Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Benefits of Squatting

By: Snap Fitness

If you're looking to get some serious results fast and improve your overall fitness, squats will do the trick! You can do different variations such as barbell back squats and front squats. Not only are squats effective for building a strong lower body, but they also deliver a number of additional benefits.

 

Here are five reasons you should add squats to your weekly routine.

 

Boosts Hormone Health

 

Squats involve the largest muscle groups in the body, which causes a great stimulus for growth. Total-body exercises are potent stimulators for muscle-building hormones. This will improve body composition all over your body, not just your lower half.

 

Enhanced Core Strength

 

Your core has to work twice as hard to maintain an upright posture when performing squats.  They will improve core strength and prevent injury at the same time.  

 

Better Balance

 

Because squats work and strengthen your core, it also helps you build balance through the rest of your body.  Doing squats regularly will help you add balance through your entire workout routine.  Make sure you are using proper form for squats to be the most effective. Here’s how to do the perfect squat

 

Better Behind

 

One of the most commonly known benefits of squatting is improving your glutes. You can improve them even quicker if you do full squats with correct form.

 

Improved Mobility

 

By moving your body through a full range of motion, you’ll not only build strength, you’ll boost mobility, too. Squats help to increase range of motion with the pelvis, spine, and knees.   

 

Now let’s see you squat! Try this squat workout for guaranteed success.

Sexy Back Workout

By: Snap Fitness

A strong, toned back is key to a perfect posture and preventing back pain—a problem that affects more than 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. These exercises target your entire backside.

 

Seated Row Machine

The Seated Row Machine exercise is a good back exercise, working the Trapezius, Rhomboid, and Latissimus Dorsi muscles. 

Lateral Pulldown Machine

Lateral Pulldowns work the lats, deltoids, pecs, and triceps. 

Rear Delt Seated Fly Machine

The Rear Delt Seated Fly Machine exercise works the deltoid  (back of the shoulder) muscles. Sit tall, keeping your chest flat against the pad.

Back Extension Machine

Get in shape with the Back Extension Machine. It requires you to extend your spine against resistance. Strengthening the muscles that are responsible for extending your spine is important for ensuring that you’re able to maintain proper posture.  Especially since many of us are seated for a large part of our day.

Free Weight Back Hyper-extension

Back Hyper-extensions work the lower back and glute and hamstring muscles. These help strengthen the lower back.

Stability Ball Back Extensions 

Stability Ball Back Extensions work the glute, hamstring muscles, and the lower back.

 

Stability Ball 101 Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Adding a stability ball to your workouts makes classic exercises like crunches and push-ups much more effective since keeping the ball stable forces you to work harder. For fast results try this Stability Ball 101 workout after doing ten minutes of cardio.

 

Plank - 30 seconds

Place your hands on the floor and your shins on the ball, coming into a push-up position with your shoulders directly over your hands.

 

Knee-Tuck Crunch - 10 reps

Start in a plank position with the tops of your feet on the ball. Pull your knees to your hands, rounding your spine by engaging your abs.

Lengthen back to the starting position.

 

Classic Crunches - 20 reps

Begin sitting on the ball walk your feet out until your rib cage is on the ball. Lift hips and tighten glutes. Place interlaced fingers behind your head for support. Exhale, pulling your abs to your spine and pressing the rib cage into the ball to curl your head and shoulders forward.

 

Hamstring Curls – 15 reps

Lie on your back with the exercise ball under your feet. Lift your hips up and keep them up as you slowly bend your knees, rolling the ball toward you andbringing the soles of your feel onto the top of the ball.

 

Ball Pass – 10 reps

Lie on your back with your arm and legs reaching toward the ceiling hold the ball with your hands. Lower your arms overhead and your legs toward the floor. Return to starting position, switch the ball and hold it with your feet. Lower your legs while reaching your arms overhead. Return to starting position.

 

Inner-Thigh Squeeze – 15 reps

Lie on your side, and place the exercise ball between your feet. Slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling, working your inner thighs and hips.

 

Stability Ball Fly – 10 reps

The Stability Ball Fly works your chest and tricep muscles.

 

Back Extensions – 20 reps

Stability Ball Back Extensions work the thigh muscles, and the lower, middle, and upper back.

 

 

Repeat these eight exercises two to three times for max results.

 

Tips For Relieving Muscle Soreness

By: Snap Fitness

When muscle tissue is damaged, you may feel soreness for the next couple of days. Although sore muscles can be annoying, they mean you’re getting stronger. If it gets to be unbearable or getting in the way of everyday activity try the methods below to relieve soreness faster.

 

Rehydrate

Making sure you’re hydrated is extremely important! This is especially true when you’re recovering from a workout.  Since the human body is made up of approximately 75% water, it’s crucial you get eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

 

Snack

Within the 30-minute post-workout window you should eat a protein with a small amount of carbohydrate filled snack. Check out our Protein Packed Recipe board on Pinterest for ideas. 

 

Light Massage

Massaging a sore muscle can help reduce tightness while promoting blood flow which helps speed recovery. We suggest using a foam roller.

 

Gentle Stretching

When muscles are in recovery mode they tend to tighten up, intensifying feelings of soreness. Slow, gentle stretching of the area will relieve that tight feeling and diffuse the pain.

 

Alternating Hot to Cold Showers

Alternating cold and hot showers is a great method to help flush out toxins and lactic acid. Try taking a shower doing 3-5 rounds of 30 seconds of cold water followed by 1 minute of hot water.

 

Sleep

Your body’s natural production of muscle-building chemicals increases during deep stages of sleep. Get at least seven hours of sleep to promote muscle building.

 

Rest

Take a day in between workouts if necessary. Like sleep, rest promotes the repair and growth of muscle tissue.

 

What else do you do to relieve muscle soreness after working out? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter

3 Easy Moves to Give You The Ultimate 6-Pack

By: Snap Fitness

It’s time to carve out that inner 6-pack you’ve always wanted! If you add these three ab shredding workouts to your regular routine, you’ll see some great improvement guaranteed.

 

Exercise Ball Pull-In

These abdominal pull-ins are great for hitting the lower abs. Grab an exercise ball and follow the directions below.

1) Lay on top of a stability ball with your belly facing down.

2) Using your hands walk your body over the top of the stability ball while keeping your body straight until just the tops of your feet are facing down on the very top of the stability ball.

3) Once you’re in the push up position with your arms straight out and your abdomen pulled in, you’re ready to start.

4) Using your abdominal muscles, tuck your knees up towards your chest as the ball rolls in the same direction with the tops of your feet planted on top of the ball.

5) Once you've brought your knees and the ball as far up towards your chest as you can, pause for one second.

6) Slowly straighten your legs back out and return the ball to the starting position.

 

Ab-Crunch Machine

Working out on the Ab-Crunch machine will effectively develop strength and tone your abs.

1) Select a light resistance and sit down on the ab machine placing your feet under the pads provided and grabbing the top handles. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle as you rest the triceps on the pads provided. This will be your starting position.

2) At the same time, begin to lift the legs up as you crunch your upper torso.

3) After a second pause, slowly return to the starting position.

 

Reminder: You need to concentrate on squeezing your rib cage and pelvis together, and pulling your abdomen in.  

 

Seated Leg Tucks

These require balance and coordination; seated leg tucks work the entire abdominal regions, as well as the hips.

1) Sit on the edge of a bench, balancing with your legs out in front of you. Use your hands for support and keep your back flat.

2) Bring your knees to your chest.

3) Hold contraction for two seconds, then slowly return to starting position and repeat.

 

What's your favorite ab workout? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter page! 

5 Ways to Plank Longer

By: Snap Fitness

The plank is one of the best ways to strengthen your core. By pushing yourself and holding a plank longer you can tighten your torso, flatten your abs, and improve your posture. The longer you hold a plank the better, but holding a plank for an extended period of time is no easy task. Here are 5 simple tips that will help you plank it out.

  

How to hold a plank longer:

 

  1. Do a plank everyday. It will get we easier each time you do it.
  2. Turn over the stopwatch. Don’t watch the clock it will only make it harder.
  3. Listen to your favorite music. Focus on jamming out not on the pain you’re in.
  4. Push your limits, then go 10 seconds longer. Tell yourself you can do it!
  5. Focus on Form. Great form will produce great results. Remember: long spine, abs in, shoulders down.

 

How long can you hold a plank for? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

20-Minute Kettlebell Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Adding kettlebells to your workout is a great way to combine strength and cardio into one workout.  This 20-minute kettlebell workout will work your shoulders, arms, glutes, legs, hips, back, obliques and chest. You’ll get a full body workout in less than a half-hour.  Grab those kettlebells and get lifting and swinging today so you can bring that sexy six pack to the beach with you!

 

20 Kettlebell High Pulls

Targets: Shoulders, arms, glutes, legs

How to:

1. Start by placing your feet shoulder-width apart.  

2. Put the kettlebell in front of you and begin to squat and grasp with one hand.

3. Push through your heels to rise to standing, pulling the kettlebell toward chest while the elbow stays high and wide.
4. Lower down and complete 20 high pulls.
5. Change kettlebell to other side and repeat.

 

25 Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing

Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes, legs

How to:

1. Grab a hold of the kettlebell handle with both hands and standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.   
2. Keep your palms face down and arms in front of your body. 
3. Get a slight bend to your knees and push your hips back as if you’re about to get into the squat position.  
4. Drive your hips forward and wing the kettlebell back between your legs.
5. Continue to swing while making sure the motion is coming from your hips. .
6. Do 25 more reps in a consistent motion.

 

15 One-Handed Kettlebell Swing (Each Arm)

Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes, legs

How to:

1. The one-handed kettlebell workout is the same concept of the two-handed swing except you only use one hand.
2. Using one arm to swing the kettlebell while your other arm is reaching out to one side to support balance and stability of your hips.
3. After you finish doing 15 switch arms.


10 One-Arm Kettlebell Push-Ups

Targets: Chest, arms, back

How to:

1. Tip the kettlebell over so the handle is down.
2. Place hand on kettlebell and press handle into the floor.
3. Place your other hand width than shoulders onto floor.
4. Complete ten pushups.
5. Change kettlebell to other side and repeat.

 

15 Kettlebell Figure-8

Targets: Arms, back, abs

How to:

1. Place your feet shoulder distance apart.
2. Lower yourself into a quarter-squat position.
3. Take the kettlebell with your left hand and swing it around the outside of your left leg and then back between the legs.
4. Pass the kettlebell to the right hand and swing it around the outside of the right leg.

5. Keep the motion going for 15 reps.

 

30 Kettlebell Russian Twists

Targets: Abs, obliques

How to:

1. Sit down with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Hold the kettlebell on your check with both hands and lean back into a 45-degree angle.
3. Start rotation your torso from left to right by twisting at the waist while rotating the kettlebell across your body.
4. Do 30 reps.

 

If you follow this workout 3-4 times a week for the next 4 weeks you’re bound to be beach ready. Get started today! 

Five Moves to Get a Beach Bum

By: Snap Fitness

You’re not going to get the beach bum you want by sitting on the one you have.  Get up and make that booty work!  These 5 moves will build, sculpt, and lift your glutes in no time.

 

You'll need: A pair of dumbbells (8-10 pounds)

 

20 Dumbbell Squats

These squats are powerful little moves. Over time, increase reps and dumbbell weight to amp them up.

 Do It:

• Start with your legs hips distance apart and 8-to 10-pound dumbbells by your thighs.
• Squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair, keep your weight over your heels.
• Don’t forget to keep your chest up and your back flat.
• Press through your heels to return to starting position.

 

20 Explosive Lunges

This move gives you a deep stretch through your glutes while testing your balance and coordination.

 Do It:

• Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
• Then lunge forward with your right leg.
• Jump up, switching legs midair, and land with your left leg in a forward lunge.
• Make sure to push off the floor with both feet.
• Your front knee should be bent 90 degrees and align over your ankle.

 

10 Kick Backs (Each Leg)

Kick back butt exercises are great for creating toned butt muscles. 

 Do It:

• Come onto all fours.
• Kick your left foot back and up.
• Make sure to keep your hips level.
• Switch to the other side.

 

20 Hip-Lifts

This is a great way to relieve tension in your lower back and work your butt at the same time.

 Do It:

• Lie on your back with your arms at your sides with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
• Lift your hips toward the ceiling with one leg lifted.
• Squeezing your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the range of motion.
• Keeping your hips up, place your foot back on the floor and then lower your hips.

 

30 Second Squat Hold

 Do It:

• Go back to a squat position, hold for 30 seconds. 

 

 

If you stick to this routine you’ll get a beach bum before you know it. 

5 Types of Workouts to Improve Your Heart Health

By: Snap Fitness

It is important that you take good care of your heart. Exercise is a great way to ensure your heart stays strong and healthy. These five types of workouts will help keep you’re heart rate up and your risk for heart disease down.

 

Cycling

If you’re looking for a great exercise that’s easy on the joints, cycling is a great option to get your heart beating. It’s a low impact exercise that you can do on a stationary bike in the gym.  Cycling is also a great way to tone your lower body and core muscles as well as build strength.

 

Brisk Walk

Taking a brisk walk on the treadmill is a great and natural way to improve your fitness. It helps to push yourself to walk at a fast pace to achieve a moderate intensity level.

 

Running

One of the best exercises for your heart is running.  It’s also one of the best ways to burn calories, lose weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. If you’re a beginner to running start with a brisk walk and add 1 minute of running every couple of minutes. Once you get more fit pick up the pace and increase the minutes you run.

 

Circuit Training

Sometimes you need to add a little excitement to your workout. Mix up your usual workout with some circuit training. During these high-intensity aerobics you’ll switch between workouts in short intervals of time. This type of training will keep you motivated to exercise, improve your muscular strength and heart health.

 

Strength Training

You can use weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight to strength train.  For beginners, we recommend doing strength-training sessions 2-3 times per week so you can let your muscles recover for a day between sessions.

 

Start adding these to your workout for a healthier heart.  We at Snap Fitness believe it’s very important to take care of your heart, that’s why we teamed up with the American Heart Association. Click here to donate to AHA.

 

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela 

20-Minute Arm and Chest Workout

By: Snap Fitness

The weather is getting warmer so why not heat up your workout as well. Dare to lose the sleeves and show those arms off with this “20-Minutes Arm and Chest” workout! You’ll sculpt strong, sexy arms you'll never want to cover up.

 

Standard Push-Ups – 1 minute

Start by doing standard push-ups. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart so you’ll have proper form.  Also, keep your abs and glutes tight and shoulders aligned over the wrists. If you’re not doing a standard push-up correctly it won’t be effective.

 

Bicep Curls – 1 minute

Pick up those weights because its time for some bicep curls! Use your full range of motion to do bicep curls. Keep your elbows lined up directly under your shoulders.   

 

Wide Push-Ups – 1 minute

For this push-up you’ll need to make sure your arms are further than shoulder-width apart.

 

Lateral Raises – 1 minute

Grab your weights again and do some lateral raises! Start with your arms at sides then raise them out to shoulder height keeping a soft bend in your elbows.

 

Military Push-Ups – 1 minute

Keep your arms shoulder width-apart and keep your arms next to your sides as you move up and down. You should also keep your elbows pushed back so it works your triceps at the same time.

 

Rest – 30 seconds

Take a short break and grab some water if needed.

 

Combo Shoulder Raises – 1 minute

One you have your weights start doing combo shoulder raises. Start with your arms at your sides and raise one arm in front and the other arm to the side. Repeat, switching arms.

 

Tricep Dips – 1 minute

You’ll need to use a bench at your Snap Fitness to do tricep dips.  Bend elbows to lower hips until your upper arm is parallel with floor.  Focus on pushing elbows straight back. 

 

Bicep Hammer Curls – 1 minute

Have your palms facing in, so that your thumbs lift toward your shoulders using your full range of motion. Keep your arms tucked in next to your body and do as many bicep hammer curls are you can.

 

Plank-Walks – 1 minute

Get into a plank position with your forearms on the floor.  Walk your hands out wide, and then walk in narrow.

 

Rest – 1 minute

 

Repeat one more time from beginning. 

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