Wednesday, 31 August 2016

5 Reasons Why You Should Take Supplements

Your Fitness and Nutrition Secret Weapon

Supplements are an essential part of any fitness and nutrition program. They are for everyone, not just bodybuilders. Whether your goal is to lose body fat, gain muscle, or just improve your overall health, supplements will help you get there. They are the vitamins, protein powders, and energy boosts that you take throughout the day. Here are five reasons why you should be taking supplements:

1. To Fill in Gaps in Your Nutrition

Supplements are designed to fill in gaps in your nutrition. We live busy lives. Between work and home, spare time is a rare treat. It is difficult to get all of the nutrients that you need from food alone without eating too many calories. Like most people, you are probably not eating enough protein and not receiving the necessary amount of every vitamin, every day. Your body needs each and every nutrient for a reason and supplements will help you get there.

2. To Maximize Your Potential

Supplements will help improve your overall health, as well as give you the energy to take the steps that will lead to a lasting lifestyle change. Think of your favorite professional athlete. They didn’t get there by chance. They worked hard and part of that work was making sure that they provided for their bodies. By giving your body all of the nutrients that it needs, in the quantity that it needs, you are giving your body the tools for success.

3. To Lose Body Fat Instead of Muscle

If you aren’t getting enough protein, your body will struggle to build and maintain muscle. Do you ever feel like you just can’t lose the body fat even though the number on the scale is going down? This happens when the body isn’t getting the nutrients that it needs and uses the muscle for fuel instead of the body fat. Since body fat uses less energy, it is easier to maintain than muscle. We don’t want this to happen though. While on a calorie deficit, you want to train your body to use the stored body fat for energy. Increasing your protein intake through supplements helps your body do this.

4. To Help With Aging and Nutrient Absorption

As you age, the body becomes less efficient in processing protein and other nutrients. Your body processes a percentage of the nutrients that you take in. This means that you need to increase your intake even more so that, even when the percentage is lower, the amount that is utilized is the same. This is why, as you age, you also tend to lose muscle mass and gain more body fat. If you don’t increase your protein intake, your body will eventually lose muscle. Less muscle on your body means that you will burn less calories overall and, unless you lower your calorie intake, you will most likely gain body fat.

5. To Boost Your Energy

We’ve all had those days where we were just too tired to go to the gym and it is too easy for one day to turn into one week. Supplements give you the energy to keep up your momentum when motivation is fleeting.

There You Have It!

Supplements exist to help you get to your goal. They are your secret weapon to help you fill in the gaps in your nutrition, as well as, help your body function at it’s highest potential. Talk to one of our trainers about which supplements are right for you today!




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The post 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Supplements appeared first on Access Change.

Original Article: from Access Change

Forcing My Husband To Take CrossFit With Me Was The Ultimate Relationship Test

My husband is currently sitting in an ice bath, and I’m honestly surprised there are no divorce papers on the kitchen counter. I forced him to take a CrossFit class with me and—if I’m being honest—it was kind of the worst.

Nate and I have talked some trash about CrossFit in the past, even though, if I’m being totally honest with myself, we have no reason whatsoever to do that because I’ve never actually taken a class. We’ve called it cult-y and dismissed the Paleo diet at the same time. I admit that it’s unfair, but if I were to imagine hell, it would be swinging kettlebells at an un-air-conditioned CrossFit gym in our hometown of New Orleans during the dog days of August. We’re runners, not thrusters, and that kind of exertion is not what I’m looking for when I lace up my sneaks.

But when I looked at CrossFit as a relationship challenge rather than a fitness challenge, it became surprisingly appealing.

I guess there’s a part of me that finds the whole CrossFit phenomenon intriguing, even if it’s the polar opposite of what I like to do for exercise. Or maybe because it’s the polar opposite of what I like to do for exercise. Either way, I knew I was never going to make it to a class on my own—honestly, I would be too scared. But if I could get someone to come with me, I thought, I might muster the motivation to check it out and put my naysaying to the test. That’s when it occurred to me that I could rope in my husband and turn it into a social experiment/relationship test. Suddenly, things got interesting. Since we’re always trying to experience new challenges together to grow as a couple, I decided to take the “We’re just as badass as any CrossFit couple” approach and asked him to come with me. Since he loves me, he (unenthusiastically) agreed. Here’s what happened. Spoiler: It was a veritable nightmare, but I’m kind of glad we did it.

Prior to the class, I text my bestie for a little encouragement:


Fact: It’s more like 10 workouts in one, as I was about to learn the very, very hard way.

Upon arrival, a perky employee sporting a fitspiration tank that read, “I hate running,” greets us. We fill out our computer-generated don’t-sue-us waivers and scramble to learn the lingo.

CrossFitters not only have a signature style of dress (think: knee-socks, short shorts and specialized sneakers), but a dedicated style of fitness vocab. Each gym is called a box (as in, hot box) and the workout of the day is known as a WOD. There’s also AMRAP (as many reps as possible), we learned, and movements like the Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and Wallball. OK, those I’m actually kind of into, I thought, because I’m actually a 14-year-old boy.

But it was time to get my mind out of the gutter and get our WOD on.

OK, I knew CrossFit was going to be hard. But holy heck, this is on another level. Also, I think my husband hates me.

Within 5 minutes, we’re drenched in sweat and my husband has threatened to walk into the oncoming traffic that faces the gym on the nearby highway. We just completed the warm-up and he’s pissed at me. This date is going well.

From there, we are gifted a barbell, and the class moves on to a complicated jungle gym-looking torture system that looks fit for a prison yard. My arms are shaking sans a single added pound, but the instructor encourages me to add more weight. Defeated, I tuck my tail between my non-muscular thighs and waddle over to the equipment shed to gather more heft.

Our job is to do eight sets of squats with overhead lifts followed by box jumps with kettle bells, one minute per exercise. My husband and I are placed face-to-face, which BTW, is not romantic, during the jumping portion, marking the perfect opportunity for whispering obscenities under our breath while I work through the routine quicker than a competitive hot dog eater.

Encouragement is a big part of the WOD, but when I hear a cheerful and well-meaning, “Killer job!” or “Stand up straight, Anne,” my combination of anger and exhaustion only allows me to omit a bloated grunt. You’d think that Nate and I would be encouraging each other, but instead we’re just commiserating and probably making it harder for each other, which in retrospect seems like not the point of doing this together. I’m nauseous. He’s dizzy. My back is killing me. The only thing we can sync up on is mulling over a snack from the vending machine. We’re probably missing a real learning moment here, but I’m too bleary-eyed to see that.

The final 15 minutes of class are devoted to a circuit of jump rope, burpees, and sit-ups. I realize that I’ve forgotten deodorant but I’ve also stopped caring about anything. We do three rounds of this cruel joke of a cool down on the blazing hot Astroturf-style surface and when I finally complete it with only a small amount of cheating, there are large bits of ground debris on my face and in my butt crack. Could Nate possibly find me attractive? I honestly can’t think of a better judge for how much he truly loves me for me.

Our first (and probably last) couple’s CrossFit experience comes to a close, and we’re certainly not converts. But at least we’re not converts together.

The CrossFit bug bites a lot of folks after their first class. I am not one of those people. And neither is my husband. And that’s OK. I can certainly understand the physical and social benefits of this program (or bro-gram, as some say), and it’s great how pumped up the members get for each other. Plus, for my husband and me, it’s important to get out of our fitness comfort zone and try something new for both the health and relationship benefits. Suffering together was indeed a true bonding moment—and he refrained from blaming me for signing him up for the torture, which I think is a clear indication that he’s the better half of our relationship. I didn’t puke and my marriage is still in tact, SO I’m counting this as an overall success.

We probably won’t be hitting up any boxes again in the foreseeable future, but that’s not just because the workout was so hard. Pushing ourselves at CrossFit made us appreciate that we get the same in-it-together feeling when we run a half-marathon or go out on our morning runs together. We didn’t need to put ourselves through physical and relationship paces to prove anything. Not to get all over the rainbow about it, but we’ve been pushing, challenging, and supporting each other all along. So while it’s good that we gave it a shot (and we probably deserved a little ass-kicking for our past smack talk), we have no qualms about sticking with what works. In the meantime, my vows for sickness and in health will no longer include deadlifts.

The post Forcing My Husband To Take CrossFit With Me Was The Ultimate Relationship Test appeared first on SELF.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Healthy Eating Just Got Easier: Introducing EatingWell Frozen Dinners

Healthy Eating Just Got Easier: Introducing EatingWell Frozen Dinners Blog Post

After work most nights you'll find me in the kitchen. I pour a glass of wine, get organized and start cooking. I listen to the radio. Or chat on the phone. I'm not in a hurry. I buzz along at my own pace, winding down from the day.

Best BBQ Sauces to Buy

Best BBQ Sauces to Buy Blog Post

Nothing beats that summer taste of sweet, smoky ribs or barbecued chicken. But many barbecue sauces are loaded to the max with added sugars. Here's how to find the best BBQ sauce at the store that's tasty without going overboard on the sweet stuff.

The Easier Burpee Alternative That Still Gets Your Heart Rate WAY Up

Neustockimages / Getty Images

It’s no secret that burpees are one of those hard-as-hell exercises. Doing just a few reps will get you sweating and breathing heavily. While challenging yourself is a good thing, you don’t have to constantly train in struggle city. If you’re thinking about skipping the burpees that your at-home workout calls for, try the frogger variation (AKA half-burpees) instead.

“The frogger is a little less advanced—and a little less miserable, I think—with the same benefits as the progressed variation,” says trainer Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S. and author of Operation Bikini Body. Burpees are great for giving your heart rate a boost, which gives it that cardio edge, and are a great full-body strength challenge. Froggers also improve metabolic condition and strength, says Davis, so you’re not sacrificing fitness benefits, you’ll still burn serious calories, and you won’t lose your momentum during your workout by taking a too-long pause.

And while both burpees and froggers have big lower-body benefits, the way they work your butt and legs is different, explains Davis. The frogger involves quickly transitioning from a low sumo squat to a high plank and skips the vertical jump. “Your time under tension [when you’re holding the sumo squat] is, whereas the jump up in a regular burpee gives just a slight release,” she says. “Staying low in that sumo squat will improve your muscle endurance.” 

Burpees are notoriously tough, but during any exercise, you should never feel bad about listening to your body and taking it down a notch when you need to. Here’s how to do the frogger.



Whitney Thielman 

  • Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and upper body pitched slightly forward. This is your starting position.
  • Place your hands on the ground in front of you, then jump your straight legs back into a high plank. Make sure you land softly on your toes, says Davis. 
  • Jump your feet back and bring your hands toward your chest to return to the starting position.
  • That’s 1 rep; do 8 to start, then progress up to 20 as you get stronger, says Davis (and make sure you hit each one with good form). Start with just 1 set and do up to 5.

And once you’ve nailed the frogger? Hello, full burpee.

You may also like: 13 Incredible Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do At Home


The post The Easier Burpee Alternative That Still Gets Your Heart Rate WAY Up appeared first on SELF.

I Did CrossFit 5 Days A Week For 1 Month And This Is What Happened

POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

PopSugar shares what happens when one woman switches up her fitness routine for 30 days.

I don’t really want to share half-naked selfies of myself with the world, but I feel compelled to. Because after years and years of working out four to six days a week, running and training for half-marathons, sweating it out in yoga classes, and eating healthy, I have finally caught a glimpse of the kind of transformation I have been wanting ever since I can remember. And it’s only been one month.

This might sound like a PSA, but so what? I really do owe it all to CrossFit. I had been wanting to try it for years but through two pregnancies, working, and taking care of my two young kiddos, I just felt like I couldn’t carve out the time. It was kind of a lame excuse, actually, and I realized it was high time to make the time and do something for me. So on Mother’s Day 2016, I bought myself a $250 On-Ramp course for CrossFit. No it’s not culty, yes the workouts are frickin’ hard, and yes, the community support really is amazing and was the key to my success.

After completing that course, I decided to go all in and committed to going for one month, five days a week. Here’s what happened.

  1. Weight down: I have been the same weight for years, trying to lose those last pesky pounds that hide my muscles and make me look softer than I’d like. I was amazed when I stepped on the scale and realized I was at the weight that I lied about on my driver’s license. Down five pounds! I mean, that’s huge when you don’t have a ton of weight to lose. CrossFit smacked my weight-loss plateau in the face!
  2. Less to pinch: OK, so the scale isn’t everything. I also lost at least one inch around my waist. It’s not an enormous change, but I can totally tell in the photos because it’s the first area of my body my eyes move to whenever I look in the mirror. I have had a belly my entire life it seems, and I can finally see it slimming down and that little muffin top diminishing. I even noticed a little definition in my obliques!
  3. Arm definition: While brushing my teeth a couple weeks in, I happily noticed my biceps bulging but didn’t think anything of it until the month was up and people commented on my arms. “What have you been doing?” they asked. Someone else said when they hugged me, my arms felt stronger. Even the Comcast guy who came to fix my cable commented on my “guns.” I also noticed more definition in my upper back.
  4. Toned thighs: I’ve always had lean legs, thanks to running and inherited genes from my mom, but they look even more toned and defined. I slipped on a pair of leggings and loved that I could seen my quad muscles popping out a little. Thank you lunges and deadlifts!
  5. Perkier butt: I also inherited a flat butt from my mom, but a month full of squats, wall balls, and kettlebell swings have turned my flat rear into a more shapely, rounder, lifted bum. My husband has noticed, too. Bonus!
  6. More energy: I used to run for an hour in the morning from 6 to 7 A.M., and by late morning/early afternoon, I felt completely drained. My body felt exhausted, my brain felt foggy, and all I wanted was a nap. I craved sugar and chocolate because I thought it’d give me a pick-me-up. Of course, that backfired with an inevitable sugar crash, plus the extra calories didn’t help me lose weight. I didn’t feel tired once during this month-long CrossFit experiment. Even after getting up at 4:50 to make my 5:45 A.M. classes, I still had more physical and mental energy.
  7. Less hunger: Now this surprised me. I thought all that intense cardio and heavy lifting would leave me insatiably famished. But I felt way less hungry than I did after those hour-long runs. I never ate before those early a.m. classes for fear or puking, and by the time I got home, showered, and started working, I wasn’t hungry until 9 or 10. I was also inspired to eat better because I was putting in all this time and energy, and I didn’t want to undo all that by devouring half a box of Wheat Thins dipped in peanut butter.
  8. Varicose veins diminished: I thought the bulging blue varicose vein behind my left knee was the oh-so-special badge of honor I shared with moms everywhere. But after four weeks of CrossFit, I swear, it’s hardly noticeable. The increased blood flow from all that heart-pumping cardio works magic! I feel way more confident in short shorts and skirts now.

POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

  1. Stronger overall: Carry three bags of groceries on each arm from the car to the house? No problem! Lifting heavier weights for just one month made me stronger and more capable of handling life’s challenges. When both kids’ heads accidentally collided when reaching for the same flower, CrossFit mommy power came to the rescue and I could bend down and lift 80 pounds worth of kid without my knees giving out with energy left to kiss both boo-boos! Running feels easier, previously difficult yoga poses like One-Legged Crow are doable, and come winter, I’m excited to see how CrossFit-strong legs tackle the ski slopes.
  2. Confidence: It wears on you when you spend years thinking about your weight while working hard to change your body and not seeing the results you’re after. Making a change that actually worked was life changing. I feel more confident and am just overall happier. I also realized that I like pushing myself and since CrossFit encourages you to to get stronger every day, I’m embracing this feeling of pride, and it’s inspiring me to keep pushing myself. I see now why people become hooked on WODs. It only took one month, but I’m addicted now, too. I can’t wait to see how my body changes in the months to come.

Originally Written by Jenny Sugar, PopSugar.

More from POPSUGAR Fitness:

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The post I Did CrossFit 5 Days A Week For 1 Month And This Is What Happened appeared first on SELF.

Monday, 29 August 2016

6 Fitness Rules To Follow If You’re Trying To Lose Weight


Paul Bradbury / Getty Images; Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

Losing weight is a process. It takes time, hard work, and yes, some sacrifices. You have to train consistently, maintain a balanced diet (and ultimately eat fewer calories), and make healthy lifestyle changes including getting enough sleep and reducing stress in your life. When you commit to losing weight you’re also committing to doing something good for yourself, and each step is another chance to do just that. And all of those steps add up to big results.

While there isn’t a quick fix for lasting weight-loss results, you can make sure the efforts you’re extending are the most effective things you can be doing. We tapped a few trainers to share the best fitness tips they share with their weight-loss clients.

1. Be consistent.

Losing weight isn’t just a physical transformation, and the process can be stressful emotionally, too. “Sometimes when people feel they aren’t losing weight as quickly as they would like, they get upset and can lose motivation. Everyone’s body is different and for some people it takes a lot longer to lose weight than others,” explains Tamara Pridgett, personal trainer specializing in sports performance and pre-/post-natal training. “I truly believe that if you are consistent and being honest about whatever program you’re using the results will happen.” Set realistic goals about your weight loss and continue to stick with your training even if you aren’t seeing immediate results. “Don’t beat yourself and stay true to your training,” Pridgett adds.

2. Don’t take on too much too quickly.

“Too often when you are trying to lose weight, clients will go 0-60 miles per hour, taking on too much too soon,” explains fitness expert Astrid Swan. A good starting point is four workouts per week. “You do not get overwhelmed, you do not burn out, and you can move things around to accomplish the goal,” Swan explains. And when you’re not in the gym, make sure you’re doing things you enjoy, she adds. “It is not about spending hours in the gym, it is about training smart and efficiently. Make sure the four days that you commit to your workout, you commit to yourself and you really put in the work.”

3. Train smart, train hard.

Grab something heavy and carry it—it’s a simple move you can do that has significant weight-loss benefits, explains Ashleigh Kast certified strength and conditioning coach, track coach, and founder of Sophisticated Strength. “At Drive495, my clients do heavy carries every session. Taking some heavy stuff for a walk has multiple benefits including increased stability (think core strength!) and increased fat loss. Additionally, your grip will get super strong for heavy traditional lifts down the line like deadlifts and pull-ups.” Of course you want to do heavy carries the right way; here’s a quick video showing a two-arm carry. “Choose heavy weights, something you wouldn’t be able to do much with except walk, and walk for 30 seconds then break for one minute. Complete as many rounds as you can,” Kast explains.

4. Continue to challenge yourself. 

“A lot of people have the misconception that just because they want something it should happen instantly and be easy. For most people, especially when they are trying to lose weight, that’s not the case,” explains Pridgett. So understand that the journey comes with hard work and try to consistently challenge yourself along the way—that’s how you’ll start to see the results you want. “Evaluate the work your doing daily or weekly to make sure that you’re challenging yourself. If you’re still using 10-pound dumbbells for bicep curls even though it’s easy for you, it’s time to make that change. Nothing is always going to be easy, but allowing yourself to be as good as you can is so worth it.”

5. But don’t stress too much about your workouts.

Exercising consistently is important, no one is going to argue that. But, if you miss a session because you have to travel for work or can’t fit it into your already busy schedule, that’s OK. You’re still on track! “Losing weight is about 85 percent diet,” explains NYC-based trainer Diana Mitrea, co-founder of Stronger With Time. “Focus on creating meal plans that work for you and squeeze your workouts in when you get the chance. Don’t disregard a day and give up on your plan just because you missed your workout.”

6. And make sure you’re taking time to recover.

“I find that people get sometimes get competitive with friends and family about the amount of times they’ve worked out in a day or week,” explains Pridgett. It’s great to be proud of the time you’re spending at the gym, but don’t let someone else’s fitness program interfere with yours. Every body is different and everyone has different goals that require different training regimes. When you’re trying to lose weight it’s important to take time to recover fully—so don’t feel bad for taking a day or two off! “It’s so imperative that you allow your body to rest to prevent injuries and to ensure you’re workouts are being executed at a quality level. Remember quality over quantity,” she adds.


You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

The post 6 Fitness Rules To Follow If You’re Trying To Lose Weight appeared first on SELF.

14 Ways Our Editors Get Their OWN Kids to Eat Healthy

14 Ways Our Editors Get Their OWN Kids to Eat Healthy Blog Post

Do you remember the Easy-Bake Oven? This pink countertop masterpiece was a gift from my mom on my 6th birthday. As I ripped open the chocolate cake mix and stirred it together with a matching small pink spatula, my eyes lit up at the wonder of this gooey batter turning into a dessert. When the timer went off and we used the small pizza paddle-looking tool to pull out the cake I thought, "This is it. This is what I want to do forever." My mom's gift not only provided a sweet treat but it spurred my love of cooking.

7 Trainers Share The One Thing They Always, Always Tell Their Clients

Peter Muller / Getty Images

One of the benefits of hiring a personal trainer is the endless advice they can give you. However, working one-on-one with a certified pro can require some serious cash and schedule flexibility, both of which can be tough to spare. But just because you’re chasing down your fitness goals on your own doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all of the benefits of having a guide. These seven trainers may not be your personal trainer, but they’ve shared some pretty damn good advice with their clients—and they’re sharing some with SELF readers, too. 

From the types of workouts you should be doing to the habits you should keep up when you’re not at the gym, these are some of the things trainers always, always tell the people they work with to get them where they want to go. 



Getty Images / Designed by Jocelyn Runice

“Clarity is key. Before working out with me, all of my clients have to be able to explain their big three: What do you want to get out of your workouts and why; what has stopped you in the past; and how are you going to avoid these obstacles and reach your goals? You must get connected with why you’re kicking ass in workouts—if the ‘why’ isn’t strong enough, you’ll lose your motivation.” Lacey Stone, celebrity fitness expert at Lacey Stone Fitness



Getty Images / Designed by Jocelyn Runice

“No matter the goal, commit to a plan [to get there] and stick with it. You can always re-evaluate your program and make modifications later, but change is a process, and it takes work, dedication, and perseverance.” Jared Kaplan, Pilates and movement specialist, personal trainer, and founder of Studio 26



Getty Images / Designed by Jocelyn Runice

“Be mindful about movement—it’s about the quality of how you move. One of the biggest differences between people who excel in fitness versus those that don’t is the mastery of the fundamentals. Think about it like constructing a foundation for a building—if you don’t have a stable foundation, you can’t build on top of it, so perfecting those basic and fundamental movements, such as squats, is so important.” Noam Tamir, founder of TS Fitness

The post 7 Trainers Share The One Thing They Always, Always Tell Their Clients appeared first on SELF.

Friday, 26 August 2016

A Few Words from the Access Change Mascot

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The post A Few Words from the Access Change Mascot appeared first on Access Change.

Original Article: from Access Change

Hate Waking Up Early To Work Out? Serena Williams Totally Knows The Feeling

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of SELF. For more from the September issue, subscribe to SELF and download the digital edition. This full issue is now available on national newsstands.

“I am who I am. I love who I am,” Serena Williams says in SELF’s September issue cover story. “Just that whole attitude of being strong and powerful—that’s something I can get behind.” (Read the entire inspiring interview here.) Williams serves her “bring it” perspective on the tennis court and in the gym. Here are four ways she keeps her workouts fresh and fun. 

1. Mix It Up: “I’ll do one day of serving, then a day of ground strokes. I’m definitely an outdoorsy person, so for cardio, running is best, whether it’s distance or sprints. I also like ballet.”

2. Go Hard: “I usually do about two hours at the court and then an hour and a half or two at the gym. It’s intense! For me, clay season is really about being fit with your legs.”

3. Brand Out: “I take all kinds of dance: contemporary, modern and Lyra with a hoop. Venus wants me to try hip-hop. I like ballet, but I don’t do pointe yet—that’s a dream of mine.”

4. Sleep In: “When I was younger, I would always practice at 8 or 9 A.M. Now, I sleep until I wake up. Then I’m like, ‘The monster is awake—let’s work out!'”

Custom top, Adeam, $795; Bottoms, $50; Hair, Ted Gibson at; makeup, Matin using Chanel Ultrawear Foundation; manicure, Andrea Escorcia; set design, Cristina Forestieri; production, Select Services.


You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

The post Hate Waking Up Early To Work Out? Serena Williams Totally Knows The Feeling appeared first on SELF.

The Dumbbell Move That Works Your Back, Abs, And Shoulders All At Once

Rob Hammer / Getty Images

You know what’s better than that whole ‘two birds, one stone’ saying? Three birds, one stone. Take the rear-grip T, for example. It works your abs, back, shoulders in one amazing move that you should definitely try during your next workout. “Holding the bent-over position strengthens the core and lower back muscles, while the focus of the arm movement is on upper back muscles,” says trainer Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S. and author of Operation Bikini BodyIt also requires some lower-body stability, she adds. 

The way you hold the dumbbells in this variation (palms up instead of facing your body), helps engage your shoulder muscles. “A supinated grip encourages more rear deltoid muscle recruitment [than a neutral grip],” explains Davis. “It’s a great exercise for finishing those amazing shoulders off!”

All you’ll need to start is a light set of weights. 

This is also a great move to add into your at-home routine if you’ve got a set of dumbbells ready to be dusted off. Unlike lower-body exercises, which respond to higher weights because the muscle groups are bigger, you can start pretty low with this exercise (so those three- to five-pounders will do just fine). “The muscle group you’re using [to lift the weights] contains smaller muscles that fatigue more easily,” says Davis. “Start with three pounds—this might be the only time you hear me say that—and nail the form. Then you can progress all the way up to 15 and beyond as you get stronger.”

Rear-Grip T


Whitney Thielman 

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells in front of your legs so the ends are almost touching, palms facing away from your body.
  • Bend knees slightly and tilt forward at hips, keeping your neck in line with your spine so you’re gazing slightly forward. Make sure you’re not rounding your back, says Davis. 
  • Engaging your back muscles, lift your arms out to your sides to a T position. Keep your shoulders away from your ears, adds Davis—no shrugging!
  • Lower your arms back to the starting postion.
  • That’s 1 rep; do 10 to 15. Repeat for 3 sets total. 

Abs: check. Back: check. Shoulders: check.

You may also like: 12 Ultra-Effective Arm Workout Moves You Can Do At Home


The post The Dumbbell Move That Works Your Back, Abs, And Shoulders All At Once appeared first on SELF.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

9 Low-Impact Workout Moves You Can Do At Home

Neustockimages / Getty Images

There’s no shortage of awesome exercises you can do at home. But a lot of the moves that don’t require special equipment do require jumping, and that can be tough on your joints. Plyometric moves, like jump squats, tend to be high-impact, and whether you’re sensitive, sore, or just have testy downstairs neighbors, you might want to stock up on suitable alternatives. Having some low-impact moves in your repertoire can help save your knees, ankles, and more—without sacrificing too much intensity.

Low-impact exercises are less stressful on your body, but still get your heart rate up and work your muscles fully.

“The label ‘low or high impact’ has to do with the effect the movement has on your body,” says celebrity fitness expert Lacey Stone of Lacey Stone Fitness.

Explosive jumps, for instance, require you to land with the force of your bodyweight and can be a lot for your joints to absorb. Your feet don’t have to leave the ground for a workout to be considered high impact. “Boxing is a perfect example of an upper-body workout that’s high impact because you’re pounding your upper body joints into a bag,” Stone says.

“High-impact moves are great for increasing cardio capacity quickly, and they tend to involve jumping, which creates an elevated heart rate and increased calorie burn,” says Stone, “but they should be paired with low-impact workouts.” It’s all about balance and doing what is right for your body.

While low-impact moves may not seem as dynamic as plyometric exercises (or powerful as a killer right hook), they can be just as challenging. Ideally, you should have a mix of both high- and low-impact moves during a week of workouts, with more low-impact exercises if your joints already bother you. (If you’re experiencing pain, you should always consult with a doctor.)

Here are 9 effective low-impact exercises to get you started.

These moves, chosen by Stone,  require only a set of dumbbells (or no equipment at all)—and they’re definitely not easy. 

1. Dumbbell Thruster


Whitney Thielman 

When you do compound exercises [that work multiple muscle groups], you burn more calories because you’re using multiple parts of your body at the same time. It’s efficient for and incredibly effective,” she adds.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Have your palms facing in and elbows bent so hands are at your shoulders.
  • Hinge your hips back and lower into a squat. Go as low as you can.
  • Then push through your heels to stand and press dumbbells overhead in one movement.
  • Return to squat and repeat.

2. Step Up With Reverse Lunge


Whitney Thielman 

“This is an awesome exercise because it does double duty on your legs [with the step and the lunge],” says Stone. “Also, when you step up you have to engage your abs even more to help you balance.”

  • Stand in front of a box or step, about one foot away. 
  • Step up with your left foot and drive your right knee up towards your chest.
  • Step your right foot back to the starting position and step your left back into a lunge, lowering your knee toward the ground (make sure your right knee doesn’t go past your right toes).
  • Step your left leg back onto the step or box to repeat the movement. And don’t forget to do the other side!

3. Bridge With Chest Press 


Whitney Thielman  

“This is a fantastic move for your booty, hamstrings, core, and chest all in one,” says Stone.

  • Start lying flat on your back with your knees bent. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart with your heels a few inches away from your butt. Hold a set of dumbbells in your hands
  • Lift your hips up while squeezing your glutes, creating one diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Holding the bridge position, bring your arms out to your sides and bend your elbows to about 90 degrees, so your hands are towards the ceiling. Push dumbbells over your chest until they touch and slowly lower them back down. 

4. Plank Jacks


Whitney Thielman 

Your core and your shoulders will both feel the burn with this plank variation, Stone says. And you can always walk your legs in and out instead of hopping.

  • Start in high plank. 
  • Keeping your core engaged, jump your feet out and in (like jumping jacks).
  • If your wrists bother you, try this move on your forearms, like this

The post 9 Low-Impact Workout Moves You Can Do At Home appeared first on SELF.

Do This 11-Minute Workout First Thing In The Morning

Tony Anderson, Getty Images

How To Do The Workout:

This routine, created by Toby Massenburg, group fitness manager at the soon-to-open Equinox Hollywood, is broken in to two circuits. During each circuit you will alternate between strength and cardio moves—and finish with a bonus core-targeting exercises. You will work hard for 20 seconds, trying to complete as many reps as possible, then you’ll have 10 seconds to recover before moving on to the next move. Complete circuit one twice before moving on to circuit two—and take one minute to rest between circuits. 

Circuit 1 — do this 2x

1. Dumbbell Thrusters — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Have your palms facing in and elbows bent so hands are at your shoulders.
  • Hinge your hips back and lower into a squat. Go as low as you can.
  • Then push through your heels to stand and press dumbbells overhead in one movement. Return to squat and repeat.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

2. Squat Jacks — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with your feet together.
  • Jump your feet out and bend your knees to lower into a squat.
  • Push off and jump back to the starting position.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

3. Renegade Rows — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Start in high plank with a weight in each hand. Your hips should be lifted and your body in one straight line. 
  • Row your right arm up, keeping it close to your body. Your elbow should go past your back as you row towards your chest.
  • Bring your right arm back to the starting position and repeat with your left arm. 
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

4. Jumping Lunges — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees then jump up into the air bringing your right leg forward, and left leg goes back so that you land in a lunge position.
  • As soon as you land with soft knees, jump back up into the air and switch legs mid air to land with the opposite leg forward.
  • Be sure to keep your chest up and core tight.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

5. Bicycle Crunches — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  •  Lie on back, hands behind head. Bring knees toward chest.
  • Straighten right leg as you bring right elbow to left knee. Switch sides and repeat
  • Continue for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

Now take a 1-minute break.

Circuit 2 — do this 2x

1. Froggers — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and upper body pitched slightly forward. This is your starting position.
  • Place your hands on the ground in front of you, then jump your straight legs back, so that you’re in high plank.
  • Jump your feet back and bring your hands toward your chest to return to the starting position. 
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

2. Alternating Side Lunges — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Start with your feet directly under your hips. If you want to make this more challenging, hold a dumbbell in each hand and your arms by your sides.
  • Step your right foot wide to the side. Push your butt back and bend your right knee to lower into a lunge.
  • Keep your left leg straight, your chest lifted and your weight in your right heel. 
  • Push off your right foot to return to standing, then lunge to the opposite side to complete one rep.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

3. Plank Hops — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Begin in high plank with the feet together.
  • Tighten abs, and jump your feet to the right, bringing your knees toward your right elbow.
  • Jump your feet back to plank and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

4. Reverse Lunge With A Twist — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step back with left foot and bend knees to lower into lunge while twisting torso over right (front) leg.
  • Return to standing, then repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

5. Reverse Woodchops — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, one dumbbell in both hands. Lower weight toward left foot and bend your knees.
  • Stand as you rotate torso right and lift your right heel, and bringing the weight across your body diagonally.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  • Do as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side during the next set.


You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

The post Do This 11-Minute Workout First Thing In The Morning appeared first on SELF.

This Butt And Hips Exercise Will Also Help Prevent Knee Pain

Westend61 / Getty Images

While plyometric exercises are great for driving up your heart rate and burning calories, high-impact jumping movements that work your lower body can often be tough on your knees. However, that doesn’t mean all booty-strengthening moves put your joints at risk. The clamshell exercise works your butt and hips and sets your knees up to be able to handle other exercises (without putting any stress on them in the process). Win-win.

“The clamshell is one of the best lower-body exercises because it helps strengthen the gluteus medius and piriformis (outside hip area),” says Michelle Lovitt, M.A., exercise physiologist. Plus, low-impact moves like the clamshell don’t place any unnecessary stress on the knees. You don’t have to avoid those jump squats or burpees entirely (unless recommended by your doctor, always check in with your doctor if you’re experiencing pain!), but having some less explosive exercises mixed in will keep your joints happy. Plus, strengthening the hips and glutes can help your knees handle that stress when you are working with those higher-impact moves.

If you’re having knee pain, physical therapists will often look to the muscles that support your knees to reduce the stress that’s placed on it. So while it might not seem like working these muscles would help with knee pain, the body has a sneaky way of using this strength to its advantage. “The gluteus medius helps in external rotation of the hip, and strengthening it also prevents internal rotation of the femur, which prevents internal rotation at the knee, keeping it tracking properly to prevent injury,” says Lovitt. As the old song goes, the knee bone’s connected to the: thigh bone

Convinced yet? Grab a spot on a mat or the floor and try it for yourself. Here’s how. 



Whitney Thielman 

  • Lie on your left side with your hips, knees, and ankles stacked on top of one another. Support yourself by placing your head on your left arm and putting your right hand on the floor in front of your chest.
  • Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Keeping your feet together, rotate your right knee open, then slowly lower it back to the ground.
  • That’s 1 rep. Do 15, then switch sides.
  • Once you master the move, work your way up to 2-3 sets, suggests Lovitt. You can also loop a resistance band around your knees for an extra challenge.

You may also like: 9 Easy Stretches For Tight Hips


The post This Butt And Hips Exercise Will Also Help Prevent Knee Pain appeared first on SELF.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Sugar… I Shouldn’t Eat That, Right?

The Evil Stepmother of Weight Loss

Is sugar really trying to sabotage your diet plan? Absolutely not! In fact, all carbohydrates are eventually broken down into glucose (a simple sugar molecule) for absorption. Sugar is a necessary carbohydrate!

It’s Not The Sugar, It’s The Calories

Sugar is so commonly consumed that it is often blamed for weight gain. It isn’t the guilty party though. Foods that are high in sugar, also tend to be high in calories. The extra calories are the reason why people gain weight or struggle to lose weight while eating sugary foods. You know those cupcakes that you ate? It’s not the sugar’s fault. It’s the 400 extra calories that are in each cupcake. I know what you’re thinking. If you walk past any magazine stand, you will see the “I cut out sugar and lost 10 pounds” title. Well, yeah, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the sugar. Of course, if you stop eating extra sugar, you may also lose weight because you are inherently eating less calories.

Everything in Moderation

Say it with me. Sugar is not inherently bad for you. There’s a reason why it exists. It provides quick energy for the body that is easy to absorb. Problems only arise when you are replacing nutrient dense foods with sugary foods. As long as you are consuming this carbohydrate in balance with the other macronutrients, you will be fine.

Where The Fear Came From

There’s a reason why sugar has a bad reputation. It makes sense. When you eat sugar, insulin is released to help transport the glucose (sugar) into the tissues and bloodstream, as well as store extra glucose for later in the form of body fat. This means that the more sugar that you eat, the more insulin your body releases to process that sugar. People commonly believed that this spike in insulin from the extra sugar would also cause the body to store more body fat from that sugar. It doesn’t necessarily work this way though. Yes, if you are eating more food, more of it will be stored as body fat, but this is from the extra calories and not the extra sugar. Your body can only store extra body fat if you are eating more calories than you are burning. It isn’t the sugar’s fault.

Now You Know

Sugar isn’t inherently bad for you. A balanced diet can contain sugar. As long as you aren’t taking in extra calories, you won’t gain weight. 


Related Links


The post Sugar… I Shouldn’t Eat That, Right? appeared first on Access Change.

Original Article: from Access Change

7 Fat-Blasting Cardio Moves That Require Practically Zero Space

iprogressman / Getty Images

Running, biking, and swimming tend to get all the credit when it comes to cardio workouts, but you don’t need to literally go the distance to get a heart-pumping workout. Any combination of exercises that jack up your heart rate can provide cardiovascular benefits (even if it’s not helping you log miles).

Whether you can’t stand the thought of heading out on a jog or want to squeeze in a quick at-home sweat, these seven moves will help you check the cardio workout box—minimal space required.

1. Mock Jumping Rope


Whitney Thielman 

  • Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Jump a few inches off the ground and land on the balls of your feet with soft knees. Repeat quickly like you’re using a jump rope. Mimic the wrist motion like you’re swinging a rope, too!

2. Butt Kicks


Whitney Thielman 

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Kick your left foot and calf up to your left glute, keeping your knees and thighs parallel to each other.
  • Set your foot back down and repeat with your right foot. Continue alternating quickly.

3. Squat Jumps


Whitney Thielman 

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Bend your knees and sit your butt back, keeping your chest upright.
  • Jump up into the air as high as you can. Land softly, immediately lowering into the next rep.

The post 7 Fat-Blasting Cardio Moves That Require Practically Zero Space appeared first on SELF.

Try One Of These 10-Minute Cardio Workouts For A Quick Burn

Liam Norris, Getty Images

Working out doesn’t have to be all in or all out—you can do 10-minute bursts of activity whenever you have time. From an elliptical routine to a quick cardio and strength circuit, here are three different 10-minute cardio workouts you can do throughout the day.

1. Pick the intensity level you want to do for this cardio + strength circuit.

2. Get your heart racing with this treadmill workout.

3. Or try this cardio routine on an elliptical.


You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

The post Try One Of These 10-Minute Cardio Workouts For A Quick Burn appeared first on SELF.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Yorba Linda Group Fitness Training and Personal Training

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The post Yorba Linda Group Fitness Training and Personal Training appeared first on Access Change.

Original Article: from Access Change

The Standing Abs Move You Should Do Before Every Workout

Liam Norris / Getty Images

One of the main functions of that all-important warm-up is to ease your body into the hard work ahead. Aside from literally warming up your muscles before challenging them with tougher moves, you’re working to improve mobility, reduce your risk for injury, and increase your heart rate. The standing toe touch helps with all of the above—plus, it incorporates some subtle abs work, too. It’s the perfect way to take you from your warm-up to the real work. 

The standing toe touch is considered a dynamic movement, says trainer Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S. and author of Operation Bikini Body. These types of movements help prevent injury and increase your range of motion. This exercise also helps to release tightness that can prevent you from doing exercises correctly, explains Davis. “Too much sitting usually leads to tight hip flexors and quads, contributing to an anterior pelvic tilt. This shortens the lower back muscles, making them tight and painful, while the hamstrings are forced into a stretched position, so they become tight as well. The standing toe touch is a simple way to begin to release these muscles so that then you can work on those dysfunctions with proper exercises.”

Plus, since you’re twisting one side of your upper body to the opposite side of your lower body, you start to warm up your obliques, and the small crunch you’ll need to touch your fingers to your toes also engages your core. 

Before you dive into those burpees and squat jumps, here’s how to incorporate standing toe touches into your routine.

Standing Toe Touch


Whitney Thielman 

  • Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Swing your right leg up and touch your left hand to your right toes. Keep your chest up!
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg, touching your right hand to your left toes.
  • That’s 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 total.

You may also like: 9 Easy Stretches For Tight Hips


The post The Standing Abs Move You Should Do Before Every Workout appeared first on SELF.

A 4-Minute Abs Series You Can Do Before Breakfast

Jovana Rikalo / Stocksy; Graphic by Jocelyn Runice

The making of great abs include doing smart core-strengthening moves, following a healthy and balanced diet, and logging total-body cardio sessions regularly. Yes it takes work, but it doesn’t have to be all-consuming. To kick off your abs by December plan, Toby Massenburg, group fitness manager at the soon-to-open Equinox Hollywood, shares a quick four-minute core workout you can do at home. The routine helps build core stability (important for definition and helping to reduce your risk of injury) and strength. And there’s not a single crunch involved. 

How To Do The Workout:

Do each move for 20 seconds resting 10 seconds between each exercise. Repeat the full circuit a total of two times. 

1. Marching Glute Bridge — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Lie faceup on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift hips off the mat. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping your right knee bent, lift your right foot off the floor. Try to keep your hips still.
  • Return your right foot to the ground but keep your hips lifted.
  • Now repeat on your left foot, keeping your hips lifted the entire time.
  • Continue for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next move.

2. V-Up — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Lie face up with arms and legs extended and resting on the floor.
  • Keep abs tight and lift hands and feet to meet over torso.
  • Lower your arms and legs back to the floor.
  • Continue for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next move.

3. Plank Up — 20 seconds

Whitney Thielman

  • Start in high plank. Bend one arm to bring the elbow and forearm to the floor.
  • Bring the other arm down so you are in a forearm plank.
  • Push back up to the start position, placing each hand where your elbows were.
  • Repeat this movement, alternating which side you lower first with each rep.
  • Continue for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds before moving on to the next move.

4. Superman — 20 seconds 

Whitney Thielman

  • Lie face down with your arms out in front of you.
  • Lift your torso and legs off the floor. Pause and then slowly lower everything back down.
  • Hold for 20 seconds.

Repeat this circuit a total of two times without resting between each set.


You may also like: Try This 10-Minute Plyometric Workout You Can Do At Home

The post A 4-Minute Abs Series You Can Do Before Breakfast appeared first on SELF.