Thursday, June 30, 2011

V-Sit City Limits

Team - My two classes tonight were great! Had an abs class to start the night and finished with an intense sports conditioning class - a.k.a Triple Threat. The star of the night was the step (bench and two risers) and don't you worry, the Split Basics made an appearance.

The core (Abs Express) class was quick, but difficult.  Modifications in a core class are crucial because it is extremely easy to injure the lower back.  A standard move in my core class is the V-Sit.  I will always share/education/encourage the participants to "pick their level" and "listen to their bodies."  The majority of the class will do what the teacher is showing in front. With all of this said, remember to show all of the variations below:

Level 1: The farther you lean back, the more you will engage your abs - "Arms are extended, palms by your knees, shoulders down in back"

Level 2: Same instructions, but the picture below shows an increase in intensity - "everything stays in line - 'V' from knees to bottom to shoulders, lift the feet off the floor and keep the shins even with the arms"

Level 3: Same exact thing, but "straighten out the legs."

Your Break: "Hands behind the bottom and give your core and break"

Experiment with your arms and put them out to the side of you or overhead - it's fun!

Hold these movements for short periods of time and mix it up with arm and leg movements.  Tomorrow you will see how I effectively use this in a class setting.  Very excited about that Gymnastics Abs video.

Thanks guys and good luck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Motivator 6.29 - What a workout!

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  This local attraction is in my backyard and I had no idea how many awesome things were in store for me.

Attending the Zoo made me think of this simple motivator for the week.  Local outside activities are fun, exciting, and can be a workout.

Parking was scarce as we approached the Zoo. After searching for a few minutes, we came across a parking spot toward the rear of the lot. No worries! Walking from the back of the lot to the front gate was just the start of the fun filled day of exercise.  It didn't end there! Twenty minutes of walking quickly turned into three and a half hours. Stop for a second and imagine walking on the treadmill for a long period of imagine it with your family at the Zoo...much better, huh? Time truly flies when you're having fun.

All in all, this outdoor workout had me active most of the afternoon while laughing and smiling. You can share this cheap exercise with your family, coworkers, and friends.  Try it! Or find another local outdoor activity where you get your friends and families involved in a fun way.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Step Combo - Easy 32 count block

Hi Team -

Here is an simple 32 count self-reversing block I use during a step or cardio class. Four moves and you're done!

My combo video - I show the combo in two 32 count blocks:


R Turnstep
L Turnstep
R Turnstep
Over the bench
Repeater Knee
Over the bench
2 Jacks

*Repeat, staring with L Turnstep

Try using this combo in conjunction with Bootcamp Drill.

By far, Step is my favorite class to teach.  Step was a huge craze in the early 90s and although the craze has died down, let's not forget the awesome workout you can achieve from just stepping up on the bench.  You can take a simple routine (as shown above) increase tempo or intensity (add knees or Star Jumps) and burn those calories away!

Monday, June 27, 2011

They Loved It!

Team -

We had an awesome class tonight! It was a small, but mighty class.  We were up, we were down, we were all around. Overall it was a great workout and cannot wait to see my "team" again.

Remember, sweat = fun. We had A LOT of fun!

See the picture below for proof.  

Your Monday Playlist for Spinning/Cycling


Here is your Monday playlist!  Details are listed under the comments column. Some things to note:
  • #4 - You Rock my World - Play with cadence - during the chorus or timed, ask your class to increase cadence without touching the resistance
  • #5 - The World I Knew - start with an aggressive pace, close to 65-75 RPMs. Add resistance and keep this pace.  When pace falls behind, stop adding resistance.
  • #7 - Remind them on the last song you increased/decreased cadence throughout the song - encourage class to keep it at on aggressive pace the entire song

Music can make or break a class. It's a blast to see people of all ages smile before, during, and after a great class with exciting music.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ultimate Leg Challenge - No Weights Needed!


Are you ready? : - ) This is my 10 minute leg challenge for your Saturday morning.  This starts with a three minute warm up and finishes with a two minute cool down. Feel free to march in place for a minute or two and stretch before and after this video.

As it states, no weights necessary! All you need is good form on your squats and lunges

Squats - Cue: "Bottom pushes back like you're sitting in a chair, no pressure should be in your knees, shoulders down and back, keep breathing - the lower you get, the harder it is"
Lunges - Cue: "One leg will step forward, one knee over the ankle - not the toe, hands on hips"

Did you survive? Go stretch, grab something to drink and enjoy the wonderful day.

If you want more, pair this leg challenge with my 5 Minute Bootcamp!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Stability Ball Fitness (cont.)


The creative juices were flowing yesterday in my evening class. We used the stability ball for cardio, toning, and abs!  It was a awesome, total body, 55 minute workout.

Here is a sample from the toning portion. This is taking my Stability Ball Fitness post to the next notch with some free weights.  As a rule I will suggest a medium set for my participants, usually 5-8 lbs, and here is a clip of me incorporated them in with squats.

You will see I finish this set with some pulsing squats. This is a good time to tell what is coming up next.  After the bicep curls, try adding these exercises:

  • Lateral Raises
  • Frontal Raises
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Overhead Triceps
Feel free to add some squats or pulses between each move.  This is an AWESOME way to incorporate upper and lower body exercises into one simple move.

Off to my TRX! Still blurring the lines ;-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stability Ball Fitness

Hi Team,

Picking the right Stability Ball is crucial for a fitness class or the gym.  Here is an easy way to grab a stability ball and see if it's a good fit for your height.

  • Find a well inflated stability ball and have a seat on top
  • Legs should be at 90* angle on the ball
    • Cue: "Legs even with hips and knees over ankles"
    • Bottom should not be higher or sink lower than your knees

Here is one of many exercises you can do with your stability ball:
  • Grab the stability ball and place it behind you - in the middle of your back, directly below the shoulder blades
  • Take a small step forward
  • "Toes point forward and shoulders stay down and back - hands can relax on the hips"
  • Slowly lower your hips into a squat position
  • Hips are even with knees and "we can still see our toes"
  • Stand up back up the starting position
  • Add weights if you want for intensity
Good luck and have fun with your stability ball!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Motivator

Team - if you walk by my desk at work, you cannot miss this Fitness Motivator. 

I religiously live by these small lessons because we are in control of our own health.

Fine Print: "It's a no-brainer that exercise has substantial benefits to your coronary health.  Why not sneak it in at every opportunity? Park on the far side of a parking lot, take the stairs, walk and talk with a friend instead of emailing, play with your kids at the park.  It all adds up to better health"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kickboxing Endurance Drill


This is an awesome drill to breakup the format of your class.
For example, start with your 32 count blocks (combos) and then take a break with this drill.
Lunge: Cue "shoulders down and back, front knee of your ankle, not your toe"
Squat: Cue "shoulders down and back, all the weight in your heels, bottom pushes back"

Perform this drill when your class is warmed up and Front and Side Kicks have already been introduced.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Spinning/Cycling Playlist - 50 Minutes

Hi Team,

This playlist has it all! From MJ and Sheila E to Incubus and even The Dream!

Warn your class that each song is long, but it's a great ride!

Jumps on the hill: Cue "cadence does not increase or decrease"
Springs on the hill: Cue "if you can, cadence will slightly increase when we come out of the saddle"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

5 Minute Bootcamp

Here is a 5 minute interval style routine to help those people on the go.  Try out this video and repeat if needed.
You Need: a chair and a mat.

1. Chair Squat - bottom touches the chair, stand up. Add the hop for difficulty
2. Tricep Dips - fingers point toward toes, elbows hug your body
3. Lunges/Russian Hops - fast or slow - focus on knee directly over the ankle
4. Push ups - work at your level - modifications are there if you need them 5. Plank - just think, "I'm almost done!"

Always Blurring the Lines of Fitness and Fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jumping Jacks to the Next Level!

Hi Team,

Here are some simple modifications for a Jumping Jack:

Level 1: Cue "tap the toes and arms at shoulders"
Level 2: Cue "arms come overhead and toe taps right and left"
Level 3: Cue "legs out and in"
Level 4: Cue "3 small jacks and one big jack"
Star Jump: Cue "make sure you are breathing and take it down if necessary"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Plank It out

Planks are great to use on your own or in a class. Here is a level for EVERY participant.  Remember, always present your class with ALL options and make them think about a straight line ("tight core") from shoulders to knees/feet:

Level 1: Cue "on knees" "core tight" "elbows directly below shoulders"

Level 1.5:  One knee down takes some weight off the core - Cue: "modified plank with a knee bent" -"switch knees throughout the plank"

Level 2: Cue "core tight knees off the ground and push through the heels, elbows directly below shoulders"

Level 3: Full Plank - Cue: "hands directly blow shoulders" "tight tight core" and "feel free to take it down a level if you are fatigued"

Remember to relax the shoulders, never let the waist drop and have fun with it. This exercises engages your entire core!

Intense Interval - Bootcamp Drill

Hi Team,

Here's one of my favorite drills to do in my cardio, step, or bootcamp classes.

Split Basic Drill:

  • Lead with the right/left leg to step up and down on the bench to tempo while straddling the bench
  • To increase difficulty, have them speed up the tempo
  • Top level of difficulty: hold squat -shoulders in one place- and continue to race with their feet
Encourage your participants to go at their own pace and show them difficulty levels:
  • Taps on the bench - still straddling the bench (shown in video)
  • Marching on the ground
  • Just keep moving!
Transition from one side to the other - Football feet/Quick feet (shown in video)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cycling/Spinning Playlist

My First Blog! Below you'll find a 50 minute playlist for a Cycling/Spinning Class.

Some things to note: 
  • Introduce Resistance - I cue everyone to find their "Level 4" or "bottom of the hill" - this helps everyone start on the same level - "Right Turn takes you up the hill and Left Turn takes you to no resistance"
  • RPMs - Revolutions per minute.  Here's an easy way to count RPMs - Ask your class to count the right knee, on the up or down stroke. Take a 6 second count of the knees and multiply it by 10.  For Example: 6 Second Count, 9 Right Knees X 10 = 90 RPMs - If it's more "add resistance" and less means "takes some resistance off"
  • Standing Climb - Cue "elbows in," "weight in the pedals," and "butt over your seat"
  • Seated Climb - Cue "complete circles," and "breathe!

Let me know what you think!

Thanks Team!
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