Exercise

Shorty got low, low, low, low. 4 Ways to squat lower.

1

Flo Chart?

Is that song stuck in your head now? Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. That wacky Flo Rida.

Let's talk about low squats. It was once thought to be bad for your knees, but research has shown that deep squats are not bad for you and have several benefits. A deeper squat will make you stronger, burn more calories, and make your booty look better. It's science.

The problems come when people drop it like it's hot while lowering themselves into the squat, bounce at the bottom, and then stand up. That bounce puts a lot of strain on your knees. If you are squatting fast, make sure you are under control.

If you are having trouble getting into a lower squat, here are a 4 ways to help you out.

1. Hang out like a Nicaraguan

 

I've been on a couple of mission trips to Nicaragua and I noticed some of the locals taking rest breaks in what looked an awful way to rest. They dropped all the way into a squat where their butt was about an inch off the ground. A few years ago I read an article that described it as The Third World Squat.

Third-World-Squat

They are basically holding the bottom part of a perfect squat. Your mission is to get to where you can hold that position comfortably for one minute. Start working squatting down as low as you can and holding it without your heels popping up off the ground (more on that below) and without falling over. Feel free to hold onto something when you first start out.

2. Arms forward

 

Extend your arms out in front of you before you start your squat. Studies have proven that you can squat lower by adding this simple twist to your normal squat.

arms-extended-squat  

3. Loosen up your ankles

 

Do your heels come up off the ground when you try to squat low? You need to loosen those ankles up. In our boot camp classes we do ankle circles as part of our warm-up to get the ankles loose.

Put your toe on the ground, heel up in the air. Start circling your foot around, like you are mashing out a cigarette. Do 10 circles for each direction on both feet.

4. Defeat the desk job

HipFlexorStretch

Many of us sit way too much during our day. At work, in the car, watching TV or on the computer at home.

Sitting too much causes your hip flexors to tighten up. If you have trouble getting into a deep squat, the culprit can be tight hips. Try the 90/90 hip flexor stretch.

Go into a kneeling position, with your right knee up and your left knee on the ground. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward, and think about sinking your hips into the ground. Hold that for 15-20 seconds and then do the same on the other side.

Start putting these to work and you will be looking good in your apple bottom jeans and your boots with the fur.

FloRida

Just in case I didn't get you the first time

Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

0
A true Valentine

A true Valentine

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.

The airbrushed wolf Burpee shirt is not helping my cause

The airbrushed wolf Burpee shirt is not helping my cause

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.

In case you don't know the rules

In case you don't know the rules

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.

3 Core Exercises to Tighten and Tone Your Abs

0

JoeMartinFitness

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.

 
There it is again!

There it is again!

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.

1. Bicycle

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.

2.Vacuum

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.

4. This

Ab Enhancer

An Out-of-Gym Experience. The magic of Huntsville Adventure Boot Camp

0

Comfort zone

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.

An Out-Of-Gym Experience

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.

Do you use a FitBit?

0

fitbit-flex-16

My wife earned a free FitBit at work a few months ago. Her company is pretty awesome, they earn prizes and gifts with health enhancing activities.   She was obsessed with this thing when she first got it! The FitBit Flex that she has does a lot of cool things, but the main thing she uses it for are: step counting and sleep quality tracking.   When she first started counting her steps, she had no idea how inactive she was most days. Makes sense for someone who has a desk job right?   She now obsessively (don't worry, she won't read this) gets 10,000 steps a day in. Pacing during phone calls, parking further out when she goes to the hospital, marching while brushing teeth, or whatever it takes to get there.   Our house is not normal.   Why am I telling you all this? I want you to think about how active you are. Outside of your workouts especially. How much do you move?   Do you even know? Most people are like my wife and don't even think about it.  

Peter_Drucker_Measured_Managed

  You have something you want to improve? Measure where you are now and then have a way to track improvements. This will also tell you when you are slipping backwards too.   It can be weight, inches, steps, number of pushups, how much weigh you lift. There are so many different things you can choose to improve, just make sure can measure how you get to where you want to be.   If step counting is one of your goals, you will get plenty at our 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 🙂

Go take a hike!

0

Monte-Sano

Glad you didn't take the title wrong. We are starting something new here in the Huntsville area.

Adventure Hiking Classes!

We will start the very first class on Saturday January 25th at 9am.

What to expect:

-Gain strength and endurance

-Learn the basics of hiking

-See the most beautiful locations in north Alabama

-Sweat, smiles, and laughter

-Improved mood

Hiking is an excellent way to get an effective, low impact workout in. It is also great for your mood and attitude to get out and explore nature.

This is open to women, men, and children who can handle 6-8 miles of hiking. If mom and/or dad join, children can come free.

There will be 5 different hikes (1 every other week) over a 10 week period. Every hike will be different and will last anywhere from 2-3 hours per hike.

And as a bonus, you will even learn plant identification.

This is going to be an awesome class, sign up today!

Adventure Hiking Class

3 ab exercises you aren’t doing, but should

0

Here are 3 effective core exercises that you probably aren't doing right now. These can be done at home, but do require some minimal equipment. the 3 exercises are the Paloff press, resistance band torso twists, and suspension trainer hip drop.

Studies show that most people won't watch a video longer than 2 minutes. This video is 1:54, go watch it! That also means I could not fit in as much info as I like into the video. So here are a few further tips for these exercises.

1. Paloff press with resistance band

This what is known as an anti-rotation exercise. When you press out, you will really feel your love handles and butt muscles working hard. Start with the handles in the center of your chest, press out, hold for a couple of seconds, let it come back towards your chest, and repeat this sequence.

2. Torso twist with resistance band

Wrap the band around something that won't move, grab both handles with your hands, keep your arms straight, and rotate to your left. Make sure your arms are just holding on and not pulling the band, that is the core's job. Repeat on the other side. To make it more challenging, stand on one foot.

3. Suspension trainer hip drop

This requires a suspension trainer (TRX Jungle Gym, etc...) but could also be done with a rope if you were in a pinch. I am using a suspension trainer with a door attachment. The door attachment just rests on top of the door, you close the door, hopefully no one opens the door mid-exercise, and you can loop the suspension trainer though.

Then you will stand with one foot forward, one foot back, the lead foot will be the one closest to the door attachment. Place both handles over your head, elbows up high, lead with your ribs, drop your hip away from the attachment, and then stand back up. Repeat on both sides and then have really sore love handles the next day.

3 Quick, Fat Burning Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

0

Boot-Camp-On-The-Go

I've been working on putting together a new book of workouts you can do any time, anywhere. This book will be made up of the type of workouts we do in boot camp. These will be a great resource to have when you are too busy or if you are traveling.

Below are 3 workouts that we would do as part of boot camp. These are not easy workouts just because they are short. If you only have a short time period, you have to make it more intense.

Workout 1

 

You will do each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. Go through the whole list 3 times with the following exercises.

-Kettlebell swings (or a dumbbell will work in a pinch)

-Pushups

-Burpees

-Jump squats

-Shoulder press

It will take you 15 minutes to do the whole workout.

Workout 2

 

You will go all out effort for 20 seconds and then rest 10 seconds. You will repeat this pattern for a total of 4 minutes per exercise (8 rounds total). Do this with squats, rest 2 minutes and then do the same pattern for pushups. 10 minutes and your workout is done.

Workout 3

 

This will be a sprint workout. A sprint doesn't necessarily have to be running. It can be on a bike, rowing machine, etc

 

Go as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest 60 seconds, and then repeat that a total of 10 times. My personal "favorite" is to find a hill that takes you 20 seconds to get up. Sprint up the hill, then walk down. Hill sprints are a lot easier on your joints than regular sprints.

 

Takes a little over 12 minutes to complete and you will be glad when the 12 minutes gets there.

Try these out and let me know if you have questions!

Ladies read this, before you join the gym again this year

0
GymInJanuary   It is that time of year again. The time when many people will get really excited about exercise, sign up for one of the year long gym membership specials this time of year, go hard for 2 weeks, slowly fizzle out, and eventually stop going all together.

funny-didnt-make-it-to-the-gym

  Is that you?   If so, you are not alone. According to the International Health Club Association 90% of people who join the gym in January will stop going within 90 days.   This year I want you to try something different. I want you to try Huntsville and Madison Adventure Boot Camp.   We aren't offering any discounts, there is no special deal. We do offer this though.   Life changing fitness or your money back.    money_back_guarantee   We make exercise fun, but still hold you accountable.   This not be easy, but every workout you will be able to do at your pace and on your level (no matter what your current fitness level is).   You will be pushed and challenged by the other women in your class, but you will also end up being their friends.   If you have tried another way in the past, let this year be different. We believe we offer the best program around, so we back it up with a money back guarantee you won't see at 99% of the fitness options out there.   Adventure Boot Camp For Women, change your life and have a blast along the way.  

your-slogan

 

5 minutes fixes for a more awesome you

0

 5 minute fix

This is a very busy time of year. When you get really busy, you become overwhelmed and a lot of things start eroding. Your health is usually the first thing to go, but is more important than anything else.   So I came up with 5 things you can do, that take 5 minutes but can improve your life. It can even add years onto your life!   1. Foam rolling Yeah I said it again. One thousand times I've said it and I will say it one thousand more. By spending just 5 minutes rolling around on this tube you will feel so much better I promise.   2. Toasty pants These aren't all scientific, this is just what I do. When it's cold like it is now, this can really help get you going. Throw your pants, socks, and the shirt you are going to wear in the dryer for 5 minutes.   By the time they are done, you pull out the clothes, get dressed and you get a warm jump start on your day. Great for having an excuse for walking around the house in your boxers too. If you're into that sort of thing   3. Get up This one is pretty simple. Every hour, get up and walk around and stretch for 5 minutes. If you are the type that gets tied up in their work and doesn't know what time it is, set an alarm to remind you. Every hour, do it. Your back, hips, neck, eyes, and energy levels will thank you.   4. Floss Seriously! This doesn't even take 5 minutes, unless you have teeth like Gary Busey. Studies have shown that you can add 6 years onto your life by flossing. 6 years! Imagine the shuffle board domination you have to look forward to with all that extra time on the end of your life.   5. Quiet Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you had 5 solid minutes of complete silence? You probably can't even remember. Between TV's, radios, iPods, cell phones, and everything else silence is very rare. Take 5 minutes every day in complete silence. You will be amazed at what it can do for your stress levels.   Turn everything off, tune everything out, put the kids in their sound proof room, and just chill. You can plan out how you are going to attack a problem at work, pray, meditate, clear your mind of all the junk, or whatever you choose to do. Works wonders for improving thought clarity as well.   It probably only took you about 5 minutes to read this, so you have plenty of time to start putting these into your daily routine. You have the time for whatever you make a priority.
Go to Top