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Fitness for All: Pilates Moves to Help You Get Bikini Ready

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Pilates is one of the best ways to tone the hips, thighs, waist and abs, all places that you want tone when you are donning your bikini on the beach this summer.

Pilates exercises

Here are the some Pilates moves that you should be doing for that beach bod,

“The Hundred” - Start lying on your back and lift your legs 45 degrees off the mat and lengthen out through your arms as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. Pump your arms vigorously up and down five times on an inhalation and five times on an exhalation. Repeat 10 times for 100 pumps.

“Single-leg circles” - Start lying on your back and lift your right leg up and keep your body still as you make 8 clockwise circles, then 8 counter-clockwise. Repeat with your left leg.

“Single-leg straight-leg stretch” - Start lying on your back and lift your head, neck, and shoulders up. Kick your left leg straight up and pull twice with your hands as you lengthen your right leg, then switch and pull the right leg. Continue alternating legs for 8 reps.

“Double leg stretch” - Pull your knees to your chest and lift your head and neck off the floor. Extend your arms overhead and your legs out to 45 degrees, then circle your arms around and pull your knees back in to your chest. Repeat 8 times.

“Small circles” - Start lying on your side with your legs slightly in front of your hips. Lift your top leg a few inches, turn your toes up to the ceiling. Circle your leg forward 8 times then backwards 8 times, making tiny circles. Don't let your body rock at all:stay solid in your center. Repeat on the left side.

Fitness for All: Resistance Band Workout

Written by Lisa Jillanza

If you are looking for something different to do to change your typical workout routine, pick up a set of resistance bands and give some of these exercises a try!

Resistance Band Training

Front Squat - Stand on a tube band with the feet slightly wider than your shoulders and center of the band between the feet. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder, securing the band in place by crossing your arms at your chest. Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing your knees out over your toes. Rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps.

Bent Over Row - Stand over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 10-12 reps.

Bench Press - Anchor a tube band on the bench legs, and lie on the bench, face up. Grabbing a handle in each hand. position them at shoulder

height (so your thumbs touch the front of your shoulders). Extend the arms straight up overhead to full extension, moving your hands toward each other at the top. Lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Overhead Press - Stand over the center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps.

Russian Twist - Sit on the floor with legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet. Hold the free ends in each hand. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral. Return to starting position and rotate left then right for a total of 10-12 reps on each side.

Fitness for All: New Treadmill Workouts

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Looking for some new treadmill workouts to keep your routine fresh and easy?  Here are some popular ones,

Treadmill Workouts

Warm Up and Cool Down- Prior to and following any treadmill workout you should always include a warmup and a cool down session.

A typical warm up session should last for about 5 minutes.  Walk slowly (1.5 to 2 mph) for one minute, increase your incline to stretch out your legs for one minute, then reduce to your speed to 1.8 for two minutes and wrap up your warm up by speeding up to 3 mph for one minute.

At the end of your walk as a cool down session, you should reduce your walk speed to 2.5 or 3.5 and walk for three minutes.  Then slow your speed down to 1.5 or 2.5 mph and walk for two more minutes.

Speed Pyramid- Following your warmup session, walk for 30 seconds at 3.5 mph; increase to 4.5 mph for 30 seconds. Walk for 45 seconds at 3.5 mph; increase to 4.5 mph for 45 seconds.  Walk for one minute at 3.5 mph; increase to 4.5 mph and walk for one minute.  Continue in this fashion adding 15 seconds to each circuit until you reach 5 minutes walking at both 3.5 and 4.5 mph.  Then perform your cool down session.

Incline Pyramid- Following your warmup session, start at an incline of 4 and walk for one minute.  Elevate to 5 and walk for another minute.  Continue to increase the incline every minute up to an incline of 8, and then decrease the incline every minute, back down to 4.  Try to maintain a speed of 3 or 4 mph throughout the workout.  Finish up with your cool down session.

Easy 30-Minute- Following your warmup session, run at what you would consider your normal pace for 10 minutes.  Then walk for a minute to catch your breath. Increase the original running speed by 0.2 and run for another 10 minutes.  Walk for two minutes to catch your breath.  Crank it up by another 0.2 and run for five minutes.  Slow it down and walk for two minutes.  Finish strong with a good cool down session.

Exercise 101: Spruce Up Your Spring Workout

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Now that the seasons are changing, it is the perfect time to change up some of those old worn out items and routines that you have been stuck with for so long in your exercise routine. This is a handy list of “what to ditch” to make the exercise switch:

Spring workout tips

Ditch the old running shoes.  Instead opt for a new pair and keep track of how much “mileage” you get out of them.  Typically, if you run/walk 10 miles per week then shoes can last for 12 months (15 miles : 8 months, 20 miles : 6 months, 30 miles : 4 months).

Throw out the old cotton workout t-shirt.  Instead invest in some shirts that are made of wicking fabrics.  Wicking fabrics (like synthetics) do a better job of keeping you drier and cooler when you are exercising.

Toss the lightweight dumbbells.  Instead try heavier dumbbells that are more challenging in your workout.