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Lose Pounds like a Rockstar with POUND

Written on September 19, 2012 at 9:42 am , by

Become a lean, mean, drumming machine at a POUND class near you! (Photo courtesy of Mark Sacro Photography)

Have a rough day in the office? We recently tried a fun new workout that would make sure to get rid of that bottled up tension. LA rockers Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom turned a sweat-astic idea into reality by revolutionizing their passions for drumming and exercise into a workout unlike any other, POUND. The high-intensity 45-, 30- or 15-minute classes transform cardio interval training into an exhilarating concert with 2.5-lb weighted drumsticks, known as “Ripstix,” and an upbeat playlist.

POUND combines traditional Pilates and barre method-inspired exercises with rapid drummer-based movements. Each jam-sesh is a full body blast, scorching more than 600 calories! We recently embraced our primal aggression with Kirsten and Cristina, sporting a smile and a lot of sweat through each burn-worthy sequence. Crank up the music and rock out with these three moves:

Twists: Start by laying flat on the floor with your feet extended straight. Lift shoulders off the floor until body is at a 45-degree angle and then raise your feet 45 degrees so your body forms a ‘V’. Twist from side to side with your elbows tucked. Lightly tap the ground on either side of the hips with your fingertips. Add Ripstix for an ultimate challenge and make some noise! This move scorches the obliques and your muffin top zone.

Rainbows: In a deep plié squat, begin with your arms over your head. Start by stepping to the right and hinge body forward to tap the ground (or close to it) with your right hand. Return to center and repeat to the left. Again, add Ripstix to turn up the volume and burn.

OH Thrusts: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift your hips and tap the ground on either side of the body with your fingertips. Next, lower yourself to the mat and bring your arms overhead. Bending at the elbow, lower and extend arms. Repeat 20 times or to your favorite up-tempo song. Add some Ripstix for additional resistance and clatter!

In need of a mini POUNDtrack? Get moving with Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of,” Travis Barker’s “Let’s Go (for Rainbows)” and the Bassnectar Remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” To find a class near you, check out the POUND website.

#140Wednesday: If You Could Have Your Own Personal Training Session With Anyone, Who Would It Be?

Written on August 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm , by

We have some brave readers! Trainer Jillian Michaels was one of the top picks to work out with. (Photo courtesy Andrew Southam)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

We know our readers love the workouts that we get from top trainers, but can you imagine having them coach you in a solo session? Talk about a gym rat’s heaven! This week we asked our Twitter followers who they want to sweat with. Some went for athletic hotties, while others chose all-star trainers whose workouts and TV programs inspire millions to get moving.

@Maggie_Garccia: Belly dance instructor Rania, she’s amazing!

@sopherella101: Channing Tatum

@glitteryze: @ryanlochte!

@beauty_edge: @ChaleneJohnson because she has an amazing attitude and great energy! #turbofire #turbo

@DanielleWolfe: I would be honored to have my booty kicked by @JillianMichaels.

@mejessiam: It would have to be Jackie Warner! #strongchick

@FITNESSkarla: No question about it: @MyTrainerBob!

@krmarks05: Only one is unfair! @JillianMichaels, @MyTrainerBob and @TracyAnderson would be my trifecta!

 

 

August DVD Review: Essentrics Class of 2012

Written on August 8, 2012 at 11:05 am , by

Change the way you look and feel with this workout. (Photo courtesy of Essentrics)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

August’s Top Workout DVD: Essentrics Class of 2012

Best for: Anyone who wants to get long and lean muscles and just can’t seem to find their yoga sweet spot.

Why it’s a star: Essentrics is a workout that combines ballet-inspired moves with toning exercises to challenge your body in a unique way. It’s named for the eccentric movement in exercise where you are lengthening and strengthening each muscle. Co-creator and Essentrics expert Sahra Esmonde-White says these movements help slenderize your figure while building strength–what more could you ask for?

Though skeptical at first, wondering how difficult stretching and sashaying could really be. I popped in the DVD on a weeknight after work thinking it’d be a calming workout, but it definitely wasn’t easy. Sahra isolates every muscle, focusing on stretching it out and toning it up. If you like the challenge of power yoga or Pilates, Essentrics is a fun way to mix it up and test your body in new ways. The next morning, my abs were sore, along with my buns and my triceps. Talk about a full-body workout!

You don’t have to don a tutu, but the workout does require a certain degree of grace and coordination. Sometimes I’d be balancing on one leg while reaching forward, getting in touch with my inner ballerina, when all of a sudden I’d lose my footing and snap back to reality. That’s the best part about working out at home–no judgment! Plus, the only equipment you need is a chair. No dumbbells, no stability ball, just your body weight. A mat is helpful if you’ve got hard floors during the ab workout, but a towel would work in a pinch.

Where to get it: essentrics.com, $19.95

#140Wednesdays: What Motivates You to Sweat?

Written on July 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm , by

Start sweating–you owe it to yourself. (Photo courtesy Cheyenne Ellis)

Written by Lisa Turner, editorial intern

Let’s be honest –working out can be a challenge.

Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves why we love to sweat, and we’re all motivated by different things. For some, it’s that feeling you get when you’ve put in hard work or when you notice you’re getting stronger. For others, it might be the desire to get Brooke Burke-style abs or more energy during the day.

According a recent poll conducted by Eventbrite, 30 percent of women that participate in endurance events are motivated by weight loss. Even more (34 percent) do it for charity. But we’re not all saints! A quarter of women believe that training for a marathon would make them better in bed, and 40 percent believe they’d be more attractive. As for mental benefits, over half of respondents think that running is more effective than therapy.

We posed the question to our Twitter followers to see what brings them to the gym or the track, day in day out. What motivates you?

@LinzFredetPtrsn: Setting a good example for my kids and having the energy to keep up with them!

@jellingson: Honoring my mom’s love to run!

@kerigans: Health!

@aliciabordonaro: It’s that feeling you get after a workout…a huge sense of #accomplishment and #satisfaction.

@Trishquit: To be healthy and keep my blood pressure in check!

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.

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3 Tips to Row, Row, Row Your Way to Your Best Body Yet

Written on July 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm , by

Lofgren mixes things up when indoor rowing by incorporating intervals into her routine. (Photo courtesy US Rowing)

Ever since Kate Middleton was snapped mid-race with her rowing team last August (which she reportedly did to get in wedding shape), rowing has started to pick up speed on the fitness front. And with gyms stocking up on indoor machines, including Equinox’s new class Shockwave, you don’t have to be near open water to get in a good rowing workout.

Interested in trading in the treadmill a few days and testing this total body cardio instead? Start with these tips from Olympic rower Esther Lofgren, who will be competing in London this summer.

1. To start, sit with your legs extended and relaxed, chest up, shoulders down and core muscles engaged. Draw the handle to your sports bra line. This is the finish position of the rowing stroke. From there, extend your arms and squeeze your bellybutton forward while keeping your chest up so that your shoulders are in front of your hips. Relax your knees and let your butt come up the slide rail towards your feet. When your shins are vertical, make sure your core is high and your shoulders are relaxed. Push off the footplate with your hips, it should feel similar to pushing off a wall in a swimming pool. Once your legs are fully extended, keep the motion going by swinging your body back a few inches as you draw your arms in and pull the handle to your sports bra line. That’s a full rowing stroke. Just remember: On the “drive” (the pull stroke) you use legs, then body, and then arms. On the “recovery” do the opposite–arms, body, then legs.

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Smash Star Katharine McPhee’s Go-To Shapers

Written on May 15, 2012 at 11:42 am , by

Katharine McPhee's sexy stems are due to lots of lunges. And dancing, of course! (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Last night’s Smash finale had viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see who would finally be crowned Marilyn. Don’t worry if it’s still on your DVR, we’re not giving any spoilers! While we were anxious to see how the performance would play out, Katharine McPhee is already focusing on her next performance in the Big Apple with her partnership with Tide to kick off the Olympic Games. We caught up with the star to hear about the campaign and snag a few fitness tips of hers.

Tell us about the partnership you’re doing with Tide for the Olympics!

To gear up for the Games, Tide is launching a project called My Story. Our Flag. We are asking people to go to the Tide Facebook page to share their personal stories of what the flag means to them. On July 3 I’ll be performing in Bryant Park to unveil a huge artistic rendition of the American flag. The stories that people have shared will be printed on swatches of fabric that will be sewn together to make the flag.

Like the Olympic hopefuls, the road to landing your dream career came with a lot of hard work. What’s one piece of advice you would tell someone with huge goals to help them stay motivated?

I have always loved the Olympics, and I was actually a competitive swimmer in middle school and high school. I remember how grueling the training was then, which is nothing compared to how these athletes train. Being an actress and a singer I understand how important it is to take care of your body. My advice would be to practice persistence and lots of discipline, much like these athletes do.

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5 Things to Never Do During Indoor Cycling Class

Written on May 7, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Show up early to class for a smooth ride. (Photo courtesy of Fuse/Getty Images)

Indoor cycling classes are an amazing cardio workout, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll walk away frustrated, or, even worse — injured. Compared to other group fitness classes, indoor cardio cycling is also a little harder to pick up on when trying it for the first time. After getting the lowdown on what to expect from your first class, follow these rules on things you should never do in an indoor cycling class.

  1. Arrive to class late: As a rule, be on time for any fitness class, but more so if you plan on riding. Since there is a cap on the amount of bikes in a class, most gyms require students to register ahead of time (either online or using a sign-up sheet). A few minutes before or after class starts, instructors often release unclaimed bikes to those on the waiting list. Show up late, and chances are the bike you registered for will be taken, or, if you didn’t sign up at all, the class will be full.
  2. Hop on the bike as-is: This is definitely not a one-size-fits-all scenario — the person who was on the bike previously may have a good 10 inches on you. To avoid injury and ensure a comfortable ride, adjust the bike to suit your body. You’ll also want to make sure the handlebars and seat are firmly secure to avoid any wobbling during class. Watch this video to learn the proper way to set up an indoor cycling bike.

Keep reading to find out three more things you should never do during an indoor cycling class.

More from FitSugar:

Things to Never Do While on a Short-Distance Run
4 Bad Habits Keeping You From Reaching Your Fitness Goals
Things You Should Never Do With Your Yoga Mat