My family and I just got back from a tropical vacation in Missouri. Some people go to the beach for Spring Break, some go the other way.
My wife's uncle lives on a farm in Missouri. On this farm, he has some cows. Insert your own music.
He mentioned that they had penned up 2 cows to fatten them up. Normally the cows are out wandering around this huge pasture.
To fatten them up, they put them in a smaller enclosed area.
To make them gain weight, they cut down on their activity level. Hmm, sound like any jobs in today's world?
A few weeks ago I heard a guy on NPR talking about how elephants in zoos have tracking devices put on them to keep track of how much they walk in a day.
They make sure the elephants walk a certain amount every day because it keeps them healthier and they live longer.
There are multiple studies that have shown that even if you exercise every day you are still at risk for health problems if you are inactive the rest of the day.
The point is to mooooove. Sorry, you probably knew that was coming but I couldn't stop it.
Don't sit for more than an hour at a time, walk more, find a physically active hobby you enjoy, etc… You will find the more active you are overall, the more energy you will have.
You will also burn more calories, lose more weight, and start sleeping better at night.
The main thing is to not rely solely on your workouts to get the results you want.
Move more and eat better.
Simple concept, but very powerful when you put it into action.
The glutes are a common term for the group of muscles in your buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minims. The buttocks is a scientific name for your rump shaker.
With so many jobs requiring extended periods of sitting, the muscles of the buttocks are going to waste.
Weak glutes can cause low back pain, knee injuries, hamstring pulls, make climbing stairs harder, and many other negative effects.
Besides making you look better working these muscles can also: help prevent or fix a lot of the problems listed above, increase athletic performance, and improve overall strength.
Here are a few of other glute exercises that you might not have tried.
Crossover step ups
Put your right foot next to a step, bench, or even a curb. The height you use and whether or not you use weights will be based on how experienced you are.
Step your left foot across your body up onto the platform. Keeping your hips facing to the front, push hard using your left glute muscles, and step your right foot up onto the platform. Step back down with your right foot and start all over.
Kneeling stand up
Kneel down with your left knee on the ground, your right knee up. Push hard through your right heel and concentrate on using your right side butt muscles to stand all the way up. Stand up fast, then slowly (taking 3-5 seconds) lower yourself back down.
If that version is too hard, get your right side close to a wall and use your right hand to assist you. If you have joint issues that prevent you from doing this exercise, start at the top part of this exercise and slowly lower yourself to the point you can go then stand up.
Rear foot elevated squat with one weight
Like the crossover set ups, you have options depending on your fitness level. You can use a bench, a step, or a curb and you can also choose to use weights or not.
Start with your right foot up on a bench, shoelaces flat on the bench (or some people prefer to put their toe on the bench), and left foot 2-3 foot away from the bench. Keep your chest up (don't round your lower back), lean your torso forward slightly, bend your left knee to lower your right knee toward the ground. Don't let your right knee touch the ground and drive back up to the starting position.
Then one more important exercise.
The Stand Up
To perform this one, simply stop sitting down, and you got it. This might be the most important one. The more you sit, the more those butt muscles are going to feel unwanted, and will deteriorate. Stand up at least once per hour.
This is how we do things in our boot camps. You will have an exercise, then we will provide a way to make it harder as well as a way to make it easier/work around joint issues.
We start our brand new Better Booty and Belly Boot Camp on Monday. Whatever shape you are in now, we can figure out a way to get you looking and feeling your best. Can't wait to get started, come join us!
I have a confession to make to you.
I use AOL for all of my e-mail.
I've tried to quit many times, but I can't stop even though I'm aware that it makes me look like someone who still listens to 8 tracks.
It's an excellent distraction when I am actually trying to work. It posted these headlines after you send an e-mail to get you interested in their stories.
They had one last week about the body parts people obsess about the most.
Being a fitness professional, I had to investigate so I could be up on the latest research.
Do you have any guesses on what body parts women obsess about the most?
Their stomach is the area that 69% of women obsess about. Followed by thighs 36% and butt 29%.
You can check out the rest of the stats for men and women here
The problem with obsessing about something, is that all you tend to do. The issue seems so insurmountable that it can make you feel hopeless and you will do nothing but worry.
This is the time a molehill starts to become a mountain.
The best cure for that is AAA.
Do something about it! We have created a specially designed camp to help these specific problem areas.
This will be 4 weeks of class with a special focus on the stomach, butt, and thighs. This class will start on March 17th and we have also added a 2 days per week option for people who have requested it.
Registration is open today! Go to HuntsvilleBootCamp.com:
-Select the class location from the Calendar and Registration menu (Huntsville or Madison)
-Find the class that time that suits you best (530am, 830am, or 530pm)
-Choose however many days per week (2-5 days) that you would like to attend
When you are actively working on your problems you will feel so much better, than when you are sitting back passively worrying about them.
Sign up today and we can obsess about important things, like having the Billy Ray Cyrus of e-mail systems.
Have you ever played that game Tetris? The game with the different shapes that you have to make fit.
It seems silly, but it is strangely addicting. Much like Prancercise. Or so I hear…
If you've heard of it, you probably haven't thought about it in years. There must not be much going on at Plymouth University, because researchers there apparently love them some Tetris.
They did a study that measured cravings while playing Tetris for 3 minutes.
The study participants showed a 24% decrease in cravings just from simply playing the game.
What does that mean for you? You can play Tetris next time you get a craving, obviously. But what else can you do?
Distract yourself in some other way! You need to break the power of the craving by doing something.
Work would be a nice option, but who wants to do that? BORING. Plus, a lot of us can do work and barely have to focus on the task at hand. That leads to minds wandering to cravings.
You need something that makes you really lock into it. It could be a great book, a movie, some pushups, etc…
I don't recommend getting on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram because of all the good selfies on there. "Check out my BLT yo!"
PS- you are probably wanting to play Tetris now. Here you go, a web site where you can play for free --> FreeTetris
Stinking allergies. Anybody else feeling the wrath of the incoming allergy season? All the feelings of being sick without the light at the end of the tunnel that you will feel better in a week or so. I HATE not feeling 100% as I'm sure you do, so it was starting to effect my mood. I can't breath very good. I'm light headed. Working out is much rougher. Woe is me, my life is so rough. Do you see where this is going? Sometimes we need a little kick in the pants to get right. I got kicked swiftly and efficiently on Saturday. Saturday afternoon I went to meet with a guy from my church who needs some help exercising. He is 81 and has severe Parkinson's. He is still sharp as a tack, but he has speech problems along with a wide array of physical problems. Walking the 10 feet to his kitchen with his walker takes so much out of him he is drained from it. He has someone come every morning to feed and bathe him. Every little thing that I take for granted is a battle for him. Makes my little allergy thing, look like the tiny issue it is. Are you taking your health for granted? If you have the physical ability to exercise and you are not, I strongly urge you start today. You were made to move, exercise, and be active. You may not be able to do as much as you could when you were younger, but you can do more than you are doing now. Start small, stay consistent, keep challenging yourself, and you can make a huge amount of progress in a few short months.
Working out alone can be tough. I've done many a workout in my cold garage all alone. When you wear American flag pants, it can be difficult to get people to hang out with you.
But enough about my sad life, let's talk about working out with a partner. When you workout with a partner you will work harder, have more fun, and you will get better results.
Step one, find a partner. It can be a significant other, a friend, a child, or just someone who is not wearing flag pants.
Step two, do this short, but fun workout:
1. High knees
One partner holds their hands up level with their partner's waist. The other partner will march or run their knees up to those hands. Go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and then let the other partner go. Each partner will go 4 times.
2. Paper, Rock, Scissors Squats
Each partner will hold a squat, at the bottom of the squat you will do the traditional "Paper, Rock, Scissors, Go!" format. If you win, you get to stand up for a few seconds and rest. If you lose, you continue holding your squat. Do this for 60 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and do 4 rounds total.
3. High five pushups
You will live up head to head with your partner. Lower down into the pushup at the same time, come up together, and at the top give them a high five or a fist bump. During cold and flu season I recommend a fist bump. Do this for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds for 4 rounds.
4. Annoying planks
One partner will hold a plank. The other partner will wrap a towel or band around their partner's hips. While the partner is holding the plank, the other partner will begin lifting up, pulling sideways, and generally making a nuisance out of themselves to make the plank harder. Each partner will do 4 rounds, 30 seconds each round.
5. Finisher-Shoulder press and squat hold
Using dumbbells or bands, one partner will do 15 shoulder presses while the other will hold a squat. As soon as the partner finishes their presses, the partners will change exercises. Go back and forth, getting as many rounds as possible in 2 minutes
These are the types of workouts that we do at boot camp. Each partner can work at their own pace and on their level.
Give it a try, then you can eat your Valentine's Day meal with a revved up metabolism.
If you have a Pinterest account, then I'm sure you know "Abs Are Made In The Kitchen". To be able to see your ab muscles, you have to get rid of the fat that covers them.
Proper nutrition is the best way to say hello to the stomach muscles. We still want to strengthen and tone those babies though, so here are 3 core exercises to tighten and tone your abs.
ACE (American Council of Exercise) did a study of which abdominal exercises was the most effective. They found that the bicycle was the most effective, with nearly two and a half times the muscle activation as the plain old crunch.
This exercise targets the rectus abdominus (aka the 6 pack muscle you think of) as well as the external obliques (love handles).
To get in position to perform the bicycle, lie on your back, place both hands behind your head, feet off the ground with legs bent at 90 degrees. Next, bring your left knee towards your chin as you rotate your right elbow towards your left knee (DO NOT push on your head), and repeat side to side for the desired amount of repetitions.
This move targets the transverse abdominus which is sometimes called the corset muscle because it keeps the abdominals held in tight. I just call it your Spanx muscle. Those muscles also act as back support and to help control breathing when lifting.
Exhale all of the air out of your lungs, expand your chest, then suck your stomach in as far as possible. Think about trying to pull your belly button into your spine. When you are just starting out, try to hold this contraction for 20 seconds. Rest 60 seconds and then do it one more time.
This move can trim inches off your waist once you get good at it. It is a secret though! Keep it on the down low.
3. Side plank
A great move for overall body strength and toning the obliques (love handles). Lay on your right side first, place your right palm on the ground, lift your hips up off the ground, and hold your body in a straight line. It is a little easier if you do this same move on your forearm instead.
If either of those are too hard, try the modified version. Lay on your right side, right palm on the ground. Instead of your legs being straight, pull your feet behind your knees, and push your hips up in the air with the side of your knee staying on the ground.
I was really honored to have an article about our boot camp published recently. The article really captures why we do what we do and how we go about doing it.
The article also talks about what I consider the 5 most important things you need to focus on in an exercise program. If you are taking care of these five things, you will reach your goals.
Adventure Hiking Class that starts next Saturday, Jan 25th. We are almost out of slots if you still want to join. Don't worry about tracking your steps for that class. Katie, who leads the class, is a FitBit fan too. She can tell you how many you get in 🙂