Do you use resistance bands when you train? Here are some exercises you can do to start using resistance bands in your workout routine!
Resistance bands do exactly what its name suggests – it adds resistance to a workout. This resistance helps strengthen muscles and pushes you to work a little bit harder. Some benefits of using resistance bands while you exercise is that they tone and strengthen, add assistance along with resistance, they are great for stretching and are the best to use after injury or during rehabilitation.
Holding the handles, step on the band with feet shoulder-width distance apart, toes forward, weight in your heels. Pull handles to just behind shoulders, palms forward. Keep hands here throughout. Squat down by hinging at your hips and sitting back into your heels, then return to standing.
If you are a yogi, you’d call this one bridge pose. Place the resistance band to go around your hips and under your heels. Starting with your back on the floor with knees bent and your feet on the floor, hips width apart. Go into the “bridge” and then slowly move your body and hips to the floor and return to the starting position.
Start in a tabletop position with the band around one foot and handles in both hands. Extend your leg back to form a straight line, squeezing your glutes, then return to starting position.
Start in a seated position with feet extended straight in front of you, band around both feet. Grasp the handlebars of the band to create tension, keeping arms bent to 90 degrees. Keep your arms glued to your sides as you pull back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Lying Leg Abduction
Lie on your back, legs in the air at a 90-degree angle to the rest of your body, band around both feet. Grip the handlebars in front of your torso, squeezing legs together. Separate legs into a “V” position.
Start on your hands and knees with a resistance band looped around your left ankle and the arch of your right foot. Lift your right leg and extend it out straight behind you, pushing against the resistance of the band. Try to straighten your leg as much as you can. Slowly bring your leg back to the starting position.
Resistance Band Lateral Walk
Loop a resistance band around your ankles and get into a quarter-squat position (a shallower squat). Take a giant step to your right with your right foot, then follow with your left. Take 5 steps in this direction (or as many as your space allows). Step back in the reverse direction until you return to the starting position.
Each month, we highlight one fundamental yoga pose that can help improve your overall practice. We will break down each pose, show you how to get into it safely, highlight its benefits and offer some pro tips!
The yoga pose of June is Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Bound Angle.
Learn the basics:
Supta Baddha Konasana is an amazing and transformative asana. It is a cooling, relaxing restorative pose that opens the hips, and if done with a support behind the back, it also serves as a heart opener. Students of all levels and limitations can safely practice the pose, especially when props are used. While in the shape, gravity works to deepen the stretch in your hip flexors and hips as your mind clears and relaxes, bringing you into a deep union of body, mind and spirit. It is especially beneficial to students who require cooling like menopausal and pregnant women, and students who are suffering from low back and hip discomforts, sleeplessness, and anxiety. It also just feels plain amazing!
Pregnant students should never lie fully flat on their backs, so props must be used. Other students will benefit from the use of props. To lift the back, use two blocks at the rear of the mat to form a capital ‘L’, placing a bolster on top to make a ramp. Students can use a rolled blanket or second bolster to support the knees. Other students may benefit from blocks or a rolled up blanket under each knee to reduce the strain on the groin. Blankets over the body, eye pillows and the use of essential oils are also beneficial. There should be no tension in the body when in this shape.
- If you are using props (which is highly recommended to sustain the posture for several minutes), set them up in preparation for coming fully on to your back.
- Bend your knees, keeping the soles of your feet on the floor. Slowly come on to your back or supportive props.
- Open your knees out to either side and bring the soles of your feet together. Use any additional props to aid your relaxation.
- Place your arms in any comfortable position – arms at sides with palms up, arms at sides with palms down, arms overhead, arms on your belly following the path of your breath, etc.
- Stay here several minutes as gravity works to deepen your stretch. You may begin with a controlled pranayama practice and then release the breath halfway through the pose to completely surrender. If you are practicing at home, set a timer for five or 10 minutes so you can completely relax.
- To come out, draw the hands to the knees and allow them to sway left and right to release the hips. Roll over to the side (left for pregnant students), and use your hands to support you as you sit up.
- Finish with your hands on your heart in reverence for the practice.
- Bring all that juicy goodness with you through the rest of your day off the mat!
To try one of our yoga classes, or for more information, please fill out our form below!
- Single-Arm Front Squat
Grab a kettlebell in your right hand and rack it (elbow tucked, weight in front of your shoulder, palm in). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your left arm straight out in front of you. Push your hips back and lower your body as far as you can. Pause, and return to the starting position.
4 Sets & 8 Reps
- Single-Arm Floor Press
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a kettlebell above your chest in your left hand. Lower the kettlebell until your upper arm touches the floor. Pause, and press the weight back up to the starting position without letting your right hip rise.
4 Sets & 10 Reps
- Kneeling Single-Arm Hold and Stand
Kneel holding a kettlebell in your left hand above your shoulder with your left arm straight. Keeping your hips level, brace your core and swing your right foot out in front of you to assume a half-kneeling position. Stand up. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
4 Sets & 5 Reps
- Kettlebell Single-Arm Swing
Set a kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Spread your feet slightly beyond shoulder width, push your hips back, and grab the handle in your right hand. Hike the bell between your legs; then thrust your hips forward as you swing the weight up to chest level. Swing it back between your legs.
4 Sets & 10 Reps
- Batwing Row
With a kettlebell in each hand, bend at your hips and knees and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the weights hang at arm’s length, palms in. Row the right kettlebell to your ribs, pulling your shoulder blade back. Hold it there as you perform 10 rows with the left kettlebell.
4 Sets & 10 Reps
To try out some new kettlebell workouts, attend our next #FITin15! Spend a short time with an expert personal trainer to learn proper form and specific exercises to carry into your own workouts — and, have fun while doing it!
Upcoming FIT in 15 events: Saturday, May 25 at 10:30 AM | Saturday, June 1 at 10:30 AM
The best way to beat dehydration is to drink before you get thirsty. But did you know that some beverages are better than others at preventing dehydration?
What does water do for the body?
Warm weather brings with it thoughts of cool ocean breezes, napping at our Escape Resort and sipping a tall glass of lemonade. Now hold on to the mental image of that lemonade because summer is also a time to be wary of dehydration: the lack of sufficient water in the body.
Water is important to the body at all times, but especially in warm weather. It keeps the body from overheating. When you exercise, your muscles generate heat. To keep from burning up, your body needs to get rid of that heat. The main way the body discards heat in warm weather is through sweat. As sweat evaporates, it cools the tissues beneath. Lots of sweating reduces the body’s water level and this loss of fluid affects normal bodily functions.
How to avoid dehydration
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, to avoid dehydration, active people should drink at least 16- 20 ounces of fluid one to two hours before an outdoor activity. After that, you should consume 6 to 12 ounces of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes that you are outside. When you are finished with the activity, you should drink more. How much more? To replace what you have lost: at least another 16 to 24 ounces (2- 3 cups).
One way to make sure you are properly hydrated is to check your urine. If it’s clear, pale or straw-colored, it’s OK. If it’s darker than that, keep drinking!
Beverages: some hydrate, others dehydrate…
Some beverages are better than others at preventing dehydration. Water is all you need if you are planning to be active in a low or moderate intensity activity, such as walking, for only an hour or less. If you plan to be exercising longer than that, or if you anticipate being out in the sun for more than a few hours, you may want to hydrate with some kind of sports drink. These replace not only fluid, but also chemicals like sodium and potassium, which are lost through perspiration. Too much or too little sodium and potassium in the body can cause trouble. Muscle cramping may be due to a deficiency of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, teas and colas are not recommended for optimal hydration. These fluids tend to pull water from the body and promote dehydration. Fruit juice and fruit drinks may have too many carbohydrates, too little sodium, and may upset the stomach. If you’re going to drink fruit juices while exercising, you may try diluting them with 50% fruit juice and 50% water first.
Adequate hydration will keep your summer activities safer and much more enjoyable. If you need to increase your fluid intake, keep an extra pitcher of water with fresh lemons, limes, or cucumber in the refrigerator.
What are some additional benefits of keeping hydrated?
- It lubricates the joints. Cartilage, found in joints and the disks of the spine, contains around 80 percent water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain.
- It forms saliva and mucus. Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay.
- It delivers oxygen throughout the body. Blood is more than 90 percent water, and blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
- It boosts skin health and beauty. With dehydration, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and premature wrinkling.
- It cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues. Dehydration can affect brain structure and function. It is also involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters.
- It regulates body temperature. Water that is stored in the middle layers of the skin comes to the skin’s surface as sweat when the body heats up. As it evaporates, it cools the body. In sport.
- The digestive system depends on it. The bowel needs water to work properly. Dehydration can lead to digestive problems, constipation, and an overly acidic stomach.
- It helps to maintain blood pressure. A lack of water can cause blood to become thicker, increasing blood pressure.
- The airways need it. When dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse.
- It makes minerals and nutrients accessible. These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
- It prevents kidney damage. The kidneys regulate fluid in the body. Insufficient water can lead to kidney stones and other problems.
- It boosts performance during exercise. Dehydration during exercise may hinder performance. Some scientists have proposed that consuming more water might enhance performance during strenuous activity.
- Weight loss. Water may also help with weight loss if it is consumed instead of sweetened juices and sodas. “Preloading” with water before meals can help prevent overeating by creating a sense of fullness.
- Save money. If none of these benefits sound intriguing to you, then consider how much money you could save by drinking non-bottled water!
Blog originally written by myclevelandclinic.org.
When you exercise, what do you listen to? If you’re on the fitness floor, are you channeling into what’s on TV, listening to the club’s music, or your own?
Whatever you’re tuned into, we have some good news! According to Anthony J. Yeung, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, listening to the right kind of music can take your fitness training to the next level. In fact, science suggests it can actually boost your athletic endurance and performance while helping you enjoy your training or workout program.
Some of the major benefits:
- Boost muscle power output – meaning bigger weights & more strength gains over time!
- Music acts as a distraction – so you can feel more comfortable & less tired during your workout
- Lower how your heart responds – which means lower heart rates and blood pressure while you exercise
- It can impact your autonomic nervous system – according to the research, using the correct music can generate “faster recovery and a reduction in cardiac stress after exercise.”
It turns out music can make a big difference in your fitness. Now, here’s how you can put all this information together!
So, there’s one thing to consider: When it comes to your playlist, opinion is everything. What one person might enjoy, another might strongly dislike and vice versa. Learning from the studies, the key is to always choose music you enjoy — so don’t worry about what other people (or music critics) think.
Next, have your music sync with the speed and intensity of the exercise you’re doing. It’s pretty common sense based:
- If you’re lifting a maximum-effort weight, play music to pump you up and get you amped and excited.
- If you’re doing a fast-paced circuit, listen to fast-paced music, which can help boost your performance.
- If you’re doing a low-intensity activity like an easy bike ride, jog, hike, etc., pick something slightly slower so you can feel at ease while still distracting you from fatigue.
- If you’re doing stretches, yoga, etc., listen to something gentle and relaxing so you can calm your nervous system to help you rest and recover.
Blog on music studies inspired by https://blog.myfitnesspal.com.
Are you ready to reach your fitness goals? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute session with one of our certified personal trainers! Fill out the form below and we will contact you to set up a time.
Benefits of HIIT Training
Time is one of our most precious resources and we never seem to have enough of it. Some days, it might be easy to skip a workout because you feel that you might not have enough time to make it worthwhile. But you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results—you simply need to make sure that the time you do spend exercising is as efficient and effective as possible.
Here are eight reasons why you can spend less time exercising with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and still get great results:
- Anaerobic interval training uses the body’s reserves of energy and, after a workout, metabolism stays elevated and continues to burn calories for hours after the workout. This is due to something called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. With HIIT, you not only burn a lot of calories during the workout, but because of the high intensity you will continue to burn calories as your body replaces energy and repairs muscle proteins damaged during exercise.
- Not only does your body metabolize fat for fuel during the workout, during the post-exercise recovery period after HIIT exercise the body will tap into fat stores for the energy required to restore it to its normal resting state.
- Your body burns calories at a rate of 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed. In general, using exercise to increase the oxygen demands on your body will increase total caloric expenditure both during and after the workout. Short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a tremendous amount of oxygen, during both the work interval and the recovery periods.
- HIIT produces a significant amount of metabolic waste, including hydrogen ions and lactic acid. The major reason for an active recovery interval is to remove these waste products to allow the involved muscles to perform the next high-intensity bout. As a result, HIIT workouts train your body to tolerate and quickly recover from periods of high-intensity exercise.
- HIIT can promote a number of physiological benefits, such as increased mitochondrial density, improved stroke volume, improved oxidative capacity of muscle and enhanced aerobic efficiency, which was previously thought to occur only as a result of long, slow distance (LSD) training protocols.
- HIIT places a significant amount of metabolic stress on muscle tissue. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which lead to increases in muscle volume and definition.
- Many fitness clubs and workout studios are applying this science to develop group fitness programs that feature HIIT workouts in formats that are 30 minutes or less. These formats enable you to do more work and receive numerous health benefits in less time.
- Exercise intensity can be measured with a scale of perceived exertion, where 1 is low intensity and 10 is the highest intensity you can tolerate. For the greatest benefits, HIIT should be performed at an eight or higher for periods lasting 30 seconds or less (or to the point of breathlessness). Recovery intervals should be as long or slightly longer than the work interval (or until breathing is quick, but under control). An effective workout should have a five- to seven-minute warm-up period to elevate heart rate, a minimum of five high-intensity work intervals and a four- to six-minute cool-down period to help start the recovery process.
One of the most common misperceptions about exercise that it is necessary to spend hours busting your butt and sweating buckets to obtain benefits like weight loss, muscle growth and improved overall health and well-being. Instead of working longer, work smarter by using short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise. HIIT is extremely effective, but it can place a tremendous amount of stress on the body. Therefore, it should only be performed two to three times a week with at least 48 hours between exercise sessions to allow a full replenishment of energy stores and to repair of involved muscle tissue. It is still possible to exercise the day after a HIIT session, but it should be a low- to moderate-intensity activity and use different muscle groups or movement patterns than those used in the high-intensity workout.
For individuals with a training goal related to increasing aerobic endurance, such as competing in a 10K, marathon or triathlon, it is still important and necessary to do high-volume LSD training. For individuals training for an endurance event, using a HIIT protocol can help to maintain your training efforts on those days when time is short and the temptation to skip a workout is at its peak.
To try out HIIT training, attend our next #FITin15! Spend a short time with an expert personal trainer to learn proper form and specific exercises to carry into your own workouts — and, have fun while doing it!
Upcoming FIT in 15 events: Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 AM | Tuesday, April 23 at 7:00 AM | Tuesday, April 23 at 6:00 PM
Article originally published by Pete McCall on www.acefitness.org.
Medicine ball training is so important for so many reasons. Mitch, NAC personal trainer, takes us through the why it is so important and how you can do it. Medicine ball training can increase your functional movement compared with compound exercises that only work one plane of motion. It mimics athletic and sports movements. Medicine Ball training not only uses strength, but also speed by using force. It can target the sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes, depending on which exercises you use. Did you know that medicine ball training was used as early as 1000 B.C. which ancient gladiators and Persian wrestling athletes? How cool!
Interested in training with Mitch?
From a few elite pro cyclists in the late ‘80s to indoor cycling studios all over the world, cycling with a power meter has become a standard both indoors and out. Here are the top reasons why teaching indoor cycling with a power meter can bring your classes and your members’ experiences to the next level!
A power meter is a source of relevant and objective information
A power meter basically measures how much work the rider is putting into the bike (resistance) and the rate at which that work is being done (cadence). In addition to measuring power in Watts, we also get data about cadence, time, distance, speed and/or calories to use for class planning or member motivation.
A power meter is the perfect goal setting tool
Using metrics such as Average Watts, Distance or Cadence gives instructors the ability to set specific goals in class. This keeps riders engaged and committed, giving them a reason to work rather than just a command. Riders can then use those goals as benchmarks to assess their level of improvement week after week.
A power meter gives the rider metrics to own the ride
Using metrics in class creates a sense of ownership in our attendees. Power is instantaneous, convenient and easy to understand: the harder you work, the higher your watts. It does not require students to invest in or wear specific equipment. Knowing how hard our riders are working allows them not only to set relevant goals but also to make the right decisions, like when to push a little harder and when to back off.
A power meter promotes healthy competition
Beating your Average Watts in four minutes by the third attempt or trying to cover the biggest distance in five minutes are just a few examples of how we can promote a sense of healthy competition in our classes, and not necessarily among the group, but within each individual. Being the best you can be is a much less daunting task when you can objectively assess how good you are!
A power meter is the key to class variety
If you keep doing what you always do, you will keep getting the same results you always get. By knowing our riders’ FTP (Functional Threshold Power) values, we get the magic number that allows us to provide classes with different intensities for different goals: Aerobic Capacity, Threshold, HIIT, etc. Providing a variety of training stimuli keeps classes fresh and exciting and the periodization of intensity increases results for everyone.
Exciting news! New technology for our cycling studio at the NAC is here! This top of the line technology called STAGES FLIGHT, will enhance your cycling experience at the NAC…