Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Master Excel: Circuit Sensation!!

This workout has a lot of different exercises and went wonderfully quickly. The first half is weight training while the other half is cardio. I have written the weights I used - feel free to adapt to your personal level. Weight should be on the heavier side. Enjoy!

Circuit 1:
This circuit is made up of 3 stations with 3 workouts each. Do 30 seconds of each exercise in the set, take 30 seconds break, and repeat 3 stations a 2nd time. Then move to next set.

Set 1 :: {30 seconds each continuously}
Bent-over rows with Kettle bells (2 x 20lbs)
Up-right rows with resistance bands
Bent-over Chest flies (2 x 8-10lbs)

Take 30 seconds rest and repeat Set 1. Then continue to Set 2.

Set 2 :: {30 seconds each continuously}
Weight Ball slams (20lbs)
Rotating weight ball slams, alternating right and left (20lbs)
Bent-over weight ball chest Slams (20lbs)

Take 30 seconds rest and repeat Set 2. Then continue to Set 3.

Set 3 :: {30 seconds each continuously}
Chest press on fitness ball (2 x 20lbs)
Standing Shoulder press (use jump if too challenging, 2 x 20lbs)
Front standing strait-arm up-downs (20lb)

Take 30 seconds rest and repeat Set 3. Then continue to abs and cardio.

60 seconds of plank knee-ups
10 Ninja rolls

Cardio circuit 1 :: {30 seconds each, alternate 10 times}Wall runs (keep knees high while running at angle at wall)
Wall sits (keep feet under knees and remember to breathe)

Cardio circuit 2 :: {60 sec each, twice through each; 1st / 2nd}Sprint in-outs (1st cw, 2nd ccw)
Squats / Squat holds
Plank-holds / Plank knee-ups

Shuffles (1st lead with left, 2nd lead with right)
Lunge dips (1st with left, 2nd with right)
Scissor star kicks / russian twists

Cardio circuit 3 :: {Repeat 6 times}Mountain climbers for 30secs, release into sprint for 25 yds

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 Reasons to Use an Exercise Ball as Your Chair

Ball Chair with Frame
I came across this article on using an exercise ball to sit on for work. I've been sitting on one in a frame for the past, oh, 3 years? I don't know that I have a stronger core because of it, but I do know that I don't have any back or neck pain/strains.

1. Forces proper spine alignment. Because an exercise ball is not stable, your body needs to try to balance itself on it. The perfect spinal posture is coincidently the easiest to balance with. Thus, your body will automatically try to align itself into the proper posture. This helps improve your spinal health, and decrease back pains.

2. Causes you to frequently change positions. An exercise ball causes to you to change your position often to balance. For example, if you turn 45 degrees to face the phone, your body will assume a new position. This helps reduce damage caused by prolonged sitting in the same position.

3. Fitness is at your fingertips. Another great thing about using this alternative to a chair, is that you can do stretches or mini-workouts whenever you want, without getting up. If you’ve ever stuck waiting for a minute or two, you can make productive use of that time with a quick workout or stretch. Because it’s much more convenient, you will probably do it more, thus resulting in better health.

4. Improve your balance. This one is very understandable. Sitting on an unstable surface all day will improve your sense of balance, as well as the reactions of your muscles. The result? An overall better balance, that can be observed out of the office.

5. Get that 6-pack you’ve been wanting. Your body primarily uses your core (abdominal) muscles to help compensate for changes in balance. Thus, your essentially getting a low-key abdominal workout. This may not sound like a lot, but consider the amount of time you spend on your computer at the office, or at home. Those hours can build up, and result in a strengthening of ab muscles.

6. Improves your circulation. Using an exercise ball will keep the blood flowing to all parts of your body, throughout the day. A desk chair on the other hand, reduces circulation to some parts of the body after prolonged use.

7. You’ll feel more energetic. It has been proven that staying in one position, will make you more tired, while moving around and being active with give you more energy. With an exercise ball as a chair, you will feel much more energized after you finish your work.

8. Burn up to 350 calories per day. More movement during the day = more calories burnt. Burning 350 calories per day = losing one pound of fat every 10 days. You may not burn quite 350, but nonetheless, it will help you stay fit.

9. Really cheap. Specialized exercise balls designed for sitting usage can range from $15 to $80. Much cheaper than buying an ergonomic chair, which can range anywhere from $100 to $400 and up.

10. C’mon, its fun! Who doesn’t like the idea of bouncing around on an exercise ball all day. Exercise balls are an exciting alternative to chairs, and may just give that spark of fun to your day.

Note: Just don't drink too much coffee - I tend to fall off every once and a while when I'm really wired!

Excel Workout: 20's craziness!!!

I'm in a fitness class called Excel at Prairie Athletic Club.
Master Excel Class Link

Last night we did a workout that was super intense, but very simple. Each round was repeated 10 times so that we ended up doing 200 reps of each exercise. Here is the break-down...

Round 1:
20 squats
20 push-ups (killer!!!)
20 jumping jacks

Round 2:
20 split thrusts (each side)
20 dips
20 frog jumps

Round 3:
20 Charlestons, each side (put a band around your knees and turn toe/knee out)
20 bicep curls
20 Burpees

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