A crowded gym can be a catch-22. You’ve made time for exercise but the gym can be so crowded that it can be difficult to get in a good workout. Your favorite equipment may not be available, or your favorite class may be too crowded or you got there too late to join. Do not despair! No matter how crowded a gym may be, you can always find a little bit of space and a medicine ball—everything you need for an awesome workout.
Exercising with a medicine ball can help elevate your heart rate and engage a number of core muscles, providing both cardiorespiratory and strength training benefits that can be difficult to achieve with traditional strength training machines. In order to boost cardiorespiratory benefits this workout is designed to be done in an As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) format—repeating the exercises in the circuit as many times as possible in a given period of time.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and holding the medicine ball in front of your chest. Keep your spine long as you push your hips back to lean forward; lower yourself until you feel a slight tension in the back of your legs; press your feet into the ground and your hips forward to return to standing. Complete 12 to 15 reps.
SQUAT WITH STAGGERED FEET
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your right foot forward so that the heel of your right foot is even with the toes of your left foot. Keep your spine straight as you push your hips back and allow your knees to slide forward as you hold the medicine ball in front of your chest and complete 6 to 8 repetitions; switch your feet to move the left foot forward and do the same number of reps with your feet in the new position. Complete 12 to 16 reps total (6 to 8 reps with each leg forward).
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ball in front of your waist; sink into a squat by pushing your hips back and allowing your knees to slide forward while keeping your spine long; as you lower yourself the medicine ball should move between your legs, press your feet into the ground to return to standing as you keep your arms straight and swing the medicine ball to an overhead position. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
LIFT WITH ROTATION
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your right foot forward so that the heel of your right foot is even with the toes of your left foot. Hold the medicine ball in your hands by your left hip; sink back into your hips to squat down; as you return to standing push into your left foot as you rotate your left hip and move the medicine ball from your left hip to above your right shoulder. As you lower the medicine ball sink back into the squat. Complete 10 to 12 reps with the right foot forward and the same number of reps with your left foot forward.
LATERAL LUNGE TO OVERHEAD PRESS
Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the medicine ball in front of your waist. Step directly to your right; keep your right foot parallel to the left as you place it on the ground; keep your left leg straight as your sink back into your right hip while you reach for the ground inside of your right foot with the medicine ball. Push your right foot into the ground to return to standing. When both feet are together in the middle press the ball overhead in a shoulder press. When you bring the ball down, step to your left. Alternate legs for a total of 12 to 16 reps (6 to 8 reps on each leg).
TRANSVERSE PLANE LUNGE WITH LIFT
Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the medicine ball in front of your waist. Keep your left foot pointed straight ahead (toward 12 o’clock) as you step back and to the right with your right foot (to the 4 o’clock position); as your right foot hits the ground sink back into your hips while swinging the ball straight overhead. Lower the medicine ball and return to the starting position before stepping with your left foot toward the 8 o’clock position. Alternate legs; each time you sink back into your hips raise the medicine ball overhead. Complete 8 to 10 reps on each leg.
REVERSE LUNGE WITH ROTATION
Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Step back with your right leg and sink into your left hip; at the bottom of the movement keep your spine long as you rotate to your left (over the left leg); return back to facing forward before returning back to the standing position. Alternate legs to complete a total of 10 to 12 reps (5 to 6 on each leg). To increase the level of difficulty, hold your arms straight in front of your body.
PULLOVER TO CRUNCH
Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor and knees pointed toward the ceiling; hold your arms straight overhead (so they’re lying on the ground) with the medicine ball between your hands so that your palms face each other. Pull the medicine ball from overhead to over your chest; as the medicine ball is over your chest draw your belly button in toward your spine and roll up into a crunch (think about pulling your rib cage down toward your pelvis). Lower your body back to the ground before lowering the medicine ball. Complete 10 to 12 reps.
Try to complete as least two full circuits in 10 minutes. As you become more experienced, try to complete at least three circuits in 15 minutes. Ultimately try to complete five circuits in 20 minutes. Start with a light medicine ball and gradually progress to a medicine ball that is heavy enough to make completing the assigned number of repetitions difficult.
No matter how busy the gym gets, this workout will allow you to get your sweat on. It’s also a great option for getting an effective workout when you’re traveling. You can also do this in the comfort of your own home.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Friday, December 30, 2016
If you strapped on your Apple Watch this morning and immediately got a reminder that you need to hit the gym after your holiday feasting, you weren't the only one starting off the day feeling guilty.
Today, Apple sent every Apple Watch owner in the world a push notification announcing the "Ring in the New Year Challenge" — yet another reminder that every January should be spent exercising the last year's woes (and surplus poundage) away.
It's a simple concept: starting Jan. 2, the Challenge begins. From Monday to Sunday each week of the month, Apple Watch users will be encouraged to close all three Activity rings by running, swimming, or doing whatever cross-training activity that strikes their fancy to fill the quota.
I use an Apple Watch for training clients and boot camp classes - and I love it! It's great for timing sets and keeping track of my workouts. If you have an Apple Watch and would like to learn how to better use it for your training, feel free to reach out!
at 2:38 PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas--except those extra pounds you might put on if you ditch your exercise routine and eat unhealthy while on vacation!
Here are some tips on how to stay fit while having fun in Sin City!
Pack a resistance band. They are lightweight and take up little space in your suitcase. You can get an awesome resistance workout in anywhere--your hotel room, outdoors, or even the airport. Check out some of my videos here and here!
Take a class. From aerial yoga to bootcamp, you can find tons of fabulous and fun classes in Vegas. I also recommend going on an indoor hike at Aria’s Spa and Salon, where you take an hour tour of Aria while working out by the resort’s public art collection.
Choose your food and beverages carefully. There are unlimited options for food and drinks in Vegas, so there is no excuse to eat unhealthy if you make the right choices. When dining out in Vegas, look for options that include mostly veggies, some whole grain, lean protein, and healthy fat. I recommend the salads at Greens and Proteins. If you choose to drink alcohol, I recommend staying away from mixed drinks to keep your calories in check and instead enjoy some red wine. I also enjoy tequila on the rocks with a lot of lime squeezed in, for a gluten-free treat that isn't loaded with sugar.
Stay hydrated. You won't feel like working out if you party too hard and end up with a wicked hangover. Make sure to pair your alcoholic beverages with a glass of water to prevent dehydration. Staying hydrated is key whether you plan to drink, stay up late, or walk around in the heat. I recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle and filling it up in the gym. This will help stave off dehydration and keep you fuller longer.
Have a great time!
at 1:35 PM
Before you skip another workout, you might think about your brain. A provocative new study finds that some of the benefits of exercise for brain health may evaporate if we take to the couch and stop being active, even just for a week or so.
I have frequently written about how physical activity, especially endurance exercise like running, aids our brains and minds. Studies with animals and people show that working out can lead to the creation of new neurons, blood vessels and synapses and greater overall volume in areas of the brain related to memory and higher-level thinking.
Presumably as a result, people and animals that exercise tend to have sturdier memories and cognitive skills than their sedentary counterparts.
Exercise prompts these changes in large part by increasing blood flow to the brain, many exercise scientists believe. Blood carries fuel and oxygen to brain cells, along with other substances that help to jump-start desirable biochemical processes there, so more blood circulating in the brain is generally a good thing.
Exercise is particularly important for brain health because it appears to ramp up blood flow through the skull not only during the actual activity, but throughout the rest of the day. In past neurological studies, when sedentary people began an exercise program, they soon developed augmented blood flow to their brains, even when they were resting and not running or otherwise moving.
But whether those improvements in blood flow are permanent or how long they might last was not clear.
So for the new study, which was published in August in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland in College Park decided to ask a group of exceedingly fit older men and women to stop exercising for awhile.
“We wanted to study longtime, serious endurance athletes because they would be expected to have a very high baseline” level of aerobic fitness and established habits of frequent exercise, says J. Carson Smith, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Maryland and senior author of the study. If these people abruptly stopped exercising, he says, the impacts could be expected to be more outsized than among people who worked out only lightly.
The researchers eventually found 12 competitive masters runners between the ages of 50 and 80 who agreed to join the study. All had been running and racing for at least 15 years and still regularly ran 35 miles a week or more.
At the start of the experiment, the runners visited the researchers’ lab for tests of their cognitive skills. They also had a special brain M.R.I. that tracks how much blood is flowing to various parts of the brain.
The researchers were particularly interested in blood flow to the hippocampus, a portion of the brain that is essential for memory function.
“We need far more research” into the time course of changes to the brain and to thinking skills because of exercise and skipping workouts, he says.
But for now, the study’s message seems fairly straightforward. For the continued health of your brain, try to keep moving.
at 1:22 PM