The plank is a very simple but effective exercise that targets your body’s core and can help sculpt your waistline. It can even help improve your posture. Because it is a static exercise and uses your own body weight, the plank can be performed almost anywhere. If you have a few minutes at work or school, you can get a quick session done. It is also perfect for all levels of fitness. Whether you can hold the position for 20 seconds or 5 minutes, you will benefit from this exercise.
Straight Arm Perfect Plank
The most effective version of the plank is sometimes called the Straight Arm Plank. This is performed be lying facedown on the ground with your hands shoulder length apart. Push your body upwards as if you are doing a pushup.
Once your arms are fully extended, hold the position. Make sure to keep your toes grounded and your back straight. This is the most important element of the plank. There should be a straight line from your head to your toes, with no bend or arch in your back. This version offers less stability and, therefore, provides more of a challenge to your core muscles, chest and arms.
Hold this position for at least 20 seconds. As you continue, you can hold the position for longer, just make sure to keep your body in a straight line.
You may be more familiar with this version as it offers more stability. It is performed in exactly the same way as the Straight Arm Plank, with the exception that you weight is supported by your forearms instead of your hands. Try to keep your hands flat on the floor; if that bothers your wrists, you can clasp your hands.
This is great for beginners because it is easier to balance your body. Instead of keeping your legs straight, bend at the knees so both your toes and knees are touching the floor. This puts less stress on your lower back and will help prevent injuries if you are just starting out.
Single Leg Plank
This is a more advanced version of the exercise and requires excellent balance. Perform the plank as usual but once you are in position lift one leg towards the ceiling as far as you can and hold the position. Repeat with the other leg to complete the set.
If you attempt any new exercise, you should consult a professional trainer to ensure you're performing it correctly to reduce the risk of injury. Amarillo area residents can contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts for a consultation. He can assist you in reaching all your fitness goals.
Fitting exercise into your busy schedule is difficult, whether it’s time or motivation you lack. So how can you fight those workout woes? Take a look at these 10 tips for making your sweat sesh a bit easier.
Multitask On The Stationary Bike
While multitasking in the gym is usually not beneficial, there’s one exception: the stationary bike. A study done by the University of Florida found that participants improved their speed on the bike while doing a thought required activity, like reading.
Wash Your Sports Bra In The Shower
To save time and get ready for your next workout, hand wash your sports bra while you’re showering after exercise. This also keeps the shape (and support) of your sports bra intact.
Stop “Praying” During Planks
The plank is one of the best moves you can do to improve posture. However, clasping your hands together in “prayer mode” causes your back to round, resulting in the opposite of your desired effect. Lay hands flat on the ground in front of you instead.
Drink More Water
Drinking water energizes you, which makes you more willing to exercise. A recent study has also shown that participants who drank 8 to 12 glasses a day burned more fat than those who only consumed four.
Do Some Sprints
Good news: you don’t have to run an hour each day to see results. Sprinting at 30-second intervals four times each workout is just as effective. The better news? Sprinting burns fat while increasing muscle.
Don’t Settle For Routine
Performing the same exercise each day is not the best way to get results. It will lead to a fitness plateau, keep your muscles from being able to repair themselves, and cause you to get bored quickly. So mix it up.
Eat A Snack
Tough workouts leave you feeling like you’re starving, but the last thing you want to do after busting it in the gym is pig out. To help prevent this, eat a healthy, high-protein snack before you exercise (perhaps boiled eggs).
Take A Friend
Having a friend to workout with not only keeps you motivated, it also keeps you from getting bored while you exercise. Socialize and get fit at the same time!
Find Your Best Time
You’re more likely to exercise if you find a time when you’re energized. If you’re a morning person, get in your workout before you start your day. Or maybe you like to use exercise to relieve the stress of your day. Find what works for you.
Find ways to fit exercise in when you don’t have time for a whole gym session. For example, jog up and down the stairs at work on your lunch break.
We hope these tips help you meet your goals. To learn more getting the most out of your workout, contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts today.
School’s out. The kids are happy, but parents everywhere are struggling to find ways to keep their children active. With the beginning of summer comes “I’m bored.” If you’re like most parents, your schedule doesn’t stop simply because school does. So what’s a mom or dad to do? Take a look at these five fun activities that will help your kids stay active in Amarillo this summer.
Splash Kingdom Waterpark
Who doesn't love a waterpark? The kids won't even know you're trying to get them to exercise – they just won't be able to help it! Running, sliding, jumping in the wave pool, and playing sand volleyball are some of the activities offered at Splash Kingdom Waterpark. It's fun exercise for the whole family.
MOMS Club of Amarillo
If you’re looking for a way to socialize and meet new people while your kids have fun this summer, consider joining a group like the MOMS Club of Amarillo. They hold play dates, outings, book clubs, and much more. Particularly for summer, they offer family fun nights at the park. This is great time for kids to be outdoors and get plenty of exercise while running around and playing on park equipment.
Bowling is a game the whole family can enjoy together – in fact, you can make a tradition of it. It's great for the competitive type, as well as for those who just want to enjoy an evening of socializing. But don't let the laid-back atmosphere fool you; bowling is also a decent workout. Your kids will love the neighborhood-friendly feel of Western Bowl, and you'll love the opportunity for exercise they provide.
Run! Jump! Fly!
This program is offered by the Don Harrington Discovery Center, and will be an event your kids talk about all summer. Straight out of the world of popular children's action-adventure stories, the exhibit inspires kids to get physical by allowing them to jump right into action-star training. Activities include Climbing Canyon, Kung-Fu Forest, Yoga Station, and Dance Club, to name a few. What's even better, as you move through the exhibit, you get ideas for simple ways to keep kids moving at home.
You’re probably thinking “Personal training? For kids?!” But in fact, it’s a great way to keep your kids healthy this summer. This time of year sometimes leads to couch-potato children – no school means no recess and no P.E. classes and the hot weather is something to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, in today’s society, children have access to far too many electronics that take away from their desire to go outside and just play. Enter personal training sessions tailored just for kids. It’s fun, it’s healthy, it’s important.
To learn more about how personal training can help keep your children active this summer, reach out to Ralph Roberts today.
Balance – it may be your most important physical attribute. Sure, rock-hard abs, long, lean muscle and flexibility matter. But what would you be without the ability to evenly distribute your weight, stay upright and quickly respond to obstacles in daily life and while competing?
Yes, balance matters more than most of your other physical attributes, which is why you need to find balanced bliss by doing these five Bosu ball exercises:
This easy-looking workout is all about strengthening your core, which is critical to being in balance. Place the ball flat-side down and rest your forearms on the dome. Position your body in the plank position, with your shoulders over your elbows and your legs elevated on your toes. Start by holding the position for one minute and work up from there.
Every competitive athlete needs symmetrical hip mobility, which is exactly what this exercise helps you develop. Start by placing your left foot on top of the dome and your right foot in front of the Bosu ball. Push up with your left foot, which should lift your right foot off the ground. Hold the position for 20 seconds, then 45, then one minute. Then switch feet. Once you get really good, try it with your eyes closed.
Balance is all about making sure that every part of your body is working well together. Place the Bosu ball dome-side down, stand on the flat surface and lift weights over your head as if you are doing a shoulder press. You'll strengthen your core, legs and shoulders.
You'll need a partner for this one. Put the training ball dome-side down, stand on the flat side and play catch with a partner. You'll be surprised how quickly your balance, hand-eye coordination and core strength improve.
Deadlift Without Weight
Strong hamstrings and glutes are key to achieving better balance, and this workout is a leg burner. Put your Bosu ball dome-side down, step one foot up on the flat side and then reach down with your arms while kicking your other leg back. Try to create a straight line between your head and the heal of the leg that is kicked up behind you.
Not sure if you're ready for the intensity of the Bosu ball? Make an appointment with personal trainer Ralph Roberts. He has helped many people improve their fitness and athletic achievement by building better balance. Contact personal trainer Ralph Roberts today to schedule an appointment.
If your dad is a serious fitness fanatic, or even if he is just starting out and trying to get healthier, fitness-inspired gifts are a great way to show that you care by giving him something he can actually use. Here are four Father’s Day gifts that can help dear old dad get in shape and feel great.
1. MobilityWOD Gemini
This odd-looking device makes a wonderful gift. It is better than a foam roller, and foam rollers are all the rage. What is it for? The Gemini helps iron out hard to reach tightness and pain that you might get while working out (or sitting at your desk all day).
2. Athos Wearable Tech
For the guy who has everything, Athos will set the bar for gift-giving. This wearable tech fitness gear is made up of the Athos "Core," which fits into a small pocket on the Athos Shirt. The shirt and shorts have tiny sensors that transmit data on muscle movement, breathing and heart rate to the Core. The Core transmits that data via Bluetooth technology to an app on your smartphone, which interprets and tracks the data to give you more information about your workout and your body.
3. Hylete Convertible Backpack
This sleek, stylish gym pack is perfect for keeping gym essentials all in one place. This bag screams pro-level and will last forever. Great gift whether he is a long time gym rat or just getting started.
4. Personal Training Sessions
If the father in your life is just starting his fitness journey, trying to get back to it, or frustrated because he’s not making progress, the gift of a personal trainer can make all the difference. A personal trainer can create a custom fitness plan based on his current level of health and fitness, his short and long-term goals and his current lifestyle. This is a gift that will save him time and bring results. Ralph Roberts is a personal trainer with years of experience helping people reach their goals in Amarillo. Contact him now.
What does your heart rate have to do with weight loss and fitness goals? Turns out, everything. Knowing how to use your heart rate levels during exercise is an effective way to enhance your workouts, so that you can more easily lose those extra pounds or tone that tummy.
Heart Rate Zones
The first step to successful heart rate (HR) training is knowing your maximum heart rate. To calculate this, simply subtract your age from 220. The formula is 220 - Age = Maximum Heart Rate. Once you’ve determined this, you can figure the numbers for each zone listed below.
Benefits of Heart Rate Zones
Understanding what each HR zone does to your body helps you strategize your workouts in order to get the desired results. Below is a breakdown of the benefits and uses, as well as sample exercises, for each zone.
You’ve made the change to healthy eating. Good for you. You’ve started down the path of healthier living. However, today your coworker brings donuts to work to share with everyone and temptation is starting to set in. Do not be so quick to give up just yet. There are several things you can do to avoid this urge for a surgery treat and stick to your new food plan.
4 Ways To Avoid Junk Food
Below is a look at four ways you can avoid those donuts sitting in the break room (and other temptations that may come your way).
1. Have a Healthy Alternative Ready - Just knowing there are donuts in the break room can cause cravings. The best way to satisfy this craving is with a healthy alternative. Always be prepared at the workplace by having some healthy snacks available, such as fruit or nuts. These foods are not only high in fiber, but they will also help balance your blood sugar level. This, in turn, can help to diminish your cravings.
2. Drink a Glass of Water Instead - A glass of water can go a long way toward curbing your craving for any type of sweet treat. This is because dehydration can increase your cravings. Always keep yourself well-hydrated to keep cravings in check.
3. Avoid the Break Room - One of the best ways to avoid these donuts is to simply avoid going into the break room, or any other location temptation hides. Do your best to avoid the break room whenever possible, even if these means going out of your way to use a different restroom or get your water from another location.
4. Get Your Mindset Right - Once you know there are donuts in the break room, your mind may start focusing on these surgery treats. Take a moment to clear your mind. Take a deep breath. Then, remind yourself that donuts are always available. You can go to the grocery store and virtually buy donuts at any time. Also, keep in mind that you will be able to indulge occasionally. This means that maybe later when the time is right; you can indulge in donuts.
These great tips will help you forget about the donuts and keep your mind focused on your new, healthier lifestyle. For more great healthy living and fitness tips, turn to professional personal trainer Ralph Roberts. He has years of experience training residents, just like you, to improve their life by eating healthier and maintaining an effective workout program. Contact him today.
An injury doesn’t have to mean you lose all the strength you’ve worked so hard to gain. You may be wondering how it’s possible to keep your muscles strong while you’re out of commission due to an injury, but it is possible with just a little bit of knowledge.
Take a look at the list below for things you can do to maintain strength after an injury.
Staying Strong While Injured
It’s true that some injuries require you to forego your normal exercise routine for a while but does that mean you can’t stay strong during recovery? Not at all. Here are some steps to take that will save you from wasted efforts.
To get the best results from your workouts without aggravating your injury, consider exercising under the supervision of a personal trainer. He’ll be able to determine the best course of action for your specific injury that will help you stay on course toward meeting your health goals. For more information on staying strong while injured, reach out to personal trainer Ralph Roberts today.
Eating healthy and adhering to a diet isn't always easy. Life seems to get in the way, so it’s important to plan. One challenge people face is travel, especially in the summer months. It is tempting to fall into the habits of grabbing high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks, fast food and sugary drinks when you are on the road.
How Can I Stay On My Diet When I Travel?
Traveling often goes hand in hand with eating, and that eating often isn't healthy. Being on the road doesn't always lend itself to healthy choices, and staying away from home presents challenges as well, whether it be restaurant food or eating at a family member's home. So how do you do it?
Planning is the key. If you know you are going to be traveling, you need to pack your own snacks. You can do this for road trips, flights and more. Here are some ideas:
If you are heading out for a long road trip, pack foods that will keep well (with minimal mess) and that will fill you up. Some good ideas are:
If you’re flying, pack nuts, seeds and other compact non-perishables. Granola or energy bars are fine, but you have to read labels. Most are high in sugar, carbs and additives. Don't be mislead by "low-calorie" or "low-fat."
How Can I Follow My Diet At Restaurants?
Eating healthy at restaurants is possible. Most places these days offer healthier menu items. If you are out of the country, you will most likely still find healthy foods. Think lean meats, fresh, local vegetables and fish, beans and rice. Avoid bread, refined grains and heavy sauces.
If you are struggling to maintain a diet and exercise program, consider a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts has been helping people just like you for years and can create a customized workout and nutrition plan based on your personal fitness goals, current fitness level and lifestyle. Find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo.
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