Rotating Your Exercise Routine

On an average day, our bodies, twist, turn, bend, rotate, lunge, sit, stand and move in all directions. During our exercise program, our bodies generally move in one direction. If you find yourself on a leg press machine, your legs are moving up and down, with guided movement. Your free range of motion is altered and half of your body is obsolete. A better option would be a standing squat, which your upper body would be holding the weights. More muscle groups are activated and you will increase your range of motion. Machines limit your body's natural movement and reduce your workload, while performing an exercise. If your goals include anything other than packing on as much muscle as possible, then it would be a good idea to avoid machines.

Since most exercises are performed in the frontal or sagittal plane, I will emphasize on the transverse plane. We should train all three planes of motion in every workout. Moreover, a single exercise can be used which will touch on all three planes, with others that will cover two of the three. Start with a basic push-up position, with your feet shoulder width apart. Perform the push-up, as you push yourself back up to straight arms, rotate your body into a side plank, in the side plank, drop your hip towards the floor for a hip drop, then return to the push-up position. There is your 3 dimensional exercise move. This is just one example. Not every exercise you do has to meet this criteria. This exemplifies a way to include rotational exercises in your routine. Let your routine include pushing, pulling, lateral and rotational exercises.

Numerous upper body, core and lower body exercises can be altered to include the transverse plane. Regardless of your reasons for exercising, you can customize this type of program to aid you in weight loss, build strength and improve dynamic movement. The main intent is to enhance your current state of performance, while minimizing your risk of injury. Keep your workouts safe, productive and effective. You don't have to exercise until you vomit and be so sore the next day that it hurts to walk for it to be considered a productive workout. You probably overworked your body and put yourself at a higher risk for injury if you felt like that. Use your own performance as a way to assess your performance. If your hands come closer to your toes when you reach down, you've made progress. If your plank time increased by fifteen seconds since last week, that's something to build on. Let your body provide you with the feedback by observing it and listening to it.
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Tips to Get Back to Fitness

So you took some time off this summer. Okay, well maybe you took the entire summer off.

Summer is over now, but not your life.

Now is the time to restart your good fitness habits and regain all the great benefits you were starting to appreciate.

You still want to look good and feel good but you're having a hard time getting back to your workout schedule.

You need to attack from the inside and the outside! These ideas can help:

• Put some "reminders" in plain sight. Reminders could be pictures to inspire you. Even better- position your hand weights or your walking shoes where you can't avoid stumbling over them if you don't pick them up and use them.

• Remember your positive effective self-talk, your personal and unique inner voice that coaches you and literally gets you going. It worked before and it can work again. No one ever regrets having healthy habits.

As for next summer, consider that the "future" is a figment of imagination. Live today the way you would like to live tomorrow.

What is it about summer that makes us want to take a break from our routine? Is it the warm weather? Moving to a different climate isn't against the law.

Workouts should feel good. Make adjustments to your workouts so they feel good during and after.

Half of fitness is eating well. Choosing your food from taste alone is almost pre-historic. You can do better. You need food that multi-tasks, food that's delicious AND nutritious.

If you have a "grab and go" eating style, then you may need to plan better to ensure that your choices are nutritious.

When shopping for food, don't be caught hungry and short of time:

• Avoid buying food at gas stations or quick marts. They mostly sell cravage- garbage foods that were designed to drive cravings without providing valuable nutrition.
• Buy groceries that you can eat or store in your kitchen, your car, and your handbag.

As you strive toward fitness remember that your habits become the fibers of who you are. Keeping habits for a long time changes those habits into fibers and threads, the fabric of the person you always wanted to be.

Don't give up. Use intention and perseverance to get you where you want to be. Intention and perseverance are qualities that everyone can develop.

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Social Sweating

Group fitness is growing at a rapid rate in clubs, with Ezypay's most recent Fitness Industry Survey showing that over two- thirds (71.3%) of respondents attend group exercise classes.

The Survey highlighted that group exercise is a known member retention tool, explaining that "clubs should strive to keep members who participate in classes as happy as possible - (as) every group exercise manager can attest to the upset caused by a rescheduling of a timetable or a swapping of popular instructors."

At the club, which I have owned since 2003, our own survey determined that members are definitely looking for variety when it comes to group fitness. Backed up by talking with other club owners there are many group fitness products with increasing competition apps or online classes that enable participation at home or in the workplace.

Where aerobic and step classes used to dominate timetables, group fit providers are continually creating new and exciting class concepts with more sports orientated programs like HIIT and TRX currently generating lots of interest.

However, there is a dilemma for club owners, do you follow what competing clubs are doing or do you find the niche that works for you and focus on that? I often tell club owners instead of replicating the strengths of the nearest club, find the weak spot and build your business based on that.

The best way to deliver group fitness is to listen to your members and deliver on meeting their needs. Survey members, gather their feedback, then try to deliver a timetable that meets the needs of at least 75% of the participants.

Group X is growing at a fast rate yet the common factor for the majority of programs is the choreography that the instructors need to learn in order to deliver outstanding performances. To do this, specialised training is vitally important, not just from the group fitness provider but in ongoing training.

Without ongoing training, clubs automatically put themselves at handicap, instructors become stale and members change preference.

It doesn't matter what type of class you have in your club - whether it's group fitness, small group training or outdoor training - without continuing education your group business will eventually slide.

Social media plays a huge role in growth for any fitness business but you need to utilise the right platform to back your group fitness programming by knowing your demographic and then targeting their platform of use.

As a club owner, social media plays an important role in retention and launching new group fitness products. Introducing new programs through social media in this way, backed by exciting video clips and relevant information, has generated more than 80% of our sales in the past year.

The available media is varied, new programs such as those from Les Mills are backed by their own media while for freestyle programs outside of the standard such as freestyle HIIT,TRX, and cinema cycle we have had our own video clips made and promoted through our social media.

Promotion through social media has also seen us reduce our advertising spending on local radio and publications.

Technology in group fitness is also vital for bookings, with clubs needing to offer simple online methods for class bookings. Offering more than a standalone piece of equipment, successful clubs understand that the attraction of group fitness is in bringing people together through social interaction, friendship and a sense of belonging.

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3 Tips To Help You Choose The Best Fitness Program

When you make the decision to increase the physical activity in your life, you need to choose a fitness regime that will suit your needs. A healthy lifestyle change will determine the results that you get. Choosing the best bodybuilding program for you will require deciding the activity that will suit your lifestyle and that you will enjoy. This will help to motivate you to keep up with the fitness program so that you can get the desired results.

Medical check up

It is important to get medical checkup before you embark on a fitness program. Consult your doctor so that you can get medical check-up and support before embarking on any physical activity. After you choose a program that you will enjoy such as the popular Body Beast, make sure that your doctor rules out any medical complications that can affect your ability to exercise effectively. Pre-exercise screening is especially important if you are overweight or over 40 years or if you suffer from a medical condition.

Choosing the style

It is a good idea to choose a fitness style that will suit your needs. You are more likely to keep working out when you choose a program that will suit your style needs. Determine whether you prefer an organized or casual approach to working out. You also need to decide whether you prefer an individual or group-based activity. Some people prefer exercising alone while others like the buddy system while others still prefer team activities. Weigh the pros and cons of the programs that you choose.

Your fitness goals

It is important to determine your goals before you start the fitness program. When you have fitness goals you know what you are working towards and you will find it easier to measure the results. It is important to know that different activities or programs will offer different results. Decide if your goal is weight management or if you want to build muscle. Knowing your health and fitness goals will help you to find out the best workout and intensity for your body.

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Athletics Versus Aesthetics

We all go to the gym for different reasons. We all have our goals in mind and to each their own. If you play a sport, your training should be geared towards increasing your performance. Your fitness routine should enhance the goals you are working towards. The common mistakes I see in exercise training are that some exercises may be detrimental to what the individual is attempting to accomplish. In sports, most of the moves aren't in one plane of motion, they are in all three. We are running in different directions, twisting, pushing, pulling and bending. The world is three dimensional, which is why it is crucial to train all three dimensions of our bodies.

The three planes of motion are frontal, which is any lateral movement including a side step. Sagittal is any back and forth movement such as a push up. and transverse is rotational movement such as swinging a baseball bat. Take a baseball player for example and think of all the motions they execute on a daily basis. An exercise program that prepares them for what they do on the field is optimal for them. Isolation based weight training would not be beneficial to them. They are mainly focused on the sagittal and frontal planes and can decrease range of motion and flexibility. Isolation based, strength building exercises work well for bodybuilders. They don't have to be mobile and field ground balls, they have to pose. They are judged by how they look, not how they perform. To improve performance, it is productive to perform rotational exercises. Most injuries occur in the transverse plane of motion. One of the reasons for this is because it is the least trained. I rarely see anyone doing any sort of rotational exercises at the gym.

If your goals are mainly aesthetic, then focus on isolated exercises and break up your training by body parts. If you want to improve your dynamic movements, perform better or improve flexibility, then train your body in all three planes of motion. It really depends on your reasons for exercising. You don't have to be an athlete to train like one. For the most part, we all have physical limitations on which we wish to improve. It could be something simple like reducing the pain when bending down to pick up your car keys. Our time at the gym is to improve on our areas that are the weakest. Our bodies break down naturally and at an accelerated pace if we're playing a sport. The exercising we do shouldn't contribute to the decay of our bodies. On the contrary, it should revitalize us.
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Jogging For Fitness, Weight Loss And Stamina

We all go to the gym for different reasons. We all have our goals in mind and to each their own. If you play a sport, your training should be geared towards increasing your performance. Your fitness routine should enhance the goals you are working towards. The common mistakes I see in exercise training are that some exercises may be detrimental to what the individual is attempting to accomplish. In sports, most of the moves aren't in one plane of motion, they are in all three. We are running in different directions, twisting, pushing, pulling and bending. The world is three dimensional, which is why it is crucial to train all three dimensions of our bodies.

The three planes of motion are frontal, which is any lateral movement including a side step. Sagittal is any back and forth movement such as a push up. and transverse is rotational movement such as swinging a baseball bat. Take a baseball player for example and think of all the motions they execute on a daily basis. For them to be at the gym doing bench presses would not be beneficial to them. It would be beneficial to a bodybuilder or a powerlifter. There are exercises that can improve our biomechanics and there are exercises that can get us to look better. A bodybuilder doesn't have to field a ground ball or swing a bat, they have to pose. There is no reason to exercise like a bodybuilder unless you are trying to be one. Most injuries occur in the transverse plane of motion. One of the reasons for this is because it is the least trained. I rarely see anyone doing any sort of rotational exercises at the gym.

If your goals are mainly aesthetic, then focus on isolated exercises and break up your training by body parts. If you want to improve your dynamic movements, perform better or improve flexibility, then train your body in all three planes of motion. It really depends on your reasons for exercising. You don't have to be an athlete to train like one. For the most part, we all have physical limitations on which we wish to improve. It could be something simple like reducing the pain when bending down to pick up your car keys. Our time at the gym is to improve on our areas that are the weakest. Our bodies break down naturally and at an accelerated pace if we're playing a sport. The exercising we do shouldn't contribute to the decay of our bodies. On the contrary, it should revitalize us.

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Three Exercises to Burn Fat

While I am about to recommend three specific exercises for burning fat, I don't want to put down other exercises. In fact, if you really care about health and fitness, you should have a varied workout routine which includes cardio, as well as other strength building exercises than just these three.

However, unless you are a professional bodybuilder or full-time gym rat, your time and resources, including your energy, is probably not unlimited. When it comes to health, fitness, weight loss, AND burning body fat, you want the most bang for your exercise buck.

That's where these three exercises come in. They not only work big muscle groups, giving you the max overall fitness of the strength building exercises, but, they also enhance some of the other, less productive exercises.

First, let's take a look at just a couple of those "less productive" exercises; the curl and the press.

While big biceps (curl) and big triceps (press and/or triceps extension) may look impressive, when it comes to the effect these muscles have on overall fat burning, you're looking at small change. In fact, I would DO, but not CONCENTRATE ON, these types of exercises, unless, of course, I wanted to be a competitive body builder. They will make your arms look fancy, but, even they lack that little something that really builds a lot of lean muscle and helps burn body fat.

So, what ARE the magic three?

They are the basic squat, bench press, and rowing motion (or lat pull down).

What these three have in common is that:

They target the largest muscle groups
They also target smaller, assisting muscle groups
They allow you to use heavier weights
They can be done almost anywhere in one form or another
When done with resistance bands, they can also strengthen your core

In fact, while the basic strength training workout is built around about six exercises, these three alone will work almost every muscle in your body while building more lean muscle mass, more easily, than the others.

Now, I am NOT saying to skip the others, I am just saying to focus on these if you want to burn body fat with strength training while getting the maximum health and fitness return for your efforts.

Think about this:

The squat targets the large quadriceps muscle in the front of the thigh, and the large (no offense intended) gluteus maximus, or, as it is more commonly referred to... your butt.

These are some huge muscles and respond quite well to strength training. Lean muscle becomes an internal furnace which burns fat, and these are a couple of biggies. There are a huge number of assisting muscles during the squat, including just about any muscle associated with the core, and, the calves and ankles are involved as well.

Squats can usually be done, or you can fairly easily train to do them, with pretty heavy weights. Rule of thumb, heavier weight means more fat burned during the exercise. Bigger muscles means more fat burned after the exercise.

Even squats done without weights are still using some big muscle groups, but you can easily add weight almost anywhere. On the road? Do squats with your suitcase or one of the chairs.

The bench press targets the pectoral muscles, which is a pretty big set of muscles... and pretty strong as well. Most people will find that the chest muscles respond well to strength training. While doing a bench press movement, the arms are exercised, particularly the triceps, as are the muscles of the upper back and shoulders, another bunch of big muscles.

The bench press does normally require a bench to do it properly, but, I find that I can really get in a good set of "bench presses" with some strong resistance bands. In fact, I prefer using resistance bands because, in addition to the other muscles involved, I have to use my core muscles, and leg muscles, to stabilize my body.

If you don't have resistance bands, weights, or other type of exercise equipment which allows you to do a bench press type exercise, there's always the old reliable... the push up. If you cannot do a 100% on-the-floor push up, you can start with wall push ups, or doorway push ups, moving your feet farther back for more resistance. Keep working at it, and you will be able to do push ups using a table, counter top, or chair, until you can eventually do them on the floor.

By the way, I really like exercising with resistance bands because I can do almost any exercise I can do with weights or an exercise machine without taking up a lot of space or moving a bunch of equipment around. Also, I can take them with me when I travel and get the same workout in a motel room that I get at home. If there's a fitness center at the motel, I put in some time on a treadmill or other piece of cardio exercise equipment, or, I take a walk.

Anyway, the third exercise I like to recommend is almost any version of the rowing motion or lat pull down. These work the huge V-shaped latissimus dorsii muscle of the upper back. Again, however, you will also be working the arm muscles and upper shoulder muscles at the same time. Also, if you use resistance bands to do lat pull downs, you will be using your core muscles, and leg muscles, to stabilize your body.

Working these large muscle groups allows you to move more weight in a given time, and build more lean muscle mass, than exercises that produce what could almost be called a cosmetic effect, such as curls and presses. Moving the big weights, and involving the big muscles, will not only burn body fat faster while building up functional strength in the bigger muscle groups of the body.

Yes, it can be great to have the baseball biceps and horseshoe triceps that come with a lot of arm work, but, to get the maximum from the workout you do, whether you want to burn fat faster as you get strong, put these three exercises on the top of your list and work them the hardest.
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Don't Neglect Your Neck

Body builders and fitness enthusiasts alike often disregard exercising the neck. Some even believe that a strong neck might look too masculine or make their head or shoulders appear too small. In both a practical and cosmetic sense, a strong neck encourages proper posture and protects the head from shock and trauma. But, the function of healthy neck muscles go beyond good looks and protecting the body against injuries.

A healthy, flexible neck allows free circulation to the head, which includes the brain along with the pituitary, pineal and thyroid glands. These endocrine glands directly affect sleep, creativity, metabolism and higher awareness. Circulation in the neck affects the eyes as well. So adding some neck fitness into your day is a good practice. This can take place first thing in the morning or when you find yourself tired behind your desk. It can be as simple as nodding your head forward and backward (like saying "Yes, I will keep exercising and treating myself right!"). And looking left to right (like saying NO to greasy French fries and too many pastries).

Just watch many athletes before they enter the playing field, home plate or boxing ring. They are usually rolling their shoulders and neck to loosen themselves up. You can do the same thing before an athletic competition, writing an exam, giving a presentation or attending an important meeting. When your neck is relaxed, the rest of your body follows suit.

While you might not need the neck strength of a professional athlete, neck-stretching and strengthening exercises will improve circulation and muscle tone and decrease tension. (Remember to consult your health professional before starting any exercise program.)

Two simple neck toners that you can feel almost immediately are as follows:

SIDE NECK STRETCH

1. Sit upright on a chair with your left hand firmly gripping the bottom of your chair.

2. With your right hand, reach over top of your head to the left side of your head.

3. Then, with your right hand gently pull against the side of your head, while you resist the pressure using your neck muscles. Hold for 7 seconds and then relax.

4. Then, while still gripping the chair with your left arm, gently pull your head,, while pulling your right ear towards your right shoulder.

You should feel the stretch along the left side of your neck. Hold for 7 seconds and relax.

5. Repeat for the right side of your neck. G-e-n-t-l-y work up to three sets.

The isometric tension helps release tension before the stretching phase of the movement. This exercise is great for office workers or drivers who spend long hours sitting and building up tension in their necks and upper backs.

HEAD RAISE

Lie on your back, on a couch or bed, with your head hanging over the edge.

Gently, let your head roll back.

Keeping tension on your neck muscles, gently bring your head forward to try to touch your chin to your chest.

Repeat five to ten times, slowly and gently.

This is a nice way to tone up the area under the chin while strengthening the neck. You can also let your head hand over the edge of the bed and feel the renewed circulation and relaxation through your eyes, face and neck.

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