Fitness Tip Of The Week: Increase Upper Body Strength With This One Move

Most people don’t use the muscles in their arms, chest and back nearly as much as they should.

If you go for a brisk walk or a quick run that’s great for your heart and will help keep the legs strong, but these common workouts only use the muscle groups in one half of your body.

Unless you’re doing specific strength exercises to prevent muscle loss, the upper body gets weak.  The muscles begin to atrophy and day-to-day activities become more of a challenge.  Eventually you’ll find that you look more frail and aren’t able to stand up as straight as you’d like.  This is the result of both muscle and bone loss.

Push-Up

Basic Push-Up (Flickr photo by mewall82)

You can turn that upper body muscle and bone loss around with one simple exercise. The push-up. When you do a push-up you’re working your shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps, and core.

How To Do A Basic Push-Up 

There are a number of ways to execute a push-up (we’ll talk more about that in a minute) but the same, basic rules apply to all of them.

1. Get down on the floor on your hands and toes. Position the arms so that they are wider than your shoulders.

2.  Slowly lower your upper body down to the floor. Make sure you keep your back flat and your core muscles tight. It’s important that the body stays in a straight line throughout the exercise.  If you’re able to check out your form in a mirror, that’s a good way to make sure you’re doing it right.

3.  Once your nose is almost down to the floor, slowly push back up to starting position.

4.  Try to be aware of your breathing so that you’re inhaling on the way down to the floor, and exhaling on the way up.

Push-Up Tips

If you haven’t done push-ups for a while just one will get you started.  Rest and then do one more.  Do as many as you can each day and don’t get discouraged if you can’t do many at one time.

You get the same benefits if you break up your sets and do them at different times of the day. For example, rather than trying to do 20 push-ups at a time, do 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon.  Make it a goal to increase the number of push-ups that you do each week.

As you progress you can add some variety to your push-ups by placing your hands in a staggered position on the floor, decrease or increase the distance between your hands, or put your feet on a box or bench that is slight higher than your hands for a decline push-up (pictured below).

Decline Push Up

Decline push up (flickr photo by shawnbrowntraining)

At first push-ups might seem hard  but in no time your upper body strength will increase and you’ll be able to handle the workload without resting.

The increase in muscle mass that you’ll gain from doing push-ups and squats every day is crucial to maintaining precious muscle and bone mass and will help keep those extra pounds away.  Plus adding muscle to your frame will improve your body composition so you’ll look and feel better.

Still Need Convincing?

New research from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that people that have more muscle mass live longer. One of the doctors associated with the project said that instead of worrying about weight or body mass index we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.

What’s your favorite upper body strengthening exercise?

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Good Bye To Collage Video. You Will Be Missed.

Collage Video is out of business.  The exercise DVD company that has been reviewing and selling at-home workouts for more than 20 years has suspended operations.

I have shared links to workout DVDs at Collage Video many times on this site.  In fact, the first indication I had that Collage Video was no longer in operation was a notification I received alerting me to several  broken links on my site.  All of the broken links led to Collage Video.com.

The best thing about Collage Video was the video clips and reviews.

The best thing about Collage Video was the video clips and reviews.

Over A Thousand DVDs Reviewed

Collage Video offered something unique to consumers with the thirteen hundred plus workout DVDs it had for sale.  You could browse through the site, watch snippets of the workouts and read detailed reviews before you made a selection.  I used this site a lot to find the perfect workout for friends and co-workers.

What I liked most about Collage Video was being able to see the workout trailers for so many DVDs.  I discovered instructors that I might not have known about – Patrick Goudeau for example – if it hadn’t been for Collage Video.  I’m guessing the instructors that were highlighted on the site will miss that exposure.

Collage Video indicates that their reason for closing is because they are not able to compete with larger companies. Do they mean Amazon?

That might be one reason, but no doubt the free workouts channels like Be Fit, that can be found at YouTube have affected their sales as well. Why purchase a DVD when you have access for free?

Add to that the fact that most of the instructors that had DVDs for sale at Collage Video have their own web sites where customers can download the video, receive it instantaneously, and not spend money on shipping costs.  Collage Video also did not support affiliate marketing which may have resulted in a loss of consumer awareness and missed sales for their products.

As much as I liked visiting Collage Video.com, I have to admit that I sensed they were struggling to keep up with the current trends in today’s market.

What Now?

Collage Video is still alive and well in the YouTube archives so you can view short clips of all the videos that they had for sale on the site. You’ll just have to purchase them somewhere else

If you do a Google search for Collage Video.com you’ll land on a splash page that indicates the company still has plans in the works for a different operation but there’s no hint as to what that might be. I’ll be anxious to see if they will be able to re-invent themselves so that they can become relevant again in today’s market.

The official announcement from Collage Video.

The official announcement from Collage Video.

Were you a customer and fan of Collage Video?

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Fitness Tip Of The Week: 100 Squats A Day. Everyday.

You can get big results from doing 100 Squats A Day. Everyday.

Sometimes just doing one simple thing can make a big difference.  It’s easy to get into the habit of thinking that if you’ don’t have at least 30 minutes to work out you might as well forget it.

No true.

A lot of days I’m busy too but I’ve decided that I am going to add 100 squats a day to whatever it is I’m already doing.

There are a lot of reasons to add 100 squats a day.  The main one is to look better in jeans and a swim suit. Bikini season will be here before you know and, I don’t know about you, but my body isn’t ready.

Plus, doing 100 squats a day is easy.  It only takes a few minutes, you don’t need any special equipment or a gym membership.  You can do them in your bathroom while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning, in the evening while you’re preparing dinner, or in front of the TV at night.

It doesn’t matter where or when.  Just get them done!

There are many ways to squat but to get results the basic squat will do:

Squat

Add some weights to your squats (as in dumbbells, a weighted bar or medicine ball):

Squats with weight

Or do a plyo squat by adding a jump at the end:

 

Plyo squat

However you decide to do your squats, make sure that you’re in good form. You want your hips to drop behind your knees and over your heels.  Be careful not to push your weight out over your knees. The best way to make sure you’re doing the perfect squat is to pretend you’re sitting down in a chair that someone is pulling away from you.  You have to stick your booty way to the back to reach it.

The baby in this picture (from Pinterest) has the 411 on squats. (You don’t have to go quite that low though.):

Baby Squatting

Within 10 days you’ll start to see the results of your squats. Your hips and thighs will begin to feel stronger and leaner.  Your winter body will be closer to being bikini ready.

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Strength Training: The Secret to Looking Younger and Better

Walking, running, swimming, biking, or getting on the elliptical for 30 minutes are the most popular forms of exercise and typically what people turn to when they want to lose weight.

If this is how you spend your time at the gym or outdoors, the heart health benefits are undeniable. But, unless you’re pushing around some weights a couple of times a week, you’re missing out on one of the most important components of physical fitness. The one that will make you look younger and better.

Weights

Save Your Muscles

As you age you lose muscle. People that are inactive lose about three to five percent of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. That means, by the time you’re 50 you will have lost up to 15 percent. Physically active people also experience age-related muscle loss although not quite as drastically.

The loss of muscle tissue can generate a variety of inflictions including sarcopenia, osteoporosis, weight gain, loss of balance and decreased energy. It is the primary reason why people begin to look frail and weak as they age and many take on a stooped appearance.

Adding a couple of strength training workouts to your cardio routine a couple of times a week can turn these conditions around or prevent them from occurring in the first place. Strength training is the key to looking and feeling younger than your age.

You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment to do some basic exercises that will help you save your muscles.  I’ve picked seven exercises that target the larger muscle groups so you get the best results for your time spent.

If you have time left over and want to work on biceps, triceps and calves – what I call vanity muscles – go for it. But focus first on working the larger muscle groups to prevent overall muscle loss and stimulate muscle gain.

1. Chest Press – Lie on your back on a bench or exercise ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly press your hands to the ceiling and then back down so that the elbows drop slightly below the ball.  Repeat 12 times. Do two sets.

Chest Press

2.  Upper Back or Rear Deltoid Fly – Still holding the weights, stand and bend over so your hands are down by your knees. Lift your arms out to the side as though you’re getting ready to take off and fly.  Release slowly to starting position. Focus on pulling the shoulder blades together in the back.

Rear Deltoid Fly

3.  Clean and Press – This is a multi-purpose exercise.  It works the large muscle groups in the legs as well as shoulders. Holding the dumbbells down by your sides, squat down slowly. As you come up, push weights overhead to a shoulder press.  Release the weights back down and repeat.

Clean and press

4.  Dead Lift – This exercise works the hamstrings.  Start by holding a weight, weighted ball or kettle bell in front.  Slowly bend over lowering the weight down to the floor.  Try to keep your knees straight as you bend over. Slowly come back up to starting position.

Dead Lift

 

5.  Side Leg Raise – Having strong abductors (outer thighs) will help you maintain balance. In a standing position or laying on your side on the floor, slowly lift one leg away from the body and back in 12 times.  Repeat on the other leg. Using a resistance tube will make this exercise more challenging.

Side Leg Raise

6.  Push-Ups – On your knees or with toes on the floor, place hands under your shoulders and lower your chest down to the floor. Come back to starting position and repeat.

Push Up

7.  Plank – With your elbows and toes on the floor, tighten your tummy and hold your body in a straight line for 10 seconds.  Work up to holding the position for 30 seconds and eventually a minute.

Elbow Plank

There are numerous variations to these moves, but if you want to get started with some basic exercises that don’t take a lot of time or equipment these should do the trick.

Try to do two sets of 12 of each exercise two to three times a week.  When they start to feel easy to you keep challenging yourself by increasing the weight or adding a weight bar or other equipment such as kettle bells. You should notice some noticeable changes within three to four weeks.

Strength training will save your muscle and your bones. Did I mention that these basic strength training exercises will make you look better?

(Pics are from Pinterest. Click on the picture to see the source.)

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Eight Amazing At-Home Workout Channels For Free On YouTube

We’re in the dog days of winter if there is such a thing.  Snow and ice combined with bitter cold temps mean low motivation to pack clothes and go to the gym, work up a sweat, and then head back out into the cold.

If you’re not getting to the gym or outdoors to walk or run as often as you’d like, there are some amazing workouts to be found on-line.  Most of these workouts require minimal equipment.  All you need to do is carve out a space for yourself at home and get to work.

Pop Sugar's Fit Sugar channel has a variety of workouts for all fitness levels.

Pop Sugar’s Fit Sugar channel has a variety of workouts for all fitness levels.

Since the death of Exercise TV (may it rest in peace) in 2011 there have been tons of people looking for an alternative. I know this because the majority of hits on this web site have been the result of search engine traffic generated as a result of a “What Happened To Exercise TV?” post that I published on December 13, 2011.

There is no shortage of at-home workouts on YouTube which leaves no excuses for not getting your sweat on even if it’s zero outside. Below are eight of the best (that I’ve found) workout channels on YouTube.  If you know of one I haven’t mentioned, please share, share, share by leaving a comment in the box below.

Thanks!

1.  Fitappy – The creator of Fitappy claims she’s a regular girl that likes to workout.  She’s a martial artist that competes in traditional Japanese Karate and in her bio she says “exercising is her top priority”.  She has created a variety of workouts that include cardio, tabata, strength and flexibility and she offers them to you for free on her You Tube channel Fitappy.

2.  Christine Salus – Christine offers full body workouts  and many require no equipment. Many of the workouts are intense and probably wouldn’t be labeled for beginners.  But if you’re looking for a quick ten or twenty minute workout that gets the job done, check out Christine here.

3.  Bryan Jones – Bryan is everything yoga.  I stumbled across his channel when I was searching for ball exercise ideas for a class that I was subbing this week.  Bryan is incredibly strong and has a wide variety of yoga methods for you to try. If you like to do ab exercises with a ball check out his “100 Exercises On The Ball” video. You can find all of his yoga and ball workouts here.

Bryan Jones Collage

Bryan’s 100 Ab Exercises On The Ball video.

4. Melissa Bender – I mentioned Melissa in my Link Love post last Friday because I had just found her on YouTube and was amazed by the number and quality of workouts that she posts.  She has both full body workouts and workouts that are specific to certain muscle groups.  For example, the Exercise Tummy Tuck (no surgery required) is an 18 minute program that focuses on – you guessed it – core. Check out Melissa Bender here.

5.  HASFit – Coach Kozak has an endless supply of energy that he channels to you via YouTube workouts.  From a 12 minute 6-Pack Workout to a 25 minute beginner cardio program, there’s something here for everyone. I’ve followed HASFit for several years and the workout videos never end.  The coach is knowledgeable and motivating and will help you beat the winter blahs.  Check HASFit out here.

6. XHit – As Jillian Michaels would say, this isn’t your mother’s workout.  XHit offers a little higher intensity, but has some fun stuff too. XHit has the Full Body Twerkout, Beyonce Butt Workout, How To Get Legs Like Jennifer Lawrence and a variety of celebrity workouts.  They can all be found here.

Celebrity workouts from XFit.

Celebrity workouts from XFit.

7. Pop Sugar - Pop Sugar’s Fit Sugar is one of the more popular and well-known places to go for at-home workouts but I thought it was still worth mentioning. There is a lot of variety in these workouts and anyone could adapt them to their fitness level. They are moderate intensity and perfect for an at-home workout. You can find the workouts here.

8. Jessica Smith TV – It would be impossible not to love Jessica Smith and her workouts. I love that she uses music in the background.  So far, she is the only one that moves to the beat. Jessica also has a web site where she posts her workouts, weight loss tips, healthy how-tos’ and a blog that she updates regularly.  Catch Jessica’s workout channel here.

Jessica's Core Floor workout.

Jessica’s Core Floor workout.

Exercise TV may be long gone but, there are so many quality workouts on YouTube, we need to no longer mourn its passing.

Do you have a go to site for at-home workouts?

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What You Can Learn From Tony Horton

“Do NOT say you “can’t”! You can say, “I don’t want to”. You can say, “I’m not willing to put forth the effort”. But DO NOT say you CAN’T!” – Tony Horton

Tony Horton, one of my favorite fitness icons has released another workout DVD, P90X3, just in time for the holidays.  P90X3 is a series of 30-minute high intensity interval training workouts that promise to get you lean and mean in 90 days. You can watch the clip below to see it’s not your mother’s workout (whatever that means) but can be modified so that it is doable for almost everyone.

I do love Tony Horton’s workouts.  I was a big fan of the 10 Minute Trainer series that he launched in 2007.  From the 10 Minute Trainer evolved the revolutionary concept that we don’t have to work out for an hour everyday to see results. The radical suggestion that people can get fit in 10 minutes a day is now a mainstream belief in the world of fitness training.

Most of all I love Tony for the infectious enthusiasm he has for life, the quirky Tonyisms that he delivers throughout all of the workouts, and the way he projects the notion that if he can do all of these things, so can you and I. Tony is an althletic trainer, leader, mentor, and coach and there’s a lot we can learn from him.

About Tony

Tony was born on July 2, 1958 and raised in Trumbull, Connecticut where he attended the University of Rhode Island.  By 1980 he had left his home state and moved to Los Angeles with the dream of becoming an actor.

While in LA he started working out at the World Gym in Venice, California where he collaborated with former-triathlete and Ironman competitor Mark Sisson who introduced him to interval training.

Tony became a personal trainer and started his own business, ASH Fitness, in Santa Monica, CA where he became the trainer for the stars.  Some of his clients included Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Bruce Springsteen.

In the early 2000’s Beachbody recruited Tony to help them develop a workout video in-home boot camp program called Power 90.  In 2004 Tony developed the first P90X series which took the Power 90 program to the next level. In the P90X program, Tony introduced the theory of muscle confusion that has been proven to help participants achieve maximum results and shatter a plateau.

The P90X2 series was launched in 2011 and now, the most recent program,P90X3, is on the market in time for the holidays.  Tony’s home workout series has reached $500 million in sales and he continues to inspire people to get fit without leaving their home.

Tony’s World

There is plenty you can learn from Tony by visiting his web site Tony Horton’s World.com.  He has a question/answer style blog and a ‘Bring It’ sound clip where you can listen to Tony answer fan’s questions about fitness and nutrition.

You can learn the most about Tony by doing his workouts where you can benefit from his persistently intense energy, his ‘no excuses’ outlook, and the Tonyisms that he disburses frequently throughout the program. Here’s a few of my favorites Tony Horton quotes:

  • Don’t let your ego get in the way of your success.
  • Focus on the present moment. Stay in the moment.
  • If you need a break, take a break.  Look at me.  I’m taking a break.  I’m the leader. I can do whatever I want.  But when you’re back, you’re back with a vengeance!
  • Hamburger bad. Fries bad. Coca-cola bad. There I said it. Drink your water people.
  • Do your best and forget the rest.
  • Feel free to laugh, because these are all really funny jokes.
  • Don’t just kinda do it!
  • Clear your mind of all bad things.
  • Yes, I know it’s hard.  It’s supposed to be.
  • Happiness is right here.

Is P90X3 on your holiday wish list?

If you like this article, you might also like What You Can Learn From Diana Nyad and What You Can Learn From Chris Cardell, J.D. Meier, and Pink.

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30 Day Butt Lift Workout Plan From BeFit

I’ve been posting exercise challenges lately.  I’ve posted the 30 Day Squat Challenge, 30 Day Ab Challenge, and have provided links to several Burpee Challenges that you can check out.

Why am I all about these challenges lately?  Because you can do them at home, they are serious exercise, and you only need a few minutes each day to get them done. Plus you don’t need to purchase a gym membership or even a workout DVD to participate.

Here’s another challenge for you to try and the only thing you need for this program is internet access. It’s the 30 Day Butt Lift Workout Plan from Lionsgate’s Be Fit. In this introductory clip, 30 day butt lift trainers Courtney Prather and Alicia Marie give you the top three reasons why you should do consistent lower body workouts.

30 Day Butt Lift Workout Plan

The BeFiT 30 Day Butt Lift Workout Plan utilizes workouts to firm your glutes and legs, strengthen your abs and core, and help you sculpt a strong and sexy body.

Actress Nikki Limo who you know from How I Met Your Mother and 90210 will be uploading workout diaries every Friday to detail her own experience as she goes through the month long workout program.

There’s even a 30 Day Butt Lift Work Out Calendar you can download to keep you on track.  Check it out here.

Ready to get started?  Below are the links to the workouts for Week 1:

Day 1- Butt Workout 1: Tone Up | 30 DAY BUTT LIFT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmcLB9ObdOM (Preview)

Day 2- Butt Workout Cardio 1: Bootcamp | 30 DAY BUTT LIFT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUZuKIUXcYg (Preview)

Day 3- Butt Workout 2: Booty Booster | 30 DAY BUTT LIFT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFJt322szc4 (Preview)

Day 4- Rest Day- Consider making a healthy grocery run

Day 5- Butt Workout 3: Firm Extreme | 30 DAY BUTT LIFT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssMiQX0XyZ8 (Preview)

Day 6- Butt Workout Cardio 2: Fat-Burning | 30 DAY BUTT LIFT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2BaSmw3CTE (Preview)

Day 7- Butt Workout 4: Dance Fit | 30 DAY BUTT LIFT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCrm1SC7YiM (Preview)

By doing these short workouts each day you can head into the New Year lean and fit and won’t have the traditional one to five pounds of holiday weight to lose.

For other Be Fit workouts go to http://www.youtube.com/user/BeFit.

Don’t forget to share the butt workout with your friends and co-workers.  You could even invite them to join you in a 30 day butt workout challenge!

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Burn Calories and Tone Your Tush With the 30 Day Burpee Challenge

I love burpees

Need a way to burn off some of those extra holiday calories?  One of the 30 day burpee challenges may be just what you need.

The standard burpee – like we did in grade school P.E. class – gets your heart rate up and works every muscle in the body.  Burpees are back in vogue now that body-weight exercise programs and HIIT and Tabata workouts are trending.  If you’re like me you have a love-hate relationship with burpees.  I’ve decided to suck up the hate part and have committeed to doing a couple of sets every time I work out.

There are several different burpee challenges circulating on the internet so you have a few to choose from. Pick your poison and get started on one of the challenges below.

But first, in case you’ve forgotten what an actual burpee looks like, here’s a picture:

Burpee

Pinterest photo

1.  Spartan Race 30-Day Burpee Challenge – This challenge is pretty simple.  You do 30 burpees every day for 30 days.  You can break them up into sets of five, 10, 20 and so on.  Whatever works for you.  This challenge has a Facebook page that you can illicit support from.   Click here to join the challenge:  Spartan Race Facebook Page

2.  30 Day Fitness.com  – This 30 day burpee challenge starts out a little slower than the Spartan Race challenge but you really have to up your game by day nine.  Each day you do five more burpees than you did the day before so by the end of the challenge you’re doing 100 (ouch!).  I like this challenge because it breaks you in a little slower, but doing 100 burpees is huge for most of us I’m guessing.  The 30 Day Fitness.com challenge starts here.

3. He and She Eat Clean Bikini Body Burpee Challenge – It’s never too early to start working on your bikini body.  It may seem like you have plenty of time if you live here in Illinois with me, but why mess around and not be ready when the sun finally does make it’s appearance?  This challenge takes it to the next level by adding pushups to the burpees.  And Tiffany of He and She Eat Clean says you can add a set of three to five pound dumbbells if you are looking for even more of a challenge.  Thanks, Tiffany.  I think the no-weight challenge will sufficiently kick my you-know-what.  Check out the bikini challenge here.

4.  Forward From The Heart Burpee Challenge – This one is probably the most doable.  By day 30 of the challenge you’re doing 30 burpees which doesn’t sound too bad after looking at some of the other programs.  You even get some rest days throughout the month.  The goal with the Forward From The Heart challenge is, by the end, to be able to do 30 in a row. Click here for The Heart Burpee Challenge.

Not excited about the burpee challenge just yet?  Here’s a burpee challenge trifecta for you:

5.  Shrinkingjeans.net Gold Medal Ass Challenge – As if the burpee, or the bupree plus pushup challenges weren’t  bad enough, the Shrinkingjeans have created a squat + burpee + wall sit workout.  By day 31 you will be doing 100 squats, two minutes of burpees, and a two minute wall sit.  The good news is you can set your own goals for the two minute burpee blast. Thankfully, Sunday is a day of rest in this challenge because you’re going to need it. The Shrinkingjeans challenge is here.

All of these challenges can be done at home without any equipment.  They will help you bash the winter blues and head off the cold weather weight gain that happens at this time of year.

Do you have a favorite burpee or squat challenge?  Drop a link to it in the comment box below.

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Three Kickboxing Workout DVDs for Your Holiday Wish List

Kickboxing workouts topped the list of ‘most popular exercise programs’ in the 90’s.  Recently they’ve taken a back seat to other popular formats like HIIT, CrossFit, Barre, and Zumba.

But kickboxing has something unique to offer in the areas of cardio fitness and workout enjoyment. Fitness pros like Cathe Friedrich, Amy Bento Ross and Patrick Goudeau continue to create fun and challenging cardio kickboxing workouts that will make you miss the craze of a decade ago.

If you feel like you could use a break from the 10 minute Tabata, HIIT and core workouts, here are three new kickboxing DVDs you must try.  All of these full length workouts will get your heart rate up and keep it up for 40 minutes to an hour and I promise, you won’t be dealing with the boredom factor.

One or all would be the perfect gift to get or give this holiday season and are just what you need to get you motivated and excited to work out in 2014.

1.  Amy Bento Ross’ Body Box

Core Work

Challenging Core Work in Amy’s Body Box.

If you like to box you’ll love this DVD.  Amy’s creative choreography puts a new twist on some basic moves.  She adds pivots and turns to kicks that will keep you moving across the floor rather than standing in place like many kickboxing workouts call for.  If you’re a fan of intervals (I know I am) you’ll like the way Amy alternates cardio boxing with challenging compound strength moves and core work.

Body Box isn’t overly choreographed so you won’t have to spend all of your time trying to learn the moves.  It’s a good balance between not hard enough and overwhelming.  Amy gives excellent cues and has good energy.  The DVD has an 8 minute warm-up followed by 55 minutes of aerobic/toning intervals and an eight minute cool down.  You can preview the DVD at Collage Video where it sells for $19.99.

2.  Cathe Friedrich’s Rockout Knockout

Cathe layers challenging kickboxing patterns in

Cathe layers challenging kickboxing patterns in Rockout Knockout.

If you’re a Cathe fan you know that she never lets you down.  Cathe’s Rockout Knockout is her new kickboxing release that consists of three segments.  The first segment provides some of the basic jabs and kicks combined with athletic drills for a new challenge. The second segment increases in intensity and has some new, and somewhat complicated moves to learn.  The third segment features four layered, add-on patterns that she breaks down to teach.

I would consider this to be an intermediate workout.  It may not be the hardest workout you’ve ever done but you can add intensity by using weighted boxing gloves for some segments of the the workout which is what Cathe and her team does.  Cathe’s cueing is perfect and the music is the best you will find on a workout DVD.

Rockout Knockout is a 55 minute workout that has an eight minute warm up, 41 minute aerobic session, and a six minute cool down.  You can preview the workout at her web site where it sells for $22.99.

3.  Patrick Goudeau presents Kickbox Burn

Patrick passes the baton to Heather Condorf in Kickbox Burn.

Patrick passes the baton to Heather Condorf in Kickbox Burn.

One of my favorite workouts is Patrick Goudeau’s Play Ball.  It is creative and fun, and his personality is an absolute motivator.  Was I disappointed when I found out that Patrick wasn’t leading any of the Kickbox Burn workout?  A little.  But I equally liked Heather Corndorf who has a style and energy that matches his.

Kickbox Burn introduces four ‘rounds’ of kickboxing that all have nice intensity.  I love her four jabs/burpee combo that gets the heart rate up over the top, and the wide jog with quick jabs that’s reminiscent of Chalene Johnson’s Turbo Kick.  Heather is high-energy and delivers the ‘burn’ in a fun, friendly manner.

The workout is medium to high impact but can be modified with lower impact moves where needed. The DVD is 51 minutes long.  It has a six minute warm-up, 40 minute aerobic session, and five minute cool-down. You can preview Kickbox Burn at Collage Video where it sells for $19.99.

Change of Pace

These kickboxing-based workouts keep you moving longer than the trending fitness programs that promote short, quick workouts and there is value in doing a longer duration workout a couple of times a week.  Exercising for an hour or more at a time will increase the amount of calories and fat you burn and help you improve your fitness level.

If someone asks you what they can get you this year or you’re participating in a holiday gift exchange with some of your fitness peers, any or all of these workout DVDs would be the perfect gift.

What’s your favorite boxing workout? Be Social! Share!

Six Body Weight Plateau-Buster Exercises To Do Every Day

Have you reached the dreaded weight loss plateau?

Just because you’re stuck doesn’t mean you have to find an extra hour a day to work out or incorporate harsher calorie restrictions.  Both strategies can end up working against you.  Instead, try adding a few simple, yet powerful, exercises to your daily workout routine.

Below are six fat-busting bodyweight moves you can do every day.  The best thing is that you don’t need a gym membership, or equipment at home to do them.  They can be done anywhere, anytime, and trigger a variety of muscle groups.

You should be able to complete one set of 12 repetitions of each exercise in about ten minutes.

1.  Plyo Suqats - Stand with feet wide.  Drop hips back to a squat position.  As you come up, jump off of the floor while swinging arms up and overhead.  Repeat. This is an excellent cardio move and will get your heart rate up so that you’ll burn extra calories.

Plyo Suat With Jump

Plyo Suat With Jump

2.  Squat Thrust – They are similar to P.E. burpees.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Drop down so that both hands are on the floor.  Jump feet back so that you are in plank position.  Jump feet back to hands, then jump up to standing position.  Repeat. (Tip: add a push-up when you’re in the plank position for more intensity.)

Burpee with jump.

Burpee With Jump.

 

3.  Skater Lunge – Imitate the motion of skating, as you alternate driving legs back and across while swinging  your arms (as pictured below).  It’s a great cardio move and will tone and strengthen hamstrings.

Skater Lunge

Skater Lunge

4.   Staggered Hand Push Ups – I love the staggered hand push-ups because they work the upper body and, at the same time, challenge the core.  In push up position, stagger the hands so that the right hand is at 2 o’clock position and the left is at 8 o’clock.  Do one push up.  Quickly move the hands so that the left is at 2 and the right is at 8 and do another push up.  Continue to do the push-ups and try to move the hands quickly enough so that both hands are off of the floor at once.

Staggered hand push up

Staggered Hand Push Up

5.  Walking Hand Plank – Get in a plank position with both hands on the floor.  Hands should be directly below the shoulders.  Slowly walk the hands and feet forward four steps.  Be sure to keep the core tight so that you don’t lift your buns in the air as your move.  Slowly walk four steps back.  Repeat.

Walking Plank

Walking Plank

6.  Scissors – Lie on your back with both legs out to the front.  Lift your shoulder slightly off of the floor.  You can use your hands to support your head.  Lift the legs off of the floor and slowly scissor legs.

Scissors

Scissors

All of the moves are challenging so do them at your own pace.  As the exercises become easier, increase the number of repetitions of each exercise and eventually increase the speed.

These six, dynamic, body weight exercises will help you improve your overall strength and agility and get the number on the scale moving in the right direction again.

Do you have a favorite body weight exercise?  Leave your best exercise tip in the comment section below.

(All pictures are from Pinterest.  Click on the photos to link to the original picture.)

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