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Live the Life You Want: The Push Girls Tell Us How

Written on August 10, 2012 at 10:37 am , by

Fellow Push Girls can always count on Chelsie Hill for a good laugh. (Photo courtesy of Greg Zook)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

With all the Olympic buzz amputee Oscar Pistorius has been getting lately, we were thrilled when we got the chance to chat with a few of the fierce, fit females that make up the Push Girls. They’re a group of women in wheelchairs who deal with life’s challenges while leading pretty normal lives, despite all being paralyzed from the waist down. The ladies show their journey (everything from trying to get pregnant to hopping back in the swimming pool) in the docu-series on the Sundance Channel, which airs Mondays at 10 p.m.

Two of the show’s cast members Auti Angel and Chelsie Hill are former dancers who had to get creative with their craft after car accidents left them immobile from the waist down. Read on to see how they stay motivated, including how they stay in shape, their favorite workouts and what they think about Pistorius’ trip to London.

What’s it like being on PUSH GIRLS?

Chelsie: At first it was surreal, but now it’s just a normal day. I’m so amazed at how it all came together, it’s really helped the people in wheelchairs. I got a letter recently from a viewer saying she just bought her first pair of high heels! Plus, it’s like I got four big sisters (I’m the youngest of the bunch). I feel so lucky to have a group of women who understand what you’re going through and can teach you a ton of things.

Auti: I’ve been in my chair for 20 years, and Chelsie was born a few months after my car accident. Seeing how comfortable she is on the show and in life is a reminder to us that we are doing the right thing, and shows us how far we’ve come.

You must have incredible upper body strength. How do you stay in shape?

Auti: I go to the gym on occasion. I have a punching bag in my backyard to keep my core fit, and I also use free weights. Plus, dancing has always kept me fit.

Chelsie: My upper body has gotten a lot stronger because I use mine much more than the average person. I constantly have to do cardio! Read more

#140Wednesday: If You Could Only Use One Machine at the Gym for the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?

Written on August 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm , by

We know, you love the weight bench, but you have to share! (Photo courtesy of Jay Sullivan)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

If you’re anything like our Twitter followers, you probably show a lot of devotion to your favorite gym equipment. (Admit it–you’ve been one of those people waiting in line just to use a treadmill. And it wasn’t raining outside.) While love for the treadmill did come out on top, the elliptical ran a close second. We even got a celeb tweet this week (!) from Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno (follow him @apoloohno!), who gave a shout out to the adjustable bench at his gym.

Read below to see what others claim as their gym BFFs and then post your pick in the comments. And remember–try to mix it up as often as you can. Sure, you won’t be able to rest easy in the comfort of the treadmill and some bad reality TV, but it’s a great way to challenge your body and get the results you want.

@MichMich0404: A flat bench! It works your arms, chest, abs and legs from every angle!

@MoxieBombshell: The hot tub! (Editor’s note: Your gym has a hot tub?! Can we borrow a guest pass?)

@AlwaysBKind13: Definitely the spin bike!

@LucasHugh: A Pilates Reformer!

@summergrl375: I would choose the treadmill without a doubt. #workit

#140Wednesdays: What’s Your Motivational Mantra?

Written on August 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm , by

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! At the gym, that is. (Photo courtesy Alex Palombo)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

One of the best things about working out is testing your limits and challenging your body in new ways. Sure, it’s not fun in the moment to exert every muscle to its max, but nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment once you’re done. Sometimes a mantra can help get you there, like a little reminder that you are one tough chick and the end is in sight.

We asked our Twitter followers what kind of motivational mantras help them get to the finish line, and were surprised by their intense dedication! We’re definitely picking up a few tips when we need that extra push.

@lov513: The fact that I know when I get past my comfort zone, I’m accomplishing something unbelievable!

@interfaithsis: The mind wants to quit but the body can move on!

@FatBottomSlim: Just keep going. It worked for the biggest test of my limits at the @NYCTRIATHLON and ever since.

@PattieP: COME ON! Attack, attack, attack!

@jessikneeland: I place an imaginary crowd of people around me who are all INCREDIBLY impressed with what I’m doing. “OMG she’s soooo strong!”

@thebendigirl: Breathe in positive, breathe out negative.

@FITNESSMarianne: One step at a time!

More from FITNESS: Olympians Share Their Motivational Mantras

Shake Up Your Summer Routine: The Trampoline Workout

Written on July 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm , by

Did you know that trampolining is a recently added sport to the Olympic roster? It sprung (pun intended) on to the scene during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, featuring displays of acrobatic stunts with athletes jumping as high at 32 feet in the air.

This year, the trampoline event at the Olympics will start Friday, August 3 through Saturday, August 4. To get a head start on the competition, Springfree Trampoline has created a full body-sculpting workout that you can do on your own trampoline. Try doing two reps of each circuit, with warm-up and cool-down jumps for each set. Bounce a little, burn a lot!

1. Straight Jump: In the center of the trampoline, with knees slightly bent jump straight up with arms also straight, biceps touching ears. Land softly on two feet. Try doing 20 reps in 30 seconds, with 30 seconds active rest.

Straight Jump







Read more

Kerri Walsh’s Top 3 Toning Moves to Get the Gold

Written on July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm , by

Those abs are definitely ready to bump, set and spike. (Photo courtesy of Antoine Verglas)

There’s no denying it–Kerri Walsh hates to lose. And though she has been pretty successful on the sand in the past, she’s not taking any chances at the Olympics in London later this week.

Below, Walsh teamed up with 24 Hour Fitness to share her favorite exercises that work everyone, whether you’re an athlete or a busy mom. And she would know–she’s both!  Try these moves this week in your routine to get a gold medal body of your very own.

In this workout you’ll find:

  • Dead Leg Lifts: For lower body stabilization and endurance.
  • Side Planks: For core and shoulder stability.
  • Trunk Rotations: For abs and obliques.

More from FITNESS: Your Complete Guide to the Olympics

3 Exercises to Train Like You’re in London

Written on July 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm , by

Adding resistance to your moves increases your endurance and builds overall strength. (Photo courtesy of Jay Sullivan)

You don’t have to be in the Athlete’s Village to exercise like the Olympians this summer; you can get the same results right in your own gym! Last week we got the chance to chat with trainer Josh Holland, who will be traveling to London as the only American trainer on behalf of TechnoGym, which will be supplying all the Olympic workout facilities with gym equipment.

Though Holland won’t be training individual athletes (as they have their own personal trainers), he’ll be on site showing them how to use the TechnoGym equipment to get the most out of it for their sport. Below, Holland demonstrates three exercises you can do on the Kinesis Personal system. Try these on your own with your gym’s cable cross machine to improve your form in running, swimming and basketball.

More from FITNESS Magazine: Make the Most of the Weight Machines at Your Gym

Skip the Studio: 4 Pilates Moves to Do At Home

Written on July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm , by

Pilates is a perfect way to add muscle without bulking up. (Photo courtesy Brooke Siler)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Want to know the secret to staying long and lean in Hollywood? It’s not tons of cardio, it’s Pilates.  Celebs like Emma Stone, Mila Kunis and Reese Witherspoon credit the method as a way to sculpt muscles and improve flexibility.

Most of us, however, don’t have the luxury of daily sessions, so we turned to Pilates guru Brooke Siler to see how we could modify some of the core Pilates moves into at-home versions. Siler, a certified Pilates instructor and owner of NYC’s re:AB Pilates studio, shows us how to tone the entire body while using items you can find around the house.

Just make sure to follow these three rules to really reap the better body benefits:

1. Abs remain drawn inward and upward (like zipping up tight jeans) throughout all movements.
2. Inhale on exertion, exhale on release (abs remain ‘hollow’ throughout).
3. Make movements as long as possible, as if stretching further with each move, so that the focus is on the eccentric muscular contraction.

Read on to get Siler’s at-home Pilates routine.

Read more

Music Monday: Drop Dead Diva’s April Bowlby’s Get-Fit Playlist

Written on July 9, 2012 at 9:04 am , by

April Bowlby filming a scene with Kim Kardashian for Drop Dead Diva. (Photo courtesy of Lifetime)

As her role in Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva, April Bowlby plays Stacy Barrett, the best friend to a once vapid model whose soul has landed inside the body of a plus-sized attorney, Jane Bingum. April’s character is a wannabe model herself, who helps Jane navigate her future in her new, oversized physique.

In real life, April Bowlby loves a good sweat session. “I just started the most amazing ballet class and I am obsessed with it,” she says. “The first half is all about stretching out and warming up your muscles and the second half is at the barre. It has really helped with my posture.” When she’s not practicing her plies, Bowlby stays in shape with some simple cardio. “I love jogging on the treadmill. Once you find a rhythm it’s easy to get into the zone. I also love hiking with my dog.” To help you get in the zone this week, Bowlby shared her playlist that she listens to while pounding out the miles:

 For more information on April Bowlby and Drop Dead Diva, visit dropdeaddivafans.tumblr.com.



The Reve Project: Six Women Get Ready to Tackle the Tour de France

Written on June 26, 2012 at 11:00 am , by

Powilson (third in line) rides with her teammates. (Photo Michael Robertson/VeloDramatic)

Before the boys hop on their bikes Saturday, June 30 to compete in the 2012 Tour de France, six women will already be completing the course a day before them. Enter the Reve Project, a group of six women ranging from mothers to business owners who are riding the 2,162 mile route to help raise funds for Bikes Belong, the largest cycling advocacy group in the U.S. to get more women involved in the sport. We got the chance to chat with teammate Kate Powlison on her training, diet and nerves leading up to race day.

What is the goal of the Reve Project?

The basic goal is to inspire women to ride bikes more often. We figure by riding the Tour de France together and covering every mile of a highly male dominated sport, we can prove that women can do it too.

What made you decide on the Tour de France? Why not another shorter event?

The Tour de France is one of the most visible events for cycling. When you ask the average person about the sport, it’s the Tour de France and Lance Armstrong that usually comes to mind first. So it’s a perfect platform to reach a large amount of women. It’s a way to show women who perhaps used to ride and stopped or have never even hopped on a bike before that it’s not too late to get started.

Read more

Boxer Marlen Esparza Trains Hard to Represent US in Olympics

Written on June 26, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

You'll definitely want to keep your eyes on Esparza during the Olympics. (Photo courtesy Sports Illustrated)

Marlen Esparza was only 11 when she first stepped into a boxing gym, and it took her days to convince trainer Rudy Silva to allow her to participate in his group workouts. After watching her throw some sloppy but passionate punches at a bag and seeing what Rudy describes as a “spark,” he allowed her to join his sessions with advanced boys.

But that spark doesn’t mean Rudy welcomed her with open arms. “I tried to push her really, really hard,” recalled Rudy during a recent interview at Nike’s campus in Oregon. “I would push the groups really hard, mainly because I wanted her to just quit. After a while, some of my guys started quitting. She just kept showing me every day that she was there to stay and this is what she wanted to do.” Eleven years later, Rudy is still her trainer and Marlen’s tenacity paid off. Not only has she won six national titles, winning her first at age 16, but she was also the first woman to qualify for the US Olympic boxing team.

This honor is not lost on Marlen. In a quick interview in Houston she told us, “To be the first woman to qualify for the Olympics is everything to me. People say to me, ‘Boxing is not who you are; it’s what you do.’ But to me, it’s who I am. I’ve never felt this good in my entire life, ever.”

The road to qualifying wasn’t straightforward, though. The announcement that women’s boxing would be included in the London games also included the news that four weight classes would be combined. Rudy explained, “At the time that they announced the 112 flyweight class, the weight classes that were going to merge into 112 were 106, 110, 114, and 119. Those four weight classes had to compete at 112.” Until the International Olympic announcement, Marlen had fought in the 106-pound weight class. “I had to gain weight,” Marlen told us. “In 2010 I started competing at the 112 Olympic weight class and figuring out who was gonna make it to the games. I was fighting girls down from weighing 119. It was intense. Luckily, I beat them all.”

Keep reading to learn details of how the young boxer eats and trains.

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