Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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How To Perfect the Crunch

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

The crunch is one of the most popular exercises for those looking to get that perfect set of abs, however, if you’re performing a crunch, you have to make sure you're doing it properly.

 

When doing a crunch, keep these form points in mind to ensure that you actually work your abs and not your neck or low back.

 

1- Place hands long to your sides and reach your fingers toward your feet to prevent lifting at the neck and shoulders. For a modification, support your head with your hands.

 

2- Pull abdominals in and flatten, rather than pushing them out or forcing your low back to the floor.

 

3-Keep neck long and neutral with eyes gazing toward abdomen rather than pushing your chin out, straining the neck or looking toward the ceiling.

Elliptical Cardio Blast Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Spice up your cardio routine with this fat blasting elliptical workout. By integrating bursts of intensity throughout this workout you will automatically rev up your metabolism, which will allow your body to burn fat throughout the day.

 

The key to an effective cardio routine is to add intervals. By adding intervals, you are varying the intensity, therefore increasing the effectiveness of your workout. Try this cardio blast workout twice a week and we guarantee you’ll see results.

 

Who’s ready to blast those calories?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stability Ball Side Crunch

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

The Stability ball side crunch is a great way to get up off the floor and get down with awesome abs!

 

This exercise is also a safe and effective way to keep the crunch out of your neck and lower back and puts the emphasis right where it counts.  Plus, a bigger range of motion from the ball, ensures that you hit those obliques hard.  Here’s how:

 

  • Sit the inside hip onto the ball, place your feet where the floor and wall meet. 

 

  • Make sure that the top leg is stepping back and the bottom leg is stepping forward.  This will encourage a gentle stretch at your hips and allow for better use of your obliques as a result. 

 

  • Place both hands behind your head and align yourself to face away from the wall.  Keep hips square and perpendicular to the floor. 

 

  • Stretch over the ball to one side, exhale and curl up toward the wall.

 

  • Repeat for 10-20 reps then flip to do the same on the opposite side.

11 Safety Tips for Exercising with Diabetes

By: Snap Fitness

Source: American Diabetes Association

November is American Diabetes Month! Regular exercise can greatly improve diabetes, but before you get started you need to be safe. Here area few simple things you can do to help prevent injuries, dehydration, and hypoglycemia when exercising:

1) Talk to your health care team about which activities are safest for you.

Your health care provider’s advice will depend on the condition of your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, feet, and nervous system. Still, many people with diabetes can do the same activities as someone without diabetes.

2) Warm up for 5 minutes before starting to exercise and cool down for 5 minutes after.

Your warm up or cool down should be a lower intensity than the rest of your time exercising. This helps get your blood flowing and warms up your joints.

3) Avoid doing activity in extremely hot or cold temperatures. Choose indoor options when the weather is extreme.

4) Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activity to stay hydrated.

5) If you feel a low coming on, be ready to test for it and treat it. Always carry a source of carbohydrate with you so you’ll be ready to treat low blood glucose. This is especially important if you are on insulin and have type 1 diabetes.

6) If exercising for an extended period (more than an hour or two), you may want to have a sports drink that provides carbohydrates. Be careful to check the nutrition facts though, you may need to water down the drink so that you don’t have too much, which can cause your blood glucose to spike.

7) Wear a medical identification bracelet, necklace, or a medical ID tag that identifies you as someone with diabetes in case of emergency, and carry a cell phone with you in case you need to call someone for assistance.

8) Activities should be energizing but not overly difficult.

Use the “talk test” to make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard. If you become short of breath and you can’t talk, then slow down. This is most important when you are just starting to increase the activity in your routine. As you become fit, you’ll be able to exercise at a higher intensity and chat with others while you do it.

9) Take care of your feet by wearing shoes and clean socks that fit you well.

You should also check inside your shoes before wearing them. Shoes with silica gel or air mid-soles are a good choice for weight-bearing activities like walking because they are built to reduce stress on your feet and joints. Socks that are made out of a material that reduces friction and pulls moisture away from your skin can also help protect your feet. Some examples are CoolMax, polypropylene, or acrylic (stay away from cotton).

10) Carefully inspect your feet before and after activity for blisters, redness, or other signs of irritation. Talk to your doctor if you have a foot injury or a non-healing blister, cut, or sore.

11) Stop doing an activity if you feel any pain, shortness of breath, or light-headedness. Talk to your doctor about any unusual symptoms that you experience.

Upper Body Tabata Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Tabata is a type of high-intensity training that moves very quickly. 

 

You perform an exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. You repeat the pattern for a total of 8 times. One Tabata round will take 4 minutes.

 

Note: This type of workout is for the more advanced. For beginners, start with just 1-2 rounds and build your endurance up. Anyone with preexisting cardiovascular conditions should consult with a doctor first. 

  

Before you begin the workout, make sure everything is ready and that your equipment and weight is set. To help you keep on track, we suggest a Tabata Timer app.    

 

The Warm up:

 

Make sure to warm up properly by including 4-5min of a brisk walk, jumping jacks, elliptical, etc.

 

The Workout:

 

Perform the exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds and repeat the pattern for a total of 8 times, then move to the next exercise.

 

1. Incline Press

 

2. Lat Pulldown (wide grip)

 

3. Machine Seated Chest Flyes 

 

4. Seated Row Machine

 

The Cool-down:

Your cool-down should include light walking or elliptical and light stretching. Because of the high intensity nature of a Tabata, make sure that you give yourself a day rest to allow repair and recovery of the working muscle, plenty of water, and a protein/carb combination as proper nutrition. 

How To Perfect the Straight Leg Deadlift

By: Snap Fitness

 

Straight-Legged Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for improving strength, power, and overall tone in the glutes and hamstrings. 

 

With a  few key form points, you can perform this exercise as part of your overall strength training, or added into a challenging “Leg Day”. 

 

Using Bodyweight, Dumbbells or a Loaded Barbell, here are some points to keep in mind:

 

Things to Avoid: 

1. Rounded Back

2. Eyes looking down

3. Locking of knees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to perfect the deadlift:

1. Keep your back flat and your eyes forward

2. Push hips back to initiate movement

3. Keep knees soft, avoid locking them straight

4. Hinge forward until you feel a subtle stretch in the hamstrings

 

It's the Great Pumpkin (Workout)!

By: Snap Fitness

In celebration of the Fall season – why not grab the nearest pumpkin and build up a little strength?  This festive harvest season workout is designed with a little fun and fitness in mind.  Simply choose a moderate to heavy pumpkin and get moving – no excuses for not having equipment on hand!

 

Jack-o-lantern Jump

Set up your pumpkin and stand to one side.  Jump over the pumpkin from the right to the left – pulling knees up high for added challenge.  Shoot for 20-40 total jumps between each strength set below:

 

1. Pumpkin Overhead Lunge

Lunge back with one leg as you raise the pumpkin overhead – alternate legs and repeat overhead lift.  This exercise challenges balance, overall leg strength, plus tones the shoulders.

 

2. Pumpkin Patch Pushup

Place one hand on a pumpkin, one hand on the floor – complete 5 full pushups then repeat with the pumpkin on the other hand.  This offset stance challenges balance, chest, shoulders, arms and core strength.

 

 

3. Pumpkin Twist

Stand with Feet hip distance apart while holding the pumpkin in both hands at waist height.  Rotate the torso right, while pulling the right knee up – repeat on the left side, continue by alternating right and left.

 

 

4. Harvest Hoist

Hold the pumpkin in both hands, squat down and lower the pumpkin toward the ground, stand up through the squat by pressing through the heels.  Raise the pumpkin overhead – repeat.  This exercise works the hips, legs, core, and shoulders.

 

 

5. Gourd Getup

Place a pumpkin at your feet, squat down and place both hands on either side or top.  Jump feet back into a plank and complete one pushup, jump feet back to the pumpkin, pick it up and jump up!  Repeat for 5-10 reps.

 

 

 

Treadmill Interval Calorie Burner

By: Snap Fitness

 

Interval training is an effective way to get more out of your workout and burn more calories.

 

With Interval Training, you should be working at or above 85% of your max heart rate for a period of time, followed by a recovery period at 60-70%. This type of workout has a lingering effect, which helps your body burn more calories after your workout.

 

To learn more about Interval Training, check out Jodi’s blog on "The Importance of Varying Exercise Intensity.”

 

Now turn up your tunes and get to work! 

 

Optimal Upper Body Superset Workout

By: Snap Fitness

In a superset, you perform two exercises back to back without a rest. For this superset workout, each superset is made up of two exercises that work on opposing muscle groups or joint actions.

 

The added bonus for superset workouts? You are cutting out that resting period between sets, so you will get out of the gym and on with your day that much quicker!

 

Be sure to set up your equipment before you start to make the most of your time.

 

The Warm-Up:

 

High knees – 60 seconds

Mountain climbers – 60 seconds

Jumping Jacks – 60 seconds

 

The Workout:

 

8-10 reps of each exercise

Complete 3 sets of each superset and move on to the next

 

1a. Dumbbell or barbell bench press

1b. Bent-over dumbbell row

 

2a. Dumbbell shoulder press

2b. Pull-up / Assisted pull-up

 

3a. Dumbbell curl

3b. Tricep kickbacks 

 

The Cool-down:

 

End your workout routune with some ab work and stretching

 

1. Straight Arm Plank (1 min.)

2. Bicycle crunches (30)

3. Elbow Plank (1 min.)

4. Stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

 

 

Click here to get a printable version of this workout! 

Love Your Legs Workout

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

3-5 minutes on low intensity settings on any cardio equipment including treadmill, elliptical or bike.

 

The Workout:

 

8-10 reps of each exercise

Complete 3 sets of each exercise and move on to the next

 

1. Cable Leg Raise

 

2. Cable Glute Kickbacks

 

3. Adduction Machine

 

4. Abduction Machine

 

5. Dumbbell Calf Raises

  

The Cool-down:


Hamstring Stretch

Press one heel forward, keep that leg stretched, hands at hips, push hips back and hold for 20-30 seconds then switch legs

 

Quad Stretch

Stand tall, balance on one leg, bend the opposite knee, reach back to that heel and pull toward the seat.  Avoid over-arching the low back.  Keep abdominals in and strong.  Hold for 20-30 seconds then switch legs

Posts 11 - 20 of 128