These Ugi balls are a great addition to any home gym or fitness studio.  Verstatile and easy to work with, they come in various weights to challenge any fitness level.  Soft and pliable, you can add exercises where you throw the ball, lean on it, and more.

Check out the link above to get more info.

A bonus, each Ugi comes with detailed exercises and a diet plan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lebert Equalizer is another amazing piece of equipment.  As any of you who have been either training with me or doing my classes knows, I have been using them for everything from bootcamps to one on ones.  You can work your entire body with this and it is super easy to hide away or travel with.

Click the photo for more info and to order yours now!

 

 

Resistance bands are a fun, simple and convenient way to get a good strength training workout.  You can use them anywhere, anytime: at the office, on vacation, at home or outdoors.

Many people will tell you that lifting weights is the best way to get your resistance training and while weight lifting has benefits, workouts with resistance bands do provide some interesting and unique benefits to building muscle size and helping fat loss.

There are many advantages in using resistance bands.  One of the great advantages is that the resistance is maintained through every part of the exercise. During free weight exercises there is always a point in which there is NO resistance what so ever.  Band training utilizes both the concentric and eccentric part of the exercise. In this way you have a greater range of motion & more total muscle stimulation.

Another bonus is that you can train almost every muscle in your body with a band.  The only muscles you may find challenging to use a band for are calves; and literally, there is an exercise for every other muscle.

When choosing resistance bands for your workout the most important factor is in deciding which resistance band is appropriate for your fitness level. The better resistance bands have the ability to attach many bands to the handle similar to adding weights on a dumbbell. Also, when performing the exercise, the band should be secured in a way so the length is appropriate to give resistance even at the bottom of the exercise.  You can use various techniques to ensure consistent tension throughout every exercise.   An example would be with a bicep exercise.  You would hold the band handles in each hand and step on the band approx. shoulder width away.  When you curl your arms to flex your biceps, you should feel tension from the top of the exercise to the bottom.  If there is give in the band at the bottom of the exercise, you can move your feet to step wider than hip width (closer to the handles) on each end and this will increase the resistance.  Similarly, if the exercise is too hard, you can move your feet closer together and this will give less resistance for the specific exercise.

In the end, adding resistance band training to your workout will not only enhance any other exercises you are currently using for your routines, but will challenge your body in a unique and effective way.

For more ideas on how to use a resistance band, check out some of our videos here.

Body Bar exercises are ideal for gaining strength, increasing stamina and reducing fat. The Body Bar is about four feet long, and available in a range of weights starting at 3 lbs. going all the way to 36 lbs. It is has a cushioning of rubber, which also gives the steel bar a good grip.

Most people will find Body Bars to be very easy to handle, as they have consistent weight throughout their length, and there are no weights hanging at the ends, as in barbells. This provides good stability, and the bar is versatile enough to include in your cardio, stretching, core building, and martial arts workouts. Body Bar prices range from about $30 to $120, depending on the weight of the bar. These bars are exceptionally durable, and will last for years.

It is easy to use Body Bars to replace barbells in your workouts as they are easy to manage alone without a spotter or any kind of assistance.  It is also much easier to switch between different weights throughout your workout as you do not have to slide on and off different weighted plates.  This saves time and energy.

IF you decide to incorporate Body Bars into your workout regime, you will need to ensure you purchase the correct weight for your fitness level.  The weight will depend on the type of Body Bar workout you are doing. A heavy weight works best for developing core strength, and increasing muscle mass. A medium to light weight is recommended for stretching, and fat burning workouts, which require many repetitions. For men, a nine pounder would be good for starting on Body Bar exercises. I have found that it is better to have at least three Body Bars, which are heavy, medium, and light as per your lifting capacity, so that you can use them accordingly in different workouts.

The Body Bar website recommends the following weights depending on the level of fitness:

Beginner: 3 & 6 lb. Body Bars

Intermediate: 9 & 12 lb. Body Bars

Intermediate to Advanced: 15 & 18 lb. Body Bars

Advanced: 24, 30 & 36 lb. Body Bars

If you are not sure what weight to purchase even with these guidelines, you can always visit a local fitness store to try them out and see how they feel for various exercises.  This way you will not guess and be disappointed by either weights that are too light or too heavy for you.

In the end, Body Bars are a great addition to any home gym or personal fitness equipment collection.  You can train every muscle in your body with them and they will help keep workouts interesting and challenging.  For examples of workouts with Body Bars, check out our videos here.

Many women are not happy with their bodies below the waist.  There are two ways to conquer this issue: exercise, proper diet and acceptance. Many women find that after having children, their abdominals have definitely taken a hit.  Often, through diet, core work and cardio exercises – plus a hefty dose of patience – women can get their midsections back into shape (although few see a complete return to their pre-pregnancy abs, it has been accomplished by some).

Keep in mind that diet is a huge part of the equation when it comes to creating flat abs – if your diet is high in fat and sugar, you just won’t get the results you are looking for. Go for quality – lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid consuming too many breads, pasta and refined grains such as white rice. This is true whether you need to lose weight or not – if you do need to drop a few pounds, you also need to cut down on your caloric intake. But even if you’re happy with your weight, healthy eating will help you build muscle and increase your energy. This will go a long way to help change your body composition (in other words, your fat to lean muscle ratio).

Now for the exercise part – there are, literally, hundreds of different abdominal exercises out there. They are all fairly good and variety will help to keep your body from plateauing.  It is very important to focus on performing exercises with proper form to ensure the best results plus to avoid injury.

 When you work your abs, make sure the contractions are coming from your midsection. If you are feeling neck or back strain, or you feel the effort in your hip flexors (where your legs meet your torso), then you are likely losing proper form. To get an idea for a short but effective ab and glute workout, check out some of my videos such as “Sexy Glute and Ab workout” here.

Shaping up your legs and glutes is an easier project to tackle, especially if you don’t mind having muscle definition. Some classic leg exercises are squats or lunges. The wider squats, with your legs past hip width, will focus more on your glutes, while the more narrow squats, with your feet just a few inches apart, will focus on your quads – the muscles at the front of your thighs. The key to squats and lunges is the form – knees shouldn’t go over the toes, and in lunges, the knee and ankle should be in complete alignment. In squats, you should focus your weight into the heels of an out of the toes.  Good form will help you get the most out of these moves, and they’ll help you avoid injury.

In the end, if you are consistent with your training and diet, you will see great changes in your body.  It is important to also accept your limitations and what nature has given you.  If you have never had skinny legs, chances are, you won’t get them now.  It is better to improve on what you have, be happy and healthy being the best you can be and not try to become someone else.  So be happy with the results you get, and realize that you’re doing wonderful things for yourself by exercising and eating a healthy diet. In the long run, that’s the most important part.

Over the years, more and more group training options have popped up in gyms, training facilities and even in parks.  There are many benefits to training in groups so it’s no surprise that people are jumping on this trend.

One of these benefits is motivation. Many people find that having others around them doing the same exercises can help them work harder than if they were training alone or one on one with a personal trainer. I personally see how much harder individuals work when in a group. For example, when I train a client one on one, I try my best to push them to their limits; however, because there is no one else there to compare themselves to (in terms of intensity or effort), their idea of how hard they are working can be skewed. That same client, when working in a small group, tends to push even harder than when they are alone because they see others working harder. Psychologically, people usually want to keep up with others around them. It seems to be a natural desire to compete and win.

I also find that in small groups, motivation can come from the support and encouragement of others. Often times, when one person seems to be losing steam, others in the group will shout words of encouragement to help that person push to the end. There is an energy that a group of people create that cannot be replicated when one is alone or with a trainer.

Another benefit is cost. It can be very expensive to train one on one with a personal trainer. Group training offers a cheaper alternative. If the group is not too big, you can still get most of the benefits you would get working one on one in this type of session, and save some money too!

One of the drawbacks with group training would be the reduced attention to proper form and technique. In a group setting, it is hard for a trainer to keep a constant eye on each participant at all times to ensure everyone is doing exercises correctly. If you are absolutely new to working out, working one on one with a trainer to learn basic exercises and proper form is the best way to start before jumping into a group training session.

All in all, group training or bootcamps can be a great way to get in shape and keep you motivated and excited for your workouts. Google group training or bootcamps in your area and give it a try. It might be just what you need to get you working to your potential!