This post is all about going LIVE. What do I mean? Well, not only did we just wrap up one insane workout today, which I’m sharing very soon, but we are also preparing for a LIVE Round Table Event TONIGHT- where you can ask me (along with all the Live Exercise trainers) questions LIVE.
Ask us about what we eat before a workout, to whatever silly personal question you are dying to ask us. This is a chance for you guys to get to know us better, share some tips and have a ton of fun. OMG, these guys and girls are hilariously entertaining. It’s going to be quite the show with all of us in the same room, but how cool is it for you guys to join the conversation!!
HOW TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION
6:30PM FRIDAY MAY 2ND
Follow hashtag #liveexercise & use #liveexercise hashtag in your posts.
If you want an even easier way to tweet, use the #liveexercise TweetChat Room and it will automatically follow the conversation and automatically add the hashtag 🙂
Tweet with us, and watch us LIVE via YouTube
OR Live X members can watch on LiveExercise.com!
Who will be there:
(NOTE: LIVEEXERCISE HAD SOME YOUTUBE ISSUES. I’LL POST THE VIDEO AS SOON AS IT’S UP!)
Here is this week’s Designer Whey Workout, dedicated to Iris Ramirez (pictured here with her family), who asked for a workout she could do with resistance bands.
She wrote: “I’m looking for an intense band workout for people who travel and have limited space or resources – ideally including cardio & strength intervals.”
Like Iris on Facebook page: Foundations619.
Well Iris, I put together a workout you can do a few different ways.
3 Different Ways to Workout
2. Upper Body Workout: Do the Chest & Arm workout 3 times through (or each exercise for 3 sets each).
3. Do the Lower Body workout: Do just the leg & glute workout for 5 rounds, or 5 sets each.
NOTE: If you don’t have bands (or good ones), I HIGHLY recommend Bodylastics Bands, which come with handles, leg straps, a variety of different resistance bands and a door anchor (so you can attach the band safely to a door to do more exercises). Nothing even comes CLOSE to these bands. Other bands don’t give the same feel or consistent fluid resistance Bodylastics gives. A basic set starts at only $28.95 – and is worth every penny. Every home gym should have a set!
Foundations Band Workout
Chest & Back
Want More Band Workouts?
Try LiveExercise.com FREE! And, be sure to check out my hubby’s shows: Chiseled Cardio & Kempo Kickboxing!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
One muscle group I feel gets neglected often are the hamstrings. I don’t know if it’s because people can’t see them, or if people just don’t know the importance of them – but they tend to get the leftovers.
If there is enough time “left over”, people will squeeze a few hamstring exercises in their workout. Most people who actually do hamstrings will end their leg workout with two or three exercises, but if they run out of time, guess what gets cut? Yep, you guessed it – the hammies. While gyms make it easier to work the hamstrings, because they offer specific machines just for that muscle group, people who workout at home may never actually work them at all simply because they don’t know how.
Stronger & Safer
First let me explain why you should work them – and work them more. Hamstring exercises, like straight leg dead lifts, strengthen the body to prevent injury. Let’s face it, we should always lift heavy objects with our legs (and not our back), but how many times do we bend over from the hips to pick something up on the floor? Probably more often than we should. Straight leg dead lifts not only strengthens the hamstring muscles that pull our body to an upright position, they also strengthen the low back. The stronger these muscles are, the less chance of injury doing regular daily tasks.
Second, hamstrings also improve joint movement. The hamstrings are attached at the knee and the hip. If both the hamstrings and quadriceps are attached at the same joints, but you have strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings, you can imagine how the stronger muscles will win the tug-of-war on your joints. Balancing your strength will help your body stay in proper alignment for optimal joint movement – preventing injury.
Smooth & Shapely
Lastly, hamstrings not only improve the shape of the leg, they improve the shape of the bottom too. Look at the girl in the blue dress (above), and notice the curves going up the back of her leg. That is a result of great hamstring and glute development. The less body fat you have, the more you will also see that muscle separation from the quad and the hamstring ( the line down the side of the leg).
Also, hamstring and glute exercises help the appearance of cellulite. As you develop both your glutes and hamstrings, you plump up the muscle under the fat, which smoothes skin texture and supports the subcutaneous fat and loose skin. If you feel there is no start and stop between your butt and thighs, you can change that too by ramping up your hamstring and butt routine. As you develop these muscles you will start to notice better muscle separation between the two muscle groups – creating a more toned, lifted, perkier, rounded rear end.
4 Fit Tips to Boosting Your Backside
1. Diet: You can have great legs and muscle that stay hidden under a layer of fat if you aren’t watching your diet too. If you have fat around your thighs, hips and butt, you likely need to reduce your calories to shed some body fat. See: Sculpt Your Body with What You Eat
2. Cardio: You can’t rely on weight training alone to sculpt your body. Burn more fat and tone your lower body with challenging cardio including running, elliptical, gauntlet step mill, step aerobics, power-walking hills, kickboxing or spinning. See: 15 Sweat-Your-Butt-Off-at-Home Workouts
3. Boost Protein: You can’t build muscle without protein. If you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, your body will use stored protein (muscle) as fuel. If you want to build or sculpt muscle, it’s important to get enough protein in your diet whether it’s from whole foods or protein supplements. See: How Much Protein Do I Need?
4. Go for Variety: Learn as many exercises you can to constantly change up your routine. Not only will it be more interesting, your workouts will also be more effective. Although I always have my staple exercises, I leave room for a few different or new exercises I alternate in and out of my routine. See: 25 Butt Blaster Exercises
I’ll be the first to admit my hamstrings need work, so I’ve been taking my training up a couple of notches. If you follow my blog, you know I now split up my hamstrings and quads. I do quads and glutes at the first of the week and hamstrings and glutes at the end of the week. I’ve not only had more time to work each body part better – I also have more power and energy to train harder. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to doing legs all on one day!
Here’s my ham and glute workout I did yesterday. I change it up each time. Last week I did walking lunges and step ups. This week I did Cook Hip Lift & Curtsies. 🙂
PS: I’m sporting Reebok Realflex shoes in this pic. The realflex line is one of my favorite lines of shoes I’ve ever owned. Lightweight, super cool and very flexible.
Ham & Glute Workout
This can simple be couple of sets of light straight leg dead lifts, like with the bar only, a light jog, air squats or walking lunges.
Do 4 Sets of Each:
- 18 Straight Leg Dead Lift (I do 95lb/bar or 45lb dumbbells)
- 18 Prone Leg Curl (For Home: Leg Curl with Bands, I use Bodylastics)
- 18 Seated Leg Curl (For Home: Standing Hamstring Band Curl, I use Bodylastics)
- 20 Cook Hip Lift (also called a single leg glute bridge)
- 25 Curtsies (Tip: Don’t put any weight on the back leg)
Finish with 30 Minutes of Elliptical with a challenging resistance.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In order to create one of the best fitness gift lists online, I reached out to people like you! I asked you what YOU wanted for Christmas, searched the web to find some of the coolest gadgets in the industry, and thought of all the fitness toys I can’t live without. Unlike many articles, no one has paid me to add them to the list. This is just a list of the top 25 fitness gifts, from $9 to $199, that I either have myself and love, or would love to have under my own tree.
I did all the work for you! Now shopping for your bestie is easy as clicking on any of the links below! Have fun making your BFF’s Christmas one of the best yet!
Top 25 Fit Gifts for Your Fit Friends
1. 6 Pack Bag – A deluxe 3 or 6 meal lunch cooler designed to organize meals, protein drinks and more. Finally, being prepared can be easy – and look nice too! The Foil lined back has 5 meal compartments in the 6-pack, 3 meal compartments in the 3-pack, a top organizer for supplements and vitamins, side slots to keep drinks upright, and ice packs to keep it all cool. $49
2. Yurbuds Inspire for Women – Music to my ears, these awesome earbuds, made specifically for women, are made to fit smaller ears and stay put while you move, sweat, lift, plyo and run. Don’t fret guys, they also have Yurbuds for men too! These earbuds are no joke. If you’re sick of earbuds falling out while working out, you will be thrilled to get these for Christmas, because they fit the ear like a custom fit hearing aid – and they ain’t going no where! $29
3. The Jawbone – I honestly have NO idea how it does it, (maybe I’ll get to try it myself and give you an in-depth review some day), but evidently, this incredible bracelet literally is like a healthy spy that tracks your every move. It intellegently tracks your sleep (light and deep sleep), tracks your activity (calories burned, activity and inactivity), reminds you to move when you’ve been still too long, tells you when to wake up with a smart alarm feature than knows the optimal time to wake up to feel refreshed in your sleep cycle, gives you the best power naps (waking you up at the perfect time to be recharged), and more. Waterproof, comfortable, crazy cool, good looking and a great healthy fitness tool any fitness peep would LOVE! $129
4. NXE Active Sleeve – After tying this myself, it quickly became one of my favorite ways to hold my iphone while working out. This slick stretchy fabric iphone arm sleeve is not only comfortable to wear, it makes it easy to slip the iphone in and out for quick access, unlike most armband cases that lock your phone in and are hard to view while the armband is on. So if you find yourself always trying to access your phone, or you like to tweet between sets, this is a great option for your smart phone. Comes in a 2-pack (one white, one black) at Radio Shack. $20
5. LiveWell 360 Core – The Core bag is not only WAY sleek and stylish, it has 9 perfectly designed pockets, complete with separate vented compartment for stinky shoes or sweaty clothes. With an interior mesh pocket for your water bottle, and slip pockets for your phone, wallet and keys, there’s no need to take your purse in to the gym with you. This bag does it all. The fabric is thick, soft, comfortable and durable. The hardware is all satin nickel hardware that looks pretty, and also will withstand the test of time. This bag is totally unlike any gym bag I’ve ever seen in stores. At first glance, you may think it’s a little pricey, but when I think of all the gym bags we’ve gone through – I would have come out cheaper if I just bought one LiveWell bag. Available in 3 styles. $187
6. Wahoo Fitness BlueHR Heart Rate Monitor – Say goodbye to Bulky Heart Rate monitor watches and hello to Wahoo – the world’s first wireless blue tooth heart rate monitor. This handy dandy device syncs to your iphone for easy tracking and works with other popular Apps, like RunKeeper, MapMyRide, 321Run, Cyclemeter and endomondo. Even if your connection is interupted, the Wahoo heart rate monitor continues to record data. It’s even waterproof up to 5 feet – perfect for our triathlon peeps! You can even use the Blue HR while using bluetooth headphones so you can track your heart rate while listening to your favorite motivational tunes. Yes! This is on MY wish list!! $75
7. Design Your Own Reebok Gift Card – Get the gift of individuality. This totally fun and unique gift lets your bestie choose the style and their favorite color combination to create their one-of-a-kind shoe. Choose from a variety of patterns, colors and styles to create a totally unique pair of shoes that’s as unique as the designer. Lack creativity? That’s OK, there are over a million custom designs created by other people that are available for purchase, or for a starter template to get the designer going in the right direction. Totally fun and totally awesome! (Another one on my list!) $100+
8. FitBit Aria – This extraordinary scale not only records your weight, BMI and body fat, but it uploads all the information to your computer so you can track your progress and set calorie goals. It’s also family friendly, with automatic recognition for up to 8 people. There is even a community option to share your progress with family members and friends, for added accountability. The FitBit Aria syncs with their matching free iPhone app and computer so you can view graphs and progress no matter where you go. $129
9. Camelback Glass Eddy Bottle – If you are like me, you don’t like that nasty plastic taste of cheap water bottles, then you’ll love this PBA free glass water bottle. Simple, clean, healthy & yummy water making bottle comes with a pretty protective silicone sleeve! A simple gift that will get a lot of use. $22
10. Wordlock – OMG, can I just tell you how I wish I had this in high school. For people who can’t remember their darn combination code, this lock makes keeping your valuables safe easy. With many colors and styles to choose from, including bike locks, cable locks, pad locks, luggage locks, utility locks, sports locks, discus locks and even commercial locks, you can choose the perfect lock for your perfect fit friend. $9
11. iPod Shuffle – This itty bitty music maker comes in 8 colors and lets you have all the musical fun without the weight and bulk of an iphone or ipod. With up to 15 hours of playtime, runners and triathlon athletes can enjoy music for miles and miles. With the voice over feature, it’s easy to find the right playlist or find out the name of the band playing at that moment because it talks to you. Cute, convenient, portable and smart – you can’t go wrong! Just clip it to your clothes and go! #49
12. Smartwool Arm Warmers – Most of you know I’m a sucker for accessories (like knee high socks!), but these are not just stylish, but have purpose too – they keep you WARM (in style of course!). Perfect for your active friends who like to play outside in the cold, this is a great gift for a bestie who likes living life in the great outdoors. $25
13. Reebok Compression Arm Sleeve – You don’t have to be a CrossFitter to love this gift. More than an accessory, this arm sleeve not only keeps your arms warm in the cold, the UV protective and heat reflective material prevents you from overheating in the sun. Compression gear also helps aid in recovery, making it a must-have for athletes and performance driven fitness fanatics. And can I just add that they toootally look ridiculously cool too?! WANT! $44
14. GymBoss – This interval timer turns into a trainer that tells you when to work, and when to rest. Adding a timed component to training majorly boosts intensity. Trade sets and reps for a predetermined time of work and rest, like 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off. A great tool to add to anyone’s fitness tool box. Just clip the GymBoss to your clothes and get ready for muscles to burn – and your body to sweat! $19.99 and up.
15. Lose It! Premium App – The Lose It! app is free, but the premium app has a slew of handy features to help your friend reach his or her fitness goals, like syncing to their favorite fitness app like Nike+ and RunKeeper, Withings Scale, Fitbit Aria, Withings Blood Pressure Monitor and Zeo Sleep Monitor. Set more detailed goals than the free app, including body measurements, blood pressure, blood glucose, sleep and exercise. Lastly, with Premium users, Personal Trainers and Nutritionists using Lose It Connect can monitor their clients meal plans and activity for added accountability and support.
$39 $29/year (on sale!)
16. Zumba Fitness 2 for Wii – Zumba instructors always make Zumba look so easy – and so good! However, doing Zumba takes a little talent and skill to perform to actually look like you know what you are doing. So, now you can practice in your house. Whether you use it as a prep course for a live class, or you use it to get your dance and sweat on without the gym, this is a great buy for someone who loves to dance – whether they look good doing it or no! $39
17. TRX Suspension Trainer – A great gift for fitness tool collector who loves the toys that bring the pain. The TRX isn’t for beginners in my opinion, it takes a bit to learn all the moves, but the TRX is a great gift to enhance any workout routine and it was on several people’s Christmas list this year. Suspension training develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability. A little pricey, but a fun toy and a good adjunct to any training program – especially for those who train at home. And yes, I have one in my own fitness collection! $199
18. iPhone 5 – Everyone knows the iPhone is not just a phone, but to a dieter or fit fan, the iPhone is an essential tool to help them reach their goals. That’s why the iPhone made the top 25 list of best fitness gifts – it’s truly an essential tool in the diet and fitness arsenal. The iPhone offers hundreds of helpful tools to get fit, lose weight, explore exercises, check your heart rate and so much more. With apps like iFitness, LoseIt!, Fooducate, RunKeeper, Heart Rate, Fitness Buddy, Nike+ Running and Pedometer.
19. Reebok Adjustable Speed Rope – An affordable gift that can help take your friend’s workout up a notch. Jumping rope has quickly become a staple exercise in any conditioning workout and athletic training, like CrossFit and BCx Boot Camp. It’s a simple gift, but will be an appreciated gift for anyone serious about their workouts. $18
20. Adidas MiCoach Speed Cell – A great gadget for the athlete, this performance tracking tool captures time, distance, speed, speed zones and number of sprints. The device instantly uploads it to your iphone or computer so you can see your results, like TopSpeed, Burst Speed, Total Distance and gametime stats help you improve your game. A totally cool gift for athletic training. $70
21. Bodylastics Resistance Bands – This one never goes out of date. It was on my list last year, and it stays on the list because it’s tried and true. Bodylastics bands are a great alternative to weights that are more affordable – and very portable. These bands are not only strides ahead their competitors, more durable, and heavy duty, they stand behind their product with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime defects warranty. Since they take up less space than weights, you can throw them in your gym bag while on the road or on a vacation, and not miss a workout. The Bodylastics kit comes with a variety of strength resistance bands, door anchors, handles, ankle straps and a how-to guide (not to mention a whole list of online workout shows to follow at http://www.LiveExercise.com). You may think I’m just biased, because Steve leads a few of the online fitness shows – but we wouldn’t even work with them if we didn’t think they were a stellar company – and really love their products! $28.95
22. Yogamatic Custom Yoga Mat – This is the Yoga mat Jennifer Aniston had custom made for Oprah (of Oprah’s dogs). This is the perfect gift for any yogi and a way to make your bestie’s yoga experience even more special! Totally a fun gift that will be the talk of the class! $89+
23. Go Sport ID Bracelet – Customize one of these cool ID bracelets – perfect for running, cycling and triathlons. They not only look cool, but they are a great safety precaution in the event of an accident. Believe me, I know! Several years ago, my mom fell on dark early morning run, broke a rib and got knocked out. You can never be too careful – and with a custom engraved Go Sport ID, you can do it in style! Choose from seven different styles, including bracelets, shoe tags and necklaces. $16.95+
24. RealFlex Neoprene Workout Gloves – These are my favorite workout gloves of all time. They are comfy, washable (leather gloves can STINK in a hurry!) and they don’t bunch up like worn material or leather. The glove has a durable rubber pad (like a paw) that makes handling heavy weight much more comfortable, and adds more traction for better gripping. The velcro strap and overall style of these gloves make it super easy to take on and off. Plus they are super cheap – you gotta like that! $9
25. EatSmart Nutritional Pro Scale – I personally own this scale and love it. Although I use it mostly for weighing items to enter in my Lose It! app, it has some SUPER cool features that makes tracking calories even easier, and more accurate, like an internal database of over 1,000 foods. Simply key in a 3-digit code and weigh your food to get nutritional information, including calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, sodium, and several other nutrients. $69
Is your fitness wish not on the list? Post your items below! You never know who it may help – and who’s watching (like Santa Claus!). 🙂
People waste WAY too much money on fitness gadgets that don’t work.
There is a TON of junky fitness equipment and I feel it’s my duty to share good equipment when I find it. As a fitness professional, trainer, gym owner and fitness columnist, this is my personal experience with Bodylastics bands and how I feel they compare to other competitors. In a nutshell: They don’t compare – they dominate.
Cheesy Bands vs. Bodylastics
Exercise bands have been around for many years. If you’ve ever taken an aerobics class, you’ve likely used them yourself. However, I cannot even compare Bodylastics to the cheesy bands (pictured left) you typically see at most health clubs – as that would be like comparing a Cadillac to a bicycle just because they both have wheels. YES, they both have a rubber band tube with handles BUT if you were to hold one of the traditional bands in one hand and Bodylastics in the other, you’d immediately notice a difference. Read the rest of this entry