Tag Archives: fitness plan

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

6 Trapezius Exercises You Will Love

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

Posterior deltoids and trapezius muscles give us a broad-shouldered look, that leaves many in awe of such a finely sculpted upper back or the “V-tapered look.” The trapezius (traps) muscle is made-up of three separate regions. The upper portion of the trapezius is mainly responsible for shrugging your shoulders. The middle and lower regions are used during rowing exercises. Exercises that focus on the traps help to counterbalance the chest and front (anterior) deltoids. This leads to improved posture and reduces the risk of injury.

Trapezius6 Trapezius Exercises You Will Love

Upright Cable Row

up right cable row

  1. Grasp a straight bar cable attachment that is attached to a low pulley with palms facing your thighs. Grip the cable slightly less than shoulder width. Start with the bar resting on top of your thighs, your arms extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back straight.
  2. Use your shoulders to lift the cable bar as you exhale. The bar should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until it nearly touches your chin. While lifting the bar, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Be sure to keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  3. Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Repeat.

Kettlebell Sumo High Pull

kettle bell sumo

  1. Place a kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Position your feet in a wide stance, and grasp the kettlebell with two hands. To start set your hips back as far as possible, with your knees bent. Keep your chest and head up.
  2. Begin by extending the hips and knees, simultaneously pulling the kettlebell to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you do so. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Repeat.

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug

  1. Stand erect with a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing your torso), arms extended on the sides.
  2. Lift the dumbbells by elevating the shoulders as high as possible while you exhale. Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Emphasize arms extended at all times. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back to the original position. Repeat.

Bent Over Lateral Raises

Bent Over Lateral Raises

  1. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with knees slightly bent and back arched forward.
  2. With palms facing torso, extend arms out to sides with the elbows slightly bent.
  3. Raise the arms until elbows are at shoulder height and arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Try to bring the shoulder blades as close together as possible when the arms are raised.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Repeat.

Staggered Feet Face Pulls

face pulls

  1. Attach a rope to a cable machine and stagger your feet as in a natural walking position.
  2. Grab the rope with both hands and pull the weight towards your face.
  3. Keep your upper arms parallel to the ground, and your elbows higher than your wrists throughout movement.
  4. Slowly bring the rope back to the starting position. Repeat.

Superman’s With Dumbbells

Superman’s With Dumbbells

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms extended from your shoulders laterally, palms face down holding the dumbbells, and legs straight, toes pointed
  2. Engage your core muscles and lift your arms laterally and legs several inches into the air.
  3. Keep your neck stable and straight.
  4. Hold the move for a second or two and lower your arms and legs to the starting position. Repeat.

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Sources:

  • Google Images
  • Bodybuilding.com
  • Men’s Fitness – Get That Bear Traps – “Jason Philips”

6 Result Driven Exercises to Sculpt Your Back

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

The back is often forgotten about as a necessary section of the body to train. With a predominant focus on arms and abs, it is quite easy at times to forget about our back musculature. The real question at hand is why you would not dedicate equal time to focus on your back? A sculpted back showcases aesthetics and is also crucial for maintaining proper posture, muscular synergy and a well-developed core.   Not only does a workout program focused on our backs emphasize the points listed above, but back strength is functional. Functional back exercises range from rock climbing, loading heavy objects, and opening the door for your lovely date or marital partner.

Before getting started with our 6 Result Driven Back Exercises, let’s take a look at the anatomy of the back.

  • 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) Bent over barbell rows

6 Result Driven Exercises to Sculpt Your Back

Primary Muscles: Trapezius in conjunction with you lats, abdomen and gluteus.

  1. Hold a barbell in front of your body with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Tighten your core, straighten your back, and drop your torso down to 60º.
  3. Powerfully contract your back and biceps, and pull the barbell upwards into the top of your core. Hold for 1 second and return down to a full extension. Repeat.

2) Bent-over one arm dumbbell rows

Bent-over one arm dumbbell rowsPrimary Muscles: Middle back, lats, biceps, shoulders

  1. Place your left knee and left hand firmly anchored on a flat bench. Your left hand should serve as support for your body.
  2. Maintain a tight core and flat back, contract your lats and biceps, and slowly row the dumbbell upwards until it is above your torso.
  3. Hold 1s and slowly lower the dumbbell to a full extension — you should feel a stretch throughout your upper back. Repeat.

3) Renegade dumbbell rows

Renegade dumbbell rowsPrimary Muscles: Lats, deltoids, pectoralis major, rhomboids, infraspinatus

  1. Assume push up position with two dumbbells (neutral grip)
  2. While keeping your core tight and back flat, powerfully row your right arm up until it is slightly above your torso. Do not rotate your body.
  3. Hold the contraction for 1 second, return to the bottom, and repeat for the opposite arm.

4) Military Grip Lat Pull Downs

Military Grip  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 repeat.

5) T Bar Rows

T Bar RowsPrimary Muscles: Middle back, rear delts, traps

  1. Place a loaded barbell in between your legs. You can either use a narrow-grip cable attachment and place it under the bar, or directly hold the bar with a stagnated grip.
  2. Drop your torso down to 45°, tighten your core, and maintain strong posture, keep your lower back stiff and do not let it arch.
  3. Contract your lats and traps and pull the bar up into your chest. Hold the contraction for 1 second and slowly release the bar back down to the ground. Repeat

6) Back Extensions

Back Extensions

Primary Muscles: Erector spinae, iliocostalis, longissimus, spinalis

  1. Prop yourself up on a back extension machine with your arms crossed. You can also do this on a stability ball.
  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.

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Sources:

  • Bryan DiSanto – 13 Killer Back Exercises To Chisel Out A Defined, V-Shaped, Undulating Back
  • Google Images

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Shed Bra Bulge with these 6 Moves

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

As a certified personal trainer holding a strong base of female clientele, I am consistently asked how I train clientele to get rid of “Bra Bulge”. The first times I had heard this, as a naive male, I did not understand the question. After indulging myself into the term, I realized that this area between the armpits and chest just tends to be under toned and therefore, a bit flabby.  “Bra Bulge” muscle groups include the pectoralis muscles (chest), latissimus dorsi (back), triceps and biceps (upper arm), and deltoid (shoulders). When dealing with “Bra Bulge” this leads to a focused area that many female clientele want to target and tone.

So, from implementing a collection of exercises that will address this area of concern, here are my six exercises to turn “Bra Bulge” into a thing of the past.  Do each exercise for a duration of 30 seconds / repeat when only utilizing one side and complete 3 sets.

  • 1) Squat w/ triceps kickback
    • As you lower into a squat, press weights back for a kickback, then bend arms as you stand back up
      • This move works: glutes, quadriceps, triceps
  • 2) Dumbbell hammer grip rows with a bench
    • Lay flat down on your stomach on a bench, arms straight out down towards the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Hold weights in your hands. Perform a row by pulling the weights up to your ribs, forearms remaining perpendicular to the ground, squeezing your shoulder blades as hard as you can and actively opening the chest at the top of the movement. Return to base position. Repeat.
      • This move works: Latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoid, trapezius, rhomboids biceps brachii
  • 3) Hanging arm curl
    • Rest one foot, knee and hand all on the same side of a flat bench, and stand with the other foot flat on the ground. The arm that is not resting on the bench but should be hanging towards the ground, holding your weight. Make sure your spine is flat and parallel to the ground, chin tucked in, with your eyes trained on the weight. Perform a s bicep curl, bending the arm at the elbow and bringing the weight up towards your face. Pause for a second at the top of the movement, and then bring your arm back to starting position. Repeat.
      • This move works: Abs, hip flexors, and biceps
  • 4) T raises
    • Grasp a pair of dumbbells and stand tall with feet about shoulder-width apart and arms hanging down at your sides. Rotate your hands so that your palms are facing away from your body. Begin exercise by raising the dumbbells away from your sides to shoulder height so that you from a T-shape. Lower the weight back down to your sides. Repeat.
      • This move works: Trapezius, posterior deltoids, rhomboids
  • 5) Delt Raises
    • Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent. Shift your hips back as you lower your torso until you are parallel with the ground. Turn palms so they face one another, bend elbows and lift weights up to shoulder height. Repeat.
      • This move works: Posterior deltoid, lateral deltoid, levator scapulae, brachialis, biceps brachii
  • 6) Assisted pull ups with a platform
    • Step up and grasp bar with wide overhand grip. Step down onto assistance lever or platform. Pull body up until neck reaches height of hands. Lower body until arms and shoulders are fully extended. Repeat.
      • This move works: Latissimus dorsi, teres major, lower trapezius, rhomboids, levator scapulae

It is my hopes that these 6 exercises deliver the results you have been seeking when it comes to shedding away “Bra Bulge”. Enjoy.

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Sources:

Back Workout: 6 Moves to Blast Annoying Bra Bulge – By Amy Marturana http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/back-workout-6-moves-blast-annoying-bra-bulge

7 exercises to get rid of Bra Bulge – Amy Marturana – http://www.youbeauty.com/body-fitness/galleries/exercises-to-get-rid-of-bra-bulge#1

 

3 Lower-Body Exercises to Improve Running Efficiency

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

Running is a total body kinetic chain exercise; however, we know that sustaining and enduring through a run, holds a primary focus on the core and lower body. Greater strength does equal greater endurance.  In order to build what is now commonly referred to as functional strength as applied to running technique we need to emphasize low body conditioning with a focus on lower back strength, core strength, and the gluteus.

Below are three exercises to add to your overall lower body strength training routine.

 Exercises:

  • Supine Core Ball Leg Lifts:

Why do it: Builds lower back strength; towards preventing back injury. Boosts core strength and efficacy.

How to: Start by lying in the supine position (on your back) on a workout mat. The legs should be straight and the palms should be face down under the buttocks. This will assist the pelvis with leverage as you initiate the leg raise. Next, with the feet together squeeze the core ball w/ your heels and inner thighs lifting the legs approximately 15 to 20 inches off the ground. Slowly lower the legs to the starting position and repeat the exercise. Emphasize breathing out as the legs go up.

 

  • Supine Core ball Figure-4 Glute Bridge:

Why do it: Your glutes help stabilize your hips while running. This exercise is designed to wake up your gluteus and create a backside that is both strong and supportive of the upper bodies load.

How to: Lie face up with your arms pressed into the floor by your sides, knees bent, heels on top of the ball. Cross your right ankle on top of your left thigh, turning your right knee out to the side. Press your left heel down into the ball and raise your hips up as high as you can (focus on using your glutes to lift your body, not your hamstrings). Hold for 1 count and then slowly lower. Integrate this exercise into your total rep/set progressions and repeat with the right leg.

 

  • Internal Rotation Leg Press:

Why do it: This move works your abs, hip flexors, gluteus, quadriceps, and inner thighs to help you develop strength that will support your strides.

How to:  Lie faceup with your hands behind head. Bend your knees 90 degrees and flex your feet. Internally rotate your legs, pressing your knees together and turning your heels out to the sides as far as you can. Brace your abs in tight and lift your upper back off the floor. Extend your legs out into a wide ‘V’ position at about 45 degrees, pressing out through your heels. Bend your legs and squeeze your knees back together, keeping your upper back lifted, to return to the starting position.

 

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Sources:

– Brendan Brazier – Endurance Training and Nutrition

– Jessica Smith – The Ultimate Strength Workout for Runners

 

3 Upper Body Strength Training Exercises That Improve Running Performance

ImageBy: Geoff Rubin, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Our bodies interact as one integrated system. When emphasizing proper running form, we must look at the performance of how the entire kinetic chain is moving, from the toes all the way up. While running, your arms counterbalance the motion of your legs, resulting in saved energy. The swing of the arms helps drive the body forward so the lower body is not doing all the work. Having a strong upper body bolsters a runner’s form when fatigue sets in.

Incorporate the following exercises to build upper body strength in the weight room as to improve running performance. Many of the exercises below focus on unilateral or single limb exercises to replicate proper running form. They also emphasize balance at the shoulder joint, counteracting pronation of the shoulders from the blunders of a sedentary work environment.

1: Single Arm Body-weight Row

Image

  • How to do it: Use a TRX or barbells set at sternum height. Grab the bar/ handle with one hand using a neutral (palm facing in) grip. Walk your feet forward so that your body comes closer to parallel with the ground. Pull your shoulder back and be sure to keep your body in a straight line throughout the movement. Pull your chest to the bar keep your shoulders square the entire time.

  • How this helps: Rounded shoulders prevent proper running form by limiting the ability of the chest to expand. Incorporating more pulling exercises in your strength training program is one way to even out the chest by retracting and depressing the shoulders. This pulling exercise forces your core and upper body to maintain a square posture similar to the running motion.

2: Torso Rotation with Resistance Band

ImageHow to do it: Secure a cable or resistance band at waist height on your right side. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold the cable in front of you with straight arms—there should be tension in the cable. Brace your core. Maintaining an erect torso and without moving your legs, rotate your torso so that your hands (and the cable) move to the left while maintaining your original head position. Rotate back to the start and all the way to the right. Switch positions so the cable is on your left side, and repeat.

How this helps: Arm swinging requires movement and a level of rotation in your upper spine. Your body rotates like a pivot.” To ward off fatigue, “we need to make sure the thoracic (upper) spine is nice and loose.” – (Ali Gelani, M.S., CPT)

3) Alternating High Knees

ImageHow to do it: Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart. Drive your right knee toward your chest while keeping your left arm at a 90 degree bend as to connect the two sides and quickly place the leg and arm back to their starting positions. Follow immediately by driving your left knee toward your chest with your right arm bent at a 90 degree angle. Continue to alternate knees with the corresponding arms.

How this helps:  The action of running is a fluid forward progression with minimal trunk rotation. Incorporating the motion of high knees drives the hip forward contracting the quads while emphasizing a counterbalanced motion of the hands. This translates over to the pavement.

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Sources:
Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT

NIKKI KIMBALL, M.S.P.T.

Ali Gelani, M.S., CPT

5 Strength Training Exercises for Running Enthusiasts

Who knew that in order to increase running efficiency, lessen injury potential and develop more core and lower body stability that we need to incorporate “strength training” as opposed to just running more? Well, if you find yourself on the side of choosing to run more, you might want to consider adding a strength training component to your work out regime. Fitness Propelled has been examining preventative running practices, injury treatments and understanding common running injuries. Now, it is time to take our collective knowledge and become proactive by applying the exercises portrayed below. Recommended 3 sets of each @ time and repetitions listed.

1)      Reverse lunges with overhead presses:

Image

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells straight above your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows locked. Step backwards with your left leg, and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg. That’s one repetition. 12-15 repetitions per set.

              i.      Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, shoulders, core

2)      Planks:

Image

  • Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your abdominal muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. Hold this position for 45 seconds to one minute per set. Gradually add time as your core gets stronger.

                   i.      Muscles worked: core, lower back, shoulders

3)      Stability ball back extensions:

Image

  • Lie face-down on a stability ball with your feet spread wide for balance. Your elbows should be bent with your hands lightly touching the ground for initial support. Squeeze your gluteus and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line. As you lift your torso, allow your hands to come off the ground, keeping your elbows bent. Extend your arms overhead. Hold for one or two seconds. Release your arms and then your torso back down to the start position. That’s one rep. Aim for 12-15 repetitions per set. No stability ball? You can do the movement on an exercise mat: Raise your thighs and arms off the ground while your torso stays in contact with the ground.

                   i.      Muscles worked: lower back, glutes, middle back, shoulders

4)      Kettlebell squats w/ rotational twists

ImageHold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, and lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press the kettlebell above your head to the right shoulder rotating through your abdomen, return the kettlebell to the original position and repeat to the left shoulder. 12-15 repetitions per set.

                       i.      Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, upper back, shoulders

5)  Stability ball hip extensions or gluteus bridges

Image

  • Lie on your back on the floor, and place your calves on a stability ball. Extend your arms to your sides to help support and balance your body. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without allowing your hips to sag (keep with your body at all times), roll the ball as close as you can to your hips by bending your knees and pulling your heels toward you.

                  i.      Muscles worked: hamstrings, gluteus, core

 

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