About Joe Vennare, PT & Fitness Program Director

Joe is a one of the nation’s top fitness trainers, a freelance writer, and a fitness entrepreneur who co-founded of Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio™ and Race Day Domination. Follow him on Twitter, @JoeVennare.

Full Body Workout – No Weights Required!

462088209Quick – picture a typical fitness center. Got it? Now make a list of equipment made available to you. What did you come up with? About 50, 100, 200 pieces of exercise equipment! Now for the really interesting questions: How much of that equipment is absolutely necessary? The answer might surprise you…

None! Not a single item. There’s no machine, weight or contraption on the planet mandatory to getting fit. The only two things you really need are your body and a healthy dose of willpower. When combined, a willingness to work and your own body can produce an endless array of weightless workouts guaranteed to whip you into shape.

Think about it, military forces and Olympic gymnasts utilize bodyweight training as a mainstay in their fitness arsenal. Admittedly, you might not be ready for muscle-ups or the iron-cross. Still, you have to start somewhere. Maybe that’s bodyweight squats and push-ups. Fine, start there. As you progress, remember that, if bodyweight training is good enough for elite fighting forces and world champion athletes, it can work for us regular guys and gals, too.

Now, about that “getting started” thing. We have you covered. What follows is an entire weightless workout. This total body fitness workout is geared toward strength training. Don’t stress, it won’t make you bulky. Bodyweight exercises help build lean, toned muscle. To complete the workout, perform each exercise for 40 seconds, resting 20 seconds after each move. For an added challenge, and an extra bit of cardio, try performing every exercise back-to-back without resting until you’ve completed every move. Then rest 90 seconds. Whichever method you choose, this workout can be completed 1-5 times depending on your fitness level and time frame.

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1. Squat

The squat is a foundational position for almost every move we make. Sit, stand, 179394299pick something up – all squats. The thing is, most people are doing squats all wrong. The key to the squat is using the body’s powerhouse muscles – glutes, hamstrings, low back and the core. The only way to ensure this activation is by sitting back and down into the heels. To get into this position, it helps to start standing tall, with feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and chest tall. Next, shift your bodyweight into your heels, sit your rear end back, and lower yourself into a squat. At the bottom of this position, drive through your heels, into the knees and finish by thrusting the hips forward.

Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Mountain Climbers…

2. Mountain Climber

Get ready for a heart-pumping, strength building exercise. That description sums450797507 up the mountain climber quite well. It begins in the plank position, or the top of the push-up. Maintain a plank hold, keeping the core and upper body engaged. Next, bring your right knee to your chest. Now, alternate your feet so your left knee is at your chest. Proceed slowly until you’re able to “run” your knees to your chest by quickly alternating your feet.

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Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Lateral Lunge…

3. Lateral Lunge

If a typical lunge is stepping forward and back, the lateral lunge is completed by 476126757stepping out to the side. Keep in mind, this exercise isn’t a stretch where your bodyweight travels past your planted foot. Instead, step out to the side, load the hamstring and glute of your plant foot by pressing back into a squatted position. From the standing position, step your right foot laterally to the same side. Keep your left leg straight, and pivot, as you sit back and down onto your right foot. Press off the right foot, return to standing, then repeat with your left foot.

Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Burpee…

4. Burpee

The burpee is a two-in-one challenge. It combines the squat-thrust and push-up to475528259 create a formidable test of total body fitness. Be prepared, there’s an element of strength training and cardio endurance. Begin in the standing position. Then, jump your body down to the push-up position on the ground. Next, perform a push-up. At the top of push-up, in the plank position, jump your feet to your hands. Now that you’re in a squatted position, finish the move by jumping off of the ground, clap your hands over your head.

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Next Fitness Workout For The Body: Squat Hold…

5. Squat hold

Remember the squat you did earlier. Set-up the exact same way – feet shoulder-width, chest up, shoulders back and down. Squat down to the bottom, as low you can go. Now, hold it right there. The challenge is to keep your muscles engaged and chest up for the entire duration of the hold. If you’re a beginner, you can perform a wall sit. it’s the same motion, but you can sit up against a wall. When you start to build more strength, feel free to step away from using the wall.

Change Up Your Cardio Workout On The Treadmill

459936813Running gets a bad reputation. That’s because we think of running as an endless endurance effort. Lace up the sneakers, pop in the headphones and set out to pound the pavement. Mile after boring mile.

Love it or hate it, though, cardiovascular workouts are essential to overall health and athletic performance. So if you’re looking to accelerate weight loss or speed up your sprints, you’d better be running.

But that doesn’t mean your cardio workout has to take all day. You don’t have to become a road runner or take to the trail either. Stay inside and try these treadmill workouts on for size instead.

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Jog, Sprint, Jog, Repeat

The treadmill is the perfect tool for completing interval sprints. The goal of high 470627737intensity interval training (HIIT) is to perform a slow or steady pace jog, before cranking up the speed to a sprint. After a designated time, slow the pace back down to a jog or walk, before repeating the process.

Ultimately, you’re looking to alternate between all-out effort and low-to-medium effort. When you do, you’ll be building lean muscles and burning fat. The exact times of the intervals are up to you. But 15-30 seconds of max effort, followed by 1-2 minutes of recovery is a solid starting point.

For an increased challenge, up the ante, literally. Create an incline on the treadmill for added resistance. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on what you’re feeling. You can continue on a steady uphill, or you can raise and lower the incline based on whether you’re jogging or sprinting. The variety will definitely get your heart pumping.

Next Treadmill Cardio Workout: Lunge Walk…

Lunge Walk

A great exercise to complete on a treadmill is a walking lunge. Think of it this way, 57306170you won’t reach an end point and have to turn around. This is not recommended on high speeds, because you have a higher chance of injury. Keep the speed at an easy walking pace. Lunge forward with your right foot, followed by your left foot. The momentum of the treadmill makes this really easy to complete, plus you’ll be adding in a great leg and glute workout!

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Next Treadmill Cardio Workout: Add Some Weight…

Add Some Weight

A treadmill doesn’t have to be just for running or walking, you can also work your 155784202
upper body just as hard! Adding some weights to your wrists or holding free weights, is a great way to get a toned upper body while working your lower body. Keep in mind you may not want to go too heavy on the weight because you still want to make sure you can run in fine form. Feel free to add in bicep curls, shoulder press, or simply pump your arms to the rhythm of your steps.

Next Treadmill Cardio Workout: Mix It Up…

Mix it up

The treadmill doesn’t have to be the only piece of equipment you use during a Young man assisting woman with sit-upscardio workout. The goal is to increase your heart rate and keep it up. There’s no one single method for doing so. With that in mind, combine treadmill sprints with bouts of body weight or free weight exercise.

Try this: Hpp on the treadmill and ramp up the speed until you are sprinting. Maintain the sprint speed for 30 seconds. Then, hop off (carefully!). Without resting, perform a body weight exercise for 60 seconds. It could be squats, lunges, sit-ups or push-ups. It’s up to you. When you’re finished, get back on the treadmill and repeat the process for 15-20 minutes.

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Tai Chi: ‘Meditation In Motion’

200069253-001Have you ever tried tai chi? If you have, then you already know why this form of exercise is typically referred to as “meditation in motion.” If you’ve never tried it, it’s time that you did. Studies have shown that this mind-body exercise has benefits that extend well beyond the physical form.

With origins in Chinese martial arts, tai chi is made up of a series of slow motion, low-impact movements. Instead of focusing on intensity or equipment, tai chi hones in on focus, deep breathing and mindfulness. Natural movement is paramount in this practice. Nothing is ever forced or fake. To that end, tai chi can be adapted to fit the needs of most every individual, making it a perfect on-ramp to exercise or more advanced forms of exercise.

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Finding flow

When getting started with tai chi, it’s best to work with an instructor to learn the correct form and technique. To begin, there are four moves involving the crouch, twist, maneuvering the arms up and overhead, and moving the legs from side to side. Precision and awareness are prioritized when executing these moves. But, don’t be fooled. The gentle practice delivers results, improving strength, balance, flexibility and heart health when properly done.

What to expect

Prior to taking on your first tai chi class, it’s helpful to know what to expect. Like most other forms of exercise, a tai chi practice begins with a warm up.

Warm up: Light stretching and easy motions like shoulder circles and neck tilts prepare the body for the efforts to come. The aim of the warm up is to engage the body and breathing in a synergistic manner, while loosening the muscles and joints.

Presentation and practice: Once your body is ready to go, the instructor will begin to present and instruct the various movements. The practice will be short-form or long-form. Meaning, that the number of movements could total 10 or 100, depending on the class and instructor. When first starting, it’s best to attend a short-form practice.

Qigong (or chi kung): At this point, it’s time to focus on breathing work. In combination with slow movements or as a standalone practice, breath work is used to relax the mind and body. The idea is to link the mind, body and breathing to connect the body’s energy network.

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Benefits abound

General health isn’t all that stands to benefit from taking up tai chi. Numerous studies have proven tai chi helps with blood pressure issues, mental health, and symptoms associated with stroke, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, tai chi has been shown to boost feeling of focus and an enhanced mood, while reducing stress, depression and anxiety. With a wealth of benefits, tai chi is clearly a form or exercise that truly is for everyone. Now that your knowledge has been brought up to speed, it’s time to get your body in on the action – using tai chi. 

Work Out Like A Celebrity With These Fitness Trends

160291324Deep down, all of us want to be famous. Maybe an actor or model. A musician or director. Wouldn’t that be nice?

While fame and fortune might not be in the cards for all of us, that doesn’t mean we can’t live like the stars. Especially when it comes to health and fitness. Similar to the clothes they wear and the music or movies they make, celebrities are always setting new trends. Laying the groundwork for the rest of us, exercise is no exception. Take a look at the diet and exercise regimens of some popular celebs – and get your sweat on.

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Aerial fitness

Fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Sounds like fun! Gwyneth Paltrow, 464143811Mariah Carey and Britney Spears think so. These classes originated as training for aerialists and circus performers. They have to be in tip-top shape. If you’re chasing a chiseled core, this class is worth a try.

Next Celebrity Fitness Trend: Trampoline Training…

Trampoline training

These workouts are the bounce house of the grownup world. The claims say 99548888calisthenics performed on a trampoline improve aerobics and core strength. Celebs like Julianne Hough agree. I’m a little skeptical. If you’re looking for a change of pace, try the trampoline. If your aim is to create a sustainable exercise routine, save your money and skip this class.

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Next Celebrity Fitness Trend: Cycle Fever…

Cycle fever

Fitness franchises featuring all-cycling, all of the time, are gaining momentum 179169480around the world. Flywheel and SoulCycle are the catalyst for this cycling craze. All sorts of celebs tout the benefits of these indoor cycling classes: Jessica Alba, Sofía Vergara, Emmy Rossum and Katrina Bowden to name a few. From a fitness perspective, the benefits of cycling can’t be denied. The sticking point might be the price tag. Classes can get expensive. But, if you can afford it, indoor cycling is worth the effort.

Next Celebrity Fitness Trend: Veg Out…

Veg out

Going vegan seems to be the cool thing to do these days. Heck, if Jay-Z and 140300265Beyonce are doing it, it must be good – right? Maybe. It might work for you. It might not. The idea of eating more plants is spot on. More greens, more often. Bright, colorful vegetables! But cutting out other foods entirely can cause problems, like lack of vital nutrients and vitamins. Before making a full-scale switch, take some time to learn about what you’re getting yourself into. Then, if it’s good for you, make the switch slowly.

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Next Celebrity Fitness Trend: Juicing…


DIY juicing is all the rage. Those pre-made juices don’t cut it anymore, especially those with added sugar or other fillers. Making a 184421672delicious and nutritious mixture yourself is preferred by Miranda Kerr, Nicole Richie and Oprah. It’s a quick and easy way to get a whole lot of goodness in one glass. It’s fun, too. You can experiment with different recipes and homemade concoctions. If you’re looking to simplify your diet, this might be the route for you. Simply mix up your fruits and veggies, then drink them throughout the day.

6 Moves That Will Burn Calories At Your Desk

164660220Work isn’t what it used to be. Believe it or not, there was a time when the workday consisted of actually moving around. I think it’s called manual labor. These days, more and more of us are sitting around all day. Parked in front of a computer from sunup until sundown. We’ve master Microsoft Office, but we’ve let our health escape us. It’s time for a change. Use these exercises to regain control of your body. Let this be your guide to sneaking in a workout at work.

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Calf Raises

So discreet, your cubicle mates won’t even know you’re doing your body good! Start work on those calves while never leaving your desk. While sitting at 87153632your keyboard, keep your feet shoulder width apart, flat on the floor. Raise up on your toes and come back down on your heels. You can do this motion about 10-15 times in a row for 3 sets. For a greater challenge and to work out your inner and outer calf, simply adjust the position of your feet. For your outer calf, point your toes into each other, as if you are making an upside-down “V” shape. Continue with the up and down motion. For the inner calves, point your toes out to the side and repeat.

Next Workout At Your Desk: Silent Squeeze…

Silent squeeze

Is it possible to work out during a meeting with your boss? It sure is. All you need to 83397699do is sit up straight and squeeze your glutes. Flexing and then holding these muscles is better know as an isometric hold. Squeeze, hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat for the duration of the meeting. You’ll be surprised how quickly things shape up for you.

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Next Workout At Your Desk: Go Chairless…

Go chairless

Sitting in a chair all day is bad for your health. Standing is a great alternative. Do 86490289that whenever possible. Make it easier by removing the chair from your desk or cubicle. Now you have to stand or squat. Yes, it’s called sitting without the chair. Squat down in front of your workspace, hold it and get to work. Or, if that’s too much to ask, perform a minute-long squat hold every 30 minutes throughout the day. 

Next Workout At Your Desk: Leg Raises…

Leg Raises

No one needs to see that you are working your thighs and legs underneath that 172390963desk. This move is easily done by simply keeping your leg straight and extending it straight up. Alternate legs and do this about 10-15 times for 3 sets. You’ll strengthen your legs and burn calories. For an added challenge, try lifting both legs at the same time. To really feel the burn, try to hold up your legs for a few seconds at a time. Burn, baby, burn!

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Next Workout At Your Desk: Crunchless Crunch…

Crunchless crunch

Like the silent squeeze, this move can be done in stealth mode. Sitting at your desk168651029 or standing in the elevator, simply flex your core and ab muscles, hold it, and then repeat. Continue this process as often as you can during the day.

Next Workout At Your Desk: Stretching…

Stretching it out

The most important move you can do while being at your desk all day is stretch. 178982704Being in a seated position and typing puts strain on your shoulders, arms and lower body. Whenever you can, try to get in a good stretch. Some basic moves include crossing on arm over your chest and holding it for a few seconds. To ease your neck, tilt it to one side and hold, then the other. Lastly, stand away from your desk, cross one leg over the other and try to touch your toes. Switch legs and repeat.

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Pump Up Your Workouts With Martial Arts Training

57440407Once upon a time bodybuilders occupied the top spot in the fitness world. People envied them, trained like them, ate like them and even bought magazines with bodybuilders on the cover. Basically, they wanted to be them.

Times have changed. Sure, some people still plan to pack on as much muscle as possible before taking to the stage for a flex-down. But more and more people are prioritizing functional muscle and athleticism over aesthetics alone. This explains the emergence of mixed martial arts style workouts among mainstream fitness seekers.

Not that an explanation is really necessary. One look at these rough and tumble athletes removes all doubt about whether or not their fitness regimens work. This fact leaves many people wondering, how can I look like that? Follow these tips and make martial arts training part of your workout routine.

RELATED READING: The Weightless Upper Body Workout

Step Away From The Machine

You won’t find a martial artist using exercise machines to sculpt their muscles. These guys and gals need powerful and explosive, two things that pulley and cable machines make nearly impossible. With that in mind, stick to free weight exercises, targeting multiple muscle groups at one time. Use compound movements like the squat, dead lift, and overhead press to boost total body strength.

Add A Bounce To Your Step

The martial arts are all-encompassing. Meaning cage fighting, kick boxing and karate can all be included in this category. No matter which art form you choose, regardless of whether it’s for competition or recreation, you’ll need to train certain skills. Included among them are balance and agility. Enter plyometric training.

Completing a series of explosive movements, featuring jumping, landing and changing directions will help improve your coordination. These moves will also make you more athletic as your muscles will learn to work together to complete more advanced exercises.

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Take a class

It’s possible to use the principles of martial arts training to design your own workout plan. The first two suggestions above prove that point. But, if you prefer more structure, or peers to motivate you through the workouts, consider a group fitness class. Take your pick: Kick boxing, judo, jujitsu, karate. Whichever you prefer, there’s a class out there that will deliver your fitness fix.

If you choose to take on a class, it’s a good idea to drop by the gym prior to your first workout. Chances are you’ll need to sign a waiver or pick up some specialized gear. It also helps to get a feel for the facility, instructor and other participants. Doing so will help alleviate any hesitations you might have. It will also ensure that you get the most out of your workouts from day one.

Does Martial Arts Training Make Me A Fighter?

You might be thinking, “I’m not a fighter!” You don’t have any desire to brawl with someone. Don’t want to get punched or kicked or anything remotely close to that? It’s okay, you don’t have to. You can achieve the body and conditioning on par with an ultimate fighter without becoming one. Whether you take a class or create your own training plan, upping the intensity of your workouts while focusing on total body strength will go a long way toward transforming your physical and fitness level. 

The One Piece Of Exercise Equipment You Need (With Workouts)

182288446Never miss a workout again! It sounds too good to be true. It’s not. No hype here. Just a foolproof plan for sticking to your exercise routine. Success starts with one piece of equipment – a resistance band.

At first glance this rubber band with handles might not look like much. Don’t let its appearance give you the wrong impression. Resistance bands are a great tool for strength training at home or on the go. Because they come in a variety of lengths, sizes and strengths, anyone can use a resistance band. Don’t let travel plans wreck your workout routine. Staying late at the office doesn’t mean you have to skip out on exercise.

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Join the resistance

Training with a resistance band simplifies fitness. There’s no weights to change. No machines to make sense of. Grab your band by the handles and get to work. When performing band exercises, aim for 2-3 sets of 12-20 repetitions. I can be difficult to do max effort training with a band. There’s simply not enough resistance.

Maintaining gains and training for muscle tone are realistic resistance band goals. It’s the perfect alternative for strength training when you’re strapped for time or short on equipment. Use a resistance band and these 5 exercises to create a workout you can do anywhere any time.

1. Deadlift

Start by standing on the band with feet shoulder width apart. That means that the band is running under your feet with the handles sticking out on each side. Reach down and grab the handles. Engage your core and keep your arms long while standing up. Press through your heels as you drive your hips forward. Lower the band back to the ground and repeat.


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Next Resistance Band Exercise: Bent Row…

2. Bent row

Like the deadlift, begin by standing on the band with feet shoulder width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist. Be sure to keep your hips back. Holding each handle, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return the band to the starting position and repeat.


Next Resistance Band Exercise: Upright Row…

3. Upright row

Stand on the band with your feet together. Grasp the handles of the band and stand up tall. With your hands at hip height, pull the band up the length of your body. Your elbows will rise to your ears to that your arms form a “V’ in front of your face with the band at chest height.

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Next Resistance Band Exercise: Bicep Curl…

4. Biceps curl

Kick this move off by standing on the band with feet shoulder width apart. The tube of the band is under your feet. Reach down and grab the handles. Stand up tall so the handles are at hip height. Anchor your elbows at your obliques. Curl your hand to your shoulder, focusing on squeezing the biceps. Lower the band back down slowly. Repeat.


Next Resistance Band Exercise: Wood Chopper…

5. Wood chopper

Anchor one end of the band to a door or column. Grab the free end with both hands. Your arms will be stretched out overhead. In one smooth motion, pull the band down and across your body while rotating your right hip and pivoting your back foot. Return to the starting position slowly before repeating this move.


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Short On Time? Try A Tabata Workout

182384401How long should a workout last? One hour. More. Less. Let’s go with less. Way less in fact.

It’s possible to get fit in four minutes. No, this isn’t a joke. It’s science. If you think it sounds too good to be true, give it a try for yourself.

What is this mystery workout you ask? It’s called Tabata training. During a series of timed intervals you’ll push your body to the limit. They don’t call it high intensity training for nothing.

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All or nothing

Are you ready to give it a go? Alright. We’ll get started in a minute. First, there are a few things you should know. This workout protocol was created by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a professor at Ritsumeikan University’s Faculty of Sport and Health Science. He developed the workout first for training Japanese speed skaters. Remember that when your legs are shaking and your lungs are burning. He’s the guy to blame for this torturous workout.

The basic idea behind the routine is simple: Complete eight rounds of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. That’s not to say that it’s easy. It’s anything but. Especially since you’re trying to cram as much intensity into four minutes as possible.

After all, that’s what makes this workout so effective. Timing the sets, minimizing rest and maximizing the work is a combination that keeps the body from recovering between sets. As a result, your calorie burn and oxygen uptake will be at an all-time high by the end of the four minutes. Translation, burn more fat and improve your fitness in only four minutes.

Ready to work

Use these tips to create your own Tabata workout.

A word of caution – Interval training is designed to test your limits. If you’re new to exercise, it might be best to begin with a less taxing form of exercise.

Timing: Adhere to the 20/10 work to rest ratio. You’ll need a clock with a second hand or a stopwatch to help you stay on track.

Execution: Be sure to complete a dynamic warm-up before you try to tackle a Tabata workout. There’s no backing down once the workout begins. Keep the effort at a maximum through the four minutes to be sure you reap the rewards that Dr. Tabata intended.

Exercises: There’s not one specific routine to perform. Which means you’re free to create your own. Pick exercises that target the entire body, instead of isolated exercises. There’s no need for equipment either. Bodyweight exercises can get the job done. But, if you want to add some weight to the workout mix, feel free to do so. Here are a few templates to help you create your own Tabata workout.

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Body weight squat
Mountain climber


8 Rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest

Next: Intermediate Level Tabata Training…



Jump squat164805708
Box jump
Indoor rower


8 Rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest
Jump squat

Next: Advanced Level Tabata Training…



Kettlebell Swing


8 Rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest
Kettlebell Swing

Rest 2-4 minutes

8 Rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest
Dumbbell Thruster

Next Time You Hit The Gym, Bring Your Partner

86504730It can be quite a challenge to find the ideal workout partner. You need someone who will push you, motivate you, support you and, ultimately, understand you. Sure, your best friend may work, and maybe even your sibling is a great choice, but what better person to partner up with than your partner!

Exercising with your significant other has its benefits. First and foremost, you both can push each other to reach goals and motivate each other to stick with it. Also, it’s a great way to spice up the relationship and bring the two of you closer. Ultimately, the both of you will be healthy together. Lastly, exercise has been known to boosts moods, and a happy couple definitely stays together longer. 

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Dynamic duo

Admittedly, couples’ workouts aren’t for everyone. It can be hard to follow the same schedule and routine. It might do more harm than good. But, before you completely blow off the idea, see what you have to gain by hitting the gym or the trail together.

Get Close: Couples counseling can help build trust and open the lines of communication. If that’s not for you, a couples’ workout might be the next best thing. After all, you have to trust your spotter. Let’s hope they don’t drop that weight on your chest. If you need their help, you’ll have to ask. They’ll have a chance to show you that they’ve got your back. When you reach your individual and collective goals, you’ll be able to celebrate in each other’s achievements.

Smile: Quality time is a good things. Especially when you’re doing something that makes you both fit and happy. Exercise is a perfect example of this. Boost happiness and reduce stress by sharing a runner’s high.

Create A Spark: All that sweating and spandex is good for more than exercise. Rekindle the passion by sparking the sexual flame with a workout for two. Exercise boosts our libido and tops off testosterone in men.

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Bust a move

When teaming up to take on a workout, be sure to pick an activity that both parties enjoy. If it’s too tedious, no one wins. Too easy and no one benefits. With that in mind, it’s best to pick a low or moderate intensity activity.

Take A Lap: Walk or jog around a park. Hit the trails and take a hike. Pack a picnic and make a day of this adventure.

Steam It Up: Yoga, or better yet, hot yoga is the perfect partner-friendly workout. Each person can go at their own pace and complete the moves based on their ability level.

Spin Your Wheels: Indoors or outdoors, cycling is an excellent form of exercise for two.

Join A Team: If a couples’ workout is out of the question, try a group workout. No, not a fitness class. Join a co-ed sports team or league. This way you’ll be able to interact with lots of people while working toward a more active lifestyle.

Work Out Or Watch TV? 5 Exercises For Couch Potatoes

80619452We’ve all been there. Time for a workout. But, we’d rather lounge on the couch. Enjoy a snack. Stay glued to the television. Whatever will we do? The deal is done. We’ve opted to slack off instead of breaking a sweat.

I don’t blame you. Exercise is hard work. Watching television, not so much. Exercise requires time and effort. Drive to the gym, exercise, shower and drive home. You can’t do both.

Or can you?

You can have it all! Why not work out while you watch television. Catch up on the last season of your favorite show while you break a sweat. If you plan it right, you won’t need any equipment either. But you can tone up your body while watching the tube. Here’s how.

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Work out while you watch

Perform each move for 45 seconds, resting for one minute after completing all five exercises. Aim to complete the circuit two to four times.

1. Push-up

179007895If it’s good enough for the military, it’s good enough for me. This is the go-to exercise for soldiers and athletes alike.

For strong arms and a chiseled chest, do this. Begin on your stomach. Place your hands under and in line with your shoulders. Extend your arms upward. Push your hands and toes into the ground. Press your body off of the ground. Your hips and upper body should rise together. At the top of the movement bend your elbows to lower your body back to the ground.

If you’re a beginner, start off on the tops of your knees until you build up enough strength to go up on your toes. It’s not about being a pro, but starting at a comfortable point so you can do the exercise properly and get your sweat’s worth.

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Next Work Out While You Watch TV: Squat…

2. Squat

177866897This is a great exercise to target your legs. Mimicking the motion of trying to sit and bringing yourself back up.

Focus on using your hips, hamstrings and core to complete this exercise. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, standing up straight. Keep your chest up and core engaged. Now, press through the heels and in the hips. Squat down, almost as if you are trying to sit down. You want to ensure your knees are at a 90 degree angle and not coming over your toes.

For an added challenge, turn your squat into a jump squat. Use the same formation, except start low and power up through your heels to add a jump.

Next Work Out While You Watch Tv: Plank Hold…

3. Plank hold

PlankThis is a great exercise that channels your core strength. When done correctly all of the major muscle groups will be engaged while you try to support your body weight.

This exercise begins with you lying face down on the floor. Place your toes into the ground, like you did during a push-up. Then engage your entire body. By contracting all the muscles from your feet to your upper back you can hold your body up on your forearms. Now hold it right there.

Ensure your back is completely flat and try to envision pulling your belly button into your spine. This creates a solid core and keeps your abs engaged during the exercise.

For an added challenge, add arm variations such as extending one arm at a time in front of you and tapping, or raising up on each hand at a time and coming back down.

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Next Work Out While You Watch TV: Dips…

4. Dips

Paar beim Fitness in der NaturNo need to miss a scene of your TV show with this one! Dips are perfect; they put your couch or comfy chair to use and target your triceps.

Grasp the end of your couch or chair seat firmly with both arms behind, with your hands facing forward. Put yourself in a seated position and extend your legs forward so they are straight. Dip down using your arms, and bring yourself back up slowly. The use of your body weight is enough to start feeling the burn.

Next Work Out While You Watch Tv: Lunge…

5. Lunge

176225106For the last exercise, we’re turning our attention back to the legs. This is a simple and straightforward way to tone and strengthen the lower body.

Stand up tall, roll your shoulders back and then down. Take one step forward with the right leg. As you do this, drop the back knee toward the ground. It’s important to note that the back knee doesn’t touch the ground. While you’re in the lunge position, remember not to lean forward. Keep the chest tall and shoulders back. To complete this move, push off the right heel and peel the toe from the ground. Stand up. Repeat the move by lunging forward with the left leg, lowering the right leg to the ground. You might find yourself passing on the snacks, and dipping and lunging your way through your next TV session. Double-duty!

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