There are a number of fitness-related tools and accessories available today. So many, in fact, that it can be hard to separate what’s useful from what’s just a gimmick. The good news is you can get a good workout using nothing but your own body. No expensive equipment, you don't even need to be at the gym.
With that said, there are a number of products you can use to enhance your workout routine to increase effectiveness and get results. One such product is resistance bands.
What Are The Benefits Of Resistance Bands?
There are a number of benefits to using resistance bands in your workout. They’re an easy way to add variety to your workout without a big investment. Here are some key advantages to resistance bands:
What Are Some Good Resistance Band Exercises?
1. Bench Press
Yes, you can use resistance bands to do a bench press. All you need is a bench that can be lifted up so that you can secure the bands underneath it. Lay on the bench, gripping each handle, and press up.
For this exercise, you just need a stationary post of some kind to wrap the band around. Stand up straight (facing away from the post) and, keeping your arms straight, bring them across your chest.
3. Bicep Curls
Stand on your resistance band and use it to do bicep curls.
4. Shoulder Press
Another exercise you can do standing on your resistance band is the shoulder press. Stand with both feet on the band start with your hands by your shoulders, then press upwards.
This is a great way to add resistance to your body weight squats. Again, stand with your feet on your band, start resistance in the squat position, gripping the handles with your hands next to your shoulders, then raise up as you would with a barbell squat.
These are just a few of the many exercises you can perform with resistance bands. As you can see, you can use the bands to replace weights, or to add resistance to body-weight exercises. You can use bands to switch up and add variety to your routine.
If you’re serious about beginning your health and fitness journey, but don't know where to start, a personal trainer may be a good way to start. A personal trainer has the experience and training to set you up with a workout tailored to your unique fitness needs. Ralph Roberts has been training and helping people just like you for years to reach their personal fitness goals. Contact him today.
Most people want to be fit and healthy. You may feel that if you don't have time to go to the gym, you’re out of luck and can't exercise and get in shape. It can be tough to find time for the gym when you work a full day and then have to come home to dinner, errands and other activities. When you work with an Amarillo personal trainer like Ralph Roberts, he will work with you to create a workout routine that takes your lifestyle and schedule into consideration.
The good news is you don't necessarily need to spend a bunch of time at the gym to get an effective workout. There are plenty of exercises you can do right at home that can get you toned and fit. So, take a few minutes for yourself, and try this quick workout in your living room, bedroom, or even your kitchen while dinner is cooking.
1. Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are great to warm up and burn calories.
The pushup is often overlooked, but it is a powerful exercise that tones not only the upper body, but the core as well. The exercise can be modified in a number of ways, and can be made easier for beginners by dropping the knees. This exercise is great for men and women alike.
Squats work the legs and glutes, and also your core. Keep your upper body straight, and tighten your abdominal muscles for best results. Make sure your knees do not extend over your toes. This is another exercise that can be modified. For example, you can do a plie squat, where you plant your feet further than shoulder width apart and point your toes outward.
This is a challenging exercise that tones your body and burns plenty of calories.
5. Mountain Climbers
Like burpees, mountain climbers are a great calorie burning exercise.
Lunges are great for shaping and toning the lower body. They are effective yet easy to do.
A deceptively easy exercise that is actually pretty tough to hold. Planks are a great way to work your core and tone your body. Start with 30 seconds and work up from there.
Crunches work your upper abdominals. Be sure not to strain your neck while doing them by keeping your eyes on the ceiling.
9. Ab Pulse Ups
Engage and tone your lower abdominal muscles, which are often underworked. Lie flat on your back, hands under your butt. While tightening your core, raise legs up until they are at a 90 degree angle. Pulse your legs up further, squeezing your muscles. Do not bend legs.
10. Jump Rope
Another good cardio favorite that you can do at home.
Ralph Roberts is an Amarillo personal trainer who has helped many busy people find time for fitness and health. If you are looking for an trainer, you can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club.
If you find yourself making frequent trips to the playground with your kids, don't just sit there. Use that time as an opportunity to get in a good workout. The park or playground is a perfect setting to get some fresh air and exercise at the same time.
What Kind Of Exercises Can I Do At The Playground?
Body weight exercises are a great way to get in top physical condition. Many of these moves are recommended by an Amarillo personal trainer as part of an effective daily workout.
1. Static pull-up
Most playgrounds have "monkey bars" that are perfect for pull-ups. If you aren't able to do one right away, keep at it.
2. Bench push up
Park benches are great for push-ups. Place your hands on the back of the bench, keep your body in a straight line, tighten your core and do 15 to 20 reps. Also, you can use the seat part of the bench for push-ups. Keep your toes on the bench and your hands on the ground.
3. Hanging knee tucks
Go back to the monkey bar, and while you are hanging, bend knees in front of you, feet off the ground. Draw one knee up to your chest, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat with the other knee. Try to do 15 to 20 reps.
4. Body rows
You can use the swings for this one, just make sure that you wait your turn. Stand facing the swing and grasp each chain. Lean your body back at a 45 degree angle. Engage your arms and chest, pulling yourself towards your hands. You can increase the difficulty by leaning at a higher angle.
5. Slide sit-up
You can use a playground slide just as you would an elevated sit up bench at the gym. Lie down backwards on the slide, head pointed toward the bottom. You can hook your feet around the top of the slide for stability.
Of course, this is just a short list of ways to use standard playground equipment for a good body-weight workout. Don't forget that you can also use the park for walking, jogging and doing other exercises, such as body weight squats, standard push ups, lunges and the like. When the weather is this nice, it's a shame to confine your workout to the gym. Go outside and play.
Finding An Amarillo Personal Trainer
For those who need some guidance either starting a fitness routine, or keeping one going, a personal trainer may be the answer. Ralph Roberts has been training and assisting people in reaching their goals for years. As an Amarillo personal trainer, Ralph Roberts can be found at the Downtown Athletic Club. He can tailor a personal fitness plan just for you, and offer support, encouragement and motivation, as well as a personalized fitness plan. If you are looking for an Amarillo personal trainer, contact him today.
If there is one universal body-related complaint that women of all shapes and sizes can agree on, it’s the dreaded "arm jiggle." This problem seems to plague women in particular, and is not solved by merely losing weight. Overcoming arm flab requires specific, targeted exercises to tone up the muscles and get rid of those bat wings once and for all!
How Do I Get Rid Of Arm Jiggle?
Again, losing weight alone will not combat arm jiggle. In fact, if you have recently lost quite a bit of weight, you may have found that the extra skin has gotten worse. There are several exercise moves that can help, thankfully. Here are five of them:
1. Reverse Curls
Holding a light dumbbell in each hand, standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward about 45 degrees and hold arms parallel to your upper body, close to your sides. Keep elbows stationary, and let forearms hang relaxed. Now, push your forearm backwards, straightening out your arm. Repeat 10 to 12 times or until your arms are tired.
2. Crab Sit With Dip
Sit down on the floor with knees bent in front of you and both feet planted on the floor wider than shoulder width apart. Put your arms behind you with hands on floor, also more than shoulder width apart. Now raise your body off of the floor until you are in the "crab sit" position. Keep your core tight. Slowly lower your elbows down toward the floor, and then raise back up. Repeat until arms are tired.
3. Triangle Pushups
This is a highly effective move that not only tones your triceps, but also your chest and back. Instead of the standard pushup hand placement, place your hands with fingers facing inward. Your thumbs and forefingers should form a triangle.
As with any pushup, your shoulders, back, buttocks and legs should form a straight line. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted and your pelvis tucked in. Slowly lower your chest to the floor. Your elbows will flare outward. Raise back up and repeat for 10 to 12 reps. If this move is too difficult, you can lower your knees to the floor.
Dips are a similar concept to the crab dip, but use a weight bench. Sit on the bench, hands next to you gripping the edge of the bench. Lower your body down off the bench, and then push back up.
5. Standard Pushups
The pushup is a great overall upper body toning exercise that should be a part of everyone's routine.
If you are struggling with your fitness goals, an Amarillo personal trainer can make all the difference. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club can help keep you focused and create a personalized fitness plan that meets your needs. Whether you are looking to tone up your arms, strengthen your core, lose weight or increase stamina, Ralph can help!
You may think that a good round of cardio-based exercises are the key to burning fat, but this is not always the case. True, exercises that keep you moving and make you sweat are effective, but you need to be working your muscles to truly get your body into fat-burning mode.
Exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time are ideal. Many of the best fat-burning exercises are not considered a cardio workout. Here are five fat-burning exercises that may surprise you.
These are a great staple exercise that helps you build lean muscle, burn fat, and work several muscle groups at once. Although you may think of pushups as strictly an upper body exercise, they also work your core. You can start small and work your way up. If a full pushup is too difficult, try keeping your knees on the ground, and then build up to a traditional push up. When that becomes easy, add difficulty by doing one-legged pushups or another variety.
Ah, the dreaded burpee. These are difficult, but very effective at blasting fat and getting you into shape. Start in a standing position, then squat down low. Place your hands flat on the ground on either side of your feet. Hop back with both feet into a pushup position. Hop back into the squat position and then jump straight back up into a standing position. Repeat.
Another intense exercise. Starting in the push up position, draw one leg up toward your chest, tapping your foot on the ground. Simultaneously, bring your other foot up into the same position as you push your other foot back into it's former position. Basically, run in place, but in a push up position.
Side planks with leg raises
Planks in general are a good fat burning and toning exercise. Try a side plank, and combine it with a leg raise.
The basic squat is a great fat burning exercise that can be modified to suit various levels of fitness. Adding weights to your squat ups the difficulty and the results. For an extra punch, you can do jumping squats. Lunges are another good one.
You will notice that none of these exercises requires any equipment, and can be done pretty much anywhere. In addition to burning fat, you will also tone and tighten up your body. You can do these workouts at home, but if you’re needing more direction and motivation, look into a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts, a personal trainer in Amarillo, can help develop a plan tailored to your specific fitness needs, and provide coaching and encouragement that can help you succeed. You can find Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic Club.
It’s summer, which means it’s time to take that much-needed vacation! If you have been working out at the gym, you may be concerned about your fitness routine when you are traveling. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you don't want to lose progress or get out of shape while you are on the road. What do you do?
If you are convinced that the only way to stay physically fit is by going to the gym, you are wrong! Yes, the gym is a great place to workout, and being in a fitness-geared environment helps you stay motivated, but there are many ways you can stay fit while you travel.
Which exercises can I do while on the road?
Although going to the gym and working out with weights and machines is one of best ways to get fit, it is not the only way to stay in shape. There are a number of exercises that you can do that don't require any equipment, and that you can do right in your hotel room.
Push ups are a good way to stay in shape on the road. Even by themselves, they are an effective workout. You can modify them by doing variations, using easy to find props such as phonebooks, steps or chairs.
Squats and lunges are another good way to keep toned while you are on the road.
If you have a low, sturdy table handy, you can do some table rows. All you need is something you can slide your legs underneath, grab onto, and lift yourself up with.
Put the chair in your hotel room to work with tricep dips. Just make sure the chair is sturdy and won't slide out from under you. No wheels!
A phone book makes a convenient prop for calf raises.
Don't forget your cardio. Bring your sneakers and walk or run around the block. You can do this most anywhere. The beach is a lovely place to take a jog or do some yoga. You can also find a local park or recreation area to take a bike ride or run.
How can I not gain weight during my vacation?
If you spend a lot of time on the road for business, or are taking a long family vacation, it can be easy to fall out of the workout habit. Add to that the fact that you may not be eating properly, and you can easily find yourself gaining weight and feeling sluggish. It is a good idea to create a simple, easy to do workout plan that can be done anywhere.
In addition to helping you craft an effective gym workout, a good personal trainer can help you keep on track and in shape when you are away from the gym, too. Ralph Roberts at the Downtown Athletic club can tailor a fitness plan that meets your needs while you are on the road. There is no reason not to stay fit and feeling good, wherever your travels may take you. Contact Ralph today to learn about his custom workout plans that you can use on the go.
Well-toned arms are something we all want. Whether you are 25, 50 or older, when your arms are toned, you can feel confident wearing sleeveless shirts, tanks and sundresses. One question that many people, particularly women, ask is "how can I tone my arms without getting bulky?" With the proper exercises, you can have toned, sexy arms without the bulk.
When you want to focus on toning, you should keep weights light, with more repetition. People who are looking to build muscle, or bulk tend to focus on heavier weights, with less repetition. You just want to do the opposite. You will also want to vary your exercises to work all parts of the arm.
What are some good bicep exercises?
Start with a set of light weights. How light depends on individual strength and preference. A good gauge is a weight that you can do about 15-20 reps with comfortably.
What are some good tricep exercises?
Triceps are often seen as a trouble spot. Get them firm and toned with these tricep kickbacks.
How can I tone my shoulders?
When working your arms, don't forget about your shoulders. There are several exercises you can do, and lateral raises are a good place to start. Here is a quick overview of the exercise:
These are just three simple exercises that can help tone your arms. Remember, as long as you are not lifting heavy weights, you won't get "bulky." Fifteen to twenty reps is good, and you will find that you tone up nicely.
Ralph works with a variety of clients for an array of needs. For more personalized fitness instruction that gets results, contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts to come up with an individual plan based on your needs.
photo credit: stockimages / Free Digital Photos
Are you worrying that you won't be swimsuit ready in time for summer now that those warm days are just around the corner? Don’t worry; there is still time to lose weight and get in shape. With a little discipline, will power, time and effort, you can kick your metabolism into gear and have your body looking good for summer.
What’s the quickest way to burn calories?
High energy cardiovascular exercise is perfect for not just burning calories while you perform the exercises, but also for hours afterward, too. HiiT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) gets the heart rate up right away, but it also keeps the metabolism revved for the rest of the day, no matter what you are doing. This is truly the quickest way to burn fat and calories, along with sculpting.
Please don't forget to eat enough to keep your body performing at its best.
How can I sculpt my arms, abs and legs for summer?
You cannot get that bikini body without strength training. Not only does muscle take up less room on the body (i.e. a smaller dress size), but it also burns more calories, all day long, than fat does.
You will want to do the following moves, 12 reps per set, starting with one set and working up to three sets as you get stronger.
For abs: Do regular crunches, planks and bicycle crunches to really work the entire core section. For the plank, start by holding it for just 10 seconds, and work your way up to a minute. Once you have mastered the regular plank, add in side planks. These will get your abs working hard.
For arms: Do sets of push-ups, tricep dips off of a chair or step, and moves with a resistance band. A resistance band is a great piece of equipment: it's versatile, travels well, takes up little space, is cheap to purchase and gets the job done. When you work against rubber resistance, you are using your entire body weight, making your muscles work. Try the resistance band for bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, shoulder presses and more.
For the lower body: Do sets of squats, squat jumps (without weights), lunges, plié or sumo squats, deadlifts and step ups. If you have a step, like those used in step aerobics, simply add a riser or two, grab two hand weights (or start with no weight if you are new to weight training) and step up and down. This really works the glutes.
What foods should I cut back on?
And finally, no routine is going to get your body ready for summer without a good clean eating plan. 70% of the body is 'made' in the kitchen. Toss the processed foods, the sugary snacks and the simple carbs. Try eating clean, which means just shopping the outer perimeter of the store. Shop for items that do not have nutrition information (that means they just have one ingredient, like fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and so forth).
Cook your own meals instead of eating out, and you’ll quickly notice a change in the way you look and feel.
Have more questions about how you can get your body in shape for summer? Contact Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer in Amarillo who will help you get the results you want. He will guide you on making the right health decisions so you can not just lose weight and get in shape, but also make a lasting lifestyle change.
If you are just starting to work out, there are some things you should take into consideration. First and foremost is do not overdo it. Many people dive into a new fitness regimen very gung ho, but unfortunately, this could result in injuries. When those people begin, they often try to do too much right away. It’s best to start in small quantities. Add on exercises, more reps and extra time as you go along and build up your strength and endurance. Start with just 10 to 15 minute chunks of exercise, and you can do this several times a day. Simply go slowly and fit exercise in whenever you can.
When easing into a new workout program, try these exercises:
A simple jog is a great way to warm up the body and burn fat. Start with just a few minutes of jogging several times a week. If you have stairs at home, or near your home, simply jog up and down them a few times.
If you find yourself out of breath, great. It is working like it is supposed to. As that gets easier, and on more and more minutes. If you are new to jogging, start with a fast walk and then pick it up to a jog.
Planks are a simple exercise that truly work the entire body, and really focus on the core. No equipment is needed, but if you have an exercise or yoga mat, all the better. Face the floor, with your arms in a push-up position, legs straight and butt in line with the rest of your body.
The plank is a bit harder than it looks, so newbies should feel free to start out on their knees, working up to a straight leg plank. Start with just 30 seconds, three or four times a week. Then, as it gets easier, add more seconds, aiming for a minute.
Do you love dancing? Do you remember how much you once loved to skip rope? What about biking? Just think of one activity that you used to enjoy doing, and do that. The most important part of exercise is liking what you do, or you simply will not stick to it.
Maybe you prefer cycling. Dust off your mountain bike and go for a ride at Palo Duro Canyon. And if you love to jump rope, that works, too. That is actually one of the best cardio exercises out there.
To add some strength to you lower body, do wall squats. This exercise perfect for beginners because it works both the leg muscles and glutes. Start without weights, but add hand weights, a kettlebell or medicine ball as you get stronger.
For the wall squat, just put your back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and squat with your back against the wall, your arms at your sides. Slide your back down until your knees are at 90 degrees, but no farther. Now, push up and straighten your legs again. Try a set of 8 your first time, and add on more reps as you go.
If you would like some coaching and encouragement along the way, contact me, Ralph Roberts. I am an Amarillo personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club. I can help you get in shape the right way and make sure you protect yourself from injuries. Get in touch with me today for a free initial personal training session or to inquire about my customized workout plans.
The Kinesis One is an interesting exercise machine to gaze upon. Many people see this machine and walk away from it because they just are not sure what it does. However, this piece of exercise equipment is ideal for beginners and is easy to use with the proper guidance.
What does the Kinesis One do?
The Kinesis One is an exercise machine for resistance. It has all the exercises you need, in one machine. This single, standalone station has two weight stacks, with an unlimited number of exercises. This allows you to perform them through your natural range of motion, unlike other machines where your motion is directed.
Sometimes, this directed motion can actually cause injuries. Everyone's body is different, including their ranges of motion. With a Kinesis One, your body is free to move in the way it should, building strength safely.
With the Kinesis One, you have a number of zero-impact exercises available to you, so it is useable for everyone, no matter your level of fitness or your current abilities. You can use it on your own, or have your personal trainer design a program just for you.
The exercises you can complete on this machine include those for balance, flexibility and strength.
What are the benefits of the Kinesis One?
Where can I use a Kinesis One?
The Kinesis One will truly make your workout more enjoyable, as your range of motion is much more free and natural. There are no restrictions. If you live in Amarillo, Texas, you can find a Kinesis One at the Downtown Athletic Club. It is the only place in Amarillo that has one.
If you are interested in using this machine, contact Ralph Roberts. He is a certified personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. In addition to showing you how to use the Kinesis One, he can design a fitness program just for you, improving your strength, balance and flexibility. Contact Ralph today to learn more about his training services.
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