Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Arm Day for Beginners

By: Snap Fitness

Starting a workout routine can be tough. You might not be familiar with the machines in your club or know where to begin with weights. Don’t worry, every expert was once a beginner!

 

Arm day is an important day to include in your weekly routine. Tank-top arms are always a goal for the warmer months, but you need to start working them now to see results in time for summer. Strengthening your arms takes time, and it’s key to build up your weights as time goes on. Start with these four exercises for your first few Arm Days. Add weight as you see fit!

 

Here are four basic arm exercises for beginners:

Bicep Curl: Start with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift your weights to shoulder-level while keeping your elbows by your sides. Slowly lift back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times for two or three sets.

Chest Fly: Grab a mat and lay on your back. Start with dumbbells facing upwards in each hand and arms extended out on the floor. Lift weights up to meet above your chest, then return back to the starting position. Avoid locking your joints when your arms are out straight. Repeat 10 times for two or three sets.

Tricep Extension: Hold dumbbells in each hand above your head. Move arms down so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Lift weights back up above your head. Repeat eight times for two sets.

Bent-Over Row: Lean forward with weights in each hand. Pull weights up towards your sides, and bring them back down. Keep your arms as close to your side as possible. Repeat 10 times for two sets.

How to Prepare for Your First 5K

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

With spring just around the corner, you may be more motivated to hit the treadmills to prepare for an outdoor running event. If you haven’t run a 5k and you’ve always wanted to, this article is meant just for you!

 

I have put together a 5k training program that you can do right in your Snap Fitness club. Taking the first step is always the toughest – let’s leap!

 

Rundown to Running: Here is an 8-week sample workout to get you up and running and ready for your first 5k race!

 

How to Prepare for Your First 5K

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

With spring just around the corner, you may be more motivated to hit the treadmills to prepare for an outdoor running event. If you haven’t run a 5k and you’ve always wanted to, this article is meant just for you!

 

I have put together a 5k training program that you can do right in your Snap Fitness club. Taking the first step is always the toughest – let’s leap!

 

Rundown to Running: Here is an 8-week sample workout to get you up and running and ready for your first 5k race!

 

Winter Workout Apparel Tips

By: Snap Fitness

While the temperature inside your club is always perfect for a workout, sometimes it can refreshing to get outside for a brisk winter run. But before you hit the icy roads, it’s important to make sure you’re dressed for the weather. That’s why we’re sharing three quick winter workout apparel tips to keep you warm and healthy all season long.

1) Check the temperature – Before you head out for a run, walk or any other outdoor activity, take a second to check the temperature, not just at the current moment but for the next hour or two, and remember to look at the wind chill too. You don’t want to be caught off-guard by colder-than-expected temps and find yourself underdressed, and a quick look at the forecast will help you plan the proper outfit for your outdoor endeavor.  

2) Dress in layers – When it comes to dressing for winter, it’s always better to be over prepared. Yes, your body is going to heat up once you start exercising, which means it’s going to feel a lot warmer outside. But once you stop, your body temperature will drop, leaving you cold, sweaty and shivering. By dressing in layers, you can strip away what you don’t need as your body warms up, or put them back on as your body cools down. This also includes face and head wear like hats, scarves, and masks.

3) Be seen – The sun sets a lot earlier in the winter, meaning it gets colder and darker sooner. Make sure you’re wearing bright and reflective gear before you head out running, especially if you’re going to be on public roads with vehicles and other exercisers. Being warm AND being seen are the top two safety tips to remember no matter what type of outdoor workout you’re preparing for.

Practice Safe Sets

By: Snap Fitness

It’s important to practice safe sets at the gym. Whether you’re a lifting regularly or new to the process, these tips and techniques will insure safe and effective sets.

                                                              

Breathe.  Make sure you don’t hold your breath.  Your blood pressure can increase during weightlifting to unsafe levels if you hold your breath.  

Lift a suitable amount of weight.  The amount of weight you lift should depend on your goal. To increase muscle size and strength, shoot for 6-8reps.  To increase overall muscular endurance, choose a weight that you can lift 12-15 reps.

Don’t rush.  Don’t jerk the weight up.  Lift and lower the weight in a slow, controlled fashion.  This helps you improve core strength and stability and isolates the muscles you want to work.

Seek balance.  Work all your major muscles including legs, chest, back, shoulders, and arms.  

Be consistent.  Strength training a minimum of three times a week will build muscle and boost metabolism.  

Get a firm footing.  Keep your feet shoulder width apart for a stable base and good balance.

Bend at your knees and hips.  Avoiding simply rounding your spine during strength training bend at hips/knees instead. 

Tighten stomach muscles.  Abdominal muscles support your spine when you lift, off setting the force of the load and protect your back. 

Keep load close.  Don’t hold the load away from your body.  The closer it is to our center of gravity, the less force it places on your spine.

Exercise through the full range of motion.  Perform each exercise through a full range of motion.  This enhances both muscle strength and flexibility.

Store your weights properly.  Watch the way you lift weights out of the rack.  Keep your core strong and lift with your entire body.

Concentration.  To get the best results possible, you need to concentrate on exactly what you are trying to achieve while you are lifting.

Rest.  Make sure to take rest days between workouts of the same muscle group.

 

Time to go lift! Got another piece of advice about lifting? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter

Full Body Beach Ready Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Would you rather be covered in sweat at the gym, or covered in clothes at the beach? This workout will get your heart pumping which is important for fat burn and will work your muscles to tone up your entire body.

If you do this workout at the gym every day until summer, which is 37 days away, you’ll be beach ready in no time!


Repeat this 2-3 times:

30 Jumping Jacks

10 Push-Ups

20 Calf Raises

:30 Plank

4 Burpees

10 Lunges

20 Butt Kickers

30 Jumping Jacks

30 Russian Twists

:30 Superman

 

What area do you want to tone up before swim suit season? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

4-Step Cooldown

By: Snap Fitness

Just because you’ve finished the “hard part” of your workout doesn’t mean you can pack up and drive home quite yet! A cool-down is a must-do during your post-workout routine. Cool-downs gradually reduce your heart rate and help your body return to a resting state. They also reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. Don’t let sore muscles keep you from getting to the gym! Follow these cool-down steps.

 

Here are four things your cool-down should consist of:

 

Cardio: This doesn’t mean run! Slow your speed to a light pace for five to 10 minutes. This flushes out lactic acid from your muscles, prevents soreness, and aids muscle recovery.

 

Stretch: Spend 30 seconds stretching each major muscle group. If a muscle is especially sore, spend more time on that area. The major muscles include quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest, arms, and core.

 

Hydrate: You should be drinking water before, during, and after your workout, but it’s especially important to drink up after you exercise. You need to replenish the water supply you lost during your workout. We recommend you drink 16 ounces per hour of exercise.

 

Replenish: In addition to water, we recommend a recovery shake combination of protein and carbohydrates. Protein rebuilds muscle tissue, while carbohydrates deliver proteins to your cells. Sip down your recovery shake within 30 minutes of your workout to ensure your muscles absorb the nutrients they need.

 

Stick to this cool-down routine and the results will come!

The Importance of a Rest Day

By: Snap Fitness

You're not a skipper, but maybe you should be.

 

We know that muscle grows and repairs itself while resting, so continuous training can actually weaken the strongest of us. Research suggests having a rest day from your normal fitness routine at least once a week. Not only does it benefit your body, but it can help maintain a healthy balance between the gym, your job, and your home.

 

Overtraining can cause more damage than you think. You may have reached a weight-loss plateau and/or have trouble sleeping, a bigger appetite, and other major mood swings. Don't beat yourself up over a day without the gym; it's a reward for your hard work every other day!

New Year's Eve Countdown Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Finish off 2013 with our Countdown Finisher workout! A Finisher is a metabolic boost that is often placed at the end of a workout.  It consists of high intensity movements done with maximal effort.

Start with a 5 minute warm-up on your favorite machine. Once you start the countdown, move from one movement to the next without stopping – good luck!

10 - Burpees

9 – Pushups

8 – Squat Thrusters (Plank position, jump feet to the outsides of hands and repeat, plank to squat for 8 reps)

7 – Jump Squats

6 – Side Plank Dips (each side)

5 – Elbow Plank Pulls (hold elbow plank and pull your body forward and back)

4 – Plank Walks (one elbow down, then the other, one hand to plank, then the other – continue this starting with the right side for 4, then the left side for 4)

3 – Jump Lunges (each leg)

2 – Minute Plank Twist (hold plank or elbow plank for 2 minutes, rotate hips right, dip hip toward the floor, return to center and repeat, alternating sides)

1 – Mile run

Happy New Year!

Perfecting Your Running Form

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

If you’re looking to improve your overall running performance or preparing for a race, it is important to know if your running form is correct. Having proper form can reduce the stress on your body, as well as your race time. Here are a few tips to perfecting your form- from head to toe.

 

Eye contact

Your eyes should be focused on the ground about 10 feet ahead of you. Try to avoid staring at your feet. Always pay attention on what is ahead of you.

 

Land mid-foot

Try to land mid-foot, and roll through to the front of your toes. Landing on your heels or toes can cause excessive fatigue, injury and tight calves. This can also lead to shin splints if not properly fixed.

 

Keep your hands at your waist

Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they lightly brush your hips. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle. Beginners have a tendency to hold their hands up by their chest, especially as they fatigue. You may also increase tension in your shoulders and neck if your arms are pulled too high.

 

Relax your hands

As you run, keep your arms and hands as relaxed as possible. You can gently cup your hands, as if you are holding an egg and you don't want to break it. Avoid clenching your fists as this can lead to tightness in the arms, shoulders, and neck.

 

Check your posture

Think; head up, back straight, and shoulders level. Keep your shoulders under your ears and maintain a lifted and lengthened spine. Avoid leaning forward. When you're tired at the end of your run, it's common to slouch, which can lead to neck, shoulder, and lower-back pain. Avoid slouching by keeping your eyes focused forward and your chest lifted. This will also improve breathing mechanics and efficiency.

 

Don't bounce

Try to avoid too much up and down movement- rather, focus on driving your body forward. Take quick, light, steps that will leave you feeling energized and capable of running further.

Posts 11 - 20 of 208