Written on June 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm , by Colleen Travers
One of the many perks of working here at FITNESS is the ability to test out new workouts and routines often. And while as a staff we work up a sweat quite a bit, we have our fair share of standard 9-to-5 days too, which of course means sitting all day long. But now thanks to the new TechnoGym Wellness Ball, anyone can get a workout at their desk by using it for what trainer Josh Holland calls, “active sitting.” The ball is composed of two different densities, so that bottom half is heavier than the top half (so no rogue ball rolling down the hall!). It also comes with a QR code on the handle, which gives you the ability to scan with your smartphone to grab additional exercises.
To correct your posture, strengthen your core and improve your flexibility on those days when you can’t make it to yoga or even a quick lunchtime walk, sneak into a conference room and try a few of these moves below using the Wellness Ball.
First, start with a stretch. Wrap your arms as far around the ball as you can then do the inverse, lie with your back on the ball and roll it slightly to elongate your back and open up your chest and shoulders.
Plank and Pike (Core): Start with a plank, forearms on the ball and feet on the floor (for additional support put the ball against a wall). Hold for 10 seconds and go into a Pike and Level–from plank position pop your butt into the air, then back down to level for 10 reps.
Chair and Squats (Legs): Place the ball between you and a wall at waist height with your back to the ball. Squat into a seated position for 10 seconds and hold. Next, squat up and down, rolling the ball against the wall with your back from the seated position for 10 reps. End back in Chair position and lift one knee at a time for 10 reps.
Even if you can’t bust out a squat in the middle of your busy day, just sitting on the ball gives you a slow and steady burn if sitting correctly. Holland says to make sure you are always engaging your core. To give yourself a quick self-check, place your hands behind your back and lengthen the chest to straighten out your posture.
For more information on the TechnoGym Wellness Ball, visit technogym.com.
Written on June 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
Olympic beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings is no stranger to pressure, but this time the mom-of-three is putting the heat on herself: “My post-pregnancy body needs a lot of work right now. I’m just starting to rebuild my foundation.” Walsh Jennings, who is gearing up for the seven-city AVP (Association of Volleyball Professional) Tour, stopped by the FITNESS office to chat with our uber-excited editors about pregnancy, Pilates and the secrets to her fit physique (spoiler: a ton of hard work). Bonus: YOU could win an autographed ball from the superstar herself!
You welcomed your third child, Scout Margery, to the world just two months ago. Other than a lack of time, how has motherhood changed your exercise routine?
It’s made me more focused, for sure. I used to have plenty of time during the day to take care of myself and get my workouts in, but now it’s get in, get done, get out. When I was pregnant, I stayed really fit so that I could hit the ground running, especially with the AVP Tour coming back this summer. It’s a big objective of mine to come back and kick everyone’s butt, so I needed to start pretty fit. I’m building a strength foundation, trying to stay really flexible, and then working to get my agility back. It’s very humbling every day—but really fun, too!
So what were your workouts like during pregnancy? How’d you stay in such great shape?
I played volleyball, lifted three times a week, did Pilates twice a week, and then did other random workouts. I’m really lucky in that I can mix up my workouts a lot, and I have really nice trainers who help me think outside the box. I keep my body guessing—I think that’s huge.
That’s definitely a lot! Anything in particular you love to boost your flexibility?
I do Pilates twice a week. I’m a firm believer in it—I think everyone in the world should be doing Pilates, especially people who are pregnant or post-partum. It’s a beautiful way to get your core back and your body awareness back. Flexibility is a function of strength, and I need to be flexible on the court, so that’s a huge priority. You need to tackle every base.
Which moves do you swear by for toning your tummy, especially post-pregnancy?
Everything Pilates! It’s all about the deeper ab muscles. I work on the big Plyo Ball a lot. I’m also really into windshield wipers. I think that anything with twists is really good, not only for your spine and your obliques, but for your entire abdominal structure.
Categories: Celebrity, Fitness, Motivation, The Fit Stop, Workouts | Tags: beach volleyball, giveaway, kerri walsh jennings, Misty Mae-Treanor, Olympics, post-baby body, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Workouts, workout
Written on June 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Ever dream about hanging with a celebrity trainer every week while you get your sweat on? Now you can – just head to Flywheel Sports and look for Brett Hoebel on the schedule (you watched – in awe, we’re sure – his capoeira skills on season 11 of The Biggest Loser). He’ll be teaching at their Los Angeles studios, and making guest appearances in New York City. We scored seats in his debut ride at Flywheel’s Flatiron studio, and couldn’t stop raving about his crazy beats on our walk back to the office. But you know we’re not the type of girls to keep those tunes all to ourselves, so of course we nabbed the playlist before we left. Now get on a bike, blast each song and prepare for a serious dose of sweat.
Written on June 5, 2013 at 10:46 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Chloe Metzger, editorial intern
From cardio to cool-down, a good music playlist can work like magic on your motivation (we’ve pushed out more than a few extra reps to JT’s new album!). And today, in honor of National Running Day, Olympian marathoner Kara Goucher has teamed up with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to share her top tracks that keep her running strong and speedy.
We took a listen and can guarantee you’ll want to get moving once the first track begins (at least, that’s what happened to us). Lucky for you, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is offering a whopping discount – $20 off any of their races in the country, so you can put your pumped-up motivation to good use (Assistant Web Editor Samantha Shelton is tackling Philadelphia and Vegas later this year – join her?). Visit Rock ‘n’ Roll today to sign up for a run, and check out Kara’s ultimate playlist below. We’ll be here, celebrating the day Goucher-style.
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Written on March 27, 2013 at 10:00 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Wouldn’t you love to have access to a studio-quality yoga class whenever the desire to practice strikes? A calming atmosphere and knowledgeable instructor make for a restorative flow that keeps yogis coming back for more. So if you can’t get your om fix live, we recommend checking out Yogify, a new app from EA Sports.
Studio yoga flows promise different sequences every time you unroll your mat, and Yogify offers more than 30 hours of practice across 50 progressively challenging classes. The app can be downloaded for free and contains five complimentary classes. Think of it this way: once you master sun salutations, then you can try warrior poses. And thanks to audio cues and photos, you’ll have no trouble applying the basics to a beginner flow class. For intermediate and advanced yogis, there are three levels of classes available, so there’s no reason why you can’t up the ante when you feel mat time might be getting mundane.
After you’ve used the five complimentary classes, the app offers pay-to-download programs that focus on building strength, balance and flexibility. Like its free classes, these workouts span three levels and help you perfect certain poses and engage specific body parts. We bet workouts like “Superman Abs, “Teddy Bear to Tripod,” and “Inversion Excursion” will fire up your muscles and keep your practice fresh.
For more information, visit the Yogify website.
Right now, Yogify is only available on iOS. For you Android lovers, we recommend checking out yogatoday.com – the website posts one free yoga class per week, and you can get an unlimited access for $9.99/month. Keep calm and om on, friends.
Now you tell us: What’s your favorite fitness app?
Written on February 21, 2013 at 10:22 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
Don’t be fooled by Brett Hoebel’s new 20-Minute Body workout. It may be quick, but this high-intensity routine is no joke. As the Fit or Flop judge and Biggest Loser’s Season 11 trainer recently tweeted, “We can not become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Brett’s routine reflects just that, challenging every muscle group with the Brazilian art form of Capoeira. The fluid technique, rooted by movements invented by African slaves to mask self-defense training, shreds and sculpts for a long, lean look.
We recently got a taste of the speedy (but efficient) cardio-kickboxing session with Brett and trust us when we say our buns have never hurt so good after all of the executed squats, lunges, dance and martial art moves! The best part? All you need is a 4’-by-4’ space and your own bodyweight.
To get the blood pumping, Brett started off by leading us through a cardio series full of crosses, jabs, upper cuts, sidekicks and a bit of fancy footwork. Just when we thought we knew what was coming next, Brett asked the burning (literally!) question, “What time is it?” Throwing our hands in the air, we echoed enthusiastically in unison, “Bootytime!” before getting low for 60-second rounds of pulsing squats. Our glutes thanked us later…
A circuit with four sets of minute-long explosive isometrics came next, featuring low runner’s lunge-squat combos, crossover walking planks, jump squats and abs. Brett upped the difficulty each round, adding a “shake ‘n bake” shimmy/kick to the ab roll-ups and a mountain climber variation to the planks. Wobbly legs didn’t hold us back from giving Brett our all. His own beading sweat and encouragement helped us finish strong!
Brett’s new routine is expected for release soon with a soft launch of classes offered through March at 24 Hour Fitness locations in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. Until then, be sure to check out his other programs, RevAbs and reVamp, for a revolutionary total body tone.
More from FITNESS:
- Staffers Spill: What We Learned From CrossFit
- Fit or Flop: Behind-the-Scenes of Finding the Next Fitness Star!
- Jackie Warner Shares Resolution Success Secrets
Written on January 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Richard Simmons. Just hearing that name instantly conjures an image of candy-striped shorts, sequin-studded tank tops and neon-colored sweatbands. And that’s exactly what we got when we met the fitness icon himself last week while testing Old Navy’s new activewear collection. As girls who frequently popped in Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS tapes with our moms, this evening was a dream come true; full of smiles, laughter and aerobic dancing. Talk about fitting in a workout without realizing it.
Not one to shy away from the camera, we chatted with Simmons post-workout to find out what’s kept him in the game for 38 years, with hopes he’d randomly burst into song. Spoiler: he definitely did, and we caught it on tape.
First of all, that was so fun! You definitely know how to keep a crowd smiling and laughing through a workout. What makes you love teaching so much?
It’s all about the people. I call about 50 overweight and house-bound people a day and I’ll make them laugh and give them hope. Because with hope you can cope, and without hope you’re in despair and go nowhere.
You’ve been in this industry for 38 years. Any special memories?
So many! Sometimes I’ll call somebody every day for 10 years and one day they finally get it and say, “Richard, I lost five pounds in the last two weeks. I get it now. I threw everything out of my house that doesn’t belong in my body and I’m moving.” I love those moments.
Why did you partner with Old Navy for their activewear collection?
Editor’s note: we’re letting Simmons answer this question via video, so you can witness his fun personality first-hand.
That was fabulous! What advice would you give someone who’s trying to become more active?
I think getting up in the morning with a positive attitude is key. Don’t just wake up and go, “Oh, woe is me. Oh, I’m unhappy. Pain, pain.” Instead, say, “Hey, God, I’m alive! Thanks for another day! I’ll be kind to people in every way!” And that’s what I do, whether I’m saying hello to someone on the street, taking pictures with someone who approached me, or teaching in my studio. Anything you can do to be positive and help others.
Now you tell us: Do you love Richard Simmons? Have you ever sweat to the oldies?
Written on January 29, 2013 at 9:18 am , by Jenna Autuori
There’s a reason why The Refine Method is known to be “New York’s Smartest Workout.” The intense circuit-style technique, Metabolic Resistance Training, was created by former New York City Ballet dancer Brynn Jinnett to exercise not only your body, but your mind to think differently about the overall approach to fitness and heath. Instead of a fad-based approach, Refine is founded on principles of facts and a constantly evolving education to help take clients to a whole new, metabolism-boosting level.
In our February Express Workout, Brynn tossed dumbbells for resistance bands in an arm workout fit for the red carpet. Firm and sculpted in six moves? Count us in! Read on to find out Brynn’s best strengthening moves, her favorite workout tunes and the one person Brynn believes could outdo her in a push-up competition.
Most of us are NYC transplants, so tell me how you made your way and landed in the Big Apple?
I am actually a native New Yorker! It’s a little embarrassing, but I still live about 10 blocks from where I was born and raised in! I love the city.
How did you fall in love with ballet and know that you wanted to pursue it professionally? Tell me about your ballet career?
I used to dance around in my diapers, so my Mom put me in ballet class at age 3! I enjoyed my dance classes, so I entered the School of American Ballet (the pre-professional division of New York City Ballet) at age 7. At 16, I was then fortunate to be offered a position with New York City Ballet, where I danced until heading off to Harvard for college. I continued to dance while at school and then returned to dancing professionally after college for another 3 years before retiring. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have performed on some of the world’s greatest stages in the most beautiful ballets and also for ballet giving me the discipline and drive that have helped me in all aspects of my life.
How did you transition from ballet to running your fitness method?
I taught fitness throughout my career part-time and only began to consider it as a full-time profession when I decided to retire. I foolishly thought that as a professional dancer I must know a lot about how the body works, but so many of my clients were working so hard and not seeing significant results which left me questioning things I held as “fact.” I realized that many of the smartest thinkers in fitness worked with professional athletes, so I spent over a year traveling the country learning from professors, athletic trainers and successful business owners. Refine is a product of that journey. I continue to spend a significant amount of my time learning, reading journal articles, attending conferences and speaking with other athletic professionals. We will always adapt our methods to fit the information we know today. Read more
Written on January 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by Colleen Travers
Red carpet season is in full swing, so it’s pretty perfect that the Fitness Gala 2013 is this weekend. Come in your best fitness-ready red carpet outfit (our kind of red carpet!) and work up with sweat with a Kettlebell Kickboxing master class, taught by the creator of the program Dasha Libin. After class, treat yourself to cocktails, brunch and a silent auction, with all proceeds, including ticket sales, benefitting Mariska Hargitay’s charity, the Joyful Hearts Foundation. The foundation raises awareness for sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse in addition to helping survivors reclaim their lives.
Aside from supporting a good cause, all attendees will be entered to win a VIP gift bag that includes a 1-year Kettlebell Kickboxing gym membership, at-home training sessions and tons more. Smash star Megan Hilty will be there as well, snapping pics in the photo booth for anyone who loves a camera opp.
Fitness Gala 2013 will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Studio 450 (450 W. 31st St. NY, NY 10001). General admission is $125. To RSVP or make a donation in your absence, click here.
Written on January 23, 2013 at 9:57 am , by Samantha Shelton
One of the perks of working at FITNESS is getting the opportunity to workout with celebrity trainers. So when we heard Jackie Warner had partnered with Wisk and wanted to personally hand us a sweat-dripping, butt-kicking workout, we just couldn’t say no. After 30 minutes of nonstop circuits that left our thighs burning and core shaking, we took a breather to get the inside scoop from the star.
First of all, what a great workout! And we didn’t use any weights. If you only had 10 minutes and no equipment, what would be your quick routine?
I love to do a yard workout, something outside. I would tell you to sprint 50 paces, jump down and do sprawls. Here’s how you do it:
- Start in a standing position. Lower your hands to the ground and quickly jump back into push-up position.
- Shift your hips to the ground, then return to pushup position.
- Jump back to standing position.
So that’s a sprawl; it’s the name of my training technique. Do 15 of those in a row, then sprint 50 paces and repeat. Complete four sets – you could likely do that in about five minutes, and it’s really intense. So if you want to go for 10 minutes, do eight sets.
Why would you say that’s such an intense workout?
The sprinting is getting your legs in place and the sprawls are getting your upper body and core in place. Your whole body is being worked in a short amount of time.
For those who are just starting to workout, what tips do you have to help ease themselves into the gym?
You shouldn’t ease yourself into the gym if it isn’t something you like. Don’t force a type of training on yourself that you do not like because you will fail long-term. Go to Google and find something you’ve always secretly wanted to do. There’s a wealth of information and classes out there, as well as trainers, that will find that one thing you like to do, whether it be mat Pilates, bootcamp, Spinning, or Muay Thai. There’s so much out there. So find the thing you secretly want to do and do that.
What advice do you have for those who struggle with morning workouts?
I prefer morning workouts, but we all have an internal strength clock. It’s a biological thing; we’re all built with it and it’s a unique clock that allows us to be stronger through time periods throughout the day. Some of us are stronger first thing in the morning, some mid-morning and others in the afternoon or evening. You need to experiment with it to find out what’s best for you and try to workout within that time. For me, my strength clock is between 9am and noon.
So don’t feel bad if you’re not working out first thing in the morning?
No, absolutely not. The good thing about working out in the morning is that you’re burning all throughout the day, which is fantastic. And you release a lot of hormones in the brain, which can give you more of a balance throughout the day. But if it’s not for you, then it’s not for you.
Keep reading to find out which celebs she’s loved working with, and who she would love to train in the future!