Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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5 Core Exercises That Are More Fun Than Sit-Ups

By: Snap Fitness


Sick of sit-ups? Ready to try some new core exercieses? Here are 5 exercises that are sure to be more fun than sit-ups!

 

Russian Twists

Sit with knees bent, abdominals pulled in and feet lifted off the floor, Roll low back slightly toward the mat so that you are supported slightly behind your tailbone.  Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell in both hands.  Twist your upper torso side to side while keeping hips and knees level.

 

 

Wood chop

Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands while standing with your feet hip-width apart. Twist to the left and raise the weight over your left shoulder. ‘Chop’ the weight down diagonally to the outside of your right knee. Return to starting position. Complete your set numbers of reps and repeat on the other side.

 

 

Side Bend

Hold a dumbbell in one hand while standing with your feet hip-width apart. While keeping your back straight and head up, bend at the waist to one side.  Hold for a second and come back to starting position. 

 

 

 

The Roll Up 

Lie on your back with your legs slightly bent and arms behind your head. You can do this exercise without a weight, or hold a dumbbell, medicine ball or even stability ball.  Curl your chin to your chest, and try to roll up one vertebra at a time pulling abdominals in deeper as your go, trying to touch your toes. Roll back down one vertebra at a time to starting position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight Arm Plank 

Come to the top of a push-up position and align your wrists straight below your shoulders. Keep your feet about hips' width apart and keep your heels high. Avoid an arch in your lower back by pulling your abs in and lifting your ribcage and hips. Lastly, be sure your ears are aligned over your shoulders and hold the position for as long as you can.

 

How to Perfect the Burpee

By: Snap Fitness

The burpee may have a bad reputation, but it is a great exercise that works your entire body while increasing your cardiovascular endurance.

 

A burpee is a combination of a squat, push-up and vertical jump. Here are the 5 basic moves of the burpee broken down:

 

1. Lower into a squat

 

2. Put your hands down and kick your feet behind you so you end up in a starting push-up position

 

3. Lower and complete a push-up by coming back up to starting position

 

4. Pull your feet back in towards your chest so you’re back in the squat position

 

5. Finish by jumping up in the air

 

 

 

Now that you know how to do a burpee, you may be asking when you should incorporate them into your workout. They are a multi-joint/complex movement that should be done once you are properly warmed up.  You can prepare for them by doing air squats (no weight, or body weight squats), holding a plank, marching or jogging in place.  They can be incorporated as a final boost at the end of your workout, used as a cardio interval.  They are also a great exercise to perform in-between your sets of strength training exercises.

 

Now go out and get your burpee on! 

25 Minute Run/Walk Treadmill Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

Avoid feeling bored on the treadmill with this 25 minute treadmill workout that alternates between a brisk walk and a run every couple minutes. Not only will this keep boredom at bay, but it will give your body a good workout. 

 

Start with a slight incline around 3. If you feel like the workout is too easy or hard, play around with the incline or speed. 

 

For extra distraction while running on the treadmill, create a motivating playlist and listen to some tunes! Don't have time to create a playlist? Check out the Get Up & Go playlist we created for you!

 

Good luck! 

 

20 Minute Elliptical Interval Workout

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 on your tunes and get to work! 

 

 

Snap Workout: Back & Chest Supersets

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

The Workout:

 

8-10 reps of each exercise

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

 

1a. Bent-over barbell row

1b. Incline dumbbell chest press

 

2a. Lat-pulldown

2b. Flat bench dumbbell press

 

3a. Seated row

3b. Flat bench dumbbell flys

 

The Cool-down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes.

Stability Ball Whole Body Workout

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

 

The Workout:

 

Stability Ball Hamstring Curls (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Glutes and hamstrings

 

Stability Ball Fly (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Chest

 

Stability Ball Back Extensions  (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Hamstrings and Lower, middle and upper back

 

Stability Ball Push-ups (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Arms, shoulders, chest and core

 

Stability Ball Sit-ups (3 sets of 30 seconds)

Muscles worked: Abdominals

 

 

The Cool-down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

Lunch Hour Treadmill Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Did you know that squeezing in a workout during the workday helps boost your mood and energy levels, and helps to reduce stress?

 

We know how precious those 60 minutes can be. Therefore, we put together a 15-minute treadmill workout that will maximize every minute!

 

By incorporating intervals into your treadmill workout, you will be able to kick-start your fat burning in a short amount of time.

 

While doing this workout, keep the incline between 3-5.

 

Beginners should start at the lower end of the speed range. If you are more advanced, push yourself towards the higher end of the speed intervals.

 

The Importance of Warm-up and Cool-down Exercises

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

When you are crunched for time and looking to maximize your workout, the first thing that typically gets cut is the warm-up and/or cool-down.  This is a mistake for a number of reasons.

 

The Warm-up:

 

A warm-up doesn’t need to be terribly long but, it does need to exist.   Taking 3-5 minutes to warm-up before any type of workout (strength or cardio), can drastically reduce your risk of injury and minimize any muscle soreness or stiffness in the days following. 

 

A proper warm-up will also:

• Lubricate your joints and ligaments in preparation for higher intensity movements

• Increase heart rate and pump blood to working muscles

• Increase energy and mental readiness in preparation for your workout

 

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), warm-ups are necessary as a means for improving range of motion and reducing risk of injury. 

 

The best warm-up should include Dynamic rather than Static movement. A dynamic warm-up can include:

 

• Low intensity settings on any cardio equipment including treadmill, elliptical or bike

 

• Leg or arm swings – start slow and work toward increasing pain-free range of motion.  This is especially good to do prior to total body workouts. Also try small range of motion walking lunges as shown here

 

• Avoid Static stretching – holding a stretched position in an effort to increase flexibility is better suited to post workout cool-down.  The NIH studies note that static stretching can actually negatively affect sport or exercise performance

 

 

The Cool-down:

 

Equally important but, often skipped is the cool-down.   A quality cool-down can actually improve subsequent workouts.  This is because cool-down exercises help to flush out waste products often accumulated during high intensity workouts (ie, lactic acid).  If lactic acid is not flushed out, increased muscle stiffness and soreness result. 

 

A proper cool-down will do the following:

• Decrease heart rate closer to its resting state

• Decrease core body temperature

• Help the body regulate blood pressure down to normal.  This is important especially for those prone to light-headedness post workout

 

Cool-downs are simple and quick. All you need is 3-5 minutes.  Include lower intensity cardio exercises followed by flexibility exercises.  The cool-down is the appropriate time to include static stretching exercises in an effort to increase flexibility. These exercises include:

 

• Hamstring Stretch –

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

 

• 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 20-30seconds.

 

• Chest Stretch –

Clasp hands behind back or hold at hips.  Pull elbows in toward each other, drawing shoulder blades down and together.  Press elbows further in or hands further back to increase the stretch.  Hold for 20-30seconds.

 

• Upper Back Stretch –

Clasp hands together in the front of your body.  Bring your chin to your chest and push hands forward, opening up the mid back.  Take a few deep breaths and hold for 20-30seconds.

 

If you take the time to warm-up and cool-down, your body will thank you with less injury, more energy and your subsequent workouts will rock as a result!

Snap Workout: H.I.I.T.

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

 

The Workout:

30 seconds of each exercise

Complete 4 circuits

  

1a. Jumping Jacks

1b. Wall sit

1c. Bicycle crunches

 

Rest 30 seconds

 

2a. Step-ups

2b. Squats

2c. Elbow plank

 

Rest 30 seconds

 

3a. Mountain Climbers

3b. Lunges

3c. Side plank

 

Rest 60 seconds and Repeat circuit (complete 4 circuits total)

 

 

The Cool-Down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

40 Minute Elliptical Core Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

Do you often times find yourself getting bored quickly on the elliptical? Want to work your core while on the elliptical? If you answered yes, this workout is for you.

 

Next time you hop onto an elliptical, pick one that has moving handles. This workout will require you to let go of the handles every couple intervals to test your balance and engage the core – and keep things interesting!

 

Adjust the resistance levels if you find them too hard or too easy. If your elliptical machine has an adjustable incline, keep it in the range of 5-8 throughout the entire workout.

 

Turn up your music and get to work!

 

 

 

Posts 41 - 50 of 128