Archive for the ‘Core Strengthening’ Category

It’s the time of the year for giving!

If you have been good the past year with your fitness goals, and have consistently made gains from your training, then don’t miss time to share the gift of fitness. Fitness is not just about abs and arms, but about improving your health and overall quality of life. If you have exercised regularly enough, you probably have felt more energetic, alive, and just happier about life. This is something that you would want your family and friends to have, right?

As a Personal Trainer both in-person and online, I know it could be tough most of the time to motivate other people to get into fitness, especially family and friends. But like what I always say, “Consistency is the key to success” and I’m sure eventually they will agree with you and might even come with you to the gym!

So start them off by giving them something inspiring and useful this Christmas from my list below that would hopefully get them to think more about their fitness. Maybe you could even get one for yourself! Simply click the links below to lead you to an Amazon page where you can easily order your gifts. Amazon offers FREE SHIPPING for orders over $25.00!

Here’s my Top 5 Fitness Gift Ideas for Christmas 2016:

1.) Ab roller – the ab roller is a small but absolutely effective equipment to work the abs. When used properly, it could target not just every muscle of the “core” but also the arms, shoulders,and even legs! I personally like the dual ab roller, because it provides more challenge to shoulder stabilizers and core, but better give a standard uni-wheel ab roller for beginners and intermediate exercisers.

ab-wheel_dumbbellClick the link to get it from Amazon:
SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Strength and Ab Trainer

fitness-depot-ab-wheel

Click the link to get it from Amazon:
Fitness Depot Ab Wheel

2.) Exercise Bands – yet another small but tough fitness equipment to have, exercise bands are very portable and could be used almost anywhere! There will be no excuse left not to workout with these ones! Exercise bands promote eccentric contraction when used in a controlled manner (vs. jerky, fast movements) which is great for building strength and muscle tone. This is a good choice if the person you’re thinking of giving a gift to is someone who is not confident of their body and overall strength, and needs something simple to get started with. You can also give them an exercise band manual to compete the package.

synergee-exercise-bands

Get it from Amazon:
Synergee Exercise Bands with Guide

3.) Suspension Trainers – suspension training have been a hit a few years ago, but like any fitness trends, the hype about them has subsided. Whether it’s still an “in” thing to do or not, it’s effectiveness remains unchanged! This is an option for people who have a significant base strength and are looking for a challenge. As long as they have something to anchor it to, suspension Trainers can be a fitness friend for frequent travelers or out-of-gym exercisers. There were a few types and brands that came out during its peak, but below is my personal choice:

trx

Get the TRX Suspension Trainer Full Workout Kit from Amazon.

4.) Nutrition App – the notion “abs are made in the kitchen” is true. For tech savvy individuals who are looking to eat healthier and/or lose weight, surprising them with a nutrition app installed in their phone could be a simple but thoughtful gift. Below are apps that I recommend, some of them I even used with my clients:

Eat this much

My Fitness Pal

Fitbit App

5.) Fitness Tracking Device – some people say they don’t work because steps aren’t measured accurately. What I say in response is, how can you expect it to measure accurate steps if it’s strapped in your hand?? I don’t intend to start a group of people wearing anklets of fitness trackers, but the point of wearing one is not to measure how many steps a person does in a day exactly. Wearing a Fitbit myself, I realised how it’s very motivating to ‘put in steps’ each day and just keep being active. They are a great tool to motivate people to move and be active, and even ‘compete’ with their family or friends for more fun and challenge! Here’s a couple of choices of awesome fitness trackers you could get:

fitbit-charge-2

Fitbit Charge 2

samsung-gear-fit-2Samsung Gear Fit 2

If the person you’re thinking about is seriously considering committed training whether in the gym or at home, then signing them up for Online Training is the best choice! As a treat, I’m offering a 12-Days til Christmas special: Sign up on or 12-days before December 25 2016 and get a 25% off on any Fitness Coaching Package offered from Fitness Coaching for Me. Simply answer the form on the Services page here, and we’ll get started.

Don’t miss the opportunity, sign up NOW!

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Meet “Pat,” though her head is flourishing with grey hair, she’s still active and robust in relative physique. She comes to the gym to train with me twice a week on top of her daily physical activities such as walking, Gardening, and singing (she keeps convincing me it’s a physical activity since you work the diaphragm, and not a lot of people know how to properly do that).

This month, she just turned 75 years old and is still continuing to train regularly. She had a surgery on her right hip, right shoulder, and heart but I’ve trained with her long enough to convince me of her favourite motto “all the parts that I have still works!” Pat trained with another trainer before but stopped for a bit while waiting for the new gym in her area to open. I started training training with her in the first half of this year and I’m just amazed with her energy and strength! I have trained other elderly clients in the before but Pat is the strongest of them all! She’s actually looking for a ‘competitor‘ – a fellow senior citizen who goes frequently in the gym and lifts as much as she does. So far, I’ve found none!

Her hobby is Gardening and it keeps her busy until the snow falls so we make sure that her lower body and low back strength and flexibility is maintained.

image

With proper exercise programming and modifications, the elderly can still workout as much as anybody else. If you are included in this population or if know somebody who might benefit from exercise (like your grandpa or grandma), it’s not too late to start! It’s my passion to help people achieve their goals. Send me an email to apply for Fitness Coaching and see if the program fits you! Start training if you’re a ‘senior‘ and wants to be ‘superior!’

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If you like to read more on exercise programming for the elderly, here’s another article:
Exercises for the Elderly.

And here’s a 74 year old man (during the time photo was taken) doing an OAEL.
Professor Fred Samson, (1918-2004)

Are you looking for a dynamic body weight workout? Do you want to do a challenging circuit but you don’t have time for the gym? Are you bored of doing the same exercises again and again?

Then you should try the TRX suspension training system! 

What is the TRX suspension training system?
The TRX suspension training system, or simply the TRX was designed by a Navy Seal who wanted and needed to stay in shape even while at work. Since they are usually on the field, he had to develop something that requires a limited amount of space and use whatever equipment available. He adapted the rope exercise system and developed it into a cable and further into suspension training. The whole idea is to let your body weight “hang” using the suspension system for a whole body workout. Realizing how effective yet compact the training system was, TRX made its way into the fitness industry and is now being used by professional sports teams, MMA fighters, coaches, and top trainers around the world.

 

How does TRX suspension training work?
TRX is a type of training that uses gravity and your own body weight to build strength, endurance, balance, coordination, flexibility, core and joint stability. It is completely safe to use by anyone and even minimizes risk of strain and other injuries. Even without using weighted plates for resistance, the challenging suspension exercises helps improve muscular performance and bone density.

Here are the advantages of the TRX suspension training system and some tips on how to maximize your workouts:

TRX RIP Training
What is the TRX suspension trainer?

    • No matter what your training goals may be, the TRX can help! If you are a beginner, you can lessen your training time by working your whole body, switching from one exercise to another in literally just seconds! This efficient tool also strengthens the core muscles – your abdominals, hips, gluteals, back, and lats. Because your body is constantly challenged by gravity, every exercise using the TRX suspension training system engages and totally works the core! You will improve not just your strength and stamina, but also your flexibility, balance, coordination, and stability. Since every physical activity that we do in life needs a strong core, you will definitely benefit from this versatile exercise equipment. Whether it is bending over to pick up the pen you dropped in your office, washing your car, playing sports with your kids, or participating in the Ironman, you will benefit from a strong core that is well developed by the TRX suspension training system. Having a strong core is important to minimize the risks and prevent injuries not just on your low back, but throughout your entire body. Think about how getting a strong core and stable trunk improves not just exercise performance but more importantly your way of life!
    • With the TRX suspension training system, you use your own body weight to workout according to your own fitness level, needs, and goals. You can easily decrease the intensity of the exercises just by stepping closer to where you anchored your cable system. If you think you are ready for more challenging workouts, then step away from your anchor and you already increased the intensity of your TRX workout. You don’t need to keep adjusting the plates on your barbell or dumbbell! You can constantly challenge your body and quickly adjust the intensity that you need specifically per exercise.
    • If you want to build muscle size and strength, the TRX suspension training system is also the exercise equipment of choice.This dependable exercise tool actually works better than using gym equipment like machines, barbells or dumbbells since apart from working out targeted muscles, you also challenge your core constantly in every workout! TRX also strengthens all the stabilizing muscles around the joints that you are currently working on and challenges your whole body in a way that it has not been challenged before when you were using gym weights or machines. The TRX suspension training system offers workouts that results to more strength and power from your exercise routines and gives you a strong foundation with less chances of muscle strains and injury. If you are up to a more challenging workout, TRX can also be a great tool for plyometric type training for an added increase in your power output.
    • The TRX suspension training system can indeed be very challenging and intense but it is also low impact, ensuring the safety of each exercise that you do.  You can wear a weight vest to make the exercises even more challenging. The TRX helps you reach some ranges of motion that you may not have been able to reach before. It offers great support while recruiting more muscles.
    • Are you looking for a cardio workout to lose weight and build muscle endurance? The TRX will fire multiple muscles, which increases the heart rate, burning more calories than sitting or standing through a “traditional” exercise. TRX can keep you constantly moving from one exercise to the next in a circuit-like manner. This strengthens your heart as well as increases muscular endurance.


10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

Can I use the TRX suspension training system for cardio workouts?

Yes, you can! The TRX fires multiple muscles, including the large muscles of the hips, back, and core, which will increase the heart rate and burn more calories. In fact, it burns more fat than sitting or standing through a “traditional” exercise routine. With the TRX suspension training system, you can constantly move from one exercise to another, just like in a circuit or high intensity interval training. This will surely strengthen your heart (cardiovascular system) as well as increase muscular endurance.

What is the advantage of training using the TRX over traditional training?
Traditional styles of training are usually performed in one plane of movement – forward or backward as in pulling or pushing types of exercises. If you are a beginner in most gym, you may even be required to do the exercise in a seated position to minimize injury. For most exercises that use big muscle groups in the upper body, you do it sitting down. An example would be doing a seated chest press, a seated cable row, or a leg press, none of which challenge the core the way we need it to work for our daily activities. The TRX is a functional training system which means that it mimics the movements that we do in our daily routine. We don’t always move in a forward, backward motion and supported by a seat in our day to day physical activities. We need to engage the core as we move left, right, forward, backward, diagonal, twist, and bend. This is exactly how the TRX suspension training helps prevent injuries while developing a strong and stable core. By challenging the body in other planes of motion, you are training and exercising for daily activities and reducing chances of injury.

What are the exercises that I can do to enhance my performance?
Like any new exercise program or introduction to new equipment you have to start with the basics until you have mastered the proper form and technique. This helps you recruit the appropriate muscles and prevent injuries after a couple of weeks of training. The TRX suspension training package includes exercises that you can do safely and effectively at home, in the office, or anywhere you bring your TRX to! Here are some of the basic exercises that you would start off with when you first get going on the TRX: Chest Press, Row, Lunge, Squat, Plank, Tucks, Pike, Side Lunge, Oblique Twist, Back Extension.

Read more about the TRX suspension trainer here and see some exercises.

Who is TRX training for?
You can see that the TRX system is very versatile for everyone: young, old, pro-athlete, recreational athlete, stay at home mom, body builder – no matter what your goals are and what your fitness level is, the TRX suspension trainer is for you!

Get started and take your physique to the next level!

Click the banner below to order your gym in a bag now!



Become a TRX Trainer


TRX RIP Training
What is the TRX suspension trainer?
The TRX suspension trainer is the most versatile piece of equipment that anyone can use in the gym, office, or even in your own home! It is very portable and compact yet the exercises can be challenging. Regardless of your fitness level, TRX is a perfect tool for body weight exercises. The TRX training system was created by Randy Hetrick, a former U.S. Navy Seal who wanted to continue developing his physical fitness while on the field. He developed a strap system that can be attached almost anywhere stable to provide resistance exercises using bodyweight. Because the Navy Seals are always on the go, the exercises of the TRX system is best for people who want to workout with limited space and a minimum amount of time.

How does the TRX suspension trainer work?
The TRX suspension trainer offers anyone the same amount of world class workouts for whole body conditioning, anytime you want and anywhere you want to go. It is like having your gym in a bag! You can do different exercises using the TRX suspension trainer that works the whole body and develops strength, flexibility, balance and coordination to improve your performance. The TRX suspension trainer has a multiple anchoring system that you can attach anywhere so you can continue toning up and working out even if you’re in your home, office, or hotel.

The TRX suspension trainer is a very flexible tool that you can use to work out your core and burn calories with intense exercises for maximum calorie burn in less time. This is because transition from one exercise to another is quick and easy! Unlike in the gym where you have to set up plates, bars, and equipment, TRX allows many different exercises while using just one tool. You don’t have to line up to wait for your turn on gym equipment. Just attach your TRX suspension trainer to a pole or doorpost and you can do your own circuit workout!

Shop TRX Training Bundle Now!

Can I use the TRX suspension trainer?
TRX suspension trainer has been used by MMA fighters, professional athletes, and competitive bodybuilders because it delivers results efficiently and effectively. It has also been featured in the Biggest Loser and has proven itself to be an effective workout equipment even for people who want to start in fitness or if your goal is to lose weight. It is a trusted tool by professional coaches and trainers which ensures that it will help you to reach your fitness goals.

Watch the video below for more information about the TRX suspension trainer and see the TRX in action!

What kind of Suspension Training should I get?
If you are someone who is looking for a dynamic bodyweight workout that you can do in your home, get the TRX Home suspension Trainer and anchor, you’ll also receive a workout guide and 6 bonus workouts for 15 to 30 minute sessions. It will help you build lean muscle and burn fat as you workout with just your body weight! TRX will work your core muscles, chest, and even legs and improve your flexibility and endurance.

If you are a trainer or coach who is looking for creative and effective sports conditioning tool, get the TRX Pro Suspension Training Kit which includes videos and workout cards. It also includes workout programs for your clients or team.

If you want to level up in strengthening your core, the Rip Trainer is for you! The Rip Trainer is an innovative system that helps you develop core strength, power, flexibility, and endurance. It is also a portable device that anyone can use anywhere! The Rip Trainer is a functional training tool with exercises that can easily mimic movements in sports and everyday life. It will help you build core strength and burn calories by challenging your body with unequal loads.

Get your TRX suspension training system now! Click the photo link below:




Become a TRX Trainer

How people usually do Resistance/Weight Training:
The traditional method of resistance or ‘weight training‘ that people do in the gym is called ‘Station Training.‘ In this method, the exercises are arranged in such a way that you have to finish all the sets in one exercise first before proceeding to the next. This is good and reasonable because you can focus on developing one muscle group by doing a specific exercise. Below is an example of a traditional resistance training workout:

SHOP1. Leg exercise: Barbell Squats- 8 reps x 3 sets
2. Chest exercise: Bench Press- 8 reps x 3 sets
3. Arms: Biceps Curl- 8 reps x 3 sets
4. Triceps Extension- 8 reps x 3 sets
5. Lat Pull Down- 8 reps x 3 sets

What is Circuit Training?
Circuit Training is a method of doing exercises in sequence so that two or more sets of an exercise are not done in a row. It is another type of High Intensity Training that works both muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. Instead of completing all of the sets of a specific exercise first before doing the next exercise, circuit training allows for continuous movement by doing consecutive exercises that targets different muscle groups. Circuit Training is different from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) because each exercise have the same number of repetitions throughout the whole circuit. Below is an example of a circuit training:

1. Squats: 12 reps x 1 setWeight-Training-Women-Dumbbell-Circuit-Workout
2. Bench Press: 12 reps x 1 set
3. Biceps Curl: 12 reps x 1 set
4. Triceps Extension: 12 reps x 1 set
5. Lat Pull Down: 12 reps x 1 set
6. Squats: 12 reps x 1 set
7. Bench Press: 12 reps x 1 set
8. Biceps Curl: 12 reps x 1 set
9. Triceps Extension: 12 reps x 1 set
10. Lat Pull Down: 12 reps x 1 set

What are the advantages of Circuit Training over the traditional Station Training?
Compared to the traditional method of resistance training, Circuit Training allows for faster transition in between exercises. In the traditional resistance training method, rest periods are done for every set of every exercise. This is unfavorable if you are pressed for time in the gym. Circuit training also allows for greater energy system benefits because your body is working continuously as a different muscle group will be working while previously worked muscle groups will be ‘resting.’ Compared to traditional strength training, there is an improvement in cardiovascular capacity when doing circuit training and may lead to greater fat loss.

What are the disadvantages of Circuit Training?
Because exercises are done continuously one after another, the load should be lighter than usual to maintain quality and safety when doing the exercises. Also, even if it does improve cardiovascular capacity, it won’t beat endurance training with regards to benefits.

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Let’s get to the workout! How can I program my own circuit training at home?

Here are some tips on how to design a good Circuit Training workout:
1402213_orig1. Opposing muscle groups (agonist and antagonist) should be alternated between resting and exercising. For example, after doing bicep curls, your next exercise can be tricep extensions.
2. Upper body and Lower body exercises can also be alternated between resting and exercising. For example, after doing push ups, you can do squats after. This allows for the ‘push up muscles’ (pectoralis major and minor, latissimus dorsi, triceps, abdominals) to recover while you target different muscle groups and you’ll be able to perform push ups with proper form and technique at the next circuit set.
3. You can adjust the volume of training by doing a specific number of reps, or you do the most repetitions in a specific time duration. For example, you can either program your circuit to require 10 repetitions for every exercise, or you can set 30 seconds for each exercise and do the most number of repetitions as you can for each exercise.
4. In circuit training, your body will be working continuously, so putting heavy loads is not advisable. Lift lighter weights or do exercises that uses only your body weight.
5. If you are doing circuit training with weights, it is better to stick with the least number of equipment or station that you will use. For example, you can use free weights or just dumbbells for all exercises instead of going from one machine to another.
6. The original protocol for circuit training has 9 to 12 exercise stations. There is no ideal number but for a general program, it is important to keep in mind that you want to work all muscles at appropriate intensities during the whole exercise session. Personally, I recommend having at least 8 exercise stations which I think would be enough for all muscle groups to be worked on. Also, it is better to do exercises that work on muscle groups compared to doing single-joint exercises (bicep curls, tricep extension, lateral raises, etc).
7. If you are using light weights or just your body weight, you can do 15 to 20 repetitions per exercise. If you are adding additional load to each exercise, try doing less repetitions. Remember that quality and safety is still more important than the total volume of your exercise.
8. How long should you rest in between exercises in circuit training? If rest intervals are too long, it diminishes the effect of circuit training to overall cardiovascular capacity. To maximize the benefit of circuit training, rest for 30 seconds or less in between circuit sets. In between individual exercises, I recommend resting for 10 to 15 seconds max for time efficiency and maintain appropriate overall exercise intensity.
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Let’s really get on with the workout!

Here’s a sample Circuit Training workout using only bodyweight which means that you can do it at home, in your office and even in your hotel room if you are travelling.

1. Jumping Jacks- 15 repsJumping-Jacks-Shoulder-Press
2. Alternating Lunges- 15 reps
3. Push ups- 15 reps
4. Oblique crunches- 15 reps per side
5. Hip bridge- 15 reps
6. Bulgarian squats- 15 reps per leg
7. Single leg superman- 15 reps per leg
8. Pike to plank- 15 reps

Circuit Training is an efficient way to decrease body fat, improve VO2 max (respiratory capacity), and even minimize risk for diabetes. As people today have less and less time for the gym, exercise methods such as circuit training may be the best option for busier individuals.

If you think you have no time for exercise, then you can now exchange total exercise time (doing the traditional station method) for total exercise effort (High Intensity Circuit Training) and get the same, or even better, health and fitness benefits.

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If you are only starting your journey into fitness, check out this mini-circuit sequence called “April wings” for the arms.

For a more elaborate article about Circuit Training, check out this ACSM Health and Fitness journal: HIGH INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODYWEIGHT- Maximum Results with Minimum Investment.

strength training

Here are three bodyweight exercises that utilizes Plyometrics and works on multi-directional movements. If you are looking for very advanced functional core exercises, then these three are for you! These exercises will really work not just your core but your cardiovascular system as well, so be prepared to sweat it out.

The exercises are shown by Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns. He mostly trains MMA fighters but I find his exercises useful for other sports that works on agility, strength, power, and balance.

Here’s the list of the exercises with a brief description of each. They are done for 5 to 6 repetitions per exercise, with no rest in between exercises:

SHOP1. Plyometric Step-Lunge with rotation – Doing lunges is hard enough for most people, and doing plyometric lunges or ‘split squats’ is even harder. But here, Naudi Aguilar shows how to do a plyometric step-lunge (short stance) while twisting in the air to switch between legs! Proper form is definitely a must to keep yourself from busting your knee and get power from your hips.

2. Donkey Kong – the name sounds playful but this one’s really a killer. Starting on a deep squat position, you roll down on your back and then roll back to squat and stand up, then quickly exploding to a forward jump. Get your oxygen tank ready after this one!

3. Plank with Contralateral Arm and Leg Lift – for those who love planks, this one may be familiar with you. But the plank comes after those two explosive exercises, so you’ll be catching your breath a lot while holding this plank position which makes it harder. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s a full plank with an arm and the opposite leg lifted off the floor while holding the proper form of the plank. It can be quite challenging given that you’re still catching your breath at this time. Naudi does it for 10 counts or 10 long breaths per side.

Here’s the video:

 

As a gentle reminder, always make sure that you get enough rest in between sets. Don’t force yourself to finish it if you’re feeling dizzy in between the exercises.

 

Enjoy!

 

SHOP

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Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

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10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

 

Here is a good resource for Bodyweight exercises that you can do at home or in the gym. The video claims 44 different exercises, but I cut it down to 40. Some of the exercises are just variations of another. Some of them also requires a few equipment like a stability ball or a pull up bar, but most of the exercises can be done at home without any equipment. You can see different kinds of push-ups, variations of pull-ups, roll outs, and of course, burpees.

This is a good list, but one thing I noticed is that they’re mostly upper body exercises. This guy needs to squat! Out of the claimed 44 exercises, there are only around 5 to 8 exercises that targets the legs. If he included the squat and lunge variations, the list could be longer!

Here are the exercises:

  1. Mountain Climbers
  2. Dragon Walks
  3. Jumping Lunges
  4. Pike Roll Out
  5. Burpees
  6. Hanging Knee to Elbow
  7. Frozen V-sit
  8. Spiderman Push-up
  9. Single Leg Burpee
  10. Hindu Push-ups
  11. Diamond Push-ups
  12. Lawnmower Extensions
  13. Archer Push-ups
  14. Fingertip Push-ups
  15. Hanging Leg Raise
  16. Clapping Push-ups
  17. Single Leg Box Jumps
  18. Chest Tap Push-ups
  19. Archer Pull-ups
  20. Clapping Pull-ups
  21. Crucifix Push-ups
  22. Hanging Wipers
  23. SHOP

  24. Hanging Leg Raise to Lever
  25. One Arm Hanging Leg Lifts
  26. Pistol Squat
  27. L Sit
  28. Dragon Flags
  29. Ab Crunch Shredder Dips
  30. Triple Clap Push-ups
  31. Lalanne Push-ups
  32. Muscle Ups
  33. Standing Ab Wheel Roll Out
  34. Bodyweight Tricep Extension
  35. One Arm Push-ups
  36. Thigh Slap Push-ups
  37. Superman Push-ups
  38. Hannibal Leg Flutters
  39. One Handed Clap Push-ups
  40. Back Flip Burpees
  41. 360 Push-ups

Watch the video here:


Get Ripped in 90 Days

 

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Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

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4-Week Bodyweight Home Workout (Workout Series)

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TRX HOME Suspension Trainer

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