Tag Archives: fitness workouts

HalfA$$2

Kill That BOOTY with Kettlebell Moves (and get some A$$kicking in!)

by Brandi Marino of The Beyond Studios

The only thing we love more than doing kettlebells or Pilates on its own is a badass workout that fuses the two for even better body-sculpting results. Why do just one workout when you can get the benefits of a two-in-one sweat sesh? Because while swinging a kettlebell does have its benefits, building those moves into specific workout structures can bring you even closer to your body goals, whether that’s building muscle or sporting a chiseled long lean Pilates body.

To help (because, hey, it’s not like we all have degrees in sports science), I reached out to some of my fitness god friends to create three unique workouts using just seven kettlebell exercises. Stick with the plans below, alternating workouts three to four times a week, for the next three weeks, and you’ll sculpt a fierce long lean Pilates Body look with the muscular strength to back it up—just in case anyone decides to challenge you! Shout out to Track & Field for the awesome outfits featured in this article and The Beyond Studios videos!

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How to Perform the Best Plank

Plank is an isometric strength exercise that requires maintaining engagement of the core muscles for an extended period of time. The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up position with the body’s weight distributed onto the arms, legs and toes. Amanda Rose, from Amanda Rose Wellness reminds us that form is key.

plank 1

Why do I plank?

  1. It requires complete concentration and focus.
  2. It strengthens the lower back, rectus abdominis (your eight-pack) and the transverse abdominis (the corset of muscles that hug your middle).
  3. It builds strength in the stabilizer muscles of the back (traps, rhomboids, rotator cuffs), all three parts of the shoulders, chest muscles, biceps, triceps, butt, quadriceps and calves.
  4. It doesn’t require any fancy or expensive equipment.
  5. It promotes good posture and prevents back injuries by teaching your core to stay contracted in a regular standing position.

There are so many variations of plank that you can always try modifications to challenge yourself. Such examples include side plank, single leg plank, single arm plank, TRX plank and revolving plank.

plank 2

Did you know? The longest time in abdominal plank position is 1 hour 20 minutes and 05.01 seconds and was achieved by George Hood in Naperville, IL, USA on December 3, 2011.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform the plank at home:

  1. Come into a narrow push-up position with your shoulders directly over your elbows and your elbows directly over your wrists. Arms are perpendicular to the floor and torso is parallel to the floor.
  2. Spread your fingers and press the bases of your index finger deeply into the floor.
  3. Squeeze the muscles of the biceps and triceps. Press your outer arms inward.
  4. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and spread your collarbones away from the sternum.
  5. Press your quadriceps or front thighs towards the ceiling. Activate the shin and calf muscles. Push into the ground to help lift the body up.
  6. Keep your spine in a neutral position and your back flat. Picture your body as a long straight board or plank. Get it?
  7. Tuck the tailbone down and lift the pubic bone up. Keep the navel in. Contract the abs towards your spine.
  8. Lift your head away from your neck and gaze down towards the floor.
  9. Breathe. Smile 🙂
  10. Hold as long as you can. Aim for 20-30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute or longer as you get stronger. Repeat two to three times.

Eager to try the plank? Check out ZaxFit Extreme Core Challenge!

10 Active Date Ideas for Summer

stock-footage-young-couple-walking-and-holding-hands-in-park

Having dinner and watching a movie or meeting for drinks are great ideas for summer dates. The downside? They all involve sitting and eating. We’re all for a romantic night out but you can also change up your dating routine to incorporate a few active adventures. You can always reward yourself and your honey with a meal at the end of the night.

Go on a bike ride. 

If you don’t have your own bike, plenty of cities have bike share programs. Take advantage and ride around! End your adventure with a healthy picnic in the park. Pack some delicious and healthy snacks and reward yourselves with a bottle of wine.

Take a workout class together.

There’s nothing sexier than working up a sweat together while burning some calories. Check out any outdoor workout events or summer boot camps happening in your city. Too hot to head outdoors? Open up your laptop and Booya together!

Volunteer in your neighborhood.

It’s a great feeling to help others and you can spread the love together. Find volunteer opportunities near you that you’re both excited about. Plenty of parks offer clean-up programs where you can join in and help out.

Take a dance class together.

Even if you end up stepping on each other’s toes, you’ll have a blast moving and shaking. Plus, you’ll learn some new moves to show off at that end-of-summer wedding on the calendar.

Plan a camping trip.

Take advantage of the warm summer nights and go camping. If you don’t have your own equipment or tent, see if your friends can lend you their gear. Uneasy about spending the night outside? Bring some blankets and picnic late in the evening instead. Watch the stars and enjoy the company.

Have a make-out session.

One minute of lip-locking can burn 2-5 calories. While that’s not enough to burn off your romantic meal, it can’t hurt to add it to your evening routine.

Pick summer berries.

Berries are in peak season during June, July and August. Have fun strolling around a local berry farm then keep the date going by using your newly foraged ingredients in the kitchen.

Take a late night stroll.

Warm summer nights are perfect for evening walks. Head to a park or just take a spin around the block.

Hike a mountain (or head to an indoor climbing wall).

Hiking and climbing are awesome ways to burn calories while strengthening muscle. Find a local trail and lace up those sneakers. Don’t have a park near you? Try out an indoor climbing gym.

Join a bowling team.

Head to your nearby alley and work for that strike. It’s great to bowl as a couple or join a group to make it a weekly event.