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Fitness for All: Sculpt Your Body with These Moves

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Even though sweater and parka weather are upon us, ‘tis the season to sculpt away that unwanted fat, because let's be honest any season is the perfect time to sculpt away that unwanted fat, right?

To fight fat and sculpt, you need to target your biggest problem areas : like your glutes, thighs, and love handles. Follow these fat-busting moves to get in the best shape this season (or any season!)

Fitness Tips

Problem : Under arm jiggle.

Solution : Tricep dips.

Sit on the floor or a bench with knees bent at 90 degrees and palms facing out, behind you. Raise your body up and down, dipping your rear until it hovers just above the ground. Keep your elbows pointed straight behind you, and you should feel it in your triceps. Do for 60 seconds and repeat three times.

Problem : Flabby chest

Solution : Push-ups

Doing push-ups for 30 seconds followed by a 15-second hold is the key to scoring a toned chest.

Repeat 3 times. (If you can't do a traditional push-up, try an incline variation, placing your hands on a bench.)

Problem : Belly fat

Solution : Mountain climbers

Hold a high plank position for 30 seconds, keeping a flat back.  Quickly bring right knee to right elbow, then left knee to left elbow in fast movements for 30 seconds.

Problem : Love handles

Solution : Side forearm plank

Start with a traditional forearm plank, elbows under shoulders and forearms parallel, abdominals engaged. Slide your palms toward your centerline so your thumb and forefingers connect. Then stack your left hip on your right, placing your left palm on your left hip. Use your abs and pull your navel to your spine as you press your shins and thighs together. Reach your left (or top) arm up to the sky to open your chest while you press your hip up. Press up 10 times. Repeat on right side.

Fitness for All: Ineffective Workouts to Avoid

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Despite what many people believe, not all workouts are effective and conducive to losing weight and toning up.  There are several workouts that you will see people doing at your gym any given day of the week that are ineffective.

Unless you have the best form and are using some of these machines like textbook, then you may be doing more harm than good to your body.

Ineffective workouts

The following are some examples of the least effective exercises that you can do:

  • Behind the Head Lat Pull Downs: Unfortunately, only those with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spine straight enough to get a good workout from the behind the back lat pull down bar. The move done wrong can tear the rotator cuff.
  • Behind the Head Military Press: This exercise done similarly to the behind the head lat pull down, can cause the same problems with the rotator cuff that other exercise could cause.
  • Lying Leg Press (with knees bent too deeply): This exercise is typically done to work your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes and is done on a machine where you use your feet to push a weighted plate up and down.  If you bend your knees too far, then you can seriously injure your back and/or knees.
  • Squats on a Smith Machine: While the Smith Machine is generally an effective machine, the bar on the machine doesn't give, which can force the body into risky positions, including placing their feet too far in front of them while doing their squats.
  • Using Bad Form on Cardio Machines: While using bad form is not good on any machine, using bad form on cardio equipment is a big no-no. Hunching over can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders and elbows.
  • Always Lifting with a Weight Belt: Unless you have a back injury, are lifting a lot of weight or if you have some other medical reason, then a weight belt is not necessary.  Wearing a weight belt too often can weaken your core muscles, throwing off your entire workout.

Fitness for: All Treadmill Workouts for Everyone

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Tired of your same old treadmill routine?  Why not spice things up this week and try this easy treadmill work out that will help you burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

Treadmill Workouts

Day One:

Power walk : 30 minutes

Strength train : 20 minutes

Day Two:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes

Power walk : 2 minutes

Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 10 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 2 minutes

Day Three:

Warm-up (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Do your favorite strength-training move : 12 reps

Power walk (4-6% incline) : 3 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Day Four:

Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes

Power walk : 2 minutes

Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 3 minutes

Day Five: 

Repeat Day One's Routine

Day Six:

Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) : 5 minutes

Power walk : 2 minutes

Run fast (don't sprint) : 4 minutes

Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times

Cool down (walk easily) : 4 minutes

Day Seven:

Rest

Repeat this workout weekly or every other week.  Remember to mix up your workouts to keep things fresh and exciting.

Fitness for All: It's National Bike Month: Beginner Mistakes to Avoid

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It's National Bike Month and who wouldn't want to hop on a bicycle and relive the days of their youth?

While biking is a great way to fit in your cardio during the summer months, there are some mistakes that beginner bikers should avoid before they get out on the open road.

Benefits of riding a bike

Some of those mistakes include:

  • Seat is too low : if you are experiencing pain in your knees while biking, then your seat may be too low. At the right seat height, your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
  • Assume you need the “best gear” : you don't need the best of the best to enjoy a bike ride for exercise. Start small and get the fancy gear as you ride more.
  • Not maintaining your bike : just like your car needs a tune-up every so often, so does your bike. Routine maintenance will not only save you money at the bike shop but will prolong the life of your bike.
  • Too much too soon : one of the biggest injuries on a bike comes from trying to go longer and faster than you should. Build up slowly, ease into it and give your body time to adjust to this new workout.
  • Not bringing along a spare or patch kit : flat tires happen, more often than you think. Always be prepared for the inevitable!
  • Not using your gears : gears are your best friends when you are tackling hills or when you are speeding along a long stretch. Practice makes perfect when it comes to figuring out when to shift.