exercise,”. #ViPR is a round looking hollowed tube with two hand grips on one side and one long hand grip on the other. There are no attachments and it allows for optimum movement sequencing.

Below are Fitness Propelleds 5 #ViPR exercises to get you excited about including #ViPR training to your exercise regimen. 3 sets for 30 seconds per exercise with a 1 minute rest per set.

Squat with ViPR through the legs

11-11-2  Holding the ViPR with a shovel grip horizontally in front of you, descend into a squat with the ViPR through your legs. Then, stand and drive the ViPR vertically upward to the start point. Repeat.

Squat into a double-forward drive

22-12-2  Holding the ViPR in a neutral grip, horizontally in front of you, descend into a full squat, lowering the ViPR to the floor. Stand up and step forward into a dynamic lunge, driving the ViPR forward on the same side. Return to standing and repeat the drive on the opposite side.

Front squat to overhead press

33-1  With a shoulder-width overhand grip, bring your elbows forward so your palms are facing upward and the ViPR is resting on your front shoulder muscles. With a neutral spine, lower yourself as if sitting in a chair behind you. Keep your elbows high as you lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause then push back up to a standing position and perform an overhead shoulder press.

Lunge with lateral rotation

44-14-2  Keeping your chest up high and back neutral, rotate your torso and then return to a upright split stance, repeating all reps on the same side before alternating legs.

Core rolling ViPR plank and press-up

55-15-25-3  Laying the ViPR on the floor vertically, place one hand on the end of the cylinder and one on the floor while in the plank position. Make sure to place the hands under the shoulders. Roll the ViPR underneath the opposite hand, hold again in the plank position for 10 seconds and then do one (super slow) press-up.

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5 Dumbbell Exercises to Shape Your Back

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

The use of #dumbbells is a fantastic way to train one’s body. Dumbbells provide us with an ease of use, open options on ranges of motion and a thorough workout. Dumbbell training puts us in positions to use our whole body and not become reliant on machines or circuit training. Using dumbbells engage the exerciser to connect with each exercise and focus on form, positioning and the development of strength. In this blog post, I share 5 dumbbell exercises that are sure to shape your “back”.

Complete 3 sets with 15 repetitions of the 5 exercises listed below with 1:00 minute rest periods between sets.

1) Bent Over Row

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  1. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.  The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side, keeping the elbows close to the body. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position. Repeat.

2) Bent Over Rear Fly’s

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Bent Over  Rear Fly’s

  1. While keeping your back straight and maintaining the natural arch of your back, lean forward. Let the arms hang in front of you perpendicular to the ground. The palms of your hands should be facing each other and your torso should be parallel to the floor.
  2. Keeping your torso forward and stationary, and the arms straight with a slight bend at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat.

3) Renegade Rows

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  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor about shoulder width apart. Position yourself on your toes and your hands as though you were doing a pushup, with the body straight and extended. Use the handles of the dumbbells to support your upper body. You may need to position your feet wide for support.
  2. Push one dumbbell into the floor and row the other dumbbell, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side as you flex the elbow, pulling it to your side.
  3. Then lower the dumbbell to the floor and begin the dumbbell row in the opposite hand. Repeat.

4) Bent Over Row w/ Palm’s Up

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  1. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing away from your torso), bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist; as you bend make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor.  The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso.
  2. While keeping the torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your with palms facing away, keeping the elbows close to the body. At the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position. Repeat.

5) Lateral Raises

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  1. With your dumbbells stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you.
  2. While maintaining the torso in a stationary position lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward. Continue to go up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. Repeat

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Sources:

– Bodybuilding.com

3 HIT BOSU Ball Abdominal Exercises

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

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In order to define our abdominal structure we have to really work for it. Emphasizing dynamic core exercises on the #BOSU balance trainer is an excellent way to achieve such abdominal definition. Dynamic or “isotonic” exercise consists of continuous and sustained movements of the arms and legs which is beneficial to the cardiorespiratory system. When you couple a dynamic exercise with a stable or “isometric” exercise per say our push-up position, then your exercise routine’s difficulty dramatically increases. Isometric exercises are performed by the exertion of effort against a resistance that strengthens and tones the muscle without changing the length of the muscle fibers.

In the seventh video of our series of abdominal exercises on the #Bosu balance trainer, this video emphasizes the incorporation of a stable base exercise paired with its dynamic counterpart.

Fitness Propelled’s 3 HIT BOSU Ball Abdominal Exercises

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqhXHolfMDo

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Super Bowl of “Back” Exercises

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

With an incredible Super Bowl XLIX now behind us, we may now focus on our own epic battle of crowning the “2” most effective back exercises. Our earlier posts set up this discussion, so if you’ve missed them and haven’t commented, check out………

From all of our readers comments it was clear that we narrow this match-up to “2” back exercises, that will compete for the @FitnessPropelled “Best Back Exercise”. The match-up is between the #Deadlift vs #Pull-Up’s.

Deadlifts

01-fitness-motivation-sexy-women-deadlifting The deadlift is a compound movement that works a variety of muscles groups:

  • The grip strength (finger flexors) and the lower back (erector spinae) work isometrically to keep the bar held in the hands and to keep the spine from rounding.
  • The gluteus maximus and hamstrings work to extend the hip joint.
  • The quadriceps work to extend the knee joint.
  • The adductor magnus works to stabilize the legs.

The deadlift activates a large number of individual muscles, in particular the back being:

How to do it:

  1. Make sure that your feet are hip width apart.
  2. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder width, allowing your shoulder blades to protract.
  3. Lower your hips and bend knees until your shins contact the bar.
  4. Look forward, keep chest up and back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  5. After the bar passes the knees, aggressively pull it back, bringing your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  6. Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.

Pull-ups

index A pull-up is an upper-body compound pulling exercise. The pull-up is performed with a palms facing forward position.

  • A pull up is a closed-chain bodyweight movement where the body is suspended by the arms, gripping something, and pulls up.
  • The wrists remain in neutral (straight, neither flexed nor extended) position, the elbows flex and the shoulder adducts and/or extends to bring the elbows to or sometimes behind the torso.
  • The knees may be bent by choice or if the bar is not high enough. Bending the knees may reduce pendulum-type swinging.

The pull up engages numerous individual muscles. Again, with a focus on the back the pull up targets

How to do it:

  1. Step up and grasp bar with wide grip palms facing away.
  2. Pull body up until chin is above bar. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

Which of these two top notch back exercises gets your vote and why? Leave your comment below…..

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Sources:

  • Bodybuilding.com
  • Wikipedia.com

6 “Back” Defining Exercises

back By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

When looking from behind and we see the structured anatomy of a well-defined back, we cannot help but want to see that individual’s front side holds in store. In order to acquire such features it takes a fitness artist’s touch to cultivate such a sculpted look.

Let’s take a look at the anatomy the #FitnessArtist must sculpt.

  • The lats and trapezius (aka traps) span the largest area, running from the base of the neck all the way down to the hips. They make up the bulk of the back’s muscle mass and generate the most force. The traps are not just the humps on top of your shoulders, they also dominate the inner part of the upper back.
  • The rhomboids, infraspinatus, and teres are smaller muscles that run diagonally across the width of the upper back. Aesthetically, they add definition and distinct cuts behind the scapula (your shoulder blades). They are typically targeted while working the lats and traps (via rows, pull-ups, etc.).
  • The erector spinae runs vertically in columns along the vertebrae and makes up most of the muscle in the lower back. It is a critical element in all-around core strength.

Exercises: (3 sets for 15 repetitions), progression set add weight, reduce rep #.

1) Pull-ups w/ weighted plates

Pull-ups w. weighted platesPrimary Muscles: Lats, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, infraspinatus, elevator scapulae, etc.

  1. Secure weight belt around hips and add desired weight.
  2. Step up and grasp bar with overhand wide grip.
  3. Pull body up until chin is above bar. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.

2) Core ball prone extensions w/ weight plate

Core ball prone extensions w. weight platePrimary Muscles: Erector spinae, iliocostalis, longissimus, spinalis

  1. Prop yourself up on a core ball holding a weight plate with arms crossed to secure the plate.
  2. Without arching your back, slowly bend your torso forward until it forms a 45º angle with your legs.
  3. Squeeze your lower back and raise your body back up to starting position. Repeat.

3) Lat pull downs (narrow, wide, palms facing grips)

Lat pull downsPrimary Muscles: Lats, trapezius, posterior deltoids, middle back, erector spinae

  1. Find a lat pull down machine with interchangeable clips. Place two hand grips on it.
  2. With palms facing one another, lean back 70 degrees and pull down sliding your hands alongside your rib cage, then out wide to 90 degree hinges, then palms facing you narrow pulls. Repeat.

4) Single arm cable rows

Single arm rowsPrimary Muscles: Upper back, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, etc.

  1. Sit on a secured bench and grasp cable stirrup with one hand. Straighten lower back and position knees with slight bend.
  2. Pull cable attachment to side of torso, slightly twisting through waist. Pull shoulder back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat.
  3. Continue with opposite arm.

5) Weight plate lifts

Weight plate liftsPrimary Muscles: Posterior deltoids, upper back

  1. Choose a weight plate and stand with your feet around shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the weight plate with your palms facing one another at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. Let the weight plate rest on your thighs. Straighten your back, tense your mid section and pull your shoulders back, taking the weight off your thighs and holding it about 5 inches from your body. This is the starting position.
  3. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise the plate up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Pause, and then slowly lower the plate back to the starting position. Repeat.

6) Bosu ball loaded push-ups

Bosu ball loaded push-upsPrimary Muscles: Pectoralis major

  1. Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width placed on the dynamic side of a bosu balance trainer.
  2. Raise body up off floor by extending arms with body straight.
  3. Keeping body straight, lower body to the bosu ball by bending arms to 90 degrees and then hold your weight for 15 seconds. Repeat.

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Sources:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/

– GoogleImages