Tag Archives: athletic conditioning

SHOES: THE FOUNDATION OF A GREAT WORKOUT

Shoes - Blog  By: June-Ellen Ottoson, Trainer – Fitness Propelled,  AFAA Certified

The shoe options for working out can be a bit overwhelming, but it is definitely worth taking the time to find the shoe that is right for you. Your feet are so important and they take a beating every day, let’s face it, unless our feet are in pain we usually don’t give them the credit they deserve for getting us around! Wearing the wrong shoe while working out can eventually lead to problems that will be painful or prevent us from working out, which in turn, will lead to other problems. I have come across the “wrong” shoe many times while training individuals, where being off balance while working out or feeling like a particular activity such as stepping up on a bench seems scary, but that can have a lot to do with your shoe. Wearing shoes that are worn out or ill-fitting can make your workout seem daunting.

shoesYou don’t need to overspend and get the trendiest shoe or the shoe that your favorite athlete favors, you just need to find the shoe that fits your particular tootsies! Check for stores in your area that will actually watch you walk and analyze what type of feet you have. Flat feet vs a high arch will need a different type of shoe, a runner vs a walker needs a different type of shoe. And cross training needs a shoe with good support and traction. Our feet change with time so what might have worked great before can be causing pain now. Slipping around while trying to lunge and balance is distracting and takes away from your workout. Working out gives us confidence and a good shoe will do the same. So take stock of your training shoes and if “the shoe doesn’t fit”, do yourself a favor and get a great fitting pair that fits your feet and your personality!

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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

3 Challenging Core Stability Exercises on the #Bosu

2By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

In order to define our abdominal structure we have to challenge it. Emphasizing challenging core stability exercises on the #BOSU balance trainer is an excellent way to achieve such abdominal definition. Utilizing a #BOSU ball provides a versatile piece of fitness equipment that can be a great addition to any home gym. Developed in 1999 by David Weck, #BOSU stands for “Both Sides Up” or “Both Sides Utilized.”

With a flat platform on one side and a rubber dome on the other (resembling half an exercise ball), it can help you improve your balance and flexibility, sharpen your reflexes, and reshape your body.

As described in the featured article by the Health & Fitness Advisory:1 “The domed side is used for aerobic exercises and athletic drills, and when the BOSU ball is inverted, it becomes a tool for balance training that can be used by almost everybody.”

In the eighth video of our series of abdominal exercises on the #Bosu balance trainer, this video emphasizes the incorporation of supine stability exercises paired with an abdominal isotonic exercise .

Fitness Propelled’s 3 Core Stability BOSU Ball Abdominal Exercises

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE_eIs7d260

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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 Body Weight Exercises for a Chiseled Back

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

Body weight conditioning #Bodyweightconditioning has always been an excellent way of training ones’ body, it requires little to no equipment and exercise routines can be done at almost any location. Body weight conditioning often restores our commitment to fitness and makes us concentrate on our form throughout each movement pattern. In this blog post, I share 5 body weight excises that will help you chisel out your back.

Complete 3 sets with 15 repetitions of the 5 exercises listed below with 1:30 minute rest periods between sets.

1) Pull-up

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  • The pull-up is performed with a palms facing forward position.
  • 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.
  • Repeat

2) Inverted row

Inverted row

  • Lay flat on your back under a bar, a table or other sturdy surface
  • Grab your bar or bar substitute with your arms fully extended and your palms facing away from you.
  • Keep your body straight and lift yourself up. Slowly return to your starting position. You can make this easier by sitting on your hips or harder by raising your feet on a bench.

3) Pike push-up

Pike push-up

  • Start from a classic pushup position. Keep your legs straight and walk your hands back so you are in a pike position.
  • Your upper body and lower body should be at about a 90 degree angle.
  • Extend the arms overhead so that they are in line with your spine and reaching straight out from the shoulders.
  • Contract the core. Bend the elbows and lower yourself down until your head almost contacts the ground. Press back up.

4) Isometric wide grip pull ups

Isometric wide grip pull up’s

  • Set your hands palms down and facing away from you at a wide grip on the bar.
  • Pull yourself up so that your chin is above the bar and hold the position. Try to hold each repetition for the same amount of time.

5) Superman’s

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  • Lay face down with your arms straight ahead of you.
  • In a controlled motion, lift your upper body and legs off the floor.
  • Hold the final position for 5 seconds before slowly returning to the first position.Superman’s

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Sources:

5 TRX Exercises for a Defined Back

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

Starting off this article by explaining what exactly is TRX would be critical before attempting its’ exercises. Born in the Navy SEALs, Suspension Training (#TRX) bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.

The TRX Suspension Trainer:

  • Delivers a fast, effective total-body workout
  • Helps build a rock-solid core
  • Increases muscular endurance
  • Benefits people of all fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, hotel or outside)

By utilizing your own bodyweight, the TRX Suspension Trainer provides greater performance and functionality than large exercise machines costing thousands of dollars.

Continuing from our previous article posted, we are now checking out a multitude of pieces of equipment and how they can be applied towards creating a #DefinedBack. Check out these 5 exercises below and be sure to incorporate them into your “back” routine.

1) TRX Y Deltoid Fly:

Deltoids - 3Deltoids - 4  Builds strength and stability in the rear and middle parts of the shoulders.

2) TRX T Deltoid Fly

DSC_1051DSC_1053  Builds strength and stability in the rear shoulders and upper back.

 3) TRX L Deltoid Fly

TRX L Deltoid Fly  Strengthens external rotators with some stabilization support from the lats, biceps and forearms.

4) TRX Row

Row - 1Row - 2  Strengthens back muscles dependent on the position of a high or low row. Apply the pendulum theory and stance in order to increase exercise difficulty.

5) TRX Supine Plank

TRX Supine Plank  Increases flexibility in the anterior shoulder and builds strength and stability in the upper body.

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Sources:

https://www.trxtraining.com/suspension-training

 

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

3 Must Use Dynamic Abdominal Exercises on the Bosu Balance Trainer

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

Exercise programs that scream effective are often centered on the inclusion of both, dynamic or isotonic routines as well as stable or isometric routines. 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 a plank, 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 sixth 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 Must Use Dynamic Abdominal Exercises

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUUeuNEGlf9yilJ6Yd-pI5XQ&v=1TBbg2PxAVI

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 Sources:

– Dictionary.com

High-Intensity Workouts and the 6 Damaging Effects it has on our Metabolic System

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

High intensity training has reached an all-time high in popularity, mostly because it provides people what they want = results! As a trainer, I constantly hear about high intensity training and all the questions that surround it. Is high intensity training right for me?, is it damaging to the body?, will it help me get that chiseled Tony Horton six pack? Personally, I am a non-believer in the “high-intensity” model and feel that it has narrowed the general public’s view on understanding effective training options. Such options include specific cardiovascular programs with regulated HR monitoring, anaerobic conditioning programs built for hypertrophy / muscle development and core conditioning programs to name a few.

While “high intensity” programs often do deliver the results it is important to understand that these programs can also lead to the following six types of metabolic damage which could keep you from reaching your fitness goals:

1) Elevated blood lactate:

When muscles involved in exercise can no longer meet energy demands through aerobic metabolism they will tap into the ATP-PC and Glycolysis energy pathways to produce ATP anaerobically (without oxygen). One by-product of anaerobic metabolism is lactic acid, which can accumulate quickly during high intensity exercise. The Onset of Blood Lactate (OBLA), commonly called the lactate threshold (LT), is a physiological marker that indicates an elevation in blood acidity, which can inhibit energy production and the ability to do physical work, leading to fatigue. When you feel that burning sensation in your muscles, it’s an indication of OBLA and a sign that it is time for a lower-intensity active recovery interval.

2) Acidosis:

Anaerobic exercise also elevates levels of hydrogen ions (H+), both of which increase blood acidity reducing the levels of oxygen and other nutrients available for aerobic energy production. In extreme cases acidosis can cause severe damage to muscle tissue resulting in a breakdown of muscle protein called myoglobin. When myoglobin is broken down and subsequently enters the blood stream this could ultimately lead to rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis can inhibit normal function of the kidneys, potentially leading to hospitalization or possibly death, so it is extremely important to listen to your body and not push physical exertion past your normal comfort levels.

3) Gluconeogenesis:

Protein is normally used to repair tissue damaged during exercise and promote the growth of new muscle. Carbohydrates are converted to glycogen and used for ATP production during anaerobic exercise. Fatty acids require oxygen and take longer to convert to ATP, making them an inefficient energy source for high intensity exercise. When high intensity exercise lasts for extended period of time, the body will convert protein to ATP in a process callused gluconeogenesis, reducing the amount of protein available for muscle growth. The process of converting amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to ATP elevates levels of ammonia, further increasing blood acidity and the risk of acidosis.

4) Increased levels of human growth hormone (HGH):

When muscle damage occurs due to exercise,  the body will produce higher levels of HGH to repair this damaged muscle. This is the metabolic response that most body builders hope for because this increase in HGH can lead to an increase in muscle size. So if your goal is to add lean muscle mass, this is a good thing and one of the most important benefits of high intensity training. But if your goal is to simply lose weight, then all of that high intensity exercise could be having an opposite effect, increasing both muscle size and net bodyweight. One thing to keep in mind is that as you add lean muscle mass, you can increase your resting metabolism, elevating the amount of calories you burn at rest.

5) Increased glycogen storage in muscle tissue:

High intensity exercise frequently relies on muscle glycogen to produce ATP. As a result of extended exposure to high intensity training, muscles become more efficient at storing glycogen for future use. But it’s important to note that when stored in muscle tissue, one gram of glycogen holds approximately three to four grams of water. If weight loss is your goal then training your muscles to store glycogen (and water) may have an impact on the scale that you weren’t hoping for. Remember that weight is one number, but body composition may be a more important measure of overall health.

6) Over-training:

Excessive exposure to high intensity exercise without sufficient rest periods can lead to Overtraining Syndrome (OTS). Signs of OTS include reduced immune system function (leading to lingering colds or flu-like symptoms), elevated heart rate, sleeplessness, increased irritability, weight gain (despite exercise) and a significant decrease in physical performance. It can take anywhere from 24 to 96 hours to fully recover from a metabolically demanding high intensity exercise session.

We know that “High – Intensity” training is here to stay, however, it is important to know the impacts that certain styles of training can and does have on our bodies. It’s always best to be informed.

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Sources:

3 “Plank”, Abdominal Centered Exercises on the Bosu Balance Trainer

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

When incorporating the best of both worlds being a “plank” and a “bosu balance trainer”, it is important that we understand what a “plank” is. “The plank (also called a front hold, hover, or abdominal bridge) is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a difficult position for extended periods of time. The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up position with the body’s weight borne on forearms, elbows, and toes.” – Wikipedia.

There are many variations of the plank, and some of those different variations are put into use in this video. The plank strengthens the abdominals, back, and shoulders. Muscles involved in the front plank include:

  • Primary muscles: erector spinae, rectus abdominis (abs), and transverse abdominus
  • Secondary muscles: (synergists/segmental stabilizers): trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff, the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles (delts), pectorals (pecs), serratus anterior, (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and gastrocnemius

Muscles involved in the side plank include:

  • Primary: transversus abdominis muscle, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles (abductors), the adductor muscles of the hip, and the external, and internal obliques
  • Secondary: gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and hamstrings

Fitness Propelled’s 3: 3 Plank Variations on the Bosu Balance Trainer

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZpTNVOIU5U#t=12

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Sources:

– Wikipedia