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Indoor Cycling 101: How to Set Up Your Spin Bike

By: Snap Fitness

When it comes to spin classes, the first step to a good workout is to properly set up your ride. Below are steps to ensure for a safe and comfortable workout. Be sure to arrive early and make adjustments as needed.

 

1.    Locate Knobs and Adjustments

Get familiar with the indoor bike at your gym by finding the knobs and testing the adjustments made by each. Typically you’ll find two knobs for handlebar adjustments, one over your bars to move them back and forth, and one under the handlebars to adjust the height. You’ll also typically find two knobs near your seat, one behind our saddle that moves back and forth, and one under your saddle for seat height adjustments.

 

2.    Adjust Your Saddle

First, adjust your bike’s saddle height for a comfortable ride. To determine the height best for you, place your feet on the pedals or in the clips and rotate the pedals until one leg reaches the bottom of your stroke. The extended leg should have a slight bend in the knee and should never be completely straight. Fine-tune your seat height to ensure your knees are staying parallel to the middle bar and not bowing outward.

 

Second, adjust the distance of your seat from the handlebars so that the top of your knee and the tip of your toes draw a straight line toward the floor

 

3.    Fine-Tune Handlebars

First, position the handlebars for a comfortable ride. Limit the strain on your neck and back by adjusting the height of the handlebars. Seek to keep your handlebars at the same height to your saddle. If necessary, raise the height of your handlebars for added back support.

 

Second, enhance your ride by tuning the handlebars distance forward or backward. Keep a slight bend in your elbow when riding, allowing for a neutral ride without having the reach for the bars.

 

4.    Tighten and Lock Knobs

Check to ensure all of the knobs on your bike are tight before you begin your ride.

 

5.    Dig in! Strap or Click in Your Shoes

If you are wearing cleats, fit them directly into the spin bike’s pedals. If you don’t have cycling shoes, use the “cages” on the pedals to strap in. Tighten the straps around your feet like a seatbelt, snug but not too tight. Now you’re ready to ride!

 

Treadmill Tips for Indoor Running

By: Snap Fitness

While there is no replacement for road or trail running, unpredictable spring weather can sometimes force us inside to get in our miles. Below are five treadmill tips, for newcomers and regulars alike, to keep in mind the next time you jump on for an indoor run.

 

Warm up correctly: Before you crank up the intensity, warm up for five minutes on the treadmill. Jog or walk at an easy pace to warm up your muscles and prepare for an effective workout.

 

Check your form: Be conscious about your treadmill form. Focus on running with the same form and stride you would outdoors. Gaze ahead, land mid-foot, keep your hands at your waist, check your posture, and relax your shoulders.

 

Use incline to your advantage: Maximize your workout and burn serious calories by increasing the incline on your treadmill. By adding inclines to your interval workouts, you’ll develop a strong aerobic base, great for those training for longer endurance runs. Incline training will also significantly increase your muscle activity. Alternate between incline and speed adjustments as you continue indoor treadmill training.

 

Cool down: Once finished with your workout, be sure to bring your heart rate back down so that your breathing returns to a normal rate. Similar to warming up, you’ll want to spend at least five minutes walking at an easy pace. Be sure to give your leg muscles a good stretch too!

 

Treadmill etiquette: During your run, mind those near you and keep your music at a respectful volume. Once you’re done with your workout, be sure to thoroughly clean the treadmill, using a cleaner and rag or paper towels to wipe down the machine.

Sculpt Your Glutes and Thighs in Five

By: Snap Fitness

Shape up your lower body and shake up your routine by adding these moves to your leg workout. These challenging movements will target your glutes and thighs, giving you a sculpted, lean look!

 

Sumo Squat with Calf Raise - Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart with your toes slightly turned out. Perform a deep squat, lifting your heels off the ground. Count to two then lower your heels and return to a standing position. Ready to feel the burn? Hold a weighted ball or Kettlebell at your chest while performing the exercise. Perform for one minute.

 

Skaters - Tone your thighs with this plyometric exercise. Start with a small squat, jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg. Without touching the floor, bring your right leg behind you to your left ankle. Reverse direction by jumping to the right and following through with your left foot behind your right ankle. Perform this move for one minute.

 

Curtsey Lunge - Start with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your side or resting on your hips. Cross your right leg behind your left and rest your toe on the floor about two feet behind you. Keep your right heel up while performing a squat. Do not let your left knee extend past your toes. Return to the start and repeat on the other side. Alternate sides for one minute.

 

Squat with Leg Lifts – Work your legs and hips with this variation on the classic squat. Start by performing a standard squat. While returning to standing position raise your right leg to the side. Keep your upper body straight and do not bend your knee. Repeat on the opposite leg. Perform for one minute.

 

Pilates Swimming – Lie flat on your stomach with arms stretched out in front and legs stretched behind you. Engage your core muscles and raise your head and chest off the mat slightly. Lift your right arm and your left leg off of the mat. Switch your arms and legs; lifting your left arm and right leg off the mat. Continue switching to your own rhythm. Perform for 30 seconds.

Three Post-Run Stretches

By: Snap Fitness

Fight that tight feeling after a run with these three basic stretches. These movements can be done anywhere without any equipment and target the major muscles you use while running.

 

Quad Stretch

Stand on your right leg and begin flexing at your knee, raising your left foot backwards. Grab your left foot with your left hand, pulling toward your glutes. Keep your body upright and knees together while focusing on the stretch through your quad. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

 

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Step your right foot forward from a kneeling position to a 90-degree angle. Place your right hand on your right hip and your left hand on top of your left quad. Keeping your left knee on the floor, press your hips forward. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing comfortably.

 

Hamstring Stretch

Sit on a mat with your right leg extended and your left leg bent and foot against your inner thigh. Lean forward from your hips, reaching toward your ankle. Hold for 20 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.

Tricep Toner Series

By: Snap Fitness

Are your arms tank-top ready? If not, this tricep series will get them there in no time! For this routine, do 15 reps of each exercise. Repeat the entire series twice.

 

Tricep Dips: While sitting on a bench, position your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs slightly extended and feet flat on the floor. Bring your glutes forward and off the bench then lower yourself down. Once your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Skullcrushers: Start on your back with a weight in each hand and knees bent. Bring the weights up above your head with your palms facing each other. Lower the weights down toward the top of your head. Once your elbows form a 90-degree angle, press the weights back up to the starting position.

 

Tricep Kickbacks: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with weights in each hand. Lean forward slightly. With your palms facing each other, lift the weights back until your arms are fully extended. Slowly bring your arms down until they are in line with your side.

 

Chest Press: Lay down with your back on a bench and weights in each hand. Push the weights up so your arms are directly over your shoulders and palms are up. Lower the weights down and slightly to the side until your elbows are slightly below your shoulders. Press the weights back up. Be careful not to lock your elbows or bring your shoulders off the ground.

 

Tricep Push-ups: A slight variation on the traditional wide-arm push-up! Bring your hands shoulder-width apart and directly next to your sides. Lower your chest to the floor while keeping your upper arms tucked next to your sides and elbows pointing straight back, then push back up.

7 Moves To Make Your Workout FURIOUS

By: Snap Fitness

Seeking furious muscles like the stars of the “Furious 7” movie? Add any (or all) of these seven moves into your workout routine!

 

1. SPRINTS: Require speed and power, making you stronger and leaner. Try this high intensity move by pounding out seven sprints on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike.

 

Sprint for 30 seconds; recover with a jog for one minute, complete seven rounds.

 

2. BURPEES: Burpees are the real deal - this total body movement will get your heart pumping.Focus on jumping into a strong plank and engaging your core.

 

Perform as many burpees as you can for 30 seconds. Complete two to three rounds.

 

3. PLANK JACKS: Raise your heart rate while working your upper and lower body. Complete this plank variation by doing jumping jacks with your legs while holding a standard plank.

 

Get furious with 25 plank jacks. Complete two to three rounds.

 

4. BOX JUMPS: Test your agility, increase your heart rate and elevate your workout with box jumps. Start by squatting down slowly, then jump vertically and drive your arms upward. Land softly through your hips and knees on the box and then stand up before stepping off the box. Not ready for a box jump? Perform a step up or shorten the jump height.

 

Go full out for 30 seconds. Complete three rounds.

                                                                                

5. KETTLEBELL SWINGS: Build furious body strength and improve cardiovascular stamina with this one move. Be sure your feet are hip-width distance apart, chest upright and shoulders back and down. Lift with your legs and explode through your hips.

 

Perform 20-30 swings per round, completing two to three rounds.

 

6. MEDICINE BALL SLAMS: Build strength in your legs and abdominals with this powerful move. Throw the ball downward with as much force as possible, catching the ball as it bounces off the ground. We suggest using an eight to ten pound weighted ball.

 

Throw down 10 powerful slams, completing three rounds.

 

7. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: Challenge your shoulders and quads with this killer move. Draw one knee into the chest while in a plank position then quickly plant it back into a classic plank before alternating to the other leg. Repeat as fast as possible for an effective exercise.

 

Give it all you’ve got for 30 seconds, completing three to five rounds.

 

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. Keeping the ball stable forces you to work harder and activate tiny muscles. 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.

 

Workouts for Every Muscle Group

By: Snap Fitness

Consider this your mini-library for workout routines. It is important to add variety to your training to keep things fresh and avoid hitting a plateau. Pick one or two muscle groups to start with and get to work. Continue switching up your workouts every month or two, and don't neglect any muscle groups!

 

Click on the red links below to view. 

 

Core

8-Minute Abs

Plyo Your Way to Shredded Abs

300 Reps to Perfect Abs

10-Minute Ab Blaster Workout

I Seek Obliques 

 

 

Arm/Shoulder 

Arm Day for Beginners

7 Moves for Tank Top Arms

20-Minute Arm and Chest Workout

Shoulder Sculpt

 

 

Legs 

Leg Day Workout for Beginners

6 Moves for Killer Legs

Love Your Legs Workout

All About Legs Workout

 

 

Glutes

Buns of Steel Workout

Five Moves to Get a Beach Bum

25 Minute Glute Sculpting Treadmill Workout

 

 

Upper Body 

Upper-Body Blow Out

Upper Body Tabata Workout

Optimal Upper Body Superset Workout

20-Minute Arm and Chest Workout 

 

 

Become a Spartan Workout

By: Snap Fitness

The popularity of obstacle races such as Spartan Races and Tough Mudders has exploded over the past several years. They provide a unique challenge to athletes and generally active people alike that is different from any other kind of competition or exercise that exists. These races allow gym members to stay motivated through their workout programs and give them something new to strive for. While it is impossible to train for exact race circumstances due to the ever-changing nature of these races, there are some aspects that remain constant. This workout, with the proper progressions, will allow you to complete any obstacle encountered.

 

This workout contains two separate circuits to be completed on the same day. The goal is to build strength and then develop functional endurance related to muscular function that translates to what an individual may experience during an obstacle race.  

 

The first circuit is meant to build overall strength in accordance to muscular recruitment based on obstacle course racing. Essentially, the stronger these muscles are, the easier it will be to maneuver through the course and obstacles. These exercises will require a heavier load (more weight), so make sure to take time to recover in between exercises, about 30-45 seconds and about 90 seconds in between each circuit. The second circuit is meant to boost metabolic output and build the strength of multiple energy systems. To get the best results try to only rest when you have to, otherwise moving from exercise to exercise and only resting after the circuit is complete for 30 seconds.

 

Circuit 1

 

Complete three sets through this circuit. Take your time and allow recovery to happen in between exercises, taking about 30-45 seconds and about 90 seconds after each set.

 

Squats: In a Smith machine or squat rack, place the bar on top of the shoulder blades. Push the hips back keeping chest up and bend the knees down to just above a 90 degree angle. Make sure the drive up comes through the heels, using your gluteal and quadriceps muscles, while the core holds strong. Strong legs are a must! The quadriceps and glute muscles provide strength and stability for climbing up and down mountains, maneuvering efficiently in mud and powering you up, over and through many obstacles. Choose a weight that will only allow for 10 repetitions maximum. Looking for a range of 8-10.

 

Fireman Carry: Holding a pair of heavy dumbbells at your side, keep chest up and squeeze shoulder blades in the back. Maintain proper posture with the upper trapezius muscles in the back and forearms engaged to hold that position and weights. Walk from one end of the gym to the other. Start with a weight that will only allow you to travel to one side of the room, but not back as well. As you increase strength and endurance with this exercise, try to make it from one side of them room to the other and back. Then increase weight. Grip strength is a must for any obstacle race. 

 

Pull-ups: Hands should face away from your body and be placed wide enough for your elbows to bend to a 90-degree angle as you pull up. Chest stays out and the pull comes from the back and not the shoulders or arms. Keep shoulders down away from the ears and don’t lock the elbows on the way down. The Latissimus dorsi, or back, is an extremely important part of obstacle racing. Performing well during these races requires this muscle to be strong. From climbing ropes, to pulling tires, successfully crossing the monkey bars etc., the lats are used throughout obstacle races.

 
The goal is stay in the 8-10 repetition range. You can use an assisted machine or if you can do more then 10 with your own body weight, squeeze a dumbbell in between the ankles to add resistance.

 
Plank: In the prone position (face down) on the ground, hold your body up in the air in a flat position and belly button braced into the spine. Elbows should be directly under the elbows and start on the toes. Drop to knees if necessary. Without a strong core, the body will struggle to complete obstacles and maintain proper posture. This will put joints at risk for injury and burn more energy as muscles will need to fight harder to accomplish the goal at hand. Hold this position as long as you can! Each time you complete this exercise hold for a few more seconds.


Single Leg Deadlift: Balancing on one leg, bend at the hip bringing the chest forward until it is parallel with the ground. Keep the knee slightly bent and core braced, lift the back leg to assist with balance. Squeezing hamstrings and gluteus pull the chest back up to starting position. This exercise will provide power climbing up hills and assist with obstacles that require balancing on one leg at a time.

 
Stay in the range of 8-10 repetitions for each leg.

 

Circuit 2

 

Set a timer for 20 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible. Rest 30 seconds in between each circuit, if needed. Move quickly from one exercise to the next with little to no rest.

 

Box Jumps: This is a quick movement down and up. Bend knees and explode up on top of a step or box. Reset by stepping down and repeat as quickly as possible. Repetitions: 15-20.

 

Army Crawls: Start in a plank position. Move opposite arm and knee forward at the same time in a crawl movement, keeping hips and chest square to the floor. Abdominals should feel the brunt of this exercise, as they should be braced the whole time. Go for 45 seconds – 1 minute. If limited in space, just move a few crawls forward, then backwards and repeat until time is up.

 

Burpees: Start in a standing position then drop down to the floor for a pushup. After the pushup, pull knees in at the same time so feet are flat on the ground and you have a solid base underneath you. Jump into the air then land with soft knees to absorb the shock of the jump. Repetitions: 15-20.

 

Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows: Holding dumbbells hinge at the hip and push the hips back so the back remains flat. Squeeze shoulder blades together and pull dumbbells up to the side so hands end up next to the chest. Keep shoulders away from the ears and don’t allow the forearms to curl in. You should be using the middle of your back to pull up. Choose a weight that will allow for 15-20 repetitions.

 

Release Push-ups: In normal push-up position, lower body to the ground and once body is on the ground, lift hands off the ground squeezing shoulder blades together. Then place hands back on the ground and push body back up to starting position using your pectoral muscles (chest). Repetitions: 15-20.

 

Lunge With Shoulder Press: Use either a barbell or dumbbells, hold the weight above shoulders and complete a lunge. Make sure back knee drops almost to the ground and you drive through the heel of the front foot, engaging your glutes. As you return to a standing position press the weight overhead using your deltoids (shoulders). Alternate legs as you walk forward. Repetitions: about 8-10 steps per leg.

 

Sprints: Go fast! Ideally, run with an incline of about eight percent and a speed that you can only last a maximum of 1 minute.

 

I Seek Obliques

By: Snap Fitness

A strong core is essential in order to utilize other parts of your body to make the most out of your workouts. It’s important to exercise your entire core, not just your abs. We tend to forget about our obliques, even though they are key to having a strong core. This exercise is designed to work your entire core with an emphasis on the obliques.

 

30 Russian twists

20 Side plank dips

10 Double leg lifts on back

Repeat 2X

 

20 Dumbbell side bends

30 Oblique crunches

20 Hip twists in plank

Repeat 2X

 

10 V-ups

20 Double leg lifts lying on side

40 Bicycle crunches

Repeat 2X

 

What are your favorite oblique exercises? Comment on our Facebook page!

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