A Workout for Two! Get sweaty with your sweetie (or a friend!) You’ll need: A partner, one stable chair, and a clock. Warm-up: 20 jumping jacks, 20 squats, 20 lunges X2 Section 1 (8 minutes on the clock, move to section 2 after 8 minutes) Partner A: 25 step-ups on the chair, then tag out your partner. Partner B: 6 push-ups, 6 Mountain Climbers (right and left), 6 jumping jacks, repeat over and over until partner A tags you out, then move to the chair Each time the partner on the chair gets 25 step-ups, you’ll trade places. Keep going until 8 minutes is up! One minute break! Section 2 (8 minutes on the clock, move to section 3 after 8 minutes) Partner A: 25 burpees, then tag out your partner. Partner B: 10 triceps dips on the chair, 10 sit-ups with feet on chair, 10 chair hop-overs (stand to the side of the chair, squat with one foot on chair, then hop over the chair, landing on the other side with foot on the chair) repeat over and over until partner A tags you out, then move to burpees. Each time the burpee partner gets 25 burpees, you’ll trade places. Keep going until 8 minutes is up! One minute break! Section 3 (8 minutes on the clock, then you’re done!) Partner A: 50 toe taps on chair, then tag out your partner Partner B: 6 squat jumps, 6 butt kicks, 6 lunge jumps. repeat over and over until partner A tags you out, then move to chair toe taps. Each time the toe tap partner gets 50 taps, you’ll trade places. Keep going until 8 minutes is up! **Note: If you want to do this workout by yourself, just start with the partner A part, time yourself, then do the Partner B part for the same amount of time it took you to do Partner A, keep going back and forth for each 8 minute section!** Content courtesy of Enrgi Group Fitness Defined
Whether you have trained on ellipticals for years or are just starting to fit an elliptical into your fitness routine, elliptical cross training has a variety of benefits that can help a person get into shape and stay healthy. The following list describes some of the benefits elliptical cross training brings!
- Elliptical cross training is a low-impact workout that is great for cardiovascular health! Before elliptical cross trainers were made widely available to the public, people who wanted intense cardio activity were limited to high-impact exercise.
- Ellipticals can be used by all ages of people and they are easy to figure out. Most allow you to hop on and go.
- It is a workout that is easy on the joints. With an elliptical, you can get in a vigorous, heart-pounding workout that doesn’t pound on your joints!
- Elliptical cross trainers provide excellent weight-bearing exercise which helps strengthen the bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. There are also muscle-toning benefits because of this!
- You will work your upper and lower body at the same time. With some workouts your focus is either on just the legs, or only the arms. With an elliptical you can work both! Ellipticals also have built in programs that allow you to change up your program and provides some workout variety
- Ellipticals do provide for some multi-tasking. If you need to read the latest magazine or catch up on emails, you usually have the capability to get these done while continuing to get your cardio on.
- And last, but not least, you can pedal in reverse. There are claims that pedaling in reverse works the calves and hamstrings more than pedaling in forward motion. It's fun to try, so give it a go.
After you've finished your cardio workout it's time to give those those muscles a good stretch so you can avoid soreness, fatigue, back pain or even injury. The muscles you've worked so hard during your exercise need time to recover so they're ready for your next workout. Here are 4 stretches you should do after your cardio workout:
1. Side Lunge Stretch
The side lunge stretches the hip adductors. Tight hips can lead to a variety of injuries in the knees, back and hamstrings. To do this stretch: Stand upright, with both feet facing forward, double shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips or thighs, in order to keep your back straight. Slowly exhale, taking your bodyweight across to one side. Avoid leaning forward, or taking the knee of the bent leg over your toes.
2. Crossover Stretch
The crossover stretch will help to release your hips, iliotibial (IT) band and lower back. To do this stretch: Lie down with your legs straight and your arms extended out to the side. Bend one knee up towards your chest and place your opposite hand on your knee. Slowly pull your knee across your body towards the ground until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for approximately 15-30 seconds.
3. Hamstrings Stretch
Tight hamstrings can cause back pain, discomfort and difficulty lifting your legs. Stretching these muscles regularly can help to alleviate these effects. To do this stretch: Move your right foot toward your inner thigh, so that it touches the top part of your left leg, if possible. Lean forward, bending but not rounding your back and waist toward the left foot as if reaching for your toes. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Quadriceps Stretch After exercise like running, quads can tighten which can bring on strains and knee injuries. To do this stretch: stand upright and pull your leg behind you with the corresponding hand. Try to keep your knee pointing downward as you do this stretch to protect your knee joint.
Another tip we suggest here at 2nd Wind is to try mixing up your workouts for better results and to avoid muscle fatigue. If you're sore from your previous workout, try changing up the muscle movements next time. For instance, if you like to run, try a rowing exercise the next time around. This change offers less impact on the joints and changes your muscle movements.
Written by Dave Indelicato, Fitness Consultant with 2nd Wind store, Oklahoma City. Dave is a NASM Certified Trainer, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist who formerly managed 6 gyms and owned 5 nutrition stores. Fitness has been a part of his life for years. Read his take on why he chose the home gym route over a membership, and how it's made exercising so much easier and accessible each day with a young family.
"Fitness has been a massive part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to have some equipment at home to workout with, but I always told myself that no matter what, I would still need to go to the gym. I just didn’t think that I would ever be able to get the intense and various workouts I needed in my house. When my wife and I found out that we were expecting our 2nd child we decided to take a leap and tackle our fitness goals at home. We hoped that having what we needed at the house would make it easier for us to find time to workout once we had two children to chase after. We didn’t get too crazy when picking out our equipment: an elliptical, a bench, some adjustable dumbbells, and a home gym. Well, after 17 years of absolute certainty regarding my workout needs I officially stand corrected. 20 minutes into my first workout at home I could not stop counting the reasons why my gym was better than any I had ever paid a membership for. For those of you who have been on the fence about creating your own gym, consider the following:
Money: My wife and I are saving approximately $135.00/month in gym fees, gas, and toll fees. Time: The amount of time saved is almost incalculable. There is no drive to and from the gym, less time getting ready to workout, there is no wait for equipment, there are no large parking lots to find a spot in, and there is no checking our sons in and out of child care. This is a major benefit to us because our time together is priceless.
Childcare: Not everyone has to worry about this factor, but for those of you who do it is huge! Our “home gym childcare” is always open. It is also cleaner, more familiar, and more comfortable for our sons. We never have to worry about limits being met on the number of children, and if one of our sons has a cold or fever we can still get a workout in. Lastly, we don’t have to get the boys ready to go; another time saver.
Adaptability: With our home gym we have purchased the equipment that we will use, nothing more and nothing less. We are not paying to maintain a cardio cinema, a pool, or any of the machines that we did not use in 17 years with a membership. If we decide we need an addition to our gym we can do it. We can listen to the music we want, stretch where we please, and we have a “bring a friend anytime” policy! Our gym is open 24/7, 365 days a year. It is not closed on holidays or during ice storms.
NO EXCUSE environment: Let’s be honest, with all of our own equipment right behind a door in our house there is no excuse for ever letting our health slip away. We have an exclusive and private gym that is cleaner than any health facility, and dedicated to our individualized health needs. Fitness and health do not always have a “cookie cutter” solution. You have to utilize what is right for your goals. Even without a car we can still make it to the gym.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, we will be setting an example for our children. We want them to see that fitness is an important part of life that requires dedication, but rewards you with better quality of life."
If you've been considering adding a gym to your home, find a store near you or visit us online to learn about the many options we have to choose from at various price points. All brand-name, gym-quality equipment you'll actually want to workout on! Also, with many financing options, it's easier on the budget to get the gym perfect for your home, budget and goals.
Posted: August 02, 2017||
Stand-up Paddleboard yoga, or SUP Yoga for short, has gained a passionate following. SUP yoga brings adventure into your yoga practice while teaching concrete lessons about letting go of control and going with the flow. Practicing yoga over moving water might seem intimidating, so surrender to its spirit of playfulness. SUP yoga will keep you coming back for more. So what’s SUP and how do you get started?
Benefits of SUP YogaWhether you choose a traditional hard shell paddleboard or embrace the adaptability of the new generation of inflatable SUP’s, SUP yoga will get you away from it all. SUP yoga lets you enjoy the beauty of an outdoor setting and the serenity of open water. The unique stability challenges of SUP yoga will help you connect to your practice in a new way. You’ll find a deeper mind body connection while improving core strength and proprioception. Lastly, SUP yoga is a lot of fun. Unpredictable conditions make it likely that you will end up in the water during your practice. Whether you join a group or go it alone, surrendering to the playfulness of SUP yoga will bring new energy to your practice.
Selecting the Best SUP Yoga PaddleboardRenting a board or trying a SUP yoga class is a good way to get started. Sadly, renting a good SUP yoga board can be tough. Traditional hard shell boards and inflatable boards are both great options for SUP yoga. You’ll find that the current generation of inflatables provide stability and durability that match or exceed that of hard shell boards. Inflatable boards are also easier to load and unload if you plan on transporting your board for ISUP Yoga adventures. When choosing your board, make sure you have a wider surface area (not a racing board). You’ll also want your grip to run the length of the board to provide better traction in your practice. Lastly, check the weight rating and construction of your board. Bungee cords and elastic webbing are handy add-ons to keep your water bottle and paddle under control. Your board should look and feel solid, without parts that are likely to catch or become damaged during loading and unloading.
SUP Yoga Pro-tricksThere’s no real limit to the type of yoga postures you can try on your ISUP but there are a few tricks that will make your practice easier. Give these a try when you head out for your ISUP adventure.
- Bring an anchor. Head for calm, deep water. Drop your anchor to avoid too much drifting during your practice.
- Get creative with your props. Life jackets make excellent bolsters. A paddle, extended crossways on your board, can make balance a little easier (strap it into those handy elastic bands).
- Start with seated postures. While you might be tempted to jump into a strong warrior or tree pose, given your surroundings, seated poses will provide greater stability as you adapt to your new environment.
- Take a wider stance. As you progress to standing postures, a wider stance will help you find your balance.
- Focus on centering. While you center your mind and body, build your practice around the center of your board for better stability.
- Gaze is important. While not unique to SUP yoga, gaze becomes especially important in this unstable environment. SUP yoga might require you to focus on a still point on the horizon, especially when you transition to standing postures.
- Transition slowly. SUP yoga gives you the chance to slow down, both literally and figuratively. Moving slowly as you transition into standing postures or when moving between postures will let you respond to changes in the wind and water.
- Let go and play. SUP yoga is a playful past time. Let go of the idea of a perfect practice so that you can immerse yourself in the experience.
Beginner Yoga Poses on your Inflatable SUPNearly any yoga posture that can be adapted to an ISUP Yoga move. Here are few to start with.
- Easy Pose: After paddling to calm waters, start your practice by simply sitting cross-legged on your board. Focus on lengthening your spine and your breath as you center in your practice.
- Cat Cow Vinyasa: Begin to introduce movement into your practice by coming onto all fours. Remember to stay centered on your board. Once you feel stable, let your belly drop down on your inhalation and arch your spine towards the sky while dropping your head on your exhalation. Continue for five or more slow breaths.
- Child’s pose: From all fours press your hips back towards your heels, reaching forward with your hands. Stay mindful of the center of the board as you let your head come down to the board or your life jacket bolster. Surrender to the peacefulness of the water and your surroundings.
- Pigeon Pose: Bring one leg forward, maintaining a strongly flexed foot and keeping a bend in your knee. As you rest your knee on the board and rotate your thigh outward, extend your opposite leg behind your body. Because this position is asymmetrical, you may find your stability is more challenged. Focus on continuing to work with the center of your board as you rotate your front thigh outward and back thigh inward to open your hips. If placing your front hip on the board is challenging, you can use your life jacket as a bolster while holding your paddle across the board for additional balance.
- Svasana: Soak up the rewards of your practice. Lie face up on your board with your arms at your side, palms up. Let your eyes close. Bask in the beauty of your breath and your surroundings.
As you progress beyond seated postures, a basic yoga flow offers additional strength and stability challenges. Incorporate plank, down dog, and cobra before moving forward into low lunges and finally standing postures. Lastly, ISUP yoga practice doesn’t need to be limited to open waters. When the weather turns colder, you can bring your board indoors to continue using its unique challenges for additional training.
About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Joli.